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Old 06-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #71
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

The Wizards spell list appears to be kind of scattered.
But he has a couple of Area options that can be used on swarms or hordes like rabid rats.
Use ranged energy attacks like lightning and sunbolt on the party. the Wizard can deflect them and the SB is reduced to dodging.
The Flame Jet idea above might be a good one too.
But mostly that player needs to figure out and be honest about what he wants out of the game and work with you for ideas to get more out of it.
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:39 PM   #72
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Right, he is only turning one attack into a rapid strike. The other tends to be a Feint or deceptive attack depending on the situation.

What I WAS doing was allowing the rules from MA for Rapid Strike allow more than two strikes.
And I think that taken altogether that means he can only attack twice a turn
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:20 PM   #73
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

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The cleric is actually coming long. He is a Celestial and the 75 points sunk into the racial template stunted him a bit starting out, but I think that now he is getting to a good place. He can use his morningstar, buff, heal, throw Sunbolt, and has some energy reserve to keep from being tired all the time.
Explain Bless to this guy; I notice it doesn't have a star, and it really should, because it's a much better option a lot of the time than his other buffs, and most-definitely a better use for his FP than throwing Sunbolts outside of a few specialized situations.

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I've talked with the Wizard player about some power ups, such as an irresistible attack (like a Missile of Magic!), but he just doesn't seem interested. I really feel that while he says that he like his character, but doesn't like playing a mage in combat.
+1 to ErnhamDJ on battlefield control. But, if he's just not happy playing a Wizard at all:

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I've asked him if he wanted to retire the character and start playing with a new one, but so far he has said no. I think that he feel obligated to "fill the role" for the party.
Simple solution: Just tell him, "This guy with a funny name on the internet told me he's running a game with no Wizards even allowed and it kicks ass. Also, I'm the GM and I shape the challenges to be tough but not unfairly hose the party, so if you retire the Wizard and make up a Thief or something you won't be the reason they fail at everything now, you'll be the reason they don't get toasted by the Dungeon of Crazy Traps that may or may not be upcoming."

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Why would you let a character with so many advantages now upgrade to Ridiculous Luck? You don't have to do that you know. Just because it is in the book doesn't mean the player is entitled to it. If you don't set limits on characters then generally players will take anything they can whether it unbalances the game or not. Is there some type of justification for him upgrading his luck? Did he get a wish from a genie? Was he blessed by a god? If not, then you probably don't want to add more unbalanced power to an already overpowered character.
Meh, I'd allow it. Luck is a universal Swashbuckler class template thing at its base level, and most of the work-arounds we've suggested against his strengths already assume that one of his strengths is making all of his die-rolls. The SB in my game has Ridiculous Luck (right out of the gate, along with all the other Leprechauns in the world), and I can still mess with him easily.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:19 PM   #74
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

I allow the the multiple Rapid Strikes and I don't see it causing a lot of problems. Knights use it just as much as the Swashbuckler.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:57 PM   #75
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

I had intended to look at the cleric's spells and give my thoughts on those. Bless is by far their most powerful spell. It's probably in the top five in the book. It warps the game in ways nothing else does. I've seen players, and been one of the players to do this, go extremely far out of their way to keep two- and three-point Bless spells active all the time. That spell alone is worth hundreds of character points. It's just about the biggest force multiplier you can get. The power of the Bless spell can't possibly be overstated. It's like giving the bomb to Alexander the Great.
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:18 AM   #76
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

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That spell alone is worth hundreds of character points.
Something of an exaggeration; I'd rate a 1 point bless at around 70 points (+1 to all rolls, with a Magic source, plus a one-use Serendipity that ends your bonuses), and 2-3 point blesses have significant cost to cast. It's still a grossly overpowered spell, but probably less than 200 points of of overpowered.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:22 AM   #77
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

This may be a moot point now, but...

The ultimate object of an RPG is to have fun. When you talk about your player who has to work sometimes and can't always make it, what I hear is that you've got a player who is probably okay at meeting his social obligations when he can (i.e. he's not just flaking) but has to deal with Grownup Life - so when he does make it in, he gets punished by having a less effective character to play with.

That's probably fair to the other players - their PCs earned those points! - but it's no fun for him.

If he does manage to stay in the game, consider bumping his knight up to current point totals and then giving him the same point awards that you're giving the others henceforth.

As for the rest of the party, go ahead and give them challenges they don't have the abilities or resources to beat - and when they can't beat them, they can't get the loot or quest rewards associated with them, either. It's not unfair as long as they have good advance warning or an escape route for when they realize they're woefully unequipped for a particular challenge. After a few sessions half-filled with encounters they can't win just by stabbing it with a saber 58 times, they should start to realize the value of diversity. Bonus points (for you) if one of them actually complains out loud about not having the magical weapon they need to beat X and you take the opportunity to say "well, you guys used to have magical weapons... whatever happened to those?"
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #78
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

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Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Well, I take that back. They have made some improvements. The wizard doesn't particularly like being a wizard (but keeps making them for some reason...).

Here is his full list. Spells with ** are ones that get a lot of use. * have been used a few times, but I not favorites.

<snip list>
No wonder your wizard is getting toasted; those are awful spell selections. GURPS wizardry is about buffing, hexing and battlefield control, not artillery.

Daze, Agonise, Blur, Haste, Stun, Create Fire/Shape Fire, Darkness/Darkvision, Illusions, Invisibility, etc. The mage's lousy HP and DR don't matter much when he's levitating and invisible, and the enemy's good HP and DR don't help when they're rolling on the ground screaming for mercy. Magic alters the fabric of reality; use it to make the opponent's reality suck. Getting away from direct damage and using the spell list creatively provides a vast range of ways to avoid fighting fair.

In the list you've got, Create Fire/Shape Fire is a good cost-effective way of shaping the battlefield, providing cover, creating distractions, triggering ambushes, etc. It essentially allows you to create an arbitrarily large intangible and near-unkillable monster that deals a low but steady stream of non-defendable damage.

Destroy Air makes for a decent assassination/subdual spell in certain situations. Seek Earth is the classical treasure-finder ("Seek Gold"). Smoke makes an okay Darkness substitute and gas weapon (combine it with buffs to breathe and see through smoke, then fill every dungeon room with the stuff...). Most of the rest of that list I wouldn't use much apart from the utility spells (Analyze Magic, Continual Light, etc.).
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:22 AM   #79
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Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
This may be a moot point now, but...

The ultimate object of an RPG is to have fun. When you talk about your player who has to work sometimes and can't always make it, what I hear is that you've got a player who is probably okay at meeting his social obligations when he can (i.e. he's not just flaking) but has to deal with Grownup Life - so when he does make it in, he gets punished by having a less effective character to play with.

That's probably fair to the other players - their PCs earned those points! - but it's no fun for him.
This. A million times this. When it's a debate of fairness vs fun, fun always wins. (Of course it's important to consider everyone's fun and not just, say, the DM's and hose the players arbitrarily. But that's not the case here I'd say.)
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