Author Topic: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?  (Read 99555 times)

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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 #140 on: February 06, 2011, 11:58:41 PM »
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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.

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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.
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Bauglir

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #141 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.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

JaronK

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #142 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

X-Codes

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #143 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.

snakeman830

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #144 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.
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JaronK

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #145 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

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
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 07:46:16 AM by JaronK »

Brainpiercing

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #146 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.

Amadi

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #147 on: February 07, 2011, 11:55:04 AM »
Specify divinations cast, questions asked, or procedure.

I hire Maug Wizard 20 for 45 gold.

BrokeAndDrive

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #148 on: February 07, 2011, 12:09:14 PM »
I hire Mog Wizard 20 for 45 chocobos.
Random quotes:[spoiler]I think Roy's coinages are shitty and dumb, but Failroy has to take the cake for the dumbest new compound word of the year
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That was kind of the point. I was trying to be a Roy parody, but I guess it didn't come across overly well.

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JaronK is of course most famous for his massive thought experiments into placing classes into tiers. While a kind of nifty idea, and a decent enough way to think about stuff, his particular tier assignments were basically insane. Apparently the criteria he used was to assign classes relative strength based on what bullshit he personally would let them get away with at 20th level.

So Factotums were rated very highly, because apparently he would let them use Rokugan-exclusive skills with Forgotten Realms-exclusive weapons from the back of MM2 templated warbeasts. But Rogues suck donkey dick, becuase he wouldn't let them use Use Magic Device to read scrolls of Planar Binding. It was a very surreal argument.
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And to think the system was immortalized in OOTS. As a general rule, I try to avoid all tier discussion there because it's the De Facto system at BG, and I'm not going to change anyone's mind.

Besides, I think if most people are pressed, they will admit that it's just an estimate, anyway, and that results can vary from table to table.
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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 #149 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.
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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 #150 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.
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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 #151 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.
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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.

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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 #152 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.
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Kajhera

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #153 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

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #154 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.
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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #155 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.
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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #156 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).
I am constantly amazed by how many DM's ban Tomb of Battle.  The book doesn't even exist!

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #157 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.
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[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]

snakeman830

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #158 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.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 01:57:06 PM by snakeman830 »
I am constantly amazed by how many DM's ban Tomb of Battle.  The book doesn't even exist!

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Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.
[/spoiler]

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #159 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.