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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Need help taking down a powerful character

    OK. So, in one of the several games I DM, one of my players has created this ridiculously strong character that I just can NOT beat. Not without going straight overboard.

    I mean...things that are totally overpowered for the rest of the party come off as a cake walk for him.

    Now, as far as optimization goes....he's very well built. Now, the others are not...they're not optimized, certainly (well, maybe the dread necromancer to an extent), but they aren't the worst builds ever either.

    OK, I'ma list all the information I have off him at the moment...
    Level 6 Monk/ Level 10 Psionic Fist.
    Abilities (magic/base)
    Str- 20/16
    Dex-22/18
    Con-16/16
    Int-14/14
    Wis-24/18
    Cha-9/9

    Here's the biggest problem: AC- 40, touch 30.
    Bracers of armor +8, ring of prot +3, ring of nat arm +2, and the Dex bonus.

    How do I get through this reasonably?

    Feats:
    Improved: Unarmed, grapple, initiative, trip, nat weapon
    Speed of thought, combat reflexes, flying kick, up the walls, expanded knowledge, overchannel, and wild talent.

    His BAB is 10, but he hits with +15. He has three hits (maybe four now, he just leveled), and does like...4d8, I believe? I know he hits as a creature a size category larger.

    He can shapechange to all sorts of things, grow up to two sizes larger as well.

    All his saves are good (it's rare for him to hit below a 35...40s are typical, below 30 almost unheard of), so I can't exploit that.

    He nearly made mincemeat (technically, he forgot he woulda got another attack, so he should have) out of tonight's boss of a level 18 lich (who started off with a Wail of the Banshee that killed everyone but him straight up).

    How do I properly challenge him without making the other characters feel ridiculously weak?

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by desmond1323 View Post
    OK. So, in one of the several games I DM, one of my players has created this ridiculously strong character that I just can NOT beat. Not without going straight overboard.

    I mean...things that are totally overpowered for the rest of the party come off as a cake walk for him.

    Now, as far as optimization goes....he's very well built. Now, the others are not...they're not optimized, certainly (well, maybe the dread necromancer to an extent), but they aren't the worst builds ever either.

    OK, I'ma list all the information I have off him at the moment...
    Level 6 Monk/ Level 10 Psionic Fist.
    Abilities (magic/base)
    Str- 20/16
    Dex-22/18
    Con-16/16
    Int-14/14
    Wis-24/18
    Cha-9/9

    Here's the biggest problem: AC- 40, touch 30.
    Bracers of armor +8, ring of prot +3, ring of nat arm +2, and the Dex bonus.

    How do I get through this reasonably?

    Feats:
    Improved: Unarmed, grapple, initiative, trip, nat weapon
    Speed of thought, combat reflexes, flying kick, up the walls, expanded knowledge, overchannel, and wild talent.

    His BAB is 10, but he hits with +15. He has three hits (maybe four now, he just leveled), and does like...4d8, I believe? I know he hits as a creature a size category larger.

    He can shapechange to all sorts of things, grow up to two sizes larger as well.

    All his saves are good (it's rare for him to hit below a 35...40s are typical, below 30 almost unheard of), so I can't exploit that.

    He nearly made mincemeat (technically, he forgot he woulda got another attack, so he should have) out of tonight's boss of a level 18 lich (who started off with a Wail of the Banshee that killed everyone but him straight up).

    How do I properly challenge him without making the other characters feel ridiculously weak?
    Forcecage. Alternatively, some other caster.

    Also, looks like he has an awful lot of magic items.
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2010-03-07 at 02:43 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3

    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Hit him with Solid Fog?


    Really, the problem you are having is this character is a mildly optimized Tier 3 or a heavily optimized Tier 4 (likely the former, due to his saves being his focus) while everyone else is below that.


    The solution is to not throw singular enemies at him. Out-tempo him with superior numbers and the action economy. A single CR 16 Dragon is going to get it's ass handed to it by him and his party. 5 CR 16 Warblades, PsiWars, or even a few casually optimized Rangers will give him trouble.

    Ranged combat also helps. His unarmed strike is meaningless when every enemy is flying and pelting him with Scorching Rays/Orbs of Force.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    The solution is to not throw singular enemies at him. Out-tempo him with superior numbers and the action economy.

    Mostly this is what I figured...the adventures we've run with this character has been really big on super poweful singular creatures...I've just not had a chance to try something else. Good to see that thought backed up though.


    Ranged combat also helps. His unarmed strike is meaningless when every enemy is flying and pelting him with Scorching Rays/Orbs of Force.
    Another thing I was thinking...mostly on the flying aspect. Far too many times, I'd finally start doing damage to him when he'd use whatever Psionic ability and take all the damage he's taken and put it right back on the enemy. Oh, sorry...that 40ish damage Orb of Force you hit me with? You take that back, with 10 extra on top, and I get healed.

    This same adventure was also, sadly, in a cave...not a lot of room.

    Once again, good to see this suspicion of mine backed up...can't wait to give it another go, with these things a little more in my favor.

    Also, shoulda mentioned...No ToB stuff. Currently the one book I disallow.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    Also, looks like he has an awful lot of magic items.

    Well, that's what happens when the level 15 starting gold is....whatever it is. Some really high amount...and you don't have to spend any on armor or weapons.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by desmond1323 View Post
    Another thing I was thinking...mostly on the flying aspect. Far too many times, I'd finally start doing damage to him when he'd use whatever Psionic ability and take all the damage he's taken and put it right back on the enemy. Oh, sorry...that 40ish damage Orb of Force you hit me with? You take that back, with 10 extra on top, and I get healed.
    This is where dispelling comes in. Or just being out of range (IIRC< SHare Pain, Forced, is Close).

    This same adventure was also, sadly, in a cave...not a lot of room.

    Once again, good to see this suspicion of mine backed up...can't wait to give it another go, with these things a little more in my favor.

    Also, shoulda mentioned...No ToB stuff. Currently the one book I disallow.
    You really should use it, even if it's NPC-only for the time being. It honestly makes a lot of encounters a lot easier to run (just replace the standard Orc Warrior's feat with Martial Study and you'll see what I mean). It also makes for challenging encounters.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    I am always a fan of a monster that has an antimagic(Or anti Psionic field if those are a problem, but it appears that the main thing is his magic items that are messing with you.) field around it that loves to enter into melee. Have the rest of the party engaged with fighting its minions or partners or what have you and this mean son of a b**** goes straight for the monk, preferable something that does not need to use magic, is moderately hard to hit, has lots of hit points and deals decent damage so as to make it a fight but still enough to kill him possibly unless you want him dead then just make it a mean damage dealer.

    One i used once was an antimagic shrouded half-fiend minotaur monk, took out my problem character with out to much trouble. The monster was of course part of the plot and had a reason to be there, hell he was even a recurring villain for a period of time before the characters cast him into a well of many worlds to be done with him, little did they know he landed in Minauros. There he made a deal forged of hate and malice that morphed him from the neutral good human into the Lawful evil engine of destruction. Then he was summoned by an old servant of his whom he contacted and began to hunt them down.

    Player straightened up and flew right after that, mostly cause his soul was dragged off into hell screaming. But everything had a reason for happening and they even had a fair fight and chance to kill him.

    Or magic missiles always work as well, lots of magic missiles.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    You want to screw him up? Easy, peasy.

    Psionic Fist has poor Fort saves. He's looking like he only has a Fort save of +11, and no poison immunity. Forcecage + Cloudkill. Hell, even Stinking Cloud would hurt him badly.

    Set up a Kabal of Dragonwrought kobold sorcerers... and use Wings of Cover/Wings of Fury to make him regret his decision. Quickened True Strike + Orb of X also works to blow him up quickly.
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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    um.... unless I'm missing something, perhaps more equipment, or perhaps feats I'm unaware of, the numbers you posted only make 35 for his normal ac, and 25 for his touch. I can guess that the class bonus has been neglected for another point or two, but otherwise..... I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should double check his numbers and make sure everything is in order.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2010-03-07 at 03:08 AM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    This is where dispelling comes in. Or just being out of range (IIRC< SHare Pain, Forced, is Close).

    Thus the flying comment I made...that was the first solution I had come up with for future reference. Perfectly justifiable seeing as the lich got away and will come back prepared for these PCs, heh.


    You really should use it, even if it's NPC-only for the time being. It honestly makes a lot of encounters a lot easier to run (just replace the standard Orc Warrior's feat with Martial Study and you'll see what I mean). It also makes for challenging encounters.
    I've been tempted to use it for NPCs and encounters....but I dislike using something I won't let my players use. I dislike the book. I dislike the idea of the book. I like what martial classes I have to work with. Just...it's hard to explain, but no ToB for me, thanks.


    Thanks to all for the current suggestions, though. Definitely giving me a relief for future runnings of this party....whenever that is, this party may be retired now, heh.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Tire him out. It's difficult to run psionic characters out of PP, but it's happened more than once in my game.


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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    um.... unless I'm missing something, perhaps more equipment, or perhaps feats I'm unaware of, the numbers you posted only make 35 for his normal ac, and 25 for his touch. I can guess that the class bonus has been neglected for another point or two, but otherwise..... I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should double check his numbers and make sure everything is in order.


    I will, but I strongly doubt that. The groups I play and run don't do stuff like this...and he's been playing a fair while, so I'd be ridiculously surprised if he had made some error. But who knows, we're all human, it happens. I'll double check next time.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    Tire him out. It's difficult to run psionic characters out of PP, but it's happened more than once in my game.
    This is actually what I was hoping to do...and it never happened. Adventure ended and he still had about 30ish left. Though, once again, this one focused on singular strong creatures. Something I'll rectify next time. Maybe fix up my homebrew True Kobold race...they fight in large, well disciplined groups. Sounds like a good time to me!

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    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    just saw the thing on amf enemies. Both the beholder (MM1) and the astral dreadnought (MotP) produce a shaped amf that can shut down your troublesome character and still leave the other characters at full power as long as the group fans out.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Enemy caster/wand wielder with a good ranged attack bonus, and ray of Dizziness. Cutting him down to a single action with no save will help cut him down to size, although you'll need something to follow up with. The more "no save" spells you can hit him with, the better.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by desmond1323 View Post
    This is actually what I was hoping to do...and it never happened. Adventure ended and he still had about 30ish left. Though, once again, this one focused on singular strong creatures. Something I'll rectify next time. Maybe fix up my homebrew True Kobold race...they fight in large, well disciplined groups. Sounds like a good time to me!
    How much PP has he got?


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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by desmond1323 View Post
    OK. So, in one of the several games I DM, one of my players has created this ridiculously strong character that I just can NOT beat. Not without going straight overboard.

    I mean...things that are totally overpowered for the rest of the party come off as a cake walk for him.

    Now, as far as optimization goes....he's very well built. Now, the others are not...they're not optimized, certainly (well, maybe the dread necromancer to an extent), but they aren't the worst builds ever either.

    OK, I'ma list all the information I have off him at the moment...
    Level 6 Monk/ Level 10 Psionic Fist.
    Abilities (magic/base)
    Str- 20/16
    Dex-22/18
    Con-16/16
    Int-14/14
    Wis-24/18
    Cha-9/9

    Here's the biggest problem: AC- 40, touch 30.
    Bracers of armor +8, ring of prot +3, ring of nat arm +2, and the Dex bonus.

    How do I get through this reasonably?

    Feats:
    Improved: Unarmed, grapple, initiative, trip, nat weapon
    Speed of thought, combat reflexes, flying kick, up the walls, expanded knowledge, overchannel, and wild talent.

    His BAB is 10, but he hits with +15. He has three hits (maybe four now, he just leveled), and does like...4d8, I believe? I know he hits as a creature a size category larger.

    He can shapechange to all sorts of things, grow up to two sizes larger as well.

    All his saves are good (it's rare for him to hit below a 35...40s are typical, below 30 almost unheard of), so I can't exploit that.

    He nearly made mincemeat (technically, he forgot he woulda got another attack, so he should have) out of tonight's boss of a level 18 lich (who started off with a Wail of the Banshee that killed everyone but him straight up).

    How do I properly challenge him without making the other characters feel ridiculously weak?
    Try Solid Fog to slow him down.
    Try effects which allow no save, such as Waves of Exhaustion.
    Burn out his PP by making him use them.
    True Strike + ray spells.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Ok, he is hard to hit and kill. Lets look at his damage: 4D8+5 to 10. Lets assume 7. 3 hits, if they all hit, average 87 total. Straight Barbarian 16: has about 2x the hit points with the con bonus. Damage: 2D6 (assuming greatsword). Str 28 before raging (18, +4 from levels, +6 item) 34 after raging. So a +12. +28 to hit, for 2D6+18 before magic weapon bonuses, and the barbarians baby: power attack. Sac BAB to equal the monks +15 to hit: -13 to hit, +26 Damage. 2D6+44. Average of 51. 3 swings as well. 153 damage, just shy of 2x the monks.

    This is obviously leaving out huge chunks of build and gear. I noticed you said "this ridiculously strong character that I just can NOT beat." You are probably look at this the wrong way, does his character really threaten your encounters? Does he kung fu the fights down without a challenge, or is his character just hard to kill?

    I missed the lich thing: A monk is one of the classes I feel work very, very well against a lich. Good saves prevent it from doing most of its stuff. He can actually over come its DR with his primary weapon (the optimized martial weapons are slashing, not bludgeoning) High touch ac helps against most other things the lich throws. If he HAD died though, you would have had a TPK.
    Last edited by BobVosh; 2010-03-07 at 03:23 AM.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    How much PP has he got?


    Um...trying to think....70s or 80s? Somehwere there abouts, if I recall correctly.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    You are probably look at this the wrong way, does his character really threaten your encounters? Does he kung fu the fights down without a challenge, or is his character just hard to kill?

    *grins* Both. Heh, I think the best I ever knocked him down was...half-ish HP?


    See, the sad thing here is when the party was fighting a disabled teratomorph (no reality warping abilities)...and he decided he wanted to fight it. The thing could hit him easily enough for...20-40ish damage, but when the monk was drained too low he'd just transfer the damage back to the ooze.

    Anyway, the point is...when the morph hit, and the monk failed a fort (by one, 28 on a DC 29), I rolled a 20 on my d20 check...this is absorption, the character is consumed, instantly killed, and the ooze gains 1 HD.

    Picture combined player reactions (though the monk's player just laughed):
    Dead silence. Wide eyes. And first words: "Well, we're ****ed. That's TPK right there."

    So the party feels he's their best damage dealer. ...though debatedly, they're a little hard on themselves, heh.

    Edit: Forgot to say...he was saved by realizing that the ability he had just used gave him extra Fort, so he didn't really die, heh.
    Last edited by desmond1323; 2010-03-07 at 03:25 AM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    I'm just saying if the monk is outshining the party in a combat, the party is doing something terribly, terribly wrong. What are their builds, or close approximations? Throwing good gear to weaker characters is a good way to allow you to make higher level fights that threaten everyone.

    *edit* The monk seems to realize a lot of things just afterwords...I don't know the player but one person I knew at a gaming store did this a lot when he was cheating. Humorously he was playing a psionic monk in that game...
    Last edited by BobVosh; 2010-03-07 at 03:27 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Don't know specifics of their builds offhand.

    One is 15 (now 16) Druid. Another is 15 (also now 16) Dread Necromancer. And the last is...I guess still an 11 Rogue, but is a Doppleganger.

    As far as optimization? Probably not done as well as the Monk, sure. But they certainly aren't broken builds or anything.

    As far as magic items...they all had level 15 starting gold, so that's not all that comparitive a problem really.


    Edit for BobVosh's edit: Naw, he's just dealing with a lot of numbers. Think of Durkon....sometimes, you just forget a few numbers. He's definitely not a cheater.
    Last edited by desmond1323; 2010-03-07 at 03:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Toss critters which attack his PP pool instead. There's a few powers which do well to sap a PP pool quickly. One dispel magic later, and he's in for a world of hurt.

    The Druid should be going Fleshraker + Venomblast for insane damage output that makes the Monk look pathetic, with better AC, attack bonuses, and in general, just plain better...
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2010-03-07 at 03:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    To those saying Forcecage, I can't imagine what you expect it to do. If the DM uses the "solid walls" version, then stinking cloud/cloudkill etc. can't touch him in there anyway. If he uses the "bars of force" version, he can use Compression and walk right out of it. With both versions, he can Dimension Swap to toss an ally in there instead (handy with the "walls" version - saving a weaker ally, while remaining in the fight himself), or Dimension Slide/Door to just leave - and those are just from the base Psywar list, with no CPsi or Expanded Knowledge.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Toss critters which attack his PP pool instead. There's a few powers which do well to sap a PP pool quickly. One dispel magic later, and he's in for a world of hurt.


    See, this is probably another factor which I should have mentioned...this is the first I've had to deal with psionics. Granted, this was a premade adventure that didn't have any psionic enemies in it...but for future activities, I definitely want to look into it, and use creatures that can match him psionically.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    To those saying Forcecage, I can't imagine what you expect it to do. If the DM uses the "solid walls" version, then stinking cloud/cloudkill etc. can't touch him in there anyway. If he uses the "bars of force" version, he can use Compression and walk right out of it. With both versions, he can Dimension Swap to toss an ally in there instead (handy with the "walls" version - saving a weaker ally, while remaining in the fight himself), or Dimension Slide/Door to just leave - and those are just from the base Psywar list, with no CPsi or Expanded Knowledge.
    Dimension Slide/Door/etc... requires Line of Sight and Line of Effect, both of which are blocked by Forcecage

    You go Cloudkill, Celerity, Forcecage (solid version). Now he's trapped inside a forcecage, with a cloudkill, and can't get out.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
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    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
    Joker Bard - the DM's solution to the Batman Wizard.
    Takahashi no Onisan - The scariest Samurai alive
    Incarnum and YOU: a reference guide
    Soulmelds, by class and slot: Another Incarnum reference
    Multiclassing for Newbies: A reference guide for the rest of us

    My homebrew world in progress: Falcora

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Dimension Slide/Door/etc... requires Line of Sight and Line of Effect, both of which are blocked by Forcecage
    No, the walls are invisible - you still have line of sight. LoS is all you need to slide/door, not line of effect.

    With Dimension Door you don't even need that - you just need to visualize where you want to end up, or even just think of a direction.
    Last edited by Optimystik; 2010-03-07 at 03:38 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Druids aren't terrific damage dealers unless you know what you are doing, so not too surprising. Dread Necromancers can be amazing if you spend time learning the undead you should raise. Rogues are rogues. Sneak attack and great.

    As for gear I wasn't suggesting that you were currently undergearing them. I was suggesting you overgear the others. Especially easy to do as the monk won't want anything that helps the others.

    *edit*
    Quote Originally Posted by desmond1323 View Post
    See, this is probably another factor which I should have mentioned...this is the first I've had to deal with psionics. Granted, this was a premade adventure that didn't have any psionic enemies in it...but for future activities, I definitely want to look into it, and use creatures that can match him psionically.
    This raised one warning flag: your manifester level is how many PP you can spend a round. It is surprising how many people miss this.
    Last edited by BobVosh; 2010-03-07 at 03:38 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Dimension Slide/Door/etc... requires Line of Sight and Line of Effect, both of which are blocked by Forcecage

    You go Cloudkill, Celerity, Forcecage (solid version). Now he's trapped inside a forcecage, with a cloudkill, and can't get out.
    DD/etc do not require LOE. They are astral travel, and explicitly are called as being able to bypass stationary force effects.


    Still, A True-Strike Maximized enervation from hiding will do a lot to mitigate.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help taking down a powerful character

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    DD/etc do not require LOE. They are astral travel, and explicitly are called as being able to bypass stationary force effects.


    Still, A True-Strike Maximized enervation from hiding will do a lot to mitigate.
    Er... Force effects block astral. Where does it explicitly state this?

    Also, by level 16? It's called Dimensional Lock
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2010-03-07 at 03:38 AM.
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