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The Thinktank => Min/Max It! => Topic started by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 04:29:49 AM

Title: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 04:29:49 AM
Hi there, I'm wondering what some good spell options (as low level as possible...) there are that 'shut down' slow, burrowing melee focused creatures.  I'm trying to figure out options that make them a.) Come to the surface, b.) Stay there c.) Lock them down at the surface so we can kite them or attack them from a distance.

So far I've figured out using groundsmoke, some smokestick variants, and an air elemental to smoke them out from their burrow, but I'm not 100% sure that will work, and I would like some other ways that encourage burrowing creatures to come to the surface and STAY there.  Especially big strong types!

Or, alternately, low level spells that 'solve' big high hit point tanky creatures with a low reflex save, too...

Any ideas?

Also, I guess I do want to know what some of the specialized battlefield control spells that work against things with weird or obscure movement options are, too..

EDIT: I put more details in the replies.  Lots of clarification! This is an encounter that is meant to challenge my optimization and tactical fu...
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures?
Post by: Solo on October 22, 2010, 04:32:56 AM
Web
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 04:34:36 AM
The problem with web is that, even if they fail their save and entangled, they can move slowly... but they could *move slowly straight down* and thereby out of the web... and then come up outside the web.

These are intelligent burrowers, by the way...
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures?
Post by: saethone on October 22, 2010, 04:58:52 AM
create water + transmute mud to rock?
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 05:11:36 AM
That's a good idea!  *Checks* oh wait, Umber hulks can burrow through rock.  We would need Walls of Iron below them or something.

FYI, this is for a level 5 Druid and a level 5 Artificer, going up against three umber hulks that don't want to come out of their cave.  I ran that through the encounter calculator thing, and that's an EL 10 encounter, considered 'unbeatable'.

We've already figured out how to deny them the ability to hurt us (ie, fly or float, be at an altitude of about 70 or 80 feet), we just need to pull them, then hold them, while we blow them to bits.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on October 22, 2010, 05:16:43 AM
Brick up the cave and decanter of endless water them?  They'll have to leave if they don't want to drown.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 05:19:26 AM
The main thing I want to prevent is the whole,

1. We send smoke that is groundsmoked and stinky in with a smoke or air elemental or some wind effects directing it

2. They pop outward

3. We web / entangle / etc. them, and begin to deal ranged damage to them.  They fail their saves, and can move really slowly, being entangled and stuff.

4. They just see that they can't affect us, cause we are out of their range, and being intelligent creatures, burrow DOWNWARD, and away from where the smoke is going, and out (ie, under) of the area of effect of the spells

5.  They pop up way out of the area of the smoke and the spells, and then burrow again elsewhere, fleeing the encounter

--STALEMATE--
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Emy on October 22, 2010, 06:46:37 AM
Initial thoughts without looking up the monsters:

They're big bruisers, that probably means low Int. Depending on how low it is, ray of stupidity could shut them down.

Probably low Dex, too, so shivering touch could work some wonders.

They probably have too many HD for a deep slumber to work, and you don't have hold monster yet

Using oneshot items is almost cheating, but a 2275gp scroll of reverse gravity would pretty much be a "no save, just lose".

If luring them into ghoul glyphs is possible, I'm sure the few rounds of paralysis would easily win you the fight.

Shrink item some big iron plates and lay them down on the ground. Command them to expand when needed.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: veekie on October 22, 2010, 08:05:16 AM
Cloudkill?
It descends to the lowest level.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: LordBlades on October 22, 2010, 08:14:42 AM
Can Umber Hulks burrow through worked stone(I'm away from books atm and surprisingly umber hulks are not in the SRD)? Because if they can't. Fabricate might be worth a shot: make the floor of the cave into worked stone(or at least part of it, 9 10 ft. cubes at minimum CL for a scroll).
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Epimetheus on October 22, 2010, 09:01:54 AM
Wait, wait. This is the group (druid and artificer) that want to shut down the polluting metropolis?

I laugh...

Anyway, shouldn't any Earthquake-type spell work? I don't know though.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: jameswilliamogle on October 22, 2010, 03:55:21 PM
Summon a Thoqua or two (dozen) and let them go to town.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 05:14:22 PM
The polluting metropolis is a LONG TERM plan!  We seem to be levelling every week or so, thats why! Neither character even knows of anything on that continent! We'd only be able to, you know, look up 'what is the name of the most polluting city on toril' when we get some really awesome high end divination spells.

This is a SHORT TERM plan!  We couldn't do anything to a metropolis now... we aren't even on the right continent, silly! ;)
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: PhaedrusXY on October 22, 2010, 06:24:29 PM
A big sheet with an Illusory Script (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/illusoryScript.htm) on it. Use a Suggestion like "Get in the cage". :P Then bring a big cage (shrunken via Shrink Item for convenient travel), and open it before unfolding your sheet and banging on a drum or something to call them out.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Redeemer of Ogar on October 22, 2010, 07:57:23 PM
Scalding Mud was my first thought, but it's a lvl6 spell... Could always Alter Self into an Asabi (MoF15, burrow20) and chase after them?

How about an illusion of a cute female umber hulk in a red dress?   :lmao
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Epimetheus on October 22, 2010, 08:19:32 PM
Illusory Script only works if the things attempt to read the script; while intelligent, I don't know if these umber hulks can read.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 08:27:36 PM
Even if it was in Terran? Can they read Terran??
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: cru on October 22, 2010, 09:54:31 PM
Lure hulk out. Druid casts binding winds (drd 2, SpC), duration concentration. Artificer blasts away (or shoots hulk dead with personal-weapon-augmentation aberration-bane crossbow). Another spell to look at is Ice lance (6d6+stun for 1d4 rounds) (lvl 3, SpC).
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Epimetheus on October 22, 2010, 10:35:08 PM
Yes, if stunning works, then that's the way to go. Eventually the save or die will lead to a 'just die' situation, although it may take a few statemates to eventually win.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: jameswilliamogle on October 22, 2010, 11:11:26 PM
Solution is to utilize city kill technique.  Is simple.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: PhaedrusXY on October 22, 2010, 11:19:02 PM
Ah, that Kelpstrand spell might work, also. I recall it being low level and broken.  :D
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on October 22, 2010, 11:39:29 PM
Ah, that Kelpstrand spell might work, also. I recall it being low level and broken.  :D

Level 5 Druid will have a +12 grapple mod and one strand. It would work better with one more level (2 strands, each at +15) but you'll have to make do.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 22, 2010, 11:53:01 PM
Kelpstrand requires a to hit roll vs DC 10 (their touch ac) for a ranged touch attack... the Druid has Murky Eyed and an 8 dex, her to hit with a ranged touch attack is +0.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: saethone on October 23, 2010, 01:44:40 AM
so buff first


does the druid have natural spell? (if not, why not?) - shape into something with high dex
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on October 23, 2010, 01:57:38 AM
does the druid have natural spell? (if not, why not?) - shape into something with high dex
Level 5.  No natural spell.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: saethone on October 23, 2010, 04:36:00 AM
oh wow, i never realized druids didn't get wild shape till level 5 haha. well, you sill have cat's grace that'll help a bit
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: jojolagger on October 23, 2010, 04:59:33 AM
Have the artificer cast Suspension (shining south) on a large metal platform with 5 foot high metal walls. The artificer will need to cast it via scroll.
Use it as a trap. Use the druid to lure them on to it, he can wildshape into a bird and run after they are trapped.
When they are all on it, rapidly lift it. They can burrow out and will be unable to jump off before it gets to a high at which point it would be insane to jump off.
Kill them at your leisure, as suspension will last 6-9 days.

might want to combine with the shrunk big iron plates thing for easy transport.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 23, 2010, 05:38:40 AM
Well! We beat the encounter!

It was 3 umber hulks and 1 cloaker vs two ECL 5 characters, and according to this,

http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm

It was a party level 3 vs encounter level 11...

We each gained 5250 xp from that... and this was the first XP we had gained after getting to 5th level... I was at 10,200, so with, uh, one fight, I went up to 6th... (we're doing some slight house rules on when you have to pay bloodline costs...).

And now... I have a ton more money, and Natural Spell!  We've houseruled a ton of craft stuff, and she's making lots of money selling venoms... and the Artificer can make Eternal Wands! YAY!
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on October 23, 2010, 05:41:54 AM
What tactics did you use?
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 23, 2010, 06:38:19 AM
Okay!

On a cloudy, drizzling autumn day (Druid used a spell to figure out weather)

Spells and stuff prepared and on scrolls that didn't get used:
Briar Web, Haste, Tanglefoot bags, Stinking Cloud, Groundsmokes, Lots of very stinky special smokesticks, Grease, Kelpstrand, Web, Scorching Ray, Major Illusion, Unseen Servant (to provide tactile ground feeling for the illusion to lure them out).  The main idea was to mostly use some more entangles if the two l1 druid ones didn't work, or maybe use Grease + Spore Field to make it hard for them to burrow, with the other Battlefield Control spells to keep them on the Grease.  If the illusions didnt get them out, we were gonna use Groundsmokes + Smokesticks + a Smoke Elemental (DM ruled that I could summon smoke elementals with SNAII, and they actually COULD move smoke around... and stinky special smoke didn't harm them) to smoke them out.  Anyway, here's how it went.

Long duration:
Aberration Bane bow, frost arrows.
Scrolled Disobedience on both characters.
Flight armor infusions, of various sorts.
Take Tiger out of bag of tricks
Blast rod infusion
Magic weapon on bow

Medium duration:
Cats grace from scrolls on both
owls wisdom on druid from scroll
Levitate on both characters

Entangle and Spore Field on trap area outside of cave  (Spore Field was so if they looked like they were gonna burrow, the artificer could grease them, cause spore field + grease + need to balance = no grip to burrow)

Move Tiger to outside of cave

Both characters move to 40 foot altitude on outside of cave, so they would be 'in range' of the eye thing, but Disobedience would take care of it, but they could both pretend to be under the effects of it

Druid

R1! A head peeks out of cave!

Artificer read suggestion scroll for the thing to stay at the front door and defend the cave (ie, not burrow).

Tiger pounces, does lots of damage!

UH1 gets ZAPPED!

R2:

Artificer Hastes party and tiger

Tiger hits UH1, Tiger kills UH1!

Druid summons an Augmented Summoning Ice Creature Hippogriff with Conjure Ice Beast II far away, beyond the entangle/spore field, for the UH's to run toward, and motions for it to stay still

UH2 Bounds out, Sees fallen comrade, attacks and kills tiger!


R3

UH2 Looks at Druid, Druid pretends to babble incoherently, and stomps toward IceGriff... and into trap area!

HGriff moves into entangle area... the two creatures go toward each other in sloowww mottionnn... Icegriff does cold damage to UH2 from being close!

Druid, pretending to babble incoherently, just happens to the right hand motions to zap UH2!  Uh2 Dies!

UH3 comes out, and charges toward Icegriff... and into entangle/etc.!

R4

Icegriff and UH3 go toward each other in slow motion... UH3 misses! Icegriff Misses! But Icegriffs Aura doesnt miss!

Suddenly, the two characters are targeted by a mind affecting effect, which does nothing, because of Disobedience! Ack, CLOAKER! Totally unexpected! Ack, Cloaker floats to the Artificer, who is terrible at melee & grappling!

The artificer fires at the cloaker and misses badly!

The Druid Lightnings the Cloaker, and tries to get closer to it!

R5

UH3 does good amount of damage to icegriff! Icegriff misses!

Cloaker grapples Artificer! ACK! Artificer is not good at melee, and is terrible at grappling!

Druid activates a Hammersphere and whomps on Cloaker, realizes this hurts Artificer.  Artificer heals self with healing belt

R6

Cloaker bites the Artificer, and tails the druid, critting on the druid! Owie!

Icegriff Hits, Hits, Crits, Ices UH3, who is badly hurt!  UH3 Kills icegriff

Druid Zaps UH3! UH3 is very badly hurt!

R7

Cloaker bites artificer, artificer tells Druid to kill UH3 before it burrows. Artificer Healing belts self

Druid Casts Call Lightning again and zaps UH3! UH3 dies

R8

Cloaker Bites artificer. Artificer Ice Ray's Cloaker.

Druid Summons Hippogriff. Hippogriff attempts to grapple cloaker. HGriff Fails, and takes AoO.

R9

Cloaker Bites artificer. Artificer uses last charge on healing belt.

Druid summons another hippgriff. Both Hippogriffs attempt to grapple the cloaker.  DM, frustrated with grapple rules by this time, manage to say that two huge hippogriffs manage to pull the cloaker off of the artificer, and fling it aside (Cloaker misses AoOs against hgriffs).

R10

HGriffs both charge cloaker and hit!

Artificer Arrows Cloaker and Hits

Druid moves Hammersphere to cloaker and hits! Druid Lightnings Cloaker! Cloaker dies!

Combat ends!


Okayyy... what I've determined is that the Artificer needs some help being able to, at a moment's notice, deal a whooole toonnnn of damage to things that are grappling it.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Epimetheus on October 23, 2010, 12:06:57 PM
Hm. What's that spell that does 6d6 damage to people who grapple you and lasts rds/lvl? Balor Nimbus (SpC) lvl 2.

Make a command-word activation type item for that.

Grapplers are always flat-footed, so you can kill them more easily. Cloakers lose 3 AC, I think. There's no reason to be scared of grappling if you handle it well.
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on October 23, 2010, 07:54:38 PM
Heart of Water scroll. I'm just saying. (you can also use Spell Storing Item for it at level 6).
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Epimetheus on October 23, 2010, 11:43:16 PM
Of course, there's always the route where you don't want to be grappled at all, ever.

Balor Nimbus is super funny though. "Come, give me a hug!" :D
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Gavinfoxx on October 24, 2010, 05:54:28 AM
Okay... thank you soooo much guys!  Now that we've dinged 6th level... I need to figure out what the most important spells to get on Eternal Wands are... the "we cast these every day" ones! ack!
Title: Re: What are some good spells vs. burrowing creatures? 2 ecl5 vs 3 umber hulks-el10?
Post by: Sunic_Flames on October 24, 2010, 04:29:45 PM
Okay... thank you soooo much guys!  Now that we've dinged 6th level... I need to figure out what the most important spells to get on Eternal Wands are... the "we cast these every day" ones! ack!

Heart of Water? You can't get FoM on Eternal Wands because it's max level 3 and FoM is 4 and it's a good hour/level spell.

Maybe a Rope Trick? Perhaps Lesser Restoration to deal with random ability damage (I think this is available as a first level arcane spell somewhere, if not get a Ranger wand for 1.5k).

Most of the good spells at that level are CL dependent, so selection is limited. Do consider making good use of Spell Storing item though, the XP cost is trivial, and if you pick good buffs it's more than worth it.

And if you aren't using Armor Enhancement (Greater Healing) start doing it.