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Request: Gray Shiver (Dragon 343).

It's a CR9 monster, the result of a spider making its home in the skull of a destroyed lich and inheriting some of its power and all of its ego.

You mean the diminutive "casts as CR" spider that has a dominate-person poison and several other goodies? Challenge acepted!

But first...


1-Well at first level good luck geting a 20 on Str even with the racial modifier. So we're looking at more of a 18-19 Str with 3d4+9 vs 2d6+6. And if you need to move to get in melee, it's 1d4+4 (or 2d4+8 causing an aoo) vs 2d6+6. The troll gets ahead on full attacks but back in charges.

2-The monk and paladin healing aren't that good of a comparison point. Those guys aren't low tiers by chance. Also the troll won't get to heal both nonlethal and normal damage at the same time because it's natural healing, not a magic or spell effect.

3-Well it could be the troll twisting itself before jumping to create a basebal/boomerang-like effect where something turns in mid-air, or cartoon-style of flailing its arms to change direction mid-air, or anime-style of super kung-fu, take your pick. And as long as the whole movevement it's in a straight lineand whitin your speed you can get anywhere.

5-Any self-respecting rogue will be tumbling trough the battlefield to avoid reprisal full attacks from monsters with lots of teeths and claws. Or can just hit the aoo to stop the full extra claw attacks. But good point on multiple rends, that was not intended. Will put a clause that the extra claw attacks can't trigger rend.

Chesire cat
1-Hide In plain Sight  becomes irrelevant when enemies get blindsight and mindsight and tremorsense and whateversight. But I feel like waiting and see how the cat player that is sacrificing caster levels and our dear DM deal with this.

2-It's still a sorceror, whose main weakness is low level of spells known, for every illusion/enchantment it picks, is one less Polymorph/teleport/binding/hax dragon spell spell he knows.

3-But on the other hand, it also means a player can be tempted to play a sorceror and "gasp" lose caster levels! What was the last time you saw someone pick sorceror and plan a build that only goes to 6th level spells until 20th level?


3-Noted. I'm DMing a party with a lv8 tarrasque right now, and I plan to throw them medium level fullcasters later on, will see how it goes.

6-It's still something I do for every monster with SLAs here, and you're the first one to complain about it. It being a basic rule is no problem, I'm freaking rewriting whole monsters here! And yes I do strive for the abilities to be synergetic. Now some base classes do offer multiple paths, and so do some of my monster classes, but that's lots of extra work on my side of the field. Making a "pretty tarrasque" a viable and interesting path is just something I don't have the free time to do.  Finally cha is the dump stat in D&D. It would feel bad if a 1st level tarrasque has to burn points in Cha that will only be useful when it actually starts geting Cha-based abilities.

7-Dispel and AMF are "dun-dun-DUN" spells themselves! No wonder the best grapplers are casters (usually with some polymorph/wildshape help). High dex dudes have escape artist, or at least a cheap anklet of translocation (dispel and AMF items are much harder to come by). Now I guess I could make freedom of movement grant a bonus... But I won't because I'm personally offended from that rule, in particular because it's a 3.5 rule, whereas in 3.0 FoM only worked against magic effects, as it's suposed to.

8-There's more than one way to instil fear. Dragons scare you not only by being big but also by being shiny/colourful and very self-confident. There's a reason why ancient warriors liked to make themselves look as outrageous as possible before the whole "camouphlage" thing set in.

9-Ah yes it's indeed suposed to be most of an anti-magic effect. And do notice that the original blocked a much more limited selection of spells, meaning a caster could snipe it from a distance much easier. Plus this way it works as bait. If the caster aproaches enough to try to get trough your carapace, it's possibly in your natural weapons range!

10-But I wanted that effect whitout needing to resort to non-srd feats.

1-Neither do energy drain or ability damage spell instant death, they just weaken you. And with mindblank, regeneration and carapace, giving it death ward as well would be kinda too much. You can still get it trough items and spellcaster allies as you sugested.


Wild Hunt
1-Hell no! The ranger's companion is renowed as one of the worst out there, and its main use being as a flying mount when you get the bat option. They won't be reliably grappling casters because they don't get to ignore freedom of movement (nyah!), and brute monsters like a Fire Giant (CR 10) has a +25 grapple modifier, which easily beats the +17 a 10 HD hound would have. Skirmish won't be triggering every round, and they'll basically be breaking their teeths in anything with DR. Now compare to a druid's fleshraker companion with venomfire or a plain dire bear (CR 7, obtainable by druid at lv13, 9 with that other feat). The hound is pretty tame compared to that.

6-Players screwing over the DM's plot is inevitable. But even then the wild hunt can't stop a lich from regenerating. It's not coming back to life, it's already dead! Some other monsters to prevent the lich, like the Tarrasque that stops them from coming back into existence, not just back to life. As for the DM side, it's expected he has some responsability and doesn't throw things the players cannot deal with. Several monsters out there could prevent ressurection as well (cough Barghest). Heck, below lv 7, good luck bringing dead players back to life!

9-Ah, good point on the 1 fullround. Gonna change it to 10 minutes.

10-We'll just have to disagree here then. You believe that's level-30 badass, I do not.

11-Then I clearly didn't write the ability clear enough, because it's not suposed to be able to further enanche already enchanted weapons. Clarified.

12-The Wild Hunt is a myth of life and death, destruction and renewal. And even if he comes back to life, if he runs for 1 hour, he's lost the battle. The evil wizard will finish his evil ritual, the dark general will butcher the capital, etc, etc

13-Good, but you see, at those levels, there's no such thing as "normal" anymore. The sheer number of combinations possible, and how strict your DM is will result in a lot of possible combinations. In my games that reach epic, we do stuff like assaulting Asmodeu's personal plane butchering armies of demons, undeads and demon-undeads, having to break trough walls of magic defenses and whatnot, or slaying armies of angels and then animating them all at once to make a blashpemous army of flying zombies on the spot if we're on Evil team and feel like we can take on Celestia by now.

And yes, a DM needs to optimize monsters against well optimized players. Most things straight out from the MM will only really challenge newbie players. Even Catty commented she needed to start pimping up her monster, despite admiting the party being pretty much all tier 3.

As a final note, evading natural 1s is part of epic play for me. Stuff like gods and abomination are naturally immune to them, everybody else can pick pride domain and/or steadfast determination and similar.

1-Barbarian is tier 4. And altough DR never hurts, let's be honest, what does it matter DR 1 at 7th level?

2 and 5-The reason why I didn't give them at full power from the start and made them scale. But ok making the bonus an enanchment.

6-Look, one of the things many people complain in D&D it's that you can use mental scores to enanche your martial capacity, but it seems like you can never use your physical scores for enanching mystical abilities. Well no more. Monsters should be allowed to use magic with their muscles and/or life force instead of needing to be pretty.

7-Good point about the duration, changed it to 1 round per 4 HD.

10-Yeah that's called synergy.

11-See the same argument with the Tarrasque. Also there's no such thing as too high main stats.

12-I'm kinda lost here. If casters are the thing to watch out for, what's the problem with defensive measures against them?

14-Ah, corrected.

15-Because it's already over lv10 and there's much worse stuff out there by then.

16-Ok, it's good at killing stuff. Adventurers are suposed to kill stuff.

17-Melee monsters are renowed for having exceptional melee stats, and they can easily afford to spend some points to pump up their melee attacks. Most later MMs even sugest how much the monster likes to start with and then comments it adapts depending on how easy it is to hit the player. The Xixecal in particular has no armor proficiencies and unlike other monsters also didn't get extra bonus to AC, and its big size isn't helping things much. Even its natural armor won't really keep up with the much faster monster's escalating attack bonus. Also you don't exactly need to beat its regen, if you beat it in incosciouness, they can just keep hiting it until they realize fire burns it quite well.

18-Ok, greater cleave can bypass it now.

19-That's what you get for being two levels lower than your oponent.

20-Because IRON HEART SURGE cannot be used if you're immobilized. All maneuvers need you able to physically act as base rule.

21-Whatever, there's more important things to discuss.

22-You may not have the balls to deal with high power D&D, but I assure you it exists and can be quite a good experience.  My longest running PbP has no less than an abrupt jaunt wizard filled with prcs, a psionic archmage, and a rainbow mage servant war weaver, among others, and all I restrict are endless loops and minion combos.  Yes sometimes it breaks down in a player-DM duel, but competitive gaming is still gaming, and pretty good if you know what you're doing. Now I'm not making this classes to stand toe to toe with abrupt jaunt wizards and whatnot, but so that at least they won't fall to a simple quickened spell.

23-Removed the bonus to combat maneuvers, but swift actions stay. Yes geting more actions is part of high level play.

24-By all means read again my reply to 22.
Handbooks / Re: The Unofficial Artificer Player's Guide 3.0
« Last post by Nytemare3701 on October 30, 2011, 02:06:34 AM »
I thought that they do have a caster level, but it is neither arcane nor divine?
Min/Max It! / Re: 15th Level Master of Many Forms
« Last post by Shadowhunter on October 30, 2011, 02:03:54 AM »
Assume Supernatural Ability...
Right. That's a very good option.
I might. It might be too much for my own taste, but on the other hand, there's Thrallherds and Incantatrixes running about  ;)
I'll think about it.

Warshaper isn't that good actually.
The STR/CON bonus disappear as soon as I wild shape, so apart from the bonus hit points, it makes little difference.
The immunity to critical hits are somewhat already covered with Oaken Resilience.
The Fast healing is covered by a lot of things.
But the biggest reason why I don't want to go Warshaper is that it doesn't advance Wild Shape.
So I'd be stuck using 15HD monsters or lower. It's like loosing caster levels for a MoMF, it's painful.
We also employ "fate points"; if you do not like something that is happening, spend a fate point and it doesn't happen.  We only give them out every couple of sessions, and their entire purpose is to make the players NOT have NOT fun.
We had something very similar in the last campaign I played in... only one guy had to end up using his more then once... but being a xenophobic chaotic evil elf will do that too you  :rollseyes But that system really helped out the guys who weren't quite that competent at keeping their characters alive, and let us escape from those circumstances where three straight poor rolls put you in an early grave  :(
Min/Max It! / Re: 15th Level Master of Many Forms
« Last post by sirpercival on October 30, 2011, 01:56:57 AM »
If you boost your wisdom you can think about Assume Supernatural Ability...

Also, warshaper??
[4E FR] Scales of War / Re: Rescue at Rivenroar (Game Thread)
« Last post by Melblen_Cairn on October 30, 2011, 01:56:10 AM »
Borm gets out from under the table and moves to a new spot under another table. He pulls out his last torch, lights it and lobs it at the back table. The flaming projectile bounces off the table, scattering gold pieces and cards everywhere and smacks one of the patrons right in the face.
[spoiler]Move: moves to L7
Minor: pulls torch
Standard: Bitumen Torch...17
4 damage[/spoiler]
Min/Max It! / Re: Simple Q&A 29: The CR 5 Gargantuan Dragon of DOOM
« Last post by snakeman830 on October 30, 2011, 01:49:59 AM »
Q 209 Is there a way to increase the Dex modifier of hide armor besides segmenting it or giving it Nimbleness?
Shadowsilk from Tome of Magic is kinda like Mithril for non-metal armor.  Also gives a feel-good +2 bonus to Hide and Move Silently and repairs itself when you're in darkness.
[4E FR] Scales of War / Re: Rescue at Rivenroar (Game Thread)
« Last post by Melblen_Cairn on October 30, 2011, 01:46:50 AM »
Round 3 Results!

The rest of the Bar explodes into flames as the rest of the alcohol catches fire. The goblin pyromaniac stops short,, hearing the dwarves around the corner of the fireplace and turn and head back around the front of it. Catching sight of Everyn as he is igniting another torch. The end flares to burning life and he cackles again HahahHAHAhahahahHAhAhA! lobbing the torch at the eladrin as he scurries under a table for cover.

Insert Quote
Everyn ducks out of the way of the torch, and says "Your Sinruth will not save you from me vermin" as he draws a magical orb from his fine robes, aiming it at Borm and chants in a mystical language. Audible thunks of the magical force hammer against the table and chair soak up the majority of the spells effect. He then moves away from the torch and the spreading flame.

Bhrim move around the fireplace losing sight of the goblin he was hoping to catch has sees a hobgoblin yet standing and moving around the fireplace gets lined up for a furious charge. The hobgoblin deftly sidesteps the oncoming dwarf and his wild swing of the leading shield.

A torch flies through the air from the floor above and narrowly misses Granites backside. "AhhahahHAHAHahahahahah! Fire,Fire,....FIRE!!!".

In a large Arc Atanos brings his scythe downard into the hobgoblin. Datesz the hobgoblin aligns his sword with Atanos' scythe and stops it inches from splitting him in two, but the weak blade gives way and the scythe continues through and gashes the hobgoblin from neck to nuts. He looks up in a stupor and he fruitlessly attempts to hold all his organs into his body as they spill out. Atanos then motions for everyone to follow him as he exits the flaming building.

Suq spreads his curse to Borm and then then moves up to one of the doors in the taproom.

Søffå shouts out the door to the exiting Atanos: "Get Help!!!  Bring Men, Bring Water!!!"  He turns and runs towards the back of the tavern, barking to the Dwarves and Suq as he goes past.  "Clear the rooms, and crush that little pest - I am going after the firestarter upstairs!"
Søffå makes it to the head of the stairs and looks around the corner, girding himself to the peril that lies ahead.  He wonders to himself; "How did that beast get up here, anyway?  No doubt he is not alone!"

Gruxes the hobgoblin rounds the corner and sees someone coming up the stairs moves for closer inspection, seeing its a human, he raises his bow and lets fly. The arrow strikes home, hitting Suff'a just as he comes up the stairs.

Kurs the hobgoblin heads straight across the second floor following the goblin pyromaniac. From the floor you can see he begins to climb over the railing to get out onto one of the support beams.

The backdoor to the ground floor swings open and in charges several more hobgoblins. The barmaid on her way out that way shrieks in terror as they come toward her. "Looky'ere boys, we gots ourselves another pretty thing to play with an break." one brute says. Xet the hobgoblin charges her knocking her back.

Dtun rounds the corner and swings at Suq but over swings and hits the doorjamb.

Tnob, Rnezog, Xgaren
Tnob, Rnezog, and Xgaren, all slip past Xet and surround the barmaid to grab her and drag her out of the inn.
"Looks like Dak and Borm been havin some fun in 'ere already." one of the says to the rest looking at the fire.

Bar Patrons

The barmaid struggles but against the four of them is hopelessly outnumbered but has guessed their intent well enough. "No! Help!! Someone Help!!"

The three patrons in the back are arguing about how to split the gold at the center of the table.

Round 3 Ends!

Round 4 Begins!


Round 4 Initiative Order
Borm = 25
Everyn = 24
Tnokaz (HG) = 23
Grods (HG) = 23
Rxes (HG) = 23
Ndoz (HG) = 23
Gzort (HG) = 23
Blaz (HG) = 23
Bhirm = 22
Dak = 22
Atanos  = 20
Suq = 18
Granite = 12
Datesz = 10
Shoguzn = 10
Mxtun = 10

Suff'a = 9
Gruxes = 8
Kurs = 8
Xet = 7
Dtun = 7
Tnob = 7
Rnezog = 7
Xgaren = 7
Bar Patrons = 0
GM Gameology / Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Last post by Risada on October 30, 2011, 01:37:30 AM »
Here are some tips that worked with me...

-Combine Mass Curse of Impending Blades (-2 AC over an area, no save- SpC) and Inspire Courage, with each ability on a different monster. Then swarm your players with weak mobs that, thanks for your round of buffing, are much more threatening. Bonus points if you can manage to get a Wizard at another area and use Regroup (PHBII, IIRC) to move around the monsters and attack with 2 fronts.

-People already pointed this, but you could use summons. Not only summons from Summon Monster or SNA spells. Get those baatezu and tanar'ri calling their friends to the party!

Regarding your money problem: I suggest you cut the amount of equipment your monsters carry for a while, so the players can gain levels without gaining even more money. Masterwork weapons and consumables (potions, scrolls...) are your friends!
[4E FR] Scales of War / Re: Across the Table (OOC Discussion)
« Last post by Melblen_Cairn on October 30, 2011, 01:22:19 AM »
Fixed the problem. Continuing to close out the round.
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