Friday, August 20, 2010

Pathfinder/3.5 Watch out for combos

One thing that I have learned about 3.5 that I didn't see nearly as much in older editions (B/X etc) is the killer combo. yes there were a few of these in 2e but I never had as much trouble keeping them under control.

In the newer additions, 3.5 and to a somewhat lesser degree Pathfinder certain combinations of items, spells and classes can be abusive enough to wreck any sense of verisimilitude in a game and worse, can easily take away fun from the other players.

One example that came to mind recently was Mr. 27 Attacks per round. This is not of course the absolute maximum that can be had but its an example of the kind of thing a novice min maxer like me can think off on the fly

How this nightmarish think works is Take a High level L18+ Warblade (from Book of Nine Swords) with the following magic items

Belt of Battle (from Magic Item Compendium)

Weapon of Speed

Take the Two Weapon Fighting Feat Tree + Snap Kick (from Book of Nine Swords)

4 Primary, 4 Secondary (3 off hand, 1 snap kick) + 1 Weapon

Trigger "Time Stands Still" Make full round attack (9) make another attack (9) trigger belt of battle (another 9) -- now granted this is not especially unbalanced in terms of damage output but unless you are playing Ninja Gaidan or something, it comes on as intensely silly and can detract from the sense of "game reality" you are trying to build. The worse thing of course is it slows the game to a crawl even when the players are very well prepared for it.

Something else to be wary off . If you throw in extra 3rd party stuff like Boots of Kicking (from the excellent Loot for Less series here) or gestalt classes it can get even worse (a possible 300D6 Sneak Attack damage!!)

This should not warn you off 3x, Pathfinder or High level play but it should remind you that the same "cool stuff" players have to mess with can add a large extra layer of complexity to you game that you'll need to be prepared for.

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