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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Hello Giant in the Playground,
    I have been a long time lurker and need your collective wisdom in overcoming this challenge. The scenerio is a PvP death match with me (a 5th lvl sorcerer) versus a 9th lvl barbarian. The following conditions apply:
    32 pt buy
    WBL
    all books
    no pun pun, plane shift cheese, or infinite loops
    I can be a sorcerer with any Prc but no other "base classes"
    One round of buufing but any "all day long" buffs would apply (for example mage armor at 5 hours would apply, but shield would not)

    I want to win this encounter by a long shot and I am decent at optimization but any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks GitPG.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Boost your save DCs as high as possible and attack his will save. Something as simple has a Tasha's Hideous Laughter will take him out if he has no way to stop it. Have Fly prepared and be ready to use it. Mirror Image is another good choice, as is Minor Image to make walls and such that the play will have to interact with (waste actions on) to disbelieve.
    Last edited by Human Paragon 3; 2010-06-06 at 06:56 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Sorcerer 5, you say?

    4 first level spells, 2 2nd level spells.

    I say you pump Cha, pick up Spell Focus: Conjuration and Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration, hit him with Web, then Glitterdust, then Ray of Enfeeblement.

    While he's flailing around unable to move and blind, kill him with Magic Missiles.
    Last edited by Prodan; 2010-06-06 at 06:59 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Well, you want to stop him charging, so Grease, Web, etc would be nice.

    But you also need enough damage spells to do enough damage to take care of someone with 9th level WBL and a crapton of hit points. I suggest trying to get some way of suffocating/drowning the bugger.

    And thank the lord for Cha being a dumpstat for Barbarians and for UMD for being cross-class. Altough if he does pump Cha and UMD, tell him he isn't actually playing a barbarian, and that a monk or fighter could do the same job. and that a rogue could do it better.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    But you also need enough damage spells to do enough damage to take care of someone with 9th level WBL and a crapton of hit points. I suggest trying to get some way of suffocating/drowning the bugger.
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    Last edited by Prodan; 2010-06-06 at 07:10 PM.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Dragonspawn Loredrake Dragonwrought Kobold, throw a debuff or two, then Shivering Touch him to death with your familiar.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    For race, may I suggest being a Dragonwrought Loredrake Spell-hoarding Kobold sorcerer? This will allow you to cast as a wizard instead of a sorcerer and at +2 effective wizard levels. Take alternate class features like Stalwart Sorcerer and Battle Sorcerer, because their penalties mean jack diddly to you. Laugh as you boost saves with Int at either +5 or +7 (I forget how much of a bonus the Spell-hoarding psychosis gives) and dump Cha like a madman. Proceed to do the unknown and profit.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodan View Post
    While he's flailing around unable to move and blind, kill him with Magic Missiles.
    At 5th level the Sorcerer is really going to have to work to win. He can definitely force a draw and humiliate the Barbarian a bit, but with four extra levels on the Sorcerer and no save-or-dies, merely save-or-sucks, the Sorcerer might be unable to push the kill.

    Some part of me worries that the Sorcerer won't actually have enough Magic Missiles to kill him. He'll have six 1st level spells to cast and four 2nd level spells, seven and five if he has any sort of Charisma score whatsoever... which as a Sorcerer, I'll assume.

    Hmmm. I'ma do the math. Seven magic missile spells at his level is 3 missiles per casting, or 21 missiles. The average missile deals 3.5 damage (1d4+1), for 73.5 damage.

    A 9th level barbarian, with a somewhat-low-for-his-class Constitution of 14, gets 14 HP at 1st level then 8 levels of 8.5 health average for a total of 82 HP.

    Well, crap. Magic Missile won't do the job here. Glitterdust won't even last him seven rounds - at 5th level it'll last five, and somehow I doubt he can easily pump his caster level at this point in time.

    Web won't guarantee the win either. You can set yourself on fire to break fire of the webs - which at 9th level, he can actually afford to do. You can cast Web five times, and he can set himself on fire five times for 10d4 (25 average) damage. So if he's smart enough to have access to fire, or simply carries a flaming weapon, you can't rely on him being permanently delayed by the webs - maybe two or three rounds per casting, leaving you with only one or two rounds to try and kill him.

    Although if he sets himself on fire every time, he will have dealt enough damage to himself for you to kill him with magic missiles.

    I think you're basically forced into five castings of Web here. You can't afford the slim chance that he might make his Glitterdust save.

    This is actually a fun experiment. Casters aren't completely broke before 3rd level spells.

    EDIT: Of course, you could just cheese up and get 3rd level casting at ECL 5. Hell-ooooooo, Shivering Touch.
    Last edited by balistafreak; 2010-06-06 at 07:20 PM.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Magic Missile isn't what you want; it doesn't do much.

    A light Crossbow lets you stock up on a lot of ammo, however. THAT's what you use if you have him pinned in a Web (or Blinded by a Glitterdust, or...), as you can hit him over & over & over again (until he breaks loose, anyway).

    Depending on the terrain of the arena, you might look at Swift Fly (Spell Compendium, page 96). 1-round of flight, as a Swift action - it doesn't do much, but it does, say, get you to the top of a pillar. Where you can plink at the barbarian on the ground (unless he bought a potion of Fly).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Where does the "loredrake" and "spell hoarding" come from?

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by mattman238 View Post
    Where does the "loredrake" and "spell hoarding" come from?
    LoreDrake is from Dragons of Eberron - requires you to be a True Dragon, which, as a Kobold with the Dragonwrought feat, you technically qualify for (thanks to a passage Races of the Dragon). It reduces your racial hit dice by one size category, and grants you +2 Sorcerer casting levels. As a Kobold, you don't have any racial hit dice. So for the cost of a feat, you get +2 Sorcerer levels. Which means you're casting as a Sorcerer-7 at level 5.

    Spellhoarding turns your Sorcerer casting into Wizard casting (not actually all that useful, here, but does give you access to 4th level spells), but it's from Dragon Magazine, so...

    The Greater Draconic Rite of Passage costs you some HP and some GP, and... ah, you don't qualify - nevermind.

    But 7th level Sorcerer casting has a MUCH better chance of beating a Barbarian-9 than does Sorcerer-5 casting.
    Last edited by Jack_Simth; 2010-06-06 at 07:50 PM.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    I did also suggest Power Word Pain.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Hmm. I'd bet on the Barbarian, really...
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Shilvering Touch is a 2nd level spell... I'd use that since all books qualify.

    I'm going to say do a reverse, and go for ref if possible, or touch. He'll likely have his Will save decently high, as it be 3 (level) + 2 (Rage) and say, 14 wisdom for an addition + 2. Total of +7. (not including any will feats). Assuming you have say a 18 charisma, the DC's of your highest spell is 16.

    Go for touch and no save spells. Ray of enfeeblment may take away 6 points of his strength, but with his rage? That will basically do nothing, so screw the ray of enfeeblment at this point. Go for the ray that takes away dex.


    EDIT: Risky gambit, but Entice Gift may allow you to take his weapon, which can take away alot of his damage potentinal. It requires you to be in melee action, and you'd need an escape plan, like a quicken dimentional door. (You can use that feat that allows you to do one quicken per day?? I think?)


    EDIT 2: Sting Ray makes him do only a standard oir move action per round for five rounds. However will save per round to break.
    Last edited by Dracons; 2010-06-06 at 08:05 PM.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Sorcerer, eh. That hurts- 3rd level spells are the power-break you need to really ensure your victory over 4 levels worth of HP, saves, and especially wealth. Hmm.. if you can acquire +2 CL in some way, you could cast Scorching Ray with 2 rays, which is probably the best damage output you could hope for at the level.

    It's a shame that pretty much all the best spells you might use are Fort saves- Blindness/Deafness, Shadow Spray.. hmm.. maybe Backbiter, if you don't mind choosing a spell that most Sorcerers normally wouldn't bother with. Will save, if it fails, next time he tries to hit you he smacks himself. Would be especially good if he's a well-made charge build.

    Oh, here's an idea- the Cloudy Conjuration feat + Hail of Stone as your attacking spell. Every Web and every attack you drop on him creates a 5-foot radius Fog Cloud around him, breaking his line of sight to you and preventing him from trying to charge. This has the downside of making you burn a feat on Spell Focus (Conjuration) to qualify, but that does at least benefit your Webs.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Hmm. I'd bet on the Barbarian, really...
    If the Barbarian spends his WBL wisely, he may beat the sorcerer. If the sorcerer at least uses Loredrake, then that begins to tip the scales back to his favor. Having 4th level spells from both Loredrake and Spell-Hoarding means joys like Black Tentacles and Solid Fog to further ruin the Barbarian's day.

    For extra cheese fun, try to also go Shadowcraft Mage with the above set-up to spam any Evocation Spell or Conjuration (Summoning, Creation) at over 100% reality of at least spell levels you can cast. With some work, you may also be able to get up to 6th level spells, but you might not have the feats for it open.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Oh, here's an idea- the Cloudy Conjuration feat + Hail of Stone as your attacking spell. Every Web and every attack you drop on him creates a 5-foot radius Fog Cloud around him, breaking his line of sight to you and preventing him from trying to charge. This has the downside of making you burn a feat on Spell Focus (Conjuration) to qualify, but that does at least benefit your Webs.
    Actually, Cloudy Conjuration causes no-save nausea for fun and profit, so it's Fog Cloud+.
    Last edited by Thrice Dead Cat; 2010-06-06 at 08:04 PM.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Levitate + Fell Draining Sonic Snap.

    Level drain him down to level 1 and then melee him to death. It would be epic.

    If you need more spell slots, make your race Silverbrow Human and take Practical Metamagic so you can blast Fell Draining Sonic Snaps from your 1st level slots.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    And Versatile Spellcaster.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    For extra cheese fun, try to also go Shadowcraft Mage with the above set-up to spam any Evocation Spell or Conjuration (Summoning, Creation) at over 100% reality of at least spell levels you can cast. With some work, you may also be able to get up to 6th level spells, but you might not have the feats for it open.
    I'm pretty sure that needs more than 5 levels.

    I think even as just a straight Sorcerer 5 he has a fair chance, but he needs to be certain he gets to take an action. To that end, I would suggest purchasing a scroll of Mirror Image (or taking it as a spell known, but a 5th level sorcerer doesn't have a lot of spells to spare) and using it as your buff round. Should keep the Sorcerer alive long enough to drop a Cloudy Conjuration/Web and open some space, even if the Barbarian wins initiative.

    Edit response
    Actually, Cloudy Conjuration causes no-save nausea for fun and profit, so it's Fog Cloud+.
    Only Sickened, unfortunately, which is a lot weaker; Nauseated does action denial, Sickened just penalizes a bunch of rolls. It's mostly good as a debuff that comes along with any summoned creatures you bring into the fight; since it only lasts one turn and ends when the target moves out of the cloud, our Sorcerer here can't even make use of the saving-throw penalty. Unless one of you guys knows a really cheesy way to Quicken spells that he can use.
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2010-06-06 at 08:14 PM.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    I say Power Word Fatigue and Pain for 1st.
    Wings of Cover is a good 2nd lv, but only blocks 1 attack. But only 1st attack has good chance to hit. Not even that if we exhaust him.

    Since Fatigue stacks and no save. 2 casting of PW: F= Exhausted.

    Then he can't do much for a few rounds while taking damage each round.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    I'm pretty sure that needs more than 5 levels.

    I think even as just a straight Sorcerer 5 he has a fair chance, but he needs to be certain he gets to take an action. To that end, I would suggest purchasing a scroll of Mirror Image (or taking it as a spell known, but a 5th level sorcerer doesn't have a lot of spells to spare) and using it as your buff round. Should keep the Sorcerer alive long enough to drop a Cloudy Conjuration/Web and open some space, even if the Barbarian wins initiative.
    Take the Improved Init. feat, pump dex, use a wand of Nerveskitter?

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    5th level sorcerer is tough, since without massive cheese, you won't have access to 3rd level spells. Make sure you cast Alter Self into something with flight, since he (likely) won't have a source of flight, he'll have to recourse to archery, which means a lot less damage to you. Protection From Arrows may be enough to stop that if he didn't bring along a magic bow/arrow. A wizard would unfortunately do significantly better here unless you're willing to pull Kobold Loredrake cheese, but oh well.

    You'll want some scrolls or wands. A scroll of Solid Fog can do wonders. Take Lesser Orb of Acid, Versatile Spellcaster, Heighten Spell, and Acidic Splatter. This lets you have infinite orbs of acid each with 15 ft range and dealing 3d6 damage, which will eventually kill him as long as you can disable him. Alternatively, you can take Scorching Ray and Fiery Burst, which allows a save but has longer range. It also lets you shoot into fogs where you can't see.

    Honestly though, with his WBL and your limitations, a 9th level barbarian will likely win if played correctly unless you cheese out. Magic items can counter most of your tactics, and you didn't have many to begin with. However, with the right cheese (Loredrake), it becomes significantly easier to win.

    Oh, and if you start out within charging range for some reason, make sure your familiar is standing in front of you.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Embarass him, utterly. Grab a scroll of Alter Self, and use it to turn into a troglodyte. Use Mage Armor, and Shield. Those alone give you an AC of 24; Toss some dex on that and you're looking at 26-27. He'll have around 9 base, 20 strength (+5), +1 on weapon, and possibly +2 from rage, so he's adding 17 to his attacks. That's a 50% chance of missing you, when he's raging, and not power attacking. Not too shabby.

    Feats : Sudden Maximize, Spell Focus Conjuration, Greater Spell Focus Conjuration.

    Spells known : First level, mage armor, shield, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person. Second level, Web and Summon Swarm.

    Your route in this fight : Embarass him. Have a few riding dogs taught to Guard. They stand between you and him, and block his line of charge. You start the fight with Mage Armor up, and Alter Self'ed into a troglodyte. Your first action : Drop a Web on him. Then cast Summon Swarm, on top of the poor, sticky barbarian. This slows him down, and lets you cast Shield, then Ray of Enfeeblement, sudden maximized. -8 to his strength drops his attack significantly, making it 70% likely he misses you - when he's raged, and not power attacking. Also, if you've done this right, and he already raged, then his time toward fatigue (and all the penalties that come with it) is ticking away. And those spiders are steadily doing nibbling bits of damage to him. After you've cast those two spells, your concentration will be out, so re-cast web if necessary, and Summon Swarm... and just sit there concentrating. Let his anger wear itself out, let the spiders gnaw on him, and be sure to enforce both fortitude saves every round, 'cause 1d3 strength damage and nausea are nothing pleasant.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Web isn't that great, as it first requires you to be fighting in an area that you can anchor the webs to (else the webs don't do anything), and when it works, 5 feet of web provides cover (hurting your chance of hitting him with anything, and letting him hide), and 20 feet of web (i.e. directly targeting him) provides total cover, at which point the barbarian can make strength checks to get of the web at his leisure. Lighting the web on fire simply means he's then free to shoot/charge you on his turn. If he's only at the edge, he can just shoot you, taking the 20% miss chance as a small penalty, or break free pretty easily.

    Protection from arrows is worthless (if the barbarian isn't an idiot, anyway), as he only needs a +1 bow to negate it. If you alter self into something that can fly, you'd better fly far away, and fast. With a +1 Composite Longbow, the barbarian is doing at least 1d8 + 5 damage, against your ~29 or so HP, for an average of about 3 attacks or 2 full attacks, unless you take measures to pump your AC or get a miss chance. Even then, that should no more than double the time he needs to kill you by shooting.

    If the barbarian happens to invest in a flying mount, like a griffon, or a figurine of wondrous power of a griffon, then even flying isn't going to save you (griffons have fly 80 ft, and pretty good saves), and with max ride ranks he can ride it and fight without a saddle.

    The first thing to do would be buy a scroll of greater invisibility, and hope he doesn't get some source of see invisible (for example, a hand of glory is within WBL for him). Then get flying, or a source of really fast movement. Then spam scrolls and hope he doesn't find you. Strictly speaking, at level 5 WBL you can only afford level 1 wands, as a level 2 wand is more than a third your WBL (I think that's a rule, anyway).

    I'd recommend against anything that gives him cover, like solid fog. You need to kill him fast, before your buffs run out, and you can't afford anything that makes him harder to hit, either by boosting his AC or giving him a miss chance. Even if he's not flying and you're pelting him with medium range spells (such as magic missile) it's only -2 to hit for him.

    Quietus, better hope the barb doesn't have a flaming/frost/shocking weapon, as nothing about web stops him from attacking. Even 1d6 damage kills a 9 HP swarm pretty darn fast.

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    I generally concur with Dilb's analysis, except for this bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dilb View Post
    Lighting the web on fire simply means he's then free to shoot/charge you on his turn.
    Doesn't it take a full-round action to burn 5 feet of web? (RAW doesn't make it clear if the web continues to burn by itself. Hmmm. ) With the 20 foot-radius centered on him, he'd have to burn at least two squares, more likely three or four, to get free. You'd lock him down for some time, but not enough to score a kill in.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    You'll need a way to boost initiative, if there's any chance of him being in charge range from the get-go. Grab Nerveskitter as a 1st-level spell.

    Other than that, I agree with Keld. Fell Draining magic missiles and sonic snap. Fit in Versatile Spellcaster too, if you can, since you'll be able to convert your 0th level spells into something worthwhile then too. If you want to speed it up, there's a swift-action, 1/CL spell in one of the online Faerun articles that could be used in conjunction with the ACF to trade your familiar for faster metamagic.

    PW:P works too, it's just considered borderline overpowered, which you really don't need for this experiment. Fell Draining PW:P is ridiculously funny if your DM rules that negatives levels happen repeatedly, which can be combined with the suggestion of Greater Invis scrolls if you're worried Levitate or a scroll of fly won't be enough to keep you away.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Scorching Ray for damage. I believe its 4d6. That's plenty

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by balistafreak View Post
    I generally concur with Dilb's analysis, except for this bit:



    Doesn't it take a full-round action to burn 5 feet of web? (RAW doesn't make it clear if the web continues to burn by itself. Hmmm. ) With the 20 foot-radius centered on him, he'd have to burn at least two squares, more likely three or four, to get free. You'd lock him down for some time, but not enough to score a kill in.
    Maybe, but:
    1) If he fails the save (not a given, but pretty likely), he is entangled and can't move. Nothing about not attacking. It's a DC 20 STR check to be able to move, at which point he is (still) entangled: slow movement, -2 to hit, -4 to DEX, but still attacking anything in reach.
    2) Once 'freed' (but still entangled), it's a DC (10 + feet moved) STR check to move: unless he's amazingly unlucky, he can either get total cover or get outside the web in a couple of rounds.

    And wow, PW:P is ridiculous. Although for this fight, you'd better be careful, as the barbarian could have over 100 HP while raging. Some other spells to soften him up first may be called for.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Quote Originally Posted by Acero View Post
    Scorching Ray for damage. I believe its 4d6. That's plenty
    Scorching Ray averages 14 damage a hit. A barbarian with 16Con pre-rage and average rolls for hit points has 91 hit points; that's an average of 7 casts to drop him. That's not a reliable way of dispatching the barbarian, because god forbid you roll low on damage and end up running out of spells.
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    Default Re: PvP 5th lvl Sorcerer vs 9th lvl Barbarian

    Grease will shut him down during a rage.
    Caltrops will slow him down period, and deal minor damage as well.
    Purchase scrolls of 3rd and higher level spells. You won't be able to get away with infinite loops in that manner, but it will provide you with enough direct damage, and save or lose/die spells.
    When he's almost out of your web, cast a flaming sphere behind him, or better yet, a wall of fire in front(minimum damage of 2d4+2d6+7.). With the wall, you're now forcing him to circle around before he can hit you, which could give you an extra round to cast a spell. You could also make the wall a circle with hot side pointing inwards 10 feet across. Would he take the 2d4 fire damage multiple times? If so, that could be win for you, especially if he's stuck in a grease spell.

    A scroll of suggestion. Technically you win at that point, because you've now got at least 5 hours. You could make a reasonable suggestion for him to drink a cask of ale, that's a -1 or 2 on his save. Poison the ale before combat. Even if he makes his save (he probably will), he's still DRUNK, and unless he's a drunken master, will be easy prey in combat.
    If you know he's going to play a dwarf, grab the 'good aligned poisons' (whatever their name is) in BoED. Since they're not 'poison,' a dwarf won't get his +2 racial bonus.

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