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Paralyze is getting on my nerves

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  • 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.

  • #2
    Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

    I would talk to the player about it. But I don't think a reduction of one per round to the tn is unreasonable, if the player objects maybe allow them prevent the difficulty drop by spending a mana point? Then it's up to them if they rather have mana or keep someone completely locked down.

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    • #3
      Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

      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.

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      • #4
        Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

        Originally posted by OzMills View Post
        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.
        My DM had a similar problem with my mage because I favoured the horror spell so my advice to you is talk to your player and find our why they are so fond of the spell, don't do what my DM did and just keep pumping up the enemies saves until none of my spells worked anymore without talking to me first. If your player is like me then they probably gravitated to it because it represents a useful combat spell that isn't reliant on damage to be effective.

        A way to deal with this moderate (or high depending on your level) cost single target spells is to create encounters that aren't reliant on a single enemy (and its a TN 16 spell, they shouldn't be making it every time they try and cast it). Also don't let the party stop for an hour so the mage can get mana back after every fight, force the mage to ration their mana points by keeping the pressure on.

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        • #5
          Re: Paralyze is getting on my nerves

          Not sure I'd let it affect anything that's "Incorporeal" (like the Ash Wraiths), and I think in discussion of Set 3 we established that Arcane Horrors need revising# but I'd also agree that Paralyze needs some sort of duration / decay effect, otherwise it's a bit too good. I don't recall he equivalent spell in the CRPG being so effective.

          Hmm - effective spell power for the repeat save drops by 2 or the targets willpower / magic per round, whichever gives the greater decrease? At some point ANY body is going to make that save.

          cheers,

          Nick

          # At the very least I'd give them more Health and mana, and the prerequisite spells for the spells they are listed with - which would give them Spell Shield and the mana to use it...

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          • #6
            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?

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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
                Beware what lies beneath, The Tiger's Heart in the Woman's Hide; The Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove.

                Esoterica from Thedas and other useful items: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k2o8apfsb...UWPXCFQSa?dl=0

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                • #9
                  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?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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).

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                      • #12
                        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; 29th September 2014, 08:21 AM.

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              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?

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