noob master needs sugestion


Need suggestion, im currently mastering a free company of 7 players in a hyborian adventure, problem is they are powergamers, most of them use power attack and one hand weapons (bardish, greatswords and so) so they are killing machines when they apply the power attack feat, in our last adventure (i used the stencovar adventure from here, kudos to the creator, it was funny to us) and even the last final mob was killed in three blows. (massive damage applies also to monsters?, even undead?).
I want them to have balanced fights, they are now lvl 3, heavy armored, cuz they tasted how deadly is the game and the needs of a good armor due the split between dodge and parry.
I used to put a lot of low lvl mobs to be a chance to them, around 3/1, using the multiple attacks rule, but due the large group that only caused long and heavy battles and a lot of headaches to me to control so much stuff, should i use stronger minions and less number?. Any advice is welcomed.

PD: Sorry 4 my english :p
There are countless conan stories where he starts off seperated from a routed army/broken kingdom/in prison and has to survive.

If you feel the equipment it s problem, or want to do an adventure where the style is changed just remove it.
Have them captured -off camera- and start the adventure with no equipment.
A ship wreck would do the same too.

Then they wake up on the shore of distant land, have to wrestle a wooden spear off the local tribe, and take it from there.

if that is too drastic
The other way might be a monster with a HUGE dex and massive dodge rendering PA useless. OR just a monster that is immune to weapons and must be defeated by some brains instead.
Fight fire with fire - put in some NPCs with similar stats and equipment and a few mooks to back them up. Try Improved Sunder with a two-handed power-attacking warrior and you will bash up those bardiches pretty good. Equipment in Conan shouldn't last too long.

Show the players that other strategies can work - send a horde of sneak-attacking, tumbling thieves to attack their flanks and/or feint them. Or have them face down some pike-wielding high dex combat reflexes Gunderman and get poked to holes before they get in close. Or send in a heavy mook with Crushing Grip who just grabs a PC and breaks him in two - to hell with his armor. Or send in a horde of Picts to gang-tackle and pin the PCs, where they can easily be finessed.

Ricardo's suggestion is also good. Never let the players get too attached to their stuff.
Besides the previous suggestions...

Undead do not suffer from Massive Damage :twisted:
Neither do Constructs, nor Elementals. Though I would advice you to avoid the game to be too over the top.
A 15th lvl cunning Sorcerer plus his evil plots and menacing allies could do.
Just make them swim across a deep fast moving river. That oughta get them out of the armor at least. :D And then hit them with a gang of kids out fishing. What? They gonna kill them little kids?
One thing I learnt, as a DM is if your enjoying it and so are they does it matter. It's not you versus them.

If you want some variety: -

Being shipwrecked, slavery etc are all good ways to get them to lose gear.

Over whelming odds, so they have to flee or use their brains.

NPC's with disarm and trip attacks, very amusing.

Sunder attacks, once a big dude puts his sword through your bardiche makes you think twice.

Pirates/Thieves with good finesse attacks soon bypass that armour.

Grapplers, being grabbled to the ground by a mob and then finessed is very embarrassing and not too hard.

Change their environment, put them in a society position, you don't were plate and carry bardcihes when going to see the King, the King tends to get nervous and it's so last year.

Involve climbing, water or confined spaces, 2 handed weapons don’t work to well and and neither does heavy armour.

Finally at night, no one sleeps in heavy armour…

Hope this gives u some twisted ideas….

There is one thing I warn you of is you are a new GM.

If the players are ripping your NPCs to pieces in combat don't just keep throwing more and more dangerous encounters with the object of getting some damage through. All that will do is reinforce to the players that the only way they can survive is to make stronger and stronger character builds.

Defeating them in a face to face fight shouldn't be your goal. If they do get smacked they will just pour over the rule books and (quite rightly) look for some better defences for their characters. As the GM you are defining the style that the characters will need to adopt to survive.

Your best bet would be to change the situation.

On top of the suggestions above:
* Put them in a ballroom. Let the noble have his day.
* Put them on a boat. Pirate and thieves balance skill is suddenly looking quite rosey
* put them in a swamp. Make rules for sinking.
* use mounted or ranged or mounted ranged combat.

After a few different encounters your players will learn; in order to survive they need a range of skills and abilities between them. Then they will start developing their characters that way.
Don't punish the build you don't like. Encourage the builds you do like.
nearly everything that came to my mind has mentioned before :) sure it is not "you vs. them" (like mentioned before)! that will kill all the fun and somebody will be angry (promise!...i know powergamer *g*). it will become a battle of rules not a battle of characters against obstacles.
so....perhaps talking with your players will be a good choice too? conan is different to other RPG like D&D. my players were so money orientated and plundered every slayed opponent, took their horses and everything they could carry to buy good equipment (like in the good old D&D days..."hey..i need a ring of protection +5, a full plate mithril armour with +10 against everything and a holy longsword of slaying dragons,undead and grandmothers"). after a little talk about the flair of conan (and announcing pick pockets, the "conan money rule" from the rulebook and of calculating the weight of their money and the volume to store it....they were "healed" *g*)

if that doesn't work....try the "normal adventure life" before you throw more monsters. they're riding through a dessert ? oh...did i mentioned the temperature? what armour are you wearing? plate? for 2 days now? oh nice...can you spell fatigued?

what ? you seven heavily armed and armoured guys want in our city ? sorry...we don't need some wild bandits or mercenaries in here. leave your armour and heavy weapons at our guardhouse and we open the city doors to let you in!

swimming is a good thing like mentioned is running from danger....what ? the mine will collapse any second? i'm too slow in my heavy armour ? oh...what a lucky thing we have just enough time to get rid of my armour so i can make the run!

my babarian has bought 2 sets of armour for every occasion after i tried these things :)

last but not least show them the power of finesse. let there be a duel with a fancy noble swordsman (say they touched the wrong women in the nightly city garden). give him enough level to humilate them in their armour (some hits with finesse, riposte, disarm and perhaps a little trip attack?).

make some scenarios with less fighting and more "skills". soon they will see that someone has to take the thief,the noble or the scholar (=less purely combat orientated classes) to get the right skills to "survive" on a more social battlefield.

to quote another writer in this post "Don't punish the build you don't like. Encourage the builds you do like." that is a very good sentence !!!

if they are resistent to all need bigger guns !!! :)
Those are some interesting ideas that I already know but I forgot in the middle of the adventures. I'll try to keep it in mind while playing.
Im running into this situation as well. My players are all donning the heavy armour and its becoming harder to scare them when nothing beats their high DR.

I love the fact that the book says the GM can remove equipment as his discretion, but i dont feel its fair or fun, to just simply say, "its gone".

This is where cleaver GM ideas come into play like, swimming and running and perhaps a balance or climb check with mucho harm or death for a failure. There is also the situation of capture or theft of some kind or a very strong enemy simple batters the heck out of it and its destroyed.

These "situations" at least make it feel more fair and realistic to lose the armour in some way, rather that just, "Its gone".

Anyone else got any other ideas?
One thing I did was print up some simple equipment cards and put them in sleeves; i.e. armor, weapons, mounts, etc.

Say they are having a night on the town, I ask them what equipment they are taking with them (... no, you're not really gonna wear full plate downtown, are you?) and what ever they don't have on them they place in the center of the table.

Last game session began with my PCs being released from the Arenjun city dungeon after being "questioned" by a magistrate for about a month (he wanted to know about their involvement in the collapse of a certain tower).
When they were out-processing the dungeon, their original items weren't returned (such are the bennies of being a gaoler) and they were given some used crappy gear. The Nomad was real pissed about not having his prized Shemite bow.
I try not to get the players too upset about loosing gear. If the players do lose their gear, I would hope the situation would have been to buy their way out of the prison by bribing the gaolers (love this archaic spelling) with their equipment. After all, the gaolers want to go party on the town once in a while, best not to make any enemies of known criminals by stealing their gear. :)

I know sometimes you may not have time to make up good reasons in advance for every situation that comes up. But players know when you just make up something to get rid of their gear. Give them a choice, stay in gaol for a month more or sell their gear. Of course, if they do stay in gaol, evidence may be trumped up to frame them for another crime!
Removing equipment + fair

Sure it is fair, and actually it is FUN!

My PCs lost everything when their ship was attacked by pirates and they were sold into slavery. We had a great time breaking out of prison and fighting their way past guys with improvised weapons.

You just have to make sure it is part of the story, not a punishment.