[DnD 5E] Forget it, Jake. It's min-maxing.

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  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    Ken O wrote: »
    Had an amazing session last night.

    We picked up where we left off just starting a huge combat. My bard started off tossing a big AOE attack into the bad guys. Currently his spell save is 18, I watched my GM roll 20, 21, 19, 11, and 20. It was still damage but seeing so many amazing saves took a bit of wind out of my sails. The next round the enemy general strafes the battlefield on his dragon and I fail a check against paralyzing breath. Then a cleric hits the same area with an AOE that will damage at the start of everyone's turn. One of the other characters is paralyzed too. Things appear pretty bleak.

    The next round I manage to pull out of the paralyze effect. The stored Hypnotic Pattern spell in my Shield Guardian goes off. It locks down a good number of the minions and brings the dragon to the ground. Things are starting to look a little better.

    Next round the grounded general and dragon are beating on the party. The rest of the army (a gorgon, giant statue, cleric, lots of minions, etc) are also marching forward. My bard really hates the general and I really, really want to hit him with a big spell. But I know the rest of the group is really hurt and there are a lot of baddies closing in. I use Mantle of Inspiration, yelling to the group to take the General and I'll handle the rest. I cast Synaptic Static right in the middle of the enemy army and clear a bunch of it.

    As I'm preparing for my next turn the rest of the group takes out the dragon and gets a few good hits on the general. Our cleric throws out a big heal that makes sure all of our characters stay in the fight. On the monk's turn he manages to land a stunning strike on the general. I'm psyched, I know the fight is almost over know and the rest of my group has no idea.

    On my turn I casually walk close to the general, sneer, and then toss out a quip before blasting him with Disintegrate for 84 damage. He's stunned, he automatically fails the Dex save. With the dragon dead and the general a mound of dust the rest of the fight wraps up pretty quickly.

    The encounter was pretty much are entire session but it was so fun. It was tense at the start and we came pretty close to having characters drop before the temp hit points and heals started going around.

    This is the most unbardy thing I've ever read.
    Damaging spells?
    sneer, quip followed by a spell that isn't vicious mockery?

    you've failed at being a pansexual attention hog :P

    tip.. tip.. TALLY.. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    ElvenshaeKen OGlalRhesus Positive
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    evilthecat wrote: »

    This is the most unbardy thing I've ever read.
    Damaging spells?
    sneer, quip followed by a spell that isn't vicious mockery?

    you've failed at being a pansexual attention hog :P

    Damage spells are usually accompanied by windmilling the lute, throwing devil horns, and scream/singing things like "Let there be FiiiiRRRRReeee". If it helps the image as he and Heater (his Shield Guardian bodyguard) were strutting around the battlefield he was too good looking to attack (thanks to Unbreakable Majesty).

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    evilthecat wrote: »
    Ken O wrote: »
    Had an amazing session last night.

    We picked up where we left off just starting a huge combat. My bard started off tossing a big AOE attack into the bad guys. Currently his spell save is 18, I watched my GM roll 20, 21, 19, 11, and 20. It was still damage but seeing so many amazing saves took a bit of wind out of my sails. The next round the enemy general strafes the battlefield on his dragon and I fail a check against paralyzing breath. Then a cleric hits the same area with an AOE that will damage at the start of everyone's turn. One of the other characters is paralyzed too. Things appear pretty bleak.

    The next round I manage to pull out of the paralyze effect. The stored Hypnotic Pattern spell in my Shield Guardian goes off. It locks down a good number of the minions and brings the dragon to the ground. Things are starting to look a little better.

    Next round the grounded general and dragon are beating on the party. The rest of the army (a gorgon, giant statue, cleric, lots of minions, etc) are also marching forward. My bard really hates the general and I really, really want to hit him with a big spell. But I know the rest of the group is really hurt and there are a lot of baddies closing in. I use Mantle of Inspiration, yelling to the group to take the General and I'll handle the rest. I cast Synaptic Static right in the middle of the enemy army and clear a bunch of it.

    As I'm preparing for my next turn the rest of the group takes out the dragon and gets a few good hits on the general. Our cleric throws out a big heal that makes sure all of our characters stay in the fight. On the monk's turn he manages to land a stunning strike on the general. I'm psyched, I know the fight is almost over know and the rest of my group has no idea.

    On my turn I casually walk close to the general, sneer, and then toss out a quip before blasting him with Disintegrate for 84 damage. He's stunned, he automatically fails the Dex save. With the dragon dead and the general a mound of dust the rest of the fight wraps up pretty quickly.

    The encounter was pretty much are entire session but it was so fun. It was tense at the start and we came pretty close to having characters drop before the temp hit points and heals started going around.

    This is the most unbardy thing I've ever read.
    Damaging spells?
    sneer, quip followed by a spell that isn't vicious mockery?

    you've failed at being a pansexual attention hog :P

    I mean, if you flavor it right, what actually is Disintegrate but vicious mockery turned up to 11?

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    Ken OElvenshaehlprmnkySteelhawkwebguy20Rhesus PositiveLord_AsmodeusGreenMahnmut
  • SCREECH OF THE FARGSCREECH OF THE FARG #1 PARROTHEAD margaritavilleRegistered User regular
    it's like how power word kill is just the ultimate ok boomer

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  • fadingathedgesfadingathedges Registered User regular
    Technically, Boomers invented PW:K, and Mockery is a Millenial thing.

    Steelhawk
  • ZonugalZonugal The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    Technically, Boomers invented PW:K, and Mockery is a Millenial thing.

    Meanwhile the Greatest Generation are well known for inventing Apocalypse from the Sky.

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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    While complaining that Mockery is just as bad.

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    edited January 11
    I'm switching subclasses for my gnoll monk. She lost her ability to use the path of the sun soul because that was her anger focused into her fighting. She's learned and changed a bit since waiting for the ship to Thay to help her friend. Learned more humility. Learned how to let go. Learned how to love. Now she's focused on not hiding herself from the world through drink, fighting, and distractions like that after her huge mistake near the end of the last campaign. She's found that she actually wants to live and be happy as herself. So her astral form is slowly coming into being after losing her ability to use the radiant soul. Her perfect self she can strive towards.

    Also, I rather like JoJo and being able to hit 6 times with necrotic or radiant damage. Her form's unofficial stand name is Separate Ways. My DM is rad.

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  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    So I've narrowed down the choices for the character who will replace my dead Cleric in the Descent to Avernus campaign to three

    Lethel Aresian, High Elf Cavalier, a knight of Vandria Gilmadrith who is very arrogant, but believes in justice and righteousness (maybe a bit too much)

    Yorga Rull, Bugbear Monster Slayer, trained in a Hobgoblin Kingdom as part of a division of their military whose job was to hunt down and kill any stray fiends that might escape after a failed summoning, and to kill fiends who invade their territory, she later went mercenary following a hazard pay dispute

    Othorn, Kobold Battle Smith, a failed former merchant from a nearby Kobold Clan to Baldur's Gate, whose skill in creating interesting clockwork toys and steam powered gadgets far outstripped his ability to sell them

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  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    I'd go with the bugbear.
    The other two feel rather cliché: the elf will paladin himself into a smear on the floor at the first demon you meet and the kobold will likely die of fear.

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  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    Character creation report.

    Character 1: Fighter (probably Eldritch Knight), Scourge Aasimar
    We're gonna be lore-fluffing Aasimar as a less common, more mysterious race because he was really interested in the idea of a race like the MCU Asgardians who have their own homeworld and are fewer in number. He has recently discovered that someone or something has been killing Aasimar, and is determined to put a stop to it, so there's a potential long-term plot hook I can do something with.

    He has SO MANY AXES, y'all.

    Character 2: Rogue (unsure of planned archetype), Succubus
    All the skill proficiencies! Her character is primarily motivated by a need for family and community, as that's something she's never really had before.

    Character 3: Sorcerer (Draconic Origin), Dragonborn (Turtle Dragon)
    Tired of living in the shadow (both literally and figuratively) of his two adult dragon parents, he has set out on his own to find himself, and prove himself as a competent and valid person outside their influence.

    Character 4: Barbarian (Planned path: Totem of the Bear), Bearfolk
    Bearnie Sanders just woke up from his hibernation to discover that someone had stolen all of his mead that he set brewing before he slept for the winter. That's a problem, because he makes his living selling mead. He's looking to make more mead, punish the thief, and take on adventures to make a quick buck until he gets back on his feet financially.

    He carries a warhammer called The 99% Hammer, because 1% of its mass was chipped off in an accident.

    Other two players didn't make it to the session, but fortunately the party's pretty balanced without them, so whatever characters they end up making should fit in.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Your barbarian should watch a trailer for Barbearian.

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  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! Registered User regular
    A note to reflect upon after our group's game today:

    A Goliath with Dragon Breath enabled is not a finesse weapon, and so the rogue should not be the one attempting to aim him while in a dark cave.

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  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Regarding Acerak and his Tomb of passive aggressiveness, I think the one thing that people miss out on for why it isn't more lethal is because the lich is ~frankly~ insulting the players. The whole deal with Tomb is that it's loaded with traps but players ostensibly can beat all of them by discerning how they work and responding appropriately, but because he never repeats the same trap twice he's forcing the to constantly be re-examining the environment and inevitably screw up when they miss something.

    Effectively, Acerak is telling the players that he's smarter then them and doesn't have to lash out in more blunt and obvious manners to beat them.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
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  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I'm messing around with heroforge for fun

    and I've noticed a distinct lack of options for making a Bugbear

    The three things that I feel would make this look more better (to me) is being able to pick a different kind of nose for your face, an option for furry/hairy limbs, and clawed feet.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I Spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I'm messing around with heroforge for fun

    and I've noticed a distinct lack of options for making a Bugbear

    The three things that I feel would make this look more better (to me) is being able to pick a different kind of nose for your face, an option for furry/hairy limbs, and clawed feet.

    Email them about it. They are adding stuff all the damn time.

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  • fadingathedgesfadingathedges Registered User regular
    Bursar wrote: »
    A note to reflect upon after our group's game today:

    A Goliath with Dragon Breath enabled is not a finesse weapon, and so the rogue should not be the one attempting to aim him while in a dark cave.

    Improvised ranged should still be Dex, right? Got a monk?

    Elvenshae
  • ZomroZomro Registered User regular
    My Knowledge Cleric of Deneir almost ate it yesterday. Party was ambushed by grimlocks and I got downed after turning on a lantern to provide light for the party members without darkvision. I made the first death save, but it looked like the grimlocks might have tried to attack me while I was down. Luckily, our Moon Circle Druid, currently in the guise of a bear, rushed to my aid and made himself a big enough threat to grab their attention. My second death save comes around and I held my d20 in the air and said "Deneir, smile upon your servant" and rolled the die. Natural 20! Beaten and broken, Theren, half elf Cleric of Deneir was told it was not his day to die. Got back up with 1 HP as the party was defeating the last of the grimlocks. I actually got the last kill with a Sacred Flame that rolled max damage.

    And then, like the kind soul I am, I made sure to heal the Dragonborn Hexblade Warlock (played by my brother), who had also gone down, first. I had no spell slots left, but had a couple of healing potions. I put one down the Warlock's throat and then I drank the other

    Speaking of that warlock, though. He solo'd an Orog in that same fight. He took some severe damage doing so, but he Hellish Rubuked the crap out of that Orog. And in a very inspired move, used his acid breath against him to kill him. Since the Orog was wearing plate, he figured that it'd be much easier to damage him by making him take a DEX save vs attacking him with his pact weapon. Brilliant play, I was so proud.

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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    You're not really knocking on death's door until the NPC that downed you crits with their follow-up attack and it's your turn next.

    May the swettening commence.

    webguy20Ivellius
  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    How do you people handle the need for magical weapons as your players progress? My rogue and my fighter don't have one yet although my paladin does. They are all level 5 and we are currently running through a modified dragon heist. I guess I can just avoid enemy types that require magic weapons? I am definitely going to give my rogue a cool magic weapon sometime soon as she doesn't have any magic items right now. My fighter has the gauntlets of ogre power which doesn't really boost his damage since he already had 18 str but it did let him boost his con by two at level 4 so he is pretty hard to kill.

    Also how reliable is challenge rating? Because my 5 level 5 players took down a CR gladiator plus a CR 8 mind flayer at the same time. Druid, rogue, Bard, fighter, paladin is the team makeup. They almost one rounded the gladiator and then the Mind Flayer only managed to land psionic blast after that. I guess maybe they got lucky on their rolls for the stun since one avoided it entirely and the two others broke out first turn. Does that seem reasonable?

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    Creatures around CR5 should take into account the potential lack of magic items. (I think it stops making a dent around CR8?). So i wouldnt worry too much about it. Alternately you could remind your paladin that they have access to magic weapon. So you only need 1 more magic weapon to round things out.

    CR 8 at 5 isnt too bad. Its a deadly encounter but its not impossible. So it ends up just swingy. Plus in general, with a group that knows its abilities i find monsters have to be played terribly optimally to really threaten a party(both from a combat and environmental perspective)

    Edit: and 5 is a big power spike. So unless they had exhausted abilities i expect them to win relatively easily. 8 at 4 would be another story while 9 at 5 is also possible.

    Also worth noting that the more “dps” something is the easier this becomes. A cr18 death knight is easier for a lvl 10 party than a cr18 dragon

    Goumindong on
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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Initiative order can make a huge difference too.

    I use an app that rerolls initiative for all my players and enemies every round, to keep everyone on their toes (have one player that tends to drift off when not their turn, as i mentioned before), and it makes super obvious just how much difference the order makes.

    I've had strong monsters fold like a deck of cards if the go last in consecutive rounds. I've had weak monsters shit on the party of they go first in consecutive rounds, or even back to back (last in round 1, first in round 2).

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    I don't roll initiative for monsters, I tend to split them up so 1/3 of them get 15 on the dice, 1/3 get 10, 1/3 get 5, and add their bonus, so they come in relatively evenly

    the exception is bosses, who get a new initiative every round

    override367 on
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    It's 0 additional work with the app

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  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    I need somewhere to read about power creep. My Bard took medium armor because we had found a breastplate+1 in the lost mines. So now she has 17AC, which seems like a lot for a Bard. It makes me hesitant to give her something offensive oriented since she's so hard to hit.

    sig.gif Gamertag: KL Retribution
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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    That's not really what folks mean when they say power creep. It were if somebody were to print Medium Armor Natural feat that gave you everything Moderate Armored gave you one top of other stuff. The stuff straight from the PHB is hard to argue is power creep in a sort of definitional way. It establishes what normal power is.

    In this case your character is just maximizing the immediate benefit of having a free magic breastplate instead of following some long term plan to maximize bardiness. That's just a choice of where to spend resources. Games should involve those and they should have noticeable impact on how the character plays.

    ElvenshaeKen ONipsoverride367webguy20SCREECH OF THE FARG
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    If your bard had instead found a +1 studded leather, their AC would 15 or 16. Spending a feat for +1 or +2 AC seems fine to me? Instead of getting the feat, they could have just taken +2 DEX which would have had a similar effect. This way, the character is a little more unique.

    ElvenshaeKen Ooverride367webguy20SCREECH OF THE FARG
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    How do you people handle the need for magical weapons as your players progress?

    You just give them some. :D

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    my party almost got glassed by a beholder on friday

    they were journeying across the sea and were near their destination when their boat got snagged by some kind of arcane pillar coming from under the sea that held the boat in place atop a coral ridge after making a pillar of water (thinking moses parting the sea but in a cylinder)

    so naturally they had to figure out how to get rid of the beam, which meant investigating the source

    the fighter stepped into the wall of water and slipped right off the coral, taking a 500 foot fall

    luckily he had death ward on and so didn't die, but it alerted the beholder in its lair (the source) nearby who hit him with a paralyze ray and dragged him into the temple to set a trap

    the party walked into said trap which consisted of the beholder's antimagic cone being on and a surprise round for the beholder and his Eye of the Deep pal (think a less strong beholder with only 2 eye beams and lobster claws)

    to spread around the hate initially i had the beholder target rays at random as well as which type, and unfortunately the warlock got targeted with both a death ray and a disintegrate and was immediately ashed in round one which set the tone for the night

    then almost everyone got petrified, but thankfully the Wildfire druid is quite stronk and was able to carry the rest of the fight alongside the monk

    this is the closest i've gotten to a TPK

    thankfully the warlock has a really generous patron; the party got to learn she's a servant of the Undying (Vecna in this case) and he granted her lichdom, so now the players are all wracking their brain on what to do (the monk is a servant of ioun you see and their last big plot point was in direct opposition to Vecna's agents)

    so yeah, TIL Beholders are scary even to level 12 parties

    and for those who are wondering why i thought it was a good idea to give a PC lich-hood, this player in particular is very new to the game so i don't feel bad about giving them the keys to an evil ferrari; we're well into the mid game approaching the end game anyway and it's a great source of drama

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  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    giving them the keys to an evil ferrari;

    God damn that's a good turn of phrase; I just about fell out of my chair laughing.

    Also: Lichdom for a new player as Plot Armor is fucking brilliant.

    Nips on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    New book has been announced: Critical Role setting. https://dnd.wizards.com/products/wildemount

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  • SchadenfreudeSchadenfreude Mean Mister Mustard Registered User regular
    It'll sell gangbusters but there's a few disappointed folks in my group were getting their hopes for one of the classic settings.

    Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe
    Gaddez
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    furlion wrote: »
    I need somewhere to read about power creep. My Bard took medium armor because we had found a breastplate+1 in the lost mines. So now she has 17AC, which seems like a lot for a Bard. It makes me hesitant to give her something offensive oriented since she's so hard to hit.

    A 5th level sword bard with a breastplate can have 25 AC, 26 with half-plate (a valor bard probably has 17-20 AC at 5th level without doing anything special, both sword and valor start with medium armor), as long as a wizard has spell slots they probably have an effective AC of 20, 17 isnt that big of a deal (personally I think it's probably a poor choice for a feat instead of just going 2 higher in dex with studded leather)

    override367 on
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  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    I need somewhere to read about power creep. My Bard took medium armor because we had found a breastplate+1 in the lost mines. So now she has 17AC, which seems like a lot for a Bard. It makes me hesitant to give her something offensive oriented since she's so hard to hit.

    A 5th level sword bard with a breastplate can have 25 AC, 26 with half-plate (a valor bard probably has 17-20 AC at 5th level without doing anything special, both sword and valor start with medium armor), as long as a wizard has spell slots they probably have an effective AC of 20, 17 isnt that big of a deal (personally I think it's probably a poor choice for a feat instead of just going 2 higher in dex with studded leather)

    Ok I was just curious if that seemed normal. I think I have decided to give my rogue the venom fang dagger, and my fighter is going to transform his family heirloom greataxe into a magical version of itself using diamond, platinum, and the breath of a golden Dragon. Will also give him another 1d4 damage. My druid will get a pearl of power. My Bard is college of valor and is focused around being a support character and non combat skills. Still need to think of something to give her. Thanks for the advice everyone I have been playing for over a year now but each new level is new to me.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited January 14
    something to keep in mind, as the DM

    there really is no such thing as power creep; it can feel that way, but you control everything else, up to and including the numbers (hp, defenses) and abilities your monsters possess

    items and feats generally aren’t gonna bust anything, and nothing is good in all situations

    someone has high AC? hit em with an effect that targets their weakest saves

    like our bard for example; want to take em down a peg? make a spell called Forceball

    it’s like fireball in every way except it’s a strength save to take half and concusses the shit out of everyone with force damage

    too many DMs think they’re bound by the book when this edition actively encourages you to play designer and add your own stuff (which to some is a bug, others a feature)

    as long as it’s not bullshit (Forceball does double damage! because uhhh i want it to) you can get a ton of mileage out of making up new abilities on the fly that are reflavored versions of stuff that already exists

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    also re: CR vs something else

    mark hulmes made a good point on twitter how CR is kind of the modern zeitgeist, love it or hate it it is gonna sell like hot cakes

    SteelhawkDuke 2.0
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I can't decide if I should bring my Ranger's Dex or Strength up to 18, or get either the Medium Armor Master, Savage Attacker, or Tough talents.

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  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Decanter of Endless Water is always a fun item for support characters

    And there's always the good old flying carpet. Bonus if you hit them with a carpet of strangulation first

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Weird, I thought CR had a book or two already.

  • SchadenfreudeSchadenfreude Mean Mister Mustard Registered User regular
    Weird, I thought CR had a book or two already.

    There was a Tal'Dorei campaign setting published through Green Ronin. This one is official WotC with their team behind it.

    Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe
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