Strip 384 - "The Meat Shield's duty... fulfilled?"

17th Sep 2016, 12:48 AM in Cave of No Return
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Malroth 17th Sep 2016, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Malroth
However a summoned Bear is even better at soaking damage and doesn't need healing afterwords unlike fighters who might MAYBE be 5 HP ahead of the squishiest member.
zombi3DS 19th Sep 2016, 1:46 AM edit delete reply
zombi3DS
"Bears be meh"
This is only sort of true.

A bear doesn't come into availability until 7th level for a wizard or druid. By that point any tank has 7d10-12s typically. PCs are supposed to have max at level 1 and average from then on, when determining average odd is low avg, even is high*. Monsters (and people with only npc classes) on the other hand don't get a maxed hd for their first and thus only ever get average. Animals (ie bears get d8s)

Assuming a standard pc with no con bonus only rolls average they would have 10+6+5+6+5+6+5 (add 2 at level 1 and +1 each further level for classes with d12 or on the monster side dragons) without a con mod. This comes to 42 (42+2+1*6=50) just from hd.

meanwhile the bear has 4+5+4+5+4=22 just from hd (worth noting is that reading the grizzly bear stat block proves * out since it has a +4 con mod for 20 bonus hp and has 42, 42-20=22)

Now even if a player has 1 less con mod than the bear they still have about 21 more hp than the bear, but the augment summoning feat adds +4 con to summoned creatures which is +2 more hp per hd. so now the bear has a grand total of 52.

So the bear can hit 52 hp vs the PC's 42 minimum hp, but that bear only has 16 ac even with augment since augment is +4 str and con but not dex.
The general rule bandied about for ac is that about 15+level is acceptable but not good. You will avoid hits ok at this ac but not for long as leveling continues so it tends to be that the recommended ac I use is 17+1.5 your level, Most things level 1 will have at best 4-5 to hit so they have a 50/50 shot at hitting ac 16 and only 40% vs 18.

But By level 7 16 is terrible, a bad bab is +3, and with a decent but not great stat of 14 in either str or dex you can hit the bear on a 11, so wizard throwing a rock with his 5 pt buy of dex would have a 50/50% chance of hitting or missing.
Anything with average (3/4) bab has +5 at this point and a +3 to 4 stat bonus is at 8-9 total and can hit on a 8-7 which is 65 or 70% to hit.
Worst of all full bab and +3 to +5 from stat is gonna push it to 10 or 12 total (this isn't including class features or feats) so the bear can be hit on a 6-4 which is a whopping 75-85% chance. And at that point the full bab guy can attack twice for another chance to hit at -5 which would be 7-5 to hit or 60-50%.

Meanwhile a player playing a poorly designed dex split melee build with say 16 dex, Breastplate, and a buckler and nothing else will have ac 20. Now you used a fighter for your example so I will too. Said fighter has armor training II because level 7 and a +1 set of full plate and a +1 buckler, with 16 dex he has AC 10+3+10+2 or 25 and an augmented bear can only hit him on a 16+.

Now if you do what is recommended by more experienced players and go for say a creature off summon monster I using summon monster III you get 1d4+1 of them (more with feats and some mythic paths) but you can get on average 3 eagles, these eagles only have 7 hp each and 14 ac, but they will each take at least 1 hit for you and have 3 attacks.

Now melee classes are pretty bad when compared to wizards but trying to compare summoned creatures to them is pretty ineffectual. They are still better -most of the time- always for the role of just hitting things and being hit.

Comparative math though of just basic stats merely assuming a basic +1 longsword, +1 full plate, +1 buckler, +1 ring of protection, and +1 amulet of natural armor, and weapon focus, weapon spec, and 16 str, dex and con creates an average fighter with:

HP 63, AC 10+10+3+2+1+1 or 27, Longsword 7+3+1+1+1 (weapon training from class) +13/+8 dealing 1d8+3+2+1+1 or 1d8+7, can be two handed to -1 hit and +1 damage. average of 11.5 damage with 2 chances to hit at 90% and 65% respectively. [worth noting is that a mere dropping of the buckler (replacing with potion of shield 50 gp single use or investment of ranks into umd and acquisition of a wand would actually increase ac) and investing fewer points elsewhere to get 18 str by this point in the game would allow for you to power attack and do +14/+7 to hit (1d8+16 damage) average of 20.5 at 95% and 60%.]
_1st build is garbage_

vs Augmented Bear

HP 52, AC 16, 2 Claws, 1 Bite +9 (1d6+7 damage) average of 10.5 per hit with only 15% chance to hit with 3 attacks.

Now a bear being faced at appropriate level isn't as bad but summons draw from lower level creatures that went bad like milk from a month ago.

They have 10 less hp, which puts them almost dead even with the like 46 a 16 con fighter would have by that point and do 2 less damage per hit and have 2 less to hit.

TL;DR Bears Suck, Players kick their asses if summoned, slightly tougher to fight if not summoned and just encountered, but not as deadly or tough.
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