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Author Topic: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs  (Read 2107 times)

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Offline kongmingTopic starter

Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« on: November 09, 2007, 10:20:20 AM »
Okay, when it comes to D&D, there are often monsters that need fighting. Sometimes, a DM wants to just pluck something from a book, glance at the "tactics" section, and use it with minimal effort. Sometimes, people also want something unusual. So what I'm doing here is actually writing up some monsters, customised, as well as providing general tips.

TIPS:

1. There is the [Awesome] subtype. Any creature with the [Awesome] subtype is a TPK on legs. It will kill the standard party of its level. WotC underestimated, or just lied about, its capabilities. If a creature has the [Awesome] subtype, treat it as 2-4 CRs higher than listed. Examples:
Mind Flayers
Many Celestials (Lantern Archons are killers as CR 1s)
More or less ALL true Dragons

2. Closet trolls are weird. Let's take any "monstrous scorpion". The correct CR is this: If you can fly, 0, if not, lots. It will actually kill you if you get close enough. Ignore the CR, it hits much harder than a normal creature of the CR. Giant Crabs are especially brutal, in a retarded manner. But if you can fly or climb a tree, you are immune to the monster.

3. If there are four party members of level X, use a CR X most of the time. If there are three, use CR X-1. For two, use CR X-2. For only 1, use CR X-4. Yes, that's right. Of course, groups of weaker monsters can have a total CR a bit higher, because the PC will often have an easier time, and you can be a better judge of when things are going wrong. If there are 6 PCs, use CR X+1. If there are 8, use CR X+2, or simply use twice as many monsters. This is in fact better, because you won't get a monster that *will* kill one PC per round, and the PCs can't have as easy a time doing stacks-on.

4. Warlocks. They suck as PC classes, and they suck all day, whereas a Wizard is awesome for a small number of rounds per day, then sucks until sleeping. However, they are wonderful as NPC villains. You can even just slap a few levels onto a monster to surprise a PC. You don't need book-keeping - they have few options, but all of them are at will. Their buffs last all day. The only thing to mark off is HP they lose.

Other than that, on with the fun stuff!

Flare, the smallest, goodest little red dragon: CR 4
Advanced (4 hit die) Pseudodragon Dragonfire Adept 4
Neutral Good Tiny Dragon

HP: 47/47 (8 HD)
Speed:15' Fly 60' (good)
Init: +3

AC: 21 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +6 natural)
flat 18
touch 15

BAB/Grapple: +6/-4
Attack: Sting +11 (1d3-2 plus poison)
Full Attack: Sting +11 (1d3-2 plus poison) and Bite +6 (1)

FORT +11
REF +8
WILL +9

STR 6 DEX 16 CON 16 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 12

Feats: Weapon Finesse (B), Dragontouched (B), Hover, Ability Focus: Breath Weapon, Entangling Exhalation

Skills: Diplomacy +10, Hide +26, Listen +13, Search +8, Sense Motive +12, Spot +13

Special:
Poison (DC 19, sleep 1 minute/sleep 1d3 hours)
Blindsense 60'
Telepathy 60'
Stealth (Hide increases to +30 in forests)
Dragonkin (+4 Diplomacy with other dragons)
Immune to magical sleep and paralysis
Breath Weapon (15' cone or 30' line, 2d6 Fire damage, Ref DC 19 for half)
Breath Effect: Cone can deal Cold damage instead
Endure Exposure: Constantly benefits from any one Endure Elements spell as a spell-like ability
Darkness: Can cast darkness as a spell-like ability at will

Appearance:
Flare looks precisely like a red dragon, except for being as big as a housecat. Flare is tiny indeed, which is abnormal, and a DC 20 Spot check will notice the stinger. A DC 15 Know: Arcana check will then reveal that Flare is in fact a Pseudodragon. A DC 20 Know: Arcana check will allow the character to know that Flare is therefore very likely to be Good aligned. A DC 20 Know: Arcana check can also reveal that Flare is too small to be a red dragon unless he has just recently hatched.

Tactics:
Flare will usually hide and observe new people in "his" area. If he thinks they are evil, he will stalk them for a short while as he tries to evaluate them. Eventually, he is likely to cast Darkness, then utilise his breath weapon. He will usually hover right above his foes, allowing him to breathe on them every round (there is no delay) and be fairly safe. Against foes who are particularly agile, he will utilise Entangling Exhalation. His breath weapon will only do half damage, but anyone damaged at all is entangled for 1d4 rounds, taking 1d6 damage per round.

If the foes surrender or otherwise do not wish to fight, he will cautiously hover and engage in conversation, eventually demanding some kind of gift. As long as it seems as though it's important to them, expensive, or they went through an effort to collect/make it, he will be happy. If they are indeed evil and mistake him for a red dragon, he will offer to be their master. As his thralls, they must do his bidding, but in return will receive his protection when he is older. At this point, he will try to send them on pointless (and annoying) quests, or send them where they can do little harm, or run into actual heroes.

On the other hand, if he finds heroes or harmless people, he might indeed talk to them. If provoked by rude behaviour, he may pretend to be a red dragon as a "prank". He is quite happy to talk with his newfound friends otherwise, however, and is curious about their exploits. If they get along well and offer a gift, he will give them advice about something relevant to the game (a quick way through the forest, warning of local monsters, things like that). If the PCs end up fighting groups of monsters in his area, having proven themselves to be on "his side", he will even help out - by killing off other monsters on the way. Basically, don't deprive the PCs of their battle, but let them find several more goblins or whatever, all fried by him.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 12:07:54 PM »
Ok, so there was a cute CR 4. A bunch of hit points and a mean trick or two, with low actual damage output (and a nasty Save or Die for when forced into melee).

Let's try some others.

The Three Amigos (CR 7), consisting of...

Antilles
Orc Commoner 1, Survivor 3 Fighter 2 (CR 5)
6HD Chaotic Neutral Medium Humanoid (Orc)

HP: 54/54 (6 HD)
Speed:10'
Init: +0

AC: 26 (+8 armour, +4 cover, +4 shield)
flat 26
touch 14

BAB/Grapple: +1/+7
Attack: Greatsword +7 (2d6+11, 19-20)
Full Attack: Greatsword +7 (2d6+11, 19-20)

FORT +8
REF +5
WILL +3

STR 18 (22) DEX 10 CON 16 INT 6 WIS 11 CHA 10

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Toughness, Lightning Reflexes
Traits: Slow

Special: Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Evasion

Equipment: MW Greatsword, Full Plate, Potion of Bull's Strength (quaffed), Potion of Shield (quaffed)

Appearance:
Antilles is just an orc wearing full plate, carrying a greatsword. He is as ordinary as they come, until you take the helmet off and discover that he is a patchwork of scars.

Tactics:
Antilles actually sits out in the open. His job is to be a distraction and keep the party busy. He always hangs around in cover, if possible. Seeing as he's strong enough to carry shrubberies WITH him, this is an easy feat.

Gomez
Orc Rogue 3 (CR 3)
3HD Chaotic Neutral Medium Humanoid (Orc)

HP: 13/13 (3 HD)
Speed:30'
Init: +4

AC: 18 (+4 armour, +4 Dex)
flat 14
touch 14

BAB/Grapple: +2/+6
Attack: Acid Flask +7 touch (1d6+1 plus 2d6 Sneak Attack)
Full Attack: 2 Acid Flasks +5 touch (1d6+1 plus 2d6 Sneak Attack)

FORT +2
REF +7
WILL -1

STR 18 DEX 15 (19) CON 13 INT 10 WIS 6 CHA 8

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot

Notable Skills: Hide +8, Move Silently +8

Special: Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapfinding, Trapsense +1

Equipment: Potion of Cat's Grace (quaffed), Chain Shirt, 10 flasks of alchemist's acid

Appearance:
Gomez is a very stealthy looking orc, even going so far as to stuff leaves into his dull chain shirt, and to cover his face with camo paint.

Tactics:
While the players get distracted by Antilles, Gomez tries to sneak up and begin sneak-attacking with his acid flasks. Remember, these are ranged touch attacks, so if he catches someone flat-footed, that's generally an AC of 10.

Garcon
Orc Rogue 3 (CR 3)
3HD Chaotic Neutral Medium Humanoid (Orc)

HP: 16/16 (3 HD)
Speed:30'
Init: +3

AC: 17 (+4 armour, +3 Dex)
flat 14
touch 13

BAB/Grapple: +2/+8
Attack: Table +7 (2d8+13, plus 2d6 Sneak Attack)
Full Attack: Table +7 (2d8+13, plus 2d6 Sneak Attack)

FORT +3
REF +6
WILL +0

STR 19 (23) DEX 13 (17) CON 14 INT 6 WIS 8 CHA 10

Feats: Power Attack, Weapon Proficiency: Tables

Notable Skills: Hide +7, Move Silently +7

Special: Uncanny Dodge, Evasion, Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapfinding, Trapsense +1

Equipment: Potion of Cat's Grace (quaffed), Potion of Bull's Strength (quaffed), Masterwork Oak Table, Chain shirt

Appearance:
Garcon is possibly a very stupid orc. He wears the same style gear as Gomez, just... he doesn't have the same look. He somehow manages to stand out a lot. Maybe it's the table he carries.

Tactics:
While the players get distracted by Antilles, Garcon attempts to charge (that's a +2 to hit!) and sneak attack someone with the table. He will favour flanking, of course.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 12:28:56 PM »
The Amazing Mister Ed (CR 6)
Nightmare
6HD Neutral Evil Large Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar)

HP: 51/51 (6 HD)
Speed:40' Fly: 90' (good)
Init: +9

AC: 27 (-1 size, +5 Dex, +13 natural)
flat 22
touch 14

BAB/Grapple: +6/+16
Attack: Hoof +11 (2d6+6, plus 1d4 Fire)
Full Attack: 2 hooves +11 melee (2d6+6 plus 1d4 fire) and bite +6 melee (1d8+3)

FORT +9
REF +10
WILL +6

Str 22, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 15

Feats: Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack: Hoof, Skill Focus: Disguise

Noteworthy Skills: Diplomacy +13, Disguise +14 (+16 to act in character), Bluff +11

Special: Flaming Hooves, Smoke, Etherealness (Sp) at will, Astral Projection (Sp) at will

Appearance:
Failed Spot check: This looks like a large, incredibly healthy horse. His dark hair glistens as though very well groomed, and his big brown eyes suggest some degree of intelligence.
Passed Spot check: As above. Then, mention the fact that his hooves and mane are made of fire. A DC 20 Know: Planes check reveals that this is a Nightmare.

Tactics:
Mister Ed, if he succeeds with his disguise, will actually pass himself off as an ordinary horse, hoping to be used as a mount. He will trot about, and perhaps even say "Nay" from time to time. Eventually, when the time is right, he will strike. He has Concealment (20% miss chance) against adjacent foes, and Total Concealment (50% miss chance) against foes any further away. Anyone within a 15' cone in front of him every round (a free action once per round) must make a Fortitude Save (DC 17) or take a -2 penalty on all attack and damage rolls until 1d6 minutes after they leave the area of smoke he exhales. He tends to favour stomping all over foes, but isn't afraid to turn Ethereal.

If he escapes, give the party XP as normal, but he can be used as a recurring villain. He could even find a way to another plane, then use Astral Projection to attack from safety until they track him down, or find a way to cut his silver thread.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2007, 03:26:34 AM »
Now, for some more bizarre challenges that will cause players to raise an eyebrow. Remember: these are here for the using! Sure, I'm doing this to waste time, but also to provide some odd things for DMs to just pick up and use.

Fun with animated objects.

The Summoned Demon (CR 5)

Appearance: Sitting atop a large stone table, within what appears to be a carved magic circle of runes, and surrounded by candles, is a tiny demon. Its eyes glare menacingly at the party, its wings unfolding as though it wants to attack but cannot.

Here we have two foes. The first is the following:

Khordek the Putrescent (CR 3)
5HD Chaotic Evil Tiny Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Tanar'ri)

HP: 27/27 (5 HD)
Speed: 20' Fly: 50' (perfect)
Init: +3

AC: 20 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +5 natural)
flat 17
touch 15

BAB/Grapple: +5/-3
Attack: Claw +10 (1d3-1 plus poison)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +10 (1d3-1 plus poison) and Bite +5 (1d4-1)

FORT +4
REF +7
WILL +5

Str 8, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10

Feats: Improved Toughness, Weapon Finesse

Special:
Alternate form (it can turn into a toad and try hopping away undetected, with a Hide bonus of +25)
Damage reduction 5/cold iron or good
Darkvision 60'
Fast healing 2
Immunity to poison
Fire Resistance 10
Poison: DC 14, 1d4 Dex/2d4 Dex
Spell-like Abilities at will: Invisibility (self), Detect Good, Detect Poison
Once per day: Cause Fear (Sp), DC 11 in a 30' radius.

A greater challenge, however, is presented by the table itself, due to the element of surprise.

Animated Stone Table (CR 3)
4HD Large Object

HP: 52/52 (4 HD)
Speed: 40'
Init: +0

AC: 14 (-1 size, +5 natural)
flat 14
touch 9

BAB/Grapple: +3/+10
Attack: Slam +5 (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Slam +5 (1d8+4)

FORT +1
REF +1
WILL -4

Str 16, Dex 10, Con , Int , Wis 1, Cha 1

Special:
Hardness (that's DR that still applies to magic/energy) 8
Construct Traits (mindless, immune to critical hits etc)
Darkvision 60'
Low Light Vision

Tactics: Essentially, Khordek will try to goad the players into attacking, at which point it reveals it can happily leave the circle (though a DC 15 Spellcraft check will also reveal this to be the case in advance, as will a DC 18 Sense Motive check). The table will then attack people as Khordek uses it as a shield against stronger foes. It will also spend a lot of time flying, and swoop in to strike at foes in the hopes of poisoning them.


The portable bath (CR 10)
Like the previous one, this also relies on the element of surprise. This, however, works better against Evil or nature-hating characters. Alternatively, it can be used as a social encounter for a Good aligned party.

Appearance: In the middle of the forest is an enormous stone bath. It is 20 feet in each direction, and has steps to help people climb in, Moss is growing on it in patches, and there are intricate carvings of flora. The bath is filled with cool, refreshing water, perfect for this warm day, and there is a nude young lady relaxing in it, her elfin features suggesting that she is some form of fey.

Laela (CR 8 )
Nymph Swordsage 2
8HD Neutral Good Medium Fey

HP: 54/54 (8 HD)
Speed: 30' Swim 20'
Init: +6

AC: 27 (+5 Dex, +7 deflection, +5 Wis)
flat 22
touch 27

BAB/Grapple: +4/+3
Attack: Unarmed Strike +10 (1d8-1)
Full Attack: Unarmed Strike (1d8-1)

FORT +12
REF +20
WILL +20

Str 8, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 20, Cha 24

Feats: Weapon Finesse, Ability Focus (Stunning Glance), Superior Unarmed Strike

Notable Skills: Know: Nature +14, Concentration +14, Swim +18, Diplomacy +20, Sense Motive +16

Special:
Blinding beauty: Any humanoid within 30' who sees Laela must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or be permanently blinded. She'll switch this off at first, activating it as a free action if combat starts.

Stunning glance: With a standard action, Laela can glare at someone, forcing them to make a DC 23 Fortitud save or be stunned for 2d4 rounds. Remember that they are likely in the water at this stage.

DR 10/Cold Iron
Low-light vision
Unearthly grace (CHA as Deflection to AC and saves)
Wild empathy
Weapon Focus: Setting Sun

Spells: Cast as a 7th level Druid
0 - cure minor wounds, detect magic, dawn, guidance, light, resistance (DC 15)
1st - calm animal, cure light wounds, entangle x2, animate water (Small Elemental), speak with animals (DC 16)
2nd - barkskin, heat metal, lesser restoration, saltray (DC 17)
3rd - corona of cold, hypothermia, protection from energy (DC 18)
4th - poison vines, stone spikes (DC 19)

Maneuvers: (can be used 1/encounter each)
Burning Blade (Swift action: every attack in the round (inc. Attacks of Opp) deals an extra 1d6+5 Fire damage)
Mighty Throw (Standard action: Don't provoke, Trip an enemy (+9) to throw them 10' away)
Fire Riposte (Immediate action: If a foe its you in melee, make a melee touch attack to deal 4d6 Fire damage)
Cloak of Deception (Swift action: become Invisible (as per Greater Invisibility) for the rest of the round)

Stances: (Swift action to change stances)
Assassin's Stance (gain +2d6 Sneak Attack damage)
Step of the Wind (ignore Difficult terrain. Gain +2 to hit and +4 to trip foes in difficult terrain)

The bath itself (CR 8 )
16HD Gargantuan Construct

HP: 148/148 (16 HD)
Speed: 10'
Init: -2

AC: 12 (4 size, 2 Dex, +8 natural)
flat 12
touch 4

BAB/Grapple: +12/+34
Attack: Slam +18 (2d8+15)
Full Attack: Slam +18 (2d8+15)

FORT +5
REF +3
WILL +0

Str 30, Dex 6, Con , Int , Wis 1, Cha 1

Special:
Construct Traits
Darkvision 60'
Low Light Vision
Hardness 10
Trample: 2d8+15 damage to Large or smaller foes. Ref DC 28 for half.
Difficult Terrain: Fighting inside the bath counts as difficult terrain due to the water itself (unless you have a Swim speed). The bath can still attack people inside it, but does not hit automatically, and cannot trample them.

Tactics:
If the party are at least neutral and not causing any harm, Laela will be friendly or at least disinterested. She will be willing to talk, and if the party are friendly enough and can shift her attitude to Friendly, she will offer to let them bathe and swim with her. If they can make her Helpful, she will provide useful information about the area.

If, on the other hand, she finds the PCs to be hostile, she will first attack. Usually, she starts in Assassin's stance, and tries to make a sneak attack with Burning Blade. After that, she will turn invisible and strike again, before resorting to throwing a foe out and spellcasting. She will also use her Stunning Glance a lot. When the PCs are beginning to climb up to attack, the bath itself will then strike. It will trample groups of foes, and make regular attacks against those inside it.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 04:37:21 AM by kongming »

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2007, 05:02:55 AM »
And now, we've reached one of my favourite monsters in the MM - the mephits <3

The Elemental Gang: designed to be a series of encounters of increasing CR.

Nip The Ice Assassin (CR 9)
Ice Mephit True Fiend 6
9HD Chaotic Neutral Small Outsider (Air, Cold, Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Tanar'ri)

HP: 58/58 (9HD)
Speed: 30' Fly 50' (perfect)
Init: +10

AC: 21 (+1 size, +6 Dex, +4 natural)
flat 15
touch 17

BAB/Grapple: +9/+4
Attack: Claw +16 (1d3-1 +1d4 Cold)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +16 (1d3-1 +1d4 Cold)

FORT +9
REF +13
WILL +9

Str 8, Dex 22, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 15

Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Slime Trail, Ability Focus: Breath, Breath Weapon

Special:
DR 6/Good or Cold Iron
Cold Subtype
Acid and Fire Resist 10
Immune to Electricity and nonmagical Poison
Immortality
Telepathy 100'
Darkvision 60'
Fast Healing 2 (in cold environments)
Breath Weapon 1/1d4 rounds: 1d4 Cold damage, Ref DC 19 for half. Failed save also causes -4 to AC and -2 to hit for 3 rounds.
Spell-like Abilities:
1/hour: magic missile (2 missiles)
1/day:
chill metal (DC 14)
Lesser Shivering Touch (DC 13)
Freezing Ray (2 rays)
Shivering Touch (DC 15, Can be delivered through the breath weapon)
Cone of Cold (DC 16)
Flesh to Ice (DC 17)

Tactics: Essentially, Nip is an assassin of sorts. Nip will try to leap out and get the drop on the party, at which point he (or she) unleashes a breath weapon. Shivering Touch is delivered through this, thus nailing everyone for 3d6 Dex damage. In general, he (or she) will try to leave the group immobilised, then run off and leave them exposed to the elements. This means that if he/she gets a good damage roll, the party will likely just be in a bad situation until they recover, but it won't be a TPK.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 08:25:18 AM »
The next challenge: The Ground Breakers (CR 9)
Consisting of...

Barakia, Crusher of Infidels (CR 7)
Earth Mephit Conduit 2 Barbarian 2
7HD Chaotic Neutral Small Outsider (Earth, Extraplanar)

HP: 61/61 (+14 temp when raging)
Speed: 30' Fly: 40' (average)
Init: +0

AC: 17 (+1 size, +6 natural), 15 when raging
flat 17, 15 when raging
touch 11, 9 when raging

BAB/Grapple: +6/+8 (+10 when raging)
Attack: Medium Greatsword +10 (2d6+27, 19-20) (+12, 2d6+30 when raging)
Full Attack: Medium Greatsword +10/+5 (2d6+27, 19-20) (+12/+7, 2d6+30 when raging)

FORT +10 (+12 when raging)
REF +3
WILL +6 (+8 when Raging)

Str 22, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 18

Feats: Power Attack, Heighten Spell-like Ability, Extra Limbs

Special:
DR 5/magic
Fast Healing 2 (underground)
Summon Mephi 1/day
Immune to Electricity
Breath Weapon: 1/d4 rounds, 1d8 damage, Ref DC 18 (20 when raging) half
Sphere: Stone (Tremorsense 60')
Spell-like Abilities:
1/hour: Enlarge Self
4/day: Earth Glide
3/day: Spike Stones (DC 18)
2/day: Stone Shape
1/day: Soften Earth and Stone, Stonetell
Rage 1/day (9 rounds)

and his pal, Jag the Bleary-Eyed Killer (CR 7)
Advanced (5HD) Salt Mephit Warlock 5
10HD Chaotic Neutral Small Outsider (Earth, Extraplanar)

HP: 40/40 (10 HD)
Speed: 30' Fly: 40' (average)
Init: +5

AC: 18 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural)
flat 17
touch 12

BAB/Grapple: +8/+10
Attack: Eldritch Blast +10 ranged touch (3d6 plus Fort DC 16 vs being Sickened for 1 minute)
Full Attack: Eldritch Glaive +12/+7 melee touch to 10' (3d6+15 plus Fort DC 16 vs being Sickened for 1 minute)

FORT +8
REF +6
WILL +8

Str 22, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Initiative, Ability Focus: Breath Weapon, Ability Focus: Sickening Blast

Special:
DR 5/magic
Fast Healing 2 (dry, arid environments)
Summon Mephit 1/day
Detect Magic
Eldritch Blast 3d6
Sickening Blast
Eldritch Glaive
Darkness
Breath Weapon 1/d4 rounds: 1d4 damage, Ref DC 21 half. Failed save causes -4 AC and -2 to hit for 3 rounds.
1/hour: Glitterdust DC 15
1/day: 20' area effect, drains moisture for 2d8 damage (Fort DC 15 half, water/plant creatures take -2 on the save)

Tactics:
Usually, Jag is visible from the word go. She will likely start by casting Darkness, then Barakia will use Earth Glide to make an entrance. Stone Spikes will be laid early, as they both fly, and Jag will use her breath weapon to worsen ACs, then start using Eldritch Blast and Eldritch Glaive (with Power Attack already factored in). Barakia will Rage and charge with Power Attack for the most part (already factored in).

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 08:31:56 AM »
A stealthy guard:

Garabamara (CR 9)
Magma Mephit Barbarian 6
9HD Chaotic Neutral Small Outsider (Fire, Extraplanar)

HP: 70/70 (+18 temp when Raging)
Speed: 40' Fly: 50' (average)
Init: +3

AC: 18 (+3 Dex, +1 size, +4 natural), 16 when raging
flat 15, 13 when raging
touch 14, 12 when raging

BAB/Grapple: +9/+8 (+10 when raging)
Attack: Greataxe +10 (1d10+10, x3) (+12, 1d10+13 when raging)
Full Attack: Greataxe +10/+5 (1d10+10, x3) (+12/+7, 1d10+13 when raging)

FORT +10 (+12 when raging)
REF +6
WILL +4 (+6 when raging)

Str 16, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 15

Feats: Power Attack, Ability Focus: Pyrotechnics, Supernatural Transformation: Pyrotechnics, Sudden Ability Focus

Special:
Fast Healing 2 (lave/fire)
DR 5/magic
Summon Mephit
Rage 2/day for 7 rounds
1/day: Pyrotechnics DC 20
1/hour: Change Shape (pool of lava)
Breath Weapon: 1/d4 rounds, 1d4 fire damage. Ref DC 17 (19 when raging) half. Failed Ref save causes -4 AC and -2 to hit for 3 rounds.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (immune to rogues)

Tactics:

The party will find an open doorway, 5' wide, blocked off by what appears to be a pool of lava, bubbling away. He is readying an action to cast Pyrotechnics on himself the moment someone jumps. If they fail the save, they end up falling on top of him and taking 2d6 Fire damage and catching fire. If they succeed on the save, they still take a -5 penalty on their Jump check but will probably make it, in which case he is entitled to an attack of opportunity.

From there, he will either slither away and try to escape, or return to his normal form with his axe and enter combat, first using his breath weapon to try lowering armour classes. In the statistics given, he is using Power Attack for 3 points.


Finally, the players can reach their boss...

Lady Noxia of the Boiling Ocean, Raider of the Sahuagin (CR 10)
Advanced (9HD) Steam Mephit Sorceress 9
18HD Chaotic Neutral Medium Outsider (Fire, Extraplanar)

HP: 135/135 (18HD)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 50 ft. (average)
Init: +6

AC: 26 (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +6 Mage Armour, +4 Shield)
flat 24
touch 12

BAB/Grapple: +13/+15
Attack: Claw +15 (1d6+2 plus 1d4 Fire)
Full Attack: Claw +15 (1d6+2 plus 1d4 Fire)

FORT +12
REF +11
WILL +12

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 22

Feats:
Improved Toughness, Ability Focus: Breath Weapon, Improved Initiative Improved Natural Attack
Attune Sphere: Fire, Attune Sphere: Sleep, Empower Spell

Special:
Fast Healing 2 (touching boiling water)
DR 5/magic
Fire Subtype (Immune to Fire, Double Damage from Cold)
Summon Mephit
Breath Weapon: 1/1d4 rounds, 1d4 Fire damage, Ref DC 24 half. Failed save causes -4 AC and -2 to attack for 3 rounds.
1/hour: Blur
1/day: Boiling Rain (20' area takes 2d6 Fire damage, Ref DC 18 half)
Spellcasting
A small lizard familiar which sits around outside, existing only as an early warning system (is just lying on a rock, "hiding", has 67/67 HP)

Spells:
Cantrips: 6 per day, 0 cast already, DC 16
Mending, Repair Minor Damage, Prestidigitation, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Caltrops, Stick
1st Level: 8 per day, 2 cast already, DC 17
Shield, Magic Missile, Karmic Aura, Jet of Steam, Breath Flare, Fireball, Deep Slumber
2nd Level: 8 per day, 1 cast already, DC 18
Boiling Blood, Vision of Entropy, Incendiary Slime, Torrent of Tears, Scorching Ray, Waves of Fatigue
3rd Level: 7 per day, 1 cast already, DC 19
Greater Mage Armour, Caustic Smoke, Prickling Torment, Firetrap, Waves of Exhaustion
4th Level: 5 per day, 2 cast already, DC 20
Caustic Mire, Nightmare Terrain, Wall of Fire, Dream

Appearance:
This room is a horrific nightmare. The walls twist inwards, spines and tentacles growing from them. The ceiling is growing teeth, trying to eat anyone who gets too close, and the floor is a foul sludge, bubbling and growing vines and evil mushrooms. Spores and tendrils fill the air, and on the other side is a pretty, nude young lady with small, wispy wings. She is dripping with boiling water, and looks positively wicked.

Tactics:
Having been warned of their approach, she cast Greater Mage Amour, Shield, Karmic Aura, Caustic Mire, Nightmare Terrain and Incendiary Slime. This means the battlefield is already prepared. In this instance, you would be justified at awarding XP as though this were CR 11.

As the party enter the area, she will cast Caustic Smoke and either Fireball or Scorching Ray. It is important to keep track of what spells are affecting people, as many spells here interact with others. Although she is well protected, she will try to keep her distance. She will frequently cast Breath Flare when using her breath, and will essentially cast a variety of offensive spells to keep players on their feet.

If reduced to less than 40 hit points, she is likely to surrender and try striking a bargain, or alternatively just try to escape. If neither seems likely, she will instead just keep fighting to the death. (If you overestimated the strength of the party and she seems to be doing too good a job, consider having her flee or surrender. She can then return as a recurring villain, or become a useful ally to provide them with information.)

Offline Jefepato

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 08:40:43 AM »
Earth Mephit Conduit 2 Barbarian 2

Great stuff, but I must confess to some confusion.  What's a "Conduit"?

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 08:55:48 AM »
Conduit of the Lower Planes. I often use stuff by Frank and K. Links ahoy:

http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=698&postnum=0
http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=688&postnum=0
http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=684&postnum=0
http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=723&postnum=0

Coming up later:
Truth, Justice and the American Way
Pocky and Rocky
Forbidden Love
Illithid Blackguard on a Beholder Mount!
Living Burning Tentacles
The Urak' Guy

(And if anyone uses any of these, let me know how they worked out, and how the players reacted)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 10:42:48 AM by kongming »

Offline Jefepato

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2007, 09:16:36 AM »
Wow.  That alternative monk is super-insanely badass.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2007, 09:21:20 AM »
Well, it fights well. I'm currently playing two characters with alternative monk levels (multiclassed), and they don't suck (whereas the standard monk does). But they're not stupid-good like Druids and Wizards who know what spells to pick. Just decent, as in "I can actually fight monsters of the right CR without being handed DM-pity items".

Offline Jefepato

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2007, 09:29:17 AM »
P'raps, but the grand master styles look to be a little over the top.  I don't think the save-or-die every time you hit is strictly necessary to compete at that level.

I'd ask Jeramiahh if I could convert Krell to that sort of monk, though it would be a crying shame to lose Improved Grapple...

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2007, 10:06:14 AM »
Yeah, my character in his game has 3 levels of that Monk, and it might save her ass against the Succubus.

Truth, Justice and the American Way (CR 18 )

Here we have three ogres. They work together... nominally.

Truth (The truth is blunt and hurts) (CR 15)
Ogre Fighter 2 Warhulk 10
16 HD Chaotic Evil Large Giant

HP: 199/199
Speed: 30'
Init: +5

BAB/Grapple: +5/+27
Attack: Huge Adamantine Heavy Flail +20 (3d8+44, 19-20) <-- 3d8+54 if charging
Full Attack: Huge Adamantine Heavy Flail +20 (3d8+44, 19-20)

AC: 23 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural, +8 full plate)
flat 22
touch 10

FORT +19
REF +5
WILL +4

Str 46, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 6

Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Combat Style (Hit Things Hard Style), Leap Attack, Improved Initiative, Monkey Grip, Improved Toughness, Martial Study: Claw at the Moon

Noteworthy Skills: Jump +37

Special:
Toughness x3
Massive Swing: As a standard attack, Truth may make one attack roll, and compare it to the AC of every foe he threatens. As such, he can attack everyone in reach at the same time.
Claw at the Moon: 1/encounter, one attack (against one foe) is made with a Jump check as well. If the Jump check beats the target's AC, then the attack deals +2d6 damage and gains a +4 bonus to confirm critical threats.

Equipment: +5 Huge Adamantine Heavy Flail, Full Plate

Tune in later for Justice and the American Way!

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2007, 10:13:37 AM »
Justice (justice... just desserts... get what's coming to you... death... scythe) (CR 15)
Ogre Fighter 4 Hulking Hurler 3 Master Thrower 5
16 HD Chaotic Evil Large Giant

HP: 159/159
Speed: 30'
Init: +1

BAB/Grapple: +15/+28
Attack: Thrown Adamantine Scythe +26 (5d6+17, 19-20 x5)
Full Attack: Thrown Adamantine Scythe +20 (5d6+34, 19-20 x5) or Thrown Adamantine Scythes +24/+24/+19/+14 (5d6+17, 19-20 x5)

AC: 23 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +8 armour, +5 natural)
flat 22
touch 10

FORT +13
REF +6
WILL +2

Str 28, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 7

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus: Scythe, Weapon Focus: Javelin,
Improved Toughness, Manyshot, Imp. Crit: Scythe, Weapon Specialisation: Scythe

Noteworthy Skills: Sleight of Hand +10

Special:
Catch Weapon (Snatch Arrows)
Really Throw Anything (seriously. 10' range increments)
Meteor Strike (add Str*2 damage to thrown weapons)
Ranged Power Attack
Quickdraw
Evasion
Critical Throw
Deadeye Shot (thrown weapons increase multiplier by 1)
Trip Throw (if hit, make a Dex-based trip check with +4 bonus (+9))
2 with one blow (2 adjacent foes can be targeted at once, for a -4 penalty)

Equipment:
Full Plate, Back of Holding, 20 Colossal Adamantine +1 Scythes


Finally, The American Way! (Bombs. I'm going to get in trouble for this!) (CR 15)
Ogre Fighter 4 Hulking Hurler 3 Master Thrower 5
16 HD Chaotic Evil Large Giant

HP: 159/159
Speed: 30'
Init: +5

BAB/Grapple: +15/+28
Attack: Thrown Fire Jar +25 touch (3d6+13, x3)
Full Attack: Thrown Fire Jar +20 touch (3d6+32, x3) or Thrown Fire Jars +23/+23/+18/+13 (3d6+13, x3)
*Adjacent foes will suffer 2 points of splash damage each

AC: 23 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +8 armour, +5 natural)
flat 22
touch 10

FORT +13
REF +6
WILL +2

Str 28, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 7

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus: Acid Flask, Improved Initiative,
Improved Toughness, Manyshot, Mad Alchemist, Weapon Specialisation: Acid Flask

Noteworthy Skills: Sleight of Hand +10

Special:
Catch Weapon (Snatch Arrows)
Really Throw Anything (seriously. 10' range increments)
Meteor Strike (add Str*2 damage to thrown weapons)
Ranged Power Attack
Quickdraw
Evasion
Critical Throw
Deadeye Shot (thrown weapons increase multiplier by 1)
Trip Throw (if hit, make a Dex-based trip check with +4 bonus (+9))
2 with one blow (2 adjacent foes can be targeted at once, for a -4 penalty)

Equipment:
Full Plate, Back of Holding, 50 Colossal Jars of Alchemist Fire

Tactics:

Essentially, Truth, Justice and the American Way attack haphazardly. The two throwers will try to get close without actually closing in, "hiding" behind Truth. From there, they will use their thrown weapons, trying to hit multiple opponents and trip them with the explosions and scythes. Truth, on the other hand, will charge and simply go for an all-out assault, smacking everyone all over the place.

This battle is very dangerous for players who wander around on the ground and don't have good defences. On the other hand, by level 18 they should be able to auto-win the combat with some decent thinking.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2007, 11:38:51 AM »
Kong, I am not a D&D tactics expert, but the three ogres are... Sinfully awesome.

Weapon specialization:acid flask. YES!

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2007, 11:40:54 AM »
Whoops, I meant fire jar. Oh well, you could easily have a bunch of each - even some jars of cold stuff (alchemical ice or coldfire or something). But yes, they are designed to be weird and cool, as well as potentially dangerous and something to laugh about later on.

And flasks of acid are better than people give them credit for. You can sneak attack with those.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2007, 11:45:04 AM »
That's just classic...although, as you say, an actual 18th-level party is unlikely to be troubled.  These guys have some glaring weaknesses and no obvious way to cover them.  (I suggest teaming them with "Mr. President," an ogre mage sorcerer.)

I heard one DM claim that his players still lived in fear of an ogre deepwood sniper who specialized in the orc shotput

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2007, 01:29:59 PM »
Forbidden Love, an interplanar encounter that could be social, sexy or violent. (CR 12)

Although the following scene could conceivably occur within a dungeon (expecting to get some privacy surrounded by traps and monsters), it is more likely in an inhabited castle, a private demiplane accessed by a magic item/plot hook, or a love hotel/hotspring.

As you step through the doorway, the strangest scene greets you. The room is lavishly decorated, with a hot pool of steaming water surrounded by groups of soft, fluffy pillows, and magical lights floating in the air. An enchanted harp plays itself magically to provide gentle background music, however most noteworthy are the occupants. A pale-skinned elfin lady, most likely a Celestial of some variety, is lying in a pile of pillows, her white wings at rest. Cuddled up on her lap is a Succubus, no doubt. She has lightly tanned skin, and devious eyes, with the little pointed tail flicking around. Finally, kneeling behind them and gently kissing the Succubus is a blue-skinned, red-haired fiendish woman who is, once again, gorgeous.

The three ladies here will not be pleased to be interrupted, and are likely to demand they leave. They might be talkative if persuaded (if moved from Unfriendly to Friendly with a Diplomancy check), or even let the characters sit and watch, though they are loyal to each other as a triad, so it is unlikely a PC would be able to join in, unless as a favour in return for something. They are not above resorting to violence to be left alone.

Interesting twist: Make them all Succubi, though two in disguise (as the above), and friendly to start with. Make them talkative, and more open to letting the PCs join in. At this point, they will begin level draining quite happily, pleased with themselves for their cunning plan. This is CR 10 for 3 regular Succubi, or CR 12 if they are all advanced like the one shown here.

Aruphiel
Movanic Deva (CR 9)
6HD Neutral Good Medium Outsider (Deva, Extraplanar, Good)

HP: 57/57 (6HD)
Speed: 40' Fly 90' (good)
Init: +10

BAB/Grapple: +6/+11
Attack: +1 Flaming Greatsword +14 (2d6+10 plus 1d6 Fire, 19-20)
Full Attack: +1 Flaming Greatsword +14/+9 (2d6+10 plus 1d6 Fire, 19-20)

AC: 27 (+6 Dex, +8 natural, +3 shield)
flat 21
touch 16

FORT +10
REF +11
WILL +8

Str 20 Dex 22 Con 20 Int 15 Wis 16 Cha 20

Feats: Improved Initiative, Combat School (Burning Blade School), Shielding Wings

Immunities: Acid, Cold, Electricity, Petrification
+4 on saves vs Poison
Constant Tongues effect
Constant Minor Globe of Invulnerability
Damage Reduction 10/Evil
Spell Resistance 19
Fire Resistance 20
Soothing Presence of Nature: Animals and Plants won't attack her unless magically compelled
Heavenly Deflection: 1/round as a free action, can make a DC 20 Ref save to deflect a ranged attack, ray or single target spell. +1 to the DC for every +1 of weapon bonus, + the spell level if a spell
Sp at Will: Aid, Consecrate, Continual Flame, Create Food and Water, Death Ward, Detect Evil, Discern Lies, Polymorph, Prayer, Protection From Arrows
3/day: Atonement, Bless Weapon, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Divination, Ethereal Jaunt, Hallow, Holy Smite, Neutralise Poison, Planeshift, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Remove Fear
1/day: Commune, Raise Dead

Gear: +1 Flaming Greatsword


"Mistress Killjoy"
Erinyes Rogue 1 (CR 9)
10HD Lawful Evil Medium Outsider (Baatezu, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)

HP: 124/124 (10HD)
Speed: 30' Fly 50' (good)
Init: +7

BAB/Grapple: +9/+17
Attack: +1 Flaming Longbow +17 (1d8+9 +1d6 fire, x3) or Baatorian Steel Longsword +17 (1d8+13, 19-20) or Rope +16 touch (entangle)
Full Attack: +1 Flaming Longbow +15/+15/+10 (1d8+9 +1d6 fire, x3) or Baatorian Steel Longsword +17/+12 (1d8+13, 19-20)

AC: 25 (+7 Dex, +8 natural)
flat 18
touch 17

FORT +13
REF +15
WILL +9

Str 26, Dex 24, Con 25, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 22

Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Rapidshot, Precise Shot, Improved Toughness

Special:
Damage Reduction 5/Good
Sneak Attack 1d6
Entangle: the rope entangles if it hits
Acid and Cold Resistance 10
Immune to Fire and Poison
Telepathy 100'
Spell Resistance 21
True Seeing
Summon Devil: 1/day, 50% chance of summoning 1d4 Bearded Devils or 2d10 Lemures
Sp at Will: Greater Teleport (self+50), Charm Monster (DC 20), Minor Image (DC 18), Unholy Blight (DC 20)
 
Gear: Baatorian Greensteel Longsword, +1 Flaming Longbow, 50' of Rope


Nay Sien
Succubus Conduit 2 (CR 9)
8HD Chaotic Evil Medium Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Tanar'ri)

HP: 50/50 (8HD)
Speed: 30' Fly 50' (average)
Init: +4

BAB/Grapple: +7/+10
Attack: Claw +10 (1d6+3 plus Poison)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +10 (1d6+3 plus Poison)

AC: 23 (+4 Dex, +9 natural)
flat 19
touch 14

FORT +6
REF +9
WILL +9

Str 16, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 30

Feats: Improved Toughness, Persuasive, Poison Claws: Id Moss
*If AC is a real issue, swap these for Attractive, Body to Die For, Bulletproof Beauty (lose 8 HP and Poison, gain +10 to AC - always)

Special:
Energy Drain: on a kiss (Grapple if need be), deal 1 negative level and implant a Suggestion (more kissing), DC 24
Summon Demon: 1/day, 1 Vrock 30%
Change Shape: Humanoid Appearances
Permanent Tongues effect
Immune to Electricity and Poison
Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron or Good
Telepathy 100'
Spell Resistance 10
Acid, Cold and Fire Resistance 10
Spheres: Frostbite (Cold Spell-likes make victim fatigued until healed), Violation
Spell-like Abilities:
at will:
Charm Monster DC 24
Detect Good
Detect Thoughts DC 22
Ethereal Jaunt (self+50)
Suggestion DC 23
Greater Teleport (self+50)
1/day:
Lesser Shivering Touch DC 21
Freezing Ray (as Scorching ray, but Cold subtyped and doing cold damage)
Shivering Touch DC 23
Cone of Cold DC 24
Hypnotism DC 21
Modify Memory DC 23
Dominate Person DC 24

Tactics:
If a fight breaks out, it will get messy. They have no qualms with flying and using that as an advantage. Mistress Killjoy will likely start things off with a series of arrows, with a little sneak attack added for good measure. She will then entangle people as well as firing arrows and closing for melee. Aruphiel might throw a few buffs on, then focus on melee combat with her greatsword. Nay Sien is most likely to start by using offensive Spell-like abilities, as well as controlling foes, then close in to deliver Int-damaging poison (especially to spellcasters who look likely to be Wizards) and to kiss the life from easily grappled foes.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2007, 01:24:59 AM »
(waiting for someone to convert Barney the purple dinosaur, or SpongeBob SquarePants, into a D&D monster...)

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2007, 02:15:11 AM »
Not happening. At least, I'm not doing it :p

I'm still annoyed my awesome "Cloaker Warlock who Charms a PC into wearing him, or if bargained with, acts as a living piece of equipment" post was destroyed.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: Some ready-made less common challenges - and tips for D&D DMs
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2007, 04:29:04 AM »
Living Fiery Tentacles (CR 10)

Appearance: A conglomeration of writhing oily black tendrils, wreathed in flame, with a core of pure fire.

10HD Large Ooze

HP: 10d10+20 (75)
Speed: 40'
Init: +0

AC: 14 (+5 Deflection, -1 size)
flat 14
touch 14

BAB/Grapple: +7/+15
Attack: Slam +10 (1d6+6 plus spell effect)

Fort +5
Ref +3
Will +4

Str 19 Dex 10 Con 15 Int - Wis 12 Cha 15

Special:
Spell Resistance 20
Damage Reduction 10/magic
Ooze Traits
Spell Effect: When it strikes someone, they also take 10 Fire damage (Ref DC 15 half), however they also find that burning black tentacles grow out of their own body and try to grapple them (grapple modifier +16). If they are grappled, they get no save against the effect.
Engulf: It may simply move over as many foes as it can fit over (though this prevents it from making a Slam attack that turn). Foes may either make an attack of opportunity OR make a Reflex save. If they elect to make a Reflex save and pass, they get out of the way. Otherwise, they are engulfed, and each round they are grappled by it AND the tentacles growing from them (+16 grapple modifier) and take 10 points of fire damage.

Tactics: It... moves and slams/engulfs. That's pretty much all there is to it.