Author Topic: Was this encounter too hard  (Read 4915 times)

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Mushroom

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Was this encounter too hard
« on: September 26, 2010, 07:23:04 PM »
Tl;DR:The party was ambushed by two invisible, flying dragonfire adepts(level 12) and were entangled. After that, two war trolls and 3 tinker gnomes (two rogues and a marshall all level 10) joined the fight. The fight went downhill as I used BFC with the DFAs while the trolls were used as meat shields. Before the night was over, one of the DFAs were almost dead and the trolls had sustained some major non lethal damage. One rogue died and I accidentally forgot about the other one( :embarrassed), while the marshall hung back and was more or less forgotten about. I killed the party Warblade(knocked him into negatives twice) and sent the "shinobi" running. The nymph iajutsu master was the only one who done anything worthwhile.

Party makeup:I play using the CR=Ecl rules all level 15
Nymph samurai(OA version)/monk/iajutsu master
Half-minotaur goliath shinobi(monk with bard-like casting(any elemental +healing) from any list
Drow Warblade
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 07:40:05 PM by Mushroom »

NiteCyper

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 07:32:12 PM »
Evaluate via utiltarianism: Poll your players, not us.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 12:54:32 AM by NiteCyper »
Caveat: I edit my posts, ever and anon after.

Mushroom

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 07:39:04 PM »
It depends: what restrictions do you impose on your players?
I had two rules: No artificers and no kenders

ninjarabbit

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 07:51:37 PM »
Yes mostly because the party looks unoptimized.

The party has no reliable means of detecting invisibility, no means of flight other than a magic item, and looks extremely vunerable to any kind of battlefield control tactics. The DFAs might have been a bit much given the make-up of the party.

Bozwevial

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 07:54:27 PM »
It might have been a fair bit beyond their level of optimization, from what I can tell. If the shinobi has the limited bard spell progression (and a half-minotaur is going to be focused on combat anyway), you don't have too much in the way of magic. All three characters seem to be melee-oriented, so they have very limited ways of dealing with flying opponents even if they can find them through invisibility. Then there's the sheer number of opponents--7 on 3 means that for every action your players take, the opposition is getting in two or so, and there's not that big a difference in their respective hitpoints (a few HD).

jameswilliamogle

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 08:02:59 PM »
Yeah, too hard.

carnivore

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 08:27:05 PM »
here is a Fun Encounter calculator ... from WotC

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20010320b

as i see it ... the encounter is:

2 Dragonfire Adepts(CR 12 each)
2 War Trolls(CR 12 each)
3 Gnomes(CR 10 each)

thus it works out to a CR 17 encounter .... yes it was too hard for them, especially since they were not very optimized

but a quick question ..... are you sure the Players were the correct level ... Nymph is 6 HD+7LA = ECL 13 .... so how is she also Nymph samurai(OA version)/monk/iajutsu master

in fact you were using some Optimized Strategy and Tactics against a weak party ..... as NiteCyper said ... ask your players how they feel about it

 :D

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 08:32:24 PM »
Yeah, but the CR calcuatoins break down with multiple opponents fairly quickly. (6 CR 1 monsters are CR 6, for example)
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carnivore

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 08:36:10 PM »
it works out pretty easily with the calculator:

4 @ CR 12 = CR 16

3 @ CR 10 = CR 13

CR 16 + CR 13 = CR 17

 :D

X-Codes

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 09:09:56 PM »
I think CR 17 is astonishingly accurate for that combat when you consider that you shouldn't be expending more than 1/4 your resources per encounter.  A variety of spells (topped off with one or two 9th-levels) would have make that encounter a cakewalk.

Note also, however, that your party is particularly vulnerable to the BC of the DFAs (nevermind invisible flying ones), and that their party level is essentially 11 (since they're short a man).  It the group were optimized (no stupid fireball-casting monks) then it may have been able to handle it, but that probably would have put an end to their day.

dna1

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 12:05:20 AM »
Well what level is your party?

Party makeup:I play using the CR=Ecl rules all level 15

Because that to me implies they are level 15. In which case this encounter should of been a cake walk, if your party makes halfway decent characters.

But if they were only level 11 and thats including LA, not even just class levels.... Then I would say yea way over powered for your group. I would follow up that by saying 'wtf were you thinking!'

As a DM you should be well aware of your partys capabilities. Try to keep things hard, but not over powering. I might suggest throwing numbers at them...

your monster pie might be like say 10 or 15 smaller weaker monsters, sprinkled in with afew heavy hitters, add a dash of caster.
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Dragonamedrake

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 12:37:37 AM »
As a DM you should be well aware of your partys capabilities. Try to keep things hard, but not over powering. I might suggest throwing numbers at them...

This... Classic mistake Ive seen from new DMs or ones that just dont prepare. If you throw things the party has no way of countering then it doesnt matter the CR. It even happens in Modules.

I have a very popular module for lvl 1 characters that throws a shadow at them. Now if you have casters that can be ok but if your group is made up of mostly melee... they cant hurt it... at all. Not only that this shadow shows up near the end of the dungeon when most casters would be low on spells to begin with so even in a group with alot of casters your looking at a potential party wipe. Thankfully when I ran this we had a warlock.

If your group cant fly then dont throw flight at them. If they dont have Crowd Control or AOE then dont throw huge numbers. You as the DM should tailor the encounters to fit thier group and if that doesnt work for you, then you need to convice them to re-roll something that can counter the fights you plan to throw.

So yeah... it was to hard.

saethone

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 02:35:12 AM »
yeah, too hard - not due to CR really but due to ability holes.


Our party of level 10s took out a CR20 golem - and our dm knew we could - because he loaded us up on heal potions and he knew that the party could simply move faster than the golem

BruceLeeroy

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2010, 06:39:58 AM »
It depends on your party. They don't look very optimized. As others pointed out, very melee heavy. At that level, they should have items that can counter the invis. If they didn't, well, that's just wierd. A Scout's Headband is only 3400 in the MiC. Potion of See Invis is 50 gold. Maybe 300. Whatever.

The shinobi? Sounds like the worst of all worlds. A monk blaster. What the fuck were you/him thinking? Seriously? Was it an experiment in mega-fail?

Someone in that group should be playing a real caster, or you should be handling them with kid gloves.


My 5 player group is all ECL 14 right now, limited to spells of 4th and below, and we would have raped that encounter with no lube. Admittedly, we mostly play full casters/gishes. So there's the spread. With a completely optimized 4 player party, I'm sure that encounter could be handled at level 9-10.

Mixster

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2010, 07:35:23 AM »
Was the encounter avoidable in any way?

If not it might have been a little to harsh.
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

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Mushroom

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 05:36:45 PM »
Well what level is your party?

Party makeup:I play using the CR=Ecl rules all level 15

Because that to me implies they are level 15. In which case this encounter should of been a cake walk, if your party makes halfway decent characters.


They were indeed level 15

but a quick question ..... are you sure the Players were the correct level ... Nymph is 6 HD+7LA = ECL 13 .... so how is she also Nymph samurai(OA version)/monk/iajutsu master


Nymph are CR 7 with 6 HD, so she only has a +1 LA by my rules(which she bought off)


The shinobi? Sounds like the worst of all worlds. A monk blaster. What the fuck were you/him thinking? Seriously? Was it an experiment in mega-fail?

Someone in that group should be playing a real caster, or you should be handling them with kid gloves.



He made the class and I flat out told him it was absolute shit, the swordsage does the whole "shinobi" thing so much better and he should stop being weaboo beyond belief.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 05:43:05 PM by Mushroom »

Mushroom

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 05:40:31 PM »
-double post-

Rymosrac

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 08:43:28 PM »
Evaluate via utiltarianism: Poll your players, not us.
This.

But IMHO. . .

Unless your objective with this encounter was to smack the party down hard, then yes. the encounter was too hard. The reasons have all been stated above.

As the DM, you should be tailoring encounters to appropriately challenge the party, regardless of their optimization level. If your intent was for this to be an extremely challenging, possibly near-impossible (I don't know, would need more detail) encounter to demonstrate to your party that they all suck and should bow before your godly might as DM, then you succeeded. If this was supposed to be just another run-of-the-mill challenging but not threatening fight, then you failed.

Just remember to analyze the capabilities of the party when you throw an encounter together. It doesn't take a lot of time and effort to figure out what options they do and do not have available.
Shh. My common sense is tingling. . .

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 09:04:28 PM »
To be fair, with forewarning and the PCs coming in fresh this seems like it could be an excellent boss battle
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Mushroom

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Re: Was this encounter too hard
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 07:28:25 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Just so you all know, I had premade this encounter before they even made their characters. I had told them it was going to be high level and for them to make fun, but very strong characters. Unfortunately after seeing their characters, I was sad to see how weak they were. I didn't have time to remake the encounter and I had no desire to go easy on them, I warned them it would be difficult and they ignored me.

After talking to the nymph player I learned something very horrifying, she believes in the stormwind fallacy  :fo