Strip 078 - "He does not represent the behaviour of all GMs, by the way"

30th Sep 2014, 12:00 AM in Forest of Doom
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Raxon 30th Sep 2014, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
If he did represent the behavior of all GMs, it would be closer to "F*** YOU, F*** YOU, F*** ALL OF YOU! YOU'RE ALL DEAD AND PERMABANNED!"

At least, that's my experience with GMs/mods in online games. They tend to not care at all who's right or wrong. If it would be easier to just ban everyone than to mediate, they will just ban.
o11c 30th Sep 2014, 3:51 AM edit delete reply

In the MMORPG I help develop/administer, the GMs are nice about investigating and a bunch of stuff that takes more patience than I would have if *I* were in charge of user relations (it's generally agreed among my peers that I should stay in my cave writing code. But we did have one particular user who everyone was reticent to ban because she used to have a high position, and I just said "f*** it, I'm banning her").
Raxon 30th Sep 2014, 4:38 AM edit delete reply
Huh. One of the previous games, a guy was harrassing people by throwing these novelty beans at them. No damage, but it annoyed everyone, and he would just laugh. Then one person ate one of his beans. That guy straight up killed her, in a game where permadeath is entirely possible, if you don't gather favors from the gods. This is a long, difficult process.

The mods were called. The mod ruled that it was her own fault, because she destroyed something that belonged to him, and that constituted assault, thus his attack was justified.

In fact, the most vile thing I ever did in that game was drag a dead body to a place inaccessible to them, and this was some jackass who wouldn't quit pickpocketing newbs in the guild, which is generally understood to be a safe place.

When I say he lost everything, I really mean it. All that rare, limited event stuff, gone. He was fairly high level, too, much higher than me. Glad that nice paladin smote him for us.

Rangers: Do not eff with them.
DragonTrainer 30th Sep 2014, 10:59 PM edit delete reply
Wait, if that guy was throwing his beans, doesn't that mean they no longer belonged to him? It's like picking up an item that someone else dropped. ^_^
Raxon 1st Oct 2014, 1:40 AM edit delete reply
Yep. I was there to witness it. Since he was doing no damage, he wasn't technically assaulting them. It was a fluff item. It gave a little message saying that the person was startled or stunned, but there were no mechanics behind it other than a fancy shocked reaction bit.

And no, mechanics were in place that prevented anyone from grabbing the bean and running off with it. just like there are mechanics in place to prevent you from stealing a dude's nice custom painted arrows out of monster corpses.

It was explained that by eating the beans, they were subverting those safeties. The mods usually had their heads up their own arses when it came to personal conflicts in game, but damned if I've seen a game since with such an enjoyable spell selection for rangers.

One of my favorite combos was Harawep's Bonds, followed up by Swarm and Branch Break.

This basically means I summoned swarms of spiders to web up my enemies and bite them all over, causing minimal poison DOT. Then I summoned a large swarm of hornets and bees to sting the target over and over, harming them and giving even more poison DOT, and finally, I dropped a freaking tree on them. I could take down enemies that significantly outclassed me with that combo.

Yes, this was only a mid level character. It was badass.

One of the first spells a ranger gets is Compost, which allowed the ranger to disintegrate all organic material and convert it into mana for spellcasting, vastly increasing the ability of rangers to cast spells for a short time. That has since been removed, sadly. The mana increase, that is. Not the spell itself.

Game is called Dragonrealms. Still alive and well. Check it out if you like MUDs.
insert_username_here 30th Sep 2014, 11:46 PM edit delete reply

I just realized that this is as ridiculous as "bullet theft."
Raxon 1st Oct 2014, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
Bullet... theft.

Heh. You know what? Thank you. I must now build a character entirely around this premise. Halfling martial artist with arrow snatching feats plus a ring of arrow snatching, and tons of points in perception and dexterity, and maneuvers to catch and throw ranged weapons right back. Yesssss.

Can we build it?
Malroth 30th Sep 2014, 6:57 AM edit delete reply

My GM: Meh you two are lv 14 and the rest are lv 12 you guys should be able to handle a CR25 encounter

Me: You realise we still have lv 2 gear right?

GM: You'll figure it out.

Sad part is he was right.
DtDoom 30th Sep 2014, 4:25 PM edit delete reply

A CR25 encounter, if run properly, is an appropriate challenge for a lvl 25 party. Basically, your DM did it wrong, or you'd have been sliced, diced, maimed, devoured, regurgitated, minced, devoured again, and shat out as some kind of green slimy ooze thing.

TLDR, you should have died.
Malroth 30th Sep 2014, 6:37 PM edit delete reply

Yes yes we should have
Raxon 30th Sep 2014, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
I dunno, I singlehandedly killed a pit fiend as a level six wizard. There are ways.

No, I will not shut up about that. It was friggin awesome. And pretty simple. An enhanced maximized explosive rune on a staff of power. I toss the staff to the pit fiend and tell him he'll need it. He catches it, triggers the rune, and the staff breaks and instantly kills him.

DtDoom 4th Oct 2014, 5:22 PM edit delete reply

A staff of power isn't level 2 gear.
Ilmaros 1st Oct 2014, 12:42 PM edit delete reply

Raxon's right in this one. There are ways. Plenty of ways. And that's only BEFORE getting into the really absurd stuff, like the poultrymancer, the kobold shenannigans and such. A CR25 encounter wouldn't be enough to hinder a well organized group of 3 level 15 characters, though it suposseddly should mean instadeath to everyone (bonus points if they're all spellcasters, even more if they're all the same class). That's the reason why a good GM will tailor the encounters specifically for his group after giving quite a lot of thinking to the way he wants the battle to go instead of just throwing in a monster whose CR 'should be balanced' (and as a general rule, pitting a single enemy against multiple PC's is a bad plan unless he's using some really gamebreaking mechanics such as having multiple rounds per turn, wich will usually mean either a 'cheating' GM or a homebrew monster). But still, i'd like to know how was someone unwise enough to let a lvl 6 character get a hold on a staff of power. Because, let's face it: those things are indeed broken when they break, and that's really easy to pull off (and for the record, i do think breaking the staff with the runes was brilliant, just the kind of trick i love to use, so i'm not refering to Raxon's story; i'm talking about the rules).
Raxon 1st Oct 2014, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
As was pointed out to me elsewhere, though, a standard explosive rune is not enough to break a staff of power. You need to at least double its power. Thus, maximized and enhanced.
Ilmaros 1st Oct 2014, 7:30 PM edit delete reply

That's true, indeed, since the staff of power has an enhancement bonus, but that isn't as hard to bypass as it would seem, since after all you can cast explosive runes in succesion to create a more powerful effect (though i admit that would be hard to do in such a limited space, wich is the reason why i investigated an enlarge object spell), or leave contingent spells to detonate after the explosive runes sets off, or use some other spell to previously weaken the staff enough for the explosive runes to be able to break it. Personally, i'd go for the second option, since all you need is some money and a caster level of 11 (wich ironically can be achieved at level 7 with the right build, though i'm not telling how) and it's always fun to see a bunch of elemental-flavored explosions blowing in the face of your target right before a small-scale nuke is unleashed over him (though if the challenge is to do it at level 6, i'd obviously go for the third choice). Craft contingent spell must be one of the most abuse-prone and worst tought feats ever. On the other hand, of course, if my target were larger than me, i'd chose the first option after enlarging the staff. With a bit of luck, the GM could rule that the explosion gets bigger that way, wich would be lovely to behold... from a safe distance, of course.
Raxon 1st Oct 2014, 7:53 PM edit delete reply
Meh. A little metamagic does the same, with less risk of the blast getting out of hand. The thing is that the staff doesn't just explode. Oh no. It has a 50/50 chance of banishing the holder to another plane. If it doesn't, it just goes boom and kills them instead.

This is an emergency plan.
Ilmaros 2nd Oct 2014, 8:46 AM edit delete reply

I'm afraid you got that wrong. The staff ALWAYS explodes, and just like the staff of the magi, said explosion is quite potent. The 50/50 chance of banishing the holder applies right before the explosion, thus giving him a chance to survive and making the emergency plan not so extreme as it would be without a way to dodge the nuke. And the problem with the metamagic is that, at the very least it would take a lvl 5 spell with a metamagic rod to pull off your combination, or a lvl 8 spell without said item, thus making it impossible to cast by normal means for a 6th level character. And sure, it is an emergency plan because it implies losing a staff of power, wich is always a bad thing even if you're able to create them, but not because of the potential risk of your target getting out of it alive, since most of the time they won't have an immediate way to return to the place where you're at at the next turn. Granted, that doesn't aplies to a pit fiend, but you could use it to get rid of a red wyrm or an epic warlord without many problems, for as i've stated before, a problem delayed is a problem denied if said problem has to take enough time to come back to kill you for you to be powerful enough to handle it.

On a side note... i wonder how would the tarrasque's 'cannot be properly killed' interact with the staff of power 'gets utterly destroyed'... any ideas?
Inbetweenaction 2nd Oct 2014, 1:51 PM edit delete reply

A terrask can get utterly destroyed. it just dosn't die, and it's regen kicks in. could possibly be another way of pulling of a terrask kill at lv 13 or less
Inbetweenaction 2nd Oct 2014, 2:23 PM edit delete reply

Only problem is, to actually get a terrask to break the staff, and to finnish it of with a wish. not the most cost effective way, i guess, and it only gives you a 50/50 shot at killing the terrask. and then another 50/50 on your wish spell. not to good, but better than some
Ilmaros 2nd Oct 2014, 9:50 PM edit delete reply

That would be the easy way out, but the actual wording for the tarrasque's regeneration says that it cannot be killed as it regenerates even after being disintegrated or slain by a death effect, and also that the method to truly kill it has yet to be discovered. This means, for starters, that such a method should hypothetically exist, and furthermore, that the usage of a wish/miracle that was needed to make it stop from regenerating until 3.5 does not necessarily aply in pathfinder. There would be a discussion here regarding the actual effect of a wish/spell, since if you use it to kill the monster it could be considered either a death effect or a valid method to do it since you're not using the spell to reproduce a lower level one but rather wording it to speciffically 'erase' the thing from existence itself. But said method aside, the point regarding the staff rules is wether if 'destroyed' is the same as 'slain'. As i see it, destroying something goes beyond just slaying it, since after death it still generally leaves a corpse or a soul or both. When you deal with undead monsters you never 'kill' or 'slay' them, but you 'destroy' them instead, and when such thing is really acheived the undead generally has no means to ever return, specially in the case of incorporeal ones (for their essence has been destroyed and they had no material remains from where you could recompose it to begin with). So pretty much, the question remains: what happens if an unbreakable shield gets hit by a missile that destroys it all? If i had to venture a theory, i'd say that a tarrasque 'destroyed' with a retributive strikeshould in fact be actually killed but with means of ressurection, but i think this should be contrasted with more theories and see what makes more sense.
Ilmaros 2nd Oct 2014, 9:59 PM edit delete reply

Oh, and one more thing: making the tarrasque suffer the retributive strike is actually very easy to do. You see, the rules on the staff of power clearly state that if the character breaks the staff willingly it does not require a check, wich means that if the staff gets broken unwillingly the retributrive strike is also unleashed. So, since the staff only needs to be held by the monster, and considering that an object is considered to be hold by its container, if you manage the monster to eat the staff and then break it inside it's belly (wich is quite easy with a few contingencies), our dear tarrasque would be affected by the full power of the retributive strike. And if our GM were to complain about that, then we only have to use a master enchanter to bypass it's immunity and control it for a turn (regardless of wether it's save is succesful or not) and make it take the staff and break it for us.
Allan Mills 18th Nov 2014, 7:04 PM edit delete reply

Simplest method I've thought of for weakening or neutralizing a Tarrasque is to put a mirror of opposition where it can see it. The mirror Tarrasque has the same level of difficulty to kill so they can just beat on each other ad infinitum.
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