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TheIronPriest
June 29th, 2006, 02:54
alright, Im new to the whole world of DMing, so i'll ask you to excuse me for being a little bit ignorant.

I started being a DM about a week ago. The electricity went out, and i found my old players manual and the starter pack's DM guide thing, that little dinky grey book with some monster stats in it, and whipped up a quick session. It was good

so monday, two of my friends come over, one who had been over when the power went out, and they elect me to be the DM, as i am the most experienced player. I take on the role, start playing do fairly well, but i adopted an old house rule of the DM i usually play with. If you roll three 1's when making stats, you get a 45.
well...it just so turns out that the Half-orc of this team got the triple 1's, and slapped it into his strength.
I thought stupidly, "well, that cant make him TOO much better"
stupid, stupid, stupid me.
i was hosting the campaign so characters started at level 10, and well....he was just too good.
The other team member chose to be an elven ranger werebear, and his strength can get up there to 34-35, but they both have ACs of like, 19-20. neither of them will wear armor, and i cant find a balanced opponent for them. By themselves at level twelve (their current level) they can take mature adult dragons with litte problems, in a one on one battle. the Ranger in the group is the one i am particulrly troubled with, because he has himself a keen axe, which with the improved critical feat he has knocked his critical down to 15.
this is where my trouble begins.
He fights with dual axes. the first is the magic one, and it has dragon bane, and he goes out of his way to hunt red dragons. the second is a plain old axe. Now, if I understand the rules correctly, with ambidexterity, two-weapon fighting, and improved two weapon fighting, a level12 ranger with the above mentioned feats would attack as the following
+10,+10,+7/+5,+5+0/+0,+0,-5.
then of course, add the +5/+14(werebear) strength modifier, and the weapon focus, and the numbers go further still. Then a monster provoked an attack of opportunity, which with combat reflexes and in werebear form, allows our ranger friend to strike the foe 18 times with his highest attack bonus.
(at any point if my math or my understanding of the rules are wrong, make sure you correct me damnit)
Add that to the fact he rolls fairly good, and manages to critical just about everything he touches, i cant pit him agaisnt anything in his CR range, because he mauls the piss out of for knowing the rules. But i cant pit him against anything too powerful, because his HP doesnt stack up against the bigger baddies.
same with the goddamn orc.

so what should i do?

Sigurd
June 29th, 2006, 03:46
45!?!

I would frankly talk to your players and say that their characters may be powerful but they will very rapidly become unfun if they have not already.


My advice, especially since you have just started is to

1) use the broader reach of fantasy grounds and find a DM and play some more
2) be reasonable and confess to your players that not only are some of your arbitrary rules really power mad they are completely outside of the rules and unbalanced. Don't try to keep a DM knows best veneer on this - go back to the rules and use them - then modify slowly.
3) If players insist on playing in this situation have them recognise that this is not much fun for other people including you. Tell the player that will not relinquish the offending character that You will have to think about the right adventure for his party and that you will need some down time to roll monsters and NPC's using the same rules. You will need to create the adventure from scratch or heavily modify an existing module so He\She will be elected to run an adventure in the mean time.

devinnight
June 29th, 2006, 03:55
Here are my thoughts and you can ignore them as you wish.

1st off, if you are new to DMing, then throw those characters away and start at level 1, that way you can learn the rules as you play.

Also the 45 strength is absurd, why not have said a 20 strength which is still damn good as a base strength.

If they don't want to wear armor then use something that will tear them apart, why try to break everything in the game so that the two broken characters can do things their way.

Making the game for different people means many things.. but it seems like this is just a horrible use of the game. I wouldn't cater to them I would send a creature that was immune to melee attacks and have them wiped out. If he hunts dragons doesn't mean he has to find a dragon, maybe he stumbles into a nice lich.

Like I said ignore this if you want, but it seems like it is just a mess.

-D

Oberoten
June 29th, 2006, 08:23
so monday, two of my friends come over, one who had been over when the power went out, and they elect me to be the DM, as i am the most experienced player. I take on the role, start playing do fairly well, but i adopted an old house rule of the DM i usually play with. If you roll three 1's when making stats, you get a 45.
well...it just so turns out that the Half-orc of this team got the triple 1's, and slapped it into his strength.


Simplest possible fix. ;) Any rule that affects the players also affect everyone else as well. Pit the half-Orc against something creaed the same way he is.

A lev 8 thief with the same kind of strength would REALLY put a crimp on his day... or what say you about a giant? It'd be swatting dragons with a tree-stump.

If there is the occurence of these incredibly high character-traits perhaps there is a reason? Weave it into the plot, someone comes to challenge the "Strongest half-orc in the world" for some reason or other... mere fame? Or to STEAL his strength adding to his own, if the challenger knows something he does not this could turn NASTY really quickly.

tdwyer11b
June 29th, 2006, 09:16
Have him see a group of goblin to get him to charge into em only to find out they are an elite guard of goblin rangers who kill orcs for a living, that'll mess him up :D

richvalle
June 29th, 2006, 12:08
To be honest, I'd start over.

I am also new to DM'ing. I'm running The Worlds Largest Dungeon (think 'really big module'). When I talked to my players about creating characters I said: point buy 28 points, 3 core books only, core starting races only.

This keeps it nice and simple for me. I'm also avoiding adding house rules as playing 'rules as written' as much as I can (there are alwasys a few things we have to change :) ).

It sound like you let the characters get to powerfull to fast. Start at level 10 as a new DM? Thats just asking for trouble.

I didn't look over your math too much so I don't know if the rangers attacks are good or not. But I don't think he could swing 18 times for an AoO even if he does have combat reflexes. He only can swing once per triggering event but if another trigger happens he can swing at that one as well. A character without CR can only swing once a round. Also... 18? Is that his DEX? He should be able swing as many times as his dex BONUS, not base stat score.

Per Dragons: I've not run one yet but doesnt the dragon have DR? He needs a magic weapon to hit it or get -10 damage per swing. Also, why is the dragon even on the ground where he can be hit? Dragon should be flying around swinging by for breathweapons attacks or fly by attacks. And he has spells. Mirror Image, Stoneskin, Fireball, ect, ect.

Now... with all the above the main question is: are you and your players mostly having fun and want to keep playing these characters? If yes, then you just need to find what their 'true' cr is. Why only one dragon? There could be 2 and some kids. Or the Red Dragons get the idea that someone is hunting them and take steps. Send 4 dragons at them. Or the dragons hire assasins or giants to guard their lairs ect, ect.

Hope that helps some. Have fun!!

rv

kalmarjan
June 29th, 2006, 13:14
My friend. Welcome to all that is fun about DMing.

Sounds like you are not having too much fun with the situation that you are in. Sounds like your friend is having fun.

My suggestion? Start over, fresh, and learn from your experience.

Keep the character alive for a session where noone shows up but you and your buddy, so he can have some fun kicking arse once in a while.

Just 2 CP.

Sandeman

richvalle
June 29th, 2006, 14:29
Two more thoughts:

Don't forget about grappling. A mature red dragon has +44 to grapple. Once grappled the character can only attack with a natural weapon or a light weapon.

The red dragons call for a Wrym or Great Wrym. This could be hard for you to run as the dragon will have a lot of things going on. The hard part will be not killing your players outright. There should be NO chance of your players winning the fight (600+ hps, ac 40+, breath weapon 20d10!). Put the fear of Dragons into them.

Good luck!

rv

John_Geeshu
June 29th, 2006, 15:45
Honestly?

This sounds like a really bad joke. I'm going to treat this as if it is serious, but I can't shake the feeling that some fella is reading these replies and laughing his head off.

To start with I'm going to assume you are not only inexperienced as a DM but you are also inexperienced as a player and fairly young too. This can be a lethal combination. You got yourself into this mess, the good news is you can get yourself out.

Your players sound like power gamers. Nothing wrong with that as long as you want to run a power game also. If you don't want to run a power game then you have a problem.

What rules version are you using? Can we assume 3 or 3.5?

Your biggest problem is that you don't understand the rules very well. You should stick to the guidelines in the PH and DMG, they're there to avoid situations just like the one you find yourself in. Any DM worth his salt would never make a House Rule that gives a player an attribute of 45 if he rolls a triple-1 unless he had a mechanic to balance it out. The problem you face with this kind of arbitrary rule, aside from the absurdly high BAB that outpaces the PC's other attributes, is that it unbalances the entire party. If you pit suitable foes for the character with 45 STR against the party, the other PCs are going to get wasted. You've created a serious imbalance that is going to make things difficult for you regardless of what you do.

You can pit a Great Wyrm against the PCs, you can pit two-dozen Great Wyrms, and it won't solve the issue. The only solution available to you is to talk to both players, explain that you made a mistake on the House Rule and that their characters are over-powered and breaking the game and ask them to voluntarily power down their characters to a more reasonable level. Go to the PH and DMG, look at comparable characters of 12th level and rebuild em. The point buy system is always a wise choice because it avoids huge disparities between character abilities. The DMG will tell you how much wealth a 12th level character should have, check their weapons and equipment against the listed wealth and if they are overly wealthy adjust it down. Once you have those characters balanced again they can set out to hunt and slay dragons once more, they'll just have to be wiser in their approach.

No character at 12th level can have 18 attacks, as pointed out you get 1 AOO per round, and Combat Reflexes gives you extra AOO equal to your Dex bonus.

If your players won't voluntarily do this then you need to find new players.

TheIronPriest
June 29th, 2006, 23:34
thus far, everything said i am in full agreement with and am currently working on the only thing i have to stop and point out is the AoO

if you have combat reflexes, with it you get the total six attacks, and you use double weapons, you use both weapons in one attack, meaning you are technically hitting twice. add the imrpoved two weapon fighting, and you get a third attack at a larger penalty. so thats three strikes in one attack. so if you have a AoO with +5 from your dex, you get six attacks, and each attack=three strikes, so its 18 strikes

or so that is what im getting from what i've read.

other that that, im probably going to start a new campaign soon, as soon as i can make my players get the idea.

richvalle
June 29th, 2006, 23:54
Per d20srd:
"An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and you can only make one per round. You don’t have to make an attack of opportunity if you don’t want to.

An experienced character gets additional regular melee attacks (by using the full attack action), but at a lower attack bonus. You make your attack of opportunity, however, at your normal attack bonus—even if you’ve already attacked in the round. "

You only get ONE attack. Not all of your attacks. The only time you get all your attacks is when you do a 'full attack' as your action that round.

Its like if you move and attack... you only get to swing once.

rv

richvalle
June 30th, 2006, 00:06
Also: I tried to argue (as the dm) that one of the players could take 2 swings as an AoO becuase of Two-Weapon-Fighting. The players argued me out of it. I couldn't find anything in the rules to back me up on it.

You know, my game next Thursday is going to be very combat heavy. If you want you could join in and lurk. Let you see how other people do things.

Let me know...

rv

kalmarjan
June 30th, 2006, 03:17
PHB 137:

...Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: if you have the Combat Reflexes Feat (page 92), you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack per given opportunity, but if the opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you - such as moving out of a threatened square and then casting a spell in a threatened square - you could make two seperate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round does not count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

So, by the core rules, RV is right, unless your opponent does two different actions that cause the AoO. (And your player has the Combat Reflexes Feat)

There are other feats which allow more AoO, but these are in supplemental rule books which allow for uber builds.

At the core here is something that is always debatable: Characters with uber builds frustrating DMs to no end.

What it comes down to is this: Is everyone having fun at this session? (That includes you, MR. DM!) If not, you need to examine why. Take a look at the other players. Are they happy about this uber character stealing the show constantly? Chances are, no. Perhaps you can all talk together as a group.

OTOH, killing off the character is not the way to go. (The player can get a little bitter by this.) Also, hindering them is not the way to go either. (More bitter players.)

Usually in this case it is best to just say to heck with it, put the "campaign" on pause, and start over with some other cool idea. Leave the character be, and every once and a while dust off that character sheet and play a session with him when you both feel like being ludicrous.

Can you imagine that this character is only around the mid level range? I shudder to think what it would be like in the higher level ranges. If you play it out every once in a while, you could find out.

Better yet, have your other buddies have free reign with creating some badass characters. When you are having an off night, (Like a TPK) then you could yank out those sheets and kick some major arse!

Kinda goes with the same lines as an all evil campaign. Fun to do sometimes, but not all the time.

Better still, make your player feel like nothing is lost by dropping hints to the party about this freakishly strong warrior they have heard about in a distant land that is nothing short of a God.

Sandeman

John_Geeshu
June 30th, 2006, 15:49
thus far, everything said i am in full agreement with and am currently working on the only thing i have to stop and point out is the AoO

if you have combat reflexes, with it you get the total six attacks, and you use double weapons, you use both weapons in one attack, meaning you are technically hitting twice. add the Improved two weapon fighting, and you get a third attack at a larger penalty. so thats three strikes in one attack. so if you have a AoO with +5 from your dex, you get six attacks, and each attack=three strikes, so its 18 strikes

or so that is what im getting from what i've read.

other that that, im probably going to start a new campaign soon, as soon as i can make my players get the idea.

Two weapon fighting gives you one (1) extra attack per round. The Improved version of this feat gives you a second, and the Greater version of this feat gives you a third. Those are standard attacks for a Full attack action, not AOO. So this character has a Dex of 20 or 21, Combat reflexes (+5 AOO), +1 standard AOO = 6 AOO max. Not to mention he can only make one AOO against each opponent each round, so unless he's fighting six dragons who are all running past him that many AOO are useless to him.

If your PC is wielding a double-weapon in each hand he doesn't get two attacks with each, just one a piece and his off-hand penalties would be higher.

Mighty Rabbitslayer
June 30th, 2006, 16:22
Ok another issue you mentioned was they are critting against their enemy's a lot. You do realize that to get a crit you need to actually roll that number on the die? If the weapon crits on 19-20 X2 the die needs to say 19 or 20 not the full result of the attack.


Another thing that could help is undead. Immune to physical attack and permenant ability score draining. However I don't suggest to just arbitrarily through them at your party. A better solution would be to get the players to agree to a 20 attribute instead.

Here is a die roll solution that we have used for a while choose one of the following methods:

1. Roll two white and 1 red die. On the two white die reroll ones and twos. on the red die 1-3 = 5 & 4-6 = 6. This effectively puts the range of ability scores rolled from 11-18.

2. Roll 4 dice. Reroll ones. Pick highest 3.

I personally like the first method because it has a better chance of guarenteeing that the PCs will be playable and fun.

kalmarjan
June 30th, 2006, 16:40
Two weapon fighting gives you one (1) extra attack per round. The Improved version of this feat gives you a second, and the Greater version of this feat gives you a third. Those are standard attacks for a Full attack action, not AOO. So this character has a Dex of 20 or 21, Combat reflexes (+5 AOO), +1 standard AOO = 6 AOO max. Not to mention he can only make one AOO against each opponent each round, so unless he's fighting six dragons who are all running past him that many AOO are useless to him.

If your PC is wielding a double-weapon in each hand he doesn't get two attacks with each, just one a piece and his off-hand penalties would be higher.

Hmmm...

It looks like a confusion is happening here with the BAB attacks progression, perhaps that is why you all are seeing that there is so many attack here. At 10th level, a fighter should only have a base attacks of +10/+5, one extra for two weapon fighting, one extra for improved two weapon, and one extra for Greater improved two weapon fighting. (Which he would not have at 10th level anyway.) So even with greater two weapon fighting, the guy will only attack at +8/+3/+0/-5 as a base. Weapon focus will increase this to +9/+4/+1/-4, Str will increase this to +21/+16/+13/+8.

Damage for the two axes will be as follows:

d6+13(+15 with favored enemy, + whatever the magical bonus is, has to be at least +1), and an extra 2d6 damage to a dragon. So, about an average of 16 damage per hit, 18 with favored enemy, and 22 with a dragon. Not looking so hot now, is he? On a crit it becomes more troublesome, but fighting a dragon, he could average about 66 damage.

So look at most creatures in that range of EL. (Should be around 6-11ish). A red dragon's AC will be 24 before any enhancements. It also has an 8d10 Fire Breath, and can cast spells at 3rd level. To further make it fun, the dragon can sunder.... With a Str of 29 before enhancements, could be about even.

Oh, yes, do not forget that the character is using a light weapon, which would afford a -4 penalty to that as well. Goodbye special dragon axe.

Also, the critical threat range would only be 19-20 with the feats and the keen function, because these effects do not stack. This would reduce the chances of an effective critical, because the dragon's AC is pretty high. (And this ranger would have to roll a natural 19 in order to get it.)

Yes, the ranger seems to be an uber powerful build, but some things you are ruling on are no longer existing. Take ambidexterity. Out with the 3.0 rules.

and a note: You could get more than one attack of opportunity from the dragon in a round, if it did something different to provoke the attack each time.

Sandeman

kalmarjan
June 30th, 2006, 18:57
Now, lets look at how combat would go here with this "uber" build.

This ranger does not have reach, so he needs to be adjacent to the foe to do any damage.

Assuming we are not talking power attack, and he has the bane weapon vs dragons, and dragons are his favored enemy:

His attack array will be this:

+21/+16/+13/+8

At the CR level matching the party, the dragon (juvenile) would have an AC of 29, so chances are he will hit 2.5 times on average. (This is spanning over rounds, so I am assuming an average of a 10 roll.)

Without a critical here, we are looking at 44 average damage.

With a crit on one, it will raise up to 66 damage, a crit on both will raise it up to 88 damage on average. (Highly unlikely, as the player would have to roll a natural 19-20 on both rolls.)

The juvenile dragon OTOH, would not be wading into combat first. Chances are it will soften up the ranger with a breath weapon attack first. The breath weapon is 8d10 damage. (Or an average of 44 damage, 34 if the ranger has resist elements cast on him, and a DC save of 22. So no damage if he saves) A ranger will have an average of 60 HP, or 100 plus Con. (So lets say 100 HP for sake of argument.)

If he does not save, he is down to 56 HP, if he saves, he is still okay.

Now we are looking at the creature attacking. He has a bite, 2 claws, wing attack and a tail slap.Plus it has 2 extra feats to consider. Multi attack and Hover would be ones to throw at the party, effectively nerfing the ability of the ranger to attack. (Albeit only at -2 to attack.)

Attack range for the dragon:

+24/+22/+22/+22

Damage:
Bite: 2d6+9, 2 claws: 1d8+4, Wing Attack: 1d6+4, Tail Slap: 1d8+13

You said their AC was 19-20, so each is pretty much guarenteed a hit, unless the dragon rolls a 1. Plus, the bite has reach, so the dragon does not really need to come withing range of the ranger. He could wait so that the ranger would have to come to him, and get one of those fantastic AoO. (Wouldn't that just take the wind out of his sails..)

Average damage for the dragon.... 47 damage with all attacks. With criticals, well.... you get the picture. :)

If this character is hunting for dragons, well he is going to be in for a rude awakening. Granted, this is just if the dragon was facing off with the ranger alone. For sure the party would have an edge to the encounter, but all in all, having the high Str does give a little bit of an advantage, but only for a one trick pony like this. The whole picture is what is important.

So, there you have it.

Toadwart
June 30th, 2006, 22:37
45? You gotta be kidding me.
If you are new to DMing then I'd recommend that you stick with the basics. Don't use any 'house rules' at all. Just run with the rules in the PHB/DMG.

TheIronPriest
July 1st, 2006, 21:08
as far as criticals go the kid has some god awful amazing luck. he has imrpoved critical and his axe has keen, so the threat range is 15-20, and he almost always gets in that range. i dont know why but luck favors him in every goddamn encounter.

well, ive talked them into a brand new campaign, and to keep them from slitting my throat, i told them we'll play this one when they want to **** around.
the house rule is being modified so that 1,1,1=20
now that ive got some down time and have re-read the two wpn combat feats, i understand what im doing wrong with that and if that particular player is going to go down that path again, ill be ready with the numbers to quickly correct the flawed attempt.
all in all first DMing experience has been an excellent opportunity to learn new things and how NOT to do things, especially when i can consult a whole bunch of other DMs.

now, that entire experimental campaign (which is what ill be labeling it from here on out) was played using only the three core rulebooks, two of them 3.5 and the PHB only 3.0 (i need to buy the PHB 3.5 soon, like yesterday preferably -.-) ive since then come into possession of books with a hell of alot more prestige classes, and in the new campaign, my players will obviously want to spread out from just being a ranger or barbarian or fighter. they were looking at some stuff, and they brought up a question that while i was a player i didnt really think about, and now that im DMing i cant remember for the life of me

im going to use an example real quick:
a monk at lvl 15 has an attack bonus of 11/6/1
they want to go into warshaper because they are a natural lycanthrope
now, thats easy, no big deal

but then (this is the question they asked and i remember distinctly answering them once before when we were all playing and someone else DMing, but now i cant remember and its frustrating the hell out of me) they asked me if the base attack bonus and saves of the warshaper stacked with our current ones, or if they were there in case your original was lower.
now, im fairly certain that you add the bonus to your attack bonus, because one of the prereqs of a warshaper is a BaB of 4, and the BaB granted by the fifth and final Warshaper level is only 3. but ill be entirely honest, they've got my brains confused to hell because of that.

kalmarjan
July 1st, 2006, 22:24
as far as criticals go the kid has some god awful amazing luck. he has imrpoved critical and his axe has keen, so the threat range is 15-20, and he almost always gets in that range. i dont know why but luck favors him in every goddamn encounter.

See, this is what I am talking about. The improved critical and the Keen ability of the axe do not stack!. Check pg 95 of the PHB and you will see that the effects of the feat do not stack with the effects of the keen edge spell. EDIT - Just realized you are playing 3.0...


but then (this is the question they asked and i remember distinctly answering them once before when we were all playing and someone else DMing, but now i cant remember and its frustrating the hell out of me) they asked me if the base attack bonus and saves of the warshaper stacked with our current ones, or if they were there in case your original was lower.
now, im fairly certain that you add the bonus to your attack bonus, because one of the prereqs of a warshaper is a BaB of 4, and the BaB granted by the fifth and final Warshaper level is only 3. but ill be entirely honest, they've got my brains confused to hell because of that.

I think I know what you are asking here.

Check out the multi classing section in the PHB pg 59-61.

Basically you are adding the BAB and the Saves together for each. Not really stacking, but adding together.

Hope that helps you out. And believe me, you will learn a lot more. I still learn something every session I play. (And I am going on 20 years of playing this addict... er I mean... game:) )

And please, buy the 3.5 edition, or at least go here:

http://www.d20srd.org/

It wont give you creation info, but it will update you at least until you get the current edition.

I see now that you are playing 3.0. Now for all reading this: This example, while a little bit extreme, shows you why the ranger was redone in 3.5. The improved critical was overhauled as well. As for a Str of 45 for a 10th level character, it is not really that hard to get if you try hard enough...

Sandeman

kalmarjan
July 1st, 2006, 22:26
If you multiclass BAB do not stack, you only use the higher.

Not true.

Pg 59, Phb:


Add the base attack bonuses aquired for each class to get the character's base attack bonus.

Sandeman

richvalle
July 1st, 2006, 23:59
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#improvedCritical

kalmarjan
July 2nd, 2006, 01:02
If you think this is bad, under the 3.0 rules, a 10th level barbarian with that 45 str and the improved critical using the greataxe would have dealt up to 4d12+88 damage. (4d12+104 while greater raging!)

Throw in Greater Weapon Specialization, ad you are looking at a sick (4d12+130 with a crit). Now that for a 10th level character would make me throw my dice at the player. (OTOH, it would be my fault for letting him have the 45 Str. :) )

Puts it into perspective why you would not have someone with 45 Str.

Sandeman

TheIronPriest
July 3rd, 2006, 21:32
got3.5 edition PHB to go along with everything else i have thats 3.5.
now a question of curiosity, how does gestalt multiclassing work? im a player in a campaign where we are gestalt characters. I dont have the books on it, and i know my DM will explain it to me when we go to create characters tomorrow, but I figure if i can find out sooner than why not.

my first question about gestlat, is the BAB and saves. do you just add them together like multiclassing says?
ex:
lvl 3 fighter- BAB- 3 Fort-3 ref-1 will-1
lvl 3 ninja- BAB-2 Fort-1 ref-1 will-1
class lvl 6, character lvl 3 (if playing gestalt)
total stats- BAB-5 Fort-4 ref-2 will-2?
or do i just take the best stats from each and go with that making it:
total stats BAB-5 Fort-3 ref-1 will-1?
Im pretty sure based on what the PHB said that its the former of the two.

richvalle
July 4th, 2006, 00:28
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/gestaltCharacters.htm

krager26
July 12th, 2006, 03:42
Honestly?

This sounds like a really bad joke. I'm going to treat this as if it is serious, but I can't shake the feeling that some fella is reading these replies and laughing his head off.

To start with I'm going to assume you are not only inexperienced as a DM but you are also inexperienced as a player and fairly young too. This can be a lethal combination. You got yourself into this mess, the good news is you can get yourself out.

Your players sound like power gamers. Nothing wrong with that as long as you want to run a power game also. If you don't want to run a power game then you have a problem.

What rules version are you using? Can we assume 3 or 3.5?

Your biggest problem is that you don't understand the rules very well. You should stick to the guidelines in the PH and DMG, they're there to avoid situations just like the one you find yourself in. Any DM worth his salt would never make a House Rule that gives a player an attribute of 45 if he rolls a triple-1 unless he had a mechanic to balance it out. The problem you face with this kind of arbitrary rule, aside from the absurdly high BAB that outpaces the PC's other attributes, is that it unbalances the entire party. If you pit suitable foes for the character with 45 STR against the party, the other PCs are going to get wasted. You've created a serious imbalance that is going to make things difficult for you regardless of what you do.

You can pit a Great Wyrm against the PCs, you can pit two-dozen Great Wyrms, and it won't solve the issue. The only solution available to you is to talk to both players, explain that you made a mistake on the House Rule and that their characters are over-powered and breaking the game and ask them to voluntarily power down their characters to a more reasonable level. Go to the PH and DMG, look at comparable characters of 12th level and rebuild em. The point buy system is always a wise choice because it avoids huge disparities between character abilities. The DMG will tell you how much wealth a 12th level character should have, check their weapons and equipment against the listed wealth and if they are overly wealthy adjust it down. Once you have those characters balanced again they can set out to hunt and slay dragons once more, they'll just have to be wiser in their approach.

No character at 12th level can have 18 attacks, as pointed out you get 1 AOO per round, and Combat Reflexes gives you extra AOO equal to your Dex bonus.

If your players won't voluntarily do this then you need to find new players.



I would like to add a few thoughts to this. First off you can only take one attack of opportunity against any one opponent in any given round even if the opponent provokes several attacks from the same PC in that same round. It is irrelevant how many attacks the PC normally gets in a full attack action. This attack is taken at his highest attack roll and is modified by any modifiers applied to the attackers roll on that round for instance if that person had used a power attack that round the attack of opportunity would also reflect the decrease in attack and increase in damage. It also sounds like you are running an out of control game that will end up with every one bored because what’s victory to some one who doesn’t know defeat?

Starts over read the DM guide again and keep it more reasonable. And try not to use silly house rules unless you really considered how it would affect your game. I like the point buy in system for rolling up stats it helps keep the players more competitive and prevents one PC from dominating the game just because he had one lucky streak with the dice. Good luck I am also new to FG but not new to this game.

kalmarjan
July 12th, 2006, 04:53
I would like to add a few thoughts to this. First off you can only take one attack of opportunity against any one opponent in any given round even if the opponent provokes several attacks from the same PC in that same round. It is irrelevant how many attacks the PC normally gets in a full attack action. This attack is taken at his highest attack roll and is modified by any modifiers applied to the attackers roll on that round for instance if that person had used a power attack that round the attack of opportunity would also reflect the decrease in attack and increase in damage. It also sounds like you are running an out of control game that will end up with every one bored because what’s victory to some one who doesn’t know defeat?

Starts over read the DM guide again and keep it more reasonable. And try not to use silly house rules unless you really considered how it would affect your game. I like the point buy in system for rolling up stats it helps keep the players more competitive and prevents one PC from dominating the game just because he had one lucky streak with the dice. Good luck I am also new to FG but not new to this game.

The first statement: You are so close to being right. :) You may take more than 1 attack of opportunity against a foe if they do a completely different action than the first that caused the original attack of opportunity. For example, if you have 10 ft reach, and a spell caster moves out of one of your threatening spaces, you get an AoO. If that spell caster then tried to cast a spell while in a space you threatened, then if you had combat reflexes, you could take that AoO also. See page PHB 137:


...Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: if you have the Combat Reflexes Feat (page 92), you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack per given opportunity, but if the opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you - such as moving out of a threatened square and then casting a spell in a threatened square - you could make two seperate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round does not count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

Also, the AoO uses your full modifier for the full attack action, but if you have used an action in that round (such as FoB) that causes you to have a penalty to your attack roll, that applies.

You can also make special attacks such as trips, disarms etc... in that AoO, but then depending on feats that you have, you can start AoO chains.

Two excellent articles on AoO are here:

http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20041026a
http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20041102a

For your second statement, couldn't agree more. OTOH, making mistakes like this are what is fun about the game. You really get to see the impact on balance of play when you play or twist the rules.

Anyway, have fun gaming.

Sandeman

krager26
July 13th, 2006, 02:35
While you are 100% correct in 3.5 rules I would like to point one other thing out : In the orginal posting the DM stated that his ranger had an ambidextrous feat this feat was removed in 3.5 because the creators felt it was not necessary so I assumed that the DM was playing with the 3.0 Rules where this feat was still included. Now I will admit it has been awhile since I have DM'ed a 3.0 session I belived i was correct because the 3.0 rule regarding AoO was a little unclear about that so i may have made the incorrect assumption about that. If i am mistaken I humbly beg your pardon. So correct me if I was wrong. but after all the DM is NEVER wrong even when he wont admit it. HA HA Maybe we can have a DM summit so we can hammer all these issues out. good luck and let the games begin.



The first statement: You are so close to being right. :) You may take more than 1 attack of opportunity against a foe if they do a completely different action than the first that caused the original attack of opportunity. For example, if you have 10 ft reach, and a spell caster moves out of one of your threatening spaces, you get an AoO. If that spell caster then tried to cast a spell while in a space you threatened, then if you had combat reflexes, you could take that AoO also. See page PHB 137:



Also, the AoO uses your full modifier for the full attack action, but if you have used an action in that round (such as FoB) that causes you to have a penalty to your attack roll, that applies.

You can also make special attacks such as trips, disarms etc... in that AoO, but then depending on feats that you have, you can start AoO chains.


Sandeman

kalmarjan
July 13th, 2006, 04:15
LOL

I am far from being able to play part in a DM summit, I am definately not that advanced. OTOH, as things come up, I learn about them, and in 3.0 and 3.5 the issue of AoO come up a lot. :)

As for Ambidexterity, the Devs at WOTC dropped it because it broke the ranger class. If you had a Ranger with this feat, you would end up with two attacks using two weapons without any penalties. By the time you got to the upper levels, you were kicking butt! (Causing DM's to cry all over the world.)

Sandeman

Craw
July 13th, 2006, 21:33
As for a Str of 45 for a 10th level character, it is not really that hard to get if you try hard enough...

Sandeman

OK, I'll bite. How do you get a 10th level character to 45. I'm assuming a start of 20 with adding the 4th and 8th bonuses. So now there are only 23 points of strength to make up. I am only coming up with another 6 or so off the top of my head. I don't doubt you, I'm just hoping to expand my knowledge here.

Snikle
July 14th, 2006, 05:46
And they say 3.0/3.5 is not for power gamers......silly people. A 45 STR? You have got to be kidding, we playing D&D or Marvel Super Heros?

kalmarjan
July 14th, 2006, 06:45
OK, I'll bite. How do you get a 10th level character to 45. I'm assuming a start of 20 with adding the 4th and 8th bonuses. So now there are only 23 points of strength to make up. I am only coming up with another 6 or so off the top of my head. I don't doubt you, I'm just hoping to expand my knowledge here.

I'm not so sure about what books would be allowed, but here goes:

Since you are munchkining, lets make it interesting:
(Human)
1. Barbarian 1 - Destructive Rage, Power Attack
2. Fighter 1 - Cleave
3. Ranger 1 - Extra Rage
4. Ranger 2 - Two Weapon Combat
5. Ranger 3 - Endurance
6. Horizon Walker 1 - Intimidating Rage (Tirelessness)
7. Frenzied Berserker 1
8. Frenzied Berserker 2
9. Frenzied Berserker 3 - Iron Will
10. Holy Liberator 1

Add in a Manual of Gainful Excersize +2, A belt of Giant Strength +6, and you are looking at some hefty things here.

If you are just using the SRD, I made an Orc Character that gets 37 STR while raging, with the Manual of Gainful Excersize +2, and the Belt of Giant Strength +6. Here is his stat block.


Orc (PC); Orc (pc) Bbn10: CR 10; ECL 10; Size M; HD 10d12+10; hp 140; Init +0; Spd 40 ft (base 30 ft); AC 8, touch 8, FF 8; BAB +10/+5; Grapple +22; Atk: +24/+19 melee (1d3 + 14, Unarmed); SA -; SQ Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity; AL CG; SV Fort +13, Ref +3, Will +5; Str 39, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 8.
Languages spoken: Common, Orc
Skills and Feats: Appraise -1, Balance +0, Bluff -1, Climb +14, Concentration +4, Craft (Armorsmith) -1, Craft (Bowmaking) -1, Craft (Gemcutting) -1, Craft (Locksmithing) -1, Craft (Trapmaking) -1, Craft (Weaponsmith) -1, Craft (Other) -1, Diplomacy -1, Disguise -1, Escape Artist +0, Forgery -1, Gather Information -1, Heal -1, Hide +0, Intimidate -1, Survival -1, Jump +14, Listen -1, Move Silently +0, Perform -1, Control Shape -1, Perform (Act) -1, Ride +0, Perform (Comedy) -1, Search -1, Sense Motive -1, Spot -1, Swim +14, Use Rope +0, Perform (Dance) -1, Perform (Keyboard) -1, Perform (Oratory) -1, Perform (Percussion) -1, Perform (String) -1, Perform (Wind) -1, Perform (Sing) -1; Alertness, Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Cleave, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency.
Special Abilities: Damage Reduction, Darkvision, Fast Movement, Illiteracy, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Rage, Trap Sense, Uncanny Dodge.
Possessions: , Belt of giant strength +6, Manual of gainful exercise +2.

Note, I could have gone further, but I really did not feel like looking it up. :)

A really good book to get if you are interested in character optimization is Goodman's Powergamer's Series. (I think they have one for warriors.)

Sandeman

{EDIT} Just to explain a little further here. Lets say you took the greataxe with the orc barbarian build. Now you are looking at 2 handed damge, with a power attack potential of +10. So in my first attack, while I only get +14 to hit, I am doing 1d12+31 damage. If I critical, look out! Now I would be doing 3d12+93 Damage. Not a bad deal. :)

To get even more sick, change it up for an Ogre Character. +10 to Str. WIth the enhancements, you are looking at 43 Str for the character, albeit you would only be level 8. To top it off, if you crited on the greataxe, dow you would be doing 9d6+102 damage with the power attack. You know what? You may be saying that this is impossible... All it would take you is to roll 100 on the reincarnate table. LOL{/edit}

dLANbandit
July 14th, 2006, 14:13
Manual of gainful exercise +2 on a character that sufferes from Illiteracy?

I think as a responsible DM I wouldn't allow that.

kalmarjan
July 14th, 2006, 15:44
LOL

Note, there are no skill points spent. I built the character really fast. I am sure though, by spending 2 skill points sometime early on in the barbarian's career, it would overcome your obstacle there.

If not, then the Str score drops by 2. No big deal.

Sandeman

Craw
July 14th, 2006, 16:55
(Human)
1. Barbarian 1 - Destructive Rage, Power Attack
2. Fighter 1 - Cleave
3. Ranger 1 - Extra Rage
4. Ranger 2 - Two Weapon Combat
5. Ranger 3 - Endurance
6. Horizon Walker 1 - Intimidating Rage (Tirelessness)
7. Frenzied Berserker 1
8. Frenzied Berserker 2
9. Frenzied Berserker 3 - Iron Will
10. Holy Liberator 1

Add in a Manual of Gainful Excersize +2, A belt of Giant Strength +6, and you are looking at some hefty things here.



OK, at 10th level, this character would have a base strength of 21 from the original 18, the 4th and 8th level bonuses and the Manual (+1 manual is all a 10th level character could afford if he also gets the belt). He would be running around with a constant 27 from the Belt of Giant Strength. During a rage and frenzy it would bump to 37.

This is not nearly as powergamer as it looks, as this character is almost assuredly going to die in any serious fight. Using standard builds, all the other stats are going to be weak. Since the entire character wealth available to a normal 10th level character is used on these two items, AC is going to be pedestrian at best. Saves are going to be awful. The rage/frenzy combo on a character with poor ac and hp (no stats or magic boosting bought) means he will probably have attacked his own party from failed will saves and croak at the end of the frenzy anyway.

My faith in the (generally) balanced rules of 3.5e is reinforced and I learned that Frenzy and Rage stack. A good thread.

Stuart
July 14th, 2006, 17:30
And they say 3.0/3.5 is not for power gamers

"They" are wrong ... and somewhere along the way a lot of roleplayers were lost. :(

Craw
July 14th, 2006, 18:12
"They" are wrong ... and somewhere along the way a lot of roleplayers were lost. :(


No. Somewhere along the way a lot of grognards were attracted. Let's face it, roleplayers can roleplay in any system. D&D 3.5e is just a very versatile system. It lends itself equally to the min/maxing powergamer (and I assume that is what you mean as real munchkins can break any system with the acquiescence of the DM) as it does the pure roleplayer.

I am an unabashed powergamer. I love learning the rules and using the great variety of options to my benefit. But I doubt that our resident powergame bemoaner, Snikle, would deny that I roleplay my *** off. Grappling and bull-rushing are rule intensive combat options. But they make for great visuals of a dwarf trying to shove a shambling mound into a wall to see if it is electrified.

kalmarjan
July 14th, 2006, 19:19
Please, no Role-playing vs Powergaming. <Gets sick>

If anyone wants to talk about how "powergaming" is not roleplaying, consider this:

I could build a character that has flavor, and min/max him as well. I could also build a character that is all flavor and no substance, only to have the DM kill him off in the first couple of levels.

The way that I approach things is to have a balance. If the players in my campaign are all playing bloated HP Tanks, then I adjust things accordingly. This forces me to really examine the rules to compensate. Optimization is available for monsters as well.

If you think that this style of play is not your bag, then that is fine. OTOH, how are your players? It is your job as the DM to ensure that there is fun on all sides, including yours.

When I was a younger player. (Gods I shudder to say that), I was all about "role-playing" and restricting this and that in the name of "good role playing". Does any of you know why?

It was because I was conditioned to that paradigm when I was just learning to play. One of the reasons that I cannot stand Gary Gygax (please.... no flames mommy:) ) is that the guy bemoans the whole min/max system, and rules, but then puts out an encyclopedia for a source book.

Finally, think of your powergame this way: Like the comic books, your players are supposed to be a cut above the rest. They are heroes. They should be more than mundane. If you cannot challenge them as a DM, then re-examine what you are doing. (In other words, if you cannot beat them, join them.)

Beleive it or not, I cheer when my players foil the death attack of the assassin because the assassin rolled a natural 1. When the chain fighter pulls off a crit that nearly rips the guys head off, I am thinking that the scene is just about the coolest that I have ever seen. I can tell you that I am not worried about good roleplaying, because I introduce that element into the play. Suddenly I am not so worried about my carefully laid plans, but about what happens next?

What does the assassin do? The players are going to question him for sure.... This is the fun part of DMing for me...


Player: Who sent you after us?
Assassin: Gol-Guy, Pupil of the Jade Mask.
Player: Who is this Gol-Guy?
Assassin: Gol-Guy, Pupil of the Jade Mask.
Player: I said who the hell is he?
Assassin: Gol-Guy, Pupil of the Jade Mask.

Sure, the players beat the hell out of him. Am I upset about the plans? Hell no. Now it is time for me to throw out other hooks for the sucker... I mean players to grab.

The point of this, have fun, don't worry about the whole powergaming aspect, be creative and incorparate role-playing into the situation.

Don't restrict, compensate. Everybody wins then. :)

Sandeman

Snikle
July 15th, 2006, 02:28
I am an unabashed powergamer. I love learning the rules and using the great variety of options to my benefit. But I doubt that our resident powergame bemoaner, Snikle, would deny that I roleplay my *** off. Grappling and bull-rushing are rule intensive combat options. But they make for great visuals of a dwarf trying to shove a shambling mound into a wall to see if it is electrified.

I agree, but I would rather have a player describe to me what he wanted to do , than to break out some encyclopedia on rules. I would love to run a rules lite system....but for some reason players are afraid of it. Frankly I think a rules lite system (which some of my players may say my game IS) opens up a million more possibilities than D&D 3.5 (plus it's 500 additional rule books) would ever allow. A good DM should be able to take a player who says "I want to shoot an arrow off the knights shield, and angle it just right so it cut the hangman's noose around my friend's neck" and figure out a reasonable answer appropriate to the situation and story, rather than have to open a few books and do 15 minutes worth of calculations.

Axeminister
August 16th, 2006, 08:34
I'd say run them into one of those mirrors where they have to fight themselves, and killem.

EyeBall
August 24th, 2006, 23:46
"They" are wrong ... and somewhere along the way a lot of roleplayers were lost. :(

I agree... and that is why I no longer play or have anything to do with D&D. I would play a 2nd Ed AD&D game if one was available, but I suppose I will stick with my WHFRP. HP and such are no longer and issue, nor is some crazy off the wall min/maxed character.

EYE

thedar
September 24th, 2006, 17:59
To let you know that Keen abilities do not stack. He can only have one. Read it in the DMG or you can goto WWW.D20srd.org and read on keen. Critical hits still need to hit their ac on the confirm, no matter if it is a critical hit.

If you give your guy a 45 str. Put them up someone with 45 dex. Then he cant hit them.

Lastly, layout your battle more strategically. Put people out of their reach so he cant use his str to damage. Also, your ranger cant dual weild axes.

Keep this for a bit, just to learn the rules. You will see that your players will acctually want to start over soon.