View Full Version : Help me adjudicate this thing

2008-03-12, 01:22 PM
I am a DM in a campaign that was started by another player, even if I plan to stay DM until it is reasonable to be foreseen.
The stat generation method with the previous DM was the following:
roll 4d6 six times and drop the lowest
a) reroll anything below 12
b) move points around as you like on a 2:1 basis.
c) if you need to remove one more point that what you'd like you can make a 1:1 move once
d) no limits on how high you can get
e) if you roll 4 6's, that counts as a 20
I'm not sure what the average of that would be, but everybody got some insane stats (plus, the DM's psion had the highest by FAR).
Shortly after "taking office", I talked them into redoing the whole thing to at least have the party balanced, so we remade the PC abilities to a 53 point buy (it was the average value of the stat arrays)

Still now (no wonder) I have trouble balancing the encounters. I make main NPCs on 53 point buy as well, but monsters are a pain. They have high to-hits and damage outputs but their saves and HP are not as high. They roll over CR-appropriate encounters and succumb horribly to higher CR ones. In short: I have a party of glass cannons.

I do not want negative feelings around, so I do not want they to be sad over their lost toys as players can get, which would ruin the mood and hence the fun (i.e. we would "lose" at D&D); I would also like not having to restat every monster they meet to rebalance the system for those high scores. So I am at a loss for something that could improve my enjoyment while not stepping onto theirs.

Any suggestions?

Duke of URL
2008-03-12, 01:31 PM
I'll give the same advice I gave the DM who was asking how to deal with characters who had too many consumables -- extend their adventuring day out. That is, make it harder for them to rest and recover HP and spells. This should offset some of their advantages.

Also, beef up encounters by adding more "mooks", to at least give the appearance of more resistance without significantly affecting the encounter level (unless you want to).

2008-03-12, 01:32 PM
Make your monsters humanoid with appropriate levels in PC classes.

A company of evil orc adventurers is messing stuff up. Typical of Orcs, they have numbers in the dozens, if not hundreds, and are all combat trained. You have to take them out. Have fun.

Meat Shield
2008-03-12, 01:34 PM
Also, if you were to just blanket give every bad guy a +1 to hit that would toughen them up. I would imagine you have several times where they come out untouched - this could help.

2008-03-12, 01:40 PM
If this really is a problem... a couple rogues with bestow curse rods should drop there power down. Otherwise, I second the more mooks, spread them out so they don't get AoE.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2008-03-12, 01:44 PM
Well, first off, the point buy in my experience usually goes for weaker characters than the 4d6. I think the 4d6 is a much better character gen than point buy (not a huge fan of point buy).

My first question, is what level are your PC's?

Anywho, I have some ideas on how you can change things. First, if you're going to do point buy, I believe that 40 points is considered a high powered campaign. With the die rolling thing, Instead of rerolling anything below a 12, have them reroll anything below an 6-8. I've never heard of anyone doing a 2:1 point(s) for point. In any game I've ever been in, it's always 1:1, and can move as many as you like (a DM of mine doesn't like odd numbers in stats to start a game, and they really don't make much sense to me either, so all even numbers in stats is a good thing for me). To start out, I'd make the highest number they can get for a stat an 18, not 20. I think those ideas would go far in balancing out a party.

My second question for you, is what books are your monsters coming out of. WoTC in my opinion in some of the later books, had a habit of not playtesting their monsters, so CR's tend to be not enough, or too much.

Mr. Friendly
2008-03-12, 01:51 PM
Ah overpowered characters...

My personal answer is heavy handed use of "optimized monsters". The CR system and monster advancement guidelines allow for some truly appaling creations that are suprisingly low CR. While this is something a bit on the exploitive side, balanced against your PCs overpower, it isn't so bad.

The Llolth- Touched (DM Touched) template is a perfect example of this: +6 STR and CON, all in the hands of DM Fiat.

If you want some specific, statted out or partial statted critters, lemme know....

2008-03-12, 03:29 PM
I don't have much time before work, but off the top of my head: give your monsters max HP and improve their AC. That should give them more staying power without overrunning your PCs. In the long term a slight reduction in treasure could even out the power level of the PCs, but that'd hard to judge correctly.

Idea Man
2008-03-12, 09:29 PM
If you're using 53 point-buy, I'd just give all enemies +4 to all attributes, which translates to +2 to all actions and 2 extra hit point per hit die. Giving them more encounters is a good idea, too. Wear them down! Believe me, it works at all levels (I pride myself at draining spellcasters, and I've even brought a 17th lvl ultimate magus to only first level spells:smallbiggrin: ).

Don't worry about letting them hack things to bits, by the way. They'll enjoy the feeling of success even against hopelessly underpowered foes once in a while. Just be ready to ramp it up at a moments notice. :smallamused:

Iku Rex
2008-03-12, 09:44 PM
Don't mess with monsters or NPCs.

Just declare that the PCs count as one level higher, and treat them as such. Make it two levels if they're really twinked out. Problem solved.

2008-03-13, 03:49 AM
Thank you for all the advice which got here. The party is level 5 now and we're about to begin the red hand of doom adventure. The main point of it is that I have not that much free time and running a published adventure makes the planning of the sessions so much easier. For the same reason I don't want to use the "optimized monsters" option since I don't have that much time to build them.
So far I just gave most monsters a +2 to all their stats. As I said before, counting the characters as of a higher level makes them too much vulnerable. Their main stat might be around 25, but that didn't stop them from putting 10 in wisdom so their saves are not commensurate with their offensive capabilities. +4 to all stats (which means +2 to everything the monster does) could be a hard-and-fast rule for that. I will also try the "multiply mooks" option and see if that works out without slowing combat too much.

I didn' CHOOSE to have a 53 point buy. That was pretty much forced by the situation at the start of the game. I would have gone for 32 point buy if I had been DM at character creation.