Brilliant Gameologists Forum

The Thinktank => Min/Max It! => Topic started by: Endarire on February 04, 2011, 12:21:31 AM

Title: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Endarire on February 04, 2011, 12:21:31 AM
Traditionally, there's a stealth class or an expectation that someone in a party will stealth.  Often, in my experience as PC and DM, this role is overshadowed by people with more obvious fighting abilities (Warblades, summonlings...) or casters.

Let's assume someone wants to be Very, Very Sneaky™ while using neither invisibility nor silence.

Let's also assume this guy is in a typical party (some casters, some non-casters).  How is this guy useful in these scenarios?

1: Your party doesn't help nor hamper your stealth?  In this group, you can say, "Stealth time!" then walk off on your own.

2: Your non-sneaky party tries to "help" but makes things worse.  They send non-sneaky or very squishy units to "help" but end up hampering you.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 04, 2011, 12:33:28 AM
Not without contrived storytelling. Sadly players want to play it. Both ninjas and snipers.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: dark_samuari on February 04, 2011, 12:38:08 AM
In the situation presented the 'stealthy' character is acting more like a scout for utility purposes. They may also end up being the individual who can lead enemies into traps, ambushes or similar situations.

But if we want to make a 'stealthy' character viable in a party both the Cunning Ambush & Infiltration teamwork benefits are amazing. Achievable by fifth level it only demands eight ranks for the leader (easy stuff) and one rank in Hide for the team members (also rather easy with cross-class skills).  
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Endarire on February 04, 2011, 12:52:36 AM
Where are these teamwork things?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Garryl on February 04, 2011, 01:01:20 AM
Teamwork benefits can be found in Heroes of Battle. I think there are also some in PHB2, but I'm not sure of that.
Teamwork Benefits - Infiltration, Invisibility Sweep (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050506a&page=2)
Teamwork Benefits - Friendly Fire Evasion, Superior Flank (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20050505b&page=1)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 04, 2011, 01:05:44 AM
Yes, there are some in the PHB2.  Now, to the OP:

Basically all Strength and Dexterity based skills are skills made to get a party from point A to point B.  Being able to hide really well for the shit of it really isn't a party role, you need to be able to use that ability to advance the party, and there are a few ways to do it (note that these apply to all Str- and Dex-based skills, not just Hide/Move Silently):

1) Sniping- Get into a position where a group of monsters/enemies/whatevers can't effectively attack you and poke at them.  If you're good at this, you can wound and kill a bunch of monsters before the party charges in, making them substantially less effective against the group.

2) Infiltration- Get into a position that the rest of the party can't get to, and do something that will get the party to your location.  This can be as simple as climbing a rock face and then throwing down a rope, or as contrived as using a portable hole or ring gates while the guy on the outside does his thing.

Yes, spells often do it better, but the magically disinclined aren't totally incapable of these things.  In fact, by level 5 your typical sneak should be able to climb pretty much any vertical surface, balance across very narrow ledges and ropes, jump across wide chasms, bypass any locked door or trap, and sneak past any monster lacking an ungodly Spot or Listen modifier.  Past that level, however, magical obstacles become prevalent enough that you need to get some magic yourself to keep pace with the challenges.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 10:53:52 AM
Without magic? He's pretty fucking useless. After all, you need shadows to hide in.

Almost everything you face, monster or not has darkvision or low light vision. Darkvision, of course means there are no shadows. Low light vision means the same thing, unless it is pitch black. So you have to do all kinds of crazy stuff, starting with a magic item tax just to even attempt to hide, then pay more taxes so you aren't lol auto owned by a goddamn housecat (scent).

Ignoring that, and ignoring all the other problems with stealth (like say, getting caught, and having to deal with the whole encounter by yourself since you are alone scouting) the results still aren't that good. Stealth sucks a bit less when it is something everyone can do, but that either requires an atypical party composition, or a "no class skills limited by classes" houserule.

Ultimately some variant of Invis and/or Silence will do the job better, because stealth is a skill, and skills must be made to suck.

That, and be binary.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: oslecamo on February 04, 2011, 11:16:52 AM
You don't need shaddows to hide at all. You just need some sort of cover of concealment. A simple corner/tree will do.

Scent will only spot you at 30 feet at best, so just keep a safe distance  from those dogs/cats. Darkstalker feat takes care of tremorsense and other such things.

Tome of Battle offers several other goodies for stealth dudes. A single swordsage dip will make wonders.

Also I don't see "Rest of the party alerts enemy to your presence". I see "Rest of the party plays bait/distraction while you sneak around." :smirk
 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: CantripN on February 04, 2011, 11:21:12 AM
I like Factotum/Chameleon as a base for that sort of thing. Sure, you're sneaky, but you also kick serious ass.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 11:24:09 AM
Which kind of defeats the point of sneaking around, doesn't it? After all, isn't the point of that to get past the enemy without alerting them?

The only way you're getting cover that moves with you is to carry a goddamn tower shield around and hide everything, including the shield itself behind the shield. Yeah right. And by the time you can get a Lesser Displacement cloak, everything starts having something to see through that anyways (not to mention, you're at a high enough level that mundane stuff auto fails).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: CantripN on February 04, 2011, 11:33:07 AM
Even a paltry Blur will do much of the time for you to Hide. Veil of Shadows does even better. Both 2nd level spells, and well within the abilities of a Factotum, a Chameleon, or your Party Arcanist.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Shadeseraph on February 04, 2011, 11:54:36 AM
Well, I've always seen teleport-like abilities as a far more viable method of sneaking. Even more now that we have so many ways of teleporting at will, such as Blink Shirt or Dimensional Jaunt. Some divinations and those abilities, and you are golden. So yes. Frankly, there isn't much only a "sneaky" char can do in my opinion. Something, but not much. Namely, sneaking in a dead magic area.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: CantripN on February 04, 2011, 12:21:57 PM
If you make a PC that's impossible to locate and target in combat, it's scary. I've had encounters like that, and it's all but impossible to beat, if they hit hard enough and have sufficient magic.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 04, 2011, 02:24:42 PM
In general, since it's a team game, the standard Splinter Cell style stealth won't be well-captured.  The rogue isn't usually going to be able to defeat the enemies that were set up to challenge the entire party.  And, if you can, then you are going to get glares from around the table as they watch you play.

But, I think none of that is the role for stealth characters in D&D.  In general, I have found stealthy characters most useful for essentially recon.  If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party. 

Finally, at high levels I have found "mundane" stealth much much better than relying on magic.  And, I feel like I should know a bit about it since I played a rogue-type up to like 28th level.  At higher levels, magical concealment is easily foiled by ubiquitous true-seeing, see invisibility, etc.  But, the humble Hide check, which can be boosted up immensely, can still be quite viable, usually supported by Darkstalker.  Unless you just randomly inject house rules like "darkvision makes hiding obsolete," something I've never even seen the vaguest reference to in the rules, the skill check, if you put some resources into it, is probably the most durable form of sneaking.  The only other contender I can think of is that 8th level Superior Invisibility spell, but that's a lot of resources for a relatively short-term benefit. 

But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.  The stealthy dude should have some quick escape abilities, just in case, but it can really help if the party thinks a bit about how to take advantage of those skills.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 04, 2011, 04:12:41 PM
In general, since it's a team game, the standard Splinter Cell style stealth won't be well-captured.  The rogue isn't usually going to be able to defeat the enemies that were set up to challenge the entire party.  And, if you can, then you are going to get glares from around the table as they watch you play.

But, I think none of that is the role for stealth characters in D&D.  In general, I have found stealthy characters most useful for essentially recon.  If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party. 

Finally, at high levels I have found "mundane" stealth much much better than relying on magic.  And, I feel like I should know a bit about it since I played a rogue-type up to like 28th level.  At higher levels, magical concealment is easily foiled by ubiquitous true-seeing, see invisibility, etc.  But, the humble Hide check, which can be boosted up immensely, can still be quite viable, usually supported by Darkstalker.  Unless you just randomly inject house rules like "darkvision makes hiding obsolete," something I've never even seen the vaguest reference to in the rules, the skill check, if you put some resources into it, is probably the most durable form of sneaking.  The only other contender I can think of is that 8th level Superior Invisibility spell, but that's a lot of resources for a relatively short-term benefit. 

But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.  The stealthy dude should have some quick escape abilities, just in case, but it can really help if the party thinks a bit about how to take advantage of those skills.
Sums it up pretty well. I don't think a party will say no after getting a few prepared encounters intead of ambushes. Of course, if the GM then feels that this makes fights too easy, then he will probably compensate - and maybe overcompensate. Nevertheless, recon is very important, and especially if you play a travelling party, you can't possibly divine all the possible encounters beforehand. Even if you use CoP all the time (which will most probably make the GM antsy, anyway), having a guy to scout in front is usually a big boon. The only trouble is giving him TOO much spotlight, for instance setting up encounters only for him, which he then can't solve quickly. The GM should also strongly discourage him from engaging the enemy himself, he should rather communicate back, and set up the counter-ambush.

I've had some situations happen before, when the scout walked into an ambush himself, because he botched some spot checks, but neither he nor the enemies had noticed each other. That was pretty funny, as he was basically walking about around among the enemies who were lying in waiting :).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 04, 2011, 04:27:05 PM
Without magic? He's pretty fucking useless. After all, you need shadows to hide in.

Almost everything you face, monster or not has darkvision or low light vision. Darkvision, of course means there are no shadows.

That shows a profound lack of experience with the stealth options available.

Anybody who's doing anything stealth related at even a moderate level can have dark armor (DotU 97).  It's a static +8000 gp, and you always have concealment against opponents with darkvision.

Or, if you think that costs too much, they could buy a ring of the darkhidden (MIC 122) for 2000 gp, and be completely invisible to darkvision.

Now at this point you're probably going to go "bluh bluh magic item tax".  
People buy magic items to make them really good at the things they do.  Duh.  I don't see you complaining about spellcasters buying metamagic rods.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 04:46:03 PM
But, I think none of that is the role for stealth characters in D&D.  In general, I have found stealthy characters most useful for essentially recon.  If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party. 

If they see you, you die. For them to chase, they have to see you. And it's trivial to spot a mundane scout, no matter what his Hide modifier is. And that's if he DOES have Darkstalker.

Quote
Finally, at high levels I have found "mundane" stealth much much better than relying on magic.  And, I feel like I should know a bit about it since I played a rogue-type up to like 28th level.  At higher levels, magical concealment is easily foiled by ubiquitous true-seeing, see invisibility, etc.  But, the humble Hide check, which can be boosted up immensely, can still be quite viable, usually supported by Darkstalker.  Unless you just randomly inject house rules like "darkvision makes hiding obsolete," something I've never even seen the vaguest reference to in the rules, the skill check, if you put some resources into it, is probably the most durable form of sneaking.  The only other contender I can think of is that 8th level Superior Invisibility spell, but that's a lot of resources for a relatively short-term benefit. 

But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.  The stealthy dude should have some quick escape abilities, just in case, but it can really help if the party thinks a bit about how to take advantage of those skills.

Not a house rule. You need something to hide with or behind. Since Darkvision means seeing in darkness, the most obvious answer is right out. And cover fails the moment there stops being a convenient 5 foot wall nearby. Only other ways of getting concealment are the things foiled by true seeing and so forth. Low light vision also sees through darkness, as long as it isn't complete darkness (or magical darkness, obviously). So without even getting into monsters, you auto lose to every PHB race except humans by default (and it's not exactly hard to get a special vision mode...)

Ignoring herp derp that fails at reading comprehension.

For emphasis:

Me: Without magic?
MBF: Herp derp with magic you can!
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bauglir on February 04, 2011, 05:31:48 PM
Counterpoint: Hide in Plain Sight requires only the presence of shadows. A shadow exists whether or not somebody perceives it; it's simply an area that lacks light above a certain threshold arbitrarily defined by the Daylight spell. Put another way, you don't have Hide in Plain Sight against certain opponents, you just have it. Nothing in the RAW suggests otherwise, and so claiming that Darkvision negates it is a houserule (if one based on common sense notions of how Hide in Plain Sight works; obviously these are ridiculous, though, since you don't even have to be in the shadows, just within 10 feet of them).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: awaken DM golem on February 04, 2011, 05:36:52 PM
"Help" is aid another ...  :rollseyes




... lol auto owned by a goddamn housecat ...


My avatar said the same thing to me.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 04, 2011, 05:48:19 PM
Sunic, shut the fuck up.  Cry "magic item tax" all you want, at low-to-mid levels a decent skill character is useful given that you're not going to have the cash for those magic items and monsters still have spot mods in the mid-teens, while it's easy to get ridiculous hide/move silently mods in the low 20's.  What's more, any given Factotum, Warlock, Beguiler, Chameleon, or Bard will be more than capable of casting spells like Invisibility and Silence, anyway, especially by the point that it starts becoming important to have said spells.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 04, 2011, 06:15:15 PM
But, I think none of that is the role for stealth characters in D&D.  In general, I have found stealthy characters most useful for essentially recon.  If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party. 

If they see you, you die. For them to chase, they have to see you. And it's trivial to spot a mundane scout, no matter what his Hide modifier is. And that's if he DOES have Darkstalker.

Quote
Finally, at high levels I have found "mundane" stealth much much better than relying on magic.  And, I feel like I should know a bit about it since I played a rogue-type up to like 28th level.  At higher levels, magical concealment is easily foiled by ubiquitous true-seeing, see invisibility, etc.  But, the humble Hide check, which can be boosted up immensely, can still be quite viable, usually supported by Darkstalker.  Unless you just randomly inject house rules like "darkvision makes hiding obsolete," something I've never even seen the vaguest reference to in the rules, the skill check, if you put some resources into it, is probably the most durable form of sneaking.  The only other contender I can think of is that 8th level Superior Invisibility spell, but that's a lot of resources for a relatively short-term benefit. 

But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.  The stealthy dude should have some quick escape abilities, just in case, but it can really help if the party thinks a bit about how to take advantage of those skills.

Not a house rule. You need something to hide with or behind. Since Darkvision means seeing in darkness, the most obvious answer is right out. And cover fails the moment there stops being a convenient 5 foot wall nearby. Only other ways of getting concealment are the things foiled by true seeing and so forth. Low light vision also sees through darkness, as long as it isn't complete darkness (or magical darkness, obviously). So without even getting into monsters, you auto lose to every PHB race except humans by default (and it's not exactly hard to get a special vision mode...)
...
I usually make it a policy to ignore things like this, in part b/c I actually like to use words rather than "herp" or "derp."  But, this isn't even remotely true. 

For your convenience, I have included just some of the hiding rules from the Rules Compendium (page 92): 

[spoiler]
Move between Cover: If you’re already hiding thanks
to cover or concealment, and you have at least 5 ranks in
Hide, you can make a Hide check (with a penalty) to try to
move across an area that doesn’t offer cover or concealment
without revealing yourself. For every 5 ranks in Hide you
possess, you can move up to 5 feet between one hiding
place and another. For every 5 feet of open space you must
cross between hiding places, you take a –5 penalty on
your Hide check. Movement speed penalizes the check
as normal.
Sneak up from Hiding: You can sneak up on someone
after emerging from a hiding place. For every 5 feet of open
space between you and the target, you take a –5 penalty on
your Hide check. If your Hide check succeeds, your target
doesn’t notice you until you attack or perform some other
attention-grabbing action. Such a target is treated as being
flat-footed with respect to you.
[/spoiler]
In addition, darkvision tends to be extremely limited in range (there are noteworthy exceptions), so if they are in darkness you could easily stay out of their range of vision if it was a big open plain.  If not, then you're likely to have cover.  Similar reasoning applies to low-light vision, and you have that whole shadowy illumination thing.  And, then there's the aforementioned rings, armor, and hide in plain sight abilities.  We are talking about a character that is good at sneaking, right?  Not just some random yokel who decides to pretend to be a ninja.

Secondly, you're just wrong as to "mundane" scouts being easy to spot.  It's numbingly easy to get a crazy high Hide check, and unless the spotter dedicates a lot of resources to countering it, you'll nearly always win.  We had to nerf some of it at high levels in order to keep it interesting.  For my high level rogue the only monster in the Epic Level Handbook that even has a chance of spotting him is the Hecatoncheires.  I know ... math is hard.  While True Seeing announces "fuck you Invisibility" it doesn't help out against Hide.  One of the few edges a mundane tactic has. 

Finally, I acknowledged the need for escape tactics.  These abound.  The enemies won't typically surprise the scout, and hopefully he can survive more than 1 round anyway (although perhaps not in Sunic's house of death or something ...), but if he's got a good Init check and some escape options (D-Door, just running really fast) then he can get out there.  Sure, there's a risk, but that's what fun encounters are about. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 06:18:22 PM
Quote
Hide in Plain Sight requires only the presence of shadows
No one said anything about hide in plain sight. He said hide.

Quote
Sunic, shut the fuck up.  
Quick question... do you really want to get "uncivil" like that?
Man's voice a strong opinion. Contrary to what other people want to hear. . .
So your answer is to shout him down? Really? Thats really uncool of you x-codes.
   In anycase I'm going to roll with Sunic on this one just because if 12 people agree on
something it should be someones JOB to disagree so that its not an automatic circle jerk.
But this is really what expouses it to me.
Quote
In general, since it's a team game, the standard Splinter Cell style stealth won't be well-captured.  The rogue isn't usually going to be able to defeat the enemies that were set up to challenge the entire party.  And, if you can, then you are going to get glares from around the table as they watch you play.
Thats a pretty hardcore rubric to go up against really.
1. Scout ahead: Get spotted. Die
2. Scout ahead: Get spotted. Win. Do that more than occasionally and people are likely to get annoyed at watching your solo adventure.
....
3. Scout ahead : Return with info. It seems like... well honestly this is a job that can be accomplished with class features, instead of splitting the Xp/gold with someone who's whole goal in life is to do that.
.........
There's something else that really irks me about this in a way.
 You do need some kind of concealment to hide. Sunic saying shadow is just once case and we all know that.
However... if you hide behind a tree and you walk out from behind a tree everybody just sees you. Especially with darkvision being out there, and everybody start pointing out how many other ways there are to be able to hide.
So, if you have a party of "total stealth dudes" it would take a specific type of encounter to kill actually challenge them. So you maybe could build and run a "force recon" adventure... but really scry/die, arcane eye, ... just spells in general seem to be what obviates it. Doesn't really play out well in other types of parties in my exp.
Quote
I played a rogue-type up to like 28th level.
 :( epic.

EDIT: Those rules pointed out in the rules compendium. I've never seen anyone invoke in a game ever. I've read that and don't even think of those rules. I'd have to see what the penalty is, further they break even with spells that do the same.
Lastly even if you are PERVERSLY good at hiding, you still run into the 3 situations I outlined above, please address.

Edit 2:
Quote
For every 5 feet of open space you must
cross between hiding places, you take a –5 penalty on
your Hide check. Movement speed penalizes the check
as normal.
That penalty can be insanely huge depending on circumstace

Quote
Hecatoncheires. I know ... math is hard.  While True Seeing announces "fuck you Invisibility" it doesn't help out against Hide.  One of the few edges a mundane tactic has.
I don't think anybody really considers the things that happen @ epic levels this is not adding any credibility to your argument. That just not practical enough for people to care typically. Also... civility... lets not get all "math is hard" it'll just turn the thread to nonsense faster. I for one am curious to see what really becomes of this.
Someon may have gotten something valid out of stealth interactions with a party. See thats my problem with it more than anything else. It just doesn't gel well unless you're able to seriously assassinate someone then high tail it back to the party.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 04, 2011, 06:41:44 PM
It just doesn't gel well unless you're able to seriously assassinate someone then high tail it back to the party.

An assassin in my party did things of this variety.
Unexpectedly turning the tides of great battles and such.
It was really pretty sweet when the ship in the middle of the enemy fleet abruptly splintered into pieces...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 06:44:48 PM
It just doesn't gel well unless you're able to seriously assassinate someone then high tail it back to the party.

An assassin in my party did things of this variety.
Unexpectedly turning the tides of great battles and such.
It was really pretty sweet when the ship in the middle of the enemy fleet abruptly splintered into pieces...
Wow. How'd he accomplish that?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 04, 2011, 06:56:40 PM
@Midnight_v

Numbers
That's just the stealth character I have lying around, and the last one I played w/ any regularity.  +10 stealth items are common, as are spells like Forestfold.  So, if you have maxed ranks in Hide/Move Silently and a decent Dex, then your Stealth score should be something like, level+3+5 (stat) + 10 (items, etc.) = level +18.  I actually looked at another of my stealthy characters, who has a whopping Dex of 12 and few resources other than an eternal wand of forestfold, and his checks are routinely +25 at level 10. 

Now, even if you're going up against opponents who are 10 hit dice higher than you, and maxed in Spot/Listen, it's going to be a straight roll to be spotted.

Cover
As to cover, I think it might be too circumstantial to talk about in a meaningful way.  However, if it's dark (reasonably often) then a trivial commitment gives you the ability to hide.  If not, then you may need something like Hide in Plain sight.  That's maybe more of a commitment, but we're talking about someone w/ some dedication to sneaking.  Actually, now that I think about it, it just takes that collar from Tome of Magic.  That being said, I readily concede that there will be some circumstances where sneaking is not a good plan or helpful.   

They find me and I'm dead
Ok, where do people come up w/ this?  No, seriously, is the average character one-shottable in your games?  You'd still get an initiative roll, which a scout has a reasonable chance of winning, and even then a character of high level should have some decent defenses (e.g., Diamond Mind counters, whatever).  So, I just don't see this.  Now, if it is the case that you're always one attack away from death, even w/ some escape precautions prepped, then yeah, I'd say no scouting ... ever.

What I do see, however, is "oh shit, they found me, get out now."  Which is why I mentioned escape options a few times now.

Civility
I am not sure how to respond to this one.  I usually don't weigh on things here b/c I am a combination of busy and relatively uninformed.  But, in my humble opinion, it's not like Sunic_Flames either is or has a reputation of being a kind opposition who does not shout people down.  So, he's bound to, and probably revels in, pissing people off.  I don't think others need to be chastised when that happens. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 07:30:45 PM
BAW I HAVE NOTHING USEFUL TO SAY SO I'M GOING TO WHINE AND FLAIL AT SUNIC! OH BY THE WAY, I R TRYING TO BEAT FAELRYINTH AS BIGGEST FUCKWIT OF ALL TIME!

Good to hear. Now shut the fuck up.

Now, in response to someone who is actually presenting useful information:

You presented hiding rules that impose massive penalties. Seriously, -1 to the check per foot you must travel. So if the fucker is 30 feet away, you lose 1.5 RNGs. As in the entire range of numbers. More than once. So yes, it's safe to say you auto fail such checks. Non viable options are not options.

Not to mention that in general, they get a chance to spot you every single round, and each of them get such a chance. This means either one of two things happen:

1: The enemy can never, ever win the check.
2: They have any chance of winning the check, even if it's very small. Iterative Probability means you get spotted every time. After all, you have to pass every stealth check. They have to pass one check to notice you. Same principle applies.

Darkvision typically has a range of 60 feet, sometimes higher. That still means a 125 foot diameter sphere, singled on the darkvision guy. Quite a large radius to avoid, especially when you consider multiple spotters, each in different locations. Now, low light vision means among other things you can "see as well as a moonlight night as a human can in the day". You can also "read just fine by candlelight". While it's not explicitly saying that you ignore shadowy illumination, it is still saying that. So either it's pitch dark (which by the way, means you need darkvision too, and encounter all the same problems you mentioned them having) or they can see like it's broad daylight.

Stealth, like any mundane skill is shut down by a long list of things, such that you need a long list of things of your own to even attempt it. And even then, it doesn't quite work out. For example you need Darkstalker just to not get auto owned by Housecats and their Scent ability. Not to mention Blindsense, Blindsight, and Tremorsense. But you still get auto owned by Mindsight (every outsider, some aberrations, many other creatures), Touchsight (any psionic), Lifesense (any undead) and others. Not to mention the more mundane auto owns. Such as not having the enemy conveniently right next to you but never looking your direction.

As for getting caught and death, well characters tend not to still be standing after two rounds even with the whole party there. Except if you're scouting, and it doesn't work out they aren't there. Which means the whole encounter gets to focus fire on you until you get away. And since running will make you die tired... Not to mention that most of the scouting types have the worst defenses in the entire game.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 04, 2011, 07:34:14 PM
Darkvision has already been addressed.

It's only 2000 gp to be completely invisible to darkvision.

Darkvision doesn't matter in any discussion of anybody who's even moderately interested in being stealthy.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 04, 2011, 07:54:06 PM
@Iterative Probability
I think you're looking at this in a very strange way.  Or, more precisely, in a way that assumes that players are infinitely risk-averse.  Now, if it is the case that "if you get spotted then you are dead," then infinite (or extremely high) risk-aversion is warranted.  I kind of said that previously.  Although I should point out that Swordsages make great sneakers, and they have really good defenses. 

This seems to me a more sensible way of looking at it.  In any encounter I can decide to sneak up on it, and gain a big advantage.  If doing so doesn't give my party a big advantage in some way -- e.g., if there are no buffers in the party, no terrain to take advantage -- then I think stealth is a non-starter.  But in doing so I suffer some risk that they may find me.  I'm making a trade-off between those two things:  the advantage I gain from the recon (buffs, etc.) and the risk I am taking in doing so. 

Now, in response to the subject heading, I think it's certainly possible to make that trade-off worth it.  It's often been the case in my experience, but I often seem to be playing a different game.

P.S.:  If you take Sunic's iterative probability reasoning to the extreme, then there is literally no reason to play the game, mechanically at least.  I mean that seriously, as in it's not hyperbole but literally true.  The game will be binary.  (1)  If there is any non-infinitesimal chance of failure, then you know you will "lose" eventually, and we are only wondering when that will happen.  And, if the world really is one of the one-shots that people seem to describe it to me as, then it will be somewhat predictable when it does (e.g., you will roll a 1 on a save eventually and will be out of rerolls).  Or, (2) you literally cannot lose b/c you have eliminated that non-infinitesimal chance of failure. 

Now, I'm not against the idea of iterative probability, hell I don't even know what it would mean to be so.  But, I think it's a very very coarse, and therefore not particularly accurate, way to consider a game w/ as many options, unanticipated options, and so on.  I'd make the analogy to chess.  There is, theoretically, a Nash eq'm to chess.  It's just so computationally complex that we are incapable of calculating it.  Similarly, the iterated probabilities are always shifting and their consequences are largely unknown. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 04, 2011, 07:58:11 PM
It just doesn't gel well unless you're able to seriously assassinate someone then high tail it back to the party.

An assassin in my party did things of this variety.
Unexpectedly turning the tides of great battles and such.
It was really pretty sweet when the ship in the middle of the enemy fleet abruptly splintered into pieces...
Wow. How'd he accomplish that?

According to rumors, it involved ... a bag of holding or perhaps a portable hole or both. I, of course, did not actually see what happened.... just the significant portion of the ship that abruptly wasn't there.  :p

But that assassin kicked tail.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: weenog on February 04, 2011, 08:01:17 PM
I'm just wondering what kind of slow, uninformed, unprepared stealth characters Sunic tried and failed to run, that he believes that if the enemies have any chance of spotting you, they will spot you, and then kill you.  A decent sneak will be there and gone before the outside chance of being spotted comes up bad, if he allows a chance at all, and he'll most likely have other things going so that even if he is spotted, he won't be recognized as something that needs attention paid to it.

I wonder how he can't understand concealment options such as smoke, airborne dust, thick fog, murky water, tall grass, tree leaves and the like.

I wonder how he fails to grasp that even the greenest newbie that's serious about stealth will have at least a Plan B as a fallback option if Plan A goes south, and often a Plan C too.  I wonder if he'd have a breakdown if he were confronted with the sort that could get as far as Plan K before being forced to wing it, but never needs it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 04, 2011, 08:02:57 PM
P.S.:  If you take Sunic's iterative probability reasoning to the extreme, then there is literally no reason to play the game, mechanically at least.  I mean that seriously, as in it's not hyperbole but literally true.  The game will be binary.  (1)  If there is any non-infinitesimal chance of failure, then you know you will "lose" eventually, and we are only wondering when that will happen.  And, if the world really is one of the one-shots that people seem to describe it to me as, then it will be somewhat predictable when it does (e.g., you will roll a 1 on a save eventually and will be out of rerolls).  Or, (2) you literally cannot lose b/c you have eliminated that non-infinitesimal chance of failure.

This is why you need to choose what advice you heed carefully.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 08:04:24 PM
Quote
Numbers
It's not worth my time to actually bother to play the numbers game honestly, but take by you own admission that its a "straight up die roll" (whatever that means) and you're against a group of enemies they have a few die rolls to spare, and more actions than you in general. Moreover this:

Quote
They find me and I'm dead Ok, where do people come up w/ this?  
Quote
The rogue isn't usually going to be able to defeat the enemies that were set up to challenge the entire party.  And, if you can, then you are going to get glares from around the table as they watch you play.  
Before we go any further. We got that shit from you. Now you're ACTUALLY contridicting yourself, there smart guy. You're argument stems from something you yourself said. There, thats the primary source. Good job.

Quote
Civility
I am not sure how to respond to this one.  I usually don't weigh on things here b/c I am a combination of busy and relatively uninformed.  But, in my humble opinion, it's not like Sunic_Flames either is or has a reputation of being a kind opposition who does not shout people down.  So, he's bound to, and probably revels in, pissing people off.  I don't think others need to be chastised when that happens.

Two things.
1. Its a great hippocrisy to do that type of thing. Lets say you're right for a sec and he "shouts people" down, the second we get on board with that, and start shouting people down, we're a part of the problem. So telling him to shut the fuck up, when he's NOT doing doing anything but expressing his opinion rationally actually encourages more people to be like "SHUT THE FUCK UP" when someone says something they disagree with instead of putting up rational arguments. It doesn't really matter if he's done that type of thing before or not.
2. Chastised? Seriously that was just an appeal to better nature. I've not even said anything snarky or condemning really. I'm definitely NOT the polite police but even though I don't like some of what you said, I figure it'd be better to approach it non-aggressively for a time as opposed to being belligerant or condescending.
The second you said something about "high level play" and "Lvl 28!" I mean it could have devolved right. there, all by how what's said gets said.

Finally This:
Quote
 Cover
As to cover, I think it might be too circumstantial to talk about in a meaningful way.  However, if it's dark (reasonably often) then a trivial commitment gives you the ability to hide.    
Leads right back to this:
Quote
Not a house rule. You need something to hide with or behind. Since Darkvision means seeing in darkness, the most obvious answer is right out. And cover fails the moment there stops being a convenient 5 foot wall nearby.
and this:
Quote
Without magic? He's pretty fucking useless. After all, you need shadows to hide in.

Almost everything you face, monster or not has darkvision or low light vision. Darkvision, of course means there are no shadows.  

So yeah its not just that he got shouted down, its that he's nominally RIGHT.
You yourself defaulted to "hiding in shadows" so yeah right off the bat we're only talking about people with hide in plain sight and them ONLY, but your obviously were not.

Hey one last issue.
Cover
Quote
As to cover, I think it might be too circumstantial to talk about in a meaningful way
I'm gonna disagree right out with that. Thats circumstatial but not something you can handwave after bringing up that rules compendium note.
Numbers right:
Quote
For every 5 ranks in Hide you
possess, you can move up to 5 feet between one hiding
place and another. For every 5 feet of open space you must
cross between hiding places, you take a –5 penalty on
your Hide check. Movement speed penalizes the check
as normal.
When I looked at it again I realize what a HUGE penalty that can be.
This pretty much means you aren't crossing the room to attack even at level 10 with your vaunted 25 to hide/move silently.
Quote
They find me and I'm dead
Yeah you really are, and its like. There are things that entagle no save, anyone casting Wall of Arbitrarium, or any one of the AoE spells that say "Your ass ain't getting out of this" pretty much agree with your:

Quote
Now, if it is the case that you're always one attack away from death, even w/ some escape precautions prepped, then yeah, I'd say no scouting ... ever.

That being said... I pretty much think your one of the cooler posters and have some pretty good insights on a lot of things. This is just a touchy topic for me because I myself have dm'ed a few rogues that I've been unable to really get a handle on what the hell they even wanted to be doing. Much less how they could get to use thier stealth in the face of magic.

Edit:
Quote
According to rumors, it involved ... a bag of holding or perhaps a portable hole or both  
Now THATS fuckin awesome.   :lol
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 08:19:13 PM
I'm just wondering what kind of slow, uninformed, unprepared stealth characters Sunic tried and failed to run, that he believes that if the enemies have any chance of spotting you, they will spot you, and then kill you.  A decent sneak will be there and gone before the outside chance of being spotted comes up bad, if he allows a chance at all, and he'll most likely have other things going so that even if he is spotted, he won't be recognized as something that needs attention paid to it.

I wonder how he can't understand concealment options such as smoke, airborne dust, thick fog, murky water, tall grass, tree leaves and the like.

I wonder how he fails to grasp that even the greenest newbie that's serious about stealth will have at least a Plan B as a fallback option if Plan A goes south, and often a Plan C too.  I wonder if he'd have a breakdown if he were confronted with the sort that could get as far as Plan K before being forced to wing it, but never needs it.

1: Hi Welcome.

2: There are 3 enemies, and each have a 25% chance to spot you every time they attempt. That means every round they get to try (read: every round you are there scouting) there is a 60.625% chance you are spotted. Since detection = death, and one round is the minimum type possible, it's clear to see that even under the best case scenario, in which the stealther has a bit of an advantage there is still a greater than even chance he is not coming back. Treantmonk fails a lot, but when he referred to the scout as "the Corpse" he was absolutely right. Would you prefer 5%? Fine, the detection chance per round is about 1 in 7. Now consider that it likely takes you more than one round to get in, look around, and get out and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that I am exactly right - you either throw the enemy straight off the RNG by having no chance to detect you, or you auto fail. If there's more than three enemies, that's even more chances to fail.

3: I'm sure the enemy won't get suspicious about any fog or smoke coming up out of nowhere. I'm sure they will never mow their lawn. At least pretend you are serious.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 08:35:05 PM
@Iterative Probability
I think you're looking at this in a very strange way.  Or, more precisely, in a way that assumes that players are infinitely risk-averse.  Now, if it is the case that "if you get spotted then you are dead," then infinite (or extremely high) risk-aversion is warranted.  I kind of said that previously.  Although I should point out that Swordsages make great sneakers, and they have really good defenses. 

Swordsages are better than Rogues, but still have rather weak defenses. And D&D is a game in which you either have extremely high risk aversion, or you go through characters faster than pizza slices. Choose one.

Quote
This seems to me a more sensible way of looking at it.  In any encounter I can decide to sneak up on it, and gain a big advantage.  If doing so doesn't give my party a big advantage in some way -- e.g., if there are no buffers in the party, no terrain to take advantage -- then I think stealth is a non-starter.  But in doing so I suffer some risk that they may find me.  I'm making a trade-off between those two things:  the advantage I gain from the recon (buffs, etc.) and the risk I am taking in doing so. 

Now, in response to the subject heading, I think it's certainly possible to make that trade-off worth it.  It's often been the case in my experience, but I often seem to be playing a different game.

Except that stealth is a skill, and one of the most binary skills at that. So either you automatically give free buffing rounds to your party, and do not give them to the enemy, or you fail and die. Which means it's like Divinations, except not nearly as effective, and considerably more risky. And that assumes you can even attempt it... often, you cannot.

Quote
P.S.:  If you take Sunic's iterative probability reasoning to the extreme, then there is literally no reason to play the game, mechanically at least.  I mean that seriously, as in it's not hyperbole but literally true.  The game will be binary.  (1)  If there is any non-infinitesimal chance of failure, then you know you will "lose" eventually, and we are only wondering when that will happen.  And, if the world really is one of the one-shots that people seem to describe it to me as, then it will be somewhat predictable when it does (e.g., you will roll a 1 on a save eventually and will be out of rerolls).  Or, (2) you literally cannot lose b/c you have eliminated that non-infinitesimal chance of failure. 

Almost, but not quite. You aren't getting the fail chance to 0%. IP proofing is about getting it as close to 0 as possible. At a sufficiently low, but non 0 number it is possible to survive campaigns. Just, due to the whole long campaign + skewed victory condition thing, this requires something on the order of a > 99.9% success rate. Admittedly this is a problem, but it's also not one that can be fixed unless you only play one shots.

Quote
Now, I'm not against the idea of iterative probability, hell I don't even know what it would mean to be so.  But, I think it's a very very coarse, and therefore not particularly accurate, way to consider a game w/ as many options, unanticipated options, and so on.  I'd make the analogy to chess.  There is, theoretically, a Nash eq'm to chess.  It's just so computationally complex that we are incapable of calculating it.  Similarly, the iterated probabilities are always shifting and their consequences are largely unknown. 

When it comes down to it, Iterative Probability is the principle every optimizer uses instinctively. I just put a name to it.

Even poor optimization, like taking Weapon Focus furthers IP proofing. After all, that +1 to hit means you hit more often, bringing you closer to the minimum possible failure rate for attack accuracy, or if already there, it means +2 damage via Power Attack, bringing you closer to the minimum possible failure rate for attack damage. Namely enough attack to hit on a 2 or better, and enough damage to one round things. Weapon Focus is poor optimization, because it doesn't do a good job of IP proofing, but really everything you do that doesn't actively sabotage yourself is some measure of IP proofing. You do have to get active about it to do a good enough job though, as for example you aren't getting saves to the minimum possible failure rate without multiple save buffs. But when it comes down to it, active optimization is active IP proofing, as while IP proofing is primarily a defensive measure, things like killing or disabling enemies faster also reduces their threat level, and therefore a high offense is useful for IP proofing as well. High offense alone just gives you Extreme Rocket Tag (See Pathfailure) but high offense combined with saves, immunities, contingencies, layered defenses, Immediate action moves, etc? That's called someone who might see the end of the campaign.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 08:44:48 PM
Something just struck me... I don't like this assertion.
Quote
Anybody who's doing anything stealth related at even a moderate level can have dark armor (DotU 97).  It's a static +8000 gp, and you always have concealment against opponents with darkvision.

Or, if you think that costs too much, they could buy a ring of the darkhidden (MIC 122) for 2000 gp, and be completely invisible to darkvision.
I don't consistently get those options in games in real life. In pbp's yeah but typically I find dm's impose somekind of book source limit or some such gibberish that hurts mundanes.
Still... I'll take that as a granted you can get what you need and move on. . .

Quote
I'm sure the enemy won't get suspicious about any fog or smoke coming up out of nowhere. I'm sure they will never mow their lawn. At least pretend you are serious.
Pretty much this the response to that will likely be something that leads to you getting killed, for all that talk about plan b, and c.
But getting back to the op...
The problem with this "again" is non-magical stealthy guy, and the party. I guess it all depends on the scenario, but that might mean the dm constructs a scenario where you can shine. . . and I'm totally okay with that but in someways i'd be better to just figure out what the hell it is they're supposed to be doing.
  So you spend thousands and a couple feats to be "stealth-man" what do you want to do in the game? Scout ahead? I guess... seems like there has to be a better way to get intel that to risk the death of a party member.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 04, 2011, 08:47:40 PM
Some small comments, and then I think I will have more than said my piece.  

Quote
Numbers
It's not worth my time to actually bother to play the numbers game honestly, but take by you own admission that its a "straight up die roll" (whatever that means) and you're against a group of enemies they have a few die rolls to spare, and more actions than you in general. Moreover this:

It's a straight die roll if you're up against someone w/ 10 more hit dice and who happens to have maxed Spot.  That's a relatively rare opponent ... I think.  Against people who aren't great spotters, which is most of the Monster Manual, etc., you are going to demolish them w/ Hide checks.  
Quote
They find me and I'm dead Ok, where do people come up w/ this?  
Quote
The rogue isn't usually going to be able to defeat the enemies that were set up to challenge the entire party.  And, if you can, then you are going to get glares from around the table as they watch you play.  
Before we go any further. We got that shit from you. Now you're ACTUALLY contridicting yourself, there smart guy. You're argument stems from something you yourself said. There, thats the primary source. Good job.
I believe you have mistaken the role I was giving to stealth in D&D.  I was never suggesting that in a well run game the sneak go toe-to-toe w/ the enemies set up for the entire party to take on.  What I went on to say was:  

...
But, I think none of that is the role for stealth characters in D&D.  In general, I have found stealthy characters most useful for essentially recon.  If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party.  
...
But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.  The stealthy dude should have some quick escape abilities, just in case, but it can really help if the party thinks a bit about how to take advantage of those skills.

...
Without magic? He's pretty fucking useless. After all, you need shadows to hide in.
Almost everything you face, monster or not has darkvision or low light vision. Darkvision, of course means there are no shadows.  

A D&D character w/out magic, at a certain point, is like one w/out hit points.  I would never for a second suggest that you can make a build/character sans magic items, spells, etc.  For this archetype, like any others I can think of, you're going to need some magic.  Most likely the kind of stupid Ring of the Darkhidden and/or a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis.  Or, if you use ECL buyback then it's only 1 level of ECL for Hide in Plain Sight.  

Quote
They find me and I'm dead
Yeah you really are, and its like. There are things that entagle no save, anyone casting Wall of Arbitrarium, or any one of the AoE spells that say "Your ass ain't getting out of this" pretty much agree with your:

Quote
Now, if it is the case that you're always one attack away from death, even w/ some escape precautions prepped, then yeah, I'd say no scouting ... ever.
I'd stand by that statement, although it hasn't been my experience.  For example, if I were going to play a sneak, I'd probably play a Swordsage, and be able to Shadow Teleport right out of most of those things or Diamond Mind counter ones that involved a save.  Although I'm sure there are things that could foil that character -- I haven't given it much thought.  

That being said... I pretty much think your one of the cooler posters and have some pretty good insights on a lot of things. This is just a touchy topic for me because I myself have dm'ed a few rogues that I've been unable to really get a handle on what the hell they even wanted to be doing. Much less how they could get to use thier stealth in the face of magic.
Thank you.  For what it's worth, my guess is that they were thinking more in what I called the Splinter Cell mode and thinking they could sneak up on someone and slaughter them like it's Rambo, First Blood Part II.  D&D has never worked that way, really.  You'd just have to do an absurd amount of damage to pull that off.  

I'd sum up by saying that the role for stealth in D&D is largely for recon and advantages that brings.  I think a stealth character can fare better than just a random wizard w/ Invisibility, but I'm not sure how it compares to something like a Crystal Ball or Arcane Eye.  If someone wants to play one, and the party has means to take advantage of it (mainly buffs), then I can see it working.  I've seen it work, although my experiences may be idiosyncratic.  Although it's never an entire party role to me -- I'd typically pair it w/ some fighting skills or maybe magic (Beguiler, Illusionist).  
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Triskavanski on February 04, 2011, 08:58:35 PM
DARKVISION
Darkvision is the ability to see with no light source at all,
out to a range specifi ed for the creature. A creature using
darkvision can’t discern colors. The presence of light doesn’t
spoil darkvision.
Darkvision doesn’t allow creatures to see anything that
they couldn’t see otherwise. Likewise, darkvision subjects a
creature to gaze attacks normally



The last paragraph, first line, seems to suggest that even if you do have darkvision you don't "autospot" someone in the dark. I've seen some feats and spells that also suggest this, as they allow you to see things hidden in the darkness.

Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 09:05:24 PM
Not a rare opponent at all. It's quite common for monsters to have higher HD than their CR. You, of course have HD equal to your CR at best. Since skills are HD based, this naturally means the enemy is better at skills than you. So that scenario where it's a 50/50 shot? About the norm, really. And that's with you raising stealth, otherwise you are automatically spotted, even without considering the auto wins vs stealth.

Come to think of it, the only enemy types that do not reliably have more HD than CR:

Humanoids.
Outsiders.

That's about it really. Everything else ranges from higher than 1 HD:1 CR, to about 4:1, with 1.5:1 to 2:1 being most common.

Also, just about every Outsider maxes perception skills. So that one doesn't really count either.

That just leaves humanoids. Not touching the many problems with those.

As for the Darkvision, the reason why that works is that to hide, you need something to hide in. Typically, that's darkness, but if you can see through the darkness, you can't hide in said darkness. This is why you have to burn resources to even try.

The feats and spells you are thinking of likely refer to magical darkness. Darkvision does not work on magical darkness. Of course, without Ebon Eyes or similar the Rogue is just as blind...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 09:07:32 PM
Quote
If you know there are a crowd of giants around that corner, then you can spend 2 rounds getting all your buffs in place, which can make a world of difference.  The same can be true about picking the battlefield.  That one is more creative, but if you can draw the enemies out or something, you can pull them to an environment more favorable to your party.  
...
But, yeah, the big answer to this question is the chance to ready your buffs.
Okay, okay, now we're talking... I missed that somehow and I can agree that such a thing can indeed be the difference between life and death.
point to you, good sir.
Quote
I'd probably play a Swordsage, and be able to Shadow Teleport right out of most of those things or Diamond Mind counter ones that involved a save
I'll admit that I'm guilty of thinking of the Rogue, when i think of the stealth guy and not acknowledging that there are few other dudes in that game, that likely do it better.
Quote
for what it's worth, my guess is that they were thinking more in what I called the Splinter Cell mode and thinking they could sneak up on someone and slaughter them like it's Rambo, First Blood Part II.  D&D has never worked that way, really.  You'd just have to do an absurd amount of damage to pull that off.  

 Well... I guess you're right in some ways yeah. Funny thing is there are actually a couple of Swordsage shadowpounce builds that I think could pull of stuff like that maybe even some charge/pounce builds that have learned hide move silently could also.. . . though that leads to the walk around the corner the sneak has killed the challenge, which is badass in a way, might get annoying to the other players if its more than an occasional thing. . .
... but scout ahead to buff... yeah, I think I can sell that to players pretty effectively and so I actually got something out of this thread overall.


Quote
I'd sum up by saying that the role for stealth in D&D is largely for recon and advantages that brings.  I think a stealth character can fare better than just a random wizard w/ Invisibility, but I'm not sure how it compares to something like a Crystal Ball or Arcane Eye.
True if you go to sleep thursday and wake up early on "Scry-day" then you may or may not obviate the need in some ways.
Still... timeframes... and resources if you haven't been able to divine on a day when there's no adventure(combat wise) I think that we'd rather the caster use that 4th level slot on BFC Or More Buffs rather than scouting. YMMV

edit: Triskavanski, no. That's refering to invisibility and the such. Thats why there are things like Ring of the Darkhidden... at all.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 04, 2011, 09:10:23 PM
Ring of Darkhidden makes Darkvision obsolete.  It's freaking cheap.  That plus Darkstalker is all you need to be virtually impossible to detect by the vast majority of enemies if you bothered to get a hide score worth talking about.  My usual stealth get up is a Necropolitan Whispergnome Factotum with that ring, Darkstalker, and Lifesight.  That's basically all you need to be a perfect scout... spend the rest of your wealth and feats on whatever else you're planning to do.  And it works MUCH better than trying to run about with invisibility (since too many things see through that).  Though I do like a two level dip into Unarmed Swordsage so I can teleport invisibly when I have to (but that also gives tons of other useful abilities, so I don't consider that part of the dedicated stealth portion of the build).

But in general, you do need a stealth focused party to really rock the stealth game in the way most players want to play it.  I've done ninja themed campaigns before... they're actually a lot of fun.  Consider Kobold Domain Cloistered Cleric, Swordsage, Beguiler, Factotum as a fun set of classes for example.  You do have to have a group designed for it, but if you do it's great.  You then run adventures that are closer to Thief, Metal Gear, and Splintercell than TF2.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 09:15:24 PM
Quote
Ring of Darkhidden makes Darkvision obsolete.  It's freaking cheap.  That plus Darkstalker is all you need to be virtually impossible to detect by the vast majority of enemies if you bothered to get a hide score worth talking about.
  :o

Wait...  :eh
We just went over all that Jaronk.

But hey I do have a question for you though...
Quote
  But in general, you do need a stealth focused party to really rock the stealth game in the way most players want to play it.  I've done ninja themed campaigns before... they're actually a lot of fun. 
What were the challenges like was it just these dudes playing force recon, wiping out villages etc undetected? What really challeged them?
Also... whats Tp2?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 04, 2011, 09:16:12 PM
Team Fortress 2, an FPS.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 09:23:47 PM
Team Fortress 2, an FPS.
Thanks creepy lurker guy!   :thumb
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 04, 2011, 09:25:53 PM
TF2 is a game where you charge in headlong and shoot everything.  A fun game, but stealth isn't really the main thing.  And I brought up the ring because people were bringing up Darkvision again and Sunic was talking about how it screwed hiding and how it was hard to have a hide score high enough not to be a 50/50 chance of detection.

As for the missions, you do ones where there's a lot of smarter enemies, such that if one gets alerted the go run and get help instead of fighting you one at a time.  As such, you have the players sneaking up and assassinating people while using Silence to keep things quiet.  Another one that was interesting was when the group was in drow territory and trying to start a war between two factions, so they wanted to fake an assassination attempt and pin it on the other guys.  Their goal was to move in, hit fast and hard while planting evidence, kill anyone who might be able to figure anything out, raise the alarm at the right time, and then escape into the shadows without being followed.

For groups like that, a Beguiler with a Mindbender dip for Mindsight and the ability to talk to each other remotely without noise is critical... and it means D&D starts playing a lot more like Shadowrun, which can actually be pretty fun.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 04, 2011, 09:33:27 PM

1: Hi Welcome.

2: There are 3 enemies, and each have a 25% chance to spot you every time they attempt. That means every round they get to try (read: every round you are there scouting) there is a 60.625% chance you are spotted. Since detection = death, and one round is the minimum type possible, it's clear to see that even under the best case scenario, in which the stealther has a bit of an advantage there is still a greater than even chance he is not coming back. Treantmonk fails a lot, but when he referred to the scout as "the Corpse" he was absolutely right. Would you prefer 5%? Fine, the detection chance per round is about 1 in 7. Now consider that it likely takes you more than one round to get in, look around, and get out and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that I am exactly right - you either throw the enemy straight off the RNG by having no chance to detect you, or you auto fail. If there's more than three enemies, that's even more chances to fail.

3: I'm sure the enemy won't get suspicious about any fog or smoke coming up out of nowhere. I'm sure they will never mow their lawn. At least pretend you are serious.

Ok, seriously, without CoP (because all I'm ever going to answer to that as a GM is "maybe"), how do you scout ALL THE FUCKING DAY with magic? Because that's just the time when not being able to can really fuck you up. For instance, sometimes even a high-level wizard will have to walk to places. Well... not necessarily walk, but, NOT teleport. And if just for the reason that he doesn't know yet where he's going.

And what is that awesome spell that automatically overcomes a mundane hide check? Or a mundane disguise check, maybe?

It's just like this: Every time when when I've played, and there was no scout, we were ambushed. Every time I've GMed, and the PCs didn't scout (well, they also didn't do other things, but considering there were often days of travelling involved, and the levels weren't that high, there wasn't that much they could do..) they were ambushed, too.

So, short of playing a Binder, how do you ALWAYS know what's on the road ahead of you?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 04, 2011, 10:17:54 PM
just gonna toss this in ....
if you're hidden, the the other guy is unaware of you ... which means he's flat-footed to you until the round after he sees you. ....
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 04, 2011, 10:21:40 PM
just gonna toss this in ....
if you're hidden, the the other guy is unaware of you ... which means he's flat-footed to you until the round after he sees you. ....
I've been looking for a quote that proves that people are flat-footed with respect to you if they are unaware of you, even after initiative has been rolled and they've acted with respect to others.... do you have anything?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BruceLeeroy on February 04, 2011, 10:22:14 PM
In my experience at the game table, effective stealth characters generally have a hide modifier high enough that rolling is a waste of time. Factors like darkvision, cover, concealment, etc, rarely become an issue if the player is intelligent.

The whole being spotted = death thing is just fucking nonsense, though. There's always an escape, unless the DM is just plain dicking you, and then why bother?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 04, 2011, 10:29:00 PM
just gonna toss this in ....
if you're hidden, the the other guy is unaware of you ... which means he's flat-footed to you until the round after he sees you. ....
I've been looking for a quote that proves that people are flat-footed with respect to you if they are unaware of you, even after initiative has been rolled and they've acted with respect to others.... do you have anything?
just a quick blurb from RC:
Quote from: Rules Compendium
SURPRISE ROUND
If some but not all the combatants are aware of their opponents,
a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin.
Any combatants aware of the opponents can act during the
surprise round, so they make initiative checks. In initiative
order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle
aware of their opponents can act. They’re restricted to a single
standard action or move action during the surprise round.
They can also take free actions during the surprise round,
at the DM’s discretion.
Combatants who are unaware at the start of battle don’t
get to act during the surprise round. Unaware combatants
are flat-footed
.
See p.70-71 for the full thing.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 04, 2011, 11:39:32 PM
The only requirement for not being flat-footed is taking an action in initiative.  If you sneak up on someone and stab them in the middle of a fight, you're not getting SA because they're flat-footed, but because they didn't know you were there.  Once you stab them, they know you're there.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 12:47:09 AM
The only requirement for not being flat-footed is taking an action in initiative.  If you sneak up on someone and stab them in the middle of a fight, you're not getting SA because they're flat-footed, but because they didn't know you were there.  Once you stab them, they know you're there.

Quote from: RC 92
If you’re successfully hidden with respect to another creature, that creature is flat-footed with respect to you. That creature treats you as if you were invisible.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 01:04:47 AM

Quote
The only requirement for not being flat-footed is taking an action in initiative.  If you sneak up on someone and stab them in the middle of a fight, you're not getting SA because they're flat-footed, but because they didn't know you were there.  Once you stab them, they know you're there.

Quote
If you’re successfully hidden with respect to another creature, that creature is flat-footed with respect to you. That creature treats you as if you were invisible.
Right and that means that if you hit them you become visible. Further your next hide check SHOULD be at
-20 for hiding in combat, which isn't impossible but I'm thinking its different from what I'm gathering people are selling it as.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 01:09:18 AM

Quote
The only requirement for not being flat-footed is taking an action in initiative.  If you sneak up on someone and stab them in the middle of a fight, you're not getting SA because they're flat-footed, but because they didn't know you were there.  Once you stab them, they know you're there.

Quote
If you’re successfully hidden with respect to another creature, that creature is flat-footed with respect to you. That creature treats you as if you were invisible.
Right and that means that if you hit them you become visible.
I don't see how that's supported by the text, since it just said "invisible" (as in the status condition), not "invisible, as the invisibility spell".
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 05, 2011, 01:11:26 AM
So if you hide successfully, you get a +40 to your Hide score if you don't move, and a +20 if you do?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 01:18:32 AM
  Seriously the idea that you attack and stay invisible, is pretty much right out. Its like when you try to snipe you can snipe and hide after as a move action, frankly if you'vre standing adjacent to them you recieve a
-20 modifier on your hide check instantly and/or need to make an new roll, determininant on dm interpretation of wheter modifiers require new rolls or not. All in all I don't think you get to snipe in melee at all and the implication that a new hide check is required after a ranged attack kinda supports that shooting them gives up your position. Anyone?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 05, 2011, 01:51:35 AM
Actually, upon further inspection, you can attack while hiding, but the way you guys are saying it works simply isn't.

1) You can make one attack from hiding, since a single attack is a standard action and you need a move action to hide.  Once you decide to make a full attack, you're not hiding anymore.  You absolutely NEED that move action to hide, or else you can't even attempt the Hide check.

2) If you try to remain hidden while attacking, you must have one of concealment, cover, or an appropriate HiPS ability, and you still take a -20 penalty on your attempt.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 05, 2011, 02:15:30 AM
Mundane stealth is actually rather easy to pull off.

For example, a Dark Whisper Gnome

Starting with 16 Dex as a base and maxing ranks in the stealth skills, he has +24 Hide, +18 Move Silently at ECL 2.  Your average gaurd has no shot at seeing him and a very small chance of hearing him (and if that might be a porblem, he's got Silence 1/day).

Notice I haven't said what class he is, because it doesn't matter, so long as Hide and Move Silently are class skills.  He will never show up on Detect Magic, Arcane Sight, etc. because there's nothing magical going on (unless he springs Silence, in which case things have probably already gone south).  Alternatively, you can trade +2 Dex and +4 Move Silently for immunity to tracking via Forest Gnome instead of Whisper Gnome.  A little worse off, but patrols with dogs won't catch him.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 05:00:33 AM
Spot Penalties are relevant here.

Per 10 feet of distance    -1
Spotter distracted    -5

Stealth is likely to have SOME use, in closing engagement distances. Its difficult to actually be completely futile.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Akahi on February 05, 2011, 05:25:14 AM
I can see some use (outside what was already said) if:
- You need to recover something from somewhere but can't do it openly, either because you need deniability or some other reason.
- You need to get hostages out of somewhere
- You need to put something somewhere without anyone realizing (because the king would be so angry if he knew we took his magic sword)
- You have an awesome idea that's gonna make the session memorable, and it involves stealth.
- The hot princess is taking a bath in the room next to wherever you are  :lmao
- You really don't wanna fight the next guys

Hope it helps, if anything
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 05:35:31 AM
^^
The problem was with the practicality of solo stealth runs, especially if theres only one DM. Splitting the party never ends well.
Sneaks can act collaboratively by going ahead to scout or mess up an encounter, but if it's a full stealth mission you'd want everyone under magical stealth.

Say, anyone knows what do you do with surprise rounds in the MIDDLE of combat? I.e. after the first round the rogue drops in, and his party knows hes coming, but the enemy is surprised.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 05, 2011, 06:39:48 AM
I have to say that such is the single biggest failing of Stealth in D&D: the role of the solo-stealther is inherently contradictory to the way the game is meant to be played, and yet is somehow simultaneously the way the game was meant to be played.  (If this makes no sense, it's because it's almost midnight here, and I JUST got home.)

If you can apply Stealth (and related skills) in such a way that it involves/benefits the entire party, then it's really a great thing to have.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 05, 2011, 09:09:02 AM
I have to say that such is the single biggest failing of Stealth in D&D: the role of the solo-stealther is inherently contradictory to the way the game is meant to be played, and yet is somehow simultaneously the way the game was meant to be played.  (If this makes no sense, it's because it's almost midnight here, and I JUST got home.)

If you can apply Stealth (and related skills) in such a way that it involves/benefits the entire party, then it's really a great thing to have.

But if you're the dark whisper gnome swordsage who sneaks ahead and negates all the encounters (whether by stabbing, seducing, or befriending them) the other party may start resenting you.

That's one of the other stealthy characters we've had ... who didn't work out quite so well from a party perspective. Of course, this started getting into the epic levels so the local vampire dread necromancer was really able to make the universe his bitch, though he only took a nation-sized chunk of his own and ran it as a bizarre utopia; the sorcerer lost interest in things other than his awakened rock and personal demiplane; and the .... half-fey just wanted as big a sword as possible.

It was at lower levels this was particularly annoying. At higher levels somehow winning the heart of Ashardalon's daughter may be as good a policy move as ripping out Ashardalon's 'heart' and reanimating him as an intelligent undead with all his memories remaining.  :lmao

...on that note I still need a good substitute for the Ashardalon vestige, because he's still quite present, and I forget what the last person I asked for one said (though it was quite reasonable).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 09:23:44 AM

1: Hi Welcome.

2: There are 3 enemies, and each have a 25% chance to spot you every time they attempt. That means every round they get to try (read: every round you are there scouting) there is a 60.625% chance you are spotted. Since detection = death, and one round is the minimum type possible, it's clear to see that even under the best case scenario, in which the stealther has a bit of an advantage there is still a greater than even chance he is not coming back. Treantmonk fails a lot, but when he referred to the scout as "the Corpse" he was absolutely right. Would you prefer 5%? Fine, the detection chance per round is about 1 in 7. Now consider that it likely takes you more than one round to get in, look around, and get out and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that I am exactly right - you either throw the enemy straight off the RNG by having no chance to detect you, or you auto fail. If there's more than three enemies, that's even more chances to fail.

3: I'm sure the enemy won't get suspicious about any fog or smoke coming up out of nowhere. I'm sure they will never mow their lawn. At least pretend you are serious.

Ok, seriously, without CoP (because all I'm ever going to answer to that as a GM is "maybe"), how do you scout ALL THE FUCKING DAY with magic? Because that's just the time when not being able to can really fuck you up. For instance, sometimes even a high-level wizard will have to walk to places. Well... not necessarily walk, but, NOT teleport. And if just for the reason that he doesn't know yet where he's going.

Well for starters, you get a non douchebag DM, who doesn't randomly herp derp and make spells not function as described. Once you have completed this step, and it might require one or more folding chairs, here is the most basic measure you take:

*Wizard writes a list of spells, the length is equal to the number of questions he can ask - 3*

"Which of the spells on this list will be most important today?"

Repeat for second, third, etc until you finish the list.

"What is the most dangerous opponent I will face today?"

"What is the second most dangerous opponent I will face today?"

"Will I be ambushed today?"

Might need a second cast for follow up questions, and to get the 88% right answer to something more acceptable. Still far better, and safer than sending in the corpse.

Quote
It's just like this: Every time when when I've played, and there was no scout, we were ambushed. Every time I've GMed, and the PCs didn't scout (well, they also didn't do other things, but considering there were often days of travelling involved, and the levels weren't that high, there wasn't that much they could do..) they were ambushed, too.

So, short of playing a Binder, how do you ALWAYS know what's on the road ahead of you?

Translation: Herp derp, I don't like that the PCs aren't scouting, so I'm going to jump them. I'm also going to pretend the scout won't get automatically annihilated if he tries.

Also, it's funny how every "stealth isn't worthless, honest" thread assumes that all guards are completely fucking incompetent. Because the moment they get remotely competent, or try at all you start losing all the time. This is especially true when the "completely standard scout" uses the very same things that auto negate them when used against them.

For example:

Mindsight: Auto lose, Darkstalker does not block, anything with telepathy will have this if allowed. No workaround.
Touchsight: Auto lose, Darkstalker does not block, anything with psionic ability and a high enough power level will have this. Only workaround is being incorporeal.
Lifesight: Auto lose, Darkstalker does not block, any undead will have this. Only workaround is being undead yourself.

Some of them get around one of these, but not all three. And that's just the auto lose stuff that gets you even after you try.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 09:35:02 AM
Well for starters, you get a non douchebag DM, who doesn't randomly herp derp and make spells not function as described.
Nothing random about nerfing the most broken spell in the game.

Or are you saying that DMs should never prevent broken stuff from being used ever?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 09:36:55 AM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 09:41:39 AM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Question: "Do I succeed at everything I do forever XOR do I say the word hello within the next round"

he answer that I get in response is the correct answer.

If the answer is "true", I keep my mouth shut.  I succeed at everything I do forever.
If the answer is "false", I say hello, and I succeed at everything I do forever.

Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 10:21:14 AM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Well it might not be broken in the power sense, but it's broken when used in the campaign sense. Not many campaign premises stay intact when it's actually used as intended.

Plus for DMs who're high on improvisation you get some serious headaches with reliability.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 05, 2011, 11:02:09 AM
in my experience, CoP usefulness/practicality is inversely proportionate to to how much sandboxing is going on.  If you're just running straight through a module exactly as written, then it's a must-have.  However, if you're going total sandbox, it's usually gonna be vague, and at times completely unusable (from a meta-game standpoint).
All in all, I usually find it to be more headache than it's worth; and often find myself having to be as vague and subjective as possible, just so I don't end-up fucking something up or railroading some b.s. (resorting to a lot of "maybe"'s, "unanswerable"'s and other-deity intervention) -- not because I'm trying to be a dick or don't know what the hell I'm doing, but because my players are that unpredictable, inventive, and thorough.
Thus is the dangers of running a sandbox style game.

As to Sunic's enumerated set of specific questions -- in a railroaded module that works great; however, the more sandbox you get, the more useless those types of questions get (well, that is, unless you want to spend 1/2 the session playing Logistics & Dragons prior to casting that spell so that the DM can actually answer your shit .... and still, you need to be fairly predictable as a player and assume that your DM's perception of things matches yours).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 11:21:13 AM
^^
Dresden Files RPG has a cure for COP like shenanigans for sandbox games, basically the future vision is generated by the player(rolled against a hidden DC), and if the player succeeds, the future is real and coming(within limits). The how, and why is still up to the DM.

Personally, I'd make a few issues for divination magic like COP.
-Any spell that invokes some extraplanar entity can only involve information that the entity can have access to on the spot, and is accurate only as far as the being can be certain of(that is to say, the percentile is to determine if the being gives up all it knows). This necessarily means that questions regarding the future are officially uncertain.
-Any spell that can directly divine the future divines the future as it would be without intervention from one who knows the future. Changing the preconditions of the vision would set it back to Uncertain. This is for linear games and adventures.
-Alternately for sandbox games, the future divination defines the future, but only one specific narrow aspect of it(one specific scene, sliced out of time and context).

On topic, it can be arguable that Darkstalker works on Mindsight and the like. This is RAI rather than RAW(and thus not a reliable claim) but given that its intended to use against aberrations, who're traditionally psionics heavy, Mindsight and Touchsight are common enough expectations to cover.

The thing with sneaking(used as intended, separating the sneak from the party) is probably that it is extremely difficult to provide thorough enough coverage to prevent stealth entrance to an area. Its hideously effective if an entire party uses it with magical support, but there lies the rub. Solo stealth doesn't work.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 05, 2011, 11:43:47 AM
oh, that's I how I usually run it -- which definitely makes it far from any kind of "I win" button.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 11:52:27 AM
Quote
On topic, it can be arguable that Darkstalker works on Mindsight and the like. This is RAI rather than RAW(and thus not a reliable claim) but given that its intended to use against aberrations, who're traditionally psionics heavy, Mindsight and Touchsight are common enough expectations to cover.
I'm think no, that it pretty much does what it says and that its intended to just that. The thing is you're correct that that came out of an abberation book. THE SAME abberation book, and mindsight is tucked away in the section of the Tsocori, I always view that as an intentional "Gotcha" for people fapping of to darkstalker while they think no one can detect them. So yeah thats pretty bad, rai interpretation attempt imho cause the writers theoretically made one feat knowing the other existed and specifically didn't call out mindsight. . . and well there's lifesight but here's the thing with that.
  If you try to play it that way and darkstalker foils all then theoretically you really can be totally undetectable through the proper optimization. Thus sneak around Shocktrooper/leap attacking people in the suprise round with pounce in some cases, or steal the dragons horde out from under him (he'll just wonder what the hell is going on with my horde) that would actually be broken in a way also. So no, and thats one of many reasons RAI arguments tend to suck so bad, intent is hard to determine in a lot of cases, but if you look at the evidence I think its with me this time.
Lifesight is a pretty good one too.
Quote
Its hideously effective if an entire party uses it with magical support, but there lies the rub. Solo stealth doesn't work.  
Hmm... yeah I'm getting that too, you get a damn ghost recon team together and it could be pretty damn hard to deal with, since they're not going to deal with monsters when they're prepared like ever. Still, optimization begets optimization, so you know it could still be challenged likely without "I see you!!! style shennigans" especially with stuff like filling the corridor with AoE's or hell a burst of Mindaffecting. Its alot of challenge left I guess.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 12:12:44 PM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Well it might not be broken in the power sense, but it's broken when used in the campaign sense. Not many campaign premises stay intact when it's actually used as intended.

Plus for DMs who're high on improvisation you get some serious headaches with reliability.

That's because a number of DMs utterly fail to take into account the game changes fundamentally every few levels, and as a result level 9 abilities, such as COP destroy level 1 adventures.

As for Mindsight, it's in the same book as Darkstalker. You could fairly argue that they didn't take into account Touchsight or Lifesight, even though I'm fairly sure those were published before because they are different, non core books. But Mindsight is in the same book. And it isn't mentioned at all. And not all Aberrations are psionics heavy. Some are. In any case it doesn't take Touchsight into account either. In fact Touchsight is basically Blindsight by a different name, which only makes a difference because you get to bypass Darkstalker.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if anything blocks Mindsight. You could at least dodge the others by being an incorporeal undead (not really viable, but it's there). Mind Blank might, but then telepathy range = Mindsight range, and I don't recall seeing a Mind Affecting tag anywhere in there.

Also, in general stealth is more for the enemies than for you. Both because more HD = more skills, and because a group of monsters is more likely to have a stealth bent than a team of characters. So you can have whole stealthy encounters. The other side of more HD = more skills is that spotting them is harder, but that's what the aforementioned sensory abilities are for. As any of my players can attest to, they are auto wins against stealth, even optimized stealthers.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 05, 2011, 12:52:35 PM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Well it might not be broken in the power sense, but it's broken when used in the campaign sense. Not many campaign premises stay intact when it's actually used as intended.

Plus for DMs who're high on improvisation you get some serious headaches with reliability.

That's because a number of DMs utterly fail to take into account the game changes fundamentally every few levels, and as a result level 9 abilities, such as COP destroy level 1 adventures.

Nah, it's really because players can ask questions like you suggested, and then run off and do something entirely unrelated negating the answers to their questions.

Like 'Will I be ambushed?'. Sure there might be an ambush planned! But the party may be just as likely to send divination scouts out, teleport in, and kill the guys before they start even planning to ambush. Or I might say no, because I'm thinking about the nation of Maenads where everyone sparkles in the sunlight, while they wind up going to the elven / bugbear nation and then what am I gonna do? Refuse to try ambushing them because I said they weren't getting ambushed?

Future-predicting divination magic gives me a headache in general yea...even when I try to use it. There's logical difficulties with it.

Edit: I don't have problems if it's to, say, always have the right spell up your sleeve out of a particular set. That's fine, if moderately powerful, if my players are smart enough to come up with it. But if they're trying to actually weasel answers out of me I can't possibly know but the gods really should, well, they'd better come up with some kind of a logical workaround.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 01:02:47 PM
Quote
As for Mindsight, it's in the same book as Darkstalker.
  :twitch
I'd just said that. Am I on ignore or somethin' ...?

Can anybody hear me!  :lol

Contatct other plane might not be the same thing as scounting.
This would though:
Arcane Eye[spoiler]Divination (Scrying)
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Unlimited
Effect: Magical sensor
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

You create an invisible magical sensor that sends you visual information. You can create the arcane eye at any point you can see, but it can then travel outside your line of sight without hindrance. An arcane eye travels at 30 feet per round (300 feet per minute) if viewing an area ahead as a human would (primarily looking at the floor) or 10 feet per round (100 feet per minute) if examining the ceiling and walls as well as the floor ahead. It sees exactly as you would see if you were there.
The eye can travel in any direction as long as the spell lasts. Solid barriers block its passage, but it can pass through a hole or space as small as 1 inch in diameter. The eye can’t enter another plane of existence, even through a gate or similar magical portal.
You must concentrate to use an arcane eye. If you do not concentrate, the eye is inert until you again concentrate.
Material Component
A bit of bat fur. [/spoiler]
Likely there are a few summons that you could use as well, though I don't feel like going through with a fine toothed comb. Could be done though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 05, 2011, 01:11:19 PM
Quote
As for Mindsight, it's in the same book as Darkstalker.
  :twitch
I'd just said that. Am I on ignore or somethin' ...?

Can anybody hear me!  :lol

Contatct other plane might not be the same thing as scounting.
This would though:
Arcane Eye[spoiler]Divination (Scrying)
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Unlimited
Effect: Magical sensor
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

You create an invisible magical sensor that sends you visual information. You can create the arcane eye at any point you can see, but it can then travel outside your line of sight without hindrance. An arcane eye travels at 30 feet per round (300 feet per minute) if viewing an area ahead as a human would (primarily looking at the floor) or 10 feet per round (100 feet per minute) if examining the ceiling and walls as well as the floor ahead. It sees exactly as you would see if you were there.
The eye can travel in any direction as long as the spell lasts. Solid barriers block its passage, but it can pass through a hole or space as small as 1 inch in diameter. The eye can’t enter another plane of existence, even through a gate or similar magical portal.
You must concentrate to use an arcane eye. If you do not concentrate, the eye is inert until you again concentrate.
Material Component
A bit of bat fur. [/spoiler]
Likely there are a few summons that you could use as well, though I don't feel like going through with a fine toothed comb. Could be done though.

One of my kobold sorcerer NPCs favored Chain of Eyes (+imp familiar). 2nd level, somewhat more random but available earlier.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 01:13:15 PM
Oh yeah, but with the casting duration, spell level and how long it lasts it can be a bloody annoyance to have enough.
Rather use Summon Elemental and have an air/earth elemental do it
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 05, 2011, 01:24:36 PM
Oh yeah, but with the casting duration, spell level and how long it lasts it can be a bloody annoyance to have enough.
Rather use Summon Elemental and have an air/earth elemental do it

Chain of Eyes also has a duration of 1 hour/caster level, so it's nice that way.

Other Good Solution: Bind Malphas. Use a dove.  ;) (Have your psicrystal take Bind Vestige / Practiced Binder, and also mindsight if you don't want to spare the feats yourself.  :p )

(Minor difficulty: A psicrystal may need slight assistance with drawing a seal, and does not generally have a shoulder for the dove to appear on.)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 01:33:17 PM
Chain of Eyes is less reliable though, but it makes a pretty awesome tagteam with small furry animals.
Well, yeah, we've established magic does it better.
Nothing new there. :P
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 05, 2011, 01:35:15 PM
Chain of Eyes is less reliable though, but it makes a pretty awesome tagteam with small furry animals.
Well, yeah, we've established magic does it better.
Nothing new there. :P

Hence the great success of gnomes as scouts and guerilla warriors.

The gnome/kobold enmity is one of the most tactically interesting racial wars there is, and could be going on in any apparently serene stretch of hills.  :p
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 01:52:40 PM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Well it might not be broken in the power sense, but it's broken when used in the campaign sense. Not many campaign premises stay intact when it's actually used as intended.

Plus for DMs who're high on improvisation you get some serious headaches with reliability.

That's because a number of DMs utterly fail to take into account the game changes fundamentally every few levels, and as a result level 9 abilities, such as COP destroy level 1 adventures.

Nah, it's really because players can ask questions like you suggested, and then run off and do something entirely unrelated negating the answers to their questions.

Like 'Will I be ambushed?'. Sure there might be an ambush planned! But the party may be just as likely to send divination scouts out, teleport in, and kill the guys before they start even planning to ambush. Or I might say no, because I'm thinking about the nation of Maenads where everyone sparkles in the sunlight, while they wind up going to the elven / bugbear nation and then what am I gonna do? Refuse to try ambushing them because I said they weren't getting ambushed?

Future-predicting divination magic gives me a headache in general yea...even when I try to use it. There's logical difficulties with it.

Edit: I don't have problems if it's to, say, always have the right spell up your sleeve out of a particular set. That's fine, if moderately powerful, if my players are smart enough to come up with it. But if they're trying to actually weasel answers out of me I can't possibly know but the gods really should, well, they'd better come up with some kind of a logical workaround.

Presuming it is obvious what they intend to do. I didn't bother stating this, because it was a given.

So in that example, all questions would be followed by mentioning elves and bugbears. Or something.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 02:12:33 PM
The tricky bit is you don't generally know what your players are going to do, even if they're obliging(which is a bit unlikely if they're pulling CoP shenanigans) about sticking to the rails. Hell, my lot are as fine a bunch as they come in and I can barely predict more than 1 encounter ahead. They can pick up on the oddest details.

Of course, as a DM theres always the option of never giving a pleasant future(since its easier to ensure your players face a bad scenario than a good one), and spawning an encounter every time they literally ask about one. But thats overly antagonistic IMO.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snow_white on February 05, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
Oh yeah, but with the casting duration, spell level and how long it lasts it can be a bloody annoyance to have enough.
Rather use Summon Elemental and have an air/earth elemental do it

Chain of Eyes also has a duration of 1 hour/caster level, so it's nice that way.

Other Good Solution: Bind Malphas. Use a dove.  ;) (Have your psicrystal take Bind Vestige / Practiced Binder, and also mindsight if you don't want to spare the feats yourself.  :p )

(Minor difficulty: A psicrystal may need slight assistance with drawing a seal, and does not generally have a shoulder for the dove to appear on.)

Or bind Zceryll for mindsight and all the other goodies
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Akalsaris on February 05, 2011, 05:04:01 PM
So it's been about 2 years since I've seen an acronym used in 3.5 discussions that I didn't recognize, so I have to ask - what the hell is CoP?

Also, as a sidenote, what does 'Hi Welcome' mean in the context that Sunic Flames uses it in?  Is it welcoming people to the forum, or is it supposed to be sarcastic, or what? I see him use it all the time on this forum, and I never really 'get' what he's trying to do with the phrase.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 05, 2011, 05:07:00 PM
So it's been about 2 years since I've seen an acronym used in 3.5 discussions that I didn't recognize, so I have to ask - what the hell is CoP?
CoP is shorthand for Contact Other Plane.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 05:13:49 PM
Quote
'Hi Welcome'
and I'm sad that this keeps coming up.
Is an internet meme. Just type it into google he'll theres a wiki for it, but
it is meant as a bit of sarcasm. Take it to mean "You're not actually worth adressing"...
Its kinda nonsensical.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 05, 2011, 05:50:15 PM
Quote
'Hi Welcome'
and I'm sad that this keeps coming up.
Is an internet meme. Just type it into google he'll theres a wiki for it, but
it is meant as a bit of sarcasm. Take it to mean "You're not actually worth adressing"...
Its kinda nonsensical.
It's ironic is what it is.

The tricky bit is you don't generally know what your players are going to do, even if they're obliging(which is a bit unlikely if they're pulling CoP shenanigans) about sticking to the rails. Hell, my lot are as fine a bunch as they come in and I can barely predict more than 1 encounter ahead. They can pick up on the oddest details.

Of course, as a DM theres always the option of never giving a pleasant future(since its easier to ensure your players face a bad scenario than a good one), and spawning an encounter every time they literally ask about one. But thats overly antagonistic IMO.
Actually, I think this is amusing.  Have them contact the same Semi-divine Archfiend every time, and have said archfiend say whatever he can to scare the shit out of them.  As intelligent as they are, I'm sure they'd have though of that to make the best of being annoyed my a lousy material-plane Wizard whose soul isn't even worth stealing.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Akalsaris on February 05, 2011, 06:02:45 PM
So it's been about 2 years since I've seen an acronym used in 3.5 discussions that I didn't recognize, so I have to ask - what the hell is CoP?
CoP is shorthand for Contact Other Plane.

Thanks Boz.  I've never had anyone use it in my games, so I often forget the spell exists.  And looking at it now, it hardly seems a fail-proof plan. 

Quote
'Hi Welcome'
and I'm sad that this keeps coming up.
Is an internet meme. Just type it into google he'll theres a wiki for it, but
it is meant as a bit of sarcasm. Take it to mean "You're not actually worth adressing"...
Its kinda nonsensical.

Ah, I see.  So its a snarky response like 'lolwut' or 'what is this i don't even'.  That makes more sense.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 05, 2011, 06:12:30 PM
So it's been about 2 years since I've seen an acronym used in 3.5 discussions that I didn't recognize, so I have to ask - what the hell is CoP?
CoP is shorthand for Contact Other Plane.

Thanks Boz.  I've never had anyone use it in my games, so I often forget the spell exists.  And looking at it now, it hardly seems a fail-proof plan. 
With careful wording and repeated castings, it's not difficult to get the chance of failure down to a very small number. This of course assumes the DM runs the spell strictly by its description and doesn't change things to make it more sensible.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 05, 2011, 07:22:19 PM
As for Mindsight, it's in the same book as Darkstalker. You could fairly argue that they didn't take into account Touchsight or Lifesight, even though I'm fairly sure those were published before because they are different, non core books. But Mindsight is in the same book. And it isn't mentioned at all. And not all Aberrations are psionics heavy. Some are. In any case it doesn't take Touchsight into account either. In fact Touchsight is basically Blindsight by a different name, which only makes a difference because you get to bypass Darkstalker.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if anything blocks Mindsight. You could at least dodge the others by being an incorporeal undead (not really viable, but it's there). Mind Blank might, but then telepathy range = Mindsight range, and I don't recall seeing a Mind Affecting tag anywhere in there.

Touchsight has a limited duration and is only available to a small number of enemies.  As such, while it's basically impossible to stop (being Incorporeal or Ethereal might help, that's about it) it's rarely an issue.  If someone casts it, fall back (Shadow Jaunt?) and wait for it to drop.  If you haven't given warning of your presence to begin with, there's no reason for it to be up.

As for Mindsight, the same book that introduced Mindsight and Darkstalker also mentioned Mind Flayers disliking undead because, for one reason, they couldn't be psionically detected via similar mind based senses.  This suggests that immune to mind affecting was supposed to block Mindsight, though this is never stated by RAW.  If you play by that given RAI, then being Necropolitan (which you want to avoid Lifesight anyway) hides you from Mindsight as well.  If not, make sure to take Mindsight yourself (Mindbender 1 qualifies easily, and you can get into that with Factotum) and you've got a guaranteed way of knowing where absolutely everything is within range.  Plus, Mindsight itself should be relatively rare.

Lifesight is a good reason to be Necropolitan.  You want it yourself as a stealth character, and you want to avoid it if used by others.  Combine that with the reduced MAD from being able to dump Con (something all stealth characters like) and possible Mindsight immunity (consult your DM on that one) and it's a wonderfully obvious choice.

Quote
Also, in general stealth is more for the enemies than for you. Both because more HD = more skills, and because a group of monsters is more likely to have a stealth bent than a team of characters. So you can have whole stealthy encounters. The other side of more HD = more skills is that spotting them is harder, but that's what the aforementioned sensory abilities are for. As any of my players can attest to, they are auto wins against stealth, even optimized stealthers.

Lifesight is easily avoided, Mindsight might be, and Touchsight has a limited duration.  It's not the biggest of issues, by any stretch.  And unless you're heavily optimizing the monsters, there's no excuse for a stealther being out skilled on stealth.  Whispergnome Factotum with Int and Dex 16 is already running around with +24 to hide and +20 to move silently before even looking at ranks or items at level 3... and don't forget the penalties to spot and listen at range.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 07:30:51 PM
So it's been about 2 years since I've seen an acronym used in 3.5 discussions that I didn't recognize, so I have to ask - what the hell is CoP?

Also, as a sidenote, what does 'Hi Welcome' mean in the context that Sunic Flames uses it in?  Is it welcoming people to the forum, or is it supposed to be sarcastic, or what? I see him use it all the time on this forum, and I never really 'get' what he's trying to do with the phrase.

Basically the implication is both that the person is new (even if they aren't) and that they are unworthy of any constructive or useful response (which is why it is both short, and deliberately has poor grammar).

As for Touchsight, if you move out of range too late, you're already detected. The enemy either annihilates you, or fully buffs and annihilates your whole party. Either way. Assuming you're even aware they detected you. Psionics, having no components of any kind except an easily suppressed display are great for doing things covertly after all. So they could seem to not notice you, and really be doing any number of things.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 05, 2011, 07:48:56 PM
How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 05, 2011, 08:00:51 PM
How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.
Well, this is basically the default for wizards, illithids, psions, dragons, and anything else with a reasonable Int score.

But then, if that's all you're going up against you're pretty fubar'd anyway.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 05, 2011, 08:28:17 PM
Basically the implication is both that the person is new (even if they aren't) and that they are unworthy of any constructive or useful response (which is why it is both short, and deliberately has poor grammar).

That may be the intent, but that's not the implication anyone else reads...

Quote
As for Touchsight, if you move out of range too late, you're already detected. The enemy either annihilates you, or fully buffs and annihilates your whole party. Either way. Assuming you're even aware they detected you. Psionics, having no components of any kind except an easily suppressed display are great for doing things covertly after all. So they could seem to not notice you, and really be doing any number of things.

And why, precisely, did he cast Touchsight in the first place?  Do you have characters running around with persistent touchsight up all the time (which I'm not even sure is possible)?  If he doesn't know you're there, he's not going to cast it, so that's irrelevant anyway.  Having touchsight up all the time arbitrarily is exactly like a DM having giant antimagic fields up all the time and then claiming Wizards suck.  Sure you can do it by arbitrarily invoking rule 0, but it makes no sense and shouldn't actually be an option any enemy short of epic types ought to have, and you certainly shouldn't assume it's an issue in the vast majority of games.

Seriously, Necropolitan Whispergnome with Darkstalker is enough to outstealth almost anyone, if you put any real investment into stealth (and not even that big one one, it's not like it costs a lot).  Skill based stealth is one area where mundanes actually shine. 

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 08:30:26 PM
How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.

1: COP is an example of Divination, aka the kind of recon that actually accomplishes something other than character death. It is not the beginning and the end of it. So stop mentioning it as if they were.
2: Most enemies do have above average intellects. All of them live in Darwin's Paradise. Just like you do. Which means it isn't "unnaturally paranoid", it's "par for the course".
3: Most monsters can cast spells.
4: Humanoids that aren't full casters, and are NPCs are complete wastes of space, even when selecting the best non full casting classes. Lack of WBL is a bitch like that.
5: Since every example has assumed mid or high levels, on top of all that you have the little fact that you don't fucking survive this long if you don't take precautions.
6: When you get caught, be it by an auto win button, because enemies are better at skills than you, or whatever you're now alone, with an encounter meant for the whole party. Hope you have a new character ready, because this one is fucked.

So let's look at some actual situations from an actual game:

Hm...

Situation 1: PCs pick a fight with a guy, and his very visible guards. They get ambushed because there are more guards hidden. Said guards are auto spotted by Mindsight once they appear. The only reason they weren't exposed on the spot is lack of LoE, aka they were behind a low wall, and therefore couldn't see anything. As soon as they popped up...

Had the party used divinations, it'd have been not too hard to figure out. Had they scouted normally, the scout would have utterly failed to see the hidden ambushers, and would have likely been spotted by the same. Not to mention the very obvious guards would have quickly gotten annoyed if they saw some fool sneaking around.

And any scout that gets busted gets beaten down by 4 chain guards, still has to deal with the ambushers, and also has to deal with the main guy. All at once. I take that back. Saying he's dead in 1 round implies he'd survive the entire thing.

Situation 2: Single enemy is well hidden, and lying in wait. Said enemy is auto spotted by Lifesight, else he'd have not been spotted at all.

Divinations wouldn't have helped too much, though it depends on which.

Scouting would have resulted in the scout being spotted, and not spotting in turn. His first clue something was wrong would be having flying summons, who were formerly invisible appear surrounding him. Oh yeah, and this attack could be Dimensional Anchor, so fuck you Dimension Door, aka the only viable means of escape. The party noticed the problem sooner. The party was also all there.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 05, 2011, 08:30:43 PM
How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.
Well, this is basically the default for wizards, illithids, psions, dragons, and anything else with a reasonable Int score.

I'd grant you that for SOME Wizards, Illithids, Psions, and Dragons, but definitely not "anything else with a reasonable Int score." Seriously, even if all of your campaigns are about fighting an unholy alliance of Wizards, Psions, Dragons, and Illithids and EVERY member of that alliance is constantly running around spamming CoP and with Mind/Life/Touchsight up how boring are your games?

But, I know, I know, spicing things up and actually attempting to optimize NPCs and monsters around personality types instead of just being as uber as I possibly can is not only coddling my players but playing the game wrong. :rollseyes

Quote
But then, if that's all you're going up against you're pretty fubar'd anyway.

Right, but then from what I can gather Sunic only plays campaigns with players who play Tier 1 characters. And that's fine, and in his campaigns, of course mundane stealth is completely laughably useless. But there are other types of games that still play the game as designed, without taking any house rules into account, and still pay attention to rule as written in which mundane stealth can be perfectly usable. No, not in every situation or encounter, but certainly in as many encounters that an intelligent player would like to use it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 05, 2011, 08:51:39 PM
And why, precisely, did he cast Touchsight in the first place?  Do you have characters running around with persistent touchsight up all the time (which I'm not even sure is possible)?  If he doesn't know you're there, he's not going to cast it, so that's irrelevant anyway.  Having touchsight up all the time arbitrarily is exactly like a DM having giant antimagic fields up all the time and then claiming Wizards suck.  Sure you can do it by arbitrarily invoking rule 0, but it makes no sense and shouldn't actually be an option any enemy short of epic types ought to have, and you certainly shouldn't assume it's an issue in the vast majority of games.
Not to be argumentative, but it's easy to get touchsight up 24/7. A fist-full of +1 manifesting arrows, for instance, or a few levels in crystal master (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040625d).

But regardless, you do have some good points otherwise.

How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.
Well, this is basically the default for wizards, illithids, psions, dragons, and anything else with a reasonable Int score.

I'd grant you that for SOME Wizards, Illithids, Psions, and Dragons, but definitely not "anything else with a reasonable Int score." Seriously, even if all of your campaigns are about fighting an unholy alliance of Wizards, Psions, Dragons, and Illithids and EVERY member of that alliance is constantly running around spamming CoP and with Mind/Life/Touchsight up how boring are your games?
Okay, 'reasonable' is unreasonable. But anyone with 14+ Int should be pretty damned intelligent, especially with a decent Wis.

But, I know, I know, spicing things up and actually attempting to optimize NPCs and monsters around personality types instead of just being as uber as I possibly can is not only coddling my players but playing the game wrong. :rollseyes
Hey, don't look at me. I didn't say ur doin it rong.

Quote
But then, if that's all you're going up against you're pretty fubar'd anyway.

Right, but then from what I can gather Sunic only plays campaigns with players who play Tier 1 characters. And that's fine, and in his campaigns, of course mundane stealth is completely laughably useless. But there are other types of games that still play the game as designed, without taking any house rules into account, and still pay attention to rule as written in which mundane stealth can be perfectly usable. No, not in every situation or encounter, but certainly in as many encounters that an intelligent player would like to use it.
True enough.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 05, 2011, 08:51:57 PM
How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.

1: COP is an example of Divination, aka the kind of recon that actually accomplishes something other than character death. It is not the beginning and the end of it. So stop mentioning it as if they were.

Let's use the sample stealther I gave (Necropolitan Whispergnome Factotum 3+ with Darkstalker and Lifesight, who probably at least has Shadow Jaunt (either via the cheap magic gloves or via a Swordsage level or two).  Could be higher level, could have other feats, but this is sufficient.  Assume he bothered to boost his hide score appropriate to the resources in his campaign.  According to you, this would be instant character death.

Quote
5: Since every example has assumed mid or high levels, on top of all that you have the little fact that you don't fucking survive this long if you don't take precautions.

I was using level 3ish, personally.

Quote
6: When you get caught, be it by an auto win button, because enemies are better at skills than you, or whatever you're now alone, with an encounter meant for the whole party. Hope you have a new character ready, because this one is fucked.

Or you teleported back towards your party in the first round (because you bothered to have a decent initiative) and rehid or otherwise evaced.

Quote
Situation 1: PCs pick a fight with a guy, and his very visible guards. They get ambushed because there are more guards hidden. Said guards are auto spotted by Mindsight once they appear. The only reason they weren't exposed on the spot is lack of LoE, aka they were behind a low wall, and therefore couldn't see anything. As soon as they popped up...

Why was Mindsight trumped by a low wall?  Did the scout fail to check the obvious nearby ambush locations before the party randomly picked a fight?  Why?  And due to Lifesight, he'd have seen the beacons shining behind said low wall.  Not to mention, if the party is taking someone down somewhere where there might be reinforcements, casting Silence first is SOP.  If those guards are so hidden that they are completely out of LoE and not glowing, they don't hear anything and the guy is dead.

Quote
Had the party used divinations, it'd have been not too hard to figure out. Had they scouted normally, the scout would have utterly failed to see the hidden ambushers, and would have likely been spotted by the same. Not to mention the very obvious guards would have quickly gotten annoyed if they saw some fool sneaking around.

If the guards had Mindblank (since you're assuming higher levels) then the divinations auto-failed.  Even nondetection means a possibility of failure.  Remember, you're the guy who thinks Touchsight might be up randomly, so Nondtection seems more plausible (due to longer duration).  However, the scout saw them glowing right away (lifesight) and instantly knew about them (and if he's clever, the party first killed the ambushers with a silence field up because they're not in LOS of the main target... the main target now doesn't even know his guys are dead).

Quote
And any scout that gets busted gets beaten down by 4 chain guards, still has to deal with the ambushers, and also has to deal with the main guy. All at once. I take that back. Saying he's dead in 1 round implies he'd survive the entire thing.

Why does the scout always lose initiative?  This is precisely why I always make sure my scout characters have great initiative (it's a good idea anyway).  And heck, the best skillmonkey class (Factotum) even has built in Int to initiative on a dex and int based class... and the rest of the scouts are dex based at least.  +1 Eager Armor Spikes of Warning are standard gear.  The way you describe games you're dead anyway if you don't go first, so why is this scout not covering this angle?

Quote
Situation 2: Single enemy is well hidden, and lying in wait. Said enemy is auto spotted by Lifesight, else he'd have not been spotted at all.

Or Mindsight.  Or, you know, a really high spot score.  Though situations like this are why my parties often pull stuff like journeying to locations in an Enveloping Pit carried by the stealth character as he sneaks along, or flies along.  Choke points are carefully checked for obvious reasons.

Quote
Scouting would have resulted in the scout being spotted, and not spotting in turn.

Why?  Why can this guy automatically see the virtually impossible to see scout?  Has no one in your games actually tried to have a decent hide score?  This makes absolutely no sense.  And why isn't this guy Mindblanked if he's a single ambusher at the levels you're talking about, thus rendering divinations worthless?

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 05, 2011, 08:54:41 PM
Not to be argumentative, but it's easy to get touchsight up 24/7. A fist-full of +1 manifesting arrows, for instance, or a few levels in crystal master (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040625d).

I feel like at the point of "he has a fist full of +1 mainfesting arrows which he uses to keep touchsight up all day" you're basically just optimizing against stealthers, and working pretty darn hard at it.  If stealth is so useless, I don't see why people would have to do that all day.  This is still awfully close to the "the entire dungeon is covered in antimagic!" reason for why Wizard's suck.

But thanks, because I really couldn't figure out any way to keep touchsight up all day at mid levels.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 05, 2011, 08:58:37 PM
Not to be argumentative, but it's easy to get touchsight up 24/7. A fist-full of +1 manifesting arrows, for instance, or a few levels in crystal master (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040625d).

I feel like at the point of "he has a fist full of +1 mainfesting arrows which he uses to keep touchsight up all day" you're basically just optimizing against stealthers, and working pretty darn hard at it.  If stealth is so useless, I don't see why people would have to do that all day.  This is still awfully close to the "the entire dungeon is covered in antimagic!" reason for why Wizard's suck.

But thanks, because I really couldn't figure out any way to keep touchsight up all day at mid levels.

JaronK
This is why I'm the go-to guy for psionics pstuff. :p
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 05, 2011, 09:22:53 PM
Hey, don't look at me. I didn't say ur doin it rong.

Oh, I know you didn't, I was just covering that base before someone else jumped on me. Just having 12+ Int doesn't make a monster brilliant, paranoid, and requiring of heavy optimization. And I just love that "all monsters and NPCs without fullcasting are worthless" and thus throwing them at your players is codding them and playing the game wrong.

Most of the time Sunic doesn't bother me. He's reasonably intelligent, well-informed, and an experienced optimizer. The thing that sucks though is that with all of those good, respectable points he seems to assume that if any given NPC/Monster could possibly have access to any number of powerful, often whole archetype nullifying, spells, not only does that NPC/Monster use them, he uses ALL of them, all the time, at-will. Well, that and anyone not playing the game exactly like him is a fuckwit and plays the game wrong.

Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 05, 2011, 11:38:38 PM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Question: "Do I succeed at everything I do forever XOR do I say the word hello within the next round"

he answer that I get in response is the correct answer.

If the answer is "true", I keep my mouth shut.  I succeed at everything I do forever.
If the answer is "false", I say hello, and I succeed at everything I do forever.


As I said, the answer is obviously "maybe", which is true, either way, and completely RAW. There are other ways to do useful things with COP, this is not one of them. And if you ask what the most dangerous enemy is you're going to meet, well, then there's a second most dangerous, and a third, etc. The point being, I still like a scout/recon guy in the party. But of course, he doesn't NEED to be mundane, sure he could cast spells, too.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 06, 2011, 02:23:23 AM
COP does not come anywhere close, try again.
Question: "Do I succeed at everything I do forever XOR do I say the word hello within the next round"

he answer that I get in response is the correct answer.

If the answer is "true", I keep my mouth shut.  I succeed at everything I do forever.
If the answer is "false", I say hello, and I succeed at everything I do forever.


As I said, the answer is obviously "maybe", which is true, either way, and completely RAW. There are other ways to do useful things with COP, this is not one of them. And if you ask what the most dangerous enemy is you're going to meet, well, then there's a second most dangerous, and a third, etc. The point being, I still like a scout/recon guy in the party. But of course, he doesn't NEED to be mundane, sure he could cast spells, too.
"If you answered every question correctly with either true or false, what answer would you give to:?"
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 06, 2011, 03:10:09 AM
^^
The veracity of any given question is going to change from moment to moment no less.
E.g. asking about the time.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 11:45:26 AM
Quote
Necropolitan Whispergnome with Darkstalker and lifesight
  :lol
Are you fucking kidding me? I don't agree with this because ow many of those do you see running around?
 Let me tell you something, when you say shit like that its almost admitting defeat. Why? You're basically saying to be "Serious about stealthing"...
...You need to be a goddamn science experiment. Okay okay you can get those type of shennanigans off in a PbP sometimes, but those games are by FAR on the liberal side of things. That is very rarely allowed, if you're honest about it or hell if you google whisper gnome and look at the threads about them, you'll find that most people are experiencing things  akin to "no".
 More importantly this... You've optimized race/template/feats...to be a scout.
A nominally useful role but easily replaced honestly.  This brings back the original point of the thread... What is your party role. Notably not about penis measuring against sunic.
  So if we take it as a given that "Magic does it better" okay fine. I'll go with that... We have a stealther in the party, and your job is to scout, giving the party advanced time to buff. The argument that you'll never get discovered is moot for a couple reasons as well but I'll go into that once someone provides a class for the build.
However This:
Quote
any given NPC/Monster could possibly have access to any number of powerful, often whole archetype nullifying, spells
and this:
Quote
you're basically just optimizing against stealthers, and working pretty darn hard at it.
AND THIS:
Quote
every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters?
Are basically, very leading, bullshit statments, and I respect Bkdubs123 and JaronK IMMENESLY but lets be honestly Alarm is a 1st level spell on the Bard,Ranger(not full casters), Sor/Wiz list.
 No save, no bullshit hyperbole about optimizing against assassins or whatever. Just a 1st level core spell, on 3 popular classes spell list. So people are at LEAST casting that everyday if you're on team evil.
and on another note ....alarm is Also its the most common spell trigger for traps btw. Now whether you recognize it or not the most popular trap in D&D would prettymuch be the "Glitterdust trap" at low levels but it gets Oh so much worse.
 If its NOT a caster then we're likley talking some mechanical trap but even Kobolds make those so you should be having that happen periodically, scouting is a very dangerous job.
So that scenario where you're caugt alone and killed is SOooooo very realistic, and thats not about being an ass Dm, thats just about the simple fact of the way dungeons are designed.

 All that being said: Its an optional class role, I'll agree that make it viable in the sense that "Yeah its able to be played in a game" But it is NOT "NEEDED" either. Not at least simply for the benefit of being stealthy alone.

Quote
This is why I'm the go-to guy for psionics pstuff

Hell yeah you are. I originally wanted that to be me, instead I got stuck with "Barbarians" ce lest vie...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 06, 2011, 12:17:43 PM
Random note: A kobold expert is better at recon than a kobold adept who fails to cast any useful spells except prestidigitation.

The kobold adept is however better at debuffing, given creative targets for that prestidigitation.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 06, 2011, 12:32:27 PM
Midnight, JaronK only brought up that incredibly low-level Stealth optimized abomination because of the arms race type shit Sunic was bringing up. You say that JaronK's implication that to be "serious about stealth" is ludicrous because that will never happen in a game and yet you agree with Sunic that all enemies all the time have every possible stealth nullification defense up and running? Think about it.

I'm not trying to argue that magic doesn't "do it better" most of the time when compared to mundane stealth. I'm not trying to argue that scouting isn't dangerous either. But when Sunic starts saying insane things and giving no support for them and you keep agreeing with him with no great reason I can see, I feel compelled to inject a little sanity into the thread.

Alarm. Really? Okay, so now team badguy knows that there's been a disturbance in Strut A. That's it. The spell in no way thwarts your stealth. And this is if you didn't detect the trap and/or disarm it in the first place.

Glitterdust trap is pretty nasty if it gets pulled on you, but of course if you just hang out for 1 minute or less the glittering, and thus the -40 penalty to Hide, fades (if it's Alarm+Glitterdust, well, obviously you fail and run like hell; also, semi-offtopic, anyone have any idea what happens if you just cover yourself in a heavy cloak or something after getting glitterganked?).

And seriously, you're just agreeing with that leading, bullshit statement I made: that all enemies are paranoid, full casters. If they aren't, well, Scouts, Rogues, Assassins, etc; they have trapfinding for a reason.

Finally,
Quote
So that scenario where you're caugt alone and killed is SOooooo very realistic, and thats not about being an ass Dm, thats just about the simple fact of the way dungeons are designed.

This and the idea that Sunic keeps suggesting, but giving absolutely no evidence to support the claim, where any Scout that moves ahead has no chance of spotting any enemy guards but will always in any possible situation be spotted. What is this I don't even

In media such as movies or literature how often do you see or read about Scout characters just charging ahead constantly without any thought as to what the consequences might be? Never? Right, just like Scout characters in D&D. If you aren't properly prepared to Scout an area, you don't. Thus, you live. If you're scouting ahead and you notice a trap, but don't think you can disable it without getting caught or ganked you move back to the group and inform them of your findings. Or, as is also common in media, if you spring an alarm or are otherwise spotted while sneaking about, mutter "fuck" under your breath, break connection to your party and get the hell out of dodge to hopefully rehide somewhere and eventually rejoin your party. And remember, that's the worst case scenario.

I'm not trying to claim that "no-magic" stealth is viable beyond level 4 or 5, but then again no-magic anything is retarded and a failure at anything other than very low levels and we all know this. But a smart mundane Scout can effectively provide recon and intel to their party at low levels, and as long as he chooses his missions carefully he can do it without getting killed.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 01:09:26 PM
Well, if you could ignore whole archetypes on the cheap, why wouldn't you? Rogue types are the easiest to negate, followed by beatsticks. As such, many do either or both without even trying.

How many DMs other than, from what I can gather, Sunic, run every single monster and NPC in their campaigns as heavily optimized, extraordinarily intelligent, unnaturally paranoid, full casters? Because trying to argue that mundane stealth is worthless because of a combination of spamming CoP and usage of Mindsight, Lifesight, AND Touchsight implies that every adventure in every campaign ran by any DM does this all the time in every encounter. Which, I shouldn't have to point out, is ludicrous beyond belief.

1: COP is an example of Divination, aka the kind of recon that actually accomplishes something other than character death. It is not the beginning and the end of it. So stop mentioning it as if they were.

Let's use the sample stealther I gave (Necropolitan Whispergnome Factotum 3+ with Darkstalker and Lifesight, who probably at least has Shadow Jaunt (either via the cheap magic gloves or via a Swordsage level or two).  Could be higher level, could have other feats, but this is sufficient.  Assume he bothered to boost his hide score appropriate to the resources in his campaign.  According to you, this would be instant character death.

Ok. Let's ignore all the many problems undead characters have, not all of which are solved by a Disguise check. Let's also ignore that I banned Factorum, as the only class that is banned because it gives me a headache, and that it does so because you constantly mention borderline TO stuff with it so I just say fuck it and ban because I can't be fucked to sort it all.

Quote
Or you teleported back towards your party in the first round (because you bothered to have a decent initiative) and rehid or otherwise evaced.

Shadow Jaunt is only 50 feet. If the party is that close, you're not solo stealthing. Also, no one has good init but casters barring highly specific circumstances that are not in play here, so you going first isn't as likely as you think.

Quote
Why was Mindsight trumped by a low wall?  Did the scout fail to check the obvious nearby ambush locations before the party randomly picked a fight?  Why?  And due to Lifesight, he'd have seen the beacons shining behind said low wall.  Not to mention, if the party is taking someone down somewhere where there might be reinforcements, casting Silence first is SOP.  If those guards are so hidden that they are completely out of LoE and not glowing, they don't hear anything and the guy is dead.

This is an actual example from an actual game, followed by hypotheticals as to what a scout would have done if the party did not wisely realize that splitting the party is suicide and scouts get spotted and slaughtered.

LoE. Ok, so you attempt to climb the building to get up there and see if there's anything waiting in ambush for you. Since you are in plain view, you cannot hide, so you are automatically spotted, focus fired, and beaten down in 1 round. Alternately you bum a Fly off the casters. You are now flying in plain sight. See focus fire beatdown. If you cast Silence, everyone in the party, but one person glares at you, as they are spellcasters. The enemy, meanwhile takes a single move action to move away and informs his boss that he has a problem here. Not to mention that to do this, you'd first have to get everyone up there. See auto spotting. If you, alone somehow sneak up there without being auto seen, you become auto detected the moment you set foot on the roof, as no amount of stealth skills let you get around the fact that solid objects, such as characters displace other solid objects, such as tarps over roofs.

Also, these guys have init modifiers in the range of +12 to +16, and oh yeah, it's level 7 (you are 6, due to LA). So no, you're not going first.

Quote
If the guards had Mindblank (since you're assuming higher levels) then the divinations auto-failed.  Even nondetection means a possibility of failure.  Remember, you're the guy who thinks Touchsight might be up randomly, so Nondtection seems more plausible (due to longer duration).  However, the scout saw them glowing right away (lifesight) and instantly knew about them (and if he's clever, the party first killed the ambushers with a silence field up because they're not in LOS of the main target... the main target now doesn't even know his guys are dead).

Not that high. Nondetection was potentially available, but they didn't have it.

Also see previous statements.

Quote
Why does the scout always lose initiative?  This is precisely why I always make sure my scout characters have great initiative (it's a good idea anyway).  And heck, the best skillmonkey class (Factotum) even has built in Int to initiative on a dex and int based class... and the rest of the scouts are dex based at least.  +1 Eager Armor Spikes of Warning are standard gear.  The way you describe games you're dead anyway if you don't go first, so why is this scout not covering this angle?

See previous statements. Also, Dex/Int builds can't hurt anything. The spikes you mention would cost over half WBL, and the only reason it's not higher is because I increased WBL by 50%.

Quote
Or Mindsight.  Or, you know, a really high spot score.  Though situations like this are why my parties often pull stuff like journeying to locations in an Enveloping Pit carried by the stealth character as he sneaks along, or flies along.  Choke points are carefully checked for obvious reasons.

Show me a level 10 character who can reliably make checks in the 40s and 50s. I'll wait. Also, you're out in the open, so you're not hiding. You get auto spotted when you get anywhere near. Mindsight works only within 100 feet. Lifesight works at visibility ranges, but ultimately an undead that can actually contribute to the party, such as a Spellstitched Necropolitian Cleric is far superior than some ineffective little scout.

So you either don't notice the enemy, notice them at the same time they notice you, or notice them after they notice you. Invisible, flying summons surround you. Their first move is to Dimensional Anchor until it sticks, followed by Wall of Ice to cut off mundane escapes if they have any actions left. Meanwhile, the ambusher is bombing you with Empowered Cone of Colds and auto attacks. And since the rest of the party is hiding in some extradimensional space... Since this is level 10, you'll have 75 HP. It won't take long at all for them to be plowed through. In fact they'll go much faster than the previous example, as the first game is max HP (giving you 72 at 6), whereas the second is only round up (giving you 75 at 10).

Quote
Why?  Why can this guy automatically see the virtually impossible to see scout?  Has no one in your games actually tried to have a decent hide score?  This makes absolutely no sense.  And why isn't this guy Mindblanked if he's a single ambusher at the levels you're talking about, thus rendering divinations worthless?

JaronK

Because Mind Blank is a level 15 ability, meaning anything that has it, and is fighting a level 10 party is obviously too much. Even so divinations would not have been especially helpful in that situation due to the circumstances. Meanwhile you're in the open so you can't hide, and even if you could high perception skills and Mindsight.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 01:12:49 PM
Whisper Gnome might be preferable, but a Forest Gnome is a core alternative that is almost as good.  They trade +2 Dex and +4 Move Silently for not being able to be tracked.  You know what that Whisper Gnome can't stop?  Patrols with dogs.  A mundane and common tactic that will alert the area of an intruder, although they will only know of his presence after he's been in an area.

At level 20, it's not difficult to have a Hide modifier of +40 and Hide in Plain Sight with no templates or magic (no magic items even bought).  This is just your average Kobold Scout (+7 Dex, +8 size, +23 ranks, +2 Shadowsilk armor).  Anyone focused on stealth even slightly will grab Darkstalker if possible.  With a simple +5 Tome, this gives us +43 with no magic active on the character, not to mention the 30ft Blindsight to help him out locating foes.  He has a decent chance of successfully hiding from a Solar and Balor while simultaneously not showing up on Detect Magic or Arcane Sight.  Oh, and with his Freedom of Movement and 60ft land speed, he can get out of trouble pretty well.  Probably took Martial Study to nab some Shadow Hand teleportation for extra insurance and likely picked up Assassin's Stance and Shadow Blade as well.  It's a perfectly reasonable archtype (granted, they may choose to save three feats. and trade the last two levels of Scout for Swordsage.  Still no magic).

Now, the Hide in Plain Sight only works in natural settings, but natural caves work well for that.  Actual dungeons virtually always have shadows that you can hide in anyway, not to mention cover such as corners or scenery.

Quote
Or Mindsight.  Or, you know, a really high spot score.  Though situations like this are why my parties often pull stuff like journeying to locations in an Enveloping Pit carried by the stealth character as he sneaks along, or flies along.  Choke points are carefully checked for obvious reasons.

Show me a level 10 character who can reliably make checks in the 40s and 50s. I'll wait.
Show me an enemy that can consitantly do the same.  I'll wait.

Quote
Also, you're out in the open, so you're not hiding. You get auto spotted when you get anywhere near.
Dark template, brilliant.  So long as it isn't full daylight, anywhere is a perfect hiding spot.

Quote
So you either don't notice the enemy, notice them at the same time they notice you, or notice them after they notice you.
Or notice them before they notice you, or niether notices the other.  This is all very likely, especially as anyone trying to be stealthy can jack their Hide modifier higher than Spot.

Quote
Invisible, flying summons surround you. Their first move is to Dimensional Anchor until it sticks, followed by Wall of Ice to cut off mundane escapes if they have any actions left. Meanwhile, the ambusher is bombing you with Empowered Cone of Colds and auto attacks.
So every encounter has a Malconvoker with Invisible Spell that's casting 7th level spells, meaning he's at least 5 levels above you?  No.  Just no.  Saying "I can beat your trick when I've got 5 levels on you" is saying nothing.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 02:01:30 PM
Sure thing.

Ice Devil, who maxed Hide instead of Search. That's 17 ranks, 5 Dex. He then goes and almost completely buries himself in snow. So instead of a -4 size penalty, he gets a +12 or +16 size bonus as only a small part of him is exposed. Let's see... 1d20+34 or 1d20+38 Hide. He's not moving, so Move Silently checks are unnecessary. Yes, that's reliably hitting checks in the 40s and 50s. Technically it goes higher with distance modifiers. The downside is that he can't move without exposing himself, but that's fine. He could sit there content and leave you wondering where the fuck all these SLAs are coming from (if you can't see him) or burst out and reduce you to 1 HP if you can. After all his opening attack hit for 74, and you only have 75... If you save, 38. Course that assumes his opening move is cone of cold, and not auto attacking, the latter of which would be obviously better vs a single target.

Your move.

He didn't mention Dark template. But if he did, you're outside, and it's currently 15:15. So yeah, nice and bright.

Mindsight means it sees you, even if you don't see it. If you have Mindsight too, you detect each other at 100 feet. If you have Lifesight, you could detect at greater distances, but hills and snow = reduced visibility.

Anything with a summon SLA can do this. It just so happens the Ice Devil has such an ability. It also just so happens Bone Devils have both Invisibility and Fly as at will SLAs, so they are always invisible fliers, unless they do something to break invisibility. And since most devils have See Invis or True Seeing, it does not interfere with their tactics.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 02:15:42 PM
Ahh, that's how.  You're relying on houserules to get the check that high.  (I haven't seen anything that would reduce effective size by burying yourself.  In fact, this is part of what the Hide check assumes).  So, your calculations are off by 17 points by the rules.

If he didn't mention Dark template, then where did the LA+1 that you mentioned come from?  Necropoliton doesn't give it.  Whisper gnome doesn't either.

Cloudy day or wait for nightfall.  Easy move on the scout's part and indeed a smart one.  Not to mention that traversing across the open in broad daylight, it would be smarter to have the entire party out (unless one is a vampire for some dumb reason), therefore making this a situation that won't come up without extreme circumstances because you aren't going to be able to sneak anyhow in that situation.  So yes, when you've got a situation that's two opposed forces and it's stacked heavily in the favor of one side, of course the other is going to have a difficult time.  That's true no matter what a character is capable of.  Try sending a Wizard through a Kobold lair situated in a dead magic zone.  I bet he won't fare well either.

Not to mention that most stealthy types have Evasion and great reflex saves, so a Cone of Cold will most likely deal 0 damage.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 06, 2011, 02:28:32 PM
Sure thing.

Ice Devil, who maxed Hide instead of Search. That's 17 ranks, 5 Dex. He then goes and almost completely buries himself in snow. So instead of a -4 size penalty, he gets a +12 or +16 size bonus as only a small part of him is exposed. Let's see... 1d20+34 or 1d20+38 Hide. He's not moving, so Move Silently checks are unnecessary. Yes, that's reliably hitting checks in the 40s and 50s. Technically it goes higher with distance modifiers. The downside is that he can't move without exposing himself, but that's fine. He could sit there content and leave you wondering where the fuck all these SLAs are coming from (if you can't see him) or burst out and reduce you to 1 HP if you can. After all his opening attack hit for 74, and you only have 75... If you save, 38. Course that assumes his opening move is cone of cold, and not auto attacking, the latter of which would be obviously better vs a single target.

Your move.

He didn't mention Dark template. But if he did, you're outside, and it's currently 15:15. So yeah, nice and bright.

Mindsight means it sees you, even if you don't see it. If you have Mindsight too, you detect each other at 100 feet. If you have Lifesight, you could detect at greater distances, but hills and snow = reduced visibility.

Anything with a summon SLA can do this. It just so happens the Ice Devil has such an ability. It also just so happens Bone Devils have both Invisibility and Fly as at will SLAs, so they are always invisible fliers, unless they do something to break invisibility. And since most devils have See Invis or True Seeing, it does not interfere with their tactics.
The idea is that this is an Ice Devil that a PC summoned to take the place of the stealther PC, or is this an enemy meant to counter stealth?  I wasn't sure.  EDIT:  it was a counter to snakeman, sorry, reading quickly. 

First off, the "I bury myself in snow so I'm now a tiny creature" is a new rule on me.  And, it doesn't seem like it should only apply to big creatures -- surely the whisper gnome (or whatever cheesy race you pick) can bury himself in snow, too, and should be a fine?  ... micro?  ... sized creature w/ a similar bonus to hide.  It's just his tiny little head showing, after all.

I will readily concede that a CR 13 outsider w/ customized feats, skill ranks, lying in wait and prepared will generally be capable of countering a given character role or, alternatively, replace that character role and obviate that need.  I think that's probably true w/ most character roles, though maybe I'd have to reach a little higher in the CR department.  Like, I can probably make a Planetar again w/ customized feats and skills, that either counters or fills the niche of a divine caster -- they are 17th level clerics after all. 

I don't know what that proves.  This encounter is obviously an uncommon one, so what you're doing is trading off the risks of this sort of thing happening (a corner condition case) for all the possible benefits of scouting.  Again, if those don't generally exist (e.g., no buffing, no great first strike capability), then I'd never scout. 

All that being said: Its an optional class role, I'll agree that make it viable in the sense that "Yeah its able to be played in a game" But it is NOT "NEEDED" either. Not at least simply for the benefit of being stealthy alone.
I believe this is the most concise, correct answer to the question that started this thread.  I'd only add, since this thread like all of them has gone the way of magic v. mundane, that "mundane" (meaning skill-based, the sort of thing you spend class features, feats, or levels on) seems to me more valuable as the levels get higher b/c the counters to magical concealment are more common.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Garryl on February 06, 2011, 02:35:32 PM
Sure thing.

Ice Devil, who maxed Hide instead of Search. That's 17 ranks, 5 Dex. He then goes and almost completely buries himself in snow. So instead of a -4 size penalty, he gets a +12 or +16 size bonus as only a small part of him is exposed. Let's see... 1d20+34 or 1d20+38 Hide.

It does not work that way. Burying yourself and only leaving a small part exposed is just improved cover, which is only a flat +10 bonus to Hide checks.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 02:46:11 PM
Ahh, that's how.  You're relying on houserules to get the check that high.  (I haven't seen anything that would reduce effective size by burying yourself.  In fact, this is part of what the Hide check assumes).  So, your calculations are off by 17 points by the rules.

Except that not all hide checks involve burying yourself in snow. In fact most involve sneaking around without being covered.

It's obviously something that only has value when lying in ambush, as otherwise the can't move thing renders it moot.

And if you're trying to tell me a 12 foot tall bug man is just as easy to see when hiding, but fully exposed as he is when everything but his face is hidden, well that's fucking absurd now isn't it?

But even assuming that did not apply, seeing things is Wis based. Know what stat Dex/Int builds don't have exceptionally high? Yeah. So 13 + nothing vs 1d20+18 + distance... still losing, even if you pretend you're right.

Quote
If he didn't mention Dark template, then where did the LA+1 that you mentioned come from?  Necropoliton doesn't give it.  Whisper gnome doesn't either.

I thought Whisper Gnome did. But even if it does not, Necropolitian still costs 3k XP. Which, interestingly enough is exactly what buying off LA 1 costs anyways. It also, interestingly enough still means you start at level 6. 1,250 XP to 7, but since this is the first fight of the campaign you haven't gotten that yet. So it makes no difference either way.

Quote
Cloudy day or wait for nightfall.  Easy move on the scout's part and indeed a smart one.  Not to mention that traversing across the open in broad daylight, it would be smarter to have the entire party out (unless one is a vampire for some dumb reason), therefore making this a situation that won't come up without extreme circumstances because you aren't going to be able to sneak anyhow in that situation.  So yes, when you've got a situation that's two opposed forces and it's stacked heavily in the favor of one side, of course the other is going to have a difficult time.  That's true no matter what a character is capable of.  Try sending a Wizard through a Kobold lair situated in a dead magic zone.  I bet he won't fare well either.

Ok, so you have to fiat, or use abilities you don't have to make it cloudy, or you have to waste the entire party's time, and mess with their schedule and abilities by not advancing for multiple hours. And most enemies can still see in the dark. Ice Devils have a specific ability that means not only do they have Darkvision, but they can see in the dark up to the full range of their vision.

Quote
Not to mention that most stealthy types have Evasion and great reflex saves, so a Cone of Cold will most likely deal 0 damage.

Does that include his favorite class there?

As for the other post: No, the Ice Devil was there for reasons I cannot disclose. It has nothing to do with the PCs, in that it isn't created or summoned by them, but it is there because of them. It was brought up because a lot of people keep pretending that scouts can prevent ambushes, so I brought up actual ambushes from an actual game, and then hypothesized what would happen with a scout there.

Yes, the Whisper Gnome can also bury himself in snow. This means he can't move (and still benefit). Since his goal is to scout ahead, and therefore move this is obviously not helpful.

The Ice Devil wasn't changed all that much. Almost none of the changes pertained to stealth busting. It does a fine job of that on its own with perception skills in the 20s, and True Seeing. Mindsight was a fuck it, it has telepathy, why not ability.

As for mundane skills, those are shut down far more trivially than magic. Anything that can shut down the magic pwns the beatsticks as a matter of course.

And really, if this party was going to scout, which they aren't because it wastes time and kills the scout, the aforementioned undead Cleric would just have a goddamn Wraith do it. Incorporeal Undead = immune to every auto win ability but Mindsight, and the panics animals thing, makes no sound, and can hide in solid objects (undetectable) and still hear, even if it can't see.

Which means best case scenario is Jaron's little Necropolitian Whisper Gnome Dark Half Fuckwit or whatever the hell it is has just been CAPed by a real character.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 06, 2011, 03:00:00 PM
Sunic I don't get your point. A CR 11 Ice Devil who is ready for the PCs and has set up an ambush can defeat a level 6 Factotum? Uh, duh? Or is the point that a character designed for hiding isn't a character designed for perception? Wouldn't the Whisper Gnome have Lifesight anyways? But this is all pedantic. What's your stance in the argument? The scout's job is information gathering. It's utterly dwarfed by Divination but Quadratic Wizards blah blah. At low levels(1-4, maybe 5-6) it will work often but not perfectly. The gnome won't necessarily be able to spot all ambushes but it will probably be able to say "hey there 6 guards up there" or "there's two trolls in this room," do you not agree? And a smart scout has countermeasures to run away if things get hairy, right? Like a high initiative or good enough defenses to be able to survive one round. Or maybe even some neato immediate actions.

No one cares about your house rules about WBL or banning Factotums or made up Hide bonuses. We're playing 3.5e not Sunic's RPG. That's just as stupid as people saying CoP doesn't work because the deity will get mad at you.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 03:01:39 PM
Ahh, that's how.  You're relying on houserules to get the check that high.  (I haven't seen anything that would reduce effective size by burying yourself.  In fact, this is part of what the Hide check assumes).  So, your calculations are off by 17 points by the rules.

Except that not all hide checks involve burying yourself in snow. In fact most involve sneaking around without being covered.

It's obviously something that only has value when lying in ambush, as otherwise the can't move thing renders it moot.

And if you're trying to tell me a 12 foot tall bug man is just as easy to see when hiding, but fully exposed as he is when everything but his face is hidden, well that's fucking absurd now isn't it?
And I was corrected two posts later.  However, you're still assuming a 17 point swing when all you get is a 10 point from improved cover.  Missing that 7 is enough to drop you below 40 except on a very high roll.

Quote
Quote
If he didn't mention Dark template, then where did the LA+1 that you mentioned come from?  Necropoliton doesn't give it.  Whisper gnome doesn't either.

I thought Whisper Gnome did. But even if it does not, Necropolitian still costs 3k XP. Which, interestingly enough is exactly what buying off LA 1 costs anyways. It also, interestingly enough still means you start at level 6. 1,250 XP to 7, but since this is the first fight of the campaign you haven't gotten that yet. So it makes no difference either way.
Who said anything about this being the first thing in the campaign?  Now you're making up shit to try and hold onto your pre-concieved notion that Mundane=Lose.  Oh, and now we're down to level 7?  At least when the party was level 10, there's a shot at beating an Ice Devil.  Yeah, you're really making yourself look good...

Quote
Quote
Cloudy day or wait for nightfall.  Easy move on the scout's part and indeed a smart one.  Not to mention that traversing across the open in broad daylight, it would be smarter to have the entire party out (unless one is a vampire for some dumb reason), therefore making this a situation that won't come up without extreme circumstances because you aren't going to be able to sneak anyhow in that situation.  So yes, when you've got a situation that's two opposed forces and it's stacked heavily in the favor of one side, of course the other is going to have a difficult time.  That's true no matter what a character is capable of.  Try sending a Wizard through a Kobold lair situated in a dead magic zone.  I bet he won't fare well either.

Ok, so you have to fiat, or use abilities you don't have to make it cloudy, or you have to waste the entire party's time, and mess with their schedule and abilities by not advancing for multiple hours. And most enemies can still see in the dark. Ice Devils have a specific ability that means not only do they have Darkvision, but they can see in the dark up to the full range of their vision.
No.  You are either all advancing together, and thus wasting no time, or you wait a few hours becuase it's idiotic to send one person ahead with everyone else hiding in an item in broad daylight on a snowfield, especially when you suspect there's someone or something keeping a lookout.  What's this?  Non-casters can play things smart?  Blasphemy!

Quote
Quote
Not to mention that most stealthy types have Evasion and great reflex saves, so a Cone of Cold will most likely deal 0 damage.

Does that include his favorite class there?
Factotums?  No, but virtually all other classes I would consider scouting with, yes.

Quote
As for the other post: No, the Ice Devil was there for reasons I cannot disclose. It has nothing to do with the PCs, in that it isn't created or summoned by them, but it is there because of them. It was brought up because a lot of people keep pretending that scouts can prevent ambushes, so I brought up actual ambushes from an actual game, and then hypothesized what would happen with a scout there.

Yes, the Whisper Gnome can also bury himself in snow. This means he can't move (and still benefit). Since his goal is to scout ahead, and therefore move this is obviously not helpful.

The Ice Devil wasn't changed all that much. Almost none of the changes pertained to stealth busting. It does a fine job of that on its own with perception skills in the 20s, and True Seeing. Mindsight was a fuck it, it has telepathy, why not ability.

As for mundane skills, those are shut down far more trivially than magic. Anything that can shut down the magic pwns the beatsticks as a matter of course.

And really, if this party was going to scout, which they aren't because it wastes time and kills the scout, the aforementioned undead Cleric would just have a goddamn Wraith do it. Incorporeal Undead = immune to every auto win ability but Mindsight, and the panics animals thing, makes no sound, and can hide in solid objects (undetectable) and still hear, even if it can't see.

Which means best case scenario is Jaron's little Necropolitian Whisper Gnome Dark Half Fuckwit or whatever the hell it is has just been CAPed by a real character.
Oh, so you're bringing a niche case that is set up specifically to be obscenely difficult to sneak past  as the common encounter?  A monster that's a CR6 above the party level as a gaurd?  I wouldn't want to play in that game, not since I'm being told from the very first encounter that we're all fucked.

Note, though:Ice Devils don't have accesss to True Seeing.  Not even Pit Fiends do.

Also, being a Scout means maxing perception skills.  Interestingly, you don't need that high of an Intelligence score because classes suited for scouting have plety of skill points.  The exception is a Factotum, but all the others can afford a lower INT to have a higher Wisdom.  A Factotum can afford a lower Dex and have a higher Wisdom.  I really don't see your point.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 03:12:41 PM
I'm only going to discuss what I veiw as relavent to our discsussion from our post BK

Quote
Alarm. Really? Okay, so now team badguy knows that there's been a disturbance in Strut A. That's it. The spell in no way thwarts your stealth. And this is if you didn't detect the trap and/or disarm it in the first place
No. This:
Quote from:  From SRD
The proximity trigger used most often for magic device traps is the alarm spell.

The srd goes on to list a HUGE list of level appropriate traps magical AND mundane. However, most of the magical traps fucking kill you. Glitterdust and hanging around for 1 minute assume you make the fortsave and that people don't just show up to fucking assist in the fore mentioned killing you. The fact that theres a disturbance in strut A alone should but the facility on alert *or whatever scenario you happen to be running.
 
Quote
You say that JaronK's implication that to be "serious about stealth" is ludicrous because that will never happen in a game and yet you agree with Sunic that all enemies all the time have every possible stealth nullification defense up and running? Think about it.
I was quoting when I said "serious about stealth" cause I see people seem to say that alot in the tread when they bring up that arms race bullshit.
I don't think sunic is the one that started that shit but I do recognize he's not one to back down from it.
Moreover... I'M not saying all enimies all the time have every possible stealth nullification.
  I'm sayiing that ANYONE with the capability to secure an area where they live... will. If you're playing D&D and no one ever or REGULARLY has magical traps or hell non magical traps of a fair level in an area and people aren't using UTTERLY reasonable things like Alarm, (which may just wake the wizard or whatever the fuck but still) then yeah that's gonna tilt your veiw about it.


Quote
And seriously, you're just agreeing with that leading, bullshit statement I made: that all enemies are paranoid, full casters. If they aren't, well, Scouts, Rogues, Assassins, etc; they have trapfinding for a reason
. Rangers... are not full casters. I don't consider bards to be either. Wizards are Sorcerors are and generally yeah when you fight any humanoid force you're going to be encountering one of those 4 classes in some way shape or form. The all have alarm as a level one spell. They also have traps. Aberrations tend to have slaves that do the same thing on they're behalf. Plus the potential for mindsight, but really they have all kinds of weird ass defenses depending on what you're dealing with. Undead have accesss to life sight, wraiths out the box have lifesense. . . etc.
 I feel I'm being the realistic one here, cause if not then you go into the "stealth is uber!" and we both know its not.
 
  Now I give you some classes have trapfinding but thats just another level of thing that needs to be optimized however the example that someone brought up a second ago the Swordsage or whatever didn't. Some of the people mention hide in plain sight. Again this arms race shit is not on the not impressed by steath side but ultimately thats irrelavant. So Ymmv.
 Finally this, If your job is to scout, and return to the party with info as to when to buff up or whatever and you trigger an alarm or trigger a deadfall etc.
 Then you have not completed that objectively, I can't tell you how many adventures from Dungeon, or published modules include things to that effect but its a lot.


Quote
In media such as movies or literature how often do you see or read about Scout characters just charging ahead constantly without any thought as to what the consequences might be?
I think thats part of the problem, in media, the badguy do stupid shit, that No one does in real life. Right now I have 2 locks and an alarm system in my apartment. Most of the time in D&D you're breaking in peoples homes with the intent of killing them. If my roomies are asleep and that alarm goes off we tend to all go investigate... mostly cause its fucking loud, and we don't live in a world where the drow might attack at any second. I'm just saying its NOT reasonable to think that Team monster just ignores it when the alarm goes off.
Quote
I'm not trying to argue that magic doesn't "do it better" most of the time when compared to mundane stealth. I'm not trying to argue that scouting isn't dangerous either. But when Sunic starts saying insane things and giving no support for them and you keep agreeing with him with no great reason I can see, I feel compelled to inject a little sanity into the thread.
You're not trying to argue that magic doesn't "Do it better"
You're not trying to argue that Scouting isn't dangerous...
Then what?  ???
 Okay then you have no argument with me other than "Why are you siding with sunic!?"

Very well I'll explain.
[spoiler]  Firstly, let me say that I in someways actually agree with him on these points. In my experience stealth is not a very important part to NOT important part of the party-ing experience. The entirety of this thread is basically about trying to figure out what the hell they're supposed to be doing like at all.
Secondly, you know I can't stomach people arguing what amounts to "He's a dick! Fuck his argument, you don't get to talk cause we don't like your attitude. That shits stupid. People reaction to sunic says waaay more about them than ti does about him. Ultimately, I find myself thinking here's a guy who's opinions are RIGHT about a lot of things but his presentation is off, so people want to do anything to contest him. Especially, downplay his arguments, I find it stupid and none productive... way I figure it though he's needed to keep people from just fapping all over certain topics like this one. It acutally good science in a way. If you have 11 scientist agree on something then its the DUTY of the 12th to disagree and test in the opposite direction. Thats what it seems like sunic represents, how many people in this thread are like "Oh of course stealth is valuable." or "What! It's WAAYY better than magic... if you nerf magic" Oh and "fuck that Sunic, guy his opinions not worth hearing. Truth is I found Sunic_Flame a Loooong time ago on the Wotc forums, arguing with a bunch of idiots who were basically anti-optimization Role"tard", the get your anime out of my D&D gang. I don't think he'd discovered 339 yet really, I even made a post like "Help our fellow optimizer" I just can't stand people to gang up on one dude. Espcially when that dudes points are valid and worth considering. Naw. Fuck that shit forever, bkdubs123, I'm from the Southern U.S. and thats what the bible thumpers do. Thats what the Muslims do and thats what anyone does when they're trying to encourage group think. I gotta stand with him at least till he's blantantly wrong, which really he's not. Course it boils down to  just matters of opioion. Lastly ... all those people who down talk the dude because he's been an asshole to them like EVER just come off like bigger assholes carrying a grudge. Thing is I like Most of the people on this board, I just accept you for what you bring to the table. . . [/spoiler]
There ya go. Rant complete.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 03:44:31 PM
What I'm arguing is not that stealth alone is a valid party role, but that it isn't insta-killed as Sunic is claiming.  I agree entirely that just being stealthy doesn't warrant a party slot, you actually have to do something that helps everyone.  Scouting is a valid role and every party should have some method of doing it.  That does not mean devote an entire character to it, but it also doesn't mean that any character devoted to it is a waste or unhelpful as Sunic is implying.  Right now, my main beef with him is that he's using a niche case where a lone scout isn't going to do well anyway because everything is set against him and using it as proof that all scouts are useless and will be killed with no chance of survival.

Now, mundane scouting, however, has it's perks.  It's actually easier to accomplish, for one, and is frequently just as effective.  The Alarm spell does pose a diffuclty, but those will go off when the party enters anyway.

Let's say the party triggers the Alarm spell.  Gaurds, monsters, etc. are now all rushing toward them.  Well, that could have gone better...

Party scout triggers the Alarm.  Guards, monsters, etc. are now all rushing toward him, but one person is much more likely to avoid them than the whole party.  He can take a turn and hide himself and wait for the gaurds to leave.  Now the Alarm has been tripped and must be reset.  Meanwhile, the scout just learned quite a bit about what sort of response is made, so the party is prepared for it.  If the Alarm isn't reset, then when he returns with the party, they have less trouble.

Magical scouting may be very good, but there are actually more countermeasures for it than mundane.  Namely Mind Blank, Nondetection, and True Seeing/See Invisiblity.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Maat_Mons on February 06, 2011, 04:01:16 PM
If you have 11 scientist agree on something then its the DUTY of the 12th to disagree …

Which is why fewer than 92% of scientists agree that gravity exists. 

Thats what the Muslims do …

You shouldn't make sweeping generalizations about an entire religion. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 04:09:39 PM
Sunic I don't get your point. A CR 11 Ice Devil who is ready for the PCs and has set up an ambush can defeat a level 6 Factotum? Uh, duh? Or is the point that a character designed for hiding isn't a character designed for perception? Wouldn't the Whisper Gnome have Lifesight anyways? But this is all pedantic. What's your stance in the argument? The scout's job is information gathering. It's utterly dwarfed by Divination but Quadratic Wizards blah blah. At low levels(1-4, maybe 5-6) it will work often but not perfectly. The gnome won't necessarily be able to spot all ambushes but it will probably be able to say "hey there 6 guards up there" or "there's two trolls in this room," do you not agree? And a smart scout has countermeasures to run away if things get hairy, right? Like a high initiative or good enough defenses to be able to survive one round. Or maybe even some neato immediate actions.

No one cares about your house rules about WBL or banning Factotums or made up Hide bonuses. We're playing 3.5e not Sunic's RPG. That's just as stupid as people saying CoP doesn't work because the deity will get mad at you.

Hi Welcome

Ice Devil is CR 13, not 15 or 11. The Factorum in that example is 10, not 6. Try to follow along.

Even if the thing about Hide bonuses is wrong, the Ice Devil auto spots you at 100 feet. Meanwhile it has 1d20+18 Hide +10 from the snow +10 for distance = 1d20+38, therefore it still has no trouble getting results in the 40s and 50s, therefore I am still right.

Since the scout only has 1d20+13 for Spot, he auto loses. No need to even pick up the dice. Hell, the Ice Devil could be right in front of him, and 1d20+28 vs 1d20+13 still means he fails the vast majority of the time, and needs an auto win button just to have a chance. Assuming the enemy let him that close of course.

As it happens, he does have an auto win button, which I have already addressed. The following sequence of events takes place, assuming that the Ice Devil did not detect him normally:

Ice Devil and CAP Victim get to within 100 feet of each other.

CAP Victim learns there is something alive in that snowbank. He has no idea what it is. He has no idea if it's hostile. It could be some guy who got buried, or snowed in, or some burrowing animal, or any number of things that are not a hidden ambusher.

Ice Devil learns there is an Undead over there, of Int x, where x is likely an above average number due to that whole Intelligence based class thing.

Advantage: Team Monster.

Now, with even a cursory familiarity with the party the Ice Devil will know such things as "Oh yeah, one of them is a rather smart undead that likes sneaking around." He then notices that there is, indeed a highly intelligent undead over there, even if he cannot see it with his eyes, and being as he has Int 22 and Wis 22, and is therefore both smarter and wiser than the smartest and wisest people on Earth it is beyond trivial for him to determine that this is likely the same person. Since it obviously has such familiarity, to go hide in a snowbank along the party's path this is well within the bounds of reason to assume.

The CAP Victim suspects something is wrong, but has no proof. The Ice Devil knows exactly what's going down, and can fuck with the CAP Victim in any number of ways. Conjuring up some Bone Devils for lockdown is perhaps the most effective that does not expose it. Bursting out and Empowered (yay planar traits) Cone of Cold the fool is even better, but does expose it.

Likely the CAP Victim is only sure something is wrong when he sees more lights appear around him (if he wins Init) or gets Dimensional Anchored and Wall of Iced (if he does not) by formerly invisible foes. Since Ice Devils only have +5, and Bone Devils only +9, they have a decent chance to go first, but not a good one.

And I was corrected two posts later.  However, you're still assuming a 17 point swing when all you get is a 10 point from improved cover.  Missing that 7 is enough to drop you below 40 except on a very high roll.

Already addressed.

Quote
Who said anything about this being the first thing in the campaign?  Now you're making up shit to try and hold onto your pre-concieved notion that Mundane=Lose.  Oh, and now we're down to level 7?  At least when the party was level 10, there's a shot at beating an Ice Devil.  Yeah, you're really making yourself look good...

Hi Welcome

1: These are actual examples from an actual game, as I stated before. In that instance, it is indeed the first fight of the campaign, so you do in fact have the same XP total that you started with.
2: Know how I said there were two different examples, from two different games, and the level 6 or 7 thing was the first and the Ice Devil thing was clearly stated to be the second, and level 10? Try to follow along. It's not hard at all.
3: The details are already defined, being as these are things that already happened, past tense. Again, Hi Welcome

Quote
No.  You are either all advancing together, and thus wasting no time, or you wait a few hours becuase it's idiotic to send one person ahead with everyone else hiding in an item in broad daylight on a snowfield, especially when you suspect there's someone or something keeping a lookout.  What's this?  Non-casters can play things smart?  Blasphemy!

Except that you're waiting until night, so you are wasting time. Respect the time limit. That is the most important thing. Oh and I really like how you're fapping off to the whole "rest of the party hides in an extradimensional space, with limited air" thing. I expect that kind of borderline TO tripe from Jaron, but I have higher standards for you. You disappoint me.

Quote
Factotums?  No, but virtually all other classes I would consider scouting with, yes.

Ok, so 1 or 38 HP left after one blast, and Dimensional Anchor, so the only viable means of escape is blocked. Yeah, you're fucked. Though, speaking of house rules as mentioned before HP are rounded up. Which means by RAW you would have 70.5 HP, and not 75 HP, therefore it is quite literally a save or die, as undead are instantly destroyed at 0 HP.

Quote
Oh, so you're bringing a niche case that is set up specifically to be obscenely difficult to sneak past  as the common encounter?  A monster that's a CR6 above the party level as a gaurd?  I wouldn't want to play in that game, not since I'm being told from the very first encounter that we're all fucked.

3 higher. And not a common guard. It is however in the way. Also, in the second game this is not the first encounter, though you still have not gained any levels, so as stated the hypothetical scout in this instance would be level 10 as well.

Quote
Note, though:Ice Devils don't have accesss to True Seeing.  Not even Pit Fiends do.

Ok, but still has Mindsight.

Quote
Also, being a Scout means maxing perception skills.  Interestingly, you don't need that high of an Intelligence score because classes suited for scouting have plety of skill points.  The exception is a Factotum, but all the others can afford a lower INT to have a higher Wisdom.  A Factotum can afford a lower Dex and have a higher Wisdom.  I really don't see your point.

Uh huh. And I assumed 13 ranks. The problem is adding stuff to that 13, since you don't have all that much Wis. Even if it is a few points higher, it's still well short of 1d20+38. And besides, it has an auto win ability, so why does it care?

By the way, Outsiders are not very good at ambushing. Skills are a factor of HD, and Outsiders only have about 1 HD/CR. Other creature types would be far superior at it. Unless you are claiming that an end modifier of +18 is good vs a level 10 party?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 04:32:04 PM
Oh, I wouldn't be sticking my party in a portable hole to travel across a snowfield unless they didn't need to breathe or had some other method of getting air.  That is a dumb move beyond any other.  "Hey, let's kill 80% of the party with no save!"

You never mentioned a time limit until just now, so it was safe to assume there was none.  Thus, waiting for nightfall is perfectly legit.

I think I'm getting confused in that you are using the same situation for both the level 10 and level 7 parties and switch between the two mid-post without noticeable seperation.

Also, the save DC on Cone of Cold is not that high (20).  Any scout-type that doesn't have a Reflex save of at least 15 by 10 isn't going to succeed at anything.  That's a 75% chance to take no damage.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 05:01:20 PM
The snarky remark about time limits was more aimed at shutting down anything that involves going slow, or delaying than to indicate an actual time limit. I will not say whether there actually is one or not, as that is information my players would not have. It is however a good idea to not fuck around, regardless.

I am only using "the same situation" if you define the same situation as "an ambush". Seeing as they were, indeed presented as two different examples of a party being ambushed, and each were followed up by hypotheticals as to what a level appropriate scout would have done here to prevent it (answer: nothing)... If you look at it in any more specific terms, they are obviously not the same thing, as there is an obvious difference between a mid level situation with one main guy, 4 obvious guards, and 2 not obvious guards, and a mid-high level situation with a single, Evil Outsider waiting in ambush. And this was also clearly described ahead of time.

As for the Cone of Cold DC, by default it is 20. By default it also gets about 17kish gold for magic items. It won't make much of a difference, but it's there. And I didn't say it had a high chance to kill, just that it was a save or die. Anyone, regardless of class who isn't IP proofing themselves deserves to get slaughtered after all. And he would have +5 saves, on top of whatever from base + Dex + cloak for the same reason. The thing is though, Factorums, which is what he was discussing do not have Evasion. Shifting the goalposts to scouts that do have Evasion isn't going to win you any points.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 05:03:26 PM
If you have 11 scientist agree on something then its the DUTY of the 12th to disagree …

Which is why fewer than 92% of scientists agree that gravity exists. 

Thats what the Muslims do …

You shouldn't make sweeping generalizations about an entire religion. 
Maat Mons Where the hell did you even COME FROM? I mean I almost, NEVER see you on these boards.
1. Good to see you on Bg's
2. Your snarky comment "A" pretty much irrelevant as  we're specifically talking about new concepts, in the hypothesis/experiment phases. Testing other theorems, is needed mainly because of confirmation bias, and you have to hear other peoples data, and points on the matter as well. Otherwise people would still be thinking the world if flat.
3. and "B" On the Muslim religion. . . I was raised in a muslim household for a few years of my tweens.
 I know all about what the Koran says about varying opinions to thier beliefs. Thats not just one family thats begin exposed to the community, then as an adult I've been to nations under sharia law. That rubric you profess applies to people better who called upon to be politically correct, but I don't find that to be something that should be adhered to by anyone because it just encourages falsehood under the guise of being "inoffensive. However, I do recognize ANY sweeping generalization tends to be wrong because you can ever find 1 example to the contrary, so  I'll amend:
Thats what the Muslims Facists do and thats what anyone does when they're trying to encourage group think...
Thank you for the friendly moderation.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 06, 2011, 05:10:26 PM
Even if the thing about Hide bonuses is wrong, the Ice Devil auto spots you at 100 feet.
You know I never disagreed with you right? Whoops, typo on the CR and the fact that both me and snakeman got confused by you talking about two parties and the same encounter might mean we are paying attention, but things are sometimes confusing and people make mistakes!

Mindsight fucks with everything. Once you get to the level where Mindsight becomes commonplace sneaking stops working. Mindsight is too perfect and fucking retarded and I think everyone knows that. That's not to say you're wrong, afterall, we're playing 3.5 and Mindsight exists. The only countermeasures are Telepathic Static from that once shitty class in FCII(which only creates a hole in the telepathy) and Telepathic Block from BoED. A high level sneaky character should either play with house rules that make Mindsight less stupid or have an item of permanent Telepathic Black. But I do understand that pushing the arms race further serves little purpose.

You're pretty much right about everything that you say. A CR 13 creature who sets the terms of the fight and has time to prepare will destroy a single level 10 character. Easily. ...so? I'm asking what you're point is. Sunic, what is the point you are trying to make?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 05:27:16 PM

 
Quote
A high level sneaky character should either play with house rules that make Mindsight less stupid or have an item of permanent Telepathic Black. But I do understand that pushing the arms race further serves little purpose.
Quick question, do you really want a scenario in which sneaking is "unbeatable?" I see people arguing for what Looks like this in someways... If you get to the point where you're 100% undetectable, and really don't have to roll the damn die, haven't you tip-toed over towards unbalance? Just curious. Should there be something that works "always". I keep thinking that, you could likely get all those defenses lined up perfectly under the right Dm, and just figure out a way to kill multiple threats ftw. Go all Omac and win D&D forever, I'm just wondering what the argument is, at all currently.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 06, 2011, 05:31:51 PM
I am only using "the same situation" if you define the same situation as "an ambush". Seeing as they were, indeed presented as two different examples of a party being ambushed, and each were followed up by hypotheticals as to what a level appropriate scout would have done here to prevent it (answer: nothing)... If you look at it in any more specific terms, they are obviously not the same thing, as there is an obvious difference between a mid level situation with one main guy, 4 obvious guards, and 2 not obvious guards, and a mid-high level situation with a single, Evil Outsider waiting in ambush. And this was also clearly described ahead of time.
The only situation I've seen you discussing was an ice Devil hiding in the snow, so I think I can be excused for being confused on this.  Players won't act on a time limit if they don't know one exists, so that point is irrelevant if the players don't know of any time limit.

As for being having stealth be "unbeatable", I don't want that.  However, I also don't want "auto-fail".  That is the problem with Mindsight: it beats out all but a couple of well-hidden countermeasures from often banned books.  There is just no way to sneak up on a creature with Mindsight without those countermeasures.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 06, 2011, 05:47:37 PM
My argument, Midnight, is that scouts don't get auto-raped in every game unless the DM spends extra time and NPC wealth, etc making sure to add things to the enemies so that every encounter auto-rapes scouts. Sunic is trying to say that no matter what, in every game, a Scout of any level is equivalent to a corpse. He says that they can in no way ever detect opposition before it detects him and that the Scout gets murdered by traps and/or ambush every single time. Which is a bold statement indicative of his games and his games alone and thus isn't contributing much of anything in the way of valuable information to this thread.

Even in a shitty situation at low levels the Rogue can scout ahead, run into a trap, leave it be and return to the party. He's still provided valuable intel to his allies in the form of, "hey, there's a trap to the left." At which point the party can decide how best to handle the trap.

At higher levels the Rogue will likely have a way to communicate with his allies from a great distance, a way to detect his foes beyond sight (this could be as simple as a rat companion, a high Listen check, or as sophisticated as Mindsight), and will not risk blowing his cover to daringly try and get more intel than he needs. Remember, ANY intel is good intel. Do divinations do it better? Yes. Do summoned creatures? Sometimes (they can't all communicate what they're scouting back to the summoner, poor senses, poor intellect, etc). But the Rogue doesn't 100% autofail and die unless he's an idiot. That's all I'm saying.

If you only play Tier 1 campaigns, scouting isn't for you. A Scout is never going to provide you with a three-dimensional layout of an enemy lair. But, then again, it doesn't really have to either.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 06, 2011, 06:08:53 PM
...Y'know, not every foe with Telepathy and their psicrystal is going to have Mindsight. Likewise, not every undead foe is going to have Lifesight. A cleric's spell preparation is a tactical decision on the cleric's part, a monster's feat selection is much more arbitrary, and most monsters aren't by-default equipped with those two.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 06, 2011, 06:31:21 PM

 
Quote
A high level sneaky character should either play with house rules that make Mindsight less stupid or have an item of permanent Telepathic Black. But I do understand that pushing the arms race further serves little purpose.
Quick question, do you really want a scenario in which sneaking is "unbeatable?" I see people arguing for what Looks like this in someways... If you get to the point where you're 100% undetectable, and really don't have to roll the damn die, haven't you tip-toed over towards unbalance? Just curious. Should there be something that works "always". I keep thinking that, you could likely get all those defenses lined up perfectly under the right Dm, and just figure out a way to kill multiple threats ftw. Go all Omac and win D&D forever, I'm just wondering what the argument is, at all currently.
In the perfect world there is a way to hide from every perception that stays fairly on the RNG at all levels. There is an incentive to gaining a new perception because the enemy must find a new way to hide. But that's not 3.5e, so we're stuck with things like Mindsight, Lifesight, Touchsight and Transdimentional Touchsight. (Guess what? nothing can hide from those last two if combined) Mindsight also has the special privilege of being based on Telepathy, an ability which is very poorly defined(Mind affect? Two way? Mind Blank?) and is not connected to Mindsight leading to shit like that one Aberration with Telepathy 5000 miles because the authors didn't know Lords of Madness was going to fuck everyone's shit. I specifically dislike it because it's on at all times, easy to get, damn hard to block, and perfect(no roll).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 06, 2011, 06:43:49 PM
@bkdubs123

+1

And, hence the trade-offs in risks v. rewards for scouting which I mentioned a while ago. 

Also, this thread is at least kind of useful in order to list the ways in which scouts might be fucked over and possible countermeasures.  Or, alternatively, things you might want to houserule (e.g., I think we let mindshielding stop mindsight, it seemed reasonable to us though I have no sense of its RAW status) if you want to create a niche for scouting. 

fwiw, my ideal is for a scout should be good at hiding, meaning that she will be able to sneak past level appropriate foes reliably except if they are geared towards spotting (e.g., beholders or Sunic's gelugon guardsman).  In those cases they should typically have some chance, just less of one.  That's my general rubric for any character build or archetype. 

P.S.:  Midnight_v, what's "Omac" mean?  I assume you aren't referring to the DC pseudo-robots.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 06, 2011, 06:54:14 PM
If encounters CR 3 over party's ECL are the norm, and you are giving them the conditional advantage as well, it is not hard to screw up a scout. In fact, it's not hard to screw up anything. Want me to draw a hyperbole of this...? You are level 1. You are faced with Kobold Expert 1 / Sorcerer 6. He is casting as 7th level sorcerer. He ambushes you by using scroll of improved invisibility. If the campaign is heavy optimization, let's make him venerable and give him loredrake too, allright?

Hell, even using Ice Devil as an example, let's give one the Quicken SLA and Maximize SLA, allright? Ability Focus: Cone of Cold for lulz. Now, assume the coldsuperenvironment for free empower. Now let's take a reasonably optimized party. For this one, I'll use the CantripN's game. It's ECL 10, but you get 3 free LA or bonus feats, so it's a fair margin above the norm, but let's just use it as a baseline. Now, barring use of clever divinations, no one in that team has a chance of seeing the devil, so we are just going to assume that it gets to the surprise round and opens up with move action and two cones of cold, maximized and empowered, for 78+(13d6)/2 damage each. That averages to 100 damage each, rounding down.

Kirill: 124 HP, +11 Reflex.
Kalon: 75 HP, +5 Reflex.
Dann: 136 HP, +6 Reflex.
Ailil: 94 HP, +5 Reflex.
Kale: 114 HP, +5 Reflex.

Now, no one of them has Evasion or Improved Evasion, as far as I can tell. So..

Kalon is dead, no matter what. Ailil needs to succeed on two DC 22 reflex saves, giving him 4% chance of only falling unconscious, but he's out of the combat anyway. Dann has to succeed on both saves, 6.25% chance, to remain alive. Kale has to succeed in both, too, and only has 4%. Kirill is a bit better off, since succeeding on 11 gives him 25% chance of survival for the initial attack.

Now, we can quite reliably count Kale and Dann off, and let's just give it to a Kirill. The surprise round is over. Assuming the Ice Devil wasn't stupid and used flight beforehand as an SLA, and used it to position himself, the Psychic Warrior/Swiftclaw is a bit out of luck. Either way, he has +7 to initiative against the Devil's +5, assuming we didn't swap another one of the bad feats for Improved Init. Loss in this initiative means automatic death since the devil will just throw more cone of colds at him. Success means that he can take his turn, which better be running away, since he has zero ways of attacking the flying Devil. Of course, the devil has greater teleport at will, so his attempts at escape are probably cut short sooner or later, despite his impressive 50ft movement speed.

What we have here, is very probable TPK against a party composed of solid optimizers with a lot of beneficial houserules added to them, playing mostly tier 1/2/3 classes. Very. Probable. TPK. Also, certain player death. Your argument at using encounter such as this to counter a scout who is running a tier 4 class, and claiming that he cannot solo something of this magnitude, does not make any real sense. Against most parties sending one of these in these conditions is a big "fuck you" sign. Most ECL 10 parties are not encountering something like this. You might, sure, and if you enjoy really heavy optimization games, scouting role probably WILL end up in death of the scout. In fact, the game will probably end up in death of anything below tier 1 or 2. And no one claimed that a dedicated scout was either one of these.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 06, 2011, 07:08:19 PM
Hi Welcome

Ice Devil is CR 13, not 15 or 11. The Factorum in that example is 10, not 6. Try to follow along.

Even if the thing about Hide bonuses is wrong, the Ice Devil auto spots you at 100 feet. Meanwhile it has 1d20+18 Hide +10 from the snow +10 for distance = 1d20+38, therefore it still has no trouble getting results in the 40s and 50s, therefore I am still right.

Since the scout only has 1d20+13 for Spot, he auto loses. No need to even pick up the dice. Hell, the Ice Devil could be right in front of him, and 1d20+28 vs 1d20+13 still means he fails the vast majority of the time, and needs an auto win button just to have a chance. Assuming the enemy let him that close of course.

As it happens, he does have an auto win button, which I have already addressed. The following sequence of events takes place, assuming that the Ice Devil did not detect him normally:

Ice Devil and CAP Victim get to within 100 feet of each other.

CAP Victim learns there is something alive in that snowbank. He has no idea what it is. He has no idea if it's hostile. It could be some guy who got buried, or snowed in, or some burrowing animal, or any number of things that are not a hidden ambusher.

Ice Devil learns there is an Undead over there, of Int x, where x is likely an above average number due to that whole Intelligence based class thing.

Advantage: Team Monster.
You do realize that this is still a relatively inappropriate encounter for the group, right?  CR +3 isn't all, but he's got favorable terrain in which to ambush from.  Further, he still has to remove himself from his cover (most likely a move action by itself, possibly mere difficult terrain) and charge in order to attack.  Let's assume the attack hits for now: the Gelugon probably won't use Power Attack so that he can land his Slow effect, because seriously it's almost impossible to have an AC below 20 at this point by accident.  Factotum gets his Fortitude save, with a mod of, say, +10.  That's a 60% chance of slowing, but really, the Factotum doesn't care about that.

Now, for initiative.  Factotum wins, by virtue of having at least +15 Initiative to the Gelugon's +5 (4 Dex, 6 Int, 5 Nerveskitter, plus any of Improved Initiative, Eager weaponry, Quick Reconnoiter, etc.).  His turn comes up, he tumbles away, hits the Gelugon with Entangling Ectoplasm from a Djore (using Cunning Surge if need be), then makes use of a Djore of Mindlink he employed before he left the group to go on his scouting mission.  The Gelugon may or may not get another turn, during which time he will probably fail to kill the Factotum.  The party then Telestomps the Gelugon like a Necromancer from Diablo II.  Encounter over.

@Amadi: Sorry, but you're wrong.  You get 1 Standard action during the surprise round, not a full-round action.  The Gelugon also doesn't qualify for Maximize SLA [Cone of Cold] and definitely doesn't qualify for Quicken SLA [Cone of Cold].  The CL of the effect is too low.  Also, free empower for lulz is clearly not RAW.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 06, 2011, 08:01:16 PM
Free Empower came from being on the Plane of Ice or something. Sunic brought that up. It's semantic to you're point though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 08:20:29 PM
Even if the thing about Hide bonuses is wrong, the Ice Devil auto spots you at 100 feet.
You know I never disagreed with you right? Whoops, typo on the CR and the fact that both me and snakeman got confused by you talking about two parties and the same encounter might mean we are paying attention, but things are sometimes confusing and people make mistakes!

Mindsight fucks with everything. Once you get to the level where Mindsight becomes commonplace sneaking stops working. Mindsight is too perfect and fucking retarded and I think everyone knows that. That's not to say you're wrong, afterall, we're playing 3.5 and Mindsight exists. The only countermeasures are Telepathic Static from that once shitty class in FCII(which only creates a hole in the telepathy) and Telepathic Block from BoED. A high level sneaky character should either play with house rules that make Mindsight less stupid or have an item of permanent Telepathic Black. But I do understand that pushing the arms race further serves little purpose.

Mindsight does shut stealth down. But then, that's a sign stealth isn't a very high level ability, otherwise it wouldn't be so easy to negate. I mean fuck, even blindness immunity (Glitterdust) is pretty fucking rare. And that's a level 3 ability.

But really, if Mindsight exists at all, people will have it. In game 1 one person took Mindbender just to get Mindsight (though it doesn't have a cost, and does have other benefits, that was the main reason). Another took Improved Familiar just to have a Pseudodragon with Mindsight. Point is, if it exists, fucking deal with it. And I don't care that it exists.

Quote
You're pretty much right about everything that you say. A CR 13 creature who sets the terms of the fight and has time to prepare will destroy a single level 10 character. Easily. ...so? I'm asking what you're point is. Sunic, what is the point you are trying to make?

That is precisely my point. A single level 10 character, even a good one will get slaughtered by a level 13 encounter... and likely by a 12, or 11, or 10 for that matter, simply because of focus fire + can't escape. Most scouting classes of course do not qualify as a good character. Most of them are CAP bait, in fact. A party of level 10 characters however can deal with such a fight. Which means the solution is to not split the party, and send some scout off to accomplish nothing but get slaughtered. The solution is to do your recon with Divinations (wouldn't have worked well here) or something that does not involve splitting the party for the slaughter which means you do not scout, you do not waste a party slot on scouting, and you head into combat together.

I am only using "the same situation" if you define the same situation as "an ambush". Seeing as they were, indeed presented as two different examples of a party being ambushed, and each were followed up by hypotheticals as to what a level appropriate scout would have done here to prevent it (answer: nothing)... If you look at it in any more specific terms, they are obviously not the same thing, as there is an obvious difference between a mid level situation with one main guy, 4 obvious guards, and 2 not obvious guards, and a mid-high level situation with a single, Evil Outsider waiting in ambush. And this was also clearly described ahead of time.
The only situation I've seen you discussing was an ice Devil hiding in the snow, so I think I can be excused for being confused on this.  Players won't act on a time limit if they don't know one exists, so that point is irrelevant if the players don't know of any time limit.

No, I have also discussed a situation regarding picking a fight with visible humanoids, and being jumped by some hidden ones. That was presented as example 1 in fact, whereas example 2 was the Ice Devil. Check back and see.

Quote
As for being having stealth be "unbeatable", I don't want that.  However, I also don't want "auto-fail".  That is the problem with Mindsight: it beats out all but a couple of well-hidden countermeasures from often banned books.  There is just no way to sneak up on a creature with Mindsight without those countermeasures.

Scry and fry. Mindsight doesn't help against that. Even without auto win abilities though, the Ice Devil is sitting there with a check to spot it around 50, (1d20+38, assuming 100 feet) and a Spot modifier about 10 higher than yours. And unlike it, you can't benefit from the +10 for Improved Cover, because you have to move, and he doesn't.

So remove both Mindsight and Lifesight from the equation, the enemy still wins.

My argument, Midnight, is that scouts don't get auto-raped in every game unless the DM spends extra time and NPC wealth, etc making sure to add things to the enemies so that every encounter auto-rapes scouts. Sunic is trying to say that no matter what, in every game, a Scout of any level is equivalent to a corpse. He says that they can in no way ever detect opposition before it detects him and that the Scout gets murdered by traps and/or ambush every single time. Which is a bold statement indicative of his games and his games alone and thus isn't contributing much of anything in the way of valuable information to this thread.

It's not a coincidence such a character is referred to as "the Corpse". Now traps don't kill anyone unless they really suck, because only gimps die to traps. But ambushes? Yes, he gets slaughtered by them, because he's alone. Perhaps if his party was with him they could deal with the encounter.

Quote
Even in a shitty situation at low levels the Rogue can scout ahead, run into a trap, leave it be and return to the party. He's still provided valuable intel to his allies in the form of, "hey, there's a trap to the left." At which point the party can decide how best to handle the trap.

But since you keep bringing up traps, it is worth mentioning he will likely find it with his face. And while only gimps die to traps still remains true, it isn't as if the situation is different than someone else finding the trap with their face, and he is unlikely to be able to disable the trap. In fact, he's likely the worst person to find traps with his face, as Rogue type characters tend to have the worst defenses in the game, particularly Fort and Will saves.

...Y'know, not every foe with Telepathy and their psicrystal is going to have Mindsight. Likewise, not every undead foe is going to have Lifesight. A cleric's spell preparation is a tactical decision on the cleric's part, a monster's feat selection is much more arbitrary, and most monsters aren't by-default equipped with those two.

Most monsters aren't equipped with those two because sample statblocks assume only core + non core book they are in. Which means non LoM statblocks don't have Mindsight. Obviously though, no PC will be limited to core, or core + one book (and if they are, well those things aren't in the game now are they?) so why would the enemies? More than that, why would all enemies of the same type have the same feats?

When it is that fucking obvious, mostly because any genuinely good feat glows like a fucking Colossal+ creature under Lifesight yeah, they will indeed take such things early and often.

Next you will try and argue beatsticks won't take Power Attack.

Fact of the matter is, Ice Devils get 5 feats. They need not necessarily be lolAlertness, lolCleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, and Weapon Focus: Spear. Though it would probably be a good idea to leave Combat Reflexes and Power Attack alone, both because those feats are actually worth half a fuck, and because those feats say something about the nature of the creature. An Ice Devil with those two feats, Mindsight, and two other feats is still recognizable as an Ice Devil. Remove one of those two, and not so much anymore.

fwiw, my ideal is for a scout should be good at hiding, meaning that she will be able to sneak past level appropriate foes reliably except if they are geared towards spotting (e.g., beholders or Sunic's gelugon guardsman).  In those cases they should typically have some chance, just less of one.  That's my general rubric for any character build or archetype.  

Neither a Beholder nor a Gelugon is an especially good guard. The former really fails at doing anything about enemies it detects.

If encounters CR 3 over party's ECL are the norm, and you are giving them the conditional advantage as well, it is not hard to screw up a scout. In fact, it's not hard to screw up anything. Want me to draw a hyperbole of this...? You are level 1. You are faced with Kobold Expert 1 / Sorcerer 6. He is casting as 7th level sorcerer. He ambushes you by using scroll of improved invisibility. If the campaign is heavy optimization, let's make him venerable and give him loredrake too, allright?

Hi Welcome

That's 6 levels higher, not 3. And who said CR + 3 was the norm? I just said it was the case here. Not to mention 1st level characters have a lot less ability to deal with harder than routine fights than 10th level characters.

Quote
Hell, even using Ice Devil as an example, let's give one the Quicken SLA and Maximize SLA, allright? Ability Focus: Cone of Cold for lulz. Now, assume the coldsuperenvironment for free empower. Now let's take a reasonably optimized party. For this one, I'll use the CantripN's game. It's ECL 10, but you get 3 free LA or bonus feats, so it's a fair margin above the norm, but let's just use it as a baseline. Now, barring use of clever divinations, no one in that team has a chance of seeing the devil, so we are just going to assume that it gets to the surprise round and opens up with move action and two cones of cold, maximized and empowered, for 78+(13d6)/2 damage each. That averages to 100 damage each, rounding down.

Ok, you give it Quicken SLA and Maximize SLA. It can now... Quicken a 2nd level SLA or lower, and Maximize a 3rd level SLA or lower. Of course, Cone of Cold, being 5th level is an illegal target for either of these. So no, no you fucking don't, because that is an illegal move. And before you say it, Sudden Maximize is also illegal for the Ice Devil for multiple reasons. And applying Ability Focus to Cone of Cold is a somewhat dubious ruling, but let's say that's allowed. Anyways, the environment, which was a Risia manifest zone by the way, and the party did detect this in advance and went in anyways. So instead of doing 13d3+78, it does 13d6 + 13d3. Which turned out to be 74, by the way. And for what it's worth, the whole party saved (one person would have failed if he didn't AP it) taking either 0, 27, or 37 damage (the Druid's AC had Evasion, the undead Cleric had cold resist 10, everyone else had nothing).

Quote
Kirill: 124 HP, +11 Reflex.
Kalon: 75 HP, +5 Reflex.
Dann: 136 HP, +6 Reflex.
Ailil: 94 HP, +5 Reflex.
Kale: 114 HP, +5 Reflex.

You guys have better HP, but you have terrible saves. Someone doesn't believe in IP proofing, I see. This party has:

Animal companion: 111, +15 Ref
Leshrac: 95, +13 Ref.
Mit: 77, +11 Ref.
Rodion: 68, +12 Ref normally (+15 with current short term buff).
Tanika: 83, +18 Ref.

And a random 10 headed hydra zombie: 147, +7 Ref.

Quote
Now, no one of them has Evasion or Improved Evasion, as far as I can tell. So..

Kalon is dead, no matter what. Ailil needs to succeed on two DC 22 reflex saves, giving him 4% chance of only falling unconscious, but he's out of the combat anyway. Dann has to succeed on both saves, 6.25% chance, to remain alive. Kale has to succeed in both, too, and only has 4%. Kirill is a bit better off, since succeeding on 11 gives him 25% chance of survival for the initial attack.

Now, we can quite reliably count Kale and Dann off, and let's just give it to a Kirill. The surprise round is over. Assuming the Ice Devil wasn't stupid and used flight beforehand as an SLA, and used it to position himself, the Psychic Warrior/Swiftclaw is a bit out of luck. Either way, he has +7 to initiative against the Devil's +5, assuming we didn't swap another one of the bad feats for Improved Init. Loss in this initiative means automatic death since the devil will just throw more cone of colds at him. Success means that he can take his turn, which better be running away, since he has zero ways of attacking the flying Devil. Of course, the devil has greater teleport at will, so his attempts at escape are probably cut short sooner or later, despite his impressive 50ft movement speed.

No Improved Initiative. The rest is invalid, as the Ice Devil does not have the prerequisite CL 16 for Maximize SLA: CoC and does not have the prerequisite CL 18 for Quicken SLA: CoC.

Quote
What we have here, is very probable TPK against a party composed of solid optimizers with a lot of beneficial houserules added to them, playing mostly tier 1/2/3 classes. Very. Probable. TPK. Also, certain player death. Your argument at using encounter such as this to counter a scout who is running a tier 4 class, and claiming that he cannot solo something of this magnitude, does not make any real sense. Against most parties sending one of these in these conditions is a big "fuck you" sign. Most ECL 10 parties are not encountering something like this. You might, sure, and if you enjoy really heavy optimization games, scouting role probably WILL end up in death of the scout. In fact, the game will probably end up in death of anything below tier 1 or 2. And no one claimed that a dedicated scout was either one of these.

It's a good thing the actual rules of the actual game do not work that way now isn't it?

If you play by the actual rules of the actual game it gets Empowered Cone of Colds, and that's it. A Mass Resist Energy, and saving cuts the same to about a quarter, if that high. You guys might have problems due to your very obvious lack of IP proofing measures, but winning should not be a problem.

And what do you know, because it does only benefit from the location trait, it's not optimized towards cold at all. It has only its innate abilities, and location, location, location. Not to mention, one of the PCs makes every fucking spell he casts [Cold], so he gets auto Empower and Enlarge on everything... the Ice Devil just gets better blasting. That's hardly favoring the enemy.

As for the rest:

Large, 23 Str without buffs, magical flight speed. It busts out of the snowbank and flies over like something out of DBZ. It uses a move action to close to Cone of Cold range, and a Standard to use it. It could auto attack instead, but why?

Ok, you make a ranged touch attack with your 3 PP Entangling Ectoplasm Dorje. What's your + to hit? Because it's most likely not auto hit material. If it does hit, it takes some minor penalties to auto attacking and touch AC, but it auto passes the check to keep using its SLAs, so you wasted your turn.

It, meanwhile gets two turns on you, so that's two Empowered Cone of Colds to the face. Even if you pass both saves, that's an average of 68.25 points of damage. And he only has 75 HP, or 70.5 without house rules. Slightly above average damage, or failing either save means he's dead.

So let's say the party is waiting, and he says Dimension Door, xxx feet ahead. Ok, party arrives. They find their scout slaughtered, and the Ice Devil looking rather amused. At this point he has several options:

1: Nuke the fucking fuckers, since they nicely clustered for him.
2: Greater Teleport, about 800 feet straight up, and be a dick with Empowered Ice Storm (which by the way, has a max range of 1,020 feet when Enlarged at CL 13). Not very high damage, but it's also well out of range of most anything. This also lets the minor debuff wear off.
3: Grab slaughtered scout (being Small size, this should not result in exceeding the 50 pounds of objects clause) and leave. So much for raising him. He can come back later to work on the rest of the party.

The solution, again is to not split the fucking party, because if you don't split the party, you can take down the Ice Devil before it takes you down, instead of doing the dividing for it, leaving it to conquer.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 06, 2011, 08:32:42 PM
[quote author=Sunic_Flames link=topic=10926.msg374913#msg374913 date=1297034429
Mindsight does shut stealth down. But then, that's a sign stealth isn't a very high level ability, otherwise it wouldn't be so easy to negate. I mean fuck, even blindness immunity (Glitterdust) is pretty fucking rare. And that's a level 3 ability.

But really, if Mindsight exists at all, people will have it. In game 1 one person took Mindbender just to get Mindsight (though it doesn't have a cost, and does have other benefits, that was the main reason). Another took Improved Familiar just to have a Pseudodragon with Mindsight. Point is, if it exists, fucking deal with it. And I don't care that it exists.

That is precisely my point. A single level 10 character, even a good one will get slaughtered by a level 13 encounter... and likely by a 12, or 11, or 10 for that matter, simply because of focus fire + can't escape. Most scouting classes of course do not qualify as a good character. Most of them are CAP bait, in fact. A party of level 10 characters however can deal with such a fight. Which means the solution is to not split the party, and send some scout off to accomplish nothing but get slaughtered. The solution is to do your recon with Divinations (wouldn't have worked well here) or something that does not involve splitting the party for the slaughter which means you do not scout, you do not waste a party slot on scouting, and you head into combat together.[/quote]We agree about Mindsight then. Yep. To you're main point, once again, yep. If this is how the table runs games* then scouting at anything past level 4 isn't going to work very well.

*There is no judgment in this statement. This seems like a fun encounter from an intelligent DM for an intelligent group of players.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 06, 2011, 08:53:12 PM
God, hard to keep up with this thread.  I just want to be clear Sunic... you think Necropolitan Whispergnomes are TO, but Ice Devils that the DM has customized to attack you and are waiting for you while buried to their heads in snow and are well above your level are perfectly standard?  Really?  After your T-Rex comment I think it's clear that YOU are the one who plays at what everyone else would call TO levels.  I mean damn, I was talking about a 3-5ish level character (the armor spikes were a later in the game thing).  You never actually specified your little wall scenario's level, though you said +1 Eager Armor Spikes of Warning are half your WBL, which suggests it's somewhat lower level...  what level are we even talking about?  As for why I picked that race combo... that's what I most recently played when I was a stealthy character.  In a less optimized game, Halfling usually gets the job done (but you rarely see enemies with Lifesight in most games).  As for the Dark template, you can purchase that with a single item, so why are we assuming that it's so hard to sneak around without exposing yourself?  What is this fictional place where a bunch of guards can hide behind a low wall successfully, but no one can possibly get in to a position to look over said wall without exposing themself automatically... and why don't the PCs take one look at such a position and say "wow, this is an obvious ambush, we're leaving."

But seriously, what race/class combo you use depends on optimization level of the game.  In the majority of games I've seen, Halfling with Darkstalker is sufficient (and to the guy who thought dog patrols help, Darkstalker avoids scent).  Go up a bit, and Whispergnome with Darkstalker deals with anything (Darkstalker is kind of a given).  In the sort of games where everyone's a crazy paranoid caster spamming touchsight where the monsters are optimized to have full spot ranks all the time and creatures have Mindsight constantly, yeah, you need a Necropolitan Whispergnome with Lifesight, Darkstalker, and maybe even a Mindbender dip for Mindsight, and heck if the DM's optimizing to spot you Item Familiar becomes something to bring in.  After all, this is a game where everything's a T1 class or ridiculously optimized specifically to go against you.  Heck, if you give me a level and the types of enemies expected, I could give you a specific optimization level stealther who fits in such a game.

As to being undead: it's great.  I know you play games where everything hits like crazy and is pumped up WELL beyond the way the game is meant to be played (and don't seem to realize that's not standard) but consider for the moment that a stealther class usually has d6 or d8 HD.  As such, going Necropolitan near a Desecrated Evil Alter and getting D12+2 HP/HD is equivalent to having 18-20 Con, except you can dump your con score and thus have less MAD.  Do it using a level 8 Dread Necromancer or a UA Variant Necromancer is even better, as it's now D12+4 HP/HD and you get a free enhancement bonus to dex and str (the former matters early on until you can reasonably afford a +6 item, the latter is just sorta handy in general).  And yes, Disguise means nobody hits you with specific anti-undead stuff.  It's great that way, and it's one of few things that True Seeing just fails against entirely.  

And really, why do you say only casters can have enough initiative?  Were those guards all Wizards or something? Is your game NOTHING but Wizards?  And why are they able to have initiatives that are so insanely high?  And why do you think scouting means you leave the party entirely?  Remember that Listen and Spot checks have distance based penalties.  If the party is 200 feet away, that's a -20 to notice them at all... and virtually no always on detections can hope to spot them.  Teleporting back (60 feet, IIRC) and then moving in the first round while the party runs up to you means you're now with them.  Not that difficult.

Look, at the end of the day you have to build any character to do any role in a way that fits the campaign.  In a high optimization campaign, you have to pull out all the stops (Shadow Necropolitan Whispergnome Factotum with LA pay down using Darkstalker, Lifesight, and a 1 level dip in Mindbender for Mindsight while pumping his skills with an Item Familiar, grabbing a collar of umbral metamorphosis for an LA free dark template, and a two level dip in Unarmed Swordsage so he can teleport everywhere).  In a more normal campaign, you build something more appropriate (Halfling with Darkstalker and a few decent stealth based items).  In a low optimization campaign, a Halfling with max ranks in Hide will probably suffice.  There are ways around virtually every method of detection, and unless the DM is specifically out to make your role impossible it should be perfectly workable... but that's true for everything.  I don't say Wizards are worthless because everywhere has giant Antimagic Fields up all the time.  These scenarios were it's completely impossible to scout because there's Touchsight up are just as silly.  Likewise, the ones where everyone can totally spot the stealther automatically.  That's not how most people play the game, and CERTAINLY not how it's written.  

To be clear, the game as written says that the guards should be Fighters (yes, Fighters, the guys with no ranks in spot).  Most enemies have very few spot ranks.  While Blindsense and Scent are reasonably common, Mindsight and Touchsight are virtually unheard of.  If you check the population lists given, there's not enough casters to be regular threats especially as you get to higher levels.  This game where everything's CR +3 above you, optimized to spot, got all sorts of autodetection abilities up, and everything's a caster... that's not the game as written, that's a very specific campaign type that Sunic runs but very few others do.  He plays a game where the population is NOTHING like the ones written in the books, where everyone's optimized to be a threat to the players.  That's his play style and that's fine, but that's not standard, and to try to draw any conclusions from it is foolish.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 06, 2011, 08:58:41 PM
Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.

You can get the Maximize through Sudden Maximize, however. If we are to try stuff, use the modification from Fiendish Codex II, removing the summon ability from the devil, and give it two feats instead, and we can get Sudden Quicken, too, using all our feats for the preregs. Sure, now it can only do this once and the save DC is only 20 rather than 22, but you get Sudden Empower, too.

EDIT: I gotta agree with you, though. It's just that it's pretty easy to make a few switches to average monsters and make them completely roflstomp most parties of a given ECL, and that a monster 3 CR higher to beat a scout doesn't exactly prove that scouting is weak. I also agree about the defenses. My application had..

105 HP, +11 Reflex, SR 27 (Along with AC about 10 higher than the average in the party, apparently. And ability to redirect ranged attacks.)

And I was worried about being easy to kill. I was kind of amused to see the defenses of the other players, to be fair. A team without defensive capabilities to survive encounter like that probably should die, but still, most players do not get high enough defenses to survive that, and to those players, Scout is fairly reasonable option.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Shadowhunter on February 06, 2011, 11:25:23 PM
...Y'know, not every foe with Telepathy and their psicrystal is going to have Mindsight. Likewise, not every undead foe is going to have Lifesight. A cleric's spell preparation is a tactical decision on the cleric's part, a monster's feat selection is much more arbitrary, and most monsters aren't by-default equipped with those two.

Most monsters aren't equipped with those two because sample statblocks assume only core + non core book they are in. Which means non LoM statblocks don't have Mindsight. Obviously though, no PC will be limited to core, or core + one book (and if they are, well those things aren't in the game now are they?) so why would the enemies? More than that, why would all enemies of the same type have the same feats?

When it is that fucking obvious, mostly because any genuinely good feat glows like a fucking Colossal+ creature under Lifesight yeah, they will indeed take such things early and often.

Next you will try and argue beatsticks won't take Power Attack.

Fact of the matter is, Ice Devils get 5 feats. They need not necessarily be lolAlertness, lolCleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, and Weapon Focus: Spear. Though it would probably be a good idea to leave Combat Reflexes and Power Attack alone, both because those feats are actually worth half a fuck, and because those feats say something about the nature of the creature. An Ice Devil with those two feats, Mindsight, and two other feats is still recognizable as an Ice Devil. Remove one of those two, and not so much anymore.

Not all monsters would have the same feats.
By that logic, not all monsters would have the same general feat choices.
By that logic, not all monsters would have Mindsight.

This is a Perception issue with me. Now, this is only my opinion and I usually find Perception issues to be something not worth arguing about, since it won't lead anywhere, but regardless:

A monster doesn't pick up a feat. The DM does.
A character doesn't pick up a feat, the player does.

Picking a feat is a very conscious choice from the player, he or she decided where to go with the character.
I fail too see how an Outsider always will know of Mindsight.
Feats aren't like different brands of shields in a store. You can't just peruse the entire collection and decide what to choose as a character/creature.

As a player, sure. But not as a random creature.
So that monsters would pick up Feats because they would be dumb not to pick it, it doesn't sit right with me.


Justifying taking a feat with the rationale "It would only be the most logical choice for the character to do so" doesn't sit right with me.
Maybe it's just my view upon Feats. I can't manage to verbalize what's bugging me, does anyone understand what I'm trying to get to here?


Bah, I give up. As usual, there's no point in arguing Perception issues since there is no Hard Truth. My way of seeing it is just as valid as others.
*sigh*
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 06, 2011, 11:39:34 PM
It's not a coincidence such a character is referred to as "the Corpse". Now traps don't kill anyone unless they really suck, because only gimps die to traps. But ambushes? Yes, he gets slaughtered by them, because he's alone. Perhaps if his party was with him they could deal with the encounter.

I just have to wonder why you assume that everytime a Scout attempt to get recon the he's going to get auto-ambush-murdered.

Quote
But since you keep bringing up traps, it is worth mentioning he will likely find it with his face. And while only gimps die to traps still remains true, it isn't as if the situation is different than someone else finding the trap with their face, and he is unlikely to be able to disable the trap. In fact, he's likely the worst person to find traps with his face, as Rogue type characters tend to have the worst defenses in the game, particularly Fort and Will saves.

Well, I only brought up traps because MidnightV started to bring up traps. And, again you're auto-assuming that the Scout is incompetent and just fails at his job no matter what. Just like with the auto-ambush-death-syndrome (from this moment forward to be referred to as AADS), I'm left wondering why you assume that the Scout has no ability at all to detect traps let alone disable them. An eternal wand of Detect Magic costs, what, 360gp? And with all of their skill points any scout character should have Search. So, I'd say he's got a pretty good chance to detect the trap, but I won't make anything of his ability to disarm said trap.

But really, I'm just interested in more evidence as to why you think a Scout gets auto-ambushed everytime he scouts ahead. The Ice Devil example, you have to admit, is obviously stacked against any party not employing powerful divinations.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 06, 2011, 11:42:06 PM
...Y'know, not every foe with Telepathy and their psicrystal is going to have Mindsight. Likewise, not every undead foe is going to have Lifesight. A cleric's spell preparation is a tactical decision on the cleric's part, a monster's feat selection is much more arbitrary, and most monsters aren't by-default equipped with those two.

Most monsters aren't equipped with those two because sample statblocks assume only core + non core book they are in. Which means non LoM statblocks don't have Mindsight. Obviously though, no PC will be limited to core, or core + one book (and if they are, well those things aren't in the game now are they?) so why would the enemies? More than that, why would all enemies of the same type have the same feats?

When it is that fucking obvious, mostly because any genuinely good feat glows like a fucking Colossal+ creature under Lifesight yeah, they will indeed take such things early and often.

Next you will try and argue beatsticks won't take Power Attack.

Fact of the matter is, Ice Devils get 5 feats. They need not necessarily be lolAlertness, lolCleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, and Weapon Focus: Spear. Though it would probably be a good idea to leave Combat Reflexes and Power Attack alone, both because those feats are actually worth half a fuck, and because those feats say something about the nature of the creature. An Ice Devil with those two feats, Mindsight, and two other feats is still recognizable as an Ice Devil. Remove one of those two, and not so much anymore.

Not all monsters would have the same feats.
By that logic, not all monsters would have the same general feat choices.
By that logic, not all monsters would have Mindsight.

This is a Perception issue with me. Now, this is only my opinion and I usually find Perception issues to be something not worth arguing about, since it won't lead anywhere, but regardless:

A monster doesn't pick up a feat. The DM does.
A character doesn't pick up a feat, the player does.

Picking a feat is a very conscious choice from the player, he or she decided where to go with the character.
I fail too see how an Outsider always will know of Mindsight.
Feats aren't like different brands of shields in a store. You can't just peruse the entire collection and decide what to choose as a character/creature.

As a player, sure. But not as a random creature.
So that monsters would pick up Feats because they would be dumb not to pick it, it doesn't sit right with me.


Justifying taking a feat with the rationale "It would only be the most logical choice for the character to do so" doesn't sit right with me.
Maybe it's just my view upon Feats. I can't manage to verbalize what's bugging me, does anyone understand what I'm trying to get to here?


Bah, I give up. As usual, there's no point in arguing Perception issues since there is no Hard Truth. My way of seeing it is just as valid as others.
*sigh*

I know what you mean. Very few guys are going to, say, choose to have a soul tainted by negative energy, be born on the full moon, be born into a merchant family, or such.

They might choose to take a particular metamagic feat or study how to bind a particular vestige, though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 06, 2011, 11:50:02 PM
Just to be clear on this ice devil example, we're talking about a CR 13 base monster, in a favorable environment, who's got a planned out ambush ready (and evidently is ready to ambush anything he detects... that 18 Int scout could easily have been an 18 Int level 20 Vampire Warblade, for all he knew), who evidently just sits in snow all day waiting to ambush stuff, and who's been optimized by the DM to be much stronger than normal.  What's the CR on that encounter, somewhere in the 18+ range?  And we're surprised that a level 10 scout might have trouble with such an ambush?  Please.

But if the scout had been playing intelligently, he'd still see a glow in the snow (yay lifesight).  He'd stop about 130 feet out (staying out of range of most area detection abilities, truesight caps at 120 and mot Mindsight types cap at 100) and circle the target, making sure it's just one enemy.  Then he notifies the party (he's got Mindsight so I guess he must have Telepathy), perhaps moving back a touch to do so, and the whole party now sneaks up (remember, there's huge distance penalties to spot, and this ice demon is burried up to his head), ready to engage a possible snow ambush.  Perhaps they send a disposable thing up ahead (like a summoned creature) to trigger the ambush so the Ice Demon ruins his surprise killing a summoned creature and then gets jumped by the whole party.  Or perhaps they just go around it (if they're in hostile territory where the chances of it being a friendly thing waiting in the snow are low) and get exp for having bypassed this ludicrous CR encounter.  Heck, I'm pretty sure my players would have just opened with Glitterdust, taking held actions in the surprise round to destroy this thing on the way in, and gone from there... if it's friendly you haven't actually harmed it and now you can see it.  If it's dangerous you're starting on the right foot.

If they hadn't had this scout, they'd have blundered straight into it, and since it was already established that this Ice Demon can one round TKO any PC (that was the argument, right?  The scout is doomed because the enemy will kill him before he can escape), that's one dead PC at least, instantly, with no hope.  Divination likely wouldn't have found the guy.  Sounds like scouting was critical here.  Remember, if something's powerful enough to instantly kill the scout before he can escape, and stealthy enough to see the scout before the scout can see him, then it's going to kill a party member if the scout's not there.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 11:58:41 PM
Quote
P.S.:  Midnight_v, what's "Omac" mean?  I assume you aren't referring to the DC pseudo-robots.
... I am ashamed to admit that in someway yes I was referencing them... but only that Omac is an acronym that stands for "One Man Army Corps" not that I'm suggesting anybody actually be a construct or some such nonsense, sorry, I'd just left my FLGS. Guess I had'em on my mind subconciously.

Quote
But since you keep bringing up traps, it is worth mentioning he will likely find it with his face. And while only gimps die to traps still remains true, it isn't as if the situation is different than someone else finding the trap with their face, and he is unlikely to be able to disable the trap
Now he's right that was me. I wasn't suggesting that they'd kill the dude outright just that they are a factor.
Also the person saying that the necro-whipsperer was a little non-standard for what people are thinking of when they make their pc. Gray-mouser maybe, Hanzo Hattori perhaps, its just one of those things trotted out for arms racing. Frankly I don't approve of that method of deliberation at all, anymore. So much so that I honestly skipped the ice devil portion of this convo in its entire, a lot of that stuff is irrelavant.
 Yeah, and maybe some info on properly playing steathers will come from this but I hope it not along the lines of necro-whisperer, for the record I've argued against stuff like that in another thread about my favorite archtype "the guy with the sword" too. Half-minotaur/Feral/Whitedragonspawn/Mineral Warriors... or whatever, just tilt the game in someways to me, I guess. ymmv.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bauglir on February 07, 2011, 12:14:05 AM
To be perfectly fair to Sunic, he's apparently mostly using hyperbole, because he seems to believe constantly using it makes his posts more interesting (presumably, he's right in that they do, to him). His real point seems to be that it only needs to happen once, and over a long campaign the odds of it happening once approach 1 no matter how high your character's modifiers are. Especially since the campaign is kind of lame if your character can always apply the same strategy.

I disagree with his conclusion, because the defenses he's talking about probably only exist and are active at the right time in a fraction of encounters, and your odds of being discovered on a given one are very small; only over a very long campaign (1 year+, in my experience) would the odds of being both caught and subsequently thwarted in your fallback clusterfuck-resolving plans become likely.

But that may be a difference in the setup of my campaigns; they're typically standalone stories, with a particular goal, that conclude when they're finished. In that setting, I can also dictate XP rewards based on accomplishing goals, rather than murder, giving PCs a reason to try and bypass encounters they might not win, among other things. This is very much not the default assumption the rules present, which is essentially that you are an Adventuring Group that has an established residence and Goes On Adventures for a living (and thus saving the world is incidental to making rent) with downtime in between, and rare connections between adventures, if any.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 07, 2011, 12:20:40 AM
In a game where you're constantly dealing with stuff like CR 18ish encounters at level 10 (like the Ice Devil that's been optimized in a favorable environment and who's prepared an ambush waiting for you), the stealthers had darn well better be shadow necropolitan whispergnomes with item familiars, life sight, and the works... and I'd imagine the melee types ought to be Half Minotaur Mineral Warrior Lolth Touched Water Orcs with Shock Trooper.  You'd have to be to keep up in a game that's so far removed from how the game is actually designed to be played.  There's a reason Sunic thinks only casters can survive... he's playing games where T1 is not only allowed, but standard.  Most of what he talks about requires things that other games would call TO to begin with.

In a game that fits how things are actually designed though?  Halfling ought to get the job done.  Just take max ranks in hide, get Darkstalker, and get a few decent magic items to boost move silently and hide (eventually a collar of umbral metamorphosis).  You should be fine with that.  A decent stealther should be able to detect enemies easily (mindsight and lifesight are great for this, but even a decent spot score helps.  A Blindfold of True Darkness is handy if you're willing to take it off and put it on a bunch while sneaking about), should be able to hide from virtually anything at some range, and should be able to escape when things go bad.  This actually isn't all that difficult.  Whispergnomes are obviously better for this, just as Orcs are better than Half Orcs at being melee types (usually).  But really, a good scout is quite important, ESPECIALLY when the DM throws nasty encounters involving ambushes at you.  Getting the surprise round instead of your opponents getting it is pretty key.

Either way, it's perfectly possible to build a decent stealther type for pretty much any game style.  And it's useful, but not always as fun if the rest of the party can't do stealth as well.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 07, 2011, 12:34:36 AM
As for the rest:

Large, 23 Str without buffs, magical flight speed. It busts out of the snowbank and flies over like something out of DBZ. It uses a move action to close to Cone of Cold range, and a Standard to use it. It could auto attack instead, but why?

Ok, you make a ranged touch attack with your 3 PP Entangling Ectoplasm Dorje. What's your + to hit? Because it's most likely not auto hit material. If it does hit, it takes some minor penalties to auto attacking and touch AC, but it auto passes the check to keep using its SLAs, so you wasted your turn.

It, meanwhile gets two turns on you, so that's two Empowered Cone of Colds to the face. Even if you pass both saves, that's an average of 68.25 points of damage. And he only has 75 HP, or 70.5 without house rules. Slightly above average damage, or failing either save means he's dead.

So let's say the party is waiting, and he says Dimension Door, xxx feet ahead. Ok, party arrives. They find their scout slaughtered, and the Ice Devil looking rather amused. At this point he has several options:

1: Nuke the fucking fuckers, since they nicely clustered for him.
2: Greater Teleport, about 800 feet straight up, and be a dick with Empowered Ice Storm (which by the way, has a max range of 1,020 feet when Enlarged at CL 13). Not very high damage, but it's also well out of range of most anything. This also lets the minor debuff wear off.
3: Grab slaughtered scout (being Small size, this should not result in exceeding the 50 pounds of objects clause) and leave. So much for raising him. He can come back later to work on the rest of the party.

The solution, again is to not split the fucking party, because if you don't split the party, you can take down the Ice Devil before it takes you down, instead of doing the dividing for it, leaving it to conquer.
1) Large means it takes that much more snow for him to bury himself.  This isn't DBZ, this is D&D.  There are actually some relevant rules for this in Frostbun (go figure) saying that the Gelugon needs to spend at least 4 squares of movement to un-bury himself.  However, that's probably not enough to actually get the Improved Cover you're using to hide your ass.  In order to get that, you probably have to actually bury your ass in the snow, meaning that it takes a full-round action to move out of the snowbank (better to just Teleport, but you're not getting a Cone of Cold doing that).

2) +to hit is WAY FUCKING MORE than enough to hit a piddly 14 touch AC.  Also, it's now moving at half speed.  Sure, it can teleport, but teleporting is a standard action that it's not using to flail impotently at the PCs.

3) If the Gelugon has free empowers for being on the plane of ice, then lets assume that the Party isn't a bunch of tards and gave everyone cold resist.  Plane of Ice, Cold Resist... I know, it's like they're fucking clairvoyant or something.  Extended Mass Resist Cold at CL 12 is easily doable at this point, meaning that everyone has Resist Cold 30 for 8 hours.  Congrats, your Gelugon just did about 31 points of damage to a single character in two rounds, or dick squat if he makes his reflex save (tip: he'll make his reflex saves).

4) When the party teleports in, the Cleric casts Align Weapon on the Beatstick's sword and the Beatstick goes all ubercharger on it's face.  This is the first full round of combat, the Gelugon has already failed to poke the Factotum and dies, horribly.  The Gelugon doesn't get to act because the party was intelligent and has everyone delay until the end of round 1 instead of waiting to act randomly throughout the order on round 2.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 01:10:47 AM
What I was on about with the dog patrols is that, while a creature with Scent needs to make a Spot/Listen check to notice one with Darkstalker, the same is not true for tracking a creature with Darkstalker.  A dog patrol can pick up the scent trail and, while it won't tell the enemy where the scout is, it will alert them to an intruder.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 07, 2011, 04:45:36 AM
The track thing is actually pretty clever.  Though note that the wording of Darkstalker says that when you hide, they need to make a spot or listen check to notice you if you have scent.  Noticing their trail is pretty much the same as noticing you, so one could argue an opposed check is required (survival would be more appropriate, but the feat says Spot or Listen).  But even ignoring that, here's what you're dealing with:

Quote from: SRD
A creature with the Track feat and the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10. The DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Track feat. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

...

False, powerful odors can easily mask other scents. The presence of such an odor completely spoils the ability to properly detect or identify creatures, and the base Survival DC to track becomes 20 rather than 10.

So, assuming our infiltrator is at all clever, he's going to first make himself smell like something else, preferably something native to the area (a skunk, or the musk of a local daemon, or flower pollen... whatever's appropriate to the area).  He's not going to coat himself in it (then other stuff would smell him when he got close) but rather just have vials with samples of whatever the strong scent is which he keeps one of open as he moves, swapping once every hundred feet or so.  As such, we're looking at a DC 21 (10, +10 for false scent, +1 for small size) to start.  That's pretty good for avoiding tracking, and note that most dogs don't actually have an amazing survival score (+4 or so?).  But note this isn't an issue at all when we're talking about the standard "scout for the party" model... the party will be tracked before the scout will anyway.  You don't go THAT far ahead of the party.  You only go far enough ahead that forward enemies won't see the party before you find them, then you go back and report and the party makes a battle plan.  So this whole thing only applies at all when you're infiltrating as an entire party in a stealth group... in which case plan accordingly (like, see where the dog patrols go, then teleport past that point via Shadow Jaunt or similar).

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 07, 2011, 07:43:21 AM
I STILL want to see how you recon ALL DAY with divinations. Because if it can be done, I really want to know how to do it.

Assume the following scenario:

The party, let's say once for ECL 7 or so, and once for ECL 10, so that teleport is at least available, moves into hostile territory through a border that is not hermetically sealed off - there are guards, guard towers/stations, and forts, but no 20km long and 5m high wall of autodetect with cameras, machine gun turrets and a mine field. The terrain is varied, aerial guards are to be expected in difficult terrain. Expect the guards to have at most a CR of ECL-3 or so, commanders at CR=ECL, enemy leaders at ECL+2, in a game where, yes, Tier 3s can PLAY!

The party has to reconnoitre a specific thing, or do a specific mission, without knowing clearly where that goal or target is. You also expect any fortifications in the area to be shielded with Mage's Private Sanctum and/or Anticipate Teleport.

The distance to be travelled is large, assume several days of travel, and no 5-minute workday.

The enemy may or may not know that someone is going to infiltrate them.

What do you do? At ECL 7 and ECL 10?

Specify divinations cast, questions asked, or procedure.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 07, 2011, 11:55:04 AM
Specify divinations cast, questions asked, or procedure.

I hire Maug Wizard 20 for 45 gold.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BrokeAndDrive on February 07, 2011, 12:09:14 PM
I hire Mog Wizard 20 for 45 chocobos.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 12:32:05 PM
Mindsight does shut stealth down. But then, that's a sign stealth isn't a very high level ability, otherwise it wouldn't be so easy to negate. I mean fuck, even blindness immunity (Glitterdust) is pretty fucking rare. And that's a level 3 ability.

But really, if Mindsight exists at all, people will have it. In game 1 one person took Mindbender just to get Mindsight (though it doesn't have a cost, and does have other benefits, that was the main reason). Another took Improved Familiar just to have a Pseudodragon with Mindsight. Point is, if it exists, fucking deal with it. And I don't care that it exists.

That is precisely my point. A single level 10 character, even a good one will get slaughtered by a level 13 encounter... and likely by a 12, or 11, or 10 for that matter, simply because of focus fire + can't escape. Most scouting classes of course do not qualify as a good character. Most of them are CAP bait, in fact. A party of level 10 characters however can deal with such a fight. Which means the solution is to not split the party, and send some scout off to accomplish nothing but get slaughtered. The solution is to do your recon with Divinations (wouldn't have worked well here) or something that does not involve splitting the party for the slaughter which means you do not scout, you do not waste a party slot on scouting, and you head into combat together.
We agree about Mindsight then. Yep. To you're main point, once again, yep. If this is how the table runs games* then scouting at anything past level 4 isn't going to work very well.

*There is no judgment in this statement. This seems like a fun encounter from an intelligent DM for an intelligent group of players.

It hardly matters who is DMing. See, that's the thing the "lol scouting is totally viable" crowd is missing. They go and make some Necropolitian Whisper Gnome Dark Factorum or what the fuck ever, and I say ok. I then cite an actual example from an actual game of an enemy with a decent Spot score (which they have by default) and with one feat different (Mindsight) and people start whining and flailing about "super optimizing vs stealth". Bitch, please. They're barely trying, and Team Monster is still winning. That smite, obviously is not directed at you, but the comment is.

Since, as proven the slightest effort negates someone going all out for stealth, the only way stealth works is with deliberate and blatant coddling. Not even beatsticks need this much coddling to do their fucking jobs.

Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.

You can get the Maximize through Sudden Maximize, however. If we are to try stuff, use the modification from Fiendish Codex II, removing the summon ability from the devil, and give it two feats instead, and we can get Sudden Quicken, too, using all our feats for the preregs. Sure, now it can only do this once and the save DC is only 20 rather than 22, but you get Sudden Empower, too.

Sudden Maximize requires another metamagic feat. It also is ambiguous if it even works on SLAs. The original draft actually did have Sudden Maximize. I then actually looked at the feat and realized that was an illegal move. As for losing summons for feats, it kinda needed the summons.

Quote
EDIT: I gotta agree with you, though. It's just that it's pretty easy to make a few switches to average monsters and make them completely roflstomp most parties of a given ECL, and that a monster 3 CR higher to beat a scout doesn't exactly prove that scouting is weak. I also agree about the defenses. My application had..

Well no. Most feats are completely useless. Even replacing them with feats that are not useless doesn't change that much. And no PC is going to be running around with over half their feats spent on stuff like Alertness. At least, not one that hasn't been slaughtered 3 dozen times already.

Quote
105 HP, +11 Reflex, SR 27 (Along with AC about 10 higher than the average in the party, apparently. And ability to redirect ranged attacks.)

And I was worried about being easy to kill. I was kind of amused to see the defenses of the other players, to be fair. A team without defensive capabilities to survive encounter like that probably should die, but still, most players do not get high enough defenses to survive that, and to those players, Scout is fairly reasonable option.

Upon seeing that, I am quite disappointed in the optimization skills of those involved. But in such a group, that's all the more reason to not split the party, as the scout will be easy to slaughter too. He probably won't last two rounds to warn the party, for example.

It's not a coincidence such a character is referred to as "the Corpse". Now traps don't kill anyone unless they really suck, because only gimps die to traps. But ambushes? Yes, he gets slaughtered by them, because he's alone. Perhaps if his party was with him they could deal with the encounter.

I just have to wonder why you assume that everytime a Scout attempt to get recon the he's going to get auto-ambush-murdered.

Mostly because they are. Enemies are better than them, and the enemies strong enough to give the full party a good fight can easily slaughter a soloer, even a good soloer, of which scouts do not qualify.

Quote
Well, I only brought up traps because MidnightV started to bring up traps. And, again you're auto-assuming that the Scout is incompetent and just fails at his job no matter what. Just like with the auto-ambush-death-syndrome (from this moment forward to be referred to as AADS), I'm left wondering why you assume that the Scout has no ability at all to detect traps let alone disable them. An eternal wand of Detect Magic costs, what, 360gp? And with all of their skill points any scout character should have Search. So, I'd say he's got a pretty good chance to detect the trap, but I won't make anything of his ability to disarm said trap.

But really, I'm just interested in more evidence as to why you think a Scout gets auto-ambushed everytime he scouts ahead. The Ice Devil example, you have to admit, is obviously stacked against any party not employing powerful divinations.

The DC to find and disable traps is 24 + CR. So at level 10, the traps are DC 34. Eternal Wand of Detect Magic is only 460 gold, but it only lasts one minute, and it takes 3 rounds to determine if there is something there. You can also only use it twice a day. So let's see, 13 ranks + stat vs DC 34. You tell me what the odds are.

The Ice Devil, meanwhile has a Hide of +18. At level 13. Considering that Jaron's "Scouts don't fail at life, honest" character could have apparently exceeded this number at level 3, the constant claims that Team Monster is going over the top are of course completely laughable. Yes it adds Improved Cover and distance to that, but considering that the ambushers in the other, lower level game had a higher stealth modifier, and were lower level than the party (who is 7) simply because they, unlike the Ice Devil actually tried a little... yeah, it's safe to say that line of argument completely and utterly fails.

Here is the fact of the matter. The "Scouts don't fail, honest" crowd is exactly like the Monks don't fail, honest crowd.

This crowd thinks they can show up with a Necropolitian (chosen only to get an I win button) Whisper Gnome Dark Factorum, and sneak around, and have every mother fucking guard be some 8 Wis no Perception mouth breathing fuckwit. If the enemies try even a little, such as having a lower net stealth modifier than the fail midget had at level 3, or also have I win buttons, that's totally unfair. If the enemies actually have ranks in Perception skills, that's totally unfair. If they put forth even the slightest bit of active effort, that's totally unfair. But it's completely acceptable for the fail midget to go all out.

Now let's compare to the Monks don't fail crowd. They attempt to justify themselves via... only selecting the most incompetent foes, even more incompetent than them, and using that to prove stealthing works.

But just as no one fucking cares if you can beat up a 8 Str Commoner 1, no one fucking cares if you can sneak past some Perception -1 fuckwit.

And that is why Jaron is being a retarded fuckwit, and blabbering on about random Vampires running around in broad daylight, and claiming that encountering an Ice Devil, in a fucking cold environment (as opposed to say, a flat, featureless plain), that is a manifest zone to Risia (aka, the place mother fucking Ice Devils LIVE) is worth +5 CR. What next MBF? Encountering stock mob Kobolds in their Den is a level 10 adventure? Encountering a Balor in the Abyss is a super high level epic encounter? Because those are just encountering enemies while they are at home too. Do enemies have to be of the Cold subtype, but encountered on the Plane of Fire, and therefore are taking 3d10*1.5 damage a round every round to be equal CR? Jesus H Fucking Christ, breathe through your fucking nose already! And stop fucking lying. We've already been over detection ranges, and as stated and proven, advantage: Team Monster.

To be perfectly fair to Sunic, he's apparently mostly using hyperbole, because he seems to believe constantly using it makes his posts more interesting (presumably, he's right in that they do, to him). His real point seems to be that it only needs to happen once, and over a long campaign the odds of it happening once approach 1 no matter how high your character's modifiers are. Especially since the campaign is kind of lame if your character can always apply the same strategy.

Nope. You don't even need Iterative Probability to be raped by scouting. The odds are higher that it causes you to be an inanimate corpse than it causes you to return with useful information. Even doing it once will, more than 50% of the time force a delete and reroll.

2) +to hit is WAY FUCKING MORE than enough to hit a piddly 14 touch AC.  Also, it's now moving at half speed.  Sure, it can teleport, but teleporting is a standard action that it's not using to flail impotently at the PCs.

Hi Welcome

It doesn't have 14 touch AC. What is your to hit? Numbers, math, not hand waving bullshit.

Quote
3) If the Gelugon has free empowers for being on the plane of ice, then lets assume that the Party isn't a bunch of tards and gave everyone cold resist.  Plane of Ice, Cold Resist... I know, it's like they're fucking clairvoyant or something.  Extended Mass Resist Cold at CL 12 is easily doable at this point, meaning that everyone has Resist Cold 30 for 8 hours.  Congrats, your Gelugon just did about 31 points of damage to a single character in two rounds, or dick squat if he makes his reflex save (tip: he'll make his reflex saves).

1: Hi Welcome
2: It doesn't last 8 hours.
3: No one thought to cast Mass Resist Cold. I did hint at it, by asking if there is anything anyone wanted to do before proceeding into the Risia manifest zone. Everyone said no. In any case such a resist would have been 20 points, not 30, because they don't have CL + 2. This is the only valid point you have made so far by the way.

Quote
4) When the party teleports in, the Cleric casts Align Weapon on the Beatstick's sword and the Beatstick goes all ubercharger on it's face.  This is the first full round of combat, the Gelugon has already failed to poke the Factotum and dies, horribly.  The Gelugon doesn't get to act because the party was intelligent and has everyone delay until the end of round 1 instead of waiting to act randomly throughout the order on round 2.

There is no Align Weapon, and there is no beatstick.

Oh and Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 12:40:36 PM
To be perfectly honest, I was the one who mentioned vampires at all, but again, this was saying that it was a dumb idea for the party to all be hiding in a portable hole while the scout carries them over snowpack in broad daylight.  They should all be out and travelling together in that case unless there are other circumstances, such as one being a vampire (in which case, I fully expect them to die in this encounter anyway).

Honestly, Sunic, you can't claim that the Gleugon situation wasn't set up to give party stealth as difficult a time as possible.  It most definitely was.  It's very much like sticking the wizard in a cave that also happens to be in a dead magic zone.  It's not entirely impossible for him to function, it's just exceedingly difficult.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 12:58:13 PM
To be perfectly honest, I was the one who mentioned vampires at all, but again, this was saying that it was a dumb idea for the party to all be hiding in a portable hole while the scout carries them over snowpack in broad daylight.  They should all be out and travelling together in that case unless there are other circumstances, such as one being a vampire (in which case, I fully expect them to die in this encounter anyway).

Honestly, Sunic, you can't claim that the Gleugon situation wasn't set up to give party stealth as difficult a time as possible.  It most definitely was.  It's very much like sticking the wizard in a cave that also happens to be in a dead magic zone.  It's not entirely impossible for him to function, it's just exceedingly difficult.

Nah, he claimed random Warblade 20 vampires would be running around. Outside. In broad daylight. In Eberron.

And no, no it fucking wasn't. Any half decent ambusher would have well over +18 to sneaking around, they'd also have far more than mid 20s perception skills. As it is, it is a CR 13 creature worse than many CR 10s at doing those things. Not to mention, level appropriate DCs at level 10 are 22, and the Ice Devil is 3 levels higher, and would need a +2 DC bump to hit that. 22, by the way is the number you get with no DC optimization of any kind. It could obviously go much higher.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 01:08:12 PM
My point was not that ambushes shouldn't be used or even difficult, just that that particular situation was set up to be nearly impossible for stealth.  The very environment meant that Hiding was impossible (broad daylight, no cover), it would be easy to track (footprints) and that's all before the devil in the snow with the auto-detect range of 100ft that will likely not be found by anyone in the party.  There simply is no way that a scout could work under those conditions.

Now, a more conventional ambush, such as guys hiding behind walls or in a kobold lair, stealth is not out of the question.  There's obviously cover or else the ambushers wouldn't be able to hide.  Most likely there are shadows to hide in too.  More importantly, auto-detection isn't happening.  This is the kind of ambush that usually occours in games.  The Gleugon in the ice may be an actual example you used, but it is also an extreme one that is very much saying "fuck you" to stealth.  It's easy to say a scout will fail when it doesn't even have an opportunity to do its job.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 01:08:39 PM
Wait, you mean I should make the characters wait til level *10* to take on the lair of like seven kobolds? No wonder they lost so bad at level 5.  :lmao
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Aharon on February 07, 2011, 01:10:49 PM
@all
I'm interested in this discussion, but not interested to read 8 pages of what seems to be a rather acerbic back and forth. Would it be possible for both sides to put their assumptions and conclusions in a short post? I guess I'm not the only lurker who would be interested in seeing that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bloody Initiate on February 07, 2011, 01:16:21 PM
Wait, you mean I should make the characters wait til level *10* to take on the lair of like seven kobolds? No wonder they lost so bad at level 5.  :lmao

Off-topic: In a situation where my first character was either killed or lost (lost the character sheet) I remember having to re-roll a character in a low-level campaign. I did it quickly, so I failed to do certain things that round out a character (Like give him a ranged weapon). First encounter was a kobold ambush. We were in a courtyard garden and we were attacked from windows with crossbows. Having no ranged weapon, I picked up a landscaping brick, threw it at a kobold, and fucking killed it.

So you should definitely wait til level 10 or so before approaching that lair.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 01:22:18 PM
Pretty simple, really.  Stealthy guys can work and provide lots of valuable intel to a party.  How well they work depends on the optimization level and sources of the game in question.  However, to be any use at all past, say, level 6, they need to have the Darkstalker feat or Superior Invisibility.  If Lords of Madness isn't allowed, then stealth rarely works from levels 7-15, but on the other hand, the most annoying auto-win (Mindsight) isn't in either.

However, part of playing a stealthy character involves backup plans as well as good player judgement (e.g., it's daylight, I shouldn't fly up to the top of the tower to sneak in).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 01:39:49 PM
My point was not that ambushes shouldn't be used or even difficult, just that that particular situation was set up to be nearly impossible for stealth.  The very environment meant that Hiding was impossible (broad daylight, no cover), it would be easy to track (footprints) and that's all before the devil in the snow with the auto-detect range of 100ft that will likely not be found by anyone in the party.  There simply is no way that a scout could work under those conditions.

Now, a more conventional ambush, such as guys hiding behind walls or in a kobold lair, stealth is not out of the question.  There's obviously cover or else the ambushers wouldn't be able to hide.  Most likely there are shadows to hide in too.  More importantly, auto-detection isn't happening.  This is the kind of ambush that usually occours in games.  The Gleugon in the ice may be an actual example you used, but it is also an extreme one that is very much saying "fuck you" to stealth.  It's easy to say a scout will fail when it doesn't even have an opportunity to do its job.

The auto win abilities have already been covered. If you remove them from both sides (leaving you with a stock mob Ice Devil by the way, at least as it pertains to detection) the advantage is still Team Monster. Now as for the other example, where guys are hiding behind walls, atop buildings you can see them with some altitude. Of course, as this means you are climbing, or flying out in the open, you are auto detected by the visible guards. Which means combat starts, warnings are shouted, and you've done nothing useful. As it is though, neither of them are optimized to nearly the extent that Jaron and his fail midget are, and the Ice Devil especially isn't.

And the underlying point here is simple.

1: Do not split the party under any circumstance.
2: Scouting involves splitting the party. Said scout will also be easily detected via a number of means, while failing to do his job.
3: The goal of the enemy is to divide and conquer you. When you send some scout ahead, you are doing half their job for them.
4: Have I mentioned don't split the party yet?
5: Encounters do not automagically become easier because only one person "spawned" them. This isn't DDO, there is no Dungeon Scaling. Which means the single character is now fighting something meant for the whole party. Yes, fighting. Because...
6: You cannot run in D&D. Trying only makes you die tired.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 01:48:07 PM
You completely missed the point that in your gleugon situation, it was impossible before there was a devil involved.  The environment did not allow for hiding.  Of course the advantage is going to go to team monster when team PC simply cannot succeed.

However, let's say the glugon didn't have mindsight and the environment was different so that hiding was possible (any number of things could do this, including basic terrain).  It's entirely likely that niether the scout nor the ambusher notice each other.  Yes, the scout didn't see the danger, but he himself wasn't spotted and killed.  In the meantime, he may have noticed other obstacles or discovered a safe path.

In the hidden gaurds example, the scout can plainly see that there are two gaurds there that aren't hidden.  He can report that and the party is better prepared because of it without risking himself.  He would have noticed the walls most definitely and can easily say "there may be more that I couldn't see."  There are also simple things that can be done like sticking an all-important scouting tool (mirror) up/around the wall.  Mirrors are cheap and handy.  Every scout should have one.  Again, he scouted out and gathered information with very little risk to himself.  He then returns to the party (who are nearby) and reports his findings.  Party now has knowledge of what's ahead.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 07, 2011, 01:52:56 PM
Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.

You can get the Maximize through Sudden Maximize, however. If we are to try stuff, use the modification from Fiendish Codex II, removing the summon ability from the devil, and give it two feats instead, and we can get Sudden Quicken, too, using all our feats for the preregs. Sure, now it can only do this once and the save DC is only 20 rather than 22, but you get Sudden Empower, too.

Sudden Maximize requires another metamagic feat. It also is ambiguous if it even works on SLAs. The original draft actually did have Sudden Maximize. I then actually looked at the feat and realized that was an illegal move. As for losing summons for feats, it kinda needed the summons.

It says in Complete Arcane that you can apply Sudden Metamagic effects to Invocations and SLAs, so it's legal. Sudden Metamagic feats are Metamagic feats, and he'll need Sudden Silent anyway to get Sudden Quicken.

Quote
105 HP, +11 Reflex, SR 27 (Along with AC about 10 higher than the average in the party, apparently. And ability to redirect ranged attacks.)

And I was worried about being easy to kill. I was kind of amused to see the defenses of the other players, to be fair. A team without defensive capabilities to survive encounter like that probably should die, but still, most players do not get high enough defenses to survive that, and to those players, Scout is fairly reasonable option.

Upon seeing that, I am quite disappointed in the optimization skills of those involved. But in such a group, that's all the more reason to not split the party, as the scout will be easy to slaughter too. He probably won't last two rounds to warn the party, for example.

And everyone of these are frequenting this board. Even amongst the optimizers, most people are not able to take the encounter you described, so I'm not surprised that it can kill a single scout.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 01:54:15 PM
You completely missed the point that in your gleugon situation, it was impossible before there was a devil involved.  The environment did not allow for hiding.  Of course the advantage is going to go to team monster when team PC simply cannot succeed.

And the conditions that caused this? Um, being outside, in the daytime. Yeah, that's a good sign stealth fails, when it is owned completely and utterly by entirely ordinary circumstances.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 01:56:39 PM
Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.

You can get the Maximize through Sudden Maximize, however. If we are to try stuff, use the modification from Fiendish Codex II, removing the summon ability from the devil, and give it two feats instead, and we can get Sudden Quicken, too, using all our feats for the preregs. Sure, now it can only do this once and the save DC is only 20 rather than 22, but you get Sudden Empower, too.

Sudden Maximize requires another metamagic feat. It also is ambiguous if it even works on SLAs. The original draft actually did have Sudden Maximize. I then actually looked at the feat and realized that was an illegal move. As for losing summons for feats, it kinda needed the summons.

It says in Complete Arcane that you can apply Sudden Metamagic effects to Invocations and SLAs, so it's legal. Sudden Metamagic feats are Metamagic feats, and he'll need Sudden Silent anyway to get Sudden Quicken.

Ok. Except it doesn't have Sudden Maximize or Sudden Quicken. If it did, that'd just make the fuckwit crowd flail some more.

Quote
And everyone of these are frequenting this board. Even amongst the optimizers, most people are not able to take the encounter you described, so I'm not surprised that it can kill a single scout.

So, some people need to step up their IP proofing, as again Ice Devils have very low DCs. A caster 3 levels lower (and thus, the same level as the party) would have DCs 2 higher, with 0 optimization. What is your point?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 02:00:13 PM
You completely missed the point that in your gleugon situation, it was impossible before there was a devil involved.  The environment did not allow for hiding.  Of course the advantage is going to go to team monster when team PC simply cannot succeed.

And the conditions that caused this? Um, being outside, in the daytime. Yeah, that's a good sign stealth fails, when it is owned completely and utterly by entirely ordinary circumstances.
No, being in a bright area where there is no cover: your typical flat, featureless plain if I ever saw one.  In this situation, no scout would bother trying (except maybe a high level Ranger/Scout)  Being outside in the daytime doesn't rule out hiding.  Mountains are a great example.  So are forests.  Even hills are possible to do this with.  A flat featureless plain?  That is the one environment where it's impossible.  Stealth fails on flat, snow-covered plains like wizards fail in the center of the Outlands.  Hard.  So why are dead magic zones seen as being "fuck you" to casters, but this isn't seen as a "fuck you" to stealthy types or winding passages being a "fuck you" to ranged characters?  Because the DMZ is rarer?  That's bullshit and you know it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 07, 2011, 02:07:35 PM
Sudden Maximize would still require another metamagic feat. One without any prerequisites, of course. Not many of the sudden metamagic feats are useful on an SLA (especially when all of the Ice Devil's are at-wills), and regular metamagic feats don't work on an SLA. The only one that might make any sense at all would be Sudden Widen.

Of course, not many characters will spend a feat on something that works once per day, so by proxy not many monsters will, either.

Monster optimization does not necessarily mean that the monster will be optimized to be maximally powerful over the course of a single encounter. They may be, but it is not necessarily true.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 02:51:36 PM
Stealth character:
Relies on Hide + Move Silently, opposed by Spot + Listen. Hide & Move Silently function off Dexterity. Spot and Listen function off Wisdom.

ISSUES WITH THE STEALTH CHARACTER:
Stealth is not a combat role. D&D is, at its heart, a combat game. If you're not contributing to combat, then you are, functionally, gimped. Shoving your Hide and Move Silently high enough to oppose a standard creature's Spot + Listen, as CR rises, becomes more difficult. You even have to burn a feat past level 6 in order to maintain parity, and those are resources you're not spending on contributing more to combat.

Never mind that there are ways to auto-beat stealth - Mindsight is an uncommon quality, a feat developed by a rare race of creatures (Tsochai). The number of creatures with Telepathy far outnumber the number of creatures with Mindsight.

Stealth, regardless, requires too many resources. You NEED: Hide in Plain Sight. You NEED: A way to negate the -20 penalty for hiding in combat. You NEED: a way to hide from (Ex) and (Su) and (Sp) abilities that auto-beat plain hiding (Darkstalker only handles a few). And every bit of resource you invest into that takes away from resources you could instead invest in becoming a more frightening combatant. This means your chance of dying during any encounter, WHETHER OR NOT YOU SCOUTED IT, goes up exponentially for every resource you invested in hiding rather than fighting.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 03:20:18 PM
I think in the end it boils down just like beatsticks. At a certain level they become so outclassed they are irrelevant. And this happens to stealth BEFORE it happens to beatsticks.

Sunic, how do you feel about stealthing around at level 1,2 or 3?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 07, 2011, 03:41:41 PM
Stealth character:
Relies on Hide + Move Silently, opposed by Spot + Listen. Hide & Move Silently function off Dexterity. Spot and Listen function off Wisdom.

ISSUES WITH THE STEALTH CHARACTER:
Stealth is not a combat role. D&D is, at its heart, a combat game. If you're not contributing to combat, then you are, functionally, gimped. Shoving your Hide and Move Silently high enough to oppose a standard creature's Spot + Listen, as CR rises, becomes more difficult. You even have to burn a feat past level 6 in order to maintain parity, and those are resources you're not spending on contributing more to combat.

Never mind that there are ways to auto-beat stealth - Mindsight is an uncommon quality, a feat developed by a rare race of creatures (Tsochai). The number of creatures with Telepathy far outnumber the number of creatures with Mindsight.

Stealth, regardless, requires too many resources. You NEED: Hide in Plain Sight. You NEED: A way to negate the -20 penalty for hiding in combat. You NEED: a way to hide from (Ex) and (Su) and (Sp) abilities that auto-beat plain hiding (Darkstalker only handles a few). And every bit of resource you invest into that takes away from resources you could instead invest in becoming a more frightening combatant. This means your chance of dying during any encounter, WHETHER OR NOT YOU SCOUTED IT, goes up exponentially for every resource you invested in hiding rather than fighting.
My initial scouting comments are buried several pages back.  How would you respond to the tactic of scouting (somehow, I'm agnostic as to how you go about doing) and then using that information to help out the group in the encounter?  The archetypal case I'm thinking of is buffing -- powerful, relatively short-term buffs, or perhaps situational ones (e.g., death ward) -- but you can also think about picking or preparing the terrain. 

I would perfectly agree that stealth, generally speaking, is not a combat role.  Builds that can do it are niche cases.  And, if the costs of hiding are too great -- if you need 100,000 gp of magic items and 5 feats just to make it work -- then I'd also see it as too much of a trade-off.  You'd need some killer abilities to make it worth the investment.

That being said, there have been some instances where the 3 rounds of prep time have turned a challenging encounter, or even one we weren't supposed to be able to win due to railroading (this is from the Witchblade trilogy, iirc) into an easy one. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 07, 2011, 03:46:32 PM
Oh, and another thing, since our party is apparently supposed to be TPK'd by the Ice Devil that's apparently +8 CR, I will make sure to update you all on the outcome when the Ice Devil dies.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 07, 2011, 04:21:12 PM
Sunic, how do you feel about stealthing around at level 1,2 or 3?

The issue at those levels is that mostly everything is unreliable. While this is no more true of Stealth than it is of most other things, the fact is that failing at stealth is more or less fatal, especially at the levels where an orc throwing a javelin at you has a good chance of killing you. And since it's less probable that your hide skill is wildly beyond the enemies spot/listen, well, it's not just very useful. Not to mention that at level 3, you can like.. Have imp familiar with Invisibility at will? At level 1, most things are not going to notice the wizard's familiar either, and if they do, it's a friggin' hawk, nothing special about that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 07, 2011, 05:10:06 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 05:14:19 PM
I don't think his Ice Devil situation warrants a Tier 1 or 2 game. That seems like an incredibly fair encounter for an intelligent tier 3 group. A Binder/Warblade/Beguiler/Dread Necro party could trash it with little to no casualties. The Binder may have tried to scout with his Hawk or whatever, the Warblade can melee the Devil down in a single round, the Beguiler and the Dread Necro are full casters doing what they want.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 05:32:37 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 07, 2011, 06:26:14 PM
Um, given the same Ambush situation, the Warblade maybe has 120hp (more than average for a Warblade with Con 20), and let's assume the Ice Devil loses initiative. Now, the Ice Devil still gets his surprise round, so he activates Fear Aura and blasts the whole group with Cone of Cold, the Warblade auto-succeeds his Will save, the others, having no use for Wisdom, have maybe a +9 modifier to will saves and fail 60% of the time. Three of the four characters probably fails their saves against Cone of Cold and take an average of 46 damage, but let's give them Cold Resist 20 given that they've prepared somewhat against the Plane of Ice (they don't have Resist Energy available because it isn't on their casters' lists). So probably one of the party is Frightened and the others are damaged but not significantly. The Warblade, not needing to charge, full attacks with his +2 Greatsword with his attack bonuses of +20/+15/+10/+5, impressive for 10th level, but hardly statistics indicative of slaying the Ice Devil in one round (not against it's AC 32). Let's say the Binder ran away from the Fear Aura. Dread Necromancer probably has a small horde of undead assault the Ice Devil, but between its DR 10/good and Regeneration 5, I'd wager the Ice Devil is barely harmed, the Necromancer still has his turn and if he can hit he'll two round the Devil with Shivering Touch, but then again, his attack roll is +5 vs Touch AC 14.

Ice Devil goes and flies in the air provoking attacks from the Warblade and all of the Undead, but even those that hit have to deal him more than 15 damage to scratch him. Let's say between the Warblade and the Undead that went before him, he's taken 30 damage from attacks and attacks of opportunity. But now he's in the air, he still has over 100hp, he's safe from the Warblade and the Undead. Honestly he could probably just rain Cones of Cold on the party from here until they died, because the casters' spell penetration checks are going to be 1d20+10 vs 25, and I can't think of anything hugely useful for the Beguiler to do to the Devil anyway. Or by "intelligent tier 3 group" did you mean they spent inordinate amounts of GP to get immunity to cold before they went to the Plane of Ice? Because if that's the case the Ice Devil can certainly be played a bit more intelligently too, and regardless of how it's played at least one character will almost certainly be killed. More if, while concealed in the snow, the Ice Devil was able to successfully summon 4~5 Bone Devils.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 07, 2011, 06:28:54 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

Also, WTF, I asked Sunic to provide any more evidence that scouts auto-fail at everything they do and he said what amounts to "well, they just do, okay?" and no one else has provided any further evidence that they fail either other than saying "Um, duh! Any time the scout moves ahead he runs into an ambush with enemies that all have Scent, Blindsight, Tremorsense, Lifesense, Mindsight, and Touchsight! Of course the corpse gets raped!" No, I agree that's a pretty solid argument.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 06:39:18 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

Also, WTF, I asked Sunic to provide any more evidence that scouts auto-fail at everything they do and he said what amounts to "well, they just do, okay?" and no one else has provided any further evidence that they fail either other than saying "Um, duh! Any time the scout moves ahead he runs into an ambush with enemies that all have Scent, Blindsight, Tremorsense, Lifesense, Mindsight, and Touchsight! Of course the corpse gets raped!" No, I agree that's a pretty solid argument.

Provide your Scout and I will provide a series of equal-CR encounters that he will auto-fail against and make parallels between them and several other same-CR opponents who have similar methods of making the scout auto-fail. No, really. I'll wait. Any level. So long as you realize that being anything other than a Fighter with 8 Wisdom isn't cheating.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 07, 2011, 06:42:10 PM
2) +to hit is WAY FUCKING MORE than enough to hit a piddly 14 touch AC.  Also, it's now moving at half speed.  Sure, it can teleport, but teleporting is a standard action that it's not using to flail impotently at the PCs.

Hi Welcome

It doesn't have 14 touch AC. What is your to hit? Numbers, math, not hand waving bullshit.
Yes, it has 14 touch AC. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/devil.htm#iceDevilGelugon)

From BAB and Dex, the to-hit is +11.  Assuming he doesn't pick up a random +1 from somewhere like being Small or having a Luckstone, he hits 90% of the time.  Otherwise, it's 95%.  It's as IP proofed as you can get without *your* hand waving bullshit.

Quote
3) If the Gelugon has free empowers for being on the plane of ice, then lets assume that the Party isn't a bunch of tards and gave everyone cold resist.  Plane of Ice, Cold Resist... I know, it's like they're fucking clairvoyant or something.  Extended Mass Resist Cold at CL 12 is easily doable at this point, meaning that everyone has Resist Cold 30 for 8 hours.  Congrats, your Gelugon just did about 31 points of damage to a single character in two rounds, or dick squat if he makes his reflex save (tip: he'll make his reflex saves).

1: Hi Welcome
2: It doesn't last 8 hours.
3: No one thought to cast Mass Resist Cold. I did hint at it, by asking if there is anything anyone wanted to do before proceeding into the Risia manifest zone. Everyone said no. In any case such a resist would have been 20 points, not 30, because they don't have CL + 2. This is the only valid point you have made so far by the way.
1) Screw you.
2) Excuse me, 4 hours.  It takes two of the Cleric's 3rd-level slots instead of 1.
3) There's a list somewhere.  Oh, it's right here (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872350/Raising_Caster_Level).  If you can't manage a +2 bonus from there, especially for a pre-buff, then you really aren't trying.

Quote
4) When the party teleports in, the Cleric casts Align Weapon on the Beatstick's sword and the Beatstick goes all ubercharger on it's face.  This is the first full round of combat, the Gelugon has already failed to poke the Factotum and dies, horribly.  The Gelugon doesn't get to act because the party was intelligent and has everyone delay until the end of round 1 instead of waiting to act randomly throughout the order on round 2.

There is no Align Weapon, and there is no beatstick.

Oh and Hi Welcome
Then who is the scout scouting for?  His pet miniature giant space hamster?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 06:49:31 PM
Yes, it has 14 touch AC. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/devil.htm#iceDevilGelugon)
Quote from: Above Link
Spell-Like Abilities

At will—cone of cold (DC 20), fly, ice storm (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), persistent image (DC 20), unholy aura (DC 23), wall of ice (DC 19). Caster level 13th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

It has 18 Touch (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/unholyAura.htm).

Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 06:54:30 PM
All of the odds you listed in your mock run of that encounter fit the RNG nearly perfectly. Most things are 50% chances. Isn't that how it should be designed? Obviously this is a hard fight but it's an ambush. Hopefully the party had a way to spot the Devil first, in which case the encounter would be trivial. What if it instead went like this?

Fear activates, and Cone of Cold hits as you described.
-The Warblade takes a swift action to gain distance then charges, activating Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, blah blah blah. The Ice Devil is dead. The Regeneration is taken care of via coup de grace.
-The Beguiler drop a save or suck with a DC of 28, very doable at level 10, leaving the Devil with 60% chances of success.
-The Dread Necromancer can either slam it with a couple save or sucks, or maybe use an undead force. He's not an idiot and they're buffed well, they are able to damage the devil. They also serve as amazing cannon fodder. And the Ice Devil body will make a nice new minion.
-The Binder? Heh, I don't know Binders that well. I'm sure they have some significant way to contribute.

If the devil uses his surprise round to summon then it gets really hard. In that case you hope someone can drop a Magic Circle. If there is something I missed on the creature feel free to Hi Welcome me. And even if you poke holes in one specific plan its pedantic, there are plenty of other ways to survive the encounter. It's just not that hard of an encounter for a Tier 3 team.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 07, 2011, 06:56:34 PM
Yes, it has 14 touch AC. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/devil.htm#iceDevilGelugon)
Quote from: Above Link
Spell-Like Abilities

At will—cone of cold (DC 20), fly, ice storm (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), persistent image (DC 20), unholy aura (DC 23), wall of ice (DC 19). Caster level 13th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

It has 18 Touch (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/unholyAura.htm).

Hi Welcome
I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 06:57:40 PM
I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
It's sitting and waiting to ambush. It takes only a mental effort to cast it. Why the fuck wouldn't it?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 06:58:53 PM
I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
It's sitting and waiting to ambush. It takes only a mental effort to cast it. Why the fuck wouldn't it?

I concur. Intelligence: 22.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 07, 2011, 06:59:54 PM
Yes, it has 14 touch AC. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/devil.htm#iceDevilGelugon)
Quote from: Above Link
Spell-Like Abilities

At will—cone of cold (DC 20), fly, ice storm (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), persistent image (DC 20), unholy aura (DC 23), wall of ice (DC 19). Caster level 13th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

It has 18 Touch (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/unholyAura.htm).

Hi Welcome
Well excuse me for my oversight, instead of almost always hitting with entangling ectoplasm, the Factotum is almost always hitting with entangling ectoplasm.  The mere fact that the Factotum has found, identified, and alerted the party to the presence of a Gelugon that they will promptly ROFLSTOMP in 1 round while suffering virtually no harm himself is what's important here, anyway.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 07:09:33 PM
I think in the end it boils down just like beatsticks. At a certain level they become so outclassed they are irrelevant. And this happens to stealth BEFORE it happens to beatsticks.

Sunic, how do you feel about stealthing around at level 1,2 or 3?

At levels 1-3...

You must use one of your 1-3 feats on Darkstalker, or you are automatically owned by guard dogs. I hope no one here is honestly going to pull a Paizil and claim guard dogs are not a reasonable encounter for such parties. Can you even take Darkstalker at these levels? I forget what prereqs it has.

You cannot throw enemies off the RNG, which means you have a damn good chance to just be seen.

You are low level, and therefore go splat easily. As a rather entertaining post on the Paizil boards went, "...And then the dog barks, and the gimp dies." The idea being he tries to scout, just gets spotted normally by some guy and his guard dog, and the dog tears him apart. Meanwhile the guy hits an alarm gong.

Now remember my post here from the beginning is that you have to throw enemies straight off the RNG, and hope they have no I win abilities, or you auto lose. That's because they're getting chances to spot you every single round, as long as you're there (and since you have to move at half speed, or else take penalties that means an even longer time) and only need to succeed once. So either 0%, or Iterative Probability makes it damn near 100%. Stealth is binary like that. If they do have an I win button you auto lose regardless. And Darkstalker only blocks some of the auto win abilities.

As for things like Death Ward, those are better handled by zerging the dungeon, aka you respect the time limit.

I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

Except that Tier 1s and 2s can also be scouts. In fact a Druid is far superior to any of Jaron's gimps. However even the mighty Druid scout fails, because the problem is with scouting, and with having to solo encounters meant for groups. I mean fuck, I wouldn't even consider soloing an Ice Devil with a level 10 Attec, and at least one person here knows how crazy he was (let's pretend Ciao and Kendang also were good at sneaking, here).

I love how people are lowballing the enemy stats by the way. With 0 modification, it has AC 36, touch AC 18. Saves are all 18 or 19. Not to mention, it has around 17k in loot, and armor is cheap as free. The terribly gimpy Warblade (and yes, any beatstick with only +20 to hit at level 10 is a gimp) rolls a 20 or misses.

So the Dorje thingy hits 70% of the time, assuming it's a stock mob. I'll give you a hint: to hit touch AC 18 missed. 25 and 27 hit. So that's a number between 19 and 25, inclusive. No, I'm not telling you the exact number. That's information my players would not know.

And ok, the Factorum finds and identifies it. He is promptly ROFLstomped. Regardless of whether the party then ROFLstomps the devil, he still suffers from scouting fail.

Meanwhile, what actually happened in the actual game is that the party proceeded together, the undead Cleric auto spotted the Ice Devil, and is also you know, a Cleric and not a gimp. Right now, it's about even, but I'm quite certain the party will win this one.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 07, 2011, 07:14:29 PM
Quote
The Warblade, not needing to charge, full attacks with his +2 Greatsword with his attack bonuses of +20/+15/+10/+5, impressive for 10th level,
 :twitch
I might have missed something but, Ice devil is a cr 13 monster. At which point the warblade likely has swooping dragon strike. Or could have the undead ... Edit: I got ninja'd
Second This:
 
Quote
The Warblade, not needing to charge, full attacks
 :shakefist
I'm not happy with this at this wrongful scenario at all.
When do warblades lead with full attacks?
There are numerous manuvers he could do, at 13th level.  Not to mention something like shocktrooper or standstill. Even without specific feats though that's just so wrong, bro. I see the classes you write so you should know that initiators don't lead with full attacks. Like ever.


Ninja'd by reasonable "Ice Devil" dead scenario's but that damn thing is cr 13 not 10.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 07, 2011, 07:37:32 PM
I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
It's sitting and waiting to ambush. It takes only a mental effort to cast it. Why the fuck wouldn't it?

I concur. Intelligence: 22.
my point is irrelevant as it is accepted that it would have it up.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 07, 2011, 07:40:35 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bauglir on February 07, 2011, 07:48:56 PM
Is the DM going to remember that the spell expires on round 1d12 (unless the Ice Devil was going to be able to track them from further away than I'm given to understand, and thus put the spell up the instant before combat began)? I mean, yeah, there's something like a 75% chance that it won't actually matter, but still, it's something to keep in mind, if the Gelugon is just casting it every time it runs out (which is a reasonable thing to do while waiting in ambush).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 07, 2011, 07:50:46 PM
So the Dorje thingy hits 70% of the time, assuming it's a stock mob. I'll give you a hint: to hit touch AC 18 missed. 25 and 27 hit. So that's a number between 19 and 25, inclusive. No, I'm not telling you the exact number. That's information my players would not know.

And ok, the Factorum finds and identifies it. He is promptly ROFLstomped. Regardless of whether the party then ROFLstomps the devil, he still suffers from scouting fail.

Meanwhile, what actually happened in the actual game is that the party proceeded together, the undead Cleric auto spotted the Ice Devil, and is also you know, a Cleric and not a gimp. Right now, it's about even, but I'm quite certain the party will win this one.
Who's doing the bullshit hand waving now?  I'd never play a game you're DMing because you suck at life, and as such I'm offended by the prospect of being called 'your player.'

For the sake of what's really going on here, just forget about the Djore, we'll just have the Factotum do total defense.  Or hell, we'll have him eat 15gp for no good reason as a standard action.  Entangled or not, the Gelugon is going to die.

Away from the battle, the party responds to the ambush: the Bard casts Haste, the Cleric casts Mass Align Weapon, and the Wizard delays to cast Dimension Door after the Gelugon's turn.  Now the Beatstick is pouncing the Gelugon at the end of Round 1.  I quote Sunic_Flames in noting that AC is meaningless, therefore the Beatstick deals 100 damage.  There's an entire ToB build compendium that you could reference for some sickly damaging builds.  If the guy happens to be a Friendly Berserker then he's dealing 200 damage instead of 100 and the Gelugon is in tiny pieces on the ground.  If not, the Factotum uses his now good-aligned Bow with Manyshot to deal, say, 26 damage per volley (two arrows, so 2d8+2(+1 enhance)+12(+6 Int)+2(+1 Str)+1(PBS), repeating up to 3 times with Cunning Surge to put it down.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 07, 2011, 07:53:08 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 07:54:28 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.

It's a devil. It's a freaking devil. Go read Fiendish Codex II about the kind of "society" devils live in, and then tell me extreme paranoia isn't the norm.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 07, 2011, 07:58:44 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.

It's a devil. It's a freaking devil. Go read Fiendish Codex II about the kind of "society" devils live in, and then tell me extreme paranoia isn't the norm.
yeah, I'm gonna have to kinda concur with this one .... eventually it would just become Pavlovian reflex.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 08:01:08 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.

It's a devil. It's a freaking devil. Go read Fiendish Codex II about the kind of "society" devils live in, and then tell me extreme paranoia isn't the norm.
yeah, I'm gonna have to kinda concur with this one .... eventually it would just become Pavlovian reflex.

And remember, devils are the nice ones. Demons and daemons? Forget about it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 07, 2011, 08:08:09 PM
I'm not following what WBL this Gelugon is using. Is it using the PC's level (10) as an anchor, to get the 16k? Is it using it's CR? (35k) Is it using it's HD? (45k) Did I overlook something entirely? Any clarification would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 08:09:51 PM
Is the DM going to remember that the spell expires on round 1d12 (unless the Ice Devil was going to be able to track them from further away than I'm given to understand, and thus put the spell up the instant before combat began)? I mean, yeah, there's something like a 75% chance that it won't actually matter, but still, it's something to keep in mind, if the Gelugon is just casting it every time it runs out (which is a reasonable thing to do while waiting in ambush).

The spell actually lasts 13 rounds, not 12. And given that it is expecting combat, as evidenced by the whole hiding and waiting it is a simple matter to say... cast it every 6, or 9, or some number that is less than 13. Therefore, it will have a minimum duration > the combat length. Yes, it's something I, as a 16 Int DM thought of. Yes, the 22 Int Ice Devil also thought of it.

So the Dorje thingy hits 70% of the time, assuming it's a stock mob. I'll give you a hint: to hit touch AC 18 missed. 25 and 27 hit. So that's a number between 19 and 25, inclusive. No, I'm not telling you the exact number. That's information my players would not know.

And ok, the Factorum finds and identifies it. He is promptly ROFLstomped. Regardless of whether the party then ROFLstomps the devil, he still suffers from scouting fail.

Meanwhile, what actually happened in the actual game is that the party proceeded together, the undead Cleric auto spotted the Ice Devil, and is also you know, a Cleric and not a gimp. Right now, it's about even, but I'm quite certain the party will win this one.
Who's doing the bullshit hand waving now?  I'd never play a game you're DMing because you suck at life, and as such I'm offended by the prospect of being called 'your player.'

I know you fail at life, you don't have to remind me.

Quote
For the sake of what's really going on here, just forget about the Djore, we'll just have the Factotum do total defense.  Or hell, we'll have him eat 15gp for no good reason as a standard action.  Entangled or not, the Gelugon is going to die.

Ok, he total defenses. He still gets auto hit and torn apart, despite his Turtle Fail.

Quote
Away from the battle, the party responds to the ambush: the Bard casts Haste, the Cleric casts Mass Align Weapon, and the Wizard delays to cast Dimension Door after the Gelugon's turn.  Now the Beatstick is pouncing the Gelugon at the end of Round 1.  I quote Sunic_Flames in noting that AC is meaningless, therefore the Beatstick deals 100 damage.  There's an entire ToB build compendium that you could reference for some sickly damaging builds.  If the guy happens to be a Friendly Berserker then he's dealing 200 damage instead of 100 and the Gelugon is in tiny pieces on the ground.  If not, the Factotum uses his now good-aligned Bow with Manyshot to deal, say, 26 damage per volley (two arrows, so 2d8+2(+1 enhance)+12(+6 Int)+2(+1 Str)+1(PBS), repeating up to 3 times with Cunning Surge to put it down.

There is no Bard, Mass Align Weapon is not prepared. The beatstick has a to hit in the 40s? It's certainly possible, but you lack the competence to make it so. Your pewpewpew meanwhile misses or tickles it. I'm also being nice to you, and assuming everyone is neutral, otherwise they save or lose every time they do hit it.

As for its WBL, the Gelugon is stated to have Standard treasure. For a CR 13, that's about 17k. It also has a Large Spear, but since that is literally 4 gold it doesn't matter much.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 08:12:38 PM
Prerequisites for Darkstalker: Nothing whatsoever.
So yea. If everything with Telepathy's got Mindsight because it's sensible, everything that plans to make a Hide check probably has Darkstalker eventually.

Glancing at some low-level numbers, I'm thinking the critter that would be most alert to scouts per CR is the bat ... with blindsense 20', +8 to spot and listen, and CR 1/10.  :p I'm not sure what relevance this has.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 07, 2011, 08:14:54 PM
Page 51, I see. Thanks.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: oslecamo on February 07, 2011, 08:19:40 PM
Demons and daemons? Forget about it.
Daemons are easy, since they don't exist at all in D&D and stuff.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 07, 2011, 08:32:55 PM

There is no Bard, Mass Align Weapon is not prepared. The beatstick has a to hit in the 40s? It's certainly possible, but you lack the competence to make it so. Your pewpewpew meanwhile misses or tickles it. I'm also being nice to you, and assuming everyone is neutral, otherwise they save or lose every time they do hit it.
So maybe this party of yours just sucks? Don't you get it that ONE fracking specific example does NOT prove a point?

Fact of the matter, YOU don't want scouting to succeed, and as long as you're GM, it won't. Simple as that. But OTHER GMs just might to LIKE it to work, and hence, when a player comes to them and says "I'd like to play a guy who does recon, etc.", then they'll accomodate him. Give him advice, maybe, caution him about the danger, oh yes, but accomodate him, in that they change their holy game so that the player can have some fun. Which is the entire point, and not masturbating about the awesomeness of ice devils buried in snow.

Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 07, 2011, 08:34:39 PM
Ok, he total defenses. He still gets auto hit and torn apart, despite his Turtle Fail.

...

The beatstick has a to hit in the 40s? It's certainly possible, but you lack the competence to make it so.
Reconcile these two statements for me.  Monsters get to ignore AC, but it's an insurmountable barrier that PCs will never overcome?

For the last time I've made the mistake of assuming you were making an actual coherent argument.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 09:02:33 PM
Prerequisites for Darkstalker: Nothing whatsoever.
So yea. If everything with Telepathy's got Mindsight because it's sensible, everything that plans to make a Hide check probably has Darkstalker eventually.

Glancing at some low-level numbers, I'm thinking the critter that would be most alert to scouts per CR is the bat ... with blindsense 20', +8 to spot and listen, and CR 1/10.  :p I'm not sure what relevance this has.

Ok, so you can have Darkstalker. There's only 0-2 feats left though. And since everyone is mentioning things like Whisper Gnomes and not say, humans, that most likely means 0, as no racial bonus feat. Riding dogs have +5 spot (hey, look on the bright side... you aren't dealing with Pathfailure dogs, who were buffed to have +8 to gimp spotting). Not great, but see Iterative Probability.


There is no Bard, Mass Align Weapon is not prepared. The beatstick has a to hit in the 40s? It's certainly possible, but you lack the competence to make it so. Your pewpewpew meanwhile misses or tickles it. I'm also being nice to you, and assuming everyone is neutral, otherwise they save or lose every time they do hit it.
So maybe this party of yours just sucks? Don't you get it that ONE fracking specific example does NOT prove a point?

Fact of the matter, YOU don't want scouting to succeed, and as long as you're GM, it won't. Simple as that. But OTHER GMs just might to LIKE it to work, and hence, when a player comes to them and says "I'd like to play a guy who does recon, etc.", then they'll accomodate him. Give him advice, maybe, caution him about the danger, oh yes, but accomodate him, in that they change their holy game so that the player can have some fun. Which is the entire point, and not masturbating about the awesomeness of ice devils buried in snow.



No, but yours does. These guys have already casually dismantled CR +1 and CR +2 encounters. That's what being competent means, you see. I was quite impressed with the systematic annihilation actually. They only got attacked twice, total, and one was an AoO. Over the entire campaign so far. Which, admittedly is not very long. But still, they're fucking awesome. You however fail, and suck a barrel of cocks.

The rest is you whining, flailing, lying, whining, demanding coddling, and generally being a mouth breathing fuckwit, instead of a worthwhile person.

Ok, he total defenses. He still gets auto hit and torn apart, despite his Turtle Fail.

...

The beatstick has a to hit in the 40s? It's certainly possible, but you lack the competence to make it so.
Reconcile these two statements for me.  Monsters get to ignore AC, but it's an insurmountable barrier that PCs will never overcome?

For the last time I've made the mistake of assuming you were making an actual coherent argument.

Hi Welcome

Enemies have more AC than you.

For example, the stock mob Ice Devil has 36/18/31. Always on, barring a Dispel, in which case all numbers drop by 4. It uses 2,200 gold, out of its 17,000 (that's slightly more than 10%, since I know you're in the Paizilish Math Is Hard club) wealth on a Large Mithril Chain Shirt. It now has an AC of 40/18/35. Its save line, meanwhile is 19/18/19, so it's hardly picking on the beatsticks. It's trying to shut down everyone. And remember, stock mob. These numbers can easily be raised. So that's everything shut down but touch attacks. Except oh wait, an 18 missed, so it's not a stock mob now is it? Even if it were though, 36 means the super gimpy warblade hits on a 16/20/20/20, the Factorum unleashes a Flurry of Fail, and a whole lot of nothing happens. 40, of course means 20 or bust. This is because +20 to hit is only a good number if you go straight to touch AC.

PCs, meanwhile do not have 40 AC. Not at 10, and not at 13. Optimized ones will have about... 30. I'll give you a hint: The Ice Devil's to hit is higher than +20. But even if it were not, auto hitting a Factorum would not be hard. Auto hitting one of the few enemy types that has a decent AC? Not so much.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 07, 2011, 09:09:57 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
This may be contradicted by further replies, but I don't think that holds at all. 

I think the examples, to the extent they are convincing, demonstrate that you would need to be a Tier 1 level scout/stealth character.  That might require some work, significant magical support, etc. to make you sufficiently sneaky, have sufficiently hardened defenses, and so on.  But, so does being a Tier 1 wizard, we're just all very familiar w/ that.  It's possible in a Tier 1/2 that "scouting" in a mundane sense is supplanted by something else like consistent powerful divination or earthgliding ninjas or something.  I wouldn't necessarily concede that, though it's a possibility. 

But that by no means implies that it's pointless.  If by "scout" one means "rogue w/out any magic items" then well yeah, scouting is totally pointless.  But that's neither a Tier 1 character, nor one optimized to the level of the rest of the table (including the DM if we are citing Sunic's gelugon case).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 07, 2011, 09:13:45 PM
Since this has been popping up several times, is
Factorum
some sort of pun or a product of the T key being next to the R key?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 07, 2011, 09:20:38 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.

It's a devil. It's a freaking devil. Go read Fiendish Codex II about the kind of "society" devils live in, and then tell me extreme paranoia isn't the norm.
yeah, I'm gonna have to kinda concur with this one .... eventually it would just become Pavlovian reflex.
Tangent:  First off, Unholy Aura is nearly  useless in the devil's paranoid home environment.  The number of good creatures it meets are relatively few.  EDIT:  unless the other benefits of its Pro. Good apply to creatures who aren't just good.  They probably do, so ok, maybe it's useful to it.  Although I'm probably going to houserule that for my next game. 

Second, and more importantly, I always go back and forth on these things.  If the monster has a SP at will, that is different from having it "always on."  It involves some effort to activate, otherwise it wouldn't provoke attacks of opportunity, and there are creatures w/ "always on" abilities that are called out as such in the rules. 

My usual rule of thumb is that if the ability has a long duration, then I treat it as always on.  A power that lasts an hour and is usable at will is effectively constant.  But, every 10ish rounds ... I don't know.  I mean, imagine you were walking and every minute you had to stop and tie your shoes.  You'd probably get sick of it pretty soon, especially after the nigh infinite amount of time a gelugon would be dealing w/ it. 

This is true even in life or death situations:  e.g., the thompson machineguns that US Army troops used in WWII did not come w/ the drum magazines, which would be strictly superior given the larger number of rounds and the rate of fire of a thompson, b/c they were uncomfortable to carry on a shoulder strap, which is what soldiers spend the vast majority of their time doing. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 07, 2011, 09:24:43 PM
It... it just seems like one of those "always on" things if its at will, and the monster isn't an idiot.
It is a meta thought process. Sure the monster has that capability but as a sentient creature it would probably get bored of doing it constantly when 99.999% of the time it was a waste of effort.

It's a devil. It's a freaking devil. Go read Fiendish Codex II about the kind of "society" devils live in, and then tell me extreme paranoia isn't the norm.

And it could, you know, have a prepared action to use the SLA when it spots something? Seems kind of natural to me.

----------

Let's see about that devil, with nothing but mindsight and spent resources, I.E: Spent gold. 17k Gold. Also, spells active.

Ice Devil (Gelugon)
Size/Type:    Large Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice:    14d8+98 (161 hp)
Initiative:    +6
Speed:    40 ft. (8 squares), Fly 60ft (12 squares)(good)
Armor Class:    44 (-1 size, +6 Dex, +18 natural, +7 Armor, +4 Deflection.), touch 19, flat-footed 38
Base Attack/Grapple:    +14/+24
Attack:    Spear +22 melee (2d6+11/×3 plus slow) or claw +20 melee (1d10+7)
Full Attack:    Spear +22/+17/+12 melee (2d6+11/×3 plus slow) and bite +15 melee (2d6+3) and tail +15 melee (3d6+3 plus slow); or 2 claws +20 melee (1d10+7) and bite +15 melee (2d6+3) and tail +15 melee (3d6+3 plus slow)
Space/Reach:    10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks:    Fear aura, slow, spell-like abilities, summon devil
Special Qualities:    Damage reduction 10/good, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to fire and poison, resistance to acid 10 and cold 10, regeneration 5, see in darkness, spell resistance 25, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves:    Fort +20, Ref +19, Will +19
Abilities:    Str 24, Dex 22, Con 24, Int 22, Wis 22, Cha 22
Skills:    Bluff +22, Climb +24, Concentration +24, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +6 (+8 acting), Intimidate +25, Jump +28, Knowledge (any three) +23, Listen +23, Move Silently +23, Search +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +23, Spot +23, Survival +6 (+8 following tracks)
Feats:    Mindsight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (spear)
Environment:    A lawful evil-aligned plane
Organization:    Solitary, team (2-4), squad (6-10), or troupe (1-2 ice devils, 7-12 bearded devils, and 1-4 bone devils)
Challenge Rating:    13
Treasure:    Standard coins; double goods; standard items
Alignment:    Always lawful evil
Advancement:    15-28 HD (Large); 29-42 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:    —

+1 Displacement Mithral Chain Shirt, Charar-Aina, Dastana.
Gloves of Strength (+1) and Dexterity (+1)
Periapt of Constitution (+1)
Cloak of Charisma (+2)
+1 Sudden Stunning Large Spear
Some change.

-----

Notice the DC increase to most abilities through the charisma, and the 50% miss chance from total concealment if it uses if it felt like the party was a threat. Assume that, if the Devil isn't stupid, it'll also use the flight to its' advantage to get the +1 hit bonus from being situated higher.

Of course, if the Devil wasn't a fool, he might as well grab himself some other feats. Ability Focus: Cone of Cold, Ability Focus: Fear Aura, Mindsight, Knowledge Devotion, Power Attack? We would be looking at DC 25 Save-or-suck from the aura.

-----

@Unbeliever: It can just keep the aura as a readied action when it notices something, and yes, the armor and saves apply even against non-good targets.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 09:29:10 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
This may be contradicted by further replies, but I don't think that holds at all. 

I think the examples, to the extent they are convincing, demonstrate that you would need to be a Tier 1 level scout/stealth character.  That might require some work, significant magical support, etc. to make you sufficiently sneaky, have sufficiently hardened defenses, and so on.  But, so does being a Tier 1 wizard, we're just all very familiar w/ that.  It's possible in a Tier 1/2 that "scouting" in a mundane sense is supplanted by something else like consistent powerful divination or earthgliding ninjas or something.  I wouldn't necessarily concede that, though it's a possibility. 

But that by no means implies that it's pointless.  If by "scout" one means "rogue w/out any magic items" then well yeah, scouting is totally pointless.  But that's neither a Tier 1 character, nor one optimized to the level of the rest of the table (including the DM if we are citing Sunic's gelugon case).

As far as scouting goes, I personally am enjoying Malphas. Unlimited expendable scouts in the form of pigeons.

The downside is my birds got hit by lightning whenever they actually flew up, but that's our fault for carrying around a hag eye apparently, and not applicable to every campaign. The other downside is it requires 1 level in Binder or 2 feats, with the first being kinda feat taxish due to who would spend a feat on poison use, and your tongue turns black and you fall in love far too easily should anyone be nice to you.

The third downside is I didn't fall in love while binding Malphas and that's discouraging.  :(
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 07, 2011, 09:31:59 PM
Isn't 17k gold the treasure value for a CR 14 encounter? CR 13 is 13k.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 07, 2011, 09:33:20 PM
...
Ice Devil (Gelugon)
...
+1 Displacement Mithral Chain Shirt, Charar-Aina, Dastana.
...
These are from Arms and Equipment or Oriental Adventures or something, right?  My groups have never used them, and we're pretty permissive but also try to avoid Dragon or 3.0 material when at all possible.  It's no big deal, I imagine, since it's like a +2 AC that he could maybe have gotten somewhere else. 

@Unbeliever: It can just keep the aura as a readied action when it notices something, and yes, the armor and saves apply even against non-good targets.
Point taken.  Although that sort of reasoning in general would give PCs an edge if they managed to get the drop on a monster like that, which is I'm sure part of what is going on in the background of this debate. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bauglir on February 07, 2011, 09:41:25 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
This may be contradicted by further replies, but I don't think that holds at all. 

I think the examples, to the extent they are convincing, demonstrate that you would need to be a Tier 1 level scout/stealth character.  That might require some work, significant magical support, etc. to make you sufficiently sneaky, have sufficiently hardened defenses, and so on.  But, so does being a Tier 1 wizard, we're just all very familiar w/ that.  It's possible in a Tier 1/2 that "scouting" in a mundane sense is supplanted by something else like consistent powerful divination or earthgliding ninjas or something.  I wouldn't necessarily concede that, though it's a possibility. 

But that by no means implies that it's pointless.  If by "scout" one means "rogue w/out any magic items" then well yeah, scouting is totally pointless.  But that's neither a Tier 1 character, nor one optimized to the level of the rest of the table (including the DM if we are citing Sunic's gelugon case).

As far as scouting goes, I personally am enjoying Malphas. Unlimited expendable scouts in the form of pigeons.

The downside is my birds got hit by lightning whenever they actually flew up, but that's our fault for carrying around a hag eye apparently, and not applicable to every campaign. The other downside is it requires 1 level in Binder or 2 feats, with the first being kinda feat taxish due to who would spend a feat on poison use, and your tongue turns black and you fall in love far too easily should anyone be nice to you.

The third downside is I didn't fall in love while binding Malphas and that's discouraging.  :(

Okay, now that's a pretty good argument for why being stealthy is a suboptimal way to be a scout. If you can summon birds to do it for you, at will. At low levels (when your opponents presumably do not have the resources to murder every pigeon they see, or are indoors and thus the pigeon can hide, and we're talking <4th level), it's pretty great; at higher levels, you end up needing something better if remaining undetected is important, but even so, they make a great probe for defenses that auto-trigger. Kind of like celestial monkeys, although it's probably not worth continuing to bind Malphas once you have more level-appropriate options available.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 09:43:59 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
This may be contradicted by further replies, but I don't think that holds at all. 

I think the examples, to the extent they are convincing, demonstrate that you would need to be a Tier 1 level scout/stealth character.  That might require some work, significant magical support, etc. to make you sufficiently sneaky, have sufficiently hardened defenses, and so on.  But, so does being a Tier 1 wizard, we're just all very familiar w/ that.  It's possible in a Tier 1/2 that "scouting" in a mundane sense is supplanted by something else like consistent powerful divination or earthgliding ninjas or something.  I wouldn't necessarily concede that, though it's a possibility. 

But that by no means implies that it's pointless.  If by "scout" one means "rogue w/out any magic items" then well yeah, scouting is totally pointless.  But that's neither a Tier 1 character, nor one optimized to the level of the rest of the table (including the DM if we are citing Sunic's gelugon case).

As far as scouting goes, I personally am enjoying Malphas. Unlimited expendable scouts in the form of pigeons.

The downside is my birds got hit by lightning whenever they actually flew up, but that's our fault for carrying around a hag eye apparently, and not applicable to every campaign. The other downside is it requires 1 level in Binder or 2 feats, with the first being kinda feat taxish due to who would spend a feat on poison use, and your tongue turns black and you fall in love far too easily should anyone be nice to you.

The third downside is I didn't fall in love while binding Malphas and that's discouraging.  :(

Okay, now that's a pretty good argument for why being stealthy is a suboptimal way to be a scout. If you can summon birds to do it for you, at will. At low levels (when your opponents presumably do not have the resources to murder every pigeon they see, or are indoors and thus the pigeon can hide, and we're talking <4th level), it's pretty great; at higher levels, you end up needing something better if remaining undetected is important, but even so, they make a great probe for defenses that auto-trigger. Kind of like celestial monkeys, although it's probably not worth continuing to bind Malphas once you have more level-appropriate options available.

Well, technically, if you take multiple levels in Binder (which is actually valid, to a point), you can bind multiple vestiges at once. Not that Binder's good for anything but a dip and a feat for serious optimization, anyways...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 07, 2011, 09:47:11 PM
Okay, now that's a pretty good argument for why being stealthy is a suboptimal way to be a scout. If you can summon birds to do it for you, at will. At low levels (when your opponents presumably do not have the resources to murder every pigeon they see, or are indoors and thus the pigeon can hide, and we're talking <4th level), it's pretty great; at higher levels, you end up needing something better if remaining undetected is important, but even so, they make a great probe for defenses that auto-trigger. Kind of like celestial monkeys, although it's probably not worth continuing to bind Malphas once you have more level-appropriate options available.

Zercyll.  Summon a Pseudonatural Bone Devil just because you can to scout for you.  Or to poke a wierd glyph, whichever.

Overall, I'd say Binder is the best scouting class after level 6 due to the fact they don't put themselves at risk and they don't really waste resources to do it, unlike casters.  Arguments can also be made for Warlock (a few invocations are very good for scouting) and anyone with a psicrystal as well. 

Even so, I've run a scout extremely effectively in high level games, primarily because stealth was not his only focus.  Say whatever you like, but any character who can 1-round an Ancient Black dragon without being located is a valuable ally in my book.

And Binder is a solid class.  I wouldn't complain about having one in the group.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 09:47:51 PM
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
This may be contradicted by further replies, but I don't think that holds at all. 

I think the examples, to the extent they are convincing, demonstrate that you would need to be a Tier 1 level scout/stealth character.  That might require some work, significant magical support, etc. to make you sufficiently sneaky, have sufficiently hardened defenses, and so on.  But, so does being a Tier 1 wizard, we're just all very familiar w/ that.  It's possible in a Tier 1/2 that "scouting" in a mundane sense is supplanted by something else like consistent powerful divination or earthgliding ninjas or something.  I wouldn't necessarily concede that, though it's a possibility. 

But that by no means implies that it's pointless.  If by "scout" one means "rogue w/out any magic items" then well yeah, scouting is totally pointless.  But that's neither a Tier 1 character, nor one optimized to the level of the rest of the table (including the DM if we are citing Sunic's gelugon case).

As far as scouting goes, I personally am enjoying Malphas. Unlimited expendable scouts in the form of pigeons.

The downside is my birds got hit by lightning whenever they actually flew up, but that's our fault for carrying around a hag eye apparently, and not applicable to every campaign. The other downside is it requires 1 level in Binder or 2 feats, with the first being kinda feat taxish due to who would spend a feat on poison use, and your tongue turns black and you fall in love far too easily should anyone be nice to you.

The third downside is I didn't fall in love while binding Malphas and that's discouraging.  :(

Okay, now that's a pretty good argument for why being stealthy is a suboptimal way to be a scout. If you can summon birds to do it for you, at will. At low levels (when your opponents presumably do not have the resources to murder every pigeon they see, or are indoors and thus the pigeon can hide, and we're talking <4th level), it's pretty great; at higher levels, you end up needing something better if remaining undetected is important, but even so, they make a great probe for defenses that auto-trigger. Kind of like celestial monkeys, although it's probably not worth continuing to bind Malphas once you have more level-appropriate options available.

Well, technically, if you take multiple levels in Binder (which is actually valid, to a point), you can bind multiple vestiges at once. Not that Binder's good for anything but a dip and a feat for serious optimization, anyways...

As much as I love dipping Binder (hey and I can switch out unlimited power for unlimited pigeons if I decide I need pigeons more, it's sometimes applicable), I have to say I want to try binding Zceryll.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 09:50:46 PM
As much as I love dipping Binder (hey and I can switch out unlimited power for unlimited pigeons if I decide I need pigeons more, it's sometimes applicable), I have to say I want to try binding Zceryll.

Only if you take Expel Vestige. Otherwise the binding lasts 24 hours. But yeah, Zceryll is an awesome vestige, IF you can get your DM to accept online vestiges.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 09:57:56 PM
As much as I love dipping Binder (hey and I can switch out unlimited power for unlimited pigeons if I decide I need pigeons more, it's sometimes applicable), I have to say I want to try binding Zceryll.

Only if you take Expel Vestige. Otherwise the binding lasts 24 hours. But yeah, Zceryll is an awesome vestige, IF you can get your DM to accept online vestiges.

Eh, I count choosing per day as a choice.

And my DM is fine with it I'm sure, I've been delving into Pact Magic and Incarnum as an experiment, so restricting it would be unhelpful to results. (NG, so no necrocarnum yet though.) But yea it gets slightly less interesting to stick with if you haven't that to look forward to.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2011, 12:29:38 AM
...
Even so, I've run a scout extremely effectively in high level games, primarily because stealth was not his only focus.  Say whatever you like, but any character who can 1-round an Ancient Black dragon without being located is a valuable ally in my book.

And Binder is a solid class.  I wouldn't complain about having one in the group.
I have had the same experience in a long-running game spanning many levels w/ a pretty solid level of optimization on all sides of the table.  It was kind of shouted down about it several pages ago, and it wasn't easy to build, but it totally worked. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 08, 2011, 01:39:27 AM
I love how people are lowballing the enemy stats by the way. With 0 modification, it has AC 36, touch AC 18. Saves are all 18 or 19. Not to mention, it has around 17k in loot, and armor is cheap as free.

My bad, I was looking at Unholy Aura as if the AC boost only applied against good creatures, but yes if you optimize the Devil's feats and gear at all he blows the PCs off the RNG even worse than before.

Quote
The terribly gimpy Warblade (and yes, any beatstick with only +20 to hit at level 10 is a gimp) rolls a 20 or misses.

I'm sorry, where is he getting all of these huge bonuses to everything? For his stats I assumed Str 22, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 8, but let's just buy him some gear. Assuming the game played with standard point buy his starting stats are something like Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8. At 10th level he's got 49,000gp. So, he puts both his level points into Str and obviously has a Belt of Giant's Strength. Current wealth:  33,000gp. Let's say he's got a +3 Greatsword now. Current Wealth: 15,000gp. Now let's give him a Cloak of Resistance +2, +1 Mithral Breastplate, and a +1 Longbow. Current Wealth: ~0gp. So, with +6 from his Strength, +3 from his weapon, and +10 from BAB that's actually 1 less than the +20 I arbitrarily decided he had. Oh, and those stats I assumed he had? Not even close. So that's 40 less hp than I thought. What am I missing here?

Quote
And ok, the Factorum finds and identifies it. He is promptly ROFLstomped. Regardless of whether the party then ROFLstomps the devil, he still suffers from scouting fail.

Meanwhile, what actually happened in the actual game is that the party proceeded together, the undead Cleric auto spotted the Ice Devil, and is also you know, a Cleric and not a gimp. Right now, it's about even, but I'm quite certain the party will win this one.

Oh, okay, so you say that scouting fails no matter what because there's no way that the scout can spot anything at all relevant, but the Cleric in your game auto-spotted the Ice Devil and would have still done so if he for any reason decided to scout ahead. So the PC who isn't even trying to scout could have easily scouted and not succumbed to AADS to provide the party with intel, but a character designed to do that scouting, no, no he would have died. Instantly and without any consideration needed. :rollseyes

All of the odds you listed in your mock run of that encounter fit the RNG nearly perfectly. Most things are 50% chances. Isn't that how it should be designed?

Um, the PCs don't have a 50% chance to do jack shit. The Warblade barely has a 50% to hit with one attack. The spellcasters have close to a 25% chance to even get to attempt to force the Devil to make a saving throw which he has about a 60% chance to succeed on. Unless, like my Warblade example above, I'm missing some crazy way to get amazing bonuses to their save DCs and spell penetration checks outside their normal wealth by level stuff.

Quote
-The Warblade takes a swift action to gain distance then charges, activating Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, blah blah blah. The Ice Devil ishas a 50% chance or lower to be dead.

Also, I know the whole ubercharge build is really common on boards, but how often does it actually show up in games? I've never played it because it's been my experience that a PC that has a 50% or better chance to automatically kill anything so long as he can hit it, well, DMs don't generally like this.

Quote
-The Beguiler drop a save or suck with a DC of 28, very doable at level 10, leaving the Devil with 60% chances of success.

What save or suck? And how is he getting DC 28 now? Let's assume he has Int 26, spending over half his wealth on a +6 item. That means with Greater Spell Focus he's got DC 25. I admit, I'm not an optimizer, so I'm sure there's probably something I'm missing here, but if he's maximizing his save DCs I'm sure his HP and his own saving throws are going to suffer for it.

Quote
-The Dread Necromancer can either slam it with a couple save or sucks, or maybe use an undead force. He's not an idiot and they're buffed well, they are able to damage the devil.

Again, Spell Resistance. How are you blasting through his SR AND having amazing save DCs? Oh, AND buffing your undead constantly so they are actually amazing enough to hit AC 40+ and plow through DR 10 and Regeneration 5 effectively?

It just seems like Sunic and camp are conveniently ignoring the numbers when they make arguments for why Scouts blow, and then coming back with really optimized numbers when they want to make arguments for why Team Monster is awesome. This seems especially true given my above Warblade and Sunic's offhanded comment that some random Cleric not even specced to scout auto-spotted the Ice Devil with something in the area of +45 to Hide...

Now, I'm sure someone will come back and try to make me look retarded (I'm not an optimizer, I've never said I was. I understand it's value, and respect those who do it, but, y'know, grats if you do make me look dumb with crazy shit here) with optimization methods pulled from a dozen different supplements raising the stakes to the point that we're not even looking at a Tier 3 game anymore, we're looking at a Tier 2 game, and then we come full circle to the point that Sunic only has relevant information to contribute when we talk about Tier 1 or 2 games.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 08, 2011, 02:39:33 AM
I don't think you understand the difference between a tier 2 and tier 3 level game. It's more then just bigger numbers.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 08, 2011, 04:28:30 AM
I don't think you understand the difference between a tier 2 and tier 3 level game. It's more then just bigger numbers.

Great job.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 05:41:16 AM
Nah, he claimed random Warblade 20 vampires would be running around. Outside. In broad daylight. In Eberron.

What?  No I didn't.  I have no idea what you're talking about.

Quote
And no, no it fucking wasn't. Any half decent ambusher would have well over +18 to sneaking around, they'd also have far more than mid 20s perception skills. As it is, it is a CR 13 creature worse than many CR 10s at doing those things. Not to mention, level appropriate DCs at level 10 are 22, and the Ice Devil is 3 levels higher, and would need a +2 DC bump to hit that. 22, by the way is the number you get with no DC optimization of any kind. It could obviously go much higher.

You had a creature set up in a snow bank who just happens to be in the trail of the party, buried up to his head, with his feats shifted towards detection (without which he's completely worthless).  +1 CR for giving the monster a MUCH better feat than what the standard CR version had, +1 for the fact that it's a planned out ambush (at the very least), which is CR 15 at the very least.  Usually stuff like "lolz, it's buried up to its head in snow for extra hide bonuses in terrain it uses best" increases the CR, even though that means when detected this devil gets stomped HARD due to having to waste actions to get out.

Also, I didn't realize it had Unholy Aura up.  If that's so, this scenario makes even less sense, as any half decent scout in a game of this nature would have gotten Permanent Arcane Sight ASAP (buy it in town if you must, it's permanent).  As such, the scout not only sees a glowing beacon in the snowbank (lifesight), he also sees that it has spells up (and even knows a few important details about this glowing magic beacon).  He can do this from outside the devil's detection range.  So why is he getting stomped again?  Seems to me he calls the whole party and this buried idiot gets DESTROYED by held actions when it starts to dig its way out.

And to be perfectly clear, I HAVE played stealthers at higher levels before.  It worked great, and they were very effective, with their primary role being forward intelligence gathering (at least in the stealth aspect, they were also decent at hitting enemies).  It totally worked.  But you have to play them smart.  You don't just blunder blindly through snowbanks or get so far away from the party that you can't retreat back in case of surprise.  You have things like Counter Charge, Shadow Jaunt, and Moment of Perfect Mind ready to go in case of emergencies if at all possible.  You have a variety of detection methods available to you while simultaneously making yourself immune to as many methods as at all possible.  You make sure you have multiple movement modes available (flight should be standard, burrowing is great if possible, climbing can be handy at times, teleporting is wonderful).  You have Hide and Move Silently at as high levels as you can get while keeping at least Spot up to a solid level.  It's just what you do.  Just because Sunic doesn't know how doesn't mean it's impossible... even in games with lots of casters (though you're going to have to pump the optimization level up a lot).

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brullig on February 08, 2011, 05:47:20 AM
Quote
@Unbeliever: It can just keep the aura as a readied action when it notices something, and yes, the armor and saves apply even against non-good targets.

How does this work outside of initiative?

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialInitiativeActions.htm
"Here are ways to change when you act during combat by altering your place in the initiative order."

I guess the gelugon could give up his surprise round to cast this, but other than the "I cast this every 36 seconds" method I don't see a way to guarantee its uptime through the first rounds of combat.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 06:03:08 AM
At levels 1-3...

You must use one of your 1-3 feats on Darkstalker, or you are automatically owned by guard dogs. I hope no one here is honestly going to pull a Paizil and claim guard dogs are not a reasonable encounter for such parties. Can you even take Darkstalker at these levels? I forget what prereqs it has.

You cannot throw enemies off the RNG, which means you have a damn good chance to just be seen.

Check out the modifiers to spot and listen.  Is a guard distracted because he's supposed to be watching lots of other people or the Rogue has bothered to actually be clever and make a distraction?  That's a +5 to his DC.  Are you sneaking 50 feet away from the guard (perhaps you're scaling a wall, darting past an outpost, whatever), instead of trying run right past him?  That's a +5.  For normal campaigns, a Halfling Rogue with a Dex of 16 and 5 ranks of hide and move silently at level 2, with no other gear factored in (like Masterwork items or Silent Shoes or whatever) has a base +12 Hide and +10 Move Silently.  So if he takes 10 when hiding from the guard, the guard has to beat a 32 to spot the halfling, or a 30 to hear him.  On a second level guard, who's generally supposed to be a Fighter (no ranks).  Yeah, that's hard.  Even without the distance modifier this just isn't happening.

And for Sunic's style of games, we have our trusty Whispergnome to oppose his, I dunno, some random monster with 6HD for a level 2 character.  Do I even have to spell out the numbers?

Quote
Except that Tier 1s and 2s can also be scouts. In fact a Druid is far superior to any of Jaron's gimps. However even the mighty Druid scout fails, because the problem is with scouting, and with having to solo encounters meant for groups. I mean fuck, I wouldn't even consider soloing an Ice Devil with a level 10 Attec, and at least one person here knows how crazy he was (let's pretend Ciao and Kendang also were good at sneaking, here).

Right here is part of your obvious problem... you're assuming it's a solo encounter.  You're assuming the scout is so far ahead that he can't be with his party within one round.  But if he stays 95' ahead of the party (so he can still communicate with them) and 95' away from enemies (his detection abilities range from 100-120' in general) then the enemies have a -19 to spot checks to see the party, leaving said party rather safe.  And yet, said party is one run action from the scout, or if they bothered to have decent speed (like, and I know you'll hate this, they went with the TO option of getting horses or something) they're likely within charge range of anything that might attack the scout.  If this ambushing monster would have killed the scout in a single round, then it would have ambushed and killed a party member in one round without scouting anyway, so scouting was your only hope. If not, then the scout's just fine (and scouts of all people should have ablative defenses like Counter Charge and Moment of Perfect Mind, because they are mostly likely to need such things).  So this idea of it being all solo is silly.  And where is the Druid getting Mindsight, which you seem to think is critical for detection?

Quote
Meanwhile, what actually happened in the actual game is that the party proceeded together, the undead Cleric auto spotted the Ice Devil, and is also you know, a Cleric and not a gimp. Right now, it's about even, but I'm quite certain the party will win this one.

Why was this Cleric able to do so when the Factotum couldn't?  And if the Factotum knew about the creature ahead (he obviously did, the thing was pinging magic auras and glowing like a light bulb) and knew the Cleric had super auto detection, why didn't he bring the Cleric in to check? 

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 08, 2011, 06:13:02 AM

No, but yours does. These guys have already casually dismantled CR +1 and CR +2 encounters. That's what being competent means, you see. I was quite impressed with the systematic annihilation actually. They only got attacked twice, total, and one was an AoO. Over the entire campaign so far. Which, admittedly is not very long. But still, they're fucking awesome.

Ok, first: The whole CR system sucks balls, and judging a party by what kind of CR they can demolish is just plain dumb. The FIRST encounter for my 1/2 WBL party of TWO, with just a bit of help from a few guys of a few levels lower was an EL 17. So what does that prove? Nothing, but that the EL and CR number suck.

And I would in fact EXPECT a PC to be able to take on an even CR alone, and a +3 as a party any day. BUT I have to look at what's there, and that CR isn't everything, because I can certainly make CR-2 encounters that blow the party away without even trying.

But then again I guess its pointless to discuss that with you, because you could never get it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 08, 2011, 06:30:01 AM
And to be perfectly clear, I HAVE played stealthers at higher levels before.  It worked great, and they were very effective, with their primary role being forward intelligence gathering (at least in the stealth aspect, they were also decent at hitting enemies).  It totally worked.  But you have to play them smart.  You don't just blunder blindly through snowbanks or get so far away from the party that you can't retreat back in case of surprise.  You have things like Counter Charge, Shadow Jaunt, and Moment of Perfect Mind ready to go in case of emergencies if at all possible.  You have a variety of detection methods available to you while simultaneously making yourself immune to as many methods as at all possible.  You make sure you have multiple movement modes available (flight should be standard, burrowing is great if possible, climbing can be handy at times, teleporting is wonderful).  You have Hide and Move Silently at as high levels as you can get while keeping at least Spot up to a solid level.  It's just what you do.  Just because Sunic doesn't know how doesn't mean it's impossible... even in games with lots of casters (though you're going to have to pump the optimization level up a lot).
Done it in epic even(though obviously a lot of magic items, long duration spells from the friendly party caster where it'd be cheaper, etc). My main job was to sneak ahead, report back via a mindlink, and as the others got into position, start by oneshotting a target of opportunity with sneak attacks. Ring Gates turned me into a stealth firing port for spells that would be impractical to cast in combat. Mindsight turned up...once over the course of two levels(and the bastard said hello to the Ring Gate and the casters on the other side).

Yes, the Epic Spellcasting Ur Priest was more useful(is there anything a Miracle can't solve? how about a pair of Dream Larva?). But useless? Not by far.

More important is not to REALLY split the party. Either stay just slightly ahead, or bring some means of having them on site in a hurry.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 08, 2011, 12:32:45 PM
Uh, RE mounts.
Get cheap disposable ones?
Its not like you can't get Phantom Steed in item form for cheap.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 08, 2011, 12:39:24 PM
Stealthy dudes may do things other than just scout.

They might tag along invisibly / invisible to darkvision with the party (screw this, we're using spells/magic items) and fade into view to catch foes flat-footed. Which is a tactical advantage even if not sneak attacking. Only problem with low-level invisibility is short duration + standard-action casting time, 'less you're a warlock.

If you do want to go invisible, sneak attack, scout etc... goddamn it I keep coming back to Malphas.  :lmao Dip a level of Binder, pact magic is easy, seductive, the gateway to a few nice combos, and capable of filling in for whatever random character archetype you feel like being that day.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 12:43:43 PM
Sunic, the problem I'm seeing with your arguments is that you're assuming that skills fail because Mindsight exists.  Well, the vast majority of encounters don't have Mindsight.  If they do, then any scout is going to have a defense against it (usually telepathic block).  Without Mindsight/Touchsight, actually noticing the scout is incredibly difficult and the scout provides valuable intel to the party.  You can bitch and whine about a party mumber actually buffing the scout all you like.  I, as a spellcaster, would rather spend one spell to keep a guy safe, then spend numerous spells to know what's around the corner.

Occasionally having difficult encounters (which an Ice Devil vs. level 10 party is classified as) does not mean a character is useless.  Everyone does.  Scry and fry tactics are worthless against Vecna-Blooded.  Most methods a Wizard has at his disposal are rather ineffective against a Shredstorm (and even more for Clerics).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 12:47:27 PM
Uh, RE mounts.
Get cheap disposable ones?
Its not like you can't get Phantom Steed in item form for cheap.

Let's see...

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/phantomSteed.htm

Item costs 30,000 gold, assuming CL 5, +6k per CL beyond 5. It takes 10 minutes to activate each time, dies in 1 hit, and can't fly until CL 14. (84k gold) Um, no. Fail. That's not cheap at all.

Also, there are more things that make stealth fail than Mindsight. We've already been over them. And Mindsight has no defense by RAW.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Aharon on February 08, 2011, 12:56:13 PM
@Sunic
I'm confused. I thought the encounter against the Ice Devil was on the Plane of Ice, not on Eberron?
If I understand JaronK correctly, what he meant was that Mindsight only conveys the information "Undead, Int 18", and the Ice Devil can't use his other senses to find out what's approaching. It could be a Necropolitan Factotum 10 as well as a Vampire Warblade 20, or any other Undead with Int 18. Springing the ambush makes only sense if the Ice Devil expected the group, because it might be fatal if he attacks somebody that randomly wandered by and happens to be more powerful than him.

I guess, from the context you provided, that the Devil indeed expected the group - what other reason to lay an ambush? - but it was not 100% clear.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 12:58:51 PM
As much as I would love to prove him wrong SF is unfortunately correct that there is no real defense against mindsight. Any creature with an intelligence score that enters the telepathy range of a creature with mindsight is automatically detected and their type, location (their square), and intelligence score is revealed to the creature with mindsight. The detected creature still has total concealment though.

So we can add mindsight to freedom of movement and mind blank as ridiculous shit that removes whole aspects of the game from being valid options.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 12:59:56 PM
@Sunic
I'm confused. I thought the encounter against the Ice Devil was on the Plane of Ice, not on Eberron?

Eberron has Manifest Zones. Also, based on the movement of the planes in the cosmology, the planes become coterminous with Eberron every X duration for X duration, then gradually drift to being remote for X duration every X duration. It's in the Eberron Campaign Setting, full details on each plane's coterminous and remote periods and Manifest Zones starting on page 92.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 01:09:58 PM
RAW Defenses against Mindsight (Mindsight relies on telepathy):

Hellbreaker 1: Telepathic Static (Fiendish Codex 2)
Telepathy Block: Brd/Clr/Wiz/Sor 5 (BoED)

Arguable defense: Slayer 6: Cerebral Blind

Touchsight requires Line of Effect, does not work on incorporeal/ethereal, etc.

Lifesight can't detect undead (which isn't a bad idea for a scout anyway).

It isn't difficult to avoid all of the supposed "auto-wins" if you know how.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 01:12:27 PM
@Sunic
I'm confused. I thought the encounter against the Ice Devil was on the Plane of Ice, not on Eberron?

Manifest zone, as I said before. The answer, of course is both.

Quote
If I understand JaronK correctly, what he meant was that Mindsight only conveys the information "Undead, Int 18", and the Ice Devil can't use his other senses to find out what's approaching. It could be a Necropolitan Factotum 10 as well as a Vampire Warblade 20, or any other Undead with Int 18. Springing the ambush makes only sense if the Ice Devil expected the group, because it might be fatal if he attacks somebody that randomly wandered by and happens to be more powerful than him.

I guess, from the context you provided, that the Devil indeed expected the group - what other reason to lay an ambush? - but it was not 100% clear.

Yes, he knows that there is an Undead, with Int 18 there. He doesn't know more than that. As stated, this is still more than what the undead knows, namely that there is "something there" and that's it. The thought of a Vampire walking around in the daylight, or a random level 20 anything just walking around in Eberron is of course completely laughable - even if you ignore the fact that Vampires, being as shitty a template as they are are likely to be slaughtered by a goddamn CR 13 encounter even with 20 class levels. That however is not the point. The point is, with the cursory knowledge stated, it knows to suspect a "sneaky, highly intelligent undead". And then it does in fact sense a sneaky, and highly intelligent undead. Now there's some infinitesimally small chance that some other sneaky highly intelligent undead happened to wander by at the time at which the Ice Devil was expecting the PCs to show up, but assuming it was a mistake, some random wandering enemy is unlikely to be stronger than the fucking Ice Devil, so it kills some passing undead, shrugs, and continues on.

And yes, the fact it is hiding in the snow in the first place would indicate it expected the group.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 01:18:40 PM
Snakeman I think your argument is correct RAI but they didn't bother to word it properly for it to be RAW.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 08, 2011, 01:19:54 PM
240ft move Constant Flying Phantom Steed = 62400gp. So it gets one shotted, but you got to where you need to be anyway and the thing respawns after the fight. Costly, but it's high speed flight at higher levels.

3/day command word of the same = 45360gp, you get to start three encounters mounted on something as fast as a dragon.

1/day command word of the same = 15,120gp, a rocket horse that lasts all day, except if you have a wizard in your party you might as well pay him to scribe the spell AND spring for the pearl of power.

Pearls of Power for the wizard = 9000gp per use per day, and the mount exists long enough to use all day with a single cast unless you tried to use it in combat.

Or you could just use the Mount spell at lower levels. Disposable ride and its faster than walking. In either case the mount double moves you into range(or single move, if it's a Phantom Steed) and then it's done it's job. Whether it lives or dies is irrelevant. You still get to act.

Splitting the party is still retarded, but you can stretch how far you can go apart and yet not split easily. Remember, 100ft is well within engagement range for spellcasters and archers.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Aharon on February 08, 2011, 01:23:53 PM
@Relentless Imp & Sunic
=> Manifest zones
Thanks for the clarification, I must have overread that.
=> Random Level 20s
If you put it that way, it's indeed a funny notion. I forgot that high-level stuff is far less common on Eberron than in the FR. There, random Level 20s wandering by might actually be something you should consider when making a plan for an ambush  :rollseyes
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 01:28:58 PM
=> Random Level 20s
If you put it that way, it's indeed a funny notion. I forgot that high-level stuff is far less common on Eberron than in the FR. There, random Level 20s wandering by might actually be something you should consider when making a plan for an ambush  :rollseyes

Especially when you consider the (arguably) most powerful person, Merrix d'Cannith, who created a forge to make an entire race of shock troopers with sentience and more [awesome] abilities than you can shake a stick at, was at best a 13th level artificer...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 01:29:48 PM
First off, the "ice devil surprising and one-rounding the scout" situation wouldn't happen.  Ever.  The situation is possible enough, but the scout would not have gone ahead in this case because he couldn't be stealthy regardless of the devil's presence.  The Ice Devil will just engage the whole party.

Second, even in Jaron's example, the factotum would notice the glow and, because bigger creatures give off more light, would be able to say "There is something Large sized buried in the snow up ahead."  Assuming the party knew about the Ice Devil beforehand, they would likely assume that it's waiting up ahead.  Even without that, they could infer plenty about what the factotum located from the fact it's alive, Large sized, and buried in the snow for what looks like quite some time.  This means it's something resistant, if not immune to cold (not surprising in this environ) and is either sleeping or prepared to ambush and has been for a while.  From this, they proceed expecting an ambush, though they don't necessarily know from what.  If whatever it is was sleeping, then no harm done.  If it is indeed an ambush (which it is), the party is ready.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 01:33:49 PM
RAW Defenses against Mindsight (Mindsight relies on telepathy):

Hellbreaker 1: Telepathic Static (Fiendish Codex 2)
Telepathy Block: Brd/Clr/Wiz/Sor 5 (BoED)

Arguable defense: Slayer 6: Cerebral Blind

Telepathic Static only works within 20 feet, and only because you negate their telepathy and thus they lose the prereq for Mindsight. I wouldn't call this reliable considering the range.
Telepathy Block does not work. It states that it blocks telepathic communication, not that it negates a creature's telepathy. Big difference, and it does not work by RAW.

Cerebral Blind has a better chance of being counted than Telepathy Block.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 01:35:02 PM
First off, the "ice devil surprising and one-rounding the scout" situation wouldn't happen.  Ever.  The situation is possible enough, but the scout would not have gone ahead in this case because he couldn't be stealthy regardless of the devil's presence.  The Ice Devil will just engage the whole party.

Second, even in Jaron's example, the factotum would notice the glow and, because bigger creatures give off more light, would be able to say "There is something Large sized buried in the snow up ahead."  Assuming the party knew about the Ice Devil beforehand, they would likely assume that it's waiting up ahead.  Even without that, they could infer plenty about what the factotum located from the fact it's alive, Large sized, and buried in the snow for what looks like quite some time.  This means it's something resistant, if not immune to cold (not surprising in this environ) and is either sleeping or prepared to ambush and has been for a while.  From this, they proceed expecting an ambush, though they don't necessarily know from what.  If whatever it is was sleeping, then no harm done.  If it is indeed an ambush (which it is), the party is ready.
Maybe your groups would have walked in. Every group I've played with would have just backed up to the edge of the range and dropped a fireball and/or some other fire spells on the creature hiding in the snow. If it is big and has a 50/50 chance of being a trap we will just kill it and res it later if we were wrong.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 01:36:01 PM
Second, even in Jaron's example, the factotum would notice the glow and, because bigger creatures give off more light, would be able to say "There is something Large sized buried in the snow up ahead."  Assuming the party knew about the Ice Devil beforehand, they would likely assume that it's waiting up ahead.  Even without that, they could infer plenty about what the factotum located from the fact it's alive, Large sized, and buried in the snow for what looks like quite some time.  This means it's something resistant, if not immune to cold (not surprising in this environ) and is either sleeping or prepared to ambush and has been for a while.  From this, they proceed expecting an ambush, though they don't necessarily know from what.  If whatever it is was sleeping, then no harm done.  If it is indeed an ambush (which it is), the party is ready.
Yeah, true, but any character with lifesight could have done the exact same thing. Let's see, would you rather have a cleric with lifesight do this, or would you rather have a character whose entire build is dedicated to scouting? Let's see, full caster vs. epic fail...tough decision.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 01:37:45 PM
Artificer 9/Cannith Wand Adept 3. Or was it Heir of Siberys 3? Point is, 12 levels and not a good build.

Also, Lifesight means light shines from them. Which means when they are mostly covered in snow, you still see light, but no you can't tell that oh yeah, it's Large. In any case, the scout doesn't get to metagame, and suddenly become aware of something there and not go ahead. Either he's there, he attempts to do his job, and he fails, he's there, he does not attempt to do his job, and the discussion is moot, or he is not there, and the party is better for it (and the discussion is moot).

As it is now, this discussion is primarily serving to amuse the players, who by the way I fully expect to slaughter the so called level 18, but really just level 13 Ice Devil despite the fact said Ice Devil is competent, because they too are competent. What a novel concept, adventurers that can do their fucking jobs, take on adversity, and win.

Oh and you cast Fireball? Ok. You melt the snow. There is now an unharmed Ice Devil standing there. Since you wasted your surprise round, not only with pewpewpew but with pewpewpew it's immune to it destroys you.

Psst... BeholderSlayer, Lifesight is the undead one. Not Mindsight.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 01:40:24 PM
Yeah, I know, just mis-typed.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 01:44:11 PM
I never said my groups were competent. I know blasting is at best inefficient, they won't listen to that.

Also your argument about it being irrelevant is total BS. The character could still be scouting and notice the light then report to the group rather than being retarded and walking up to the neon sign that says "trap here". There is no metagaming involved in that, you don't get to assume the monster gets to pick things that are good while the player has to choose to do something stupid.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 08, 2011, 01:49:44 PM
One thing with the 'split the party' aspect of sneaking ahead to scout. Whats the engagement range of the party?

Arcanist: Medium range spells easily hit 100ft and then some
Cleric: See above RE Medium range spells. Also Archer Clerics. Melee clerics see below RE tank.
Sneak: 30ft, assuming archtypical rogue instead of something more useful(like Unseen Seer).
Tank: 0-15ft, assuming not a charger. A charger would extend this to 100ft easily, and should have some means of dealing with screwy terrain. Might want to buy a nice ride or get the wizard to make a nice ride(or just turn him into a nice ride).
Archers: Longbows start range penalties after 100ft, though concealment and cover might be a problem.

So, 100ft ahead, theres nice penalties to spot or hear the party, most of the party is already in engagement range(possibly needing targeting advice if the enemy is hidden). Communication a problem? Use Dancing Lights for signaling at low levels and one of the gazillion medium range message effects available after.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2011, 02:09:05 PM
...
Nah, even a tier 1 stealth character would fail, as it's still too easy to be detected, and you're still a single character taking on an encounter meant for the whole party. Even something like the Hi Welcome build is likely to fail under such conditions.
I've never contended that the scout is supposed to solo the encounter, but I'm getting tired of repeating myself. 

@Unholy Aura
My bad.  I was mistaken. 

Quote
Second, and more importantly, I always go back and forth on these things.  If the monster has a SP at will, that is different from having it "always on."  It involves some effort to activate, otherwise it wouldn't provoke attacks of opportunity, and there are creatures w/ "always on" abilities that are called out as such in the rules. 

That's why SLAs can be activated under any number of conditions, and they only require active effort to keep up when some fool is hitting you in the face or trying to hit you in the face right?

Quote
# Outsiders breathe, but do not need to eat or sleep (although they can do so if they wish). Native outsiders breathe, eat, and sleep.

Outsiders do not need to sleep. This, among other things means they are tireless machines of their alignments, which in this case means [Law] and [Evil]. So even if you want to pull some handwaving fluff about it getting tired, it's very clearly stated that Outsiders do not tire. The reason why it is different from abilities described specifically as always on is that it can be Dispelled, at which point the creature loses it. That's about it really.

Quote
My usual rule of thumb is that if the ability has a long duration, then I treat it as always on.  A power that lasts an hour and is usable at will is effectively constant.  But, every 10ish rounds ... I don't know.  I mean, imagine you were walking and every minute you had to stop and tie your shoes.  You'd probably get sick of it pretty soon, especially after the nigh infinite amount of time a gelugon would be dealing w/ it. 
...

Less of your houserules, more of my DMs.
If you're going to criticize someone's houserules, especially when they are explicitly set out as such, then please don't just go making up your own and parading them around like you didn't just do so. 

First, Outsiders don't sleep, but they are by no means immune to fatigue.  A gelugon is just as vulnerable to fatigue as any other creature in D&D, barring its relatively good fort saves.  They can also be exhausted, suffer strength penalties, and everything else in the system that represents being tired besides having to go to nap time on a regular basis. 

Second, this
That's why SLAs can be activated under any number of conditions, and they only require active effort to keep up when some fool is hitting you in the face or trying to hit you in the face right?
you just made up.  Spell-Like Abilities are, except as noted, just like casting spells.  They have the same duration and involve the same actions as casting spells, although they lack the components.  This means that while the monster doesn't have to wave its hands around, it still takes the full standard action to cast.  So, yeah, they require some effort to keep up, in their home and on their way, when they lie down and when they rise up.  Just like reaching in a backpack or any other activity that provokes AoOs.  Contrast that w/ maybe a quickened spell, which takes a swift action that eventually morphed into the "so easy it's hardly a thought" action in the game, which critically is not distracting and therefore does not provoke AoOs. 
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 08, 2011, 02:11:52 PM
Fact of the matter, YOU don't want scouting to succeed, and as long as you're GM, it won't. Simple as that. But OTHER GMs just might to LIKE it to work, and hence, when a player comes to them and says "I'd like to play a guy who does recon, etc.", then they'll accomodate him. Give him advice, maybe, caution him about the danger, oh yes, but accomodate him, in that they change their holy game so that the player can have some fun. Which is the entire point, and not masturbating about the awesomeness of ice devils buried in snow.

I'll have to agree with that. Personally, I don't feel that the comment is directed at Sunic, but at DMs Brainpiercing describes. I'm probably the only guy that optimizes in my group, so we generally have stealth characters, straight rangers, warlocks, healing clerics and stuff like that. I think that a competent DM knows how far a party can go and prepare appropriate challenging encounters.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 08, 2011, 02:23:01 PM

I'll have to agree with that. Personally, I don't feel that the comment is directed at Sunic, but at DMs Brainpiercing describes. I'm probably the only guy that optimizes in my group, so we generally have stealth characters, straight rangers, warlocks, healing clerics and stuff like that. I think that a competent DM knows how far a party can go and prepare appropriate challenging encounters.
And I expect that in fact MOST players have a similar experience. I haven't had ONE GM use Mindsight against me, yet. But a CRAPTON of ambushes, a lot of which (through poor GM skill) were almost enough to TPK the UNBUFFED party! With a buffed party, however, they would have been much easier.

I have to agree, that in a no-holds barred, TO-level cheese game, probably a Scout is dead meat, but then that's the reason you have a frickin cleric or DN: Make him some intelligent undead with Lifesight, and right there you have your DISPOSABLE scout.

Simple military logic dictates that it's good to know where the enemy is, and having someone go in front, who will hopefully make enough noise in going down that you learn about, is a good thing.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 02:46:52 PM

I'll have to agree with that. Personally, I don't feel that the comment is directed at Sunic, but at DMs Brainpiercing describes. I'm probably the only guy that optimizes in my group, so we generally have stealth characters, straight rangers, warlocks, healing clerics and stuff like that. I think that a competent DM knows how far a party can go and prepare appropriate challenging encounters.
And I expect that in fact MOST players have a similar experience. I haven't had ONE GM use Mindsight against me, yet. But a CRAPTON of ambushes, a lot of which (through poor GM skill) were almost enough to TPK the UNBUFFED party! With a buffed party, however, they would have been much easier.

I have to agree, that in a no-holds barred, TO-level cheese game, probably a Scout is dead meat, but then that's the reason you have a frickin cleric or DN: Make him some intelligent undead with Lifesight, and right there you have your DISPOSABLE scout.

Simple military logic dictates that it's good to know where the enemy is, and having someone go in front, who will hopefully make enough noise in going down that you learn about, is a good thing.

"Simple military logic" that has evolved throughout humanity's history without the existence of INT 30+ Wizards, divination magic, shambling zombies that can sense the living...

We're not playing with reality. We're playing with a psuedo-reality that rests on crazy laws that don't correspond with our own. Even so, there's a few things that stay the same, even using this "simple military logic":

One: Military intelligence is an oxymoron.
Two: "Oh shit" is more recon than most combat groups get.
Three: No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Four: Charlie Foxtrot. You're going to be wearing a dress.

When recon is so easy to beat, and enemies have an inhuman amount of intelligence and probably knows the methods of defeating mundane stealth, you're not going to get "Oh shit". You're going to get "INCOMING!" the moment you have eyes on the enemy. Why? Because splitting the party is suicide for the member that goes off alone to collect recon, so you don't split the party. Just like military recon groups don't send one motherfucker off alone. There's your "simple military logic". Scouting isn't done in the real world by one person alone, and sure as HELL not with ONLY THEIR human senses.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconnaissance#Force-oriented) is a description of modern, military Force-oriented recon tactics. Notice how many there are where one motherfucker's sent off blind, relying on nothing but himself and comm gear? That doesn't happen. The 'lone scout' archetype is busted in real life, and it's been busted in D&D. Please quit positing it as a valid character type.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 02:53:00 PM
I never said my groups were competent. I know blasting is at best inefficient, they won't listen to that.

Also your argument about it being irrelevant is total BS. The character could still be scouting and notice the light then report to the group rather than being retarded and walking up to the neon sign that says "trap here". There is no metagaming involved in that, you don't get to assume the monster gets to pick things that are good while the player has to choose to do something stupid.

Ok. Character notices light. At the same time, or perhaps sooner source of light notices him, and knows more about him than he knows about the light. Even if he decides to leave right away, the source of the light has more info than him. He finds himself surrounded by more lights. The party is still far away. He gets slaughtered, and later raised as a skeleton by the undead Cleric to hold the bags of the real characters.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 08, 2011, 03:30:54 PM

I'll have to agree with that. Personally, I don't feel that the comment is directed at Sunic, but at DMs Brainpiercing describes. I'm probably the only guy that optimizes in my group, so we generally have stealth characters, straight rangers, warlocks, healing clerics and stuff like that. I think that a competent DM knows how far a party can go and prepare appropriate challenging encounters.
And I expect that in fact MOST players have a similar experience. I haven't had ONE GM use Mindsight against me, yet. But a CRAPTON of ambushes, a lot of which (through poor GM skill) were almost enough to TPK the UNBUFFED party! With a buffed party, however, they would have been much easier.

I have to agree, that in a no-holds barred, TO-level cheese game, probably a Scout is dead meat, but then that's the reason you have a frickin cleric or DN: Make him some intelligent undead with Lifesight, and right there you have your DISPOSABLE scout.

Simple military logic dictates that it's good to know where the enemy is, and having someone go in front, who will hopefully make enough noise in going down that you learn about, is a good thing.

"Simple military logic" that has evolved throughout humanity's history without the existence of INT 30+ Wizards, divination magic, shambling zombies that can sense the living...

We're not playing with reality. We're playing with a psuedo-reality that rests on crazy laws that don't correspond with our own. Even so, there's a few things that stay the same, even using this "simple military logic":

One: Military intelligence is an oxymoron.
Two: "Oh shit" is more recon than most combat groups get.
Three: No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Four: Charlie Foxtrot. You're going to be wearing a dress.

When recon is so easy to beat, and enemies have an inhuman amount of intelligence and probably knows the methods of defeating mundane stealth, you're not going to get "Oh shit". You're going to get "INCOMING!" the moment you have eyes on the enemy. Why? Because splitting the party is suicide for the member that goes off alone to collect recon, so you don't split the party. Just like military recon groups don't send one motherfucker off alone. There's your "simple military logic". Scouting isn't done in the real world by one person alone, and sure as HELL not with ONLY THEIR human senses.

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconnaissance#Force-oriented) is a description of modern, military Force-oriented recon tactics. Notice how many there are where one motherfucker's sent off blind, relying on nothing but himself and comm gear? That doesn't happen. The 'lone scout' archetype is busted in real life, and it's been busted in D&D. Please quit positing it as a valid character type.

A creature's mental stats are actually capped by its real life pilot mental stats :P

Slightly related: When I kill monsters by awesome, it's like 'meh' by fellow party members. However, when an unoptimized and slightly worthless character kills a monster by awesome it's like 'woohoo' around here.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 03:40:05 PM
You know what?  Forget it.  No matter what we point out, Sunic is just going to go "herp derp, I can think of an example where it's a bad idea, therefore it's ALWAYS a bad idea" and won't budge an inch.  Never mind that 99% of the time, scouting is a good move, works perfectly, and that very, very few characters can only scout and not handle themselves long enough to rejoin with the party.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bester on February 08, 2011, 04:00:10 PM
Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?

Depends on the DM.  I prefer to do my stealthing in a team due to bad experiences adventuring alone.  Lest we forget save or die and save or suck if you are discovered by any magic user who is prepared?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 04:04:06 PM
I never said my groups were competent. I know blasting is at best inefficient, they won't listen to that.

Also your argument about it being irrelevant is total BS. The character could still be scouting and notice the light then report to the group rather than being retarded and walking up to the neon sign that says "trap here". There is no metagaming involved in that, you don't get to assume the monster gets to pick things that are good while the player has to choose to do something stupid.

Ok. Character notices light. At the same time, or perhaps sooner source of light notices him, and knows more about him than he knows about the light. Even if he decides to leave right away, the source of the light has more info than him. He finds himself surrounded by more lights. The party is still far away. He gets slaughtered, and later raised as a skeleton by the undead Cleric to hold the bags of the real characters.
if the "scout" doesn't notice what is basically this:
[spoiler](http://www.fotothing.com/photos/200/200088ed86298a473d95f4ea70685694_c07.jpg)[/spoiler]
from more than the 100ft or so telepathy range then they deserve to be buggered by the ice devil.

Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 05:10:15 PM
Yawn. We've been over visibility already.

People trying to defend easily capable gimps here is almost as sad and pathetic as what happens when a skilled player starts schooling people on traps. Specifically, by ignoring them, instead of wasting time and resources on them. And people feebly cling to traps, and make all manner of crazy statements to try to defend traps simply because it's all they know.

Same for scouts.

And to the guy who tried to bring military strategy into it: Lol, what?

Military strategy, on Earth is low level humans vs low level humans. Because that's what we have and fight here. The D&D world, obviously is not limited in this way. Modern military strategy has no answer for an Ice Devil. It has no concept of an Ice Devil. It doesn't even know what a fucking Ogre is.

You see, worlds that are drastically different evolve in drastically different ways. The military strategy, in a D&D world is a team of state sponsored superheroes, vs their team of state sponsored superheroes. Fuck armies. And when that team of PCs runs across something, chances are they don't have any fucking warning, and they don't get any fucking warning from mundane scouts in a world where all manner of creatures can make anything alive glow like a streetlamp, or instantly become aware of any minds within range, or sense a disturbance in the Force, or feel the quivering of approaching footsteps, or even something as innocent as the nose of a bloodhound, but the mind of a man. And if they have those things, themselves, then the result is that they both detect each other, but since the scout is alone he gets slaughtered... or you take the hint, don't scout, don't split the fucking party, and don't take a goddamn walking dead man (not to be confused with Undead) along to leech your XP and treasure. Then you either auto detect the enemy as they detect you, or not, but at least you're all there to fight the damn thing.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 08, 2011, 05:23:37 PM
Well, this has been constructive and informative, guys. Well done all around.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 08, 2011, 05:25:41 PM
stuff..
I'm not going to waste my breath. Time to find something else to look at.

Here I'll type your response for you:
Hi Welcome Herp Derp
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 06:11:15 PM
Perhaps if you whine more about the real classes that are better than you, they'll get nerfed to your level of suck.

Except that oh wait, this isn't an MMO, so that fails too.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 08, 2011, 06:15:33 PM
A creature's mental stats are actually capped by its real life pilot mental stats :P

Unfortunately, this little tidbit always catches up to me.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 08, 2011, 07:10:34 PM

And to the guy who tried to bring military strategy into it: Lol, what?

Military strategy, on Earth is low level humans vs low level humans. Because that's what we have and fight here. The D&D world, obviously is not limited in this way. Modern military strategy has no answer for an Ice Devil. It has no concept of an Ice Devil. It doesn't even know what a fucking Ogre is.

You see, worlds that are drastically different evolve in drastically different ways. The military strategy, in a D&D world is a team of state sponsored superheroes, vs their team of state sponsored superheroes. Fuck armies. And when that team of PCs runs across something, chances are they don't have any fucking warning, and they don't get any fucking warning from mundane scouts in a world where all manner of creatures can make anything alive glow like a streetlamp, or instantly become aware of any minds within range, or sense a disturbance in the Force, or feel the quivering of approaching footsteps, or even something as innocent as the nose of a bloodhound, but the mind of a man. And if they have those things, themselves, then the result is that they both detect each other, but since the scout is alone he gets slaughtered... or you take the hint, don't scout, don't split the fucking party, and don't take a goddamn walking dead man (not to be confused with Undead) along to leech your XP and treasure. Then you either auto detect the enemy as they detect you, or not, but at least you're all there to fight the damn thing.

Oh, I do think we have a perfect recipe for Ogres, OR Ice Devils, it's called Aircraft and tanks, and a few little old things called guided missiles. Not even mentioning that a simple hand-grenade has a greater effective radius than a fireball. But whatever, that's not the point.

If you were running my group of state-sponsored super-heroes, then I would damn well insist you take someone along to scout the way. Why? Because I simply CAN'T be sure that you'll be able to beat everything you're going to meet, and I've invested a metric crapton of cash into you. And since I'm not sure of that, I'm going to send a more expendable troop in advance. And if the enemy pounces on that - and in your case of Ice Devil it would have done just that, kill the scout, alert the party to its presence, revealing itself to the more dangerous members, then I've won. (Because if you still don't understand that your Ice Devil is an idiot, then...)

So if you were to play a group in a game that I would be running (and it would have to be that kind of game) and simply waltz into everywhere, then you would eventually meet someone who is just not an appropriate fight. But if you had scouted ahead, maybe you could have avoided that. So that's the core of the matter: You can play your bullshit "never separate the party" game, because you expect to be able to win every fight as a party, but some you may just not be meant to win. Some may be set up to actually kill you if you meet them unprepared.

Now the question of whether I want to PLAY that scout, probably not in a game world like that. But in plenty of others, sure enough.

And finally: Lifesense: If you haven't understood how THAT works, then you're also an idiot. Anyone reading the feat should be aware that it HAS NO RANGE! You see that devil as soon he appears on the fucking horizon, shining like a VERY LARGE LIGHT, illuminating everything in a 120 foot radius of HIS position, and since snow is not entirely opaque, it would have shone through the snow. So your Cleric could have spotted it a LONG time ago, as would the Lifesense factotum. Mindsight doesn't even compare.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 07:32:22 PM
And such a scout would require an equal investment, repaid every time he died (which by the way is all the fucking time).

Now, in such a situation, where you eventually run into something you cannot beat at all, then guess what?

Scouting fails even harder, because everything you do improves with level, therefore anything strong enough to be too much for the entire party to beat automatically annihilates the scout even if you pretend scouting is a good idea, and then it still fucking attacks the party. And likely annihilates them too.

Of course, no one has actually brought up an unbeatable encounter except you, and JaronK's +5 CR SPARKLY VAMPIRE, but if such a thing were used (and that, unlike the various lying claims here actually would make me a dick) then that makes scouting fail more, not less. After all, an example of a fight not meant to be winnable means you don't fight one Ice Devil. You fight a goddamn trio of them. You might as well give the encounter an ability that automatically annihilates any tier 3 or lower within visual range, no save.

Which again, means scouting fails even harder than it normally does.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 07:41:27 PM
And finally: Lifesense: If you haven't understood how THAT works, then you're also an idiot. Anyone reading the feat should be aware that it HAS NO RANGE! You see that devil as soon he appears on the fucking horizon, shining like a VERY LARGE LIGHT, illuminating everything in a 120 foot radius of HIS position, and since snow is not entirely opaque, it would have shone through the snow. So your Cleric could have spotted it a LONG time ago, as would the Lifesense factotum. Mindsight doesn't even compare.
Technically, it was spotted a long time ago. I don't see what your point is, though. The only difference is that in one case the guy doing the spotting sucks, and in the other he is a cleric full caster.

Sunic isn't saying that the cleric is a better scout (although using divination magic, he is in fact, better), he is saying that the cleric pulled off the same trick while simultaneously making the lifesense factotum look like Skippy the Punk when all things are considered.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 07:50:39 PM
Yes, he knows that there is an Undead, with Int 18 there. He doesn't know more than that. As stated, this is still more than what the undead knows, namely that there is "something there" and that's it.

Wrong, you decided he has spells up, which means at this level Arcane Sight locates him instantly.  Furthermore, the scout would also have Mindsight (why not?) so he knows far more.  So, at 120 feet out, scout knows "living thing that's clearly hiding in the snow bank, who currently has at least one high level spell on him."  At that range, devil knows nothing at all.  If scout acts on this information, devil is screwed.  Only when the scout gets even closer does this change... the devil then knows "Int 18 undead" while the scout adds in the intelligence and type of the outsider.  The scout definitely knows a great deal more at any point.  

Quote
The thought of a Vampire walking around in the daylight, or a random level 20 anything just walking around in Eberron is of course completely laughable - even if you ignore the fact that Vampires, being as shitty a template as they are are likely to be slaughtered by a goddamn CR 13 encounter even with 20 class levels. That however is not the point. The point is, with the cursory knowledge stated, it knows to suspect a "sneaky, highly intelligent undead". And then it does in fact sense a sneaky, and highly intelligent undead. Now there's some infinitesimally small chance that some other sneaky highly intelligent undead happened to wander by at the time at which the Ice Devil was expecting the PCs to show up, but assuming it was a mistake, some random wandering enemy is unlikely to be stronger than the fucking Ice Devil, so it kills some passing undead, shrugs, and continues on.

And yes, the fact it is hiding in the snow in the first place would indicate it expected the group.

Why does it expect the group?  This group is scouting properly, why is their route so obvious that burying yourself in snow guarantees you're even on their route?  Why is it more likely to find an entire group of enemies (who are still stronger than it as a group) than a single higher level undead?  For all it knows this was a lich (not a Wizard lich, as that would be higher Int, but it could be another kind of lich) or a vampire (you didn't say this was daylight, and my group prefers to travel at night where rings of darkhidden make the party much harder to deal with and lifesight characters see enemies instantly) or some other necropolitan (Warblades, Factotums, Rogues and a bunch of other options could all have such an int score).  He certainly doesn't know level.  Furthermore, any half decent character of this type is smart enough to hide the fact that he's a necropolitan (usually with disguse) so if the Ice Devil was expecting this group, and instead saw "high Int undead" he would have no idea what's out there.  Surely a paranoid devil isn't dumb enough to just blow his ambush on everything that gets close.  If he did, what happens if the party just throws a summoned creature near him?  He'd charge it, blowing his surprised, and then get jumped by everyone and everything.

At this point you're giving the Ice Devil a ton of information it shouldn't have, and denying the scout a ton of information it should.  That's why the ambush worked at all.  If it weren't for you working against the player, this would be easy.  Heck, even if the player had seen the bright shiny neon lights in the snowbank and seen the magic auras and still gone "doom de doom, gonna walk in" he can still notify the party so they're all standing by with actions and then rapidly cross the 100 feet line while the party prepares their attack actions based on the scouts mental command.  Once the scout notices it's a high int outsider with glowing magical auras hiding in a snowbank, he says attack... that's a surprise round.  Party instant ganks this idiotic demon with everything they can long range fire with, while it's still buried in the snow.  Because you see, that's what scouts do... they get information and report back.  

This is not about scouts running off half a mile in front of the party.  This is about a single superheroic character with ablative defenses and excellent recon abilities staying forward of the party but well within their attack range while maintaining full contact with said party, so as to make sure the party gets the surprise round, not the enemy.  And that's useful and important at every optimization level, though obviously for any given level you have to make sure you have better detection than the enemy.  And of course since stealth doesn't take THAT much of the character resources, there's all sorts of abilities you can have other than stealth which keeps you very useful in general.  You are NOT separating the party.  

And in a game where there actually are encounters you shouldn't blunder into blindly, scouting saves your life, while failing to scout kills you.  Divinations are blocked easily at higher levels, and are in fact blocked wholesale (Nondetection, Mindsight) so relying on them is a recipee for disaster.  A decent scout has far too many detection abilities for any one spell to hide from him entirely like that.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 08:08:38 PM
Wrong, you decided he has spells up, which means at this level Arcane Sight locates him instantly.  Furthermore, the scout would also have Mindsight (why not?) so he knows far more.  So, at 120 feet out, scout knows "living thing that's clearly hiding in the snow bank, who currently has at least one high level spell on him."  At that range, devil knows nothing at all.  If scout acts on this information, devil is screwed.  Only when the scout gets even closer does this change... the devil then knows "Int 18 undead" while the scout adds in the intelligence and type of the outsider.  The scout definitely knows a great deal more at any point.  
I thought you had given up on Arcane Sight a while ago. Where did it come from, again? Probably a permanent spell, since those are obviously readily available in campaigns where there's something like 4 level 10 characters of any type in an entire country. Your "well I have permanent Arcane Sight despite not being able to do it myself" argument is retarded.

Short and sweet: your scout doesn't have permanent arcane sight. Get over it.

Quote
Why does it expect the group?  This group is scouting properly, why is their route so obvious that burying yourself in snow guarantees you're even on their route?  Why is it more likely to find an entire group of enemies (who are still stronger than it as a group) than a single higher level undead?  For all it knows this was a lich (not a Wizard lich, as that would be higher Int, but it could be another kind of lich) or a vampire (you didn't say this was daylight, and my group prefers to travel at night where rings of darkhidden make the party much harder to deal with and lifesight characters see enemies instantly) or some other necropolitan (Warblades, Factotums, Rogues and a bunch of other options could all have such an int score).  He certainly doesn't know level.  Furthermore, any have decent character of this type is smart enough to hide the fact that he's a necropolitan (usually with disguse) so if the Ice Devil was expecting this group, and instead saw "high Int undead" he would have no idea what's out there.  Surely a paranoid devil isn't dumb enough to just blow his ambush on everything that gets close.  If he did, what happens if the party just throws a summoned creature near him?  He'd charge it, blowing his surprised, and then get jumped by everyone and everything.
Apparently enemies in your campaigns are just plain fucking stupid. This whole paragraph is so fucking retarded that it's mind boggling. Have you not been paying attention at all? Oh, of course not, you never do.

Apparently enemies in your campaigns never take any sort of initiative or do anything at all, they just sit around waiting for adventurers to come slaughter them.

We are talking about level 10 D&D here, not an X-Men video game. Enemies can do everything the players can. This means they can conduct divination, and organize. You don't think an Ice Devil was waiting to ambush a group of adventurers just because he is bored, do you? Of course you do. Retarded.

Quote
At this point you're giving the Ice Devil a ton of information it shouldn't have, and denying the scout a ton of information it should.  

Right, since enemies should never have information because they never do anything. You never grew out of the "I can't see it, therefore it doesn't exist" mindset that most people leave by the age of 5, did you?

Quote
That's why the ambush worked at all.  If it weren't for you working against the player, this would be easy.  Heck, even if the player had seen the bright shiny neon lights in the snowbank and seen the magic auras and still gone "doom de doom, gonna walk in" he can still notify the party so they're all standing by with actions and then rapidly cross the 100 feet line while the party prepares their attack actions based on the scouts mental command.  Once the scout notices it's a high int outsider with glowing magical auras hiding in a snowbank, he says attack... that's a surprise round.  Party instant ganks this idiotic demon with everything they can long range fire with, while it's still buried in the snow.  Because you see, that's what scouts do... they get information and report back.  
and this can be done by this fictional scout better than a full caster...how again?

Quote
This is not about scouts running off half a mile in front of the party.  This is about a single superheroic character with ablative defenses and excellent recon abilities staying forward of the party but well within their attack range while maintaining full contact with said party, so as to make sure the party gets the surprise round, not the enemy.  And that's useful and important at every optimization level, though obviously for any given level you have to make sure you have better detection than the enemy.  And of course since stealth doesn't take THAT much of the character resources, there's all sorts of abilities you can have other than stealth which keeps you very useful in general.  You are NOT separating the party.  
or, you could do the same thing without being a waste of space.

Quote
And in a game where there actually are encounters you shouldn't blunder into blindly, scouting saves your life, while failing to scout kills you.  Divinations are blocked easily at higher levels, and are in fact blocked wholesale (Nondetection, Mindsight) so relying on them is a recipee for disaster.  A decent scout has far too many detection abilities for any one spell to hide from him entirely like that.

JaronK
Meh, get a herd of donkeys and they are accomplishing the same thing your "decent scout" does, except they don't suck up XP, loot, and annoy everybody else by slowing down the party. The point is, wizards and clerics can perform scouting. Scouting is useful. Dedicated Scouts, though, are not, they suck a barrel of cocks and take up space that could be otherwise occupied by a party member that's worth having around.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 08, 2011, 08:22:16 PM
Quote
Technically, it was spotted a long time ago. I don't see what your point is, though. The only difference is that in one case the guy doing the spotting sucks, and in the other he is a cleric full caster.
Oh, but he kept going on about how the two spotted each other simultaneously.

Look, we've made clear that in this case, scouting is IMPOSSIBLE, because there IS NO STEALTH that works on a flat plane of ice. It's a singular case. So any Lifesenser would have detected that devil and called in the F16s. Who cares?

So the question is: What do you replace the "scout" with? Another persistent GCF DMM cleric? Another Incantatrix? Another fracking dragonwrought loredrake cheatbold? Guess what, it's BORING.

I'd rather have that Factotum, even if he dies, occasionally. Factotums are borderline useful in games that require a lot of cheese, and a good load of fun in games that don't. They are not perfect, which is what keeps them interesting. The only other not-Tier-1 character who might take his place is a Beguiler. (And for games like these I consider a DN Tier 1, because he can do all sorts of shit, when everything is allowed.)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 08:27:07 PM
That's what I've been getting at.  People are taking a shit all over the scout-type in this situation when the situation was set up to not allow stealth in the first place.  Yes, in this particular situation, anyone with Life Sense would do as well as anyone else.  This does not mean having a dedicated scout (who is incredibly rarely dedicated to purely that role) is a bad idea, just that it has no real advantage in this situation.  Likewise, having a Druid is no real advantage when you have to convince (not coerce) the king to sign a treaty.  Having one situation where a scout doesn't help the party is nothing to draw conclusions on.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 08:32:39 PM
I thought you had given up on Arcane Sight a while ago. Where did it come from, again? Probably a permanent spell, since those are obviously readily available in campaigns where there's something like 4 level 10 characters of any type in an entire country. Your "well I have permanent Arcane Sight despite not being able to do it myself" argument is retarded.

Short and sweet: your scout doesn't have permanent arcane sight. Get over it.

In a high optimization game like Sunic's where you have CRs well over standard ambushing you, something like Permanent Arcane Sight is standard.  Claiming that there's only 4 level 10 characters of any type in an entire country in a game where everything's a caster and able to challenge the party is stupid.  Sunic's own game world dictates otherwise.  If you're the only level 10 types out there, you don't need to all be casters or be useless.  If there's plenty of things with magic so lots of magic is out there as Sunic suggests, then either you can buy it or that civilization that has no such characters is already wiped out.

And by RAW, any metropolis has what you need, as do many smaller towns.  Check out the DMG on the topic of demographics... there's not THAT many casters out there, not enough to provide the threats Sunic claims are everywhere, but there are enough to buy a few permanent spells once in a while.  And can we stop this whole back and forth of "casters are everywhere, they're the only ones who can survive, but there's no other casters out there"?  It's silly.

Quote
Apparently enemies in your campaigns are just plain fucking stupid. This whole paragraph is so fucking retarded that it's mind boggling. Have you not been paying attention at all? Oh, of course not, you never do.

Apparently enemies in your campaigns never take any sort of initiative or do anything at all, they just sit around waiting for adventurers to come slaughter them.

The situation here is, according to Sunic "Ice Devil has buried himself in snow wiating to see if he spots anyone, then mindlessly attacks the first thing that pops into his mindsight range."  That's Sunic's scenario, not mine.  In his game, the thing just sat there until a Cleric somehow spotted him (Not sure how that happened) and got instant killed.  So yes, in Sunic's campaign, that's exactly what monsters do... they set up perfect ambushes and then sit there.  

Quote
We are talking about level 10 D&D here, not an X-Men video game. Enemies can do everything the players can. This means they can conduct divination, and organize. You don't think an Ice Devil was waiting to ambush a group of adventurers just because he is bored, do you? Of course you do. Retarded.

Look at Sunic's scenario.  That's EXACTLY what this idiot devil did.  In fact, this devil was so stupid that he didn't even know the Cleric could easily see him... and it doesn't sound like the Cleric was actually hiding himself at all.  

Quote
Right, since enemies should never have information because they never do anything. You never grew out of the "I can't see it, therefore it doesn't exist" mindset that most people leave by the age of 5, did you?

You fail reading comprehension forever.  The Ice Devil didn't even know the Cleric would auto detect him (which, in the real campaign, happened).  Heck, the Cleric evidently wasn't even hiding and the Ice Devil STILL didn't get his ambush off.  The Ice Devil didn't realize his whole plan from the outset was stupid.  I'm working within Sunic's scenario here, where enemies are really stupid.

Quote
and this can be done by this fictional scout better than a full caster...how again?

First off, because the hide skill is generally higher on a scout than a full caster.  Few full casters have hide.  Second, full casters rarely want to spend their feats on stuff like Darkstalker and Lifesight and Mindsight... better for them to get decent metamagics and such.  Remember, the idea here is for the scout to see the enemy first.  Blundering around in heavy armor (Cleric) means enemies see you first.

Quote
or, you could do the same thing without being a waste of space.

Not everyone plays T1 optimized TO style games.  A character who can deal significant damage, scout for the party, handle social situations, and has a variety of utility spells is not a waste of space except in the most optimized of games.  What is this, a party of Shadowcraft Mages, Runesmiths, and Dwoemerkeepers?


Quote
Meh, get a herd of donkeys and they are accomplishing the same thing your "decent scout" does, except they don't suck up XP, loot, and annoy everybody else by slowing down the party.

A herd of donkeys?  What?

Quote
The point is, wizards and clerics can perform scouting. Scouting is useful. Dedicated Scouts, though, are not, they suck a barrel of cocks and take up space that could be otherwise occupied by a party member that's worth having around.

Neither of those classes can hide.  The first thing with Blindsense or Blindsight autodetects them.  Scent autodetects them.  Tremorsense autodetects them.  Divinations are easily blocked by magical defenses, and many are even stumped by something as simple as a foot of stone.  Casting divinations takes up spell slots and they're unreliable because they're binary... either they worked, or they were blocked, and if they're blocked you don't know if they failed to find anything or nothing was there.  Invisibility is trumped by a wide range of spells and abilities (many of which fail to work on hide).  Teleportation requires knowing where you're going.  Sure, T1 classes CAN do these things with effort and resources.  They're T1, doing everything is what they do... maybe they could find a dead stealther of old and reanimate him as a Dread Warrior or something.  But now you're just saying "T1 classes are stronger than lower tier classes!"  Yes, congratulations, go get yourself a cookie, you're the first to figure that out.    But they're not actually very good at it, and scouts ARE completely functional if you know what you're doing.  I know, I've played them, others in this thread have played them.  Just because YOU play games where there's no other casters above level 10 but the entire party is nothing but T1 casters doesn't mean everyone else plays that way, or that the game is actually designed to be played that way at all.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 08:46:11 PM
Likewise, having a Druid is no real advantage when you have to convince (not coerce) the king to sign a treaty.  Having one situation where a scout doesn't help the party is nothing to draw conclusions on.

Druids have Diplomacy as a class skill.

Wrong, you decided he has spells up, which means at this level Arcane Sight locates him instantly.  Furthermore, the scout would also have Mindsight (why not?) so he knows far more.  So, at 120 feet out, scout knows "living thing that's clearly hiding in the snow bank, who currently has at least one high level spell on him."  At that range, devil knows nothing at all.  If scout acts on this information, devil is screwed.  Only when the scout gets even closer does this change... the devil then knows "Int 18 undead" while the scout adds in the intelligence and type of the outsider.  The scout definitely knows a great deal more at any point.  

Except that as stated and proven, you do not have Arcane Sight, you cannot get Arcane Sight, and even if you did somehow get it that 8,160 gold (which by the way, is more than 10% of your total wealth ever) is liable to get randomly destroyed by pure accident, just because enemies cast Dispels.

Quote
Why does it expect the group?  This group is scouting properly, why is their route so obvious that burying yourself in snow guarantees you're even on their route?  Why is it more likely to find an entire group of enemies (who are still stronger than it as a group) than a single higher level undead?  For all it knows this was a lich (not a Wizard lich, as that would be higher Int, but it could be another kind of lich) or a vampire (you didn't say this was daylight, and my group prefers to travel at night where rings of darkhidden make the party much harder to deal with and lifesight characters see enemies instantly) or some other necropolitan (Warblades, Factotums, Rogues and a bunch of other options could all have such an int score).  He certainly doesn't know level.  Furthermore, any half decent character of this type is smart enough to hide the fact that he's a necropolitan (usually with disguse) so if the Ice Devil was expecting this group, and instead saw "high Int undead" he would have no idea what's out there.  Surely a paranoid devil isn't dumb enough to just blow his ambush on everything that gets close.  If he did, what happens if the party just throws a summoned creature near him?  He'd charge it, blowing his surprised, and then get jumped by everyone and everything.

Because enemies are remotely competent, and not MMO mobs. If they are "scouting properly" (read: going slow as fuck, and divide and conquering themselves) they make it easier for themselves to follow. The Ice Devil, meanwhile can be anywhere within 1,300 miles 3 seconds from now, whenever it wants and as often as it wants. It finds the PCs because it has means of determining where the hell they're going and how they are getting there. It does not find random, high level undead both because that's fucking retarded, and you should feel retarded for thinking it and that the only "high level undead" of the levels you are talking about IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD is hidden away somewhere, as she has been for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. This is not some shitty Forgettable Realms campaign where you can't fuck ten people without banging five epic level NPCs, two goddesses, one god in female form, and a donkey PAOed into a woman. If it were such a shitty world, then the problem wouldn't be "herp derp Ice Devil attacks random undead, who has over 9,000 levels and kills him". The problem would be "herp derp, scout runs into random highly level inappropriate encounter, and gets automatically annihilated".

Meanwhile, I've said several times it was daylight. I even said an exact time of day - 15:15. You fail at reading comprehension yet again, as is par for the course. By the way Jaron, how long did you have to go hide in snow to cool off after being blasted hard for being an imbecile?

Quote
At this point you're giving the Ice Devil a ton of information it shouldn't have, and denying the scout a ton of information it should.  That's why the ambush worked at all.  If it weren't for you working against the player, this would be easy.  Heck, even if the player had seen the bright shiny neon lights in the snowbank and seen the magic auras and still gone "doom de doom, gonna walk in" he can still notify the party so they're all standing by with actions and then rapidly cross the 100 feet line while the party prepares their attack actions based on the scouts mental command.  Once the scout notices it's a high int outsider with glowing magical auras hiding in a snowbank, he says attack... that's a surprise round.  Party instant ganks this idiotic demon with everything they can long range fire with, while it's still buried in the snow.  Because you see, that's what scouts do... they get information and report back.  

Translation: Herp derp, the 22 Int devil should act like a big dumb MOB, while I constantly lie and pretend I have abilities I don't. In addition to being worse than Faelryinth, you are also the worst kind of optimizer - the kind that shows up to the table with some TO fail build, and then whines and flails if the enemies are even slightly competent, much less optimized.

Quote
This is not about scouts running off half a mile in front of the party.  This is about a single superheroic character with ablative defenses and excellent recon abilities staying forward of the party but well within their attack range while maintaining full contact with said party, so as to make sure the party gets the surprise round, not the enemy.  And that's useful and important at every optimization level, though obviously for any given level you have to make sure you have better detection than the enemy.  And of course since stealth doesn't take THAT much of the character resources, there's all sorts of abilities you can have other than stealth which keeps you very useful in general.  You are NOT separating the party.  

No, it's about one super squishy gimp getting 200 feet ahead of everyone else, by your own words. The superheroes, meanwhile are trying to convince you to not commit suicide, or failing this rolling on your loot. But by all means, keep shifting those goalposts.

Quote
And in a game where there actually are encounters you shouldn't blunder into blindly, scouting saves your life, while failing to scout kills you.  Divinations are blocked easily at higher levels, and are in fact blocked wholesale (Nondetection, Mindsight) so relying on them is a recipee for disaster.  A decent scout has far too many detection abilities for any one spell to hide from him entirely like that.

In a game where there are encounters you shouldn't blunder into blindly, the scout gets found and annihilated, because level improves everything, particularly gimp annihilation skills.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 08, 2011, 08:50:22 PM
I think greater teleport has no range limit.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 08:53:33 PM
So, continuing with the smiting of imbeciles.

In a high optimization game like Sunic's where you have CRs well over standard ambushing you, something like Permanent Arcane Sight is standard.  Claiming that there's only 4 level 10 characters of any type in an entire country in a game where everything's a caster and able to challenge the party is stupid.  Sunic's own game world dictates otherwise.  If you're the only level 10 types out there, you don't need to all be casters or be useless.  If there's plenty of things with magic so lots of magic is out there as Sunic suggests, then either you can buy it or that civilization that has no such characters is already wiped out.

Standard range from encounters goes up to CR +4. Ice Devils, incidentally are CR + 3. They are well within standard range. Hi Welcome

Just because you and your gimp toons would get slaughtered by something actually meant to be a bit difficult does not mean such encounters are unfair. It just means you fail at life, and should delete and reroll as a public service to us all.

Skipping past lies and fail.

Quote
The situation here is, according to Sunic "Ice Devil has buried himself in snow wiating to see if he spots anyone, then mindlessly attacks the first thing that pops into his mindsight range."  That's Sunic's scenario, not mine.  In his game, the thing just sat there until a Cleric somehow spotted him (Not sure how that happened) and got instant killed.  So yes, in Sunic's campaign, that's exactly what monsters do... they set up perfect ambushes and then sit there.  

Stop humping the strawman or I'll spay you.

Quote
Look at Sunic's scenario.  That's EXACTLY what this idiot devil did.  In fact, this devil was so stupid that he didn't even know the Cleric could easily see him... and it doesn't sound like the Cleric was actually hiding himself at all.  

I'm serious. Time to control the vermin population.

Skipping past more fail.

Quote
First off, because the hide skill is generally higher on a scout than a full caster.  Few full casters have hide.  Second, full casters rarely want to spend their feats on stuff like Darkstalker and Lifesight and Mindsight... better for them to get decent metamagics and such.  Remember, the idea here is for the scout to see the enemy first.  Blundering around in heavy armor (Cleric) means enemies see you first.

The undead Cleric does not have heavy armor. He does not have any armor. Incidentally, the living Cleric does have heavy armor, but has negated most every disadvantage of it. Amusingly, the undead Cleric has a better AC.

Quote
Not everyone plays T1 optimized TO style games.  A character who can deal significant damage, scout for the party, handle social situations, and has a variety of utility spells is not a waste of space except in the most optimized of games.  What is this, a party of Shadowcraft Mages, Runesmiths, and Dwoemerkeepers?

Nah, just Clerics, Druids, and Wizards. But even a lower tier party wouldn't bother with a waste of space gimp.

Skipping past yet more fail.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 09:05:36 PM
Except that as stated and proven, you do not have Arcane Sight, you cannot get Arcane Sight, and even if you did somehow get it that 8,160 gold (which by the way, is more than 10% of your total wealth ever) is liable to get randomly destroyed by pure accident, just because enemies cast Dispels.

So now we have to add even more limits to this whole thing.  Fine.

Quote
Because enemies are remotely competent, and not MMO mobs. If they are "scouting properly" (read: going slow as fuck, and divide and conquering themselves) they make it easier for themselves to follow.

Ah, so others are scouting the party better than the party is scouting, and that's the problem.  Got it.  It's too bad the entire party wasn't able to be stealthy so they would be hard to follow, instead of clanking along in heavy armor or whatever.  Then they'd be just fine.

Quote
The Ice Devil, meanwhile can be anywhere within 1,300 miles 3 seconds from now, whenever it wants and as often as it wants. It finds the PCs because it has means of determining where the hell they're going and how they are getting there.

And what was this means?  The party is following a strict route?  Why didn't the party teleport?  Why is the party walking into obvious ambushes?  Why didn't the party use abilities like nondetection?  Heck, I've even had a party travel around in a lead lined carriage (horseless, since Haunt Shift makes speedy carriages easily, and then you can give the thing flight too) specifically to screw various divination abilities.  You're stating clearly that the party got out scouted.

Quote
It does not find random, high level undead both because that's fucking retarded, and you should feel retarded for thinking it and that the only "high level undead" of the levels you are talking about IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD is hidden away somewhere, as she has been for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. This is not some shitty Forgettable Realms campaign where you can't fuck ten people without banging five epic level NPCs, two goddesses, one god in female form, and a donkey PAOed into a woman. If it were such a shitty world, then the problem wouldn't be "herp derp Ice Devil attacks random undead, who has over 9,000 levels and kills him". The problem would be "herp derp, scout runs into random highly level inappropriate encounter, and gets automatically annihilated".

Sunic, you get to pick one of two options.  Option A)  There's lots of high level stuff that could be out and about, requiring high level power from the PCs.  As such, the PCs tend to need to be closer to T1 to deal with it.  Option B)  There's very VERY few high level critters out there, so few that there's only one ("she")  undead in the entire world who would be high enough level to be a bad idea for an Ice Devil to jump and she's hiding away somewhere, so the PCs could be Fighters or something and they'd still be kings of the hill.  Pick one.  Your world where you absolutely need to be a caster just to survive, where casters are so common that boosting initiative is worthless because casters have better initiative than you and they're all that matters, where high level threats lurk in the snow to destroy you and this sort of thing is common... but there's no high level things out there that could be wandering around... that makes no sense at all.  Is this a high optimization game, or low?  Are these things commonplace as all heck, or rare?  PICK ONE.

Quote
In a game where there are encounters you shouldn't blunder into blindly, the scout gets found and annihilated, because level improves everything, particularly gimp annihilation skills.

Scouts don't get found as easily as parties, unless you fail at making scouts.  Scouts don't blunder blindly... parties without scouts blunder blindly, trusting divinations (oh no, my clever defenses have been destroyed by a lead sheet!) instead of eyes on the target.  Seriously, even a lead lined cloak blocks many divinations.  Nondetection can stop them all... Mindblank definitely stops them all.  Trusting Divination to avoid ambush, especially in a rocket tag game where a single round will kill you and surprise rounds mean everything, is just foolish.

And Sunic, I know you don't get this part, but try reading the CR rules again.  If you optimize the monsters (yes, swapping useless feats for really strong ones counts) that raises their CR.  Ambushes also raise the CR.  READ THE CR RULES.  Your encounter was at the very least CR 15.  Possibly higher, since the Ice Devil evidently knew all about the party (but was too stupid to realize the Cleric could auto-detect him).

As an interesting note, Mindsight is not in fact stopped by objects or line of effect.  As such, a proper scout would have found the earlier "guards behind a wall" ambush easily, which your party failed to notice (evidently).  Furthermore, had this Ice Devil been smart, it would have completely buried itself in snow.  Having done so, your party would have been ambushed entirely since they couldn't have detected it.  However, a scout with Mindsight would have detected the devil as soon as it stepped in range, and while the devil would have seen the scout (or at least, seen there was some highish int undead there) it couldn't have instant ambushed (it was underground, after all).  This would put the party and devil on equal footing.

So basically, the only reason this devil didn't tear your party apart was because it was stupid.  If the party had a decent scout, it wouldn't have been an issue (the revealed devil would have been easy to avoid or ambush, while the hidden devil would have been noticed).

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 09:23:03 PM
ITT: Jaron whines, flails, lies some more, pretends enemies who use the most basic of tactics and have even a little info about the party are twice as hard as dumb MOBs (which is likely true, but the default for 22 Int is FUCKING SMART, and not dumb MOB), whines and flails some more, and generally tries to defend his super optimized, but still utter fail build by claiming the world should suck a bigger barrel of cocks than he does.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 08, 2011, 09:26:29 PM
ITT: Jaron whines, flails, lies some more, pretends enemies who use the most basic of tactics and have even a little info about the party are twice as hard as dumb MOBs (which is likely true, but the default for 22 Int is FUCKING SMART, and not dumb MOB), whines and flails some more, and generally tries to defend his super optimized, but still utter fail build by claiming the world should suck a bigger barrel of cocks than he does.

Then why did you play your devil as a dumb mob?  Why was it in a position where it could be spotted, when burying itself a few more inches down would have completely ambushed the party?  And to be clear, I'm using the actual CR rules as written.  It's not my rules, its the game's rules.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 09:27:13 PM
Then why did you play your devil as a dumb mob?  Why was it in a position where it could be spotted, when burying itself a few more inches down would have completely ambushed the party?  And to be clear, I'm using the actual CR rules as written.  It's not my rules, its the game's rules.

JaronK
It needed to breathe, that's why :p
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 09:30:11 PM
I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 08, 2011, 09:31:02 PM
I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 09:32:20 PM
I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 08, 2011, 09:39:58 PM
Who would thought that stealth could make people act like crazy :P

[spoiler]
*Insert random rogue help thread*

"OH HAI YOU CAN ACT STEALT-"

*NOW THIS THREAD IS ABOUT AN UNDEAD FACTOTUM AND A MINDSIGHT GELUCON*  :eh
[/spoiler]
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 08, 2011, 09:41:57 PM
I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Well, duh.  I'm a fungus.  I don't got no brains.

At least I'm not an orphan.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 08, 2011, 09:44:26 PM
I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 08, 2011, 09:49:25 PM
Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.
Permission to sig?  This is too great.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: PhaedrusXY on February 08, 2011, 11:50:39 PM
I'm not reading this whole clusterfuck, but anything "without magic" is pretty much doomed to fail hard in D&D. So let's just ignore that stupidity. As demonstrated in the first few replies however, you can make a decent "scout" with just a few magic items and feats (Ring of Darkhidden, Darkstalker feat, and a Wand of Message).

Due to the insanely high penalties to Spot and Listen checks over even moderate distances, you don't actually have to be that far ahead of your party to give them useful info. 150 feet ahead will effectively give the rest of your party a +15 to their Hide and MS checks (compared to you), making it possible for even non-optimized characters to hide from most enemies, but leaving them close enough to the scout to get there within a round if he gets caught. And the Message spell will let you whisper info back to them at around that distance (110 ft minimum).

So in summary, if you only scout ahead a short distance, you can relay info back to them via a Message spell or some kind of telepathy (raven familiar, psicrystal, Telepathic Bond, etc) and still remain close enough to the rest of them to not be completely up shit creek if you get spotted yourself.

And I haven't found cover or concealment to be a problem in a lot of settings. Most things only have 60' darkvision. So you can still hide in the dark from them, even without the Ring of Darkhidden, as long as you stay further away than that (so only the "scout" has to have that Ring of Darkhidden). And if you're outdoors then there are usually trees, shrubs or tall grass or something to hide behind. In a dungeon, you only need to peek around the next corner anyway.



Now... is that actually a "viable role" by itself? Maybe not. You also need to be able to stab shit really hard or something else, because in D&D it basically always comes down to combat, unless you can end fights before they begin (Diplomacy, etc). So no, just being a guy who is only good at being sneaky is not that useful in and of itself. But it can be useful if added onto a character who can also do other useful stuff, like perforate internal organs.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 08, 2011, 11:51:48 PM
Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.
Permission to sig?  This is too great.
Go ahead, although I'm not sure I want to be associating my name with the phrase 'explosive diarrhea.'
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 11:53:25 PM
ITT: Jaron whines, flails, lies some more, pretends enemies who use the most basic of tactics and have even a little info about the party are twice as hard as dumb MOBs (which is likely true, but the default for 22 Int is FUCKING SMART, and not dumb MOB), whines and flails some more, and generally tries to defend his super optimized, but still utter fail build by claiming the world should suck a bigger barrel of cocks than he does.

Then why did you play your devil as a dumb mob?  Why was it in a position where it could be spotted, when burying itself a few more inches down would have completely ambushed the party?  And to be clear, I'm using the actual CR rules as written.  It's not my rules, its the game's rules.

JaronK

Because it needed to see. By the way, nice job stealing the King of Fucktards title from Mr. I Can't Spell Samurai. He never saw that coming, mostly because scouts actually do sneak past incompetent fuckwits, even though they fail vs everything else.

I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething

Hey now. A Whispergnome Necropolitian Factorum might weigh 25 pounds or less. So if you get 15 of them, they're actually useful for something!

I must say, Jaron, you're beating your own record for stupid posts in a 2 hour period.
I think you misspelled Sunic there.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Well, duh.  I'm a fungus.  I don't got no brains.

At least I'm not an orphan.

This explains why you fail so heavily in life.

Also, as I have pointed out several times before, there are people that will take that mushroom messing with your head off. They will even pay you 50 dollars for it. Seriously, look into that.

Hi Welcome

In other news, did you know Smiting Imbeciles acts as an aphrodisiac?

*uses the only skill that isn't irrelevant... Craft: Disturbing Mental Image*
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 08, 2011, 11:59:58 PM
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over my AIR GUITAR
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 12:00:27 AM
I still wonder why the concern with one specific encounter.
Issue 1: Scouts can be detected without fail by certain methods.
Encounters where scouts are detected without fail are a small subset of creatures/scenarios. Areas without cover for a large stretch(e.g. snowfield with no vegetation, structures or snowdrifts), creatures with Telepathy AND Mindsight(that is to say, a handful of actual published creatures at most), undead creatures with Lifesense(see Mindsight) and Psionic creatures with Touchsight(this one varies a bit by how common properly psionic creatures are and how many powers they have available).
Creatures that aren't published are by definition, campaign specific and hence relevant only in an 'In My Game' discussion.
Everything else is covered with Darkstalker and basic magical investment in +stealth items. Distance penalties to senses accumulate FAST. Without Darkstalker, consider the limited distance of exotic senses compared to vision and hearing on most such creatures. How many extend much more than 60ft, how many cover even less?(Scent is 30ft or so, modified by wind)
Whether the scout can get useful information relates to the next one.

Issue 2: Value of scouting
Scouts can't always spot enemies. Wisdom is a secondary or tertiary stat, and the same things that makes stealth easy makes it hard to spot actually stealth focused foes. Finally, ambush scenarios are nasty, since the DM has effectively unlimited time to prepare the site(see that Ice Devil up there)
On the plus side, the same highly specific detection mechanisms are much more accessible on the PC side than on Team Monster, since PCs have volition. If the PC is using an actually GOOD scout(e.g. Unseen Seer for high Tier games, Factotum/Arcane Trickster for mid tier), they can most likely have mundane and magical senses up to identify potential target's abilities.
Also, many monsters are about as stealthy as a factory dancing a jig. That helps.
Besides monster information, the scout also learns about terrain and traps. Assuming hes not blindly blundering ahead and uses his search, this means traps are identified and can be used tactically or avoided(disarming traps while alone is for chumps). Terrain usefulness varies from game to game, so its a relatively minor point.

Issue 3: Don't Split the Party
The biggest flaw of all. The higher level the party goes, the further back they must be to avoid being detected by perceptive foes. Many new to the idea go full out with the idea of the rogue sneaking ahead solo and without support...but how bad is this really?

Overground, most of the party is within engagement range even at optimal sneak distance(far enough to just let the range penalties wipe out the opposition's spot).
The party casters can engage if they can see whats going on, so if your sneak activates an item of Dancing Lights to place a targeting beacon, AoE effects can be delivered effectively with Medium range. Bonus, activating said item does not break invisibility.
Ranged attackers are too in good stead, since they don't even start taking range penalties(assuming they can see to target that far) at 100ft.
Chargers...if you have a charger who doesn't have some way to cross the intevening distance AND conclude with his mega hit, you need to upgrade your charger.

Indoors, the stealth distances required is not as great, with copious cover and concealment. There is of course closet troll scenarios, but the scout's role in a very close environment like this is more sweeping for traps than actually going more than 10-20ft ahead.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 09, 2011, 12:04:30 AM
I'm not reading this whole clusterfuck, but anything "without magic" is pretty much doomed to fail hard in D&D. So let's just ignore that stupidity. As demonstrated in the first few replies however, you can make a decent "scout" with just a few magic items and feats (Ring of Darkhidden, Darkstalker feat, and a Wand of Message).
Djore of Mindlink is better.  Unlimited communication over unlimited range for 10 minutes with each charge.  750 gp for 50 charges.

With that, the extent to which the scout can scout ahead of the party is really only limited by how far the party Wizard can Dimension Door/Teleport (or about 680' if you decide to use a wand for that, too, which is great for a familiar to use).  The scout just relays information back to the Wizard when it comes time to telestomp everything and then holds out a Spymaster's Coin for the Wizard to use to look into the room and pick out the best position to pop into.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 12:13:38 AM
Because it needed to see. By the way, nice job stealing the King of Fucktards title from Mr. I Can't Spell Samurai. He never saw that coming, mostly because scouts actually do sneak past incompetent fuckwits, even though they fail vs everything else.

No it didn't.  It had Mindsight, remember?  That was the only thing it was using to spot the scout in YOUR EXAMPLE.  And in YOUR EXAMPLE that's enough for it to attack blindly.  The fact that its head was revealed was the reason it glowed like a beacon, yet that provided no benefit to it whatsoever because it couldn't spot the stealther anyway with vision and was relying solely on Mindsight.  Thus, its head being revealed was stupid.  Had it been under the snow completely, it would have ambushed your party because they have no decent scout.

So once again we come to Sunic's logic failure: you have to pick one of these two things.

1)  Mindsight is enough for the ice devil to pick a target and attack.  If so, it can maybe jump the stealther (though the stealther, who almost certainly has better initiative, should be able to avoid this attack).  However, if this is the case it should not under any circumstances have its head above the snow (since doing so provides no benefit), and thus should not have been glowing via lifesight, and thus it should have been able to trivially ambush your actual party of Clerics and Wizards.  This means the only reason they didn't need a scout was because you were playing the mob extremely stupidly.

2)  The devil felt the need to actually see the target with more than just Mindsight.  If so, Lifesight can pick it up... but detecting a stealther with mindsight alone wouldn't be enough for him to attack, so he could never possibly jump the stealther.  As such, the scout is completely and totally safe in this scenario, and everything you've claimed about how vulnerable that scout was is a lie.

So which is it? Or are you going to go with the usual "Hi Welcome Herp Derp" response because you don't have anything better?  Right now in Sunic's world, the Ice Devil "needed to see" and yet would gladly attack without needing to see, and thus despite knowing about the party and where they'd be it revealed itself like a beacon for absolutely no reason.  In every scenario you've given for why scouts suck, scouts would have been extremely important.  A scout with Mindsight or Lifesight would have completely negated your guards behind a wall scenario (because they would have instantly popped up on both senses) and, if you'd actually played this ice devil with any hint of intelligence, would have picked up on the devil too quite safely.  How about you try again with less fail?

Here's the truth about scouts: good scouts keep the party far enough back that they're really hard to detect, while staying within the party's engagement range (the higher level you go, the further back the party needs to be but the longer the engagement range, so this is easy at all levels).  As such, he's not splitting the party any more than walking 20 feet away splits the party.  They let the party know about the monsters before the monsters know about the party allowing the party to get 1-2 actions before the monster can do anything, which in a game where actions are everything and fights often last 4 or fewer actions is critical.  They have all the same autodetect abilities that monsters might have, and a scout has them all the time while only a few monsters will have any of them, so they know when a monster autodetects them in the rare case where that happens.  They have ablative defenses (such as Moment of Perfect Mind) so that they're the best person to take one or two hits early, in case that comes up.  And they have far more reliable detection abilities than purely magic ones, which are already trumped by spells like nondetection and Mindblank.  And they're in constant contact with the party by whatever means available (I prefer telepathy, but that's just the characters I tend to run.  There are plenty of options). 

In the end, the question of whether a scout belongs in a party is this: what's better, a party of 4 casters who have all just been hit with AoE debuffs or ambushing single target kill/suck strikes in the surprise round, or a party of three casters and a stealther who have just launched three kill strikes or debuffs at the enemy in the surprise round?  Tromping around together in a tightly packed group blundering blindly from encounter to encounter just means you get ambushed and hit with AoE attacks, if the monsters are actually playing smart.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 12:26:07 AM
Even if that is true, Outsiders still breathe, so an Outsider completely covered in snow becomes a dead Outsider in a few minutes. In other words, even if you are right, you are still wrong. As usual.

Hi Welcome

The rest is you lying, flailing, and failing as usual. Haven't you learned after all the other smites sent your way?

No, of course you haven't. Stupid question. You're still assuming you have advantages you don't actually have, and are wanking to CR +5 SPARKLY VAMPIRES.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 12:35:55 AM
Even if that is true, Outsiders still breathe, so an Outsider completely covered in snow becomes a dead Outsider in a few minutes. In other words, even if you are right, you are still wrong. As usual.

Wait, your Int 22 demon can't think of breathing through a straw or reed or something?  Really?  Fail.  That tactic's even mentioned in the books a few times (for example, the Ninja-To is mentioned as having an open ended sheath because, among other things, it makes for a decent breathing tube).  Just have the tube curved so the light can't just shine out the thing.

Waiting underground to burst out and attack people is a reasonable and viable tactic for a creature that can sense without eyes, and one that you've specifically said would use Mindsight to pick targets.  The only reason it had its head out was because you were playing an Int 22 creature so stupid that it could be spotted by a non scout easily even when it was trying to ambush.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 12:48:18 AM
Ok, as fun as it's been to smite you repeatedly (and it really is fun by the way, no less than five people other than myself have had a good laugh at your expense) you seem to have outlived your usefulness. So be gone.

*Smite Imbecile with Banishment*
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: dark_samuari on February 09, 2011, 12:59:20 AM
Sunic you do know you aren't a moderator?

You silly goose.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:05:00 AM
Sunic you do know you aren't a moderator?

You silly goose.

It is still possible to ostracize undesirables via the means of applying discouraging behavior.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 01:06:23 AM
@JaronK's stupid Arcane Sight argument
Pick up a fucking Eberron book.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 09, 2011, 01:09:07 AM
Sunic you do know you aren't a moderator?

You silly goose.

It is still possible to ostracize undesirables via the means of applying discouraging behavior.

Then why won't it work on you?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 01:09:35 AM
Has anyone considered using the base ice devil, having persist imaged boulders for fake cover so the scout thinks he's being sneaky in a wide open field, have it summon monsters into those boulders, then teleporting to 1000 feet and raining down hell while the summons attack the party? Still on page 10 here.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:17:25 AM
Has anyone considered using the base ice devil, having persist imaged boulders for fake cover so the scout thinks he's being sneaky in a wide open field, have it summon monsters into those boulders, then teleporting to 1000 feet and raining down hell while the summons attack the party? Still on page 10 here.

It is a possibility. It is yet another way the scout would be wtfpwned, while the party, who by the way includes a Church Inquisitor aka fuck you disbelieveable illusions would see right through it. It's not what he did, but it's what he could do. If he actually cared about scouts. He doesn't though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 09, 2011, 01:18:49 AM
higuysiwrotethetiersystembutistillamatotalmoronbuticantadmiittomyselfbecauseiamsosmartbecauseiwrotethetiersystemandijackofftodungeonscapeonanightlybasiswhydoesntanybodylikemeireallyamcoolguysiknowwhatimtalkingaboutandimtotallynotanidiottrollthatcomesupwithrandomshitfornoapparentreasonthatisntavalidpartofthediscussionplusiliketomakemyselffeelgoodbyjustifyingmyselfwithretardedcrapthatireadinabooksomewhereandreallyguysthetiersystemissogoodbecauseimadeitupitreallyisntsosimplethatitlookslikeafifthgraderwroteit

no, but seriously, Jaron, I really do advise you stop talking because your "i am a fucking idiot" rating has gone through the roof. for somebody that was crying about a CR +5 encounter you sure are dead set on coming up with ways that the devil could have made it harder. of course, logic, rational thought, consistency, and not moving the goalposts of a discussion are completely foreign concepts to you, so why am i surprised? i'll make sure not to be from now on.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: dark_samuari on February 09, 2011, 01:22:28 AM
Sunic you do know you aren't a moderator?

You silly goose.

It is still possible to ostracize undesirables via the means of applying discouraging behavior.

Ahaha! HAHAHA!!!
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:43:53 AM
higuysiwrotethetiersystembutistillamatotalmoronbuticantadmiittomyselfbecauseiamsosmartbecauseiwrotethetiersystemandijackofftodungeonscapeonanightlybasiswhydoesntanybodylikemeireallyamcoolguysiknowwhatimtalkingaboutandimtotallynotanidiottrollthatcomesupwithrandomshitfornoapparentreasonthatisntavalidpartofthediscussionplusiliketomakemyselffeelgoodbyjustifyingmyselfwithretardedcrapthatireadinabooksomewhereandreallyguysthetiersystemissogoodbecauseimadeitupitreallyisntsosimplethatitlookslikeafifthgraderwroteit

no, but seriously, Jaron, I really do advise you stop talking because your "i am a fucking idiot" rating has gone through the roof. for somebody that was crying about a CR +5 encounter you sure are dead set on coming up with ways that the devil could have made it harder. of course, logic, rational thought, consistency, and not moving the goalposts of a discussion are completely foreign concepts to you, so why am i surprised? i'll make sure not to be from now on.

(http://www.skepticnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/epic-win.jpg)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 02:03:32 AM
@JaronK's stupid Arcane Sight argument
Pick up a fucking Eberron book.

Sunic's example scenario isn't set in normal Eberron.  It's "only casters matter" land, which means there's a LOT of high level casters.  In a campaign with lower than standard magic availability (such as normal Eberron) such things wouldn't be standard.  Sunic wants to have it both ways, a world where there's way lower than normal casters (compared to what the DMG actually says) but everyone that matters is a caster (so there's a lot more than normal).  If he picked one, he'd see how much he's wrong.  Either casters are the only serious threats out there and you can purchase stuff like Arcane Sight, or they're nowhere to be found and thus not the main threats.  Even Sunic's example scenario had casters in the party who could easily cast Permanent Arcane Sight.  If we're playing a default campaign, Permanent Arcane Sight is available at any metropolis (and many smaller cities, see the DMG for details).  If we're playing Sunic's campaign, it's available in the party.  If we're playing Eberron, it's far less available, but then again most threats aren't just primary casters and casters aren't all that matter anyway.

It's also a world where monsters know about the party in advance and plan ambushes, but are too stupid to use a breathing tube when they have abilities that make that tactic obvious.  If his monsters actually played smart, his party would be dead (due to lack of scouting).  And his response?  Mindless "I SMITE YOU" which is Sunic for "I've been proved wrong."

Seriously, why wouldn't a creature who's detection abilities don't rely on direct LOS, who already knows about the party in advance (and thus probably should have noticed the undead cleric and thus the possibility of lifesight), just finish actually burying himself when he was already there and use a freaking reed?  Why is this beyond his Int 22 brain?  How dumb do you have to be to try and ambush a party and fail because even the Cleric auto detects you before you can attack?  Having a monster plan an ambush in advance and have better than normal feats DOES increase CR, but in this case it didn't matter because it was still played poorly.

And why didn't this same Lifesight Cleric pick up the guards behind a wall from the previous encounter he mentioned?  Why can't Sunic come up with a single example of an encounter that a half decent scout couldn't make far easier, when he's specifically trying to come up with encounters that scouts can't handle?

Sunic's primary objection to scouting?  You have to split the party.  But smart scouts don't split the party, which shows he doesn't actually know how this is done.  They stay within the party's engagement range.  At low levels, that's about 50 feet in front or so (most melees charge 60', archers have a range increment of around 100', mages can Glitterdust at 100', etc).  At mid levels, that's around 100' (and if you're using telepathy, 95' in front is an obvious distance), as the melees gain the ability to fly one way or the other.  At higher levels, it's closer to 200'.  If you check the spot scores of most enemies at appropriate CRs, that's plenty to avoid detection (since the scout should be detecting enemies at the very least 60 feet out at low levels, and 100+ at higher levels).

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 02:06:26 AM
JaronK:

Quit wanking to the DMG. Specific trumps General. the DMG lays out guidelines for the general campaign setting, which is Greyhawk, which has only a few less high level casters than FR. Eberron is specific. Eberron doesn't give a shit about what the DMG says.

Now shut the fuck up and quit flailing like a teeny bopper being told he's wrong.

EDIT: To be honest, I was only picking one word out of JaronK's argument and responding to it to see what it feels like to be him, but this needs addressing.

Sunic's example scenario isn't set in normal Eberron.  It's "only casters matter" land, which means there's a LOT of high level casters.  In a campaign with lower than standard magic availability (such as normal Eberron) such things wouldn't be standard.
BZZT! Fucking WRONG. Eberron has HIGHER than STANDARD magic availability, but it has LOWER than STANDARD HIGH LEVEL magic availability.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 02:37:29 AM
JaronK:

Quit wanking to the DMG. Specific trumps General. the DMG lays out guidelines for the general campaign setting, which is Greyhawk, which has only a few less high level casters than FR. Eberron is specific. Eberron doesn't give a shit about what the DMG says.

Now shut the fuck up and quit flailing like a teeny bopper being told he's wrong.

EDIT: To be honest, I was only picking one word out of JaronK's argument and responding to it to see what it feels like to be him, but this needs addressing.

Sunic's example scenario isn't set in normal Eberron.  It's "only casters matter" land, which means there's a LOT of high level casters.  In a campaign with lower than standard magic availability (such as normal Eberron) such things wouldn't be standard.
BZZT! Fucking WRONG. Eberron has HIGHER than STANDARD magic availability, but it has LOWER than STANDARD HIGH LEVEL magic availability.

Yeah, you still haven't actually read anything here, have you?  Sunic's saying casters are all that matters.  If this is a 10th level party and casters are the only threats, then there must be far more than standard numbers of above 10th level casters.  This is rather basic.  Sunic is not playing in standard Eberron.  We're not talking about magic items here, we're talking about people who use high level magic.  So, if you're playing in Sunic's games, casters (of high level) should be plentiful.  If they're not, then we're playing in some other campaign where they're not everywhere, in which case something like Arcane Sight may not be so easy to get (but note that Arcane Sight was hardly necessary, it was simply an obvious choice based on the campaign world he's setting out, which is NOT default Eberron).

No amount of being insulting will actually change that.  Stop blathering about standard Eberron, that's not what's being discussed here.  Nor is it any other standard sort of game (not greyhawk, not FR, nothing).  It's Sunic's special campaign as he's laid it out, because Sunic believes that since he personally screws scouts over (very arbitrarily), that means scouts can't function in any game ever.  And yet even in the campaign as he's claimed it, they'd work fine.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 09, 2011, 02:39:17 AM
Wasn't the item in question a continuous-use Arcane Sight item?  As in, the 3rd-level spell Arcane Sight?  That doesn't seem very high-level to me.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 02:41:23 AM
Wasn't the item in question a continuous-use Arcane Sight item?  As in, the 3rd-level spell Arcane Sight?  That doesn't seem very high-level to me.

I had just said "Permanent Arcane Sight."  I hadn't actually specified how you get it.  It could either be the spell with Permanency on it (either purchased in town or cast by the Wizard that he already said was in the party) or a custom item that grants Arcane Sight.  Evidently, in a game where everything's a caster, the ability to get a core third level spell (possibly made permanent with a core 5th level spell) is completely TO (much like riding a domesticated animal).

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 04:25:07 AM
And Sunic, I know you don't get this part, but try reading the CR rules again.  If you optimize the monsters (yes, swapping useless feats for really strong ones counts) that raises their CR.  Ambushes also raise the CR.  READ THE CR RULES.  Your encounter was at the very least CR 15.  Possibly higher, since the Ice Devil evidently knew all about the party (but was too stupid to realize the Cleric could auto-detect him).

Okay, let's stop with the pansy encounters and actually make something worth its' salt, and something that plays intelligent. Do you know what this is.

(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/mm2_gallery/88268_620_116.jpg)

It's a Spell Weaver. The baddest motherfucker known to man. It's a greedy evil bastard who is out to steal all magic items there is, just because that's how it rolls. While no one knows what it uses them for, we just suppose it has mercantile background and sells them to some random merchant, spending the money on ale and whores like a real man. It will then start a fight with five men and win, because it's not a pansy like your gimped factotum.

It's CR 13. "13?" you say. That's because it has been advanced in HD. It has 19 HD. Spell Weavers cast as sorcerers 2 levels over their HD, so it casts as a level 21 sorcerer. That's right, it's an epic caster. It also has Telepathy with 1000 mile range, and it has Mindsight. It has Mindsight because I say so, and because it's not stupid enough to not take it.

So, because the party is level 10, and like the most powerful humanoids in all of reality, this Weaver is just sitting there, watching them. It probably put a face on the intelligence values somehow.. Let's say by scrying on them when they were level 5, because it's not retarded. It has Int 18, which means it's more clever than anyone of you. So it constantly knows the locations of everyone in the party, and it just sits there, waiting for them to be stupid enough to split. Then one fine day when it is having its' breakfast of +5 Cereal, some stupid person in the party, the "Corpse", as he calls him, decides to leave the party and go behind a corner, scouting.

The Weaver, not being retarded enough to pass up the opportunity, of course casts Time Stop, buffs himself to the point where most things in known reality couldn't harm it, and then teleports behind the rogue. Contingency goes off. It pops Celerity for Time Stop, and kills the rogue eight times over, teleports away with the corpse. And the party probably doesn't even realize this happened. It then waits for the party to acquire another gimp, who magically has the same amount of these superpowerful magic items. It keeps on doing this until the party learns that they'd be better off killing the gimps themselves for loot, instead of waiting for something else to do it.

This is now the case in all of your campaigns past level 5. Spell Weavers with Mindsight that kill gimps. They don't even need to be part of the campaign, the MMII says that they exist, and because they are not fucking stupid, they know how to take advantage of you, even if you didn't plan on them doing so. In fact, it's because you didn't plan on them doing so.

These things are always waiting. Always watching. They sustain themselves on a diet of gimps. Gimps are the bottom of the food chain. They are so inedequate that a monster type evolved just to steal them of their precious loot, because the DM was bad enough to kill them before they could acquire it.

EDIT: It also likes dispelling permanent spells, because someone was stupid enough to spend gold on them instead of magic items it could steal.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 04:31:04 AM
So... what exactly was your point?  That an epic level caster could easily destroy reality?  That's easy to do with a 17th level Wizard too, you don't need the full 21 levels of Sorcerer casting.  Are you saying a level 10 Factotum is gimped because there are creatures out there that are heavily under CRed and have epic casting?  That thing could kill any other level 10 character too.  So what?  What exactly was your point there?  What kind of DM throws that sort of thing at level 10 players, other than a power tripping moron who's not going to be a DM for long after his players look at him in disdain and go play somewhere else.  I mean damn, I could start a campaign where a level 11 Wizard casts Planar Binding, starts a wish loop, gains infinite wealth and power that way, and predicts who might oppose him, then kills all the PCs the moment they make characters.  But then my players would leave because that's stupid.

Anyone who throws a spellweaver like that at the party is an absolute idiot of a DM.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 04:35:16 AM
That the Factotum is only one stupid enough to split the party on intention, and therefore deserves the horrible fate. Also, that Ice Devil with Mindsight is not +5 CR just because it isn't stupid enough to not hide, and that if you wanted to whine about optimized monsters, you might actually pick something that deserves a higher CR.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 04:41:16 AM
That the Factotum is only one stupid enough to split the party on intention, and therefore deserves the horrible fate.

He didn't split the party.  That's Sunic's version, because he doesn't know how to play scouts.  Real scouts don't split the party, they stay within the engagement range of the party while providing intel.  Throwing a 21st level Sorcerer at a 10th level party as a way of saying "nya nya, I'm on a power trip" just makes you an idiot.

Quote
Also, that Ice Devil with Mindsight is not +5 CR just because it isn't stupid enough to not hide,

But it is +1 CR for having far better feats (Mindsight is a lot stronger than anything else it had) and ambushes do raise the CR as well.  How much depends on the exact situation.  Though when I realized the ambush was actually extremely stupid I realized the +5 was far too much.  +1 at most, really, for giving the monster far more information than it should by rights have.

Quote
and that if you wanted to whine about optimized monsters, you might actually pick something that deserves a higher CR.

I'm just following the CR rules here.  Not my fault if you don't like that.  The given CR is for the standard monster.  You have to adjust it up and down accordingly if you change the base monster.  For example, if you use your advanced spellweaver thing as anything less than CR 21 you clearly messed up.  The fact that you think that thing is CR 13 indicates you messed up rather horribly.  The fact that it can instantly kill any member of the party (Factotum, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, whatever) at level 10 with no hope of survival should tell you that fact.  The base CR rules are a guideline, but you as a DM have to figure out the actual difficulty of the encounter and adjust accordingly.  Give it feats optimized against the party?  Increase the CR.  It's actually very weak to what the party is strong at?  Lower the CR.  It has special knowledge that makes it a bigger threat to the party?  Increase the CR.  It's got epic level casting?  INCREASE THE FREAKING CR.

I mean come on man, you just made what you thought was a CR 13 that casts as a 21st level Sorcerer.  That should tell you right there that you don't know what you're talking about.  Though interestingly enough, if you follow what Lords of Madness (the book Mindsight is from) says about how undead are undetectable to psychic detection, that Factotum is one of the few things that DOESN'T get auto-ganked by your silly little Spellweaver.  The Wizards and Clerics and such (but not the undead Cleric that Sunic said was in the party) are the ones who get instant killed.  Not really sure how the spellweaver even knew to go after the Factotum though (or why it did, the Wizard was the bigger threat).  All it knew is position, intelligence, and type.  Then again, I suppose a critter like that would just have cast Genesis anyway and messed with time traits for real ultimate power, and then not bothered with anything under level 15.  After all, why would it?

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 04:44:20 AM
The questionable point is this.

Stealth does not require that the party 'split'.
Most parties have engagement ranges in the 100-500ft range, which is sufficient to enhance stealth without leaving him bereft of support(except by the fighter maybe).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 04:51:11 AM
Indeed, no one's every claimed that you "split the party," at least no one who's talked about how scouting works.  You stay within the range of the party, which depending on level can be anywhere from 400 feet to 50 feet away.  Obviously if your party is a bunch of really short range types (Full attack based melee types who can't pounce and aren't mounted, Dread Necromancers, precision damage based full attackers that aren't mounted... is there anything else?) then you have to stay much closer, but most character types are just fine out past 100 feet (most casters have solid spells at that range, such as Glitterdust.  Archers almost certainly have 100-200 feet+ as their range increment.  Most melees are going to be either mounted or have decent movement boosting items/spells ASAP so they can contribute).

So no, there's no splitting of the party, there never was.  That's just people who don't know how to scout talking about weaknesses that don't exist, much like people complaining that Wizards suck because of Antimagic fields or that Beguiler suck because of mindless constructs.  You only make such complaints if you don't know what you're talking about.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 09, 2011, 05:50:10 AM
I wasn't planning on posting in here again, but I'm trying to have an actual conversation so that I, and maybe others, can get some real insight here. Sunic, you're an asshole, I'm pretty confident you don't mind me saying so, but I respect your knowledge and experience in the field of optimization, so even though I think you've said some pretty nonsensical stuff in this thread I still want to attempt something close to a civil discourse here.

Quote
Learn to play? Seriously, you're making some gimpy beatstick with a +20 to hit, or less, a number that would be barely acceptable if all of his attacks were touch attacks, you're assuming a Con of TWELVE on anyone, especially a beatstick. He doesn't fail because he's a Warblade. He fails because he's a garbage build, inferior to a fucking ANIMAL COMPANION.

Seriously. Here's a random animal companion's auto attack sequence:

Pounce, so reliable full attacks.

+19/+19/+19/+14/+18/+18 for 1d8+12/1d8+12/1d8+12/2d6+7/1d8+7/1d8+7. Those numbers do not include charge bonuses.

I expect gimps like Fighters to get CAPed by an Animal Companion, but a fucking Warblade should be doing a lot better.

You say my build was gimpy, after I asked a couple of times what I was doing wrong, and your response is "learn to play." Which is why I assume your post was deleted, and why I expect this post will be deleted as I am quoting a deleted thread, but I digress. The fact is, I didn't even build the Warblade, I just spent his wealth, used the standard point buy in what seemed to be the most effective way, and arrived at a list of, apparently gimpy, numbers.

If you are saying that there's something wrong with my math and that my use of those resources is elementary at best, please, explain to me how the Warblade is supposed to get beyond +20 to his attack rolls, among other tasty bonuses, using those same resources (or other resources that I am not even aware of). I didn't "assume" he had a Con of 12, I simply bought what he could afford. Remember, when I actually assumed the ability scores, before I did the math, I assumed he'd have Con 20, but after doing the math he couldn't actually afford it. I'm not trying to be snarky here, there's obviously something I'm missing and I'm looking for insight.

On the other hand, if you are just saying that the Warblade isn't a real class and it can't get what you would consider proper numbers, that it is a gimp no matter what, like I think you consider the Factotum, then okay, I just want to get the story straight. You might be saying that a Human Warblade 10 with some variation of the Lockdown build set is a gimp. Should I assume that you mean that any melee type character less than a Feral Mineral Warrior Dragonborn Incarnate Warforged Warblade to be a gimp? I'm just asking.

Quote
Trivializing SR is easy, but not for the lower tier casters. It does have high saves though, and high AC, and high touch AC.

But I'm talking about the lower tier casters. Tier 3 is precisely what I'm talking about. What can a Dread Necromancer and a Beguiler do to reliably bust through SR 25 AND maintain save DCs of 25+?

Quote
And lol? Really optimized numbers? There are any number of things that Ice Devil can do, besides take Mindsight that would qualify it as really optimized.

I'm considering a CR 13 ambush vs a level 10 party with basic numbers like AC, saves, Hide check all well off the RNG that the PCs are playing to be really optimized, yes. I am well aware that there is much more that the Ice Devil could do to make him even more optimized. The point is not about whether the encounter could be even more of a WTFpwning. The point is that you are attempting to use this encounter to claim that Scout characters fail and that said encounter would have been dangerous, life-threatening to be honest, to a Tier 3 party without any modification, optimization, or ambush necessary, and further you are then ramping the alert level of that encounter up to TPK status. I believe you should address this point with more than a, "learn to play D&D" response.

I also have a couple other points, that I don't think anyone's yet brought up, and I believe they merit some discussion:

1) Why is it assumed that anytime a Scout character moves ahead of the party there is a ambush set up? Further, why is it assumed that there is even a monster, or guards, or creatures whatsoever? The Scout can just as easily get the lay of the land, scope out entrances and exits, check out potential traps, or potential places for the party to set up traps/ambushes.

2) Sunic, you mentioned at some point, god knows I'm too lazy to look for the specific page and post, you mentioned that the "scouts are cool" crowd is like the "Monk PWN" crowd in that both characters fail for the same reasons, except that I must disagree with you here. The Monk fails because the class itself has no level appropriate class features or encounter contributions to offer a party or game. A Scout may invest a feat or two for their role, and they invest some of their many skill points, but at the end of the day they still have class features, which are often pretty awesome. A Rogue has sneak attack, a Factotum has spells, a Warlock has his invocations. They can still contribute meaningfully to encounters when they aren't scouting.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 06:18:31 AM
That the Factotum is only one stupid enough to split the party on intention, and therefore deserves the horrible fate.

He didn't split the party.  That's Sunic's version, because he doesn't know how to play scouts.  Real scouts don't split the party, they stay within the engagement range of the party while providing intel.  Throwing a 21st level Sorcerer at a 10th level party as a way of saying "nya nya, I'm on a power trip" just makes you an idiot.

He did split the party. He has to stay away from line of sight from the party at some point. Assume you are indoors, or in a cave, or anything, really. Wizard needs line of effect to get to the rogue.

Quote
Also, that Ice Devil with Mindsight is not +5 CR just because it isn't stupid enough to not hide,

But it is +1 CR for having far better feats (Mindsight is a lot stronger than anything else it had) and ambushes do raise the CR as well.  How much depends on the exact situation.  Though when I realized the ambush was actually extremely stupid I realized the +5 was far too much.  +1 at most, really, for giving the monster far more information than it should by rights have.

So, someone scried on the party or something, and then told the ice devil to ambush them or it'd kill the ice devil himself. This is fairly rational from devils, allright, and not definitely "far more information than it should by rights have."

And +1 CR for better feats doesn't make sense. +2 CR is for adding an ability (Note: ADDING) that should be able to take out any given character from the combat in one round. Having a "good chance" to do that, would probably mean over 50%. So it's like +2 CR for SoD with 50% chance of success, and if you add a special quality, it doesn't stack, so you can give it like, Charisma as Deflection to AC to boot. Or wisdom as insight. Or I don't know, immunity to physical. "A significant special quality is one that seriously diminishes the monster’s vulnerability to common attacks. Do not add this factor twice if a monster has both special attacks and special qualities."

And Mindsight is far, far, from significant. I mean, for one CR you could easily justify +5 AC and Mindsight. Easily.

One CR is worth much, much more than one character level. An encounter of correct CR should be a fair fight to a party of 4 encounter-appropriate guys. CR of +2 means 2 times the strength, basically. So if a fighter 6 was CR 6, fighter 12 should be CR 8. Fighter 24 would be CR 10, although there is an exponential effect at going to Epic, so it should probably be counted.

Do you really think that an Ice Devil who is hiding and has mindsight is stronger than two Ice Devils? Because you really make it seem like it that is the case.

Quote
and that if you wanted to whine about optimized monsters, you might actually pick something that deserves a higher CR.

I'm just following the CR rules here.  Not my fault if you don't like that.  The given CR is for the standard monster.  You have to adjust it up and down accordingly if you change the base monster.  For example, if you use your advanced spellweaver thing as anything less than CR 21 you clearly messed up.  The fact that you think that thing is CR 13 indicates you messed up rather horribly.  The fact that it can instantly kill any member of the party (Factotum, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, whatever) at level 10 with no hope of survival should tell you that fact.  The base CR rules are a guideline, but you as a DM have to figure out the actual difficulty of the encounter and adjust accordingly.  Give it feats optimized against the party?  Increase the CR.  It's actually very weak to what the party is strong at?  Lower the CR.  It has special knowledge that makes it a bigger threat to the party?  Increase the CR.  It's got epic level casting?  INCREASE THE FREAKING CR.

That's not in the rules. It reads clearly: Increasing HD by 3 increases CR by 1, for Monstrous Humanoids. Spell Weaver is a monstrous humanoid. You are using rule 0 based on your preference. Using my previous analogy, that thing is about as strong as 3 spell weavers of lower level, perhaps slightly more, maybe 4. Give it CR 14.

Of course, looking at DMG, it seems like player characters are supposed to die all the fucking time. 5% of encounters should be of CR of the team +5 or more. That is like, 6 times stronger than the party at minimum. I'm just using DMG here, not my fault if you don't like that. 5% of the encounters should kill you if you don't run, and running is practically impossible in D&D, as established. 15% of encounters should have a chance to kill someone. "Might very well kill one player.". That's like 50% chance, so that's 7.5% of encounters that kill someone. So, 25% of the party dies in 7.5% of encounters. It then takes four such encounters to kill all of the party. 7.5 in hundred goes to 2.5. That's like 53 encounters to kill the party, assuming that the overpowering monsters are too incompetent to chase the party.

ECL 6 is the highest you can really expect to get with this, reasonably.

Again, following the CR Rules, Kobold Expert 1 / Sorcerer 7 is an appropriate encounter for a party of level 1, 5% of the time.

Not following the CR Rules, but letting the PCs do anything they want with no retribution and only giving them encounters they should be able to beat, ends up with a world like Forgotten Realms where every pansy and their mother can reach epic levels by gardening. Epic level characters should be rare, infinitely tougher than their average counterparts and paragons amongst their kind. The whole setting will fall apart under ridiculousness when adventuring isn't dangerous busines.

Also, the CR rules assume a party of four, with 3d6 or _nonelite_ array. Party with a reasonable point buy should be faced with stuff of CR+1, maybe even +2. Flaws also add to this. Most of the stuff that benefits them adds to this, really. And it assumes that DM doesn't allow them to start with scrolls of every book known to man, but limits their choices, and magic items.

A party, even when fucked up by the DM in a royal fashion like the DMG suggests the DM should do, should still meet stuff like that Ice Devil every now and then.

I mean come on man, you just made what you thought was a CR 13 that casts as a 21st level Sorcerer.  That should tell you right there that you don't know what you're talking about.  Though interestingly enough, if you follow what Lords of Madness (the book Mindsight is from) says about how undead are undetectable to psychic detection, that Factotum is one of the few things that DOESN'T get auto-ganked by your silly little Spellweaver.  The Wizards and Clerics and such (but not the undead Cleric that Sunic said was in the party) are the ones who get instant killed.  Not really sure how the spellweaver even knew to go after the Factotum though (or why it did, the Wizard was the bigger threat).  All it knew is position, intelligence, and type.  Then again, I suppose a critter like that would just have cast Genesis anyway and messed with time traits for real ultimate power, and then not bothered with anything under level 15.  After all, why would it?

JaronK

Actually, that is fluff, not RAW. You can argue for RAI all you want, but then I bring into the equation the fact that you are also supposed to die all the fucking time. There is no RAW defense against Mindsight, as has already been established in this thread.

The spellweaver knew to go to the chameleon because it robbed a magic item store and dominated the owner to tell the names of anyone who bought anything in past year.

D&D is not a game of "LOL GUYS I MAKE THE MOST EPIC MARY SUE EVER MY FATHER'S SOUL IS BOUND TO MY KATANA AND I'M IN LOVE WITH NARUTO LOL!". It's a game form of natural evolution, as in, gimps die all the time and that's how it should be. Getting to high level is the goal, and if you die, it is not achieved. Gimps die, therefore not achieving this.

@bkdubs123: There might not be an ambush set up all the time. The fact is that it will come up at least a dozen times on a gimps lifetime means that he will die at some point. Dying at some point, of course, means you still die. Not to mention that an encounter of CR of their level +5 will probably spot him and one-round him every time. Even the puzzle monsters can do this. About traps? Some of the CR 3 traps have search DC 27. A level 3 rogue with 6 ranks in search has like, +10 search, and that is given a fair point buy. Maybe +12 with tool. He finds the trap 30% of the time, other time he checks it. With his face. Or then he can take 20, at which point if he's exploring a dungeon or a castle, some of the inhabitants probably stumble on him by accident, because taking 20 with search takes roughly twenty years of your life.

Seriously: Mechanical trap, search DC 28, Disable Device DC 15, Reflex DC 24, 5d6 damage. CR 2.

Now assume a rogue 3, who got off with the elite array, which is the average representation of 4d6 drop lowest. Say he has the second highest in con and highest in dex, third highest in Int? +1 Int, 6 Ranks. +7 Search. Autofail. Reflex DC 24. He has +5 reflex saves, with evasion. 19+ succeeds, so he has 10% chance of evading out of it. He has 6+2d6+6 HP, for 12+2d6, averaging at 19. 5d6 won't kill him on average, sure, as it only averages to 17.5 damage. It still has real chances of knocking him unconscious, though. 35.973% chance to drop him to 0, to be exact. And that is counting in the 10% chance he makes the save. And that trap was CR 1 lower than the rogues EL. 2nd level rogue would only have 13.5 health on average, and would be down to 0 at 76.32% probability, again counting the chance he makes the save. 5.292% chance to die outright, if you wondered.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 06:33:38 AM
^^
Valid points, and a good case for why the numbers are against the scout.
That said, line of sight/line of effect is much easier to arrange when overground. Just ramp up elevation(unless you have money to burn, then Ring Gates might be nicer). Indoor, the sneak should just be one room ahead, any further is asking for it.

Out of curiosity, what proportion of the given sample traps regularly defeats a rogue taking 10 searching?
What proportion of published monsters/encounters possess such senses? Many DMs out there don't have time to do more than shuffle a few values around on a published monster, what with having a life and somewhat unpredictable players
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 09, 2011, 06:37:22 AM
Amadi, the slightly tweaked Ice Devil was a valid argument. However, even though you make your point, you're basically saying that STEALTH SUCKS BECAUSE SORCERER 21 AT CR 1X .

//edit: and I wouldn't be surprised if someone at this point posts STEALTH PUN PUN AT CL 3 ROAR
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 06:53:13 AM
CR 1 traps, search DCs: 20, 24, 20, 19, 14, 20, 22, 20, 22, 20, 21, 20, 20, 22

Now, the level 1 rogue has like, +5 search, so he only finds Fusillade of Darts taking 10. The average search DC is 20.28571429. Rogue finds under 25% of the traps. A bit more with MW tool, going to 40%. Still, he's falling for most of them. Even being really really generous and giving him 18 Int which, of course, is more than what is assumed when the traps are balanced.. Well, he still fails more than half of the time, and doesn't even find 50% of the traps taking 10.

Supposed that he is a race with +2 Int, starts with 20 due to race, maxes Search and then takes 10, he actually finds most of them with 10, though. He'd be only facechecking 36.36% of them! That is, of course, still not a great number, but starts to get reasonable when not all of them hit him.

@DM: I was mostly responding to JaronK's whine about the Ice Devil not being an appropriate encounter and being like CR gazillion. It's 14 at most, and an ECL 10 party with 5 members and say, 32 PB, is probably going to face CR 12 all the time. Flaws add to this number, and so on. I don't know exactly what the size/rules of Sunic's group is, but that does, to me, seem like a very reasonable encounter. The Spell Weaver not so much. And even then, the Spell Weaver is probably CR 18 or less, since it doesn't actually get epic spells due to limited HD.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 07:14:34 AM
Yeah, I wouldn't go into specific encounters(they don't prove that much on a campaign level) but the trap search DCs apparently assume 20 starting int, maxed ranks AND the skill focus feat. That is systematically bad for the rogue, even if he makes the save after.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 07:19:45 AM
He did split the party. He has to stay away from line of sight from the party at some point. Assume you are indoors, or in a cave, or anything, really. Wizard needs line of effect to get to the rogue.

It's hardly splitting the party to go around the corner.  If the party can take a move action to get into position and attack whatever's the threat as a standard action, and all members of the party can communicate with each other, the party is hardly split.  This is especially true when the scout is gaining you surprise rounds you otherwise wouldn't have had (which is normal).  If anything, staying together in a tiny pack when going around corners, trying to constantly maintain perfect line of effect, is a foolish plan.  It means if something does get the drop on you (likely when you're not scouting) AoE effects can really ruin your day.  Imagine a level 3-5 party getting hit by Glitterdust or Web, or a mid level party getting nailed by Evard's Tentacles/Solid Fog/Cloudkill in the surprise round.  That's a serious liability.  Having a party that's a bit more apart (I'm talking 10-15 feet between each person here, not huge distances) minimizes that liability.  Remember, not all characters operate at the same ranges.  Most archers are quite comfortable shooting from 150 feet back or more (there's a basic magic item that gives Far Shot and a Compound Longbow already has a 110ft range increment) and don't want to be in close, while most melees are only effective when they're within charge range (usually 40-60 feet at low levels, 100feet or more at high levels) and want to close quickly.  As such, the party shouldn't be in a tight bunch... their positioning should be dictated by where they actually want to be when the fight starts.  Obviously some thought has to be paid towards what happens if they're attacked from behind,  but if they're clearing the place out that's less likely.

Either way, the scout is not truly splitting the party, any more than an archer is splitting the party by hanging back while the charger wades in.  The scout's just in front while traveling, far enough forward that the party is unlikely to be randomly detected before the scout can find the threat, but not so much so that he's outside of the engagement range of the party.

Quote
So, someone scried on the party or something, and then told the ice devil to ambush them or it'd kill the ice devil himself. This is fairly rational from devils, allright, and not definitely "far more information than it should by rights have."

Considering the devil must have known the exact route the party was going to take (Sunic was talking about a pretty open terrain area, so this wasn't some obvious bottleneck) and evidently knew enough to identify the stealther based on type and int score alone, the devil knew quite a bit indeed.  And someone else scrying to provide extra information to the devil is adding an opponent, though obviously it's not as much as adding a full opponent.

Quote
And +1 CR for better feats doesn't make sense. +2 CR is for adding an ability (Note: ADDING) that should be able to take out any given character from the combat in one round. Having a "good chance" to do that, would probably mean over 50%. So it's like +2 CR for SoD with 50% chance of success, and if you add a special quality, it doesn't stack, so you can give it like, Charisma as Deflection to AC to boot. Or wisdom as insight. Or I don't know, immunity to physical. "A significant special quality is one that seriously diminishes the monster’s vulnerability to common attacks. Do not add this factor twice if a monster has both special attacks and special qualities."

And Mindsight is far, far, from significant. I mean, for one CR you could easily justify +5 AC and Mindsight. Easily.

Except Mindsight was the only thing this Devil had that made it not completely and totally helpless.  It's a VERY powerful feat.  You just made it completely and totally immune to getting snuck up on, EVER (at least if you're playing by the ruling that Mindsight is unstoppable, which you are).  It's like swapping the Terrasque's toughness feats for the Shock Trooper line.  It's a huge power up.  It serious diminishes the monster's vulnerability to getting bypassed or ambushed, in fact it makes it almost impossible for anyone to detect him without being detected in turn (or it would if the stupid thing had buried itself just a foot deeper).  Mindsight is a VERY significant ability, far better than any of the other feats it originally had.  If it didn't have that feat, the scout in this scenario could have not only seen it, it could have done so at absolutely no risk.

Quote
One CR is worth much, much more than one character level. An encounter of correct CR should be a fair fight to a party of 4 encounter-appropriate guys. CR of +2 means 2 times the strength, basically. So if a fighter 6 was CR 6, fighter 12 should be CR 8. Fighter 24 would be CR 10, although there is an exponential effect at going to Epic, so it should probably be counted.

I'm sorry, but this is just not how the rules for CR work.  Adding a character level that fits with how the creature normally fights gives +1 CR to that creature.  That's just the rules.  You may want this as a house rule (though it wouldn't work at all for full casters... Wizard 18ish as a CR 9?  HELL NO), but that's not how the rules actually work.  At all.

Quote
Do you really think that an Ice Devil who is hiding and has mindsight is stronger than two Ice Devils? Because you really make it seem like it that is the case.

In game where some enemies can one turn TKO a player (which Sunic has been claiming)?  A single creature who has enough information to set up an ambush and has abilities set up that make it far superior at ambushing is ABSOLUTELY as strong as (and perhaps stronger than) two such creatures.  Consider the following scenario: the party is moving along and sees in the distance two Half Dragon Orc Frenzied Berserkers.  Both sides roll initiative.  The Berserkers start running at the party.  The Beguiler (or Wizard, or Factotum, or Sorcerer... whatever) drops a grease which nuetralizes both of them.  The party proceeds to tear the two FBs apart.  Now scenario two... it's just one Frenzied Berserker, but he's a Skulk and knows the party is coming, so he's taken 20 to hide in the underbrush off the side of the road.  The party gets within the necessary charge range and in the ensuing surprise round the Skulk FB bursts out and insta-gibs the Beguiler/Wizard/Factotum/Sorcerer/whatever who would most easily counter him.  If he wins initiative, he kills another party member, otherwise the party has a decent shot of taking him down (assuming someone else had a spell that would stop him from charging again).  Which was harder?  That second encounter was a death sentence for almost any party (if they lacked an autodetect ability with an over 60' range, they had little chance of avoiding that surprise round), while the first was only dangerous if the party lacked crowd control.

So yes, in this game, giving a monster the knowledge and abilities to ambush the party is at least as strong as giving them an equal buddy to help out.

Quote
That's not in the rules. It reads clearly: Increasing HD by 3 increases CR by 1, for Monstrous Humanoids. Spell Weaver is a monstrous humanoid. You are using rule 0 based on your preference. Using my previous analogy, that thing is about as strong as 3 spell weavers of lower level, perhaps slightly more, maybe 4. Give it CR 14.

DMG 39.  "Modifying Xp Awards and Encounter Levels.  An orc warband that attacks the PCs by flying over them on primitive hang gliders and dropping large rocks is not the same encounter as one in which the orcs just charge in with spears.  Sometimes, the circumstances give the characters' opponents a distinct advantage.  Other times, the PCs have an advantage.  Adjust the Xp award and the EL depending on how greatly the circumstances change the encounter's difficulty."

It then goes on to say that an encounter which is "Significantly more difficult" is EL +1, and one which is "Twice as difficult" is El +2.  Considering our Ice Devil couldn't have even seen the scout without Mindsight and almost certainly would have been dropped from a distance trivially if it wasn't ambushing (in the actual game, since it was stupid enough to have its head up it was spotted by the Cleric before it could ambush and was instantly ganked, so this has been proven true), clearly the Mindsight/Ambush scenario makes this guy at least twice as hard as he otherwise would have been.  That's a +2.

In the case of your epic casting Spellweaver, just remember that increasing an associated class level increases the CR by 1 (MM 294), so if you'd added Sorcerer levels you'd be adding 1 CR per level.  In the case of the Spellweaver, adding HD is just like adding Sorcerer levels.  Also, the MM even states that adding too many HD will screw the CR calculations up.

And yes, some party members are expected to die sometimes.  The game is supposed to be a challenge, and there's a reason spells like Raise Dead exist.  Check out some of the earlier campaigns for examples of Gygaxian play... people died all the time.  But that doesn't mean you're supposed to send epic level Sorcerers after level 10 parties and randomly gank members of that party without any hope.

Quote
Again, following the CR Rules, Kobold Expert 1 / Sorcerer 7 is an appropriate encounter for a party of level 1, 5% of the time.

Sorcerer 7 alone is CR 7.

Quote
Not following the CR Rules, but letting the PCs do anything they want with no retribution and only giving them encounters they should be able to beat, ends up with a world like Forgotten Realms where every pansy and their mother can reach epic levels by gardening. Epic level characters should be rare, infinitely tougher than their average counterparts and paragons amongst their kind. The whole setting will fall apart under ridiculousness when adventuring isn't dangerous busines.

I never claimed you should do that, in fact I find such games boring.  However, remember what this argument is about.  Sunic is claiming that being a scout will ALWAYS result in you being a corpse, and that scouting is not viable at all.  His evidence was a pair of encounters, both of which a decent scout could trivially help with (Lifesight and Mindsight both detected everything easily), and in the one encounter where we saw details it turned out to be at least CR 15 for a level 10 character, indicating that this Ice Devil scenario is the upper bound of expected difficulty... and it was still easy for the scout to deal with (and would have been very dangerous without the scout, had not the Ice Devil been really stupid).

Meanwhile, I am saying that scouting is a viable party role (it shouldn't be the only thing a character does of course, which is why I made clear that you don't need to spend tons of resources on it) and that while there's some danger, it's really not that dangerous compared to any other given party role.  Yes, sometimes a monster might detect you (though that should be rare, and a good scout will see that something's up) but you should have ablative defenses (like Moment of Perfect Mind, Counter Charge, and similar) to let you survive that first round while your party takes out the attacker.  You're not a guaranteed instant corpse.

Quote
Also, the CR rules assume a party of four, with 3d6 or _nonelite_ array. Party with a reasonable point buy should be faced with stuff of CR+1, maybe even +2. Flaws also add to this. Most of the stuff that benefits them adds to this, really. And it assumes that DM doesn't allow them to start with scrolls of every book known to man, but limits their choices, and magic items.

Adding to this, the game was originally written expecting healbot Clerics, blaster Wizards/Sorcerers, and Druids who don't Wild Shape in combat.  Basically, all T5 play.  Yeah, it was a deadly game.  Then again, it also assumes the DM cheats in favor of the players relatively regularly.  Playing a T3 game where the DM actually follows the rules, with mostly random magic items and the occasional ability to shop for gear you needed, is basically playing close to how things were intended.

Quote
A party, even when fucked up by the DM in a royal fashion like the DMG suggests the DM should do, should still meet stuff like that Ice Devil every now and then.

Absolutely.  No disagreement here.  The Ice Devil is what the DMG would call a hard encounter.  They shouldn't all be like this, but you should have a few once in a while.  I've never said you shouldn't have encounters like this, I'm saying that encounters like this aren't EVERY encounter and that even something like this should be handlable, and that using this sort of encounter as proof that scouts aren't viable is ridiculous.  It's stacked against the scout and yet a good scout can still handle this easily, so it really fails to back up the claim that scouts are just corpses in waiting.

Quote
Actually, that is fluff, not RAW. You can argue for RAI all you want, but then I bring into the equation the fact that you are also supposed to die all the fucking time. There is no RAW defense against Mindsight, as has already been established in this thread.

Which is why I put in what you should do in both cases.  If Mindsight is unblockable, then it's pretty much necessary for any scout (it's easy for a Beguiler, Unseen Seer, Arcane Trickster, Factotum, or Warlock to get, via a Mindbender dip.  It's actually much harder for T1 classes to get because of the skill requirements for Mindbender, and it's virtually impossible to get in any useful way for Rogues, Scouts, and Ninjas, unfortunately).  If it's blockable, then being undead is critical and you should probably take it anyway if you can.  Neither way makes scouts obsolete.

Quote
The spellweaver knew to go to the chameleon because it robbed a magic item store and dominated the owner to tell the names of anyone who bought anything in past year.

This is still throwing an epic spellcaster at a level 10 party, and that's just stupid.  Sure, there's epic casters who really should do exactly that (I'm sure developing an epic spell that finds out who will ever be a threat to you is quite doable) but nobody plays that way because it's just silly.  Who wants to play a D&D game where at the first moment of finishing character sheets your DM just says "well, you would have won, so you were killed as babies.  The end."?  Though really, this sort of thing is exactly why my characters who have disguise always disguise themselves as someone else when in town.  No sense leaving a train unnecessarily, and it's shockingly easy to have unbeatable (practically) disguises.  Normally it's to throw off CR appropriate Assassins, not crazed paranoid epic Sorcerers, but whatever.

Quote
D&D is not a game of "LOL GUYS I MAKE THE MOST EPIC MARY SUE EVER MY FATHER'S SOUL IS BOUND TO MY KATANA AND I'M IN LOVE WITH NARUTO LOL!".

This from a guy whose big argument is "I can make a level 21 Sorcerer to kill you when you're level 10 and I'm the DM" eh?  Hi Mr. Pot.

Quote
It's a game form of natural evolution, as in, gimps die all the time and that's how it should be. Getting to high level is the goal, and if you die, it is not achieved. Gimps die, therefore not achieving this.

You still haven't shown how anything's a gimp.  If anything, your crazy paranoid Sorcerer guy should be killing the serious threats (all T1 casters in the world), not the T3s and below who aren't major threats.  Your argument here is nonsensical, and the conclusion sucks: that everyone has to play a T1 caster with world shattering power or go home.  I hate to break it to you, but there's a good reason most fantasy stories don't have T1 level protagonists.  They're boring as heck to play if you actually use them at full power.  I had a DM ask me to make the strongest character I could once.  I threw together a Binder 1/Archivist 3/Divine Adaptation Anima Mage 10/Tenebrous Apostate 5/Tainted Sorcerer 1, figured out that I could easily have endless wealth and power without even leaving the starting town, and was bored before I even played him (which is why I instantly quit that game).

Quote
Seriously: Mechanical trap, search DC 28, Disable Device DC 15, Reflex DC 24, 5d6 damage. CR 2.

Now assume a rogue 3, who got off with the elite array, which is the average representation of 4d6 drop lowest. Say he has the second highest in con and highest in dex, third highest in Int? +1 Int, 6 Ranks. +7 Search. Autofail. Reflex DC 24. He has +5 reflex saves, with evasion. 19+ succeeds, so he has 10% chance of evading out of it. He has 6+2d6+6 HP, for 12+2d6, averaging at 19. 5d6 won't kill him on average, sure, as it only averages to 17.5 damage. It still has real chances of knocking him unconscious, though. 35.973% chance to drop him to 0, to be exact. And that is counting in the 10% chance he makes the save. And that trap was CR 1 lower than the rogues EL. 2nd level rogue would only have 13.5 health on average, and would be down to 0 at 76.32% probability, again counting the chance he makes the save. 5.292% chance to die outright, if you wondered.

And without that Rogue, it's whoever else was in front who dies, so what's your point here?  You seem to be trying to claim that anyone who's not a T1 caster is a "gimp" and doomed to die, but a Wizard would be just as screwed here (a Crusader or Barbarian or something might stand a chance, are you trying to say that Wizards are gimps and Crusaders and Barbarians are the only ones that aren't?).

By the way, an Elite Array Necropolitan Whispergnome (the kind of character I bring to games that are that deadly, as opposed to more standard games where I'm likely to bring a rather more lively halfling, or perhaps a breathing Whispergnome) at level 3, who bothered to have a descecrated evil alter when he was turned, has 31 hit points at level 3.  He'll just take that hit and look quite annoyed about the whole thing, but he won't die or go unconscious (at least it's very unlikely).  With Int 15, Dex 16 (appropriate for a Factotum), and 6 ranks he's got a +8 to search... slight chance of seeing the thing!  But yes, some of the traps are kinda underconned.  And as a note I'm aware that you rarely go into Necropolitan that early.  You can afford it at that point but it's a lot of money for that level, and I tend to wait until a major Metropolis comes along in hopes of getting the services of a UA Necromancer or Dread Necromancer 8 to help with the procedure as it makes you a lot tougher.

Either way, I fail to see how either of your examples proves that scouts are "gimps."  The first one just through an epic caster at level 10 party, which would kill any class type easily and would, it seems to me, more likely target the bigger threats (the Wizard could kill him trivially easily if he ever hit level 17, for example).  And the trap example would kill a Wizard or Sorcerer easier than a Rogue, so that's not really relevant here either.  What exactly are you trying to say?

And to be clear, nobody's arguing that scout types (especially Factotums or Rogues) are stronger than Wizards or Clerics in general.  Only that scouting is a useful thing to do for a party, that in many ways it's more useful than just trying to spam divinations all the time (which is what Sunic was claiming worked better), and that it's quite possible to do it without being at such great risk that you're guaranteed (or even more likely than other roles) to die.

Certainly, Traps become easier to deal with at higher levels when you actually have the skills dedicated to deal with it... once you have things like Eyes of the Eagle and Admiral's Bicorn and such to get your skills appropriately high (and if you are playing a game where the DM keeps chucking such traps at you, there's a feat that lets you use dex for Search and Disable Device.  With Brains over Brawn you get Int + Dex.  That helps).  But Factotums are BETTER at dealing with it than Wizards, and you seemed to be trying to say that everyone should be a Wizard, so what are you going for here?  I mean, you could be saying that anyone in front will die so you should just send something disposable like a reserve feat created minion, but if the trap is actually an alarm trap instead of a damage trap that's a terrible plan.  So what is it you're going for?

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 08:23:26 AM
Alternatively, a elves with 4 Ranks have +6 before Int. Gray Elves would be elves, too, so those work.

Rogues also start with, on average, 125 gold. Assume the following starting gear, for an Elf Rogue. Make it a Gray Elf too.

Rapier: 20 gold.
Leather Armor: 10 gold.
Backpack: 2 gold.
Thieve's Tools: 30 gold.
MW tool of Search: 50 gold.

102 gold already. Not enough to buy a ranged weapon left. Dropping the armor would give you money for Shortbow.

Now, let's be really generous, and assume that this guy has say, 32PB. 16 Int, 16 Dex, 10 Str, Con 16, Wis 8, Cha 8. Before racials, after it would be 18 Int, 18 Dex, 8 Str, 14 Con, 8 Wis, 8 Cha. This man really won the lottery at birth. At level 1, he has +12 Search, so he can take 10 and find just about any trap. Now, the question is if he can disable them.. He has +8 Disable Device. Here are the disable DCs of level 1 traps..

20, 20, 23, 19, 20, 18, 20, 20, 15, 22, 20, 20, 20, 22

So, most of the time he actually fails. What's more, since the check is done in secret, he doesn't even know that he failed, and will walk to the trap to die. He pretty much needs Skill Focus: Disable Device to do his job here, and even then there are traps he cannot, on average, disarm.

Quote from: JaronK
Sorcerer 7 alone is CR 7.

Kobolds with levels in NPC classes have their CR reduced by 3. It never states that they need to have levels ONLY in NPC classes. That thing is CR 5.

Quote from: JaronK
Absolutely.  No disagreement here.  The Ice Devil is what the DMG would call a hard encounter.  They shouldn't all be like this, but you should have a few once in a while.  I've never said you shouldn't have encounters like this, I'm saying that encounters like this aren't EVERY encounter and that even something like this should be handlable, and that using this sort of encounter as proof that scouts aren't viable is ridiculous.  It's stacked against the scout and yet a good scout can still handle this easily, so it really fails to back up the claim that scouts are just corpses in waiting.

It doesn't have to be every encounter. It just has to be one every now and then to kill the scout. Who is then, of course, dead.

Also, it's not like the devil would've been useless without the mindsight. Let's just assume it's not stupid, and doesn't try to failhide if it cannot see a wall that's thrown in front of it. Instead, it gets told the location of the party and to destroy them. First, it tries to summon allies. It has 50% chance of summoning 2d4 Bearded Devils, so 2.5 on average. Let's just make it 2. Next, it buffs up: Unholy Aura and Flight on everyone. Bone Devils cast Invisibility on themselves, too. They all activate their fear auras. Now, they all use Greater Teleport to the middle of the party.

The party now faces 3 saves vs Fear: One at DC 22, two at DC 17.

And this is assuming the thing gets below average allies. Sure, it might get zero, but it might also get eight, which is pretty damn dangerous. That's eight CR 9 monsters, just as a nice bonus. Also, nine saves, even if everyone passes on 2+, there's still 37% chance of failure. This way, the monster might even be more dangerous than waiting in ambush, and wouldn't need the mindsight for anything. Therefore, one could argue that the change was 0 CR, as it primarily just changed the way the devil fights.

EDIT: @Why scouts are gimps: Most character are gimps. Seriously. Only the most optimized characters survive the gauntlet full of YOU DIE. This pretty much means the wizard and other t1's, really. At least if you play D&D as it was meant to be played, which is not necessary, but if you don't it's not really relevant to the argument here. Hell, a party with t1's that doesn't go to theorethical OP and has Elite Array for stats, no flaws.. That still probably dies, and the replacement of most characters with worse ones doesn't make it better.

Also, traps getting easier.. Sure, some of them do. There's still DC 30 ones at CR 6 and so on, though. The system is really against the trapfinder in this case and often, it's just better to buff and run through them than waste buff durations.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 10:34:16 AM
Quote
Kobolds with levels in NPC classes have their CR reduced by 3. It never states that they need to have levels ONLY in NPC classes. That thing is CR 5.

Is their a common sense clause in the DMG, that would apply here?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 10:41:09 AM
Wasn't the item in question a continuous-use Arcane Sight item?  As in, the 3rd-level spell Arcane Sight?  That doesn't seem very high-level to me.

No, it was Permanency + Arcane Sight, which requires a CL of 11, and costs 8,160 gold, and gets randomly Sundertarded by pure accident.

An item of Arcane Sight, that worked at will would be lower level... but also cost 30,000 gold. Not. Practical.

That the Factotum is only one stupid enough to split the party on intention, and therefore deserves the horrible fate. Also, that Ice Devil with Mindsight is not +5 CR just because it isn't stupid enough to not hide, and that if you wanted to whine about optimized monsters, you might actually pick something that deserves a higher CR.

The funny thing is that not advanced Spellweavers are the biggest waste of space monster I've ever seen, since any 10th level character could kill them by breathing hard on them. That was an amusing smite though. Good job putting the fuckwit in his place.

Of course, he's still babbling on about how having any sort of information about the party increases the CR. I can actually imagine him doing things like telling an enemy his character's name, and some basic information about them, and honestly expecting the DM to raise the CR of the encounter, thereby rewarding more XP. Any DM worth a damn though would look at him like he imbibed far too many illicit mind altering substances though. Because he has, does, and will. Jaron, stop tripping on LCD, and start making some fucking sense.

Now I actually want to DM for him, just so he can see how a real DM runs real enemies, and not dumbass mobs who stick their heads in the snow and never know anything about the PCs, ever. It won't last long, as his lazy gimp will be slaughtered by the combat music (not the combat... the music for the combat) but hey, it'd be funny.

Ignoring baiting. Also, good job Amadi on illustrating why you just run through the traps instead of taking a trap gimp Rogue. Not the main point of this, but useful anyways.

@DM: I was mostly responding to JaronK's whine about the Ice Devil not being an appropriate encounter and being like CR gazillion. It's 14 at most, and an ECL 10 party with 5 members and say, 32 PB, is probably going to face CR 12 all the time. Flaws add to this number, and so on. I don't know exactly what the size/rules of Sunic's group is, but that does, to me, seem like a very reasonable encounter. The Spell Weaver not so much. And even then, the Spell Weaver is probably CR 18 or less, since it doesn't actually get epic spells due to limited HD.

4 level 10s.

Undead Cleric, Master of Shrouds early entry. Spellstitched for multithreat.
Living Cleric, has Church Inquisitor and Divine Oracle (not heavy armor evasion yet though). Phrenic for multithreat. LA buyoff makes him 9 right now.
Druid, slight animal companion bent.
Wizard, optimized for save DCs.

They've already blazed through CR + 1-2 encounters with ruthless efficiency. Hell, the fucking lowest level party member just about one rounded a CR + 1 encounter. I say just about, because he did get a Polymorph first, and the target was at -1 afterwards. Mostly because natural 1 on one of the three attacks. Sure, it was a very weak encounter (Magical Beasts are not worth their CR). But still. This isn't some group of incompetent fuckwits the likes of JaronK. These are good characters, run by good players. The type that you can throw anything level appropriate at, and know they can deal with it.

Skipping past more of Jaron's fail, where he insists playing enemies remotely intelligently is worth a CR bump, while at the same time bitching, and lying by claiming I am not playing them smart.

Oh and by the way Amadi. Summons cannot use their Teleport abilities. So that doesn't work. It's also Bone Devils, not Bearded Devils.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 10:51:57 AM
To be fair, the thing could summon Bearded Devils, too. There's just about no point ever doing that. 1d6 CR 5 or 2d4 CR 9 ones? :P
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 11:07:27 AM
To be fair, the thing could summon Bearded Devils, too. There's just about no point ever doing that. 1d6 CR 5 or 2d4 CR 9 ones? :P

That, and Dimensional Anchor + Wall of Ice.

Wonder how many more smites it will take before he realizes that liking something does not make it good, and it certainly does not justify lying about it. Then he can Abundant Step away, just like the Monk failtards. Who he still exactly resembles.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Midnight_v on February 09, 2011, 11:18:25 AM
This thread is quite the hotbed of people popping in and out.
So... I'm really just curious and this is mostly to jaronk but likely to bkdubs123
as well but is this one of those "Someone is wrong on the internet" things?
I ask this because... well I think you're kinda above this type of argument really,
all of you. If everyone is so convinced it seem unlikely that either side i going to
just all of a sudden go "Damn, Sunic... you're right, rogues do suck. Wow."
Or contrarywise that Sunic will go and do the opposite. Both sides have some valid
points but neither has to directly game together so... I mean what are you trying to
prove here? This is baffling you can't GET this much action in a play by post.
So... is this just one of those 30 page Fighter Vs Casters things?
If so, how lame.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 09, 2011, 11:27:17 AM
It's just that a question was asked by Endarire, and then some guy started calling names. What do you expect?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 11:30:06 AM
It's just that a question was asked by Endarire, and then some guy started calling names. What do you expect?

This is pretty much how all of Endarire's threads end up. What do you expect?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 09, 2011, 12:04:19 PM
It's the internet. What do you expect?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 09, 2011, 12:07:51 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 12:08:25 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

 :lmao
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 09, 2011, 12:11:10 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 12:13:25 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: PlzBreakMyCampaign on February 09, 2011, 12:15:20 PM
If only people could be content with watching porn...
Maybe they are doing both. That would make me understand some of the angst / rage

I also suspect that Endaire is secretly laughing at us all. That's why I pop in and out.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 12:16:22 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Agita on February 09, 2011, 12:20:31 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
You mean debating Wrong People On Internet isn't porn?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 09, 2011, 12:21:43 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
You mean debating Wrong People On Internet isn't porn?

In other news, did you know Smiting Imbeciles acts as an aphrodisiac?

Agita hits the nail on the head.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 12:22:38 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
You mean debating Wrong People On Internet isn't porn?

In other news, did you know Smiting Imbeciles acts as an aphrodisiac?

Agita hits the nail on the head.
Thats not a nail...
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 12:23:36 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
You mean debating Wrong People On Internet isn't porn?

In other news, did you know Smiting Imbeciles acts as an aphrodisiac?

Agita hits the nail on the head.

Agita nails that and gets head.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 09, 2011, 12:24:07 PM
Thats not a nail... (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FreudWasRight)
Fixed that for you.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 09, 2011, 12:26:10 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 12:30:07 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bauglir on February 09, 2011, 12:30:21 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Efficiency! This is the Min/Max board, after all, so if it's to be found anywhere, it would probably be here.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 09, 2011, 12:35:49 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 12:49:48 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."

Actually, what I forgot was, "Have a Good Day, Citizen. It's mandatory."
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: nightshade on February 09, 2011, 12:54:50 PM
this reminds me of ..
(http://www.winandmac.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/arugingontheinternet.jpg)

I think you should just agree to disagree


nighti  :)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 12:57:26 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."
But then what would you pierce?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 09, 2011, 12:58:30 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."
But then what would you pierce?
yes, dammit, that wouldn't do.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Agita on February 09, 2011, 01:06:23 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."
But then what would you pierce?
The heavens, obviously.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 09, 2011, 01:07:53 PM
at one point I thought that maybe the question should have been "Can the role of ... ?"; with the idea being that the conversation would have been about the various instances when it could work.
but then I realized that it really wouldn't have mattered -- it still would have devolved in to a handful of people cursing each other out about how the others are so stupid for playing wrong.


as for my 2 cp .... in my experiences, as long as adequate planning is done, it can be used to good effect (just be careful to not let your game turn in to Logistics & Dragons -- so many hours .... :nonono)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 09, 2011, 01:11:13 PM
This thread has quickly gone from asking an innocent but loaded question, to people hurling insults and claiming you're playing make-believe wrong, and finally to rule 34. This is really creepy at how quickly those evolutions took place.

Welcome to the internet. Your membership jacket and ID card are in the mail. Have a Good Day, Citizen.
You forgot "Please check your brain at the desk."
But then what would you pierce?
The heavens, obviously.
But then you have to play with its junk.  Not sure I want to do that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:42:59 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...
You mean you don't watch porn while debating Wrong People On Internet?
You mean debating Wrong People On Internet isn't porn?

In other news, did you know Smiting Imbeciles acts as an aphrodisiac?

Agita hits the nail on the head.

Lmfao.

And yes, discussing how Smiting Imbeciles can improve your sex life is both more entertaining, and more useful than fail people trying to defend fail builds and fail tactics. So consider this to be improved.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 02:30:34 PM
What published adventures have things like life sense, mind sense or other methods of detection that aren't thwarted by darkstalker?




Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 02:33:34 PM
What published adventures have things like life sense, mind sense or other methods of detection that aren't thwarted by darkstalker?

What published adventures don't suck a barrel of cocks?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Agita on February 09, 2011, 02:35:21 PM
What published adventures have things like life sense, mind sense or other methods of detection that aren't thwarted by darkstalker?

What published adventures don't suck a barrel of cocks?
Sharns?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 09, 2011, 02:36:22 PM
This thread is quite the hotbed of people popping in and out.
So... I'm really just curious and this is mostly to jaronk but likely to bkdubs123
as well but is this one of those "Someone is wrong on the internet" things?
I ask this because... well I think you're kinda above this type of argument really,
all of you. If everyone is so convinced it seem unlikely that either side i going to
just all of a sudden go "Damn, Sunic... you're right, rogues do suck. Wow."
Or contrarywise that Sunic will go and do the opposite.

I'm trying to get an actual discussion with Sunic going rather than the normal, "well, this is how it is" stuff that members of both sides of this argument are guilty of. I'm trying to be civil and draw out actual numbers from actual gameplay, but I seem to be getting drowned out in a see of smiting the infidel named JaronK.

Like Veekie said, using any single encounter as if it were representative of what makes scouts fail doesn't hold up, so we need to have a more in depth conversation, open to other possibilities and explore the issue further. Sunic may well change my mind on the scenario. The biggest reason he hasn't yet is because his arguments hold little water. Were he to present a legitimate case that scouting cannot succeed over 70% or greater cases where scouting would even prove useful, hell probably even 50%, in a Tier 3 game, then I think I'd have to concede that the "stealthy dude" role is just not a viable one. And it is possible for him to do that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 02:42:17 PM
What published adventures have things like life sense, mind sense or other methods of detection that aren't thwarted by darkstalker?

What published adventures don't suck a barrel of cocks?
Sharns?
I think published adventures are close to how the game was meant to be played.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 03:41:19 PM
Ok..got what I wanted to say off my chest and now can make a more thought out post.  Both sides have very valid points brought up.  That being said it all comes down to how the DM wishes to run his/her campaign.  Sunic, it seems, is in favor of T1 games that can feel like a Mercedes Lackey book.  Heavy on magic and non-magic users are niche catagories.  Jaron plays T3-4 games where it can feel like Eberron.  A standard type game where all the party members can optimize but yet not have to be certain classes.  Then you have what my old DM had where it was "Herp Derp monks and fighters rule!  Clerics only healz and wizards pew pew."
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 03:43:25 PM
Sunic, it seems, is in favor of T1 games that can feel like a Mercedes Lackey book.

Hey man, insult the man, swear at him, or something. There's no need to nuke him from orbit then salt the earth his remains lay in. Jesus. That's some serious hate you've got there.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 03:47:47 PM
What published adventures have things like life sense, mind sense or other methods of detection that aren't thwarted by darkstalker?

What published adventures don't suck a barrel of cocks?

Well played.

After all, let's look at some common, popular APs:

AoW/SC/ST/Anything else made by Paizil: Trivialized by real abilities, allowing you to skip full sections of the campaign.
RHoD: First half is beating up super low level humanoids, and terribly built enemies. The second half is skipped, as they have no defense vs scry and fry, and are so poorly made you can blitz them at 9 even though you're supposed to be 11 or 12.

Also, still skipping past baiting remarks.

As for the tier of the game, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Doesn't matter. Scouts get slaughtered. More or less automatically. Don't split the party, don't scout, don't waste resources on it, don't waste a party slot on it. It's not difficult to understand. Sure, Jaron wanks so hard to scouts because he cannot accept his favorite things suck, and has to nerf anything better than it, which is just about anything. But other than that, tiers have nothing to do with it. What matters is that the party is there, together when shit goes down, and they don't have any dead weight dragging them down. Sure, in anything lower than 3, you're all dead weight. But I mean aside from that. That means recon comes from things like Divinations, that don't fucking get you slaughtered.

Now I was going to continue to reply to this as if it were a post of merit, however it's been brought to my attention that comparison was meant as an insult. So instead...

Hi Welcome

GFY.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 04:12:43 PM
Ummm I did not mean it as an insult.  I like Mercedes Lackey books.  Just pointing out that DMs can run a game how ever they please.  Also I am just making observations on the information presented in this thread.



Edit:  Also I am trying to remain civil on posting.  I am not one for insults and such as it proves nothing.  I like how Sunic and Jaron have good points on the subject.  Still it comes down to DM handling it.  If a DM wants to make his players have 30+ sheets of characters then why bother role playing.  All the game becomes is a numbers exercise to see what is the best option for completing an adventure.  I had a DM who made the game me vs him.  I had to outwit him, I had to think of stratgies to defeat his plans, I had to work for his respect.  Games like that are no fun.  On the other side of the coin neither is a game where combat takes 2-3 hours and all of it is because people make their characters for "role playing".

The more I think on it the more I believe that table top games are a dying breed.  I can get as much role playing on WoW or DCUO or even free form with people I know.  I really, really love pen and paper games but, as seen in the discussions above, it comes down to "I am right and you are wrong!  No I am right and you are wrong!"  So why bother? 

P.S.  Sorry if that sounds very negative...just speaking my mind.  Heck I accept I can be wrong.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: dark_samuari on February 09, 2011, 04:40:46 PM
My friends and I back home pretty much have no problem with our characters dying. We are all in different improv' comedy troupes so making up new characters comes pretty easy for us.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Incendax on February 09, 2011, 04:46:49 PM
The numbers are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
The intelligence of the monsters are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
There are a few feats and spells that completely nullify the Stealthy Dude.

But, in the majority of games there exists a rubric of success versus failure for a player that means he will succeed the majority of the time. Even if the DM has to coddle the player to a reasonable extent, he will coddle the player to a reasonable extent, if only because it's not unreasonable for the player to want to enjoy being the Stealthy Dude. By simple virtue of the fact that the player has invested a sizable amount of resources towards the goal of being the Stealth Dude the DM is almost obligated to provide him... let's say 80%... success.

So it really comes down to what we define 'Viable' as. Is the role of Stealthy Dude viable for personal enjoyment? Definitely. Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable expense of resources compared to alternative forms of recon? No. Does recon of any kind provide viable benefits to the party? Entirely debatable based upon the type of campaign you play in.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 09, 2011, 04:50:55 PM
I love scouting.

With pigeons.

Have I mentioned this?

Yes? Oh. Sorry.  :blush
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 09, 2011, 04:54:29 PM
I love scouting.

With pigeons.

Have I mentioned this?

Yes? Oh. Sorry.  :blush
[spoiler](http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091012051714/dragonage/images/5/55/Shale_face.JPG)
Shale is not amused. :p[/spoiler]
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 09, 2011, 04:56:22 PM
Like Veekie said, using any single encounter as if it were representative of what makes scouts fail doesn't hold up, so we need to have a more in depth conversation, open to other possibilities and explore the issue further. Sunic may well change my mind on the scenario. The biggest reason he hasn't yet is because his arguments hold little water. Were he to present a legitimate case that scouting cannot succeed over 70% or greater cases where scouting would even prove useful, hell probably even 50%, in a Tier 3 game, then I think I'd have to concede that the "stealthy dude" role is just not a viable one. And it is possible for him to do that.

I don't think you get the point. Even if you succeed in 70% of the cases, you fail 30%. Failing 30% means that you die like 25% of the time.

Seriously, the fact that stealth is shut down by most mundane of things all the time should spell out that it isn't viable. Let's start.. Sunlight, well-lit corridors, closed doors, traps, bats, tight guarded corridors, wide open spaces, vantage points...

You could scout effectively, sure. To do that, you need to remove the part where it relies on a skill to work. Anything sucks without huge optimization if it relies on a skill. Even full casters, see Truenamer. So, if you want to scout, roll a ghost monster class 1 / anything, and l2cast invisibility. Be a caster, so you actually have an escape through Celerity => Fly inside a wall, or teleport, plane shift or anything. Forget about hide, since if you have to rely on it, you're doomed anyway, and forget about move silently since you cannot be heard unless you want to be heard. You are now undetectable to anything without See Invisible, True Sight, or Mindsight. Now dip to mindbender and take mindsight. Proceed to live inside walls. You are now undetectable to everything but Mindsight. Scrying magic works, I suppose, until you get Mind Blank or Nondetection or some shit like that.

I suppose you are now "stealth-based", only you are full caster and not a gimp. And you're not actually stealth-based, you just got it as a bonus.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 09, 2011, 04:56:50 PM
The numbers are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
The intelligence of the monsters are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
There are a few feats and spells that completely nullify the Stealthy Dude.
There are also a few feats and spells that dramatically improve the Stealthy Dude's performance.

But, in the majority of games there exists a rubric of success versus failure for a player that means he will succeed the majority of the time. Even if the DM has to coddle the player to a reasonable extent, he will coddle the player to a reasonable extent, if only because it's not unreasonable for the player to want to enjoy being the Stealthy Dude. By simple virtue of the fact that the player has invested a sizable amount of resources towards the goal of being the Stealth Dude the DM is almost obligated to provide him... let's say 80%... success.
It's not even about coddling.  In fact, I think the only thing this thread has proven is that the CR system is completely and hopelessly borked.  Difficulty is based on how effective the party can be against a monster, and if the monster is "IP Proofed" then it's obvious that the entire party is simply screwed.  If the entire party is "IP Proofed," then the monsters sent to fight said party are doomed to failure so epic that I can't imagine it being a very satisfying victory for the PCs.

So it really comes down to what we define 'Viable' as. Is the role of Stealthy Dude viable for personal enjoyment? Definitely. Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable expense of resources compared to alternative forms of recon? No. Does recon of any kind provide viable benefits to the party? Entirely debatable based upon the type of campaign you play in.
In virtually all campaigns, proper scouting enables the party to almost certainly gain a Surprise Round over the opposition, and position themselves in such a manner that the squishy characters are protected, and the squishy monsters are either exposed or dead.  In higher-level campaigns where people plan out engagements, proper scouting is absolutely vital to gameplay, period.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 05:05:49 PM
Edit:  Also I am trying to remain civil on posting.  I am not one for insults and such as it proves nothing.  I like how Sunic and Jaron have good points on the subject.  Still it comes down to DM handling it.  If a DM wants to make his players have 30+ sheets of characters then why bother role playing.  All the game becomes is a numbers exercise to see what is the best option for completing an adventure.  I had a DM who made the game me vs him.  I had to outwit him, I had to think of stratgies to defeat his plans, I had to work for his respect.  Games like that are no fun.  On the other side of the coin neither is a game where combat takes 2-3 hours and all of it is because people make their characters for "role playing".

No, it doesn't, because the reason why scouts fail is nice, solid numbers. Not subjective useless handwaving. It doesn't much matter if it's a Rogue, or a Factorum, or a goddamned DRUID getting owned, the point is that scouts get owned. That's not dying over and over and over (unless you're a gimp), it's not DM vs player, despite my snarky remarks towards Jaron. It's called you must be this tall to play, and if you're too short, you don't play.

As for coddling, no, there is no fucking coddling, because doing so not only promotes bad play in your game, it means more headaches for any other MCs they might have. "Player wants scouting to be viable."

I WANT WINTER TO NOT BE FUCKING COLD!

And that's nice and all, but since winter is fucking cold, and scouts fucking fail, we're not going to get what we want just because we want it. And would you like a pony with that? That sounds dangerously close to entitlement.

If you want to do something, you need actual abilities to do that. If you lack said abilities, you fail. With something inherently flawed, like stealth you can't get said abilities. Your archetype is not supported, deal with it.

But let's pretend he has a MC who warps and undermines his entire world so that the gimp can succeed 80% of the time, and not the vastly lower number he actually does. It doesn't take another reference to Iterative Probability to illustrate how completely and utterly fucked he is, as it will on average take three attempts before the odds are about even he fails. And as soon as he does fail, even once, he gets slaughtered. I hope you have a twelve pack of those scouts, because even with a coddling MC, you'll fucking need them all.

As for X Codes, and his whining, flailing, and failing funny thing about that. IP proofed party vs IP proofed enemy didn't result in a hopeless battle, and it didn't result in an easy battle. It instead resulted in... a draw.

Scouting, meanwhile would have resulted in a dead gimp, and a short man party. And here's a really novel question.

Who the fuck does the scout replace?

Druid? Let's see, you lose the guide keeping everyone on the right track, you lose the class feature as good or better than the scout by itself, and don't forget the might of DRUID SPELLS.

Wizard? Lol, losing primary source of save or loses means the group fails.

Undead Cleric? Hey, someone who can spot ambushes that isn't a gimp. Also, lots of Str damage in an easy to hit with form.

Living Cleric? Save or loses, DPS...

Clearly, the scout isn't worth as much as any of these. Nor is it worth -20% XP and loot to all of them, to take a 5th person.

If you assume a lower tier party, the scout still completely and utterly fails to justify his existence.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Incendax on February 09, 2011, 05:28:07 PM
As for coddling, no, there is no fucking coddling, because doing so not only promotes bad play in your game, it means more headaches for any other MCs they might have. "Player wants scouting to be viable."
Unfortunately, coddling is pretty much the norm for just about every game in existence. Since the CR system is so completely broken it's always up to the DM to make sure you don't get casually turned into roadkill. In any game where there are classes of a different Tier you've either got a player who does not mind sucking, or is getting coddled. The very basis of the idea that players should share the spotlight involves coddling since the DM has to arrange those spotlights to be shared.

It doesn't even matter if it promotes bad play, because the class system itself promotes bad play, and you're probably never going to find a game that doesn't involve coddling. In truth, expecting a game that does not involve coddling is wishing winter were not cold. Coddling is like oxygen. It exists everywhere to some degree or another so long as the DM has even an ounce of desire to provide his players with an enjoyable experience. That's pretty much a given since he's running the game for you in the first place, unless he's a sadistic nutjob who just wants to see how long he can torment his players before they walk.  :lol
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 09, 2011, 05:33:56 PM
Should I assume that you mean that any melee type character less than a Feral Mineral Warrior Dragonborn Incarnate Warforged Warblade to be a gimp? I'm just asking.

Quote
But I'm talking about the lower tier casters. Tier 3 is precisely what I'm talking about. What can a Dread Necromancer and a Beguiler do to reliably bust through SR 25 AND maintain save DCs of 25+?

We've established what Tier 1 and Tier 2 characters do that makes scouting both irrelevant and undesirable. They have powerful divinations they use to better effect and with less party danger. So, if we're talking about scouting then we're talking about a Tier 3 game at best. I essentially don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to optimizing, but Sunic, you do, or at least you claim to. So, arriving at what exactly an optimized Tier 3 character is capable of, even should be capable of in your opinion, can only help us further a legitimate discussion.

Quote
Sunic, you mentioned at some point, god knows I'm too lazy to look for the specific page and post, you mentioned that the "scouts are cool" crowd is like the "Monk PWN" crowd in that both characters fail for the same reasons, except that I must disagree with you here. The Monk fails because the class itself has no level appropriate class features or encounter contributions to offer a party or game. A Scout may invest a feat or two for their role, and they invest some of their many skill points, but at the end of the day they still have class features, which are often pretty awesome. A Rogue has sneak attack, a Factotum has spells, a Warlock has his invocations. They can still contribute meaningfully to encounters when they aren't scouting.

I'm reposting this one just for fairness.

Also, @Amadi: Yes, if you fail 30% of tasks, some of which involve life-threatening situations, you are some day going to get killed. The game assumes that this is going to happen and thus includes Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection, among many other ways to return the dead to life. You appear to be coming dangerous close to saying something along the lines of, "any character not IP proofed enough to have 99.999% success in his chosen roles is a gimp and his player doesn't know how to play the game." Am I mistaken or is that what you are indeed saying?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bozwevial on February 09, 2011, 05:35:16 PM
Quick question: Has Sunic's game been linked in this thread?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 05:44:10 PM
Point has been made.  D&D is ment to be play wizard, cleric, druid, archivist, ect.  If you don't you are stupid.  Point proven that table top games need to be shut down.  All of us here would be better going outside to play sport, get broken bones, and then smash our heads into a wall screaming that we are tops.  Then when someone says for us to calm down we pull out a weapon and made them pay for not being PERFECT.

We are better off working 24/7 to make money to die miserable because that is how the world works.  Thank you all for showing that table top games are for super brains who amount to nothing because they cannot dead lift one ton.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 09, 2011, 05:52:51 PM
Point has been made.  D&D is ment to be play wizard, cleric, druid, archivist, ect.  If you don't you are stupid.  Point proven that table top games need to be shut down.  All of us here would be better going outside to play sport, get broken bones, and then smash our heads into a wall screaming that we are tops.  Then when someone says for us to calm down we pull out a weapon and made them pay for not being PERFECT.

We are better off working 24/7 to make money to die miserable because that is how the world works.  Thank you all for showing that table top games are for super brains who amount to nothing because they cannot dead lift one ton.

You need a weapon?

Play a monk, mate. I mean, seriously.

 :hide
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Talore on February 09, 2011, 06:04:46 PM
bad play
D&D isn't just about powergaming. One can play virtually anything in a solo game due to roleplaying, btw.

It's completely off-topic and not meant as a 'retort' or anything, just needed to stress that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 06:09:53 PM
Quick question: Has Sunic's game been linked in this thread?
No, though it might be very helpful if it was.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 09, 2011, 06:11:37 PM
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 06:18:58 PM
Gomenasi.. :blush

I tend to get very heated in debates and I speak my mind.  It just irks me that the "You must be this tall to play" is being attached to a hobby.  I do concede that when making a character it is very important to take into consideration being fully helpful to the group and not want to be difficult but it is another thing to say that if one does not play this specific build/class you are stupid.  Even WoW, which does have specific builds for things like tanking and stuff, only has it in mind for end game content and hardly for leveling (at least now where there are a lot of options to play).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bester on February 09, 2011, 06:21:10 PM
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.

I think everybody should have to roll 3d6 and take the stats in order rolled like oldschool d&d.  I think alot of us are from the old days where you were assumed to be a gimp from the start.  In the current editions with the point buys and 4d6 arrange...well.  Warlock is looking good, isn't it?

Shoot, 9 to my casting stat?  I can't cast spells!!!  Well I'm playing a wizard anyway!!!
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 09, 2011, 06:59:05 PM
If you are saying that there's something wrong with my math and that my use of those resources is elementary at best, please, explain to me how the Warblade is supposed to get beyond +20 to his attack rolls, among other tasty bonuses, using those same resources (or other resources that I am not even aware of).

I am likewise interested in this being addressed, for curiosities sake.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: dark_samuari on February 09, 2011, 07:10:11 PM
I WANT WINTER TO NOT BE FUCKING COLD!

Move to Brazil? Eh?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 09, 2011, 07:12:13 PM
All of the numbers I've seen in actual practice show the following:

Very low levels (1-3): Everyone is frankly screwed.  Depending on race choice, the scout may or may not be difficult to detect and Hide/Move Silently is sufficient to hide.  Everything is luck-based at this point anyway, really.  Even so, traps are deadly, even through any buffs the Wizard/Cleric may be able to cast at this point.  Even worse is that nobody can detect most of them with any sort of reliability.

Low levels (3-6):  Scout is harder to detect, if not impossible (an Invisibility spell accomplishes the later), for most enemies.  Meanwhile, most foes are also easily spottable by any scout.  At the end of this period, exotic senses are common.  Darkstalker is basically required to continue past this point.  If the campagin features a lot of non-living foes, then look into undeath yourself.  Not only does it mean Lifesense can't detect you, but you're also immune to most of their special attacks.  Traps are still difficult to locate, but not impossible.  They're unlikely to mean instant death for whoever triggers them.

Everything else (7+): You need Darkstalker.  If you have it, you will only be located by three abilities (two if you're undead) and all of those abilities are rare.  Stealthy enemies are difficult to spot under the best of conditions leading to stealthy characters and enemies frequently passing each other without knowing.  Important to realize is that magical scouting breaks down at this point with Nondetection already on and Mind Blank starting at 15 (and both becoming more and more common).  After all, when a single spell can negate an entire archtype, you'd be stupid not to use it.  Traps at this point are a non-issue.  You find them regularly and even if you don't, the consequences don't mean much.

So, actually as you go up in level, scouting becomes more effective and important, not less.  The hardest part is the early levels.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 09, 2011, 07:57:17 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 07:59:59 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 09, 2011, 08:24:20 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.
$1000 bucks says I'm gay and you're dead wrong.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 09, 2011, 08:27:56 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.
$1000 bucks says I'm gay and you're dead wrong.

ahhahahahahahahahahahahhahha
OWNED HAAHHHA BEST POST EVER :P
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Agita on February 09, 2011, 08:31:39 PM
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.
$1000 bucks says I'm gay and you're dead wrong.
Sorry, I'm afraid my money is with Lycan here.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 09:09:10 PM
Should I assume that you mean that any melee type character less than a Feral Mineral Warrior Dragonborn Incarnate Warforged Warblade to be a gimp? I'm just asking.

Quote
But I'm talking about the lower tier casters. Tier 3 is precisely what I'm talking about. What can a Dread Necromancer and a Beguiler do to reliably bust through SR 25 AND maintain save DCs of 25+?

We've established what Tier 1 and Tier 2 characters do that makes scouting both irrelevant and undesirable. They have powerful divinations they use to better effect and with less party danger. So, if we're talking about scouting then we're talking about a Tier 3 game at best. I essentially don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to optimizing, but Sunic, you do, or at least you claim to. So, arriving at what exactly an optimized Tier 3 character is capable of, even should be capable of in your opinion, can only help us further a legitimate discussion.

Watch that Paizil Fallacy. And you're missing the point. The point is +20 to hit is low, and something you should have had at 7 or 8, and that's if you attack via touch attack. Similarly, 12 Con is low. For anyone. 14+ just to show up.

Quote
I'm reposting this one just for fairness.

Monks have a bunch of features too. Interestingly enough, none of them are useful. So yes, it's just like the Monks are good crowd. Both them and the scouts are good crowd regularly assume heavily nerfed and stupid opposition, both assume you accomplish something useful other than death (which IS useful, to the party you are holding back but not what I meant)... the parallels go on.

Quote
Also, @Amadi: Yes, if you fail 30% of tasks, some of which involve life-threatening situations, you are some day going to get killed. The game assumes that this is going to happen and thus includes Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection, among many other ways to return the dead to life. You appear to be coming dangerous close to saying something along the lines of, "any character not IP proofed enough to have 99.999% success in his chosen roles is a gimp and his player doesn't know how to play the game." Am I mistaken or is that what you are indeed saying?

Uh huh. And a 30% fail rate means you literally drop dead every other fight. Maybe every third fight. Wonder how long it will take to run out of levels and loot, or just make the Cleric say screw this, we keep the rest of his stuff and get a not gimp.

Don't be an idiot.

Quick question: Has Sunic's game been linked in this thread?

It's been referenced in enough detail to have a full grasp on the situation without a link.

I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.

Lol. Not right now. And I rarely start games. You can join the waiting list though. Yes, there is a waiting list. Despite the whining and flailing.

Oh and if you want to get mad at someone about "You must be this tall to play", take that up with the game designers. They make the rules, I just quote them. D&D is absolutely full of gear checks, and ability checks, and competence checks. Fuck, the whole WBL system is the means of organizing gear checks. Not to mention how the higher you go, the more stuff is big, and flying, and can wtfpwn you. Often all at once.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 09, 2011, 09:15:11 PM
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.

Lol. Not right now. And I rarely start games. You can join the waiting list though. Yes, there is a waiting list. Despite the whining and flailing.

Oh and if you want to get mad at someone about "You must be this tall to play", take that up with the game designers. They make the rules, I just quote them. D&D is absolutely full of gear checks, and ability checks, and competence checks. Fuck, the whole WBL system is the means of organizing gear checks. Not to mention how the higher you go, the more stuff is big, and flying, and can wtfpwn you. Often all at once.

Just pm me when/if it happens.

Also I don't know if the other comment is directed at me, because of the quoting thingy. If yes then 'wtf' .
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 09, 2011, 09:15:39 PM
I'll just put this simply: I've played scouts before.  I've never had problems.  In fact, I've never had a character die while scouting, not once, but I have made a lot of encounters far easier with decent scouting.  I've seen one scout character die to a trap, but that was level 2 in World's Largest Dungeon and that trap would have killed anyone else in the party except the Crusader had she not taken that hit, so that's hardly an argument against scouting.  So, maybe others can't do it, but I can, and have, and this whole argument has boiled down to a bunch of people saying "I can't do it, therefor it's impossible."  So instead of going back and forth on specific scenarios from a DM who clearly has no experience with this, I'll just post how to scout, because that's actually useful.  Here's the main things you need to keep in mind, and I'll phrase them for all kinds of games (high optimization and low).

1)  Be invisible to as many things as possible.  

A)  The most basic part of this is Hide and Move Silently, because everything has Spot and Listen, even if they have no ranks.  As a rule, you're only truly safe if your Hide and Move Silently, after modifiers, are 11 higher than the enemy's Spot and Listen.  That way, if you take 10 while sneaking around the enemy cannot possibly find you.  This is trivially easy... a Halfling straight out of the box gets +5 Hide, and +3 Move Silently, while a Whispergnome gets +9 Hide and +5 Move Silently.  Through in max ranks in both skills and a 14 base thrown into dex and you're looking at +11/+9 or +15/+11 even at level 1, when the vast majority of enemies don't even have spot ranks.  Note also that distracted people have a -5 to their spot and listen, and there's an additional -1 to spot and listen for every 10 feet between the observer and what they're spotting.  With these kinds of penalties, you don't even need items to avoid any chance of detection.  As you go up in levels you'll want to invest a bit of money into keeping Hide and Move Silently up, an amount determined by how much it comes up.  The Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (22k continuous, 10k for 10 minutes per day) is great for this, providing the Dark template cheap (which gives +8 hide, +6 move silently, Darkvision and Superior Low Light Vision, and (Ex) hide in plain sight along with a few other nice abilities).  Shadowsilk Leather Armor is just 1,750gp and provides +2 to hide and move silently while also being extremely light weight (an issue for low strength stealth types), and it's not even magical so crafting it for 1/3 price is a possibility in games where that works.  There's also basic mundane gear like Silent Shoes and Darkweave Clothing that can increase both skills.  And if you're a Factotum, you even get to add your Int to it.  In the end, you should have little to no trouble keeping your Hide and Move Silently up so high that nothing can possibly detect you via Spot or Listen.

B)  Scent, Tremorsense, Blindsense, and Blindsight are all relatively common abilities that autodetect you, and you just can't have that.  Luckily, these are easily countered by taking the Darkstalker feat, which requires them to follow the Spot-Hide/Listen-Move Silently mechanic.  Since you needed those to be up anyway, this handles the problem nicely, but the feat is basically required if you want to be a stealthy character.  Without it, you're hosed... which is part of why Wizards and such actually aren't very good at this sort of thing.  No spell protects you from these things (at least not in a useful way).

C)  Lifesense.  This feat from Libris Mortis is only available to undead and causes all living creatures to glow brightly in your vision (a medium or smaller creature gives off 60 feet of light, while larger creatures double the light given off for every size category they are above medium).  Note that even invisible light sources give off light, so this sense completely trumps invisibility and no amount of hiding will save you (the enemy won't see you, but they'll know exactly where you are anyway.  They'll even see you coming from around corners).  On the bright side (heh) Necropolitans are found in this same book.  Basically, if Libris Mortis is in play, you absolutely want to be a Necropolitan (which is very useful for stealthers anyway for a variety of reasons).  If it's not in play, Lifesense isn't an issue anyway so there's nothing to worry about.  And if you do become a Necropolitan, take this feat!

D)  Touchsight. (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Touchsight)  This auto-win detection can be annoying, but with a minute per level duration, it shouldn't even be up unless the party has already given away the fact that it's there (which may happen).  Nothing besides being incorporeal can evade it (and being permanently incorporeal has its own issues), but it has some weaknesses.  First of all, it requires Line of Effect to see things.  If you have the ability to see through walls (Mindsight, Earthdreamer) you can watch someone who might have Touchsight up without fear, and remember the following from the Line of Effect rules:  "An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell’s line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell’s line of effect. "  In other words, if you're peering at the target through a keyhole or grating or any other surface that doesn't have a full 1 square foot hole in it, Touchsight can't see you at all.  Also, note that it has a 60 foot radius, though this can be enhanced.  We'll get more into proper scouting distance later.  Finally, it's a rare power available only to Psions and Wilders, so it shouldn't come up much at all.

E)  Mindsight.  This is a feat from Lords of Madness that autodetects anything with a mind within the range of your telepathy (for most creatures, this will be 100 feet or less).  First of all, check with your DM to see what this power actually does.  By RAW, it autodetects everything with no chance of blocking it... if this is so, TAKE THIS FEAT.  However, the same book that published it mentions that Illithids hate undead, and one of the reasons is that their mental detection abilities don't work on undead.  This suggests that RAI was for Mindsight not to work on people who are immune to Mind Affecting, in which case you'll want to be Necropolitan even more (or at least get some other method of getting that immunity).  But if it's played by RAW, this is a good reason to stay 100 feet away from enemies that might have the feat.  Note that this is another rare ability... it requires the enemy to be telepathic and have taken the feat.  This is one good reason why having a few Knowledge skills is wise, as it lets you know about such abilities.  

F)  Darkvision.  This is a really common sense that still works off spot/hide, so you can hide from it just fine.  It's mentioned here because the Ring of Darkhidden makes you completely invisible to it, and most underground/night monsters that use it rely on it as their sole vision mode when it's dark.  With that ring, which is quite cheap, you're now completely invisible to them the whole time.  If you play in the underdark or some similar area, your whole party should have such rings.  An important note is the range here... Darkvision is usually a 60' range, sometimes 120', very rarely anything past this.  You want to scout so that your party doesn't come within 120' of areas you haven't scouted, so that they're not picked up by this visual mode.

G)  Magical detection.  There's a bunch of abilities (Arcane Sight, Detect Magic, Detect Undead, etc) that use magic to spot unusual things.  Theoretically, they should still require spot, but just in case note that almost all magical senses are blocked by a thin layer of lead.  Yes, you can actually hide behind a lead sheet or lead-lined cloak (though note that weight could make this impractical).  The obvious permanent one people could use is Arcane Sight, but the range on that ability is 120' and it makes their eyes glow blue, so if you see someone with blue glowing eyes, stay out of the 120' range (and note that they're likely a caster).  Like Touchsight, these senses aren't that common, but you should consider their existence.  

2)  Have better detection than your enemies.

A)  Spot and Listen are handy ways to find things... they're automatic, after all.  But as we saw earlier, using Spot and Listen are at a serious disadvantage against Hide and Move Silently.  Distraction carries a -5 penalty, and distance gives a -1 per 10 feet penalty.  Considering most scouts want to stay pretty far from the enemy, Spot and Listen end up being pretty poor ways of locating people.  Also, Invisibility screws Spot pretty good and Silence screws Listen.  As such, while it's a good idea to have a decent Spot score, it may not be worthwhile to waste too many points and resources maxing both these skills out (though that will depend on where else you spend your skill points and what exactly your character intends to do).  As before, having night vision abilities (Low Light, Darkvision) are nice, but don't rely on them.

B)  Scent, Blindsight, Blindsense, Tremorsense.  These are obviously useful abilities to have, as they autodetect enemies who don't have Darkstalker (few will).  Blindsight is easily gotten via the Blindfold of True Darkness, but doing that means you can't see anything past 30' (but non visual senses like Mindsight work fine).  If you're using Lifesense, this is obviously a terrible idea, but in general getting a Blindfold that you can put on temporarily at times might be worth having.  Scent is easiest gotten via Hunter's Stance.  But again, the range is quite short, so neither of these abilities are all that great.  It's pretty hard to get any of these senses with any decent range.  Heck, if anything, it's almost better to have an attack animal with the party that has these (like bats or dogs or whatever) and leave them back there in case the party is about to get jumped by an invisible thing you somehow missed, while you go ahead and do the scouting thing.  These aren't high priority senses.

C)  Lifesense.  As above, this sense is AMAZING for spotting things.  It works on anything that's alive (take that, Mimic) and lets you know about them long before you even get close.  If it's available, be a Necropolitan and take it, no question.

D)  Mindsight.  As above, this is another amazing sense.  If it's available and you can do so, take it.  It's easy for Beguilers, Arcane Tricksters, and Factotums to get via a Mindbender dip.  Rogues, Scouts, and Ninjas are left out in the cold on this one (part of why they're really not that good at scouting).  Make sure to check with your DM so you know what it can pick up... by RAW, this thing works through walls (unlike divination, it goes through lead too).

E)  Magic.  For the most part, magical detection isn't very good.  Abilities like Mindblank trump it wholesale, while a sheet of lead or bit of rock stops it cold, and there are even abilities that make magical detection give the wrong answer.  Plus, the durations are generally low.  If you can get something like Permanent Arcane Sight or Persistent Detect Undead or whatever then go for it, but as a rule you want abilities that warn you if something's there when you didn't realize it, not abilities you have to cast once you already suspect an enemy.

3)  Be at the right range.   Note how most of these abilities have specific ranges where they function, from 30' to 120' generally.  Make sure you're not walking into an autodetect ability that you can't counter, and definitely keep your party from walking into such a thing.  Also, your distance from your party is important.  You want to be far enough away that they don't get heard or spotted (remember, there's that -1 penalty per 10 feet, so if you can detect things while they're 200 feet away from the party then the party is fine), but not so far away that you're outside of your party's engagement range (which will depend on party composition and level... Beguilers have no trouble dropping Glitterdusts from 130' away and archers usually can fire at 200' away, but full attack melee types are often unable to effect anything usefully unless they're already adjacent, so plan accordingly).  After all, if you screw up, you don't want to be by yourself fighting something.  You also need to be able to communicate with the party (another good reason why having Telepathy is handy, though there are other methods), in case you get hit while they can't see you.  I generally find that being 95' away from the front of the party is just about right in most situations.  As a scout, if you're splitting the party, you're doing it wrong.

4)  Have ablative defenses.  Since you're in front, you're likely to take one big hit before the party kills whatever attacked you, so you want one off defenses that guarantee survival.  A ring of +1 natural armor is all fine and well for the tank, but you need stuff that guarantees survival right now from that one hit you're going to take from a trap or from a creature that somehow managed to spot you.  This is a reason why a dip into Swordsage is extremely useful for any scout... Moment of Perfect Mind (and similar maneuvers), Counter Charge, and Shadow Jaunt are amazing as once per encounter defenses.  They guarantee that one save or lose won't kill you (including traps), that one melee opponent won't reach you, and that you can escape (even from grapples) when you need to.  Shadow Jaunt with Cloak of Deception is already a great stealth combo anyway, so this works perfectly.  In the end, if you do it right, a monster jumping you is actually falling for bait and guaranteed to be dead as the entire party destroys it, and you're the best person to trigger a trap anyway (though try to avoid said traps, the published ones are incredibly deadly at low levels).

5)  Don't spend everything on scouting.  You should still be able to do other stuff.  Most scouts are actually assassins or diplomats or combat archers or something that's very helpful even when not scouting.  There's no requirement to spend huge resources on being a scout... you should still be very effective for the party in general.

And in the end of all this, what's the point of scouting?  This is a game where actions are everything, and a single standard action can screw your entire party.  If a fight starts with a hidden Beguiler casting Glitterdust on the party in the surprise round, you could be looking at a TPK.  If it instead starts with your party landing the Glitterdust and revealing the Beguiler as well as his little Rogue friends, this is going to be a trivially easy fight.  Plus, in a game full of monsters with various immunities and vulnerabilities, strengths and weaknesses, knowing your enemy in advance and knowing how to fight him is critical.  Far better to avoid wasting attacks that do nothing against a creature that was immune, or to use AoEs and hit the hidden ambushers instead of single target effects that only hit the bait.  Thus, what the scout gives the party is actions, and lots of them.  Surprise rounds to destroy enemies instead of having those same surprise rounds used against you, and fewer wasted actions when a player fails to account for what's actually against him.  And in a game where battles are effectively over after the first round or so (which is often the case when save or lose and crowd control spells start dropping), that's critical.  

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: SeekingKnight on February 09, 2011, 10:01:06 PM
Thank you Jaron and Sunic.  Again I am sorry for my eariler blow up.  I have seen a game where the halfling with maxed hide is a pain in the butt and the DM had to use things with tremorsense to fight him.  I see it from both sides of the debate.  Sunic is correct as magic in D&D can trump a lot of mundane things and if you are the best (read Tier 1) then by golly you will shine.  I also see Jaron's point on the player who knows what they are doing can make a fine scout type character.  So while yes the system as a whole has issues everyone plays the game their own way.  As an internet personality said "If the person playing the game differently from you is not effecting the way you play then why worry about it."

Ciao
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 09, 2011, 10:09:17 PM
Also I don't know if the other comment is directed at me, because of the quoting thingy. If yes then 'wtf' .
It wasn't. It took a while for me to get used to Sunic's random topic changes when writing, too.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Talore on February 09, 2011, 10:20:56 PM
JaronK, you should either develop that post into a handbook, or at the least make it its own thread and submit it to the Handy Links.  :clap
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 09, 2011, 10:46:07 PM
Should I assume that you mean that any melee type character less than a Feral Mineral Warrior Dragonborn Incarnate Warforged Warblade to be a gimp? I'm just asking.

Quote
But I'm talking about the lower tier casters. Tier 3 is precisely what I'm talking about. What can a Dread Necromancer and a Beguiler do to reliably bust through SR 25 AND maintain save DCs of 25+?

Quote
We've established what Tier 1 and Tier 2 characters do that makes scouting both irrelevant and undesirable. They have powerful divinations they use to better effect and with less party danger. So, if we're talking about scouting then we're talking about a Tier 3 game at best. I essentially don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to optimizing, but Sunic, you do, or at least you claim to. So, arriving at what exactly an optimized Tier 3 character is capable of, even should be capable of in your opinion, can only help us further a legitimate discussion.

Quote
Watch that Paizil Fallacy.

I don't know what that means.

Quote
And you're missing the point. The point is +20 to hit is low, and something you should have had at 7 or 8, and that's if you attack via touch attack. Similarly, 12 Con is low. For anyone. 14+ just to show up.

And yet you still refuse to actually illustrate how the Warblade is supposed to get a +20 to hit touch attack at 7th level. If it's possible I want to know how.

Quote
Monks have a bunch of features too. Interestingly enough, none of them are useful. So yes, it's just like the Monks are good crowd. Both them and the scouts are good crowd regularly assume heavily nerfed and stupid opposition, both assume you accomplish something useful other than death (which IS useful, to the party you are holding back but not what I meant)... the parallels go on.

I'm trying to bring us back to more of a baseline conversation without those kinds of preconceptions, like heavily nerfed and stupid opposition and seeing where we go from there. So, while I agree that Monks have no useful class features, I want to know why you seem to think stuff like Sneak Attack, Evasion, Cunning Insight, Arcane Dilettante, or Invocations aren't useful to anyone. Also UMD which all of them have and the Factotum and Warlock can take greater than average advantage of.

Quote from: BK
Also, @Amadi: Yes, if you fail 30% of tasks, some of which involve life-threatening situations, you are some day going to get killed. The game assumes that this is going to happen and thus includes Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection, among many other ways to return the dead to life. You appear to be coming dangerous close to saying something along the lines of, "any character not IP proofed enough to have 99.999% success in his chosen roles is a gimp and his player doesn't know how to play the game." Am I mistaken or is that what you are indeed saying?

Quote from: Sunic
Uh huh. And a 30% fail rate means you literally drop dead every other fight. Maybe every third fight. Wonder how long it will take to run out of levels and loot, or just make the Cleric say screw this, we keep the rest of his stuff and get a not gimp.

Don't be an idiot.

See, this is why you're having a problem convincing anyone of anything, Sunic. People don't play that way. It's either incredibly boring because the players spend more time calculating and eliminating the risks of things they do rather than actually doing them. OR it's an arms race between the players and team monster as they attempt to build more and more impenetrable defenses and more and more unstoppable offenses.

Instead, people would rather play Tier 3 games, with much less IP proofing, with some gentleman's agreements in place that however highly the players optimize, the DM will not go any higher. I know, I know, this is houseruling, I'm just saying that when you say things like, "scouts fail because they can't achieve a 99.9% success rate" most people aren't going to listen because most people don't want ANY character, even a Tier 1 character, to have that kind of a success rate.

Also, to avoid those kinds of discussions, and to put this argument into a format where more of us are on the same page is why I've been bringing up Tier 3. If you can drive the point home that scouts fail in a Tier 3 game, and without as much reliance on IP proofing to prove your point, then you're going to convince many more people. And you need to bring up actual stats, use actual game resources, and talk about actual game situations rather than handwave things. I'm trying to get you to treat this like a legitimate debate, because I think you've got something real to contribute to this discussion, and I think you might be able to convince me, but you've got to take it seriously.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 09, 2011, 10:54:14 PM
And yet you still refuse to actually illustrate how the Warblade is supposed to get a +20 to hit touch attack at 7th level. If it's possible I want to know how.

I believe this discussion is beyond the intentions of this particular thread. However, I am curious as to see a few different ways to accomplish this myself. May I recommend you begin another thread?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 09, 2011, 10:58:06 PM
And yet you still refuse to actually illustrate how the Warblade is supposed to get a +20 to hit touch attack at 7th level. If it's possible I want to know how.

I believe this discussion is beyond the intentions of this particular thread. However, I am curious as to see a few different ways to accomplish this myself. May I recommend you begin another thread?

Well, it's relevant to me to establish what Sunic believes is an acceptable Tier 3 contribution. It will help to put the Tier 3 scouting discussion into perspective.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 11:48:19 PM
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.

Lol. Not right now. And I rarely start games. You can join the waiting list though. Yes, there is a waiting list. Despite the whining and flailing.

Oh and if you want to get mad at someone about "You must be this tall to play", take that up with the game designers. They make the rules, I just quote them. D&D is absolutely full of gear checks, and ability checks, and competence checks. Fuck, the whole WBL system is the means of organizing gear checks. Not to mention how the higher you go, the more stuff is big, and flying, and can wtfpwn you. Often all at once.

Just pm me when/if it happens.

Also I don't know if the other comment is directed at me, because of the quoting thingy. If yes then 'wtf' .

I can't always be fucked to quote people, especially if the thing I am responding to is in the post immediately preceding my own.

As for Jaron, and his massive wall of text, his words might have some merit had he not honestly claimed, on many occasions that playing enemies remotely intelligently or competently is worth large CR boosts. Since he has, all he's proven is that he can beat other mouth breathing fuckwits.

And as for all this babbling about Tier 3, it is an irrelevant and invalid argument. If you are IP proofed, you don't die very often. If you are not, you die all the fucking time. It doesn't matter what sort of "gentleman's agreements" you think you have. If the DM nicely nerfs all the enemies by not having them use save or loses, they can still rape you just fine with their auto attacks, for example. The main difference as it pertains to that subject is Tier 3s can't IP proof very well, and flat out cannot use many IP proofing measures at all. Which in turn means a very high rate of character death. I will continue to regard you as not serious, and irrelevant and therefore disregard you as long as you continue to bring up the Tier 3 strawman, and other strawmen arguments such as throwing the 99.9% success rate at me, when I responded only to the bit about 30% fail rate.

This topic doesn't need any more fail smokescreens, least of all from other people.

And as long as you continue to throw out terrible numbers, like +20 to hit at level 10 I will continue to mock you for making fail builds, as even Tier 3s can, very easily obtain to hits in the 30s.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 09, 2011, 11:58:10 PM
Translation: Sunic has been proved to be ignorant in this area and is too proud to admit it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 12:01:18 AM
Could someone show the guy a build that gets over +20 at level 10? For some reason I can't think of feats aside from Stormguard Warrior, I know they're out there though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Ras F on February 10, 2011, 12:13:48 AM
20+ at level 7, resolved as touch attacks, I believe is the proposed 'bar' in question. I'm having trouble doing this 'easily' with standard WBL without requiring outside assistance from party members.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 12:19:20 AM
... Can we dip a level in Cleric if we have 9 or less Wisdom, or is that cheating?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 10, 2011, 12:21:41 AM
Metamorphosis can give some pretty big numbers, and Unavoidable Strike can grant you touch attacks.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 10, 2011, 12:23:54 AM
Metamorphosis can give some pretty big numbers, and Psionic Fist can grant you touch attacks.
Isn't the latter a touch attack, singular?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 10, 2011, 12:24:05 AM
Quote from: BK
Also, @Amadi: Yes, if you fail 30% of tasks, some of which involve life-threatening situations, you are some day going to get killed. The game assumes that this is going to happen and thus includes Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection, among many other ways to return the dead to life. You appear to be coming dangerous close to saying something along the lines of, "any character not IP proofed enough to have 99.999% success in his chosen roles is a gimp and his player doesn't know how to play the game." Am I mistaken or is that what you are indeed saying?

Uh huh. And a 30% fail rate means you literally drop dead every other fight. Maybe every third fight. Wonder how long it will take to run out of levels and loot, or just make the Cleric say screw this, we keep the rest of his stuff and get a not gimp.

Don't be an idiot.

So, when you said "uh huh" you weren't agreeing with the bit about IP proofing for 99% success rates and anything else being incompetent and gimp? You weren't?

You also consistently refuse to debate the merits of scouting in the only environment where non-divination scouting is at all likely to be played? And you continuously claim that any Tier 3 can easily achieve +30 to hit at 10th level, but you adamantly refuse to produce any evidence to support your claim? Have I summed this up properly?

Finally, I did call you an asshole, but I didn't think it would offend you. Sorry if it did. But I've been trying to keep the discussion in perspective and relevant, but in the last several pages all you've bothered to do is ignore or dismiss me.

You see, we've discussed at length the uses of a Stealthy dude in an optimized environment where heavy IP proofing and powerful divinations are commonplace. You've successfully proven that in that environment the Stealthy dude in fact has no uses, or if he does, they are so minimal and risky as to be inadvisable to say the least.

Was I wrong about you having anything real to contribute to the discussion of a Stealthy dude in any environment other than the one just mentioned?

EDIT: Oh, shit, I'm at 2000 posts. Gotta celebrate by designing something!
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Lycanthromancer on February 10, 2011, 12:30:12 AM
Metamorphosis can give some pretty big numbers, and Unavoidable Strike can grant you touch attacks.
Isn't the latter a touch attack, singular?
Sorry, it was Unavoidable Strike I meant.

And yes, it's one per psionic focus.

However, using hammer and a form with a ton of natural attacks can give you a lot of touch attacks if you want it.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Akalsaris on February 10, 2011, 12:33:49 AM
Actually, I think a 'Stealthy Guy' guide would make an excellent addition to the handbooks section.  It's quite simple to optimize (JaronK hit all the big points in a terrific post), and done right it has the potential to make fights easier.  Much like poisons, you can also boost your scouting quite high for relatively low investment with the right characters, which is why so many of my own characters frequently end up scout-types - my swift hunter, druid, and cleric are all scouts for their respective parties, using slightly different abilities in each case.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 10, 2011, 01:08:16 AM
here's your 10th level beatstick with +20 to hit .... and just to emphasis it, I'll even stay in Core:
half-orc barbarian 2/fighter 8
abilities: str 20 (24 while raging) (16 base +2racial +2levels) ; rest stats = doesn't matter.
feats:
1 wpn focus - whatever
....
....
8(b) Gr. wpn focus -

That's a +19 completely naked.  add in a measly +2 weapon (8k gp out of 49k), and you're at a +21.  Done.

Same build up to level 8, with a flanking buddy, still gets you a +21.
same up to level 6 + bull's strength (either by intra-party spell, or by drinking a potion), still gets you a +20

There -- +20 with a level 6 beatstick ... core only.

below that level, you probably need to go outside of core, but it's still pretty easy (even with only using 1 or 2 non-core books ... and if you're using MIC, then all bets are off).

oops -- missed the point :blush
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 10, 2011, 01:12:11 AM
here's your 10th level beatstick with +20 to hit .... and just to emphasis it, I'll even stay in Core:
half-orc barbarian 2/fighter 8
abilities: str 20 (24 while raging) (16 base +2racial +2levels) ; rest stats = doesn't matter.
feats:
1 wpn focus - whatever
....
....
8(b) Gr. wpn focus -

That's a +19 completely naked.  add in a measly +2 weapon (8k gp out of 49k), and you're at a +21.  Done.

Same build up to level 8, with a flanking buddy, still gets you a +20.
below that level, you probably need to go outside of core, but it's still pretty easy (even with only using 1 or 2 non-core books ... and if you're using MIC, then all bets are off).

Wow, this is not the point. I know +20 to hit isn't hard if you use templates and non-standard races and spend some feats, etc. Sunic is claiming +30 at 10th with ease along with stats other than Strength that are relevant and I assume strong saves and other goodies. I also assume "gimp" feats like Weapon Focus would be laughed at. He says this is easy, I've asked him at least twice to provide any evidence of this, and he's refused.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 10, 2011, 01:18:54 AM
here's your 10th level beatstick with +20 to hit .... and just to emphasis it, I'll even stay in Core:
half-orc barbarian 2/fighter 8
abilities: str 20 (24 while raging) (16 base +2racial +2levels) ; rest stats = doesn't matter.
feats:
1 wpn focus - whatever
....
....
8(b) Gr. wpn focus -

That's a +19 completely naked.  add in a measly +2 weapon (8k gp out of 49k), and you're at a +21.  Done.

Same build up to level 8, with a flanking buddy, still gets you a +20.
below that level, you probably need to go outside of core, but it's still pretty easy (even with only using 1 or 2 non-core books ... and if you're using MIC, then all bets are off).

Wow, this is not the point. I know +20 to hit isn't hard if you use templates and non-standard races and spend some feats, etc. Sunic is claiming +30 at 10th with ease along with stats other than Strength that are relevant and I assume strong saves and other goodies. He says this is easy, I've asked him at least twice to provide any evidence of this, and he's refused.
oh, +30 ... my bad.  :blush

okay ... just off the top of my head ....
... yeah, sorry -- I'm capping-out at around +26. :shrug  (well, I'm pretty sure I can push it to 30+, but then that's the only thing that he'll be doing; meaning he'll be worthless at everything else ....)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 10, 2011, 01:24:13 AM
okay ... just off the top of my head ....
... yeah, sorry -- I'm capping-out at around +26. :shrug  (well, I'm pretty sure I can push it to 30+, but then that's the only thing that he'll be doing; meaning he'll be worthless at everything else ....)

Exactly. That's about the best I could come up with, but according to Sunic any melee character without +30 to hit is a joke, and, I'm just assuming from his perspective on IP, but without saves that nearly auto-succeed even a character with +30 to hit is probably still a joke. But he never said that, so as I said, I'm just assuming.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Shadowhunter on February 10, 2011, 01:28:28 AM
It would be very educational if nothing else.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 10, 2011, 01:32:07 AM
It would be very educational if nothing else.
EXACTLY!!

Come on Sunic -- please enlighten us.  Seriously, we're all stuck here; so hows about you contribute some actual substantive content, and thus empowering everyone with tools to not fail so bad.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 01:34:45 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 01:34:59 AM
As for Jaron, and his massive wall of text, his words might have some merit had he not honestly claimed, on many occasions that playing enemies remotely intelligently or competently is worth large CR boosts. Since he has, all he's proven is that he can beat other mouth breathing fuckwits.

I've never claimed this.  I have had that the encounter level of an encounter (which, in the case of monsters, is effectively the same as CR) is altered by giving the creature significant abilities above and beyond what the stock creature has (like Mindsight) and by giving the creature information it shouldn't have (like enough to create an ambush).  I have consistently said that creatures should behave intelligently within the bounds of what they know.  This is why I said the CR goes up when you customize the feats to be much stronger and let the creature know more than it should, but then criticized you for playing that creature so stupidly once you had given it that info.  Read the DMG for more information on this.

Remember, the normal CR guidelines assume a standard encounter start (you and the monster somehow get within range of each other and spot each other) and standard feats/HD/skills.  The more you give to the monster, the higher the overall Encounter Level.  But once the EL is set, you should play the monster appropriately... an Int 22 monster who can see through walls but knows enough about the party to know about the Cleric having Lifesense should obvious bury himself in the snow so he's hidden from that sense but can still see.  So yes, the encounter you've set up as proof of how scouts suck was one where A) scouts would actually be very useful and B) the scout is defeating a level +5 (at least) encounter.

What I suspect is really going on here is you haven't actually played NEARLY as much as you claim, that these "+30 to hit" Warblades you speak of only happen within the specific campaign rules you've set up (if they happen at all and you're not just mouthing off because you want to sound smart), and you don't ever actually play by the game rules as written.  As such, your general claims about how the game is played are completely irrelevant.  And you've clearly never seen a player playing a scout appropriately, or you'd never have made stupid claims about splitting the party (or freaked out about Darkvision as though that weren't easily counterable).

In the end, you're just a guy who's never seen it done and assumes it can't be done as a result.  This is all Theory and Dragons, not Dungeons and Dragons.  Well, you're talking to people who've done it for real just fine, and against very intelligent enemies who actually use the resources they have to hit rather hard.  Sit back and read, you might yet learn something.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 01:37:03 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He was talking about general +30 to hit, not one shot +30 to hit.

It's obviously doable with crazy races (Half Minotaur Mineral Warrior Lolth Touched Water Orc Warblade 6 who put a 16 into strength has +23 to hit before magic items, IIRC) but he made it sound like +30 to hit in general was a baseline. 

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 01:37:58 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He was talking about general +30 to hit, not one shot +30 to hit.

It's obviously doable with crazy races (Half Minotaur Mineral Warrior Lolth Touched Water Orc Warblade 6 who put a 16 into strength has +23 to hit before magic items, IIRC) but he made it sound like +30 to hit in general was a baseline.  

JaronK

For an Ordained Champion, that's not one-shot. That's actually 5/day, which is a fair number.

Then you can start trading out higher-level slots for true strike.

Ideally you would be Cloistered and persist Divine Power as well. But I'm going minimal optimization/feats/etc here.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 10, 2011, 01:45:24 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He was talking about general +30 to hit, not one shot +30 to hit.

It's obviously doable with crazy races (Half Minotaur Mineral Warrior Lolth Touched Water Orc Warblade 6 who put a 16 into strength has +23 to hit before magic items, IIRC) but he made it sound like +30 to hit in general was a baseline.  

JaronK

For an Ordained Champion, that's not one-shot. That's actually 5/day, which is a fair number.

Then you can start trading out higher-level slots for true strike.

Ideally you would be Cloistered and persist Divine Power as well.
Still only once per round.  Without at least 3 attacks your damage is still a joke.  Also, how are you getting swift true strike?  You don't have 5th-level spells, and you don't have NEARLY enough turn attempts for 5 DMMs each day.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 01:46:38 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He was talking about general +30 to hit, not one shot +30 to hit.

It's obviously doable with crazy races (Half Minotaur Mineral Warrior Lolth Touched Water Orc Warblade 6 who put a 16 into strength has +23 to hit before magic items, IIRC) but he made it sound like +30 to hit in general was a baseline.  

JaronK

For an Ordained Champion, that's not one-shot. That's actually 5/day, which is a fair number.

Then you can start trading out higher-level slots for true strike.

Ideally you would be Cloistered and persist Divine Power as well.
Still only once per round.  Without at least 3 attacks your damage is still a joke.  Also, how are you getting swift true strike?  You don't have 5th-level spells, and you don't have NEARLY enough turn attempts for 5 DMMs each day.

Hmm, you're absolutely right, I'm not getting swift true strike. One sec.

Okay, swift divine power instead, make it cloistered, and trade our law domain and another in and let's see how it does. It's got +10 BAB, +5>=x>=1 knowledge, +strength+3, +2 weapon, +1 weapon focus, +charisma if we smite. Can we spend our feats to get attack bonuses and what ability scores do we have?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 10, 2011, 01:49:08 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He also specifically said a Tier 3 character can do this with ease.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 10, 2011, 01:50:21 AM
Well, a kobold Fighter 1/Dragonblood SubCleric1/Dragonblood sorc1/dragonslayer could probably manage it, but that's high TO.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 01:52:43 AM
Sigh - here's your melee character with +30 to hit.

Cleric of Hextor/Heironeous - law devotion, war domain.
Cleric 5/Ordained Champion 5.

Decent STR.

Swift True Strike. Should get you there.

He also specifically said a Tier 3 character can do this with ease.

Yea, and this doesn't work because I wanted to be a champion of the Time domain. Just figured I'd try to whip up how Tier 1 would go about it while I was up.

Other options include cloistered cleric 1 / warblade 9, buying you, say, +5 to-hit for a minute if you grab knowledge devotion, law devotion, and war domain (I forget what war devotion does - wait, that's what it does? screw that). You're probably going to want pride domain or something instead, but it's still half a point of BAB for at least +2 to hit if you don't.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 10, 2011, 02:12:00 AM
Some manner of Psychic Warrior I'll bet.  Of course, he'd only have the PP to actually do it for one or two combats a day.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: bkdubs123 on February 10, 2011, 02:12:33 AM
What I suspect is really going on here is you haven't actually played NEARLY as much as you claim, that these "+30 to hit" Warblades you speak of only happen within the specific campaign rules you've set up (if they happen at all and you're not just mouthing off because you want to sound smart), and you don't ever actually play by the game rules as written.  As such, your general claims about how the game is played are completely irrelevant.  And you've clearly never seen a player playing a scout appropriately, or you'd never have made stupid claims about splitting the party (or freaked out about Darkvision as though that weren't easily counterable).

What I suspect is more likely is that everything that has ever been printed in any WotC published 3.5 rule and supplemental book is said to exist within the world of his games. As such, obviously the most optimal and highest Tier options rule the day, and anything else gets killed or ruled by natural selection in the earliest levels of the game. The only creatures and characters at mid-level or CR is Tier 1, maybe 2, and highly optimized. So that's what he's familiar with and going any lower than Tier 2 is just outside of his immediate knowledge. He doesn't play with Tier 3 stuff because it's not capable of being relevant in his games, so more likely than him having no actual game experience he's probably just less familiar with tricks and strategies with such classes.

But we ought to allow him to defend himself. He's made several claims, and if he can back them up he's got a possibly good case to make, but in the meantime we shouldn't be hurling insults or making conjecture about his game experience, etc.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 02:14:22 AM
Perhaps we should look to Incarnum for aid in our efforts? I admit to only having enough familiarity with it to beat down a mohrg with my bare hands at 5th level.

(It had odd tactics, I'm a warforged, these helped.)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 10, 2011, 02:18:49 AM
But we ought to allow him to defend himself. He's made several claims, and if he can back them up he's got a possibly good case to make, but in the meantime we shouldn't be hurling insults or making conjecture about his game experience, etc.
Frankly, not only would Sunic not do that, but he's not really worth such considerations.  He doesn't even have the level of understanding of the T1 game that you give him credit for, IMO, given how much he employs the CR system in the examples here.

No doubt there's a method to getting +30 on attacks for 1 attack per round or some such, but it's either limited and situational or completely unsustainable.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 02:22:31 AM
Wait, is there a feat that lets you subtract some... no wait it just redirects your power attack to armor class. Damn it.

Did we try an orcish whirlybarian yet?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: lans on February 10, 2011, 03:19:55 AM
Uh huh. And a 30% fail rate means you literally drop dead every other fight. Maybe every third fight. Wonder how long it will take to run out of levels and loot, or just make the Cleric say screw this, we keep the rest of his stuff and get a not gimp.

Don't be an idiot.
A 30% fail rate means you drop dead 30% of the time. Minus the times you were just turned to stone, dominated, stunned, dazed, paralyzed, knocked unconscious, turned into a rabbit, got knocked off a cliff.

Edit I might be miss judging the context, I need sleep.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: X-Codes on February 10, 2011, 03:31:34 AM
Uh huh. And a 30% fail rate means you literally drop dead every other fight. Maybe every third fight. Wonder how long it will take to run out of levels and loot, or just make the Cleric say screw this, we keep the rest of his stuff and get a not gimp.

Don't be an idiot.
A 30% fail rate means you drop dead 30% of the time. Minus the times you were just turned to stone, dominated, stunned, dazed, paralyzed, knocked unconscious, turned into a rabbit, got knocked off a cliff.

Edit I might be miss judging the context, I need sleep.
Actually, a 30% failure rate is a small inconvenience, since it's rare that one roll of a die will really kill you, even when SoDs start getting thrown around, since it's relatively easy to immunize yourself against them before or shortly after they show up.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 07:26:38 AM
More to the point, that 30% thing is a completely arbitrary number.  I certainly never got spotted 30% of the time, and that was with below standard wealth against normal CR (but otherwise unmodified) enemies.  And really, it's quite easy to be reasonably safe from one single hit, especially if you have a decent method of escaping the scenario (while your party mops up the guy who just fired at you).  Shadow Jaunt worked for me.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 10, 2011, 07:30:51 AM

okay ... just off the top of my head ....
... yeah, sorry -- I'm capping-out at around +26. :shrug  (well, I'm pretty sure I can push it to 30+, but then that's the only thing that he'll be doing; meaning he'll be worthless at everything else ....)

Hmm... without excessive cheese:
Dragonborn Water Orc Barb 1/Crus. 1/Warbl8
Str 24 (16 base +4 rac +2 levels, +2 item), with Rage 28 = +9, 10 BAB, = 19;
 +1 and + two initiator school weapon = +7 to hit, +1 to damage; so +26, for a fair portion of the WBL, but who cares.
5 damage in steely resolve +1; +27
Flanking: +29
Emerald Razor: Single attack vs. touch every other round.
So if I were to blow my entire wealth on offensive items (+4 Str, too), I could actually reach +30 for one fight a day, since taking extra Rage sucks.

Now compare that to a neutral cleric 7:
10 Str, because I don't give a shit.

DMM persist Consumptive Field, and crushing a few bugs: Now my Str is NI. I have NI to hit and NI temp HP. (I forget, much rather, it's OVER 9000!)
My CL is about... let's say 15+, since I can buy/borrow/rob a few items to increase it.
My BAB is only 7, with persistent Divine Power, but I'm sure I can smack around some wizard to cast haste on me or even get puny items, so I can do 3x NI damage per round vs NI AC.

And since I can beat up trashmobs of far higher level, I have a lot more cash. So I can buy some armour spikes and a spiked shield (because, let's face it, I don't care about THF, I have NI damage, anyway, OR I simply have four or more arms and take daggers) to get immunity to the most common forms of dispelling, at least the targetted dispels.

But then what happens is that some idiot tried this before me, and once he learns about me, he comes to smack me dead with the dismembered arm of the other guy who tried that before me. And then I run home crying, because that encounter wasn't level appropriate.

So, Great Master of the Inferiority Complex, who loves to smite imbeciles, and can masturbate to the internet without even watching porn, please be so kind as to enlighten us how a beatstick EASILY and consistently gets +30 to hit vs touch, without shenanigans, and without completely sacrificing his defences. We REALLY DO want to know.

(And there is also still my question of how you scout all day with divinations.)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 10, 2011, 07:32:56 AM
(And there is also still my question of how you scout all day with divinations.)
Well, you cast commune, and ask your god

"Hey, how do I scout all day with divinations?"
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 07:38:12 AM
And here I was going to go with "very carefully."

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 09:55:14 AM
And here I was going to go with "very carefully."

JaronK

That could reasonably be the answer.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 10, 2011, 09:58:11 AM
Here's your damn bare minimum to-hit at level 10:

Assuming a 30 point buy, we go with the following stats (and note this will be suboptimal way of doing it):

STR: 08 (00)
DEX: 10 (02)
CON: 14 (08)
INT: 12 (04)
WIS: 08 (00)
CHA: 18 (16)

Let's go with an LA race for even more suboptimals, and just for shits and giggles, do it with a Sorcerer, so people don't get hung up on Tier 1 gameplay.

Aasimar Sorcerer 4/Eldritch Knight 3/Abjurant Champion 3
Because he's not an IDIOT, his LA was bought off at level 3, and he's caught up to the party by now.

Casts as 9th level Sorcerer, BAB of +8. He pumps Charisma twice during leveling up. He chooses Polymorph as a 4th level spell, and can cast it 5 times per day (+2 Charisma from a Cloak) - once per daily encounter the DMG Jaron is so fond of wanking off to states (he replaces it with Draconic Polymorph when he reaches Sor10, and just owns harder). His feat selection looks like so, and we'll skip flaws:

1st: Versatile Spellcaster, 3rd: Combat Casting, 6th: Power Attack, 9th: Improved Bullrush (he takes Shock Trooper at 12th; he could have it already if we added flaws).

Start of combat: He casts Polymorph to turn into anything up to 8HD he wants. Since he is an Outsider, that is a valid type for Polymorph. He turns into a Warden Archon (Str 27). So even bare-assed, he has an attack bonus of +16. Let's start adding equipment and buffs;
+2 enhancement weapon: +18 (+1 bought, +1 GMW)
+2 from Belt of Giant Strength +4: +20

And he can probably cast Wraithstrike every round. Oh look, +20 to hit touch pretty much at will. With a minimal investment, too (28,000 total out of 49,000 - 4,000 for a Cloak of Charisma +2, 16,000 for a Belt of Giant Strength +4, 8000 for a +1 weapon).

So you see, competence is NOT DIFFICULT.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Aharon on February 10, 2011, 10:20:53 AM
@Relentless Imp
I thought the goal was +30, not +20?

Also, you're using Sorcerer (Tier 2) and Abjurant Champion (+1 Tier PrC according to this (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5198.0) thread), while Sunic claimed this is possible with Tier 3s.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 10, 2011, 10:26:50 AM
So, umm... you've proven, wait, let me check, NOTHING! We all KNOW that you can that with Polymorph. That's not the fucking point. And the claim was that even +30 vs touch was mere minimum.

Except that build is illegal, too. EK requires third level spells. As a Sorc 4 you might be able CAST 3rd level spells with Versatile, but you don't know any, and you didn't take Heighten Spell, either, to make this legal.

So, FAIL No.1 for Sunic's bootlickers.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: veekie on February 10, 2011, 10:28:38 AM
I'll just put this simply: I've played scouts before.  I've never had problems.  In fact, I've never had a character die while scouting, not once, but I have made a lot of encounters far easier with decent scouting.  I've seen one scout character die to a trap, but that was level 2 in World's Largest Dungeon and that trap would have killed anyone else in the party except the Crusader had she not taken that hit, so that's hardly an argument against scouting.  So, maybe others can't do it, but I can, and have, and this whole argument has boiled down to a bunch of people saying "I can't do it, therefor it's impossible."  So instead of going back and forth on specific scenarios from a DM who clearly has no experience with this, I'll just post how to scout, because that's actually useful.  Here's the main things you need to keep in mind, and I'll phrase them for all kinds of games (high optimization and low).

1)  Be invisible to as many things as possible.  

A)  The most basic part of this is Hide and Move Silently, because everything has Spot and Listen, even if they have no ranks.  As a rule, you're only truly safe if your Hide and Move Silently, after modifiers, are 11 higher than the enemy's Spot and Listen.  That way, if you take 10 while sneaking around the enemy cannot possibly find you.  This is trivially easy... a Halfling straight out of the box gets +5 Hide, and +3 Move Silently, while a Whispergnome gets +9 Hide and +5 Move Silently.  Through in max ranks in both skills and a 14 base thrown into dex and you're looking at +11/+9 or +15/+11 even at level 1, when the vast majority of enemies don't even have spot ranks.  Note also that distracted people have a -5 to their spot and listen, and there's an additional -1 to spot and listen for every 10 feet between the observer and what they're spotting.  With these kinds of penalties, you don't even need items to avoid any chance of detection.  As you go up in levels you'll want to invest a bit of money into keeping Hide and Move Silently up, an amount determined by how much it comes up.  The Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (22k continuous, 10k for 10 minutes per day) is great for this, providing the Dark template cheap (which gives +8 hide, +6 move silently, Darkvision and Superior Low Light Vision, and (Ex) hide in plain sight along with a few other nice abilities).  Shadowsilk Leather Armor is just 1,750gp and provides +2 to hide and move silently while also being extremely light weight (an issue for low strength stealth types), and it's not even magical so crafting it for 1/3 price is a possibility in games where that works.  There's also basic mundane gear like Silent Shoes and Darkweave Clothing that can increase both skills.  And if you're a Factotum, you even get to add your Int to it.  In the end, you should have little to no trouble keeping your Hide and Move Silently up so high that nothing can possibly detect you via Spot or Listen.

B)  Scent, Tremorsense, Blindsense, and Blindsight are all relatively common abilities that autodetect you, and you just can't have that.  Luckily, these are easily countered by taking the Darkstalker feat, which requires them to follow the Spot-Hide/Listen-Move Silently mechanic.  Since you needed those to be up anyway, this handles the problem nicely, but the feat is basically required if you want to be a stealthy character.  Without it, you're hosed... which is part of why Wizards and such actually aren't very good at this sort of thing.  No spell protects you from these things (at least not in a useful way).

C)  Lifesense.  This feat from Libris Mortis is only available to undead and causes all living creatures to glow brightly in your vision (a medium or smaller creature gives off 60 feet of light, while larger creatures double the light given off for every size category they are above medium).  Note that even invisible light sources give off light, so this sense completely trumps invisibility and no amount of hiding will save you (the enemy won't see you, but they'll know exactly where you are anyway.  They'll even see you coming from around corners).  On the bright side (heh) Necropolitans are found in this same book.  Basically, if Libris Mortis is in play, you absolutely want to be a Necropolitan (which is very useful for stealthers anyway for a variety of reasons).  If it's not in play, Lifesense isn't an issue anyway so there's nothing to worry about.  And if you do become a Necropolitan, take this feat!

D)  Touchsight. (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Touchsight)  This auto-win detection can be annoying, but with a minute per level duration, it shouldn't even be up unless the party has already given away the fact that it's there (which may happen).  Nothing besides being incorporeal can evade it (and being permanently incorporeal has its own issues), but it has some weaknesses.  First of all, it requires Line of Effect to see things.  If you have the ability to see through walls (Mindsight, Earthdreamer) you can watch someone who might have Touchsight up without fear, and remember the following from the Line of Effect rules:  "An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell’s line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell’s line of effect. "  In other words, if you're peering at the target through a keyhole or grating or any other surface that doesn't have a full 1 square foot hole in it, Touchsight can't see you at all.  Also, note that it has a 60 foot radius, though this can be enhanced.  We'll get more into proper scouting distance later.  Finally, it's a rare power available only to Psions and Wilders, so it shouldn't come up much at all.

E)  Mindsight.  This is a feat from Lords of Madness that autodetects anything with a mind within the range of your telepathy (for most creatures, this will be 100 feet or less).  First of all, check with your DM to see what this power actually does.  By RAW, it autodetects everything with no chance of blocking it... if this is so, TAKE THIS FEAT.  However, the same book that published it mentions that Illithids hate undead, and one of the reasons is that their mental detection abilities don't work on undead.  This suggests that RAI was for Mindsight not to work on people who are immune to Mind Affecting, in which case you'll want to be Necropolitan even more (or at least get some other method of getting that immunity).  But if it's played by RAW, this is a good reason to stay 100 feet away from enemies that might have the feat.  Note that this is another rare ability... it requires the enemy to be telepathic and have taken the feat.  This is one good reason why having a few Knowledge skills is wise, as it lets you know about such abilities.  

F)  Darkvision.  This is a really common sense that still works off spot/hide, so you can hide from it just fine.  It's mentioned here because the Ring of Darkhidden makes you completely invisible to it, and most underground/night monsters that use it rely on it as their sole vision mode when it's dark.  With that ring, which is quite cheap, you're now completely invisible to them the whole time.  If you play in the underdark or some similar area, your whole party should have such rings.  An important note is the range here... Darkvision is usually a 60' range, sometimes 120', very rarely anything past this.  You want to scout so that your party doesn't come within 120' of areas you haven't scouted, so that they're not picked up by this visual mode.

G)  Magical detection.  There's a bunch of abilities (Arcane Sight, Detect Magic, Detect Undead, etc) that use magic to spot unusual things.  Theoretically, they should still require spot, but just in case note that almost all magical senses are blocked by a thin layer of lead.  Yes, you can actually hide behind a lead sheet or lead-lined cloak (though note that weight could make this impractical).  The obvious permanent one people could use is Arcane Sight, but the range on that ability is 120' and it makes their eyes glow blue, so if you see someone with blue glowing eyes, stay out of the 120' range (and note that they're likely a caster).  Like Touchsight, these senses aren't that common, but you should consider their existence.  

2)  Have better detection than your enemies.

A)  Spot and Listen are handy ways to find things... they're automatic, after all.  But as we saw earlier, using Spot and Listen are at a serious disadvantage against Hide and Move Silently.  Distraction carries a -5 penalty, and distance gives a -1 per 10 feet penalty.  Considering most scouts want to stay pretty far from the enemy, Spot and Listen end up being pretty poor ways of locating people.  Also, Invisibility screws Spot pretty good and Silence screws Listen.  As such, while it's a good idea to have a decent Spot score, it may not be worthwhile to waste too many points and resources maxing both these skills out (though that will depend on where else you spend your skill points and what exactly your character intends to do).  As before, having night vision abilities (Low Light, Darkvision) are nice, but don't rely on them.

B)  Scent, Blindsight, Blindsense, Tremorsense.  These are obviously useful abilities to have, as they autodetect enemies who don't have Darkstalker (few will).  Blindsight is easily gotten via the Blindfold of True Darkness, but doing that means you can't see anything past 30' (but non visual senses like Mindsight work fine).  If you're using Lifesense, this is obviously a terrible idea, but in general getting a Blindfold that you can put on temporarily at times might be worth having.  Scent is easiest gotten via Hunter's Stance.  But again, the range is quite short, so neither of these abilities are all that great.  It's pretty hard to get any of these senses with any decent range.  Heck, if anything, it's almost better to have an attack animal with the party that has these (like bats or dogs or whatever) and leave them back there in case the party is about to get jumped by an invisible thing you somehow missed, while you go ahead and do the scouting thing.  These aren't high priority senses.

C)  Lifesense.  As above, this sense is AMAZING for spotting things.  It works on anything that's alive (take that, Mimic) and lets you know about them long before you even get close.  If it's available, be a Necropolitan and take it, no question.

D)  Mindsight.  As above, this is another amazing sense.  If it's available and you can do so, take it.  It's easy for Beguilers, Arcane Tricksters, and Factotums to get via a Mindbender dip.  Rogues, Scouts, and Ninjas are left out in the cold on this one (part of why they're really not that good at scouting).  Make sure to check with your DM so you know what it can pick up... by RAW, this thing works through walls (unlike divination, it goes through lead too).

E)  Magic.  For the most part, magical detection isn't very good.  Abilities like Mindblank trump it wholesale, while a sheet of lead or bit of rock stops it cold, and there are even abilities that make magical detection give the wrong answer.  Plus, the durations are generally low.  If you can get something like Permanent Arcane Sight or Persistent Detect Undead or whatever then go for it, but as a rule you want abilities that warn you if something's there when you didn't realize it, not abilities you have to cast once you already suspect an enemy.

3)  Be at the right range.   Note how most of these abilities have specific ranges where they function, from 30' to 120' generally.  Make sure you're not walking into an autodetect ability that you can't counter, and definitely keep your party from walking into such a thing.  Also, your distance from your party is important.  You want to be far enough away that they don't get heard or spotted (remember, there's that -1 penalty per 10 feet, so if you can detect things while they're 200 feet away from the party then the party is fine), but not so far away that you're outside of your party's engagement range (which will depend on party composition and level... Beguilers have no trouble dropping Glitterdusts from 130' away and archers usually can fire at 200' away, but full attack melee types are often unable to effect anything usefully unless they're already adjacent, so plan accordingly).  After all, if you screw up, you don't want to be by yourself fighting something.  You also need to be able to communicate with the party (another good reason why having Telepathy is handy, though there are other methods), in case you get hit while they can't see you.  I generally find that being 95' away from the front of the party is just about right in most situations.  As a scout, if you're splitting the party, you're doing it wrong.

4)  Have ablative defenses.  Since you're in front, you're likely to take one big hit before the party kills whatever attacked you, so you want one off defenses that guarantee survival.  A ring of +1 natural armor is all fine and well for the tank, but you need stuff that guarantees survival right now from that one hit you're going to take from a trap or from a creature that somehow managed to spot you.  This is a reason why a dip into Swordsage is extremely useful for any scout... Moment of Perfect Mind (and similar maneuvers), Counter Charge, and Shadow Jaunt are amazing as once per encounter defenses.  They guarantee that one save or lose won't kill you (including traps), that one melee opponent won't reach you, and that you can escape (even from grapples) when you need to.  Shadow Jaunt with Cloak of Deception is already a great stealth combo anyway, so this works perfectly.  In the end, if you do it right, a monster jumping you is actually falling for bait and guaranteed to be dead as the entire party destroys it, and you're the best person to trigger a trap anyway (though try to avoid said traps, the published ones are incredibly deadly at low levels).

5)  Don't spend everything on scouting.  You should still be able to do other stuff.  Most scouts are actually assassins or diplomats or combat archers or something that's very helpful even when not scouting.  There's no requirement to spend huge resources on being a scout... you should still be very effective for the party in general.

And in the end of all this, what's the point of scouting?  This is a game where actions are everything, and a single standard action can screw your entire party.  If a fight starts with a hidden Beguiler casting Glitterdust on the party in the surprise round, you could be looking at a TPK.  If it instead starts with your party landing the Glitterdust and revealing the Beguiler as well as his little Rogue friends, this is going to be a trivially easy fight.  Plus, in a game full of monsters with various immunities and vulnerabilities, strengths and weaknesses, knowing your enemy in advance and knowing how to fight him is critical.  Far better to avoid wasting attacks that do nothing against a creature that was immune, or to use AoEs and hit the hidden ambushers instead of single target effects that only hit the bait.  Thus, what the scout gives the party is actions, and lots of them.  Surprise rounds to destroy enemies instead of having those same surprise rounds used against you, and fewer wasted actions when a player fails to account for what's actually against him.  And in a game where battles are effectively over after the first round or so (which is often the case when save or lose and crowd control spells start dropping), that's critical.  

JaronK
I know it's been said, but if this isn't in a handbook yet, it should be one
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: zugschef on February 10, 2011, 10:30:30 AM
btw... basing an argument on polymorph and wraithstrike (and la buyoff) to prove something is easily done, normally means "sarcasm involved!"

i just ask myself why any party would want to have a gish-inspired sorcerer with 8 str, 10 dex and 14 con, who could only cast second level spells when they were already character level 6, as a member. this smells as much of corpse as a stealther does.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 10:35:04 AM
Translation: Sunic has been proved to be ignorant in this area and is too proud to admit it.

Translation: Snakeman is rapidly devolving from a worthwhile person to a mouth breathing fuckwit.

I mean seriously. This isn't the goddamned Paizil boards. It isn't the GitP boards. It's a fucking CO board. And it's supposed to be a good one.

And yet, not a one of you fuckers, other than me can imagine how some Tier 3 beatstick can trivially exceed +20 to hit? Especially given that the assumed baseline for beatsticks around here is a fucking Lolth Touched Dragonborn Water Orc or whatthefuckever for +10 Str and +10 Con at +1 LA?

But fine. Since apparently the entire board has came down with a fucking plague of fuckwititis, I will demonstrate my superiority to all of you fuckers at once.

First of all. The victory conditions, aka the actual words I actually said was that +20 to hit was a gimpy number, unless you are at like level 7, or attacking as touch attacks. Exceeding +20 to hit is trivial.

Since apparently, everyone around here is so fucking stupid now they cannot imagine how a Tier 3 party could possibly have a half decent to hit, here it is spelled on in very painful detail.

The party is Bard, Beguiler, Crusader, Warblade. The Warblade is a human, and not some sort of freak of nature that people around here regularly assume. Because he's remotely competent, he has an 18 Str. He also has 12 Dex, 14 Con, and 14 Int. Which, by the way is 32 PB. Standard for relevant beatsticks. He also has a +1 Martial Discipline weapon. Select whatever discipline his stance belongs to. As Stances are Maneuvers, and you get +3 to hit when performing maneuvers of that time, you get +3 to hit all the fucking time. Add level up points, and a +4 Str item and that's +21 to hit. But then the Bard starts singing. He has a base song of +2, Song of the Heart, a MW horn, Inspirational Boost, and a Badge of Valor, along with Words of Creation.

End result? Beatstick has +31 to hit on round 1, +33 to hit on every round after. No other buffs, no weird templates or races, just a goddamned human beatstick.

Jesus H Fucking Christ you people are mouth breathing fuckwits for missing the very painfully obvious.

Now, such a beatstick would still fail against the Ice Devil, because it has high AC, and therefore either the Warblade would auto attack, maybe hit once for minor damage (2d6+21), or use Emerald Razor, auto hit or close, but still only do minor damage (2d6+41). And that's before DR.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 10, 2011, 10:43:11 AM
So, umm... you've proven, wait, let me check, NOTHING! We all KNOW that you can that with Polymorph. That's not the fucking point. And the claim was that even +30 vs touch was mere minimum.

Except that build is illegal, too. EK requires third level spells. As a Sorc 4 you might be able CAST 3rd level spells with Versatile, but you don't know any, and you didn't take Heighten Spell, either, to make this legal.

So, FAIL No.1 for Sunic's bootlickers.

Oh boohoo hoo, I forgot a prereq. Fine, it requires a single flaw to take Heighten Spell. Not that big a deal. And the claim was +20 vs touch was bare bones minimum; check your reading comprehension.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 10:48:48 AM
As for Jaron, and his massive wall of text, his words might have some merit had he not honestly claimed, on many occasions that playing enemies remotely intelligently or competently is worth large CR boosts. Since he has, all he's proven is that he can beat other mouth breathing fuckwits.

I've never claimed this.  I have had that the encounter level of an encounter (which, in the case of monsters, is effectively the same as CR) is altered by giving the creature significant abilities above and beyond what the stock creature has (like Mindsight) and by giving the creature information it shouldn't have (like enough to create an ambush).  I have consistently said that creatures should behave intelligently within the bounds of what they know.  This is why I said the CR goes up when you customize the feats to be much stronger and let the creature know more than it should, but then criticized you for playing that creature so stupidly once you had given it that info.  Read the DMG for more information on this.

Because creatures that can speak never talk to each other? No, it's information it should have, both because level 10 PCs are literal living legends, and because someone can fucking talk to them and tell them things, and they can understand those things. These aren't dumb mobs.

Yes, in Jaron land where enemies do not ever speak to each other, mostly because that'd involve leaving their 10x10 room and treasure chest having some actual information about the players makes them a lot harder.

But in actual games, intelligent enemies in fact being intelligent is the default assumption. And that means if someone fucking tells them something, they fucking know it.

Quote
Remember, the normal CR guidelines assume a standard encounter start (you and the monster somehow get within range of each other and spot each other) and standard feats/HD/skills.  The more you give to the monster, the higher the overall Encounter Level.  But once the EL is set, you should play the monster appropriately... an Int 22 monster who can see through walls but knows enough about the party to know about the Cleric having Lifesense should obvious bury himself in the snow so he's hidden from that sense but can still see.  So yes, the encounter you've set up as proof of how scouts suck was one where A) scouts would actually be very useful and B) the scout is defeating a level +5 (at least) encounter.

More of Jaron's wank strawmen, where he assumes enemies that are remotely intelligent raise the encounter level, that the encounter was set up just to pwn his special snowflake class, when it fact it was designed for a real party, without any regard to scouting and merely used as an example because one of the favorite pro Monk... I mean, pro scout arguments is that it prevents ambushes, so I brought up actual ambushes from an actual game to prove that no, no it fucking doesn't. He also assumes that enemies either know everything or nothing, and that therefore if the enemy knows someone is undead, that they have Lifesight.

Skipping past more lies and fail, and flailing from the guy who honestly keeps claiming that enemies cannot speak to and learn from each other.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Aharon on February 10, 2011, 10:50:07 AM
@Relentless

Quote from: Sunic
Watch that Paizil Fallacy. And you're missing the point. The point is +20 to hit is low, and something you should have had at 7 or 8, and that's if you attack via touch attack. Similarly, 12 Con is low. For anyone. 14+ just to show up.

This implies, at least to me, that the +30 at level 10 is meant to be against touch AC. This is also confirmed by the example Sunic brings up.

By the way, thanks for the build ideas. I'm not very familiar with melee/gish types because I usually focus on casters, so this is useful for me, no matter its merit for the discussion.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 10, 2011, 10:58:17 AM
Translation: Sunic has been proved to be ignorant in this area and is too proud to admit it.

Translation: Snakeman is rapidly devolving from a worthwhile person to a mouth breathing fuckwit.

I mean seriously. This isn't the goddamned Paizil boards. It isn't the GitP boards. It's a fucking CO board. And it's supposed to be a good one.

And yet, not a one of you fuckers, other than me can imagine how some Tier 3 beatstick can trivially exceed +20 to hit? Especially given that the assumed baseline for beatsticks around here is a fucking Lolth Touched Dragonborn Water Orc or whatthefuckever for +10 Str and +10 Con at +1 LA?

But fine. Since apparently the entire board has came down with a fucking plague of fuckwititis, I will demonstrate my superiority to all of you fuckers at once.

Seriously, get a therapist, before they come to get you.

Again, anyone can do it WITH A SECOND CHARACTER, let alone a Bard, or external buff spells cast by someone else! Hell, a competent Bard could probably do it by himself. What's the fucking point?

+20 or so is the normal to-hit for a level 10 beatstick, and is in fact not hard to reach, and if you'll check my suggestion above you'll find that gets to over +20 even without Rage. In fact, my suggestion above with a fucking +10 WoC Bard can hit +40, for one battle a day. But it's a hopeless one-trick pony, too.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 11:03:38 AM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Shiki on February 10, 2011, 11:04:04 AM
I'll just put this simply: I've played scouts before.  I've never had problems.  In fact, I've never had a character die while scouting, not once, but I have made a lot of encounters far easier with decent scouting.  I've seen one scout character die to a trap, but that was level 2 in World's Largest Dungeon and that trap would have killed anyone else in the party except the Crusader had she not taken that hit, so that's hardly an argument against scouting.  So, maybe others can't do it, but I can, and have, and this whole argument has boiled down to a bunch of people saying "I can't do it, therefor it's impossible."  So instead of going back and forth on specific scenarios from a DM who clearly has no experience with this, I'll just post how to scout, because that's actually useful.  Here's the main things you need to keep in mind, and I'll phrase them for all kinds of games (high optimization and low).

1)  Be invisible to as many things as possible.  

A)  The most basic part of this is Hide and Move Silently, because everything has Spot and Listen, even if they have no ranks.  As a rule, you're only truly safe if your Hide and Move Silently, after modifiers, are 11 higher than the enemy's Spot and Listen.  That way, if you take 10 while sneaking around the enemy cannot possibly find you.  This is trivially easy... a Halfling straight out of the box gets +5 Hide, and +3 Move Silently, while a Whispergnome gets +9 Hide and +5 Move Silently.  Through in max ranks in both skills and a 14 base thrown into dex and you're looking at +11/+9 or +15/+11 even at level 1, when the vast majority of enemies don't even have spot ranks.  Note also that distracted people have a -5 to their spot and listen, and there's an additional -1 to spot and listen for every 10 feet between the observer and what they're spotting.  With these kinds of penalties, you don't even need items to avoid any chance of detection.  As you go up in levels you'll want to invest a bit of money into keeping Hide and Move Silently up, an amount determined by how much it comes up.  The Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (22k continuous, 10k for 10 minutes per day) is great for this, providing the Dark template cheap (which gives +8 hide, +6 move silently, Darkvision and Superior Low Light Vision, and (Ex) hide in plain sight along with a few other nice abilities).  Shadowsilk Leather Armor is just 1,750gp and provides +2 to hide and move silently while also being extremely light weight (an issue for low strength stealth types), and it's not even magical so crafting it for 1/3 price is a possibility in games where that works.  There's also basic mundane gear like Silent Shoes and Darkweave Clothing that can increase both skills.  And if you're a Factotum, you even get to add your Int to it.  In the end, you should have little to no trouble keeping your Hide and Move Silently up so high that nothing can possibly detect you via Spot or Listen.

B)  Scent, Tremorsense, Blindsense, and Blindsight are all relatively common abilities that autodetect you, and you just can't have that.  Luckily, these are easily countered by taking the Darkstalker feat, which requires them to follow the Spot-Hide/Listen-Move Silently mechanic.  Since you needed those to be up anyway, this handles the problem nicely, but the feat is basically required if you want to be a stealthy character.  Without it, you're hosed... which is part of why Wizards and such actually aren't very good at this sort of thing.  No spell protects you from these things (at least not in a useful way).

C)  Lifesense.  This feat from Libris Mortis is only available to undead and causes all living creatures to glow brightly in your vision (a medium or smaller creature gives off 60 feet of light, while larger creatures double the light given off for every size category they are above medium).  Note that even invisible light sources give off light, so this sense completely trumps invisibility and no amount of hiding will save you (the enemy won't see you, but they'll know exactly where you are anyway.  They'll even see you coming from around corners).  On the bright side (heh) Necropolitans are found in this same book.  Basically, if Libris Mortis is in play, you absolutely want to be a Necropolitan (which is very useful for stealthers anyway for a variety of reasons).  If it's not in play, Lifesense isn't an issue anyway so there's nothing to worry about.  And if you do become a Necropolitan, take this feat!

D)  Touchsight. (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Touchsight)  This auto-win detection can be annoying, but with a minute per level duration, it shouldn't even be up unless the party has already given away the fact that it's there (which may happen).  Nothing besides being incorporeal can evade it (and being permanently incorporeal has its own issues), but it has some weaknesses.  First of all, it requires Line of Effect to see things.  If you have the ability to see through walls (Mindsight, Earthdreamer) you can watch someone who might have Touchsight up without fear, and remember the following from the Line of Effect rules:  "An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell’s line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell’s line of effect. "  In other words, if you're peering at the target through a keyhole or grating or any other surface that doesn't have a full 1 square foot hole in it, Touchsight can't see you at all.  Also, note that it has a 60 foot radius, though this can be enhanced.  We'll get more into proper scouting distance later.  Finally, it's a rare power available only to Psions and Wilders, so it shouldn't come up much at all.

E)  Mindsight.  This is a feat from Lords of Madness that autodetects anything with a mind within the range of your telepathy (for most creatures, this will be 100 feet or less).  First of all, check with your DM to see what this power actually does.  By RAW, it autodetects everything with no chance of blocking it... if this is so, TAKE THIS FEAT.  However, the same book that published it mentions that Illithids hate undead, and one of the reasons is that their mental detection abilities don't work on undead.  This suggests that RAI was for Mindsight not to work on people who are immune to Mind Affecting, in which case you'll want to be Necropolitan even more (or at least get some other method of getting that immunity).  But if it's played by RAW, this is a good reason to stay 100 feet away from enemies that might have the feat.  Note that this is another rare ability... it requires the enemy to be telepathic and have taken the feat.  This is one good reason why having a few Knowledge skills is wise, as it lets you know about such abilities.  

F)  Darkvision.  This is a really common sense that still works off spot/hide, so you can hide from it just fine.  It's mentioned here because the Ring of Darkhidden makes you completely invisible to it, and most underground/night monsters that use it rely on it as their sole vision mode when it's dark.  With that ring, which is quite cheap, you're now completely invisible to them the whole time.  If you play in the underdark or some similar area, your whole party should have such rings.  An important note is the range here... Darkvision is usually a 60' range, sometimes 120', very rarely anything past this.  You want to scout so that your party doesn't come within 120' of areas you haven't scouted, so that they're not picked up by this visual mode.

G)  Magical detection.  There's a bunch of abilities (Arcane Sight, Detect Magic, Detect Undead, etc) that use magic to spot unusual things.  Theoretically, they should still require spot, but just in case note that almost all magical senses are blocked by a thin layer of lead.  Yes, you can actually hide behind a lead sheet or lead-lined cloak (though note that weight could make this impractical).  The obvious permanent one people could use is Arcane Sight, but the range on that ability is 120' and it makes their eyes glow blue, so if you see someone with blue glowing eyes, stay out of the 120' range (and note that they're likely a caster).  Like Touchsight, these senses aren't that common, but you should consider their existence.  

2)  Have better detection than your enemies.

A)  Spot and Listen are handy ways to find things... they're automatic, after all.  But as we saw earlier, using Spot and Listen are at a serious disadvantage against Hide and Move Silently.  Distraction carries a -5 penalty, and distance gives a -1 per 10 feet penalty.  Considering most scouts want to stay pretty far from the enemy, Spot and Listen end up being pretty poor ways of locating people.  Also, Invisibility screws Spot pretty good and Silence screws Listen.  As such, while it's a good idea to have a decent Spot score, it may not be worthwhile to waste too many points and resources maxing both these skills out (though that will depend on where else you spend your skill points and what exactly your character intends to do).  As before, having night vision abilities (Low Light, Darkvision) are nice, but don't rely on them.

B)  Scent, Blindsight, Blindsense, Tremorsense.  These are obviously useful abilities to have, as they autodetect enemies who don't have Darkstalker (few will).  Blindsight is easily gotten via the Blindfold of True Darkness, but doing that means you can't see anything past 30' (but non visual senses like Mindsight work fine).  If you're using Lifesense, this is obviously a terrible idea, but in general getting a Blindfold that you can put on temporarily at times might be worth having.  Scent is easiest gotten via Hunter's Stance.  But again, the range is quite short, so neither of these abilities are all that great.  It's pretty hard to get any of these senses with any decent range.  Heck, if anything, it's almost better to have an attack animal with the party that has these (like bats or dogs or whatever) and leave them back there in case the party is about to get jumped by an invisible thing you somehow missed, while you go ahead and do the scouting thing.  These aren't high priority senses.

C)  Lifesense.  As above, this sense is AMAZING for spotting things.  It works on anything that's alive (take that, Mimic) and lets you know about them long before you even get close.  If it's available, be a Necropolitan and take it, no question.

D)  Mindsight.  As above, this is another amazing sense.  If it's available and you can do so, take it.  It's easy for Beguilers, Arcane Tricksters, and Factotums to get via a Mindbender dip.  Rogues, Scouts, and Ninjas are left out in the cold on this one (part of why they're really not that good at scouting).  Make sure to check with your DM so you know what it can pick up... by RAW, this thing works through walls (unlike divination, it goes through lead too).

E)  Magic.  For the most part, magical detection isn't very good.  Abilities like Mindblank trump it wholesale, while a sheet of lead or bit of rock stops it cold, and there are even abilities that make magical detection give the wrong answer.  Plus, the durations are generally low.  If you can get something like Permanent Arcane Sight or Persistent Detect Undead or whatever then go for it, but as a rule you want abilities that warn you if something's there when you didn't realize it, not abilities you have to cast once you already suspect an enemy.

3)  Be at the right range.   Note how most of these abilities have specific ranges where they function, from 30' to 120' generally.  Make sure you're not walking into an autodetect ability that you can't counter, and definitely keep your party from walking into such a thing.  Also, your distance from your party is important.  You want to be far enough away that they don't get heard or spotted (remember, there's that -1 penalty per 10 feet, so if you can detect things while they're 200 feet away from the party then the party is fine), but not so far away that you're outside of your party's engagement range (which will depend on party composition and level... Beguilers have no trouble dropping Glitterdusts from 130' away and archers usually can fire at 200' away, but full attack melee types are often unable to effect anything usefully unless they're already adjacent, so plan accordingly).  After all, if you screw up, you don't want to be by yourself fighting something.  You also need to be able to communicate with the party (another good reason why having Telepathy is handy, though there are other methods), in case you get hit while they can't see you.  I generally find that being 95' away from the front of the party is just about right in most situations.  As a scout, if you're splitting the party, you're doing it wrong.

4)  Have ablative defenses.  Since you're in front, you're likely to take one big hit before the party kills whatever attacked you, so you want one off defenses that guarantee survival.  A ring of +1 natural armor is all fine and well for the tank, but you need stuff that guarantees survival right now from that one hit you're going to take from a trap or from a creature that somehow managed to spot you.  This is a reason why a dip into Swordsage is extremely useful for any scout... Moment of Perfect Mind (and similar maneuvers), Counter Charge, and Shadow Jaunt are amazing as once per encounter defenses.  They guarantee that one save or lose won't kill you (including traps), that one melee opponent won't reach you, and that you can escape (even from grapples) when you need to.  Shadow Jaunt with Cloak of Deception is already a great stealth combo anyway, so this works perfectly.  In the end, if you do it right, a monster jumping you is actually falling for bait and guaranteed to be dead as the entire party destroys it, and you're the best person to trigger a trap anyway (though try to avoid said traps, the published ones are incredibly deadly at low levels).

5)  Don't spend everything on scouting.  You should still be able to do other stuff.  Most scouts are actually assassins or diplomats or combat archers or something that's very helpful even when not scouting.  There's no requirement to spend huge resources on being a scout... you should still be very effective for the party in general.

And in the end of all this, what's the point of scouting?  This is a game where actions are everything, and a single standard action can screw your entire party.  If a fight starts with a hidden Beguiler casting Glitterdust on the party in the surprise round, you could be looking at a TPK.  If it instead starts with your party landing the Glitterdust and revealing the Beguiler as well as his little Rogue friends, this is going to be a trivially easy fight.  Plus, in a game full of monsters with various immunities and vulnerabilities, strengths and weaknesses, knowing your enemy in advance and knowing how to fight him is critical.  Far better to avoid wasting attacks that do nothing against a creature that was immune, or to use AoEs and hit the hidden ambushers instead of single target effects that only hit the bait.  Thus, what the scout gives the party is actions, and lots of them.  Surprise rounds to destroy enemies instead of having those same surprise rounds used against you, and fewer wasted actions when a player fails to account for what's actually against him.  And in a game where battles are effectively over after the first round or so (which is often the case when save or lose and crowd control spells start dropping), that's critical.  

JaronK
I know it's been said, but if this isn't in a handbook yet, it should be one

There! (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=10996.0)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 11:13:29 AM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.

...We misunderstood the goalposts, and for some reason figured we had to do this with a human by himself.

If you're allowed a tier 3 party, yes, +30 is indeed a perfectly reasonable number to have.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 10, 2011, 11:16:25 AM
moving the goalposts.

You wish. The goalpost was for a "competent" beatstick to trivially hit +20, or even more, vs touch by himself, with weird claims by you of +30 vs touch, which, as we know, is of course possible every second round, but not for full attacks.

What you are doing is flailing about because you can see that you have to dig a bit deeper to support your own claims. And that just makes me laugh.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 11:20:59 AM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.

...We misunderstood the goalposts, and for some reason figured we had to do this with a human by himself.

If you're allowed a tier 3 party, yes, +30 is indeed a perfectly reasonable number to have.

I never said it had to be solo. Indeed, the discussion was about a tier 3 party, which naturally implies there is more than a single person.

Granted, a level 8 Bard has the exact same songs as a level 10 Bard, and therefore the Warblade could do exactly the same thing if he took Leadership, and no other PCs were there, but that's not the point.

That's also with a plain human beatstick, and not the +10 Str/+10 Con for 1 LA, which then gets bought off and therefore doesn't even cause level loss freak of nature that people here regularly assume when discussing beatsticks, even as they regard > +20 to hit at level 10 as inconceivable.

The reason for this, of course is that those people aren't interested in making valid points, they're only interested in whining and flailing at me. Which is why they have been greeted with the utmost contempt, whereas people not acting like MBFs, such as yourself are treated decently.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 10, 2011, 11:22:06 AM
well, a +20 can be done with @ 6th level with a T4 ... but the goal is a +30 with a T3 beatstick (not a T1-2 gish), so ...

@ Sunic:
okay, a big chunk of that is relying on a HUGE contribution from another character .... are we to assume that a maxed-out bard in the party as part of the baseline, as well?  I thought using party resources was fail.  hell, why not stuff a whored-out War Weaver in the party, while you're at it?  Oh, and a full 1/3 of wealth spent on a single item?  so much for your "IP Proofing".  If you're gonna do it, do it honest -- and stop moving the goalposts.

Okay, lets try:
Half-orc Paragon 3/Fighter 2/Berserk 1/FB 4
abilities: str  42 (16 base +2race +2paragon +2 levels +4rage +6battle fury +6frenzy +4belt) ; other stats as needed.
feats:
1 power attack
3 cleave
4b endurance
5b destructive rage
6 intimidating rage
9 steadfast determination ('cause you gotta "IP Proof")

Equipment: +2 weapon (8k) , belt +4 (16k) , whatever (25k).

so, I got +10 bab + 21 strength + 2 weapon = +33 (for weapon+33 damage).  one encounter per day (+28 on a 2nd encounter; +25 for the rest).  and now you have to spend party resources on proofing vs. the FB (which are actually trivial).  oh, vs. touch -- need another item ... okay, I'm sure if I bother to flip through the good ol' MIC, I'm sure I can find something.

That's by himself -- not with a bunch of team effort spells and such (which you rail against anyway).

and that's only given that battle fury stacks with rage (which I'm not quite sure if it does or not).

Oh, but wait -- this can't be considered baseline, because Sunic refuses to accept FB as being proper/valid for any party.

oh well -- who's next?
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bloody Initiate on February 10, 2011, 11:26:20 AM
As Stances are Maneuvers, and you get +3 to hit when performing maneuvers of that time, you get +3 to hit all the fucking time.

I thought stances were only considered maneuvers for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for higher lvel maneuvers, PrCs, and feats? (Relevant text is on ToB page 43)

I definitely prefer your interpretation, but it's new to me and I think it might be new to others, so if it's correct I think it'd be a case of a lot of people missing something that you caught.

I also know you still showed the Warblade getting above +20, I'm only interested in the Martial Discipline weapon granting a constant +3.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 10, 2011, 11:32:07 AM
Correct.  Stances are not manuvers for anything except meeting prerequisites for learning other manuvers.  As such, Sunic's Warblade only gets +1 from that weapon quality unless he's initiating a manuver from that discipline (not difficult, since virtually every stance has a prerequisite in that discipline).
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 11:39:28 AM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.

...We misunderstood the goalposts, and for some reason figured we had to do this with a human by himself.

If you're allowed a tier 3 party, yes, +30 is indeed a perfectly reasonable number to have.

I never said it had to be solo. Indeed, the discussion was about a tier 3 party, which naturally implies there is more than a single person.

Granted, a level 8 Bard has the exact same songs as a level 10 Bard, and therefore the Warblade could do exactly the same thing if he took Leadership, and no other PCs were there, but that's not the point.

That's also with a plain human beatstick, and not the +10 Str/+10 Con for 1 LA, which then gets bought off and therefore doesn't even cause level loss freak of nature that people here regularly assume when discussing beatsticks, even as they regard > +20 to hit at level 10 as inconceivable.

The reason for this, of course is that those people aren't interested in making valid points, they're only interested in whining and flailing at me. Which is why they have been greeted with the utmost contempt, whereas people not acting like MBFs, such as yourself are treated decently.

Ah... thank you. I appreciate not being treated with the utmost contempt, particularly when I'm making some really stupid mistakes in my logic because it's midnight.

If I were playing that bard, I'd probably take Dragonfire Inspiration and tell the warblade he better blessed well figure out how to make his attacks as touch attacks. Though that would only be relevant when we were fighting something that wasn't immune or severely resistant to my energy type.

(Also how will the bonus from using Words of Creation stack with the bonus from the masterwork horn? I'm suddenly really tempted to play an exalted bard.)
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 11:42:27 AM
Look at the example. In the exact text of the item.

"...If the wielder were actually using maneuvers from both schools, for example, a Stone Dragon stance with a Shadow Hand strike it would provide +7 on attack rolls."

The example refers to a +1 Stone Dragon Shadow Hand weapon, obviously but it's clear any other discipline would work the same way with appropriate moves, and that stances are specifically called out as working with this.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 10, 2011, 11:45:13 AM
So it is.  Of course, I see this as further proof ToB needed a real eratta.  If we had that, we wouldn't have had the confusion.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Amadi on February 10, 2011, 11:45:29 AM
LG Anthropomorphic Bat Swordsage 10.

Wis: 18(Base)+2(Levels)+6(Race)+4(Enhancement) = 30 (+10)
Int: 12++(Base)

Feats: Education (1st), Apprentice: Spellcaster (F), ??? (F) , Weapon Focus (B), Intuitive Attack (3rd), Knowledge Devotion (6th), ??? (9th)

49,000 GP:
5250g: Wand of Divine Power (If you want to whine about this, note that I could use full-BaB class instead, ok?)
16000g: +4 Item of Wisdom
8300g: +1 [Whatever school you have stance in] Aptitude Weapon
500g: MW tool for every knowledge skill ever.
2100g: +1 Mithral Chain Shirt
Dastana, Charar-Aina

To Hit: +30 (+10 BaB, +10 Wisdom, +1 Size, +1 Weapon Focus, +1 Enhancement, +3 Aptitude, +3 Knowledge Devotion taking 10, +1 higher elevation through flying.)
AC: 27

Two feats free, gold free, etccrap. And I paid for medium sized mithral shirt because I didn't remember if small was half or quarter.
----------

Not that hard. Hell, the bard should be able to get to +30 himself with Snowflake Wardance.

Water Orc Warblade 7 / Orc Paragon 3 is looking at 10(BaB)+10(Str)+1(Focus)+1(Enhancement)+3(Aptitude). Now, that's over 20 when hitting touch, so he trips someone for lulz, and then pounds them when they are on the ground for +4, and I'm sure you can get the final +1 somehow. This is, of course, without rage. And if we're talking of uberchargers, it's +2 for charging, so yay. We haven't even touched incarnum yet. Or then he could get frenzied berserker or some crap like that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: snakeman830 on February 10, 2011, 11:47:20 AM
IIRC, Small armor costs the same as medium. It weighs half as much, though.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: archangel.arcanis on February 10, 2011, 11:49:40 AM
Look at the example. In the exact text of the item.

"...If the wielder were actually using maneuvers from both schools, for example, a Stone Dragon stance with a Shadow Hand strike it would provide +7 on attack rolls."

The example refers to a +1 Stone Dragon Shadow Hand weapon, obviously but it's clear any other discipline would work the same way with appropriate moves, and that stances are specifically called out as working with this.
The biggest hole in this is the fact that many if not most of WotC's examples in the books are wrong. Such as those for a PrC that don't actually qualify for the PrC. No doubt this supports your assertion, but it isn't a clear cut case. Either way I just wanted to point out WotC is incompetent and this may/probably is yet another example of that.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Brainpiercing on February 10, 2011, 11:51:04 AM
Correct.  Stances are not manuvers for anything except meeting prerequisites for learning other manuvers.  As such, Sunic's Warblade only gets +1 from that weapon quality unless he's initiating a manuver from that discipline (not difficult, since virtually every stance has a prerequisite in that discipline).
Actually, for once he's right. If you are in a stance, it counts as "using" the discipline weapon for the purpose of the weapon. There's a specific example where it's spelled out that a guy using a weapon with two discipline enhancements gets +7 total for stance + maneuver.

Quote from: ToB
A martial discipline weapon can bear multiple martial
discipline special abilities, as long as each is keyed to a different
discipline. Thus, a martial adept could have a +1 Stone
Dragon Shadow Hand greatsword. In the hands of someone
who knows maneuvers from both disciplines, such a weapon
would provide a +3 bonus on attack rolls. If the wielder were
actually using maneuvers from both schools—for example,
a Stone Dragon stance with a Shadow Hand strike—it
would provide a +7 bonus on attack rolls.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 11:54:15 AM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.

As for the bat swordsage, Knowledge Devotion is made when combat starts. No taking 10. And Wands mean burning an action. Otherwise fine. Exceeding +20 isn't hard after all, that's the whole point.

...We misunderstood the goalposts, and for some reason figured we had to do this with a human by himself.

If you're allowed a tier 3 party, yes, +30 is indeed a perfectly reasonable number to have.

I never said it had to be solo. Indeed, the discussion was about a tier 3 party, which naturally implies there is more than a single person.

Granted, a level 8 Bard has the exact same songs as a level 10 Bard, and therefore the Warblade could do exactly the same thing if he took Leadership, and no other PCs were there, but that's not the point.

That's also with a plain human beatstick, and not the +10 Str/+10 Con for 1 LA, which then gets bought off and therefore doesn't even cause level loss freak of nature that people here regularly assume when discussing beatsticks, even as they regard > +20 to hit at level 10 as inconceivable.

The reason for this, of course is that those people aren't interested in making valid points, they're only interested in whining and flailing at me. Which is why they have been greeted with the utmost contempt, whereas people not acting like MBFs, such as yourself are treated decently.

Ah... thank you. I appreciate not being treated with the utmost contempt, particularly when I'm making some really stupid mistakes in my logic because it's midnight.

If I were playing that bard, I'd probably take Dragonfire Inspiration and tell the warblade he better blessed well figure out how to make his attacks as touch attacks. Though that would only be relevant when we were fighting something that wasn't immune or severely resistant to my energy type.

(Also how will the bonus from using Words of Creation stack with the bonus from the masterwork horn? I'm suddenly really tempted to play an exalted bard.)

Words of Creation doubles everything.

So you start with +2/+2/+2 attacks, damage, saves vs fear.
Song of the Heart is +1/+1/+1.
Inspirational Boost is +1/+1/+1.
MW Horn is +1/+1/-2.
Words of Creation doubles the end result, for +10/+10/+6. On your second round, Badge of Valor. +12/+12/+8. Both it and Inspirational Boost are Swift actions, but the spell must be used when you start the song. The item can be used after you start singing.

Also, Dragonfire Inspiration is A Trap.

Let's see... +10 to hit and damage, which by the way is 30 damage with PA, and more with PA multipliers, or 10d6 (average 35) energy damage that doesn't get multiplied, but does get resisted at a rate greater than 0%. Maybe if you have two Bards, so you can get both, but that is treading into edge case scenario territory.

And yes, WotC sometimes fucks up on examples. However those fuckups are very obvious, such as applying an Abjuration only effect to Conjuration spells. Since it says stances are maneuvers, and then says stance = +3 to hit...

If you want to argue RAI, let's see... it's a +1 property, that gives +1 to hit under certain conditions. Even if those conditions apply all the fucking time, you still could have gotten +1 to hit AND +1 damage, for the same cost, and that'd still be a very poor use of wealth and weapon slots. It then gives +3 when actually using those maneuvers, which is either still weak if it only works with strikes even though it says maneuvers, or actually worth it for some classes if it does work with stances.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 12:09:42 PM
The goal is "trivially exceed +20 to hit with a level 10, Tier 3 party".

As this is in fact a level 10 party, and everything, particularly the Bard is in fact a Tier 3 class, Flawless Victory. The rest is you whining, flailing, and moving the goalposts.

The Bard, by the way has 10 songs. 3 Badge of Valor uses (and it's a cheap item, so if you wanted to be a dick you could just get more than one). Plenty of Inspirational Boosts, especially since it makes good wand bait.

So this can literally go on all day.

As for the bat swordsage, Knowledge Devotion is made when combat starts. No taking 10. And Wands mean burning an action. Otherwise fine. Exceeding +20 isn't hard after all, that's the whole point.

...We misunderstood the goalposts, and for some reason figured we had to do this with a human by himself.

If you're allowed a tier 3 party, yes, +30 is indeed a perfectly reasonable number to have.

I never said it had to be solo. Indeed, the discussion was about a tier 3 party, which naturally implies there is more than a single person.

Granted, a level 8 Bard has the exact same songs as a level 10 Bard, and therefore the Warblade could do exactly the same thing if he took Leadership, and no other PCs were there, but that's not the point.

That's also with a plain human beatstick, and not the +10 Str/+10 Con for 1 LA, which then gets bought off and therefore doesn't even cause level loss freak of nature that people here regularly assume when discussing beatsticks, even as they regard > +20 to hit at level 10 as inconceivable.

The reason for this, of course is that those people aren't interested in making valid points, they're only interested in whining and flailing at me. Which is why they have been greeted with the utmost contempt, whereas people not acting like MBFs, such as yourself are treated decently.

Ah... thank you. I appreciate not being treated with the utmost contempt, particularly when I'm making some really stupid mistakes in my logic because it's midnight.

If I were playing that bard, I'd probably take Dragonfire Inspiration and tell the warblade he better blessed well figure out how to make his attacks as touch attacks. Though that would only be relevant when we were fighting something that wasn't immune or severely resistant to my energy type.

(Also how will the bonus from using Words of Creation stack with the bonus from the masterwork horn? I'm suddenly really tempted to play an exalted bard.)

Words of Creation doubles everything.

So you start with +2/+2/+2 attacks, damage, saves vs fear.
Song of the Heart is +1/+1/+1.
Inspirational Boost is +1/+1/+1.
MW Horn is +1/+1/-2.
Words of Creation doubles the end result, for +10/+10/+6. On your second round, Badge of Valor. +12/+12/+8. Both it and Inspirational Boost are Swift actions, but the spell must be used when you start the song. The item can be used after you start singing.

Also, Dragonfire Inspiration is A Trap.

Let's see... +10 to hit and damage, which by the way is 30 damage with PA, and more with PA multipliers, or 10d6 (average 35) energy damage that doesn't get multiplied, but does get resisted at a rate greater than 0%. Maybe if you have two Bards, so you can get both, but that is treading into edge case scenario territory.

And yes, WotC sometimes fucks up on examples. However those fuckups are very obvious, such as applying an Abjuration only effect to Conjuration spells. Since it says stances are maneuvers, and then says stance = +3 to hit...

If you want to argue RAI, let's see... it's a +1 property, that gives +1 to hit under certain conditions. Even if those conditions apply all the fucking time, you still could have gotten +1 to hit AND +1 damage, for the same cost, and that'd still be a very poor use of wealth and weapon slots. It then gives +3 when actually using those maneuvers, which is either still weak if it only works with strikes even though it says maneuvers, or actually worth it for some classes if it does work with stances.

Hmm... fair points, though not all characters qualify for power attack - I'm thinking kobold bard here, with kobold allies ... because that's how I think. Of course if you're boosting lower-level sorts they could probably use the to-attack more ... but if you're swarming a big and eminently hittable foe with claws and teeth the +multiple-of-10d6 damage probably wouldn't be a bad option to have available.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Shiki on February 10, 2011, 12:22:44 PM
^Seeker of the Song gets to sing two songs at the same time. Sing both versions of IC and rock on. You can also switch DFI's energy with Dragon Heritage, etc. That's strong dedication!
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Bloody Initiate on February 10, 2011, 12:29:56 PM
Look at the example. In the exact text of the item.

"...If the wielder were actually using maneuvers from both schools, for example, a Stone Dragon stance with a Shadow Hand strike it would provide +7 on attack rolls."

The example refers to a +1 Stone Dragon Shadow Hand weapon, obviously but it's clear any other discipline would work the same way with appropriate moves, and that stances are specifically called out as working with this.

That makes me happy.

ToB is probably my favorite book, I try to know everything it can do.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 01:05:47 PM
Hmm... fair points, though not all characters qualify for power attack - I'm thinking kobold bard here, with kobold allies ... because that's how I think. Of course if you're boosting lower-level sorts they could probably use the to-attack more ... but if you're swarming a big and eminently hittable foe with claws and teeth the +multiple-of-10d6 damage probably wouldn't be a bad option to have available.

Well if you can't PA, you can't DPS, so any discussion of meleeing does assume PA as a standard. Also, kobolds are -4 Str, and not -40. Assuming you do have an all kobold party, the beatstick should still be packing 20 Str (22 if he LA buyoffs Draconic, which also negates the Con penalty). 14 at level 1. Since LA buyoff is allowed in the game being discussed, and you can LA buyoff LA 1 without dropping a level...

Assuming the enemy has no problem hitting, 30 damage that always works, and becomes 50 with Leap Attack (and higher with other things) is still better than hoping the enemy has 0 resist to your element, because if they don't you're fucked. Not to mention the intelligent foe thing. Sooner or later they're all going to be packing a Resist to your element.

Like I said, only worth it if you can do both. Which means 2 Bards, or apparently some Bard PRC.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Kajhera on February 10, 2011, 01:09:38 PM
Hmm... fair points, though not all characters qualify for power attack - I'm thinking kobold bard here, with kobold allies ... because that's how I think. Of course if you're boosting lower-level sorts they could probably use the to-attack more ... but if you're swarming a big and eminently hittable foe with claws and teeth the +multiple-of-10d6 damage probably wouldn't be a bad option to have available.

Well if you can't PA, you can't DPS, so any discussion of meleeing does assume PA as a standard. Also, kobolds are -4 Str, and not -40. Assuming you do have an all kobold party, the beatstick should still be packing 20 Str (22 if he LA buyoffs Draconic, which also negates the Con penalty). 14 at level 1. Since LA buyoff is allowed in the game being discussed, and you can LA buyoff LA 1 without dropping a level...

Assuming the enemy has no problem hitting, 30 damage that always works, and becomes 50 with Leap Attack (and higher with other things) is still better than hoping the enemy has 0 resist to your element, because if they don't you're fucked. Not to mention the intelligent foe thing. Sooner or later they're all going to be packing a Resist to your element.

Like I said, only worth it if you can do both. Which means 2 Bards, or apparently some Bard PRC.

I... think I've started daydreaming about hordes of kobolds now so um. Don't mind me.  :)

Both at once sounds good, but you have to be 10th level before taking Seeker of the Song it appears, so it's not going to be applicable to the 10th level party and I'm going to go daydream about hordes of kobolds now.

Talk to you guys later. *wanders off.*
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: wotmaniac on February 10, 2011, 01:11:20 PM
Hmm... fair points, though not all characters qualify for power attack - I'm thinking kobold bard here, with kobold allies ... because that's how I think. Of course if you're boosting lower-level sorts they could probably use the to-attack more ... but if you're swarming a big and eminently hittable foe with claws and teeth the +multiple-of-10d6 damage probably wouldn't be a bad option to have available.

Well if you can't PA, you can't DPS, so any discussion of meleeing does assume PA as a standard. Also, kobolds are -4 Str, and not -40. Assuming you do have an all kobold party, the beatstick should still be packing 20 Str (22 if he LA buyoffs Draconic, which also negates the Con penalty). 14 at level 1. Since LA buyoff is allowed in the game being discussed, and you can LA buyoff LA 1 without dropping a level...

Assuming the enemy has no problem hitting, 30 damage that always works, and becomes 50 with Leap Attack (and higher with other things) is still better than hoping the enemy has 0 resist to your element, because if they don't you're fucked. Not to mention the intelligent foe thing. Sooner or later they're all going to be packing a Resist to your element.

Like I said, only worth it if you can do both. Which means 2 Bards, or apparently some Bard PRC.

I... think I've started daydreaming about hordes of kobolds now so um. Don't mind me.  :)

Both at once sounds good, but you have to be 10th level before taking Seeker of the Song it appears, so it's not going to be applicable to the 10th level party and I'm going to go daydream about hordes of kobolds now.

Talk to you guys later. *wanders off.*
Focused Performer/Performance.  Done.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Agita on February 10, 2011, 01:14:14 PM
Like I said, only worth it if you can do both. Which means 2 Bards, or apparently some Bard PRC.
There's also Harmonizing, a +1 weapon enchantment in MIC that can continue a song for the Bard. I think that's the standard for stacking the songs.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Dictum Mortuum on February 10, 2011, 01:18:21 PM
Bards can move silently but they can't hide.







Ignore me, I wanted to say something on topic for a change :p
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 01:21:31 PM
Or something that makes Concentration a Swift action. Since continuing a song is described as Concentrating on it. It's possible, it's just not worthwhile without it, and it doesn't help as much as you think, due to that whole "as soon as the enemy figures it out, they'll all have resist 20 or 30 to it".

Now such characters would still have a very hard time with that Ice Devil. But that's all the more reason why they should stick together, work together, and NOT FUCKING SCOUT. After all, if say... the Bard or Beguiler decides to sneak off and scout ahead, well they'll likely die, and on top of that the party is now missing out on uber songs, or real defenses, or whatever. Obviously, Crusaders and Warblades can't really try. If the scout is a 5th person added to this group of one of those classes, or some other class, they'll likely die, before it becomes necessary to question why the gimp deserves to apply a -20% XP/loot penalty to the rest of the party. If they replace one of these four, then you lose out on something actually helpful and gain nothing a bit sooner.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 02:02:28 PM
Sunic, how many times have you berated people telling them they should be immune to as many attack types as possible?  Isn't immune to mind affecting one of the stock standard immunities people should have?  If so... doesn't that make your Bard completely useless in the very parties you've discussed, since being immune to that means Bard song does nothing?

Plus, if it's a baseline competence issue, we usually don't say "oh, you need a Bard to help you since you can't do it on your own."  What if there's no Bard, a class often called a 5th wheel?  There's still a heck of a lot of folks who use the standard "healer, arcanist, beatstick, skillmonkey" concept, which with a Warblade in a T3 party would be Crusader (or Binder), Beguiler (or Dread Necromancer), Warblade, Factotum (Bards can't detect traps or anything).  I think you just failed at what you claimed was standard.

And stop with the "stick together" thing.  Real scouts don't split the party, no matter how many times you might think otherwise.  Also, running around singing alerts enemies to your presence.  Maybe that's why monsters all know your party's capabilities... they're a freaking marching band.  If your monsters were at all competent, they'd all get reinforcements the moment Sergent Pepper's Lonely Adventurers Club Band showed up in the dungeon and just ambush the (scoutless) party with everything at once.  In my games, the players tend to kill the monsters that might know what they can do, so none of them run off to the girl's room to chat later and spread around what the party can do.  Plus, they kill things fast without giving them time to get help.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: JaronK on February 10, 2011, 02:21:13 PM
Sunic's already stated his party composition... there were no Bards in sight (and from his earlier phrasing, it was clear he didn't mean "with the support of your party you could make it to +30 to hit."  If I say that any decent Commoner build should be able to take out CR+4 encounters with ease, and when you challenge that assertion I come back with "assuming a Wizard cast PAO on him and then he got buffed by a Cleric while a Bard played Rockband for him" I can only imagine your response).  I've used nothing but real gameplay experience, here.  Sunic's making contradictory statements that indicate this is nothing but Theory and Dragons.

But way to contribute something useful to the thread there Beholder.

JaronK
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Soda on February 10, 2011, 02:32:38 PM
herp derp dizfrabadoooooo

meep meep

whine flail cry accuse missthepoint makeshitup failatlife

We've already figured out you don't actually play the game, just talk about it, so don't make stupid claims like this.
Wow. I've grown to like Sunic as a little pet troll, but this guy is.. yeah...

Don't worry, Jaron. I'm sure most of us know scouts don't split the party at all, require hardly any extra resources at all, and provide a valuable service to the party.

I love how Sunic claimed everyone should have +30 to hit with touch attacks at 10th level, and then used a bard and a loose interpretation of words of creation to add the last +10.  :lmao


Also, most importantly, I haven't thanked Endarire for making all these threads. I would have nominated him for poster of the year if I was aware of such a contest.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 10, 2011, 02:52:41 PM
My heart feels all warm and fuzzy, full of happiness and bliss.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 10, 2011, 03:08:53 PM
There's honestly nothing worth seeing here anymore, folks. The math's been provided, the sides have had their say, and one of them is actually correct.
Hint: It's not Jaron's side, but he's welcome to think so if he'll just shut up and stop poisoning threads with fail advice.

At this point it's basically going back and forth between "herp derp" and "NO U". Time to end it, I think.
Title: Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 10, 2011, 03:14:20 PM