Mindsight does shut stealth down. But then, that's a sign stealth isn't a very high level ability, otherwise it wouldn't be so easy to negate. I mean fuck, even blindness immunity (Glitterdust) is pretty fucking rare. And that's a level 3 ability.
But really, if Mindsight exists at all, people will have it. In game 1 one person took Mindbender just to get Mindsight (though it doesn't have a cost, and does have other benefits, that was the main reason). Another took Improved Familiar just to have a Pseudodragon with Mindsight. Point is, if it exists, fucking deal with it. And I don't care that it exists.
That is precisely my point. A single level 10 character, even a good one will get slaughtered by a level 13 encounter... and likely by a 12, or 11, or 10 for that matter, simply because of focus fire + can't escape. Most scouting classes of course do not qualify as a good character. Most of them are CAP bait, in fact. A party of level 10 characters however can deal with such a fight. Which means the solution is to not split the party, and send some scout off to accomplish nothing but get slaughtered. The solution is to do your recon with Divinations (wouldn't have worked well here) or something that does not involve splitting the party for the slaughter which means you do not scout, you do not waste a party slot on scouting, and you head into combat together.
We agree about Mindsight then. Yep. To you're main point, once again, yep. If this is how the table runs games* then scouting at anything past level 4 isn't going to work very well.
*There is no judgment in this statement. This seems like a fun encounter from an intelligent DM for an intelligent group of players.
It hardly matters who is DMing. See, that's the thing the "lol scouting is totally viable" crowd is missing. They go and make some Necropolitian Whisper Gnome Dark Factorum or what the fuck ever, and I say ok. I then cite an actual example from an actual game of an enemy with a decent Spot score (which they have by default) and with one feat different (Mindsight) and people start whining and flailing about "super optimizing vs stealth". Bitch, please. They're barely trying, and Team Monster is still winning. That smite, obviously is not directed at you, but the comment is.
Since, as proven the slightest effort negates someone going all out for stealth, the only way stealth works is with deliberate and blatant coddling. Not even beatsticks need this much coddling to do their fucking jobs.
Oh yeah, you're right, I forgot about the warlocks cheating with the extra stuff they add to their ability.
You can get the Maximize through Sudden Maximize, however. If we are to try stuff, use the modification from Fiendish Codex II, removing the summon ability from the devil, and give it two feats instead, and we can get Sudden Quicken, too, using all our feats for the preregs. Sure, now it can only do this once and the save DC is only 20 rather than 22, but you get Sudden Empower, too.
Sudden Maximize requires another metamagic feat. It also is ambiguous if it even works on SLAs. The original draft actually did have Sudden Maximize. I then actually looked at the feat and realized that was an illegal move. As for losing summons for feats, it kinda needed the summons.
EDIT: I gotta agree with you, though. It's just that it's pretty easy to make a few switches to average monsters and make them completely roflstomp most parties of a given ECL, and that a monster 3 CR higher to beat a scout doesn't exactly prove that scouting is weak. I also agree about the defenses. My application had..
Well no. Most feats are completely useless. Even replacing them with feats that are not useless doesn't change that much. And no PC is going to be running around with over half their feats spent on stuff like Alertness. At least, not one that hasn't been slaughtered 3 dozen times already.
105 HP, +11 Reflex, SR 27 (Along with AC about 10 higher than the average in the party, apparently. And ability to redirect ranged attacks.)
And I was worried about being easy to kill. I was kind of amused to see the defenses of the other players, to be fair. A team without defensive capabilities to survive encounter like that probably should die, but still, most players do not get high enough defenses to survive that, and to those players, Scout is fairly reasonable option.
Upon seeing that, I am quite disappointed in the optimization skills of those involved. But in such a group, that's all the more reason to not split the party, as the scout will be easy to slaughter too. He probably won't last two rounds to warn the party, for example.
It's not a coincidence such a character is referred to as "the Corpse". Now traps don't kill anyone unless they really suck, because only gimps die to traps. But ambushes? Yes, he gets slaughtered by them, because he's alone. Perhaps if his party was with him they could deal with the encounter.
I just have to wonder why you assume that everytime a Scout attempt to get recon the he's going to get auto-ambush-murdered.
Mostly because they are. Enemies are better than them, and the enemies strong enough to give the full party a good fight can easily slaughter a soloer, even a good soloer, of which scouts do not qualify.
Well, I only brought up traps because MidnightV started to bring up traps. And, again you're auto-assuming that the Scout is incompetent and just fails at his job no matter what. Just like with the auto-ambush-death-syndrome (from this moment forward to be referred to as AADS), I'm left wondering why you assume that the Scout has no ability at all to detect traps let alone disable them. An eternal wand of Detect Magic costs, what, 360gp? And with all of their skill points any scout character should have Search. So, I'd say he's got a pretty good chance to detect the trap, but I won't make anything of his ability to disarm said trap.
But really, I'm just interested in more evidence as to why you think a Scout gets auto-ambushed everytime he scouts ahead. The Ice Devil example, you have to admit, is obviously stacked against any party not employing powerful divinations.
The DC to find and disable traps is 24 + CR. So at level 10, the traps are DC 34. Eternal Wand of Detect Magic is only 460 gold, but it only lasts one minute, and it takes 3 rounds to determine if there is something there. You can also only use it twice a day. So let's see, 13 ranks + stat vs DC 34. You tell me what the odds are.
The Ice Devil, meanwhile has a Hide of +18. At level 13. Considering that Jaron's "Scouts don't fail at life, honest" character could have apparently exceeded this number at level 3, the constant claims that Team Monster is going over the top are of course completely laughable. Yes it adds Improved Cover and distance to that, but considering that the ambushers in the other, lower level game had a higher stealth modifier, and were lower level than the party (who is 7) simply because they, unlike the Ice Devil actually tried a little... yeah, it's safe to say that line of argument completely and utterly fails.
Here is the fact of the matter. The "Scouts don't fail, honest" crowd is exactly like the Monks don't fail, honest crowd
This crowd thinks they can show up with a Necropolitian (chosen only to get an I win button) Whisper Gnome Dark Factorum, and sneak around, and have every mother fucking guard be some 8 Wis no Perception mouth breathing fuckwit. If the enemies try even a little, such as having a lower net stealth modifier than the fail midget had at level 3, or also have I win buttons, that's totally unfair. If the enemies actually have ranks in Perception skills, that's totally unfair. If they put forth even the slightest bit of active effort, that's totally unfair. But it's completely acceptable for the fail midget to go all out.
Now let's compare to the Monks don't fail crowd. They attempt to justify themselves via... only selecting the most incompetent foes, even more incompetent than them, and using that to prove stealthing works.
But just as no one fucking cares if you can beat up a 8 Str Commoner 1, no one fucking cares if you can sneak past some Perception -1 fuckwit.
And that is why Jaron is being a retarded fuckwit, and blabbering on about random Vampires running around in broad daylight, and claiming that encountering an Ice Devil, in a fucking cold environment (as opposed to say, a flat, featureless plain), that is a manifest zone to Risia (aka, the place mother fucking Ice Devils LIVE) is worth +5 CR. What next MBF? Encountering stock mob Kobolds in their Den is a level 10 adventure? Encountering a Balor in the Abyss is a super high level epic encounter? Because those are just encountering enemies while they are at home too. Do enemies have to be of the Cold subtype, but encountered on the Plane of Fire, and therefore are taking 3d10*1.5 damage a round every round to be equal CR? Jesus H Fucking Christ, breathe through your fucking nose already! And stop fucking lying. We've already been over detection ranges, and as stated and proven, advantage: Team Monster.
To be perfectly fair to Sunic, he's apparently mostly using hyperbole, because he seems to believe constantly using it makes his posts more interesting (presumably, he's right in that they do, to him). His real point seems to be that it only needs to happen once, and over a long campaign the odds of it happening once approach 1 no matter how high your character's modifiers are. Especially since the campaign is kind of lame if your character can always apply the same strategy.
Nope. You don't even need Iterative Probability to be raped by scouting. The odds are higher that it causes you to be an inanimate corpse than it causes you to return with useful information. Even doing it once will, more than 50% of the time force a delete and reroll.
2) +to hit is WAY FUCKING MORE than enough to hit a piddly 14 touch AC. Also, it's now moving at half speed. Sure, it can teleport, but teleporting is a standard action that it's not using to flail impotently at the PCs.
It doesn't have 14 touch AC. What is your to hit? Numbers, math, not hand waving bullshit.
3) If the Gelugon has free empowers for being on the plane of ice, then lets assume that the Party isn't a bunch of tards and gave everyone cold resist. Plane of Ice, Cold Resist... I know, it's like they're fucking clairvoyant or something. Extended Mass Resist Cold at CL 12 is easily doable at this point, meaning that everyone has Resist Cold 30 for 8 hours. Congrats, your Gelugon just did about 31 points of damage to a single character in two rounds, or dick squat if he makes his reflex save (tip: he'll make his reflex saves).
1: Hi Welcome
2: It doesn't last 8 hours.
3: No one thought to cast Mass Resist Cold. I did hint at it, by asking if there is anything anyone wanted to do before proceeding into the Risia manifest zone. Everyone said no. In any case such a resist would have been 20 points, not 30, because they don't have CL + 2. This is the only valid point you have made so far by the way.
4) When the party teleports in, the Cleric casts Align Weapon on the Beatstick's sword and the Beatstick goes all ubercharger on it's face. This is the first full round of combat, the Gelugon has already failed to poke the Factotum and dies, horribly. The Gelugon doesn't get to act because the party was intelligent and has everyone delay until the end of round 1 instead of waiting to act randomly throughout the order on round 2.
There is no Align Weapon, and there is no beatstick.
Oh and Hi Welcome