Author Topic: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?  (Read 99553 times)

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Sunic_Flames

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #120 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.
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Midnight_v

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #121 on: February 06, 2011, 05:03:26 PM »

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


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...
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bearsarebrown

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #122 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?

Midnight_v

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #123 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.
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snakeman830

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #124 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 05:34:16 PM by snakeman830 »
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bkdubs123

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #125 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.

Kajhera

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #126 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.

bearsarebrown

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #127 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).

Unbeliever

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #128 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.

Amadi

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #129 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.

X-Codes

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #130 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 07:16:47 PM by X-Codes »

bearsarebrown

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #131 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.

Sunic_Flames

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #132 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.
Smiting Imbeciles since 1985.

If you hear this music, run.

And don't forget:


There is no greater contribution than Hi Welcome.

Huge amounts of people are fuckwits. That doesn't mean that fuckwit is a valid lifestyle.

IP proofing and avoiding being CAPed OR - how to make characters relevant in the long term.

Friends don't let friends be Short Bus Hobos.

[spoiler]
Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

Here's a fun fact: You aren't. By a few leagues.
[/spoiler]

bearsarebrown

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #133 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.

JaronK

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #134 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

Amadi

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #135 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 09:22:56 PM by Amadi »

Shadowhunter

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #136 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*
[Spoiler]
Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  :smirk

Quote from: Vinom
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I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]
[/spoiler]

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bkdubs123

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #137 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.

Kajhera

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #138 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.

JaronK

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #139 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