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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default how many housecats...

    would you wager it would take to take down a level 1 party?


    thinking it would be wonderfully ironic as a campaign to have a druid controlling housecats murdering peasants (they're an incursion into nature!) and have the party eventually be swarmed by them.
    Monk sucks, but you know, it's not actually worth negative LA.

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    Bibliomancer's Avatar

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Hmm...

    1 Housecat = 1 commoner

    1 commoner = 1/2 CR

    8 Commoners = EL 5 (Overwhelming)

    So, around 16 housecats would be able to overwhelm most first level parties (although animal companions would complicate the picture).
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    Malificus's Avatar

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    are these sneaky cats that are trying to catch the party flatfooted?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malificus View Post
    are these sneaky cats that are trying to catch the party flatfooted?

    are there cats that aren't sneaky?
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    1 minmax fighter (google goblins if you don't know the reference) can easily destroy a large group of housecats

    human , wielding a 2handed weapon , with power attack, cleave, great cleave

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    Malificus's Avatar

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    1 minmax fighter (google goblins if you don't know the reference) can easily destroy a large group of housecats

    human , wielding a 2handed weapon , with power attack, cleave, great cleave
    How does a level 1 fighter have a +4 BAB?

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    1 minmax fighter (google goblins if you don't know the reference) can easily destroy a large group of housecats

    human , wielding a 2handed weapon , with power attack, cleave, great cleave
    Power Attack, yes. Cleave and Great Cleave? Hell no!

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malificus View Post
    How does a level 1 fighter have a +4 BAB?
    He cheats, duh.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malificus View Post
    How does a level 1 fighter have a +4 BAB?
    It's minmax. He's just ridiculous like that.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malificus View Post
    How does a level 1 fighter have a +4 BAB?
    It's an obscure ACF

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    are there cats that aren't sneaky?
    Yeah, 28 of them:

    Level 1 Fighter: 17 AC, 12 HP, 4 AB, 7.15 avg. damage (3.93 DPR)
    Cat: 14 AC, 2 HP, 4 AB, 1.05 avg. damage (single attack 0.42 DPR, full attack 1.00 DPR)

    Cat takes 13 rounds to drop a fighter. Fighter drops a cat every other round. So you need about 7 cats per fighter, or 28 cats per party. OTOH at level 1 a fighter or barbarian may be your strongest party member, so it may actually take significantly less. OTOH again a human would have another feat; if he planned for the fight he could even be a cleaver. Or a dwarf would have 1 more HP. Etc., etc.

    EDIT: And a warrior is CR 1/2, not a commoner. A cat is CR 1/4 anyway, so by the CR system it takes 16 cats. If the other 3 party members are a rogue wtihout weapon finesse, a wizard who prepared sleep (or color spray) and a cleric who focused on wisdom it's possible.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bibliomancer View Post
    8 Commoners = EL 5 (Overwhelming)
    Not quite. That would be "Very difficult" (EL 1–4 higher than party level). You need to be at least EL 6 to squeak into the "Overpowering" category.
    Last edited by Curmudgeon; 2010-03-07 at 10:01 PM.

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Do note that the housecat/commoner exchange rate is rather overrated, and only really applies if you don't allow him his one free simple weapon or max hp at first level. I've posted extensive statistical analysis on this in the past, and if anyone's really dying to know then I could plug their initial assumptions in and see what comes out.



    And, it depends on the party. Ignoring range, stealth, ambush, reach, initiative, and all that really messy stuff....

    Cats one damage a hit, and your average 1st level party might have 36 hp total (Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, Fighter, average Con 14). AC scores might be... oh, 17-ish except for the Wizard probably, but whatever; remember that Full-plate is way out of budget at this level. I think it's reasonable to assume that your basic level 1 party can still kill a cat a turn each.

    Since cats attack at +4/+4/+1, that means they hit on 13/13/16, so 35%/35%/20%. Expected value is 0.9 damage per cat per turn.

    If you dumped 40 cats on top of the party, you'd have decent odds of taking them out in the first round. If you dumped 30 cats on them, they'd do about 27 damage, four would die, and the next turn they'd finish off the PCs. If you dumped 20 cats on them it'd take three turns but the cats would still win. With 15 cats, the PCs win... if the cats spread their attacks out perfectly and with direct proportion to hp so no hero dies until the end.

    So, 15-20 cats, depending on tactics and initial assumptions.
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    1 if the kitty rolls well.
    I've heard that story before:
    Guy thought this was just going to be a speed bump encounter. Wizard cast enlarge person on Fighter. Fighter walks up + rolls and misses. The kitty kept rolling 20's and dropped the Fighter first round (full attack). At this point the rogue tries to run and kitty takes him down with a claw charge (crit again). Wizard cast expenditious retreat and moves. Cleric tried to stabilize rogue. Kitty drops him next round. Wizard shoots magic missile (2 damage) and moves away. Kitty chases him: eventually he gives up and kitty killed him.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    It's minmax. He's just ridiculous like that.
    for those without the reference, minmax is a human fighter with 22 str at level 1, he also can't read and has various other ACF for all kinds of ridiculous feats (he was taught to handle a bastard sword by his father at age 3 for example)

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    herrhauptmann's Avatar

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    for those without the reference, minmax is a human fighter with 22 str at level 1, he also can't read and has various other ACF for all kinds of ridiculous feats (he was taught to handle a bastard sword by his father at age 3 for example)
    He's also got a movement of 60 at first level.
    His idea of roleplaying consists of shouting to the heavens "DAMN YOU GOBLINS!" At the idea of the drow party members getting killed (all Drizzt clones)
    Knows more than a dozen ways to kill a man with just his thumb, but can't even start a campfire or dress himself.
    Has only recently bought a pair of pants.

    Don't cats provoke an AOO when they attack, due to their lack of reach? Last game I ran, I forgot to include that for the party sorc's hawk familiar, consequently it saved their lives fighting zombies.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    I really don't see how its possible. A quintessential fighter-rogue-cleric-wizard party should be able to use positioning and things as simple as burning hands to handle many cats.

    A housecat can kill a commoner 1-on-1 pretty easily by sneaking up on him when he doesn't have a weapon drawn, but PCs?

    Now, make those cats into a SWARM, and then let them wipe out that level 1 party.

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    Last edited by Irreverent Fool; 2010-03-07 at 10:35 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    faceroll's Avatar

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    Don't cats provoke an AOO when they attack, due to their lack of reach?
    Correct. Spike chain + combat reflexes is an awesome combo at any level, but level 1 especially. One chain fighter in the party with that build isn't particularly out there.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    Correct. Spike chain + combat reflexes is an awesome combo at any level, but level 1 especially. One chain fighter in the party with that build isn't particularly out there.
    Incorrect. A cat provokes an AoO when it enters the enemy square, which it must do in order to attack because it has 0' of reach.

    The fighter with a chain is unlikely to see the cat sneaking up on him, or even entering his space until he gets attacked.

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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    Don't cats provoke an AOO when they attack, due to their lack of reach? Last game I ran, I forgot to include that for the party sorc's hawk familiar, consequently it saved their lives fighting zombies.
    Oh yeah that's right. So now the fighter is dropping a cat every round and you need to double my last number to 56. 16 cats is now a bit less plausible even if the other 3 party members are weaker than the fighter.
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    would you wager it would take to take down a level 1 party?


    thinking it would be wonderfully ironic as a campaign to have a druid controlling housecats murdering peasants (they're an incursion into nature!) and have the party eventually be swarmed by them.
    One.
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Irreverent Fool View Post
    Incorrect. A cat provokes an AoO when it enters the enemy square, which it must do in order to attack because it has 0' of reach.
    Right. It has 0 reach, so it provokes. Sorry I left out the middle stuff. But the provocation of AoOs are a product of its 0' of reach.

    The fighter with a chain is unlikely to see the cat sneaking up on him, or even entering his space until he gets attacked.
    Wow, that +16 to hide is crazy. No one in the party is going to spot it. The rogue or barbarian might hear it coming.

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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    What about if the cats are using guerrilla tactics on the party? AKA, coming in one at a time, in suicide sneak attack runs, so one will pop in from sneaking, slash someone before getting squished (sneak attack round, flat footed opponents, PLUS due to their initiative, getting another shot the beginning of the next round before exploding)


    more or less wearing them down by constant, non-stop ambushes.
    Monk sucks, but you know, it's not actually worth negative LA.

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    What about if the cats are using guerrilla tactics on the party? AKA, coming in one at a time, in suicide sneak attack runs, so one will pop in from sneaking, slash someone before getting squished (sneak attack round, flat footed opponents, PLUS due to their initiative, getting another shot the beginning of the next round before exploding)


    more or less wearing them down by constant, non-stop ambushes.
    Or a unified, 4+ cats per person, sneak attack on the foolish party members.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    What about applying the magebred template to them, or does that go against the spirit of the idea of taking down a party with housecats?
    Last edited by The Shadowmind; 2010-03-07 at 10:57 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Or I bet you could fit 4 in each square so they could gang rush the PCs and thus provoke only 1 AoO per 4. Now I think we're back down to 35 cats, or maybe less depending on party makeup.
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    If it's an ambush, I'm pretty sure you could do it with less than 10 cats, unless the PCs are exceptionally lucky.

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    I think the best odds are if someone dumps a sack full of cats on the heroes, or otherwise start the encounter with cats EVERYWHERE. This removes the whole stealth advantage cats have, but also deals with the AoO situation. And, as my previous numbers showed, even if every party member can kill a cat a round (by no means guaranteed), 15-20 cats is enough to do it.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    I think the best odds are if someone dumps a sack full of cats on the heroes, or otherwise start the encounter with cats EVERYWHERE. This removes the whole stealth advantage cats have, but also deals with the AoO situation. And, as my previous numbers showed, even if every party member can kill a cat a round (by no means guaranteed), 15-20 cats is enough to do it.
    DM: You walk into a dark house, make a spot check
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    DM: You can make out some fur by the window
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    DM: You have awakened the cats!

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    Default Re: how many housecats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Malificus View Post
    DM: You walk into a dark house, make a spot check
    Players: *succeed*
    DM: You can make out some fur by the window
    Players: *get light*
    DM: You have awakened the cats!
    Oh God, it's like the Witch, but...furrier!
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