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Paralyze is getting on my nerves

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  • OzMills
    started a topic Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    I have a player who uses paralyze a lot, on anything that might harm them significantly which has low constitution.

    So, basically, any mages, ash wraiths, spirits with low constitution, arcane horrors, pretty much anything that's a glass cannon rather than a brute. This means that the damage-dealers, or in-fact ANY interesting mechanic-creators in an encounter 9 times out of 10, are paralyzed and unable to act.

    And the worst thing is that the spell has no duration. It lasts basically forever in an encounter. Even if it has a large mana cost (7 mana), the player just makes sure they have enough to deal with one or two things that might get in the way before they next rest. If the creature has 0 constitution, and the player puts some points into Puissant Casting (as they are wont to do), that creature will NEVER hit the 20 TN that is set, so is just screwed.

    I don't think "Sending more against them over more encounters" is the answer, as the player is just going to use their mana until they can't, then they only have Arcane Bolt. That's not fun. Plus I have to think about all the players' health in these situations.

    It's not fun for me, as a GM, at all. Is there something I'm missing that can help me here? I wanted to reduce the TN by 1 each round, but I'm not sure if that's undermining the player's enjoyment of their abilities.

  • vonpenguin
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by eliastion View Post
    Ok, now look at the thread we're in - it pretty much explains why extra actions don't really solve all the problems. You can rule that lose-action disables just take one of them away (if someone has more) but there are some disables that really should take all your actions. And even some special resistance (making "paralyze" into a powerful slow rather than anything else) there are still some weakening spells, some that do a lot even when resisted. And they stack. If you can put them all on one monster...
    Also, you don't necessarily want a big monster with many actions as he would be able to move anywhere on battlefield and pound the squishy mage into the ground without much possibility of countering this, since he does it in one turn. You can give him multiple effective turns every turn - but then again, you could just add extra enemies.
    Also, a group battle generally gives more tactical opportunity - with single opponent you'll find your warriors pretty much pounding the monster each turn, choosing what stunts to use once in a while. With multiple opponents there is the question of who to attack and the GM can play tactically a bit more. Single opponent creates a risk of simple gang-up or relatively simple and repetetive tactic (especially if the party has some speed-reducing capabilities) that transforms would-be terrible menace into target on shooting range. Of course, it can be avoided, but it requires a lot of additional thought.
    I don't say that there is no place for big monsters - however, creating a challanging and fun encounter with a single opponent is really hard. Extra attacks are useful, sure, but they don't solve everything. And I do believe throwing in some mobs is almost always a good idea.
    Agreed. Heck, even the games tend to throw a high dragon's babies at you when you attack Mom.

    Leave a comment:


  • eliastion
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Ok, now look at the thread we're in - it pretty much explains why extra actions don't really solve all the problems. You can rule that lose-action disables just take one of them away (if someone has more) but there are some disables that really should take all your actions. And even some special resistance (making "paralyze" into a powerful slow rather than anything else) there are still some weakening spells, some that do a lot even when resisted. And they stack. If you can put them all on one monster...
    Also, you don't necessarily want a big monster with many actions as he would be able to move anywhere on battlefield and pound the squishy mage into the ground without much possibility of countering this, since he does it in one turn. You can give him multiple effective turns every turn - but then again, you could just add extra enemies.
    Also, a group battle generally gives more tactical opportunity - with single opponent you'll find your warriors pretty much pounding the monster each turn, choosing what stunts to use once in a while. With multiple opponents there is the question of who to attack and the GM can play tactically a bit more. Single opponent creates a risk of simple gang-up or relatively simple and repetetive tactic (especially if the party has some speed-reducing capabilities) that transforms would-be terrible menace into target on shooting range. Of course, it can be avoided, but it requires a lot of additional thought.
    I don't say that there is no place for big monsters - however, creating a challanging and fun encounter with a single opponent is really hard. Extra attacks are useful, sure, but they don't solve everything. And I do believe throwing in some mobs is almost always a good idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cordayne
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    If you want to have one large monster, why not just let it attack more than once per turn?

    Leave a comment:


  • OzMills
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    I'm running with a policy of every spell reducing in spellpower by 1 every round. This has the added benefit of meaning that my players won't automatically die to a 20-spellpower Winters Grasp too, even if it does require a small amount of bookkeeping for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • shonuff
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Of course, a boss that can be defeated by one character isn't much of a boss, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • Darkdreamer
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by shonuff View Post
    Action economy is always an issue, no matter the system. I find DA to be fine with a boss mob, as long as it has high AR. Casters don't fare as well.
    Yes, but as I said, the usual solution to that is to make the opponent tough enough that the action economy bonus of the party is necessary to defeat it--i.e. where the individual characters have little chance alone.

    And "casters" can fare fine; player-character type mages can't necessarily, but there are all kinds of casters in the setting that do not operate under the limits they do as to their defenses.

    You do need to avoid opponents who have obvious holes the PC spellcasters can drive down though; but its not like there aren't things with both good Cons and good Wills, and even a few that combine that with good Magic.

    Leave a comment:


  • shonuff
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    Eh, it can depend entirely on how the system is set up and what features it has; its easy enough with some systems to make the benefits of the action economy necessary to have a serious chance to deal with a boss monster; creatures where the ability to damage them at all are borderline, and are set up so that take-out effects are unlikely to work at all land here.

    I'm still new enough to DA to not want to judge for sure, but it looks like it can land in this category (unlike games like Savage Worlds or True20, where threshold effects are the order of the day).
    Action economy is always an issue, no matter the system. I find DA to be fine with a boss mob, as long as it has high AR. Casters don't fare as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • eliastion
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    It was stated here (by DonKalypso) but I feel I need to expand on this a little: DA is not a "bossfight" system. Tossing one big monster aganist the group simply doesn't work well, even without Paralysis. There are other disabling spells, beginning with Daze (Willpower based save) and Mindblast (Constitution based save, AoE) that a level 1 mage can have. Both of them. And - after a couple levels - chain them until the helpless enemy is dead. And even with no mages in the group - a small 4-character party has 4 actions per turn compared to typically 1 action per turn of the opponent.
    However, those "ultimate" enemies are not called "bosses" for nothing, right? It's not even that you really need many of them - that takes away their specialness - just make them bosses. Give them help. Give them minions. Give them minions that can dispel magic or something along those lines. You can also use some anti-disable triggers for certain enemies - but be careful so that it doesn't make the mage feel useless. However - here's another important aspect of including minions - even if you give the main boss an Aniti-Magic Ward trigger, or even make the big guy flat-out immune to spells - this does not include his minions, right? There are still some heavy hitters that need to be taken care of. There are still clusters of enemies asking for some AoE. And - a random thought - if your boss is really magical, the paralysis might even end up being crucial: imagine if every fallen enemy just resurrects the next round until the boss is dead. You can't just kill them and then the boss - you need to kill him while keeping the others out of killing you. Even if the mage can't manage as much as slowing the big guy slightly, he might still be the most importany member of the team

    Ok, maybe I went a bit too far into details and specific encounter planning. The point is - don't let your bosses fight alone. Don't make it the only threat nor the only target in the room. Imagine them more like a human commander rather than a small Archdemon... no, wait small Flemeth - Archdemor did have minions and it was their interference that created the most difficulty in the battle
    Basically - make them quite powerful in their own right, but make sure that the little guys around them are collectively much more dangerous, so even permanently disabling the boss does not automatically end the fight.

    On the side note, it seems that the Set 2 paralysis indeed was considered overpowered, and even a mistake. You can talk to you player about it and, perhaps, make the spell work like Mass Paralysis restricted to single target (the effect, if not resisted, lasts for number of rounds equal to caster's Magic and a paralyzed combatant can still move 2 yards/round).
    I would advice great caution here, however - significant nerfs to already "bought" spells or abilities are possible source of frustration and anger, so if your player is mature enough - talk to him and make the change with him. If he is not, or even if you're not sure if he is - then find another way. A player feeling, even if not consciously, that he has been "cheated"... is not what you want
    Last edited by eliastion; 09-29-2014, 08:21 AM.

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  • Darkdreamer
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by DonKalypso View Post

    In short it's inadvisable to toss in a single boss in an encounter, instead toss in 2-4 "Bosses" to divide the party's action economy and attention. Or perhaps toss in a boss that has adds that take up party actions.
    Eh, it can depend entirely on how the system is set up and what features it has; its easy enough with some systems to make the benefits of the action economy necessary to have a serious chance to deal with a boss monster; creatures where the ability to damage them at all are borderline, and are set up so that take-out effects are unlikely to work at all land here.

    I'm still new enough to DA to not want to judge for sure, but it looks like it can land in this category (unlike games like Savage Worlds or True20, where threshold effects are the order of the day).

    Leave a comment:


  • NickMiddleton
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by OzMills View Post
    Won't players easily see paralysis glyphs and just avoid them?
    RAW Paralysis Glyphs are invisible...

    Cheers,

    Nick

    Leave a comment:


  • OzMills
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by Tiger's Heart View Post
    Try an opponent with paralysis glyphs... Also try turning the tables against a group of spell casters with an ambush advantage and see how the players like it. Any recognizable pattern of play or predictable set of actions can lead players directly into a position where that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

    I had a set of traps that were essentially a set of pillars within a deep roads environment with a shock crystal on top (kind of like in Skyrim) that attacked them when they got too close and made it difficult to get past. They ended up working up a combination to knock the crystals off from a distance and thus neutralised the trap sequence... except that the last one wasn't a crystal, it was a tiny scrap of paper in a vial - and you know what happens when you break those...

    Just a few thoughts.

    Tiger's Heart
    Won't players easily see paralysis glyphs and just avoid them?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tiger's Heart
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Try an opponent with paralysis glyphs... Also try turning the tables against a group of spell casters with an ambush advantage and see how the players like it. Any recognizable pattern of play or predictable set of actions can lead players directly into a position where that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

    I had a set of traps that were essentially a set of pillars within a deep roads environment with a shock crystal on top (kind of like in Skyrim) that attacked them when they got too close and made it difficult to get past. They ended up working up a combination to knock the crystals off from a distance and thus neutralised the trap sequence... except that the last one wasn't a crystal, it was a tiny scrap of paper in a vial - and you know what happens when you break those...

    Just a few thoughts.

    Tiger's Heart

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldaran
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Why not making the afflicted more resistant after each successful attack? Give him a +2 to resist the spell during the same combat encounter. (That's how I deal with it)
    As the GM you also can still fudge the dice a little or send more than one mage against the PC's.
    Maybe you can reduce the time to the PC's Magic score ( or half of it) in rounds.

    Leave a comment:


  • DonKalypso
    replied
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    Originally posted by Whyrus View Post
    I started seeing something similar with the Daze spell at lower levels, it negated every hard single boss enounter to nothing. I had a talk with the group about it as we all felt it destroyed the fun of the game to just wack away at non moving targets.

    You can introduce some mechanic, other then a simple dispell, that allows npc's to break Paralyze. A mob with an aura of dispell, a leader whos battleroar allowes his underlings to shrug off hindering effects. Maybe a stunt of sorts.
    Counterplay is important for the flow of the battle.
    If I may interject something into this discussion before I make my suggestion:
    Every DM must be aware of the problem with a "Boss" monster. If it's a singular monster, it's majorly screwed. It's a simple matter of action economy. The party will have 2-6 times the actions per round, and that's not counting things like haste or slow, those screw it up even worse. A simple fix is to gauge how strong your party is, and then throw an equal number of "Boss" enemies at them of roughly the same power level, or a little more if you feel a group of 2-6 is not really a "Boss" and absolutely must lower the number of "Bosses" in the encounter. The additional action economy is also aided by the multiple brains chugging away at the problem at the same time. Multiple brains can spot a pattern sooner, and come up with a plan in a single round because talking is a free action.

    In short it's inadvisable to toss in a single boss in an encounter, instead toss in 2-4 "Bosses" to divide the party's action economy and attention. Or perhaps toss in a boss that has adds that take up party actions.


    Back on topic:
    The lowering of the TN by 1 point per round of attempts can still end up with your monsters being owned by a mage with a very high spellpower, but it's a step in the right direction. Might I suggest instead making the check a complex test, with the Dragon Die adding unto itself until it meets or exceeds the TN and the effect ends?

    Leave a comment:

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