Author Topic: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?  (Read 104240 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 #160 on: February 07, 2011, 01:54:15 PM »
You completely missed the point that in your gleugon situation, it was impossible before there was a devil involved.  The environment did not allow for hiding.  Of course the advantage is going to go to team monster when team PC simply cannot succeed.

And the conditions that caused this? Um, being outside, in the daytime. Yeah, that's a good sign stealth fails, when it is owned completely and utterly by entirely ordinary circumstances.
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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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Sunic_Flames

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #161 on: February 07, 2011, 01:56:39 PM »
Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the conditions that caused this? Um, being outside, in the daytime. Yeah, that's a good sign stealth fails, when it is owned completely and utterly by entirely ordinary circumstances.
No, being in a bright area where there is no cover: your typical flat, featureless plain if I ever saw one.  In this situation, no scout would bother trying (except maybe a high level Ranger/Scout)  Being outside in the daytime doesn't rule out hiding.  Mountains are a great example.  So are forests.  Even hills are possible to do this with.  A flat featureless plain?  That is the one environment where it's impossible.  Stealth fails on flat, snow-covered plains like wizards fail in the center of the Outlands.  Hard.  So why are dead magic zones seen as being "fuck you" to casters, but this isn't seen as a "fuck you" to stealthy types or winding passages being a "fuck you" to ranged characters?  Because the DMZ is rarer?  That's bullshit and you know it.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 02:13:21 PM by snakeman830 »
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BeholderSlayer

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #163 on: February 07, 2011, 02:07:35 PM »
Sudden Maximize would still require another metamagic feat. One without any prerequisites, of course. Not many of the sudden metamagic feats are useful on an SLA (especially when all of the Ice Devil's are at-wills), and regular metamagic feats don't work on an SLA. The only one that might make any sense at all would be Sudden Widen.

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

Monster optimization does not necessarily mean that the monster will be optimized to be maximally powerful over the course of a single encounter. They may be, but it is not necessarily true.
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RelentlessImp

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #164 on: February 07, 2011, 02:51:36 PM »
Stealth character:
Relies on Hide + Move Silently, opposed by Spot + Listen. Hide & Move Silently function off Dexterity. Spot and Listen function off Wisdom.

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

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

Stealth, regardless, requires too many resources. You NEED: Hide in Plain Sight. You NEED: A way to negate the -20 penalty for hiding in combat. You NEED: a way to hide from (Ex) and (Su) and (Sp) abilities that auto-beat plain hiding (Darkstalker only handles a few). And every bit of resource you invest into that takes away from resources you could instead invest in becoming a more frightening combatant. This means your chance of dying during any encounter, WHETHER OR NOT YOU SCOUTED IT, goes up exponentially for every resource you invested in hiding rather than fighting.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 02:57:27 PM by RelentlessImp »
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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 #165 on: February 07, 2011, 03:20:18 PM »
I think in the end it boils down just like beatsticks. At a certain level they become so outclassed they are irrelevant. And this happens to stealth BEFORE it happens to beatsticks.

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

Unbeliever

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #166 on: February 07, 2011, 03:41:41 PM »
Stealth character:
Relies on Hide + Move Silently, opposed by Spot + Listen. Hide & Move Silently function off Dexterity. Spot and Listen function off Wisdom.

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

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

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

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

That being said, there have been some instances where the 3 rounds of prep time have turned a challenging encounter, or even one we weren't supposed to be able to win due to railroading (this is from the Witchblade trilogy, iirc) into an easy one. 

BeholderSlayer

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #167 on: February 07, 2011, 03:46:32 PM »
Oh, and another thing, since our party is apparently supposed to be TPK'd by the Ice Devil that's apparently +8 CR, I will make sure to update you all on the outcome when the Ice Devil dies.
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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #168 on: February 07, 2011, 04:21:12 PM »
Sunic, how do you feel about stealthing around at level 1,2 or 3?

The issue at those levels is that mostly everything is unreliable. While this is no more true of Stealth than it is of most other things, the fact is that failing at stealth is more or less fatal, especially at the levels where an orc throwing a javelin at you has a good chance of killing you. And since it's less probable that your hide skill is wildly beyond the enemies spot/listen, well, it's not just very useful. Not to mention that at level 3, you can like.. Have imp familiar with Invisibility at will? At level 1, most things are not going to notice the wizard's familiar either, and if they do, it's a friggin' hawk, nothing special about that.

bkdubs123

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #169 on: February 07, 2011, 05:10:06 PM »
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 3 games, which it seems like most people here prefer, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

bearsarebrown

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #170 on: February 07, 2011, 05:14:19 PM »
I don't think his Ice Devil situation warrants a Tier 1 or 2 game. That seems like an incredibly fair encounter for an intelligent tier 3 group. A Binder/Warblade/Beguiler/Dread Necro party could trash it with little to no casualties. The Binder may have tried to scout with his Hawk or whatever, the Warblade can melee the Devil down in a single round, the Beguiler and the Dread Necro are full casters doing what they want.

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #171 on: February 07, 2011, 05:32:37 PM »
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.
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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 #172 on: February 07, 2011, 06:26:14 PM »
Um, given the same Ambush situation, the Warblade maybe has 120hp (more than average for a Warblade with Con 20), and let's assume the Ice Devil loses initiative. Now, the Ice Devil still gets his surprise round, so he activates Fear Aura and blasts the whole group with Cone of Cold, the Warblade auto-succeeds his Will save, the others, having no use for Wisdom, have maybe a +9 modifier to will saves and fail 60% of the time. Three of the four characters probably fails their saves against Cone of Cold and take an average of 46 damage, but let's give them Cold Resist 20 given that they've prepared somewhat against the Plane of Ice (they don't have Resist Energy available because it isn't on their casters' lists). So probably one of the party is Frightened and the others are damaged but not significantly. The Warblade, not needing to charge, full attacks with his +2 Greatsword with his attack bonuses of +20/+15/+10/+5, impressive for 10th level, but hardly statistics indicative of slaying the Ice Devil in one round (not against it's AC 32). Let's say the Binder ran away from the Fear Aura. Dread Necromancer probably has a small horde of undead assault the Ice Devil, but between its DR 10/good and Regeneration 5, I'd wager the Ice Devil is barely harmed, the Necromancer still has his turn and if he can hit he'll two round the Devil with Shivering Touch, but then again, his attack roll is +5 vs Touch AC 14.

Ice Devil goes and flies in the air provoking attacks from the Warblade and all of the Undead, but even those that hit have to deal him more than 15 damage to scratch him. Let's say between the Warblade and the Undead that went before him, he's taken 30 damage from attacks and attacks of opportunity. But now he's in the air, he still has over 100hp, he's safe from the Warblade and the Undead. Honestly he could probably just rain Cones of Cold on the party from here until they died, because the casters' spell penetration checks are going to be 1d20+10 vs 25, and I can't think of anything hugely useful for the Beguiler to do to the Devil anyway. Or by "intelligent tier 3 group" did you mean they spent inordinate amounts of GP to get immunity to cold before they went to the Plane of Ice? Because if that's the case the Ice Devil can certainly be played a bit more intelligently too, and regardless of how it's played at least one character will almost certainly be killed. More if, while concealed in the snow, the Ice Devil was able to successfully summon 4~5 Bone Devils.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 06:30:39 PM by bkdubs123 »

bkdubs123

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #173 on: February 07, 2011, 06:28:54 PM »
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

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

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #174 on: February 07, 2011, 06:39:18 PM »
I think all Sunic has proven is that in Tier 2 to Tier 1 game environments stealth characters, such as The Scout, er Corpse, are utterly pointless. In Tier 35 games, which it seems like most people here prefer the designers thought was acceptable alongside Tier 1 play, I would argue that Scout characters are much more viable.

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

Provide your Scout and I will provide a series of equal-CR encounters that he will auto-fail against and make parallels between them and several other same-CR opponents who have similar methods of making the scout auto-fail. No, really. I'll wait. Any level. So long as you realize that being anything other than a Fighter with 8 Wisdom isn't cheating.
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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #175 on: February 07, 2011, 06:42:10 PM »
2) +to hit is WAY FUCKING MORE than enough to hit a piddly 14 touch AC.  Also, it's now moving at half speed.  Sure, it can teleport, but teleporting is a standard action that it's not using to flail impotently at the PCs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Then who is the scout scouting for?  His pet miniature giant space hamster?

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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 #177 on: February 07, 2011, 06:54:30 PM »
All of the odds you listed in your mock run of that encounter fit the RNG nearly perfectly. Most things are 50% chances. Isn't that how it should be designed? Obviously this is a hard fight but it's an ambush. Hopefully the party had a way to spot the Devil first, in which case the encounter would be trivial. What if it instead went like this?

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

If the devil uses his surprise round to summon then it gets really hard. In that case you hope someone can drop a Magic Circle. If there is something I missed on the creature feel free to Hi Welcome me. And even if you poke holes in one specific plan its pedantic, there are plenty of other ways to survive the encounter. It's just not that hard of an encounter for a Tier 3 team.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 06:56:47 PM by bearsarebrown »

archangel.arcanis

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #178 on: February 07, 2011, 06:56:34 PM »
Yes, it has 14 touch AC.
Quote from: Above Link

It has 18 Touch.

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I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
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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 #179 on: February 07, 2011, 06:57:40 PM »
I take it both you and Sunic assume the creature stops every 72 seconds to recast unholy aura. No that isn't BS logic at all.  :rollseyes
It's sitting and waiting to ambush. It takes only a mental effort to cast it. Why the fuck wouldn't it?