Discussion:Dealing with Powerful PC's
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I am DMing a campaign where the 4 PC's are level 9. We have in our party;
Wizard - Spell Thematics - Arcane Thesis - Evoker Variant (Fire Crazy - I know how to deal with this one - But suggestions are welcome) //Favoured Soul - Not much of a problem in terms of power, although he took some healing feats and his out of combat healing is very effective //Rogue - Two-handed fighter, took the craven feat, Favored Soul likes to cast girillons blessing for 4 sneak attacks a round. Again can deal
The Problem. THE PROBLEM IS THE DAM DRUID.
His animal companion is nearly as powerful a PC in terms of causing damage. His wild shape is so powerful that he doesn't even usually have to cast a single spell a day. Literally most adventures he spends 1 wild shape and that's his resource for the day. God forbid he actually casts a spell.
Any DM's have advice on how to deal with Druids? They have always seems powerful to me, but this campaign I am having trouble giving enemies that are sufficiently challenging that he doesn't just grapple murder them, and weak enough that they wont just melt the party. I dunno! I'm at a loss really.
Help is greatly appreciated. I've only been DMing for a year or two and this is my first campaign past level 5 so I'm in uncharted territory.
 Marasmusine 15:51, 6 March 2012 (MST)
How much of an issue is it? As long as everyone is having fun, and not at anyone's expense, then that's the important thing. If he is actually craving more of a challenge, then let's see what we can do. You can do this with challenging combat, or through the story, so perhaps you could tell us a bit more about the campaign. Is it a kick-the-door-down dungeon crawl, or is there more of a story? Does the druid have friends or family or other obligations? It could be possible to set up some kind of morale quandry. I don't suggest nerfing specific abilities if that's clearly what he's having fun with. Marasmusine 15:51, 6 March 2012 (MST)
First thanks for that Marasmusine. Your line about "Are the PC's having fun" really jolted me into realizing something. They are! So I guess I'm not looking to nerf the PC's but really give them some good challenges, I think the story has lined up for that to occur. Here is a quick re-hash of what the current campaign is about.
Tiamat has killed Bahamut and Io and assumed their power, giving her some pretty snazzy deity powers. She used an epic spell to take out Io and used the entire black dragon flight as its material component. The king of the black dragons avoided this fate and hid away on the material plane, so Tiamat began destroying the place with a spell plague (she needs him to finish the spell and fully subsume Io). At this point in the game the PC's have just finished fighting off an attack from the entire might of Tiamats chromatic dragons (along with the help of their church) and were almost killed by the goddess herself before their deity (Heironeous) interceded. The portal they took to escape brought them to the Beastlands as Ehlonna has a personnel interest in the groups Druid a follower of Obad-Hai. They are about to witness the death of Heironeous through a scrying pool in the Grove of Unicorns and then I plan on having minimal "direction" for a few levels. Let them travel the outer planes until maybe about level 11 or so. In this time Hextor will me amassing his own adventuring party to cause trouble for the PC's and prevent them from finding out about how Heironeous can yet be saved and Tiamat stopped. Following the traditions of the Linear Guild I will be ensuring the Evil PC/NPC party is made up on faces the PC's will recognize and mirror.
As for the druid himself. He is a descendant of a mortal coven of druids who settled on the outer planes in the beastlands long ago. He does have a village however it has not yet made its way into the story so while the PC probably should care a great deal about it, I have not had time to invest that same interest in the players themselves.
That's the story so far! The party is a very much door buster in style although they occasionally will do some role playing, and I have been trying to incorporate more social and RP possibilities into the game, they seem to enjoy it as long as I still keep fighting an important part of the sessions. Any idea's will be greatly appreciated! Even if they are simply where the story should go. I really enjoy hearing other people's thoughts. Just so everyone knows the PC's are level 9 now.
You mentioned the Evil NPC party. What if you sent doppelgangers after them? Or put them in a situation where they might have conflicts with their alignment.
if you wanted challenges you could work with a dreamscape, reality dosent always work the same there and your druid may turn into something different but of the same power, to deal with the grappling thing you could use hordes of smaller enemies with dr or fast healing to draw battle out and make them think of new ways to attack an anemy, theres also incorporeal enemies to cause a rather annoying encounter, possessed people can mix the alignment challenge with the need to think of new resolves, dungeons or realms with allot of floating dibris may cause a larger wildshape to be ineffective, the mother of all challenges lies in a creature that just wont die via conventional means, it just keeps getting up after killed, ad a slight teleportation or spikes and its hard to grapple. other than that there are only a few ways to deal with an op character, id advise making sure they are forced to retreat once or twice, otherwise they may think there invincible, if you think the animal compannion is way to overpowered then kill it off in an epic battle and possibly due to being in a wierd realm you could offer a rare oppertunity to get a abnormal replacement. you can also introduce rumor of some great weapon and lead them up to a big battle against an enemy that is far too big to grapple and do the good old boss battle thing by giving it key weak points, alternitively you could instead torque up the other players with powers and gear in a big quest to level the playing feild and make the enemies tough enough to give em a run for thier money, im sure you can think of something, and there are plenty of ways to handle it. the last thing you can do is have a sit down with the player and talk about it, most of the time the player will feel like your intruding on thier character and taking away something they earned. i dont advise doing this but its an option as a last resort. but if there all having fun and thats all you need then think of my suggestions for campaign ideas and not to nerf.