Road Ambushes

Plothos
Level 5
1 month ago (edited)

So I have been grinding on the road for a bit (I like buying plate asap and I play on a short break and save the main story for when I have an hour or two).

I have been dealing with what I consider to be rather bs surprise rates on the road. It’s really pretty absurd. I’ve had 12 of the last 13 encounters be an ambish against me. This has been a problem for some time, and no amount of spot or perception in the party seems to help. What USED to help was a feat (Acute Senses) that made one never surprised. In the past, I could just deal with this bs until 4th level and sacrifice an ASI on one guy to do away with it. But now I just reached level 4 and discovered that this feat is apparently just ... gone. I know it wasn't working exactly as advertised, because one could still get surprised, but it made a huge difference. (Maybe road encounters shouldn't always involve either one side or the other getting a surprise round every time.) I mean, is this seriously how road travel is supposed to go in your mind?!


(I will add that in those twelve ambush encounters a full 100% of the enemy’s first attacks have rolled a 12+ and that when the exact same encounter happens the first few dice rolls are always the same even with saved seeds turned off. In other words this crud is scripted. I really just cannot fathom the design choices here.)


Benny Boy

Mike Donais
Level 5
Kickstarter Backer
1 month ago

I found all the road fights to be very easy so didn't care that they were ambushes. I do agree that rate is very high though, maybe it is bugged. I am playing at +1 difficulty.

Plothos
Level 5
1 month ago

Yeah, it's not that they're hard. It's just not really sitting right with me. The scripted rolls had me simmering a bit, and then they took away the feat and I'm just in wtf mode, ya know?


Benny Boy

Loswaith
Level 5
Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer Armorsmith (Bronze)
1 month ago (edited)

I suspect it is bugged.
I didn't use the feat pre-spring update and wasn't surprised anywhere near as much as now (could be just bad luck on my part, but was about 50/50 surprised on fast travel compare to now at about 90-95% of the time with high perception characters (+6/7) on normal or fast travel getting surprised).


- Loswaith

Plothos
Level 5
1 month ago

I’m at 95% getting surprised even on slow travel, which seems to make zero difference. In fact, I have a slightly better rate when I go fast. 


Benny Boy

KillerRabbit
Level 6
1 month ago

Adding my +1  Sure, RNG could be creating an illusion but I'm surprised 9 out 10 times.  Something is off.

Tactical Myzzrym
Level 14
Tactical Adventures Dev
Discord Link Steam Link Newsletter Link Developer Badge
1 month ago

Huh interesting, reported. 

Plothos
Level 5
1 month ago

Thanks TM!

Sorry if I sounded pissy in the OP. I do love the game.


Benny Boy

egocarib
Level 4
1 month ago

I have tried all three travel speeds and I notice no difference between Fast/Slow/Normal. I get surprised all the time too, regardless. Fast actually seems to be the best travel mode IMO because there are fewer days and so I generally get fewer ambushes (or at least the same amount).


agigabyte
Level 3
1 month ago

Yeah, I almost always get surprised--something like an 80/5/15 rate of I'm surprised to no one is to I surprise the enemy--in spite of having decent Perception, including a Rogue with Expertise and +10 Perception.

Dragondeal
Level 4
1 month ago (edited)

Same over here, additionally it seems to getting worse on higher character levels. After finishing the main story so far, my group is at level 7 and now it feels like my group is caught sleeping 50% of the encounters, with always the same character being surprised (the one who takes 4th place on the list).

Edit:
I've made a test, traveling two times from Caer Cyflen to Coparann and back. I've chosen "slow" for movement. At the end I got:

  • Group asleep: 4
  • Group surprised: 6
  • Even: 0
  • Enemy suprised: 2

These are not good numbers, they definetely do not match the speed of travel. Though nearly all enemies were easy to beat (mostly 5 to 22hp), it seems the kind of encounter (asleep/suprised/advantage) depends heavily on the character level and not so much on speed of travel.

rbarbare
Level 10
3 weeks ago

I may have figured it out:

As you travel, your Exhaustion rises. At the first level of Exhaustion, you have disadvantage on ability checks. Which would include Perception and any other check made to determine the encounters. And if I am seeing the timing of the encounters correctly, they occur early (before resting has cured Exhaustion) rather than later, so you are always rolling at disadvantage.

This would make Normal and Fast travel identical: since disadvantage only applies once, Exhausted Normal is at disadvantage, and Fast is already at disadvantage.

It would make Slow travel at normal rolls rather than at advantage. Even then, the surprise rate seems too high.

And what the heck is this with a party full of elves and half-elves succumbing to magical sleep? They are supposed to be immune to that.