View Full Version : [3.5] Unexpected killer DM swap. Some assist needed.

2010-10-24, 08:01 PM
Our current DM got sick and was admitted in the hospital i work part-time at. Looks like he'll be there for a while, so another one took over. The problem is that he has a reputation for killing off the group's casters,or at least shutting them down, in incredibly cheap ways, though leaving the cleric alone for some reason. The real problem now is that for some odd reason nearly everyone in the group's a sorcerer of some sort along with the odd dragonfire adept, a cleric of mystra who has a thing for cheating in gambling games and a monk. My friend's sorcerer has leadership and picked up an erudite for the psychic reformation trick of swapping spells known around... yes our DM allowed that. With this guy in charge and access to psychic reformation, i need some suggestions on what stuff makes sorcerers more difficult to shut down. Eschew materials, silent spell, still spell come to my mind. Flaws allowed. I didn't bother with checking my friends yet and i have several eggshell grenades, aboleth mucus and others in case of antimagic fields so i won't become useless in such situations.

I initially set my feats for entry into MotAO as early as possible. I'm using a dragonwrought kobold sorcerer with the usual sorcerer boosts. Yes our previous DM is mildly insane and allowed all that.

2010-10-24, 08:37 PM
What "incredibly cheap ways" are we talking about here? Because there are some valid anti-spellcaster strategies that you really do have to prep for; and if you're not prepared, well, that's your problem, isn't it?

You probably know most of this stuff already but I'm putting it here because there might be something in there that you overlooked.

Major anti-spellcaster strategies:
--Get attacks of opportunity; force them to make Concentration checks; or fight in an environment that forces concentration checks (constant damage, bad weather, etc.). Only works for low levels before you'll automatically make your check to cast defensively. Obviously, you want to be as mobile as possible to get away from threatening enemies; short-range teleports like Dimension Door, using the terrain, and obviously your meat shields engaging the enemy before they get to you. If you can five-foot-step out of reach, do that. If the enemy is actually teleporting into melee range, you'll want to use your own teleports to get out, or else full-retreat. Spells that are cast as a free action don't need Concentration checks.

--Grapple them. A grappled spellcaster (and it's pretty easy to grapple one) is pretty much shut down and limited to anything other than Verbal-only spells, quickened spells, etc. Once again, this generally happens only if you're in melee range. Stay the heck out of melee; if you're a spellcaster in melee and you're not polymorphed or similar, you're doing it wrong. But if you do get grappled--there are spells that will do this, for example--you'll want to cast a Verbal-only spell like Dimension Door or Benign Transposition (switch with the party fighter--and make an agreement beforehand if your character wants to avoid having an angry fighter on his tail) to get out.

--Counterspell them. Well, first, they can't counterspell you unless they've got the spell (or Dispel) prepared; and they can only counterspell once a round. If you have them outnumbered, you're golden--remember that if they're counterspelling they're not casting spells of their own. And they can only counterspell if they know you're casting. Get them flat-footed and you can get off a spell without them interfering.

--Silence. Solutions for this include getting out of the Silenced area, making your save on the spell itself, casting spells without verbal components, etc.

--Targeting the casting stat. Touch of Idiocy, for example, can do enough INT damage that you can't cast at all. Poisons are similar. Carry some antidote; it's cheap and gives you a bonus to your save. Your cleric should have a way of countering poison and ability damage. Always have a way to remove debuffing magical effects.

--Massive damage targeting your low HP. There are defensive spells to prevent this, whether that means protecting against the enemy's favorite element, buffing your AC, getting damage reduction in some way, etc.

--Stealing your spellbook and/or spell components. Always, always have a backup of both.

--Forcing you to go without sleep. Get a Ring of Sustenance--now you only need two hours of sleep. Never be completely without spells--even if that just means a scroll or two in your belt pouch.

--Invisible or hidden enemies you can't get line of sight to. Glitterdust them if you can. Area of effect spells could hit them even if you don't know where they are.

Other useful stuff:
--Magic Missile never misses (barring Shield and similar spells). Use this to your advantage.
--Ready actions. Your enemy will probably be using these to distract you (Ready action: "Attack if they start casting a spell"), but you can use them against your enemy too. Three spellcasters all casting Fireball at the exact same instant? They might be able to stop two of you, but the third could get through.
--If you see them readying to distract you, or are facing an enemy that uses that strategy, then cast defensively. If you're a very low level and haven't got the Concentration score, you might invest in the Combat Casting feat, which effectively lets you cast defensively as well as a character four levels higher than you.
--Going against spellcasters? You can counterspell too. I haven't seen it a lot, but it can be done and it's not something you should throw out just because it isn't popular.
--Scrolls. Wizards have the feat automatically; but you can buy scrolls just as easily. If there's a spell you think will come in handy but not often enough to memorize every day, get a scroll.
--Divination. What is the enemy up to? Now you know.
--Make Knowledge checks to figure out the enemy's weaknesses and/or strategy. Lots of them. If you have a wizard, you'll have the INT for it.
--If you can't stop the enemy from targeting you, cast a Mirror Image to stop him from knowing which you to target.

2010-10-24, 08:45 PM
Run a new campaign with different characters while the new DM is running the game. If he's going to ruin the fun your group has, it's not worth it. Put your current character sheets aside, make up new ones and when your old DM gets better, you can resume the old game. The added bonus is that your old DM doesn't miss out on any of the fun from his created campaign. :smallsmile:

2010-10-24, 08:50 PM
Everyone always says this, but in this case the standard answer has some merit: talk to him. Mention that the previous DM allowed a variety of powerful but dubious rules interpretations, that you have heard that he (new DM) has a reputation for coming down hard on such things, and that you just wanted to make sure that, since the characters were built with the old DM's preferences in mind, he understands that he should keep that in mind and try to avoid disrupting things.