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ChaosDefender24
2009-05-15, 05:10 PM
Hey guys,

I made this thread to talk about really innovative things that you can do with D&D monsters other than mindlessly ram them into the party.

Here's one from me:

I was flipping through the Fiendish Codex I, and found this beastie called the Dybbuk. In short, it can possess dead bodies, restoring them to full health, and in its natural form, it has a Con-damaging touch. It can't be damaged when it's in a body.

It also has the ability to make a special link with a chosen creature, improving its combat - but also, when the creature drops dead, the dybbuk can possess it at its own leisure.

I'm thinking, why not have it have a chosen creature in a dungeon, and then have it possess the corpse after the PC's kill it and move on (it would wait a little bit)? Then, the creature would run after the PC's again, ideally finding them in combat or something.

If they manage to kill the creature again, and the dybbuk is forced out, the dybbuk could fight a little bit until the party deals some serious damage to it (if it's a particularly devastating party, it could flee immediately). Then, the dybbuk either uses its at-will dimension door ability or fly through the ceiling to escape the PCs. The dybbuk gets healed back whenever it Con damages, so it could go wreak havoc in the local squirrel population, teleport back, and revive another body (or even the same body if the PC's haven't destroyed it) and repeat the process. Even if the PC's think to destroy every corpse in the dungeon, the dybbuk can take advantage of its incorporeal nature to kill the strongest animal it can and charge towards the dungeon the PC's are in.

Since the dybbuk doesn't need to eat or sleep, it can relentlessly stalk down the PC's until either the PC's manage to kill it before it teleports away or it kills the PCs, even if the process takes weeks.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-15, 05:26 PM
I wrote up an adventure full of level-appropriate encounters for our 10th or 11th-level party (although enough of them to gain a full level).

It involved fighthing non-leveled illithids in their lair.

I used the psionic illithid variant.

The carnage was swift and awesome, and the remaining PC or two ran away after the third encounter.

Basically, the illithids would jaunt in with fully augmented combat powers turned on, unleash psionic blasts and other (augmented) attack powers, leaving themselves just enough points on jaunt the heck out afterwards. They hardly even needed the quaggoths and other dominated monsters. The party was almost wiped out inside an hour, but it would have seemed silly to play the illithids any dumber than this.

ChaosDefender24
2009-05-15, 05:32 PM
Ahh, monsters with effective class levels in reallllllllllly strong classes, how I love thee.

Dragons really just get stupid if you play them up to their intelligence at all. It's like polymorph cheese only worse. Much, much worse.

Dairun Cates
2009-05-15, 05:40 PM
It's actually amusing. I'm running Slayers d20 right now, and my Level 13 party of 7 people actually commonly takes on CR 23-25 encounters. However, there's 2 major reasons for this.

1. The monsters they're fighting (Master Mazoku), actually have it built into their combat description that they toy with the party as much as they can. Basically, they'll only fight hard enough to make the party scared until its actual existence is threatened. They do this because they feed off suffering and killing them instantly would cut their food supply short. So, in short, CR 25's acting like CR 16's.

2. With 7 party members and no one with a Con score below a 14 (that's not the noble), they're kinda meaty.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-15, 05:43 PM
I've also used the old "red dragon fire-breathing strafe" on a party.

They're walking in the forest, headed to kill the dragon. The dragon has found out. Suddenly, there's a great bang, like the snap of massive leather wings, and a stream of fire scorches the party. They scatter - none of them can fly - and the barbarian gets incinerated.

The dragon wheels about and flies back into its volcano.

They wanted to kill it really bad after that.

ChaosDefender24
2009-05-15, 05:45 PM
Oooh, don't forget feat optimization (if a monster is going to do something unusual, its feats should reflect that)!!!

I've heard that fire-strafing trick before, only the dragon had Maximize Breath... it was quite a funny story

Olo Demonsbane
2009-05-15, 05:47 PM
Warning: Long

I wrote up a mission with the following battles:

Battle A:
Hill Giant
Dark Naga
Human Cleric 7
3 Half-Dragon Rouge 5s

The Hill Giant confronted the characters, while the healbot cleric kept him alive (for a long...time). The Naga blasted away with area effects so that the players had to spread out. Now heres where it gets interesting. The Half-Dragons were hiding around a corner. When the characters were all spread out, they charged and full attacked the backliners, like the wizards.

Battle B:
7-Headed Hydra
Entangle Trap
Tilting Floor Trap
3 Animated Catapults

The Tilting Floor Trap knocked the players to 10ft away from the Hydra, who full attacked them :smalleek:. Then the Entangle Trap went off, holding the melee fighters away from the Hydra. The Catapults wrecked havoc on the immobilized characters.

Battle C:
Titanic Wolf

No special tactics here

Battle D:
Young Adult Green Dragon with some class levels (Druid/Mystic Theurge I think [I didn't know about arcane hierophant yet])

Tactics spoilered for length (copied directly from text):
She begins by casting Forcecage and Sculpted Antimagic Field on the Characters. Then she will use the following buff spells: 1. 3 spell resistances, greater stoneskin, scintillating scales. 2. Greater magic fang, 4 walls of greater dispel magic. 3. wall of fire, 4 giant vermin. 5. 4 greater stoneskins (one on each of the vermin), wind wall. 6. death ward, true seeing, Tenserís transformation, transmute rock to mud. 7. energy immunity (all), mislead. 8. empowered summon monster (the lone wolf), greater stoneskin, greater magic fang, rage, protection from energy. 9. Greater heroism, mirror image, mass blindsight, deeper darkness, haste. 10. Fly up, ready breath weapon (on anyone who moves), Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's endurance, Mass Cat's Grace, end walls of force.

Then everyone rolls initiative. The Scorpions stand entirely blocking the route, attacking each turn and trying to poison and squeeze. The wolf stands behind the scorpions, readying an action to replace one of the scorpions once it has been killed and bite whoever killed it. On his other action, he howls, forcing the characters to save against his frightful presence. If anyone goes to melee with the scorpions, they must first pass through the walls: 4 greater dispel magic walls, 1 wall of fire, and 1 wind wall. The dispelling walls take out any magical protection, the fire wall prevents swarming by masses of weak creatures, and the wind wall prevents arrows. After passing through the walls, you enter the darkness. If you do not specifically state that you are jumping (DC 20) as you leave the walls, you must make a DC 25 reflex save or fall into the mud. If you fail by 5 or more, you are in above your head. On Vearysisís next turn, she casts transmute mud to rock, trapping the people inside. The first person to kill a scorpion or damage her becomes the target of a dominate person spell. She uses two heals if she is below 150. Against a wizard, she will fire off a baleful polymorph. If a character buffs itself next to her, she will use her attack of opportunity to use telekinesis to hurl the character through the walls. If a character is beyond the walls and has high health when she is below 50, she uses magic jar on them and runs away. If they donít notice they were switched, she can keep running until they kill the ďdragonĒ, at which point the bodies are switched back, leaving her fleeing in her dragon body and them dead on the ground. If they do notice, as soon as they pass through the walls their bodies are switched back, leaving her with her original body again. When none of these conditions apply, she alternates between dominate person, slay living, disintegrate, and fireball, using her breath weapon if available.

If reduced to less than 25 hp, and it is not her turn, she uses an immediate action to surrender. She will do anything to save her life: her surrender is unconditional. She does not know teleport, but if the characters refuse her surrender, and she is still alive on her next turn, she flees, using walls of force and acid fog to help her.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-05-15, 06:09 PM
Switching a monster's feats around is often enough to turn an ordinary encounter into something more interesting. For example, give a Hydra the feats Snatch, Improved Snatch, and Multisnatch from the Draconomicon and you can end up grappling the entire party.

Adding the elite array to a monster can be a huge difference for only a +1 CR. Advancing a monster by racial hit dice can also be a big difference for only +1 CR, considering Aberration, construct, elemental, fey, giant, humanoid, ooze, plant, undead, and vermin get +1 CR per four HD, and an Animal, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid gets +1 CR per three HD added. Taking a low-level monster, advancing its HD and increasing its size, then using it for a higher level party is also a nice touch because they often won't realize what it is.

Choco
2009-05-15, 06:33 PM
Using intelligent foes in general is often just about the "meanest" thing you can do to the players from my experience... Especially after they fought mindless hordes for the past few encounters, they are often surprised to see the enemy using actual tactics against them.

If there is a mob of monsters, like a group of goblins or a pack of wolves, have them all gang up on one character, preferably the weakest, instead of spreading out and fighting everyone in the party 1v1.

Make the occasional major villain gestalt, you get a lot of bang for your buck for the +1 CR. Wizard/Cleric or Wizard/Monk is my favorite combo, nothing beats the looks on the player's faces when the "wizard' defeats their barbarian in melee or a grapple.

My personal favorite is making up my own monsters :smallcool:. Drives the metagamers insane. An easy way to do this is just take an existing monster and change its appearance and name, if ya don't feel like creating your own monster manual.

If you have players in your group that just seem to TRY to break the game (AKA by using PunPun-ish logic or min/maxing to the point where their lvl 5 char can take down a diety), put them up against villains that do the same thing. That makes em cut the crap pretty quick.

Dark_Scary
2009-05-15, 08:05 PM
1) Dragon strafing with Lingering Clinging Breath.

2) Evil Bastard Sunder squad. Bunch of Arrow Demons with Ranged Sunder and a caster with silent spell. Circle of Invis + Haste + Adamantine Arrows + Rapid Shotting Arrow Demoning Hasted Full Attack of Sunders.

Goodbye to all your cloaks/bracers/boots/gloves/headbands.

Teleport out of there afterwards.

Not recommended for actual use.

3) Legion Devils (Fiendish Codex II?) attack and damage bonuses for number of adjacent devils.

Cast Chained Ghostform a couple times. Move them all into one square.

Charge the party with a single medium outsider who is actually like 30 that do +50 damage on each attack at +50 to attack roll.

ChaosDefender24
2009-05-15, 08:35 PM
I lol'd

you are GOOD dark_scary

An old boss I had took the yagnoloth and gave him the Spread breath weapon on that 5 foot stun-gun cone, increasing it to a 30 foot area around him.

Finally, ethereal marauders are THE "harass the party at an awkward moment" monster.

You're buffing up before going into the room with a monster? You don't want someone blocking your square for one precious round? You're preparing your spells for the day? You're walking across a tight rope? You're KO'd and another party member is between you and the monster?

Om. Nom. Nom.

Giving him the monster of legend template changes him from a mere annoyance to something that will very likely kill the entire party over a long period of time. Give him the fast healing ability and he will DEFINITELY kill the entire party.

The fact that the grig can fly around while playing that stupid fiddle means that for a low-level party, you're going to have a VERY hard time with it (between the DR, invisibility, and SR. GG if the party has a fire going) as it takes its time and gets the entire party dancing. Then, a ghoul can walk up and kill everyone.

VirOath
2009-05-15, 09:02 PM
As said before, Fly By attack. Using different abilities changes it's power, but this is a key tactic with anything with a flight speed. Ride By attack also works with Centaurs using Polearms/Lances. Even worse on Ubercharger builds.

Going a step further, anything with Swallow Whole and a burrow speed. Give it Spring Attack. Emerge under, grapple, eat, then submerge. Fricken Land Sharks.

Pixie Anything. Seriously. Groups of them with actual class levels in anything, even Bard, is dangerous. They are almost unkillable.

Knockback + Large Size + Dungeon Crasher + Confined Space. Literally ram. Quite dangerous.

Take a ghost or Dread Wraith or something of the ilk. Put it in a room filled with large ceramic pots, with 5 feet between each pot. Laugh at the hilarity that ensues.

Shadowpounce anything. Time Stop Traps. Hidden doors and passages used in combat. Traps with a trigger no where near the trap. There is a very long list.

ChaosDefender24
2009-05-15, 09:04 PM
Time Stop Traps?

boomwolf
2009-05-15, 09:56 PM
Mean tactics? well, there are quite alot.

Invisible "boss" to a group of very obvious lackeys. often take them by surprise.

Make the necro give his undead some cool magic items to hide their true nature, and improve combat stats.

Giving the usually armed monster a weapon can be confusing.

Who said a treasure cannot be used BY monsters?

Illusions to appears as allies/party members/another party. (I personally like that is the scout gets caught some monster takes his place via illusions, they are usually in deep trouble when they find out.)

Attacking on the 3D world. most expect that in dungeons you are attacked from front, back or flank, something coming out of the floor or ceiling is a surprise. and might be deadly.

Monsters that actively seek the party and wait for when they are weak or in trouble to attack.

Things that fake death jest to bite you in the ass after you move on. (works best in groups as they move on quickly to another foe without taking a good look at a dropped foe.)

Sudden reinforcements are always a problem.

PC classes to the bad guys. makes every minor tribe boss into a real danger, especially as they have no clue what each opponent will fight like until they are in the middle of it.

"Wrong answer" opponents. things that appear to be using one tactic, but jest try to draw you into trying to stop them (xenos gambit I believe?) a simple example is a sorcerer utilizing mainly melee spells (electric vengeance is always fun.)

Messing with gravity and space-time is always fun. a door that leads from one end of the room to the other? walkable ceiling? no-gravity sphere room? aura of slow surrounding a statue? why not all at once?

Olo Demonsbane
2009-05-15, 10:28 PM
This is more of a trap, but what the heck.

The characters are fleeing some horrible menace. They come into a room with a long walkway across a 20ft pit. When the first character runs across it, he falls through it; it is an illusion.

What the rest of the party sees: The character brushes himself off and uses a rope to climb back up. He keeps going with them, but, when he gets over 100ft away from the room, he dissapears.

What actually happened: It was an illusionary floor at the bottom of the pit with a major image trap that created the "character". The real guy fell through and hit the bottom 40ft down. His falling triggered 3 traps: 1. An antimagic field appeared around him. 2. A wall of force appeared directly over the antimagic field, blocking him from climbing out and from calling out to his party. 3. The walls begin pouring acid. Yeah......
__________________________________________________ _______________

The Legendary template is the best thing ever.

For an optimized party, 5th level spellcasters in groups are deadly. They all have fly cast, and are way above the party. The ToBer cant do anything really, and, when the PCs try to cast, they realize that 5 of them were readying an action to cast scorching ray at them.

Casting disguise self to look like the party members, and confusing the battle.

Shrink down all of your fighter 1s to fine size. Then put them in fullplate and give them a heavy shield. Then put them behind a very small arrow slit. That gives them an AC of 37, assuming Dex 12.

Cast persistant delayed blast sonicball, then cast polymorph any object on it, turning it into a poor, helpless looking human. Cast dominate person on it. Send your stooge to beg for the party's help. When they cluster around, dismiss it. Boom.

Make a major creation item that continously creates poison, and put it in a hidden spot in your dungeon. Put troughs running through it to the hidden areas where your fine sized fighters are. 20 arrows with one hit = 1 damage +2d6+1 sneak attack and 6d6 Constitution damage!

Saph
2009-05-15, 10:40 PM
I'm always a bit careful with changing the builds of monsters. Even doing nothing more than swapping feats can be enough to turn a monster into a party-killer. It feels kinda unsporting.

Instead I usually just play the monsters to maximum effect in combat (well, the ones I want to be a threat, anyway). Every melee monster will do its best to full attack every round, every caster monster will be difficult to reach in melee, every ranged attacker will use cover, all monsters will ambush the party whenever possible, etc.

- Saph

Oracle_Hunter
2009-05-15, 10:43 PM
Whenever I'm feeling mean, I just ask myself "What Would Gygax Do?"

It usually does the trick :smalltongue:

Ravens_cry
2009-05-15, 10:53 PM
Sunder is your friend. That takes care of your melee types.
Remember though, players can do it to.

Dark_Scary
2009-05-15, 11:09 PM
I'm always a bit careful with changing the builds of monsters. Even doing nothing more than swapping feats can be enough to turn a monster into a party-killer. It feels kinda unsporting.

Probably the optimization level of your party is different then those who suggest switching feats and playing around with CR.


Whenever I'm feeling mean, I just ask myself "What Would Gygax Do?"

DNS on ever square foot and piles of arbitrarium?


Sunder is your friend. That takes care of your melee types.
Remember though, players can do it to.

The real trick is not sundering weapons, but sundering cloaks and headbands on casters. If you want to be a total jerk. And if you don't want to be a jerk, I wouldn't recommend sunder at all.

Saph
2009-05-15, 11:22 PM
Probably the optimization level of your party is different then those who suggest switching feats and playing around with CR.

Oh, my group puts a bit of effort into optimisation, though they're not total powergamers. I just find the complete power of 'build your own monster' kind of boring. It's more interesting to take a relatively unoptimised monster and figure out a way to make it effective. It gives the party more of a chance, too - typically, they have to make a mistake before they're in danger of dying.

It's the same challenge element that you get as a player; how to do the best you can with limited resources. Make the resources unlimited, and there's no challenge anymore.

- Saph

Haven
2009-05-15, 11:45 PM
Battle D:
Young Adult Green Dragon with some class levels (Druid/Mystic Theurge I think [I didn't know about arcane hierophant yet])

Tactics spoilered for length (copied directly from text):
She begins by casting Forcecage and Sculpted Antimagic Field on the Characters. Then she will use the following buff spells: 1. 3 spell resistances, greater stoneskin, scintillating scales. 2. Greater magic fang, 4 walls of greater dispel magic. 3. wall of fire, 4 giant vermin. 5. 4 greater stoneskins (one on each of the vermin), wind wall. 6. death ward, true seeing, Tenserís transformation, transmute rock to mud. 7. energy immunity (all), mislead. 8. empowered summon monster (the lone wolf), greater stoneskin, greater magic fang, rage, protection from energy. 9. Greater heroism, mirror image, mass blindsight, deeper darkness, haste. 10. Fly up, ready breath weapon (on anyone who moves), Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Bear's endurance, Mass Cat's Grace, end walls of force.

Then everyone rolls initiative. The Scorpions stand entirely blocking the route, attacking each turn and trying to poison and squeeze. The wolf stands behind the scorpions, readying an action to replace one of the scorpions once it has been killed and bite whoever killed it. On his other action, he howls, forcing the characters to save against his frightful presence. If anyone goes to melee with the scorpions, they must first pass through the walls: 4 greater dispel magic walls, 1 wall of fire, and 1 wind wall. The dispelling walls take out any magical protection, the fire wall prevents swarming by masses of weak creatures, and the wind wall prevents arrows. After passing through the walls, you enter the darkness. If you do not specifically state that you are jumping (DC 20) as you leave the walls, you must make a DC 25 reflex save or fall into the mud. If you fail by 5 or more, you are in above your head. On Vearysisís next turn, she casts transmute mud to rock, trapping the people inside. The first person to kill a scorpion or damage her becomes the target of a dominate person spell. She uses two heals if she is below 150. Against a wizard, she will fire off a baleful polymorph. If a character buffs itself next to her, she will use her attack of opportunity to use telekinesis to hurl the character through the walls. If a character is beyond the walls and has high health when she is below 50, she uses magic jar on them and runs away. If they donít notice they were switched, she can keep running until they kill the ďdragonĒ, at which point the bodies are switched back, leaving her fleeing in her dragon body and them dead on the ground. If they do notice, as soon as they pass through the walls their bodies are switched back, leaving her with her original body again. When none of these conditions apply, she alternates between dominate person, slay living, disintegrate, and fireball, using her breath weapon if available.

If reduced to less than 25 hp, and it is not her turn, she uses an immediate action to surrender. She will do anything to save her life: her surrender is unconditional. She does not know teleport, but if the characters refuse her surrender, and she is still alive on her next turn, she flees, using walls of force and acid fog to help her.

Now that's brutal...I like it. Exactly how a monster with that sort of power and intelligence should act.

VirOath
2009-05-16, 02:08 AM
Time Stop Traps?

Two ways. The first is the classic abuse of Time Stop in combat, using time delayed attacks to go off after time stop is over. Easy ways of making use of lower lever slots is with Mirror Image and plain Invisibility, since everything you will be doing will be in a time stop anyways.

The second is much more sinister. Since Time Stop has a duration, you can make a dual spell trap. When triggered it hits the one that triggered it with Time Stop and Permanency. Now you can't affect the outside world, and nothing short of a miracle or wish can bring you back normally. Now make that a 'trap' that can be thrown. DC 34 minimum to disarm. And yes, I know that Time Stop is normally personal.

EDIT: I should note that while I am a big powergamer, I really only do so in solo games. Group games I make characters, flaws and all, and try to match the power level of the party. And I have yet to spring a quarter of what I've thought up on players. Though, my first campaign I ran did involve the party meeting up by being kidnapped.

Superglucose
2009-05-16, 02:23 AM
I'm always a bit careful with changing the builds of monsters. Even doing nothing more than swapping feats can be enough to turn a monster into a party-killer. It feels kinda unsporting.

Instead I usually just play the monsters to maximum effect in combat (well, the ones I want to be a threat, anyway). Every melee monster will do its best to full attack every round, every caster monster will be difficult to reach in melee, every ranged attacker will use cover, all monsters will ambush the party whenever possible, etc.

- Saph

That just make me think... what about using Shot on the Run to duck behind cover, etc.? What's the quickest entry to Shot on the Run?

Goodbye charging =/

I also remember that article about Kobolds. Basically, anything that doesn't require saves. Light a hallway on fire (yeah, the whole hallway), 12ft across pits, anti-magic traps, casters whos only purpose is dispelling and counterspelling (seriously, bring a Rakasha along to counterspell everything to shut down batman).

Olo Demonsbane
2009-05-16, 02:27 AM
And not able to be made permanent...evil though.

@Haven: Suprisingly, the party took it down pretty easily. I give out too many magical items...:smallfrown: It was really fun watching the looks on their faces as I described each new spell...and giving them turns when there was nothing they could do :smallcool:
__________________________________________________ _______________

Put an unlimited use mirror of opposition in a hall of mirrors. Then use the players tactics against them

Have any monster with a shapechanging ability infiltrate the party. Then get one party memeber off by him/herself and dominate the heck out of him. I once made a demonic shapechanger who could quickened dominate surisitiously: she would try at the beginning of every battle to control more of the party :smallbiggrin:

That was one of my Demon castle encounters...might as well share the rest:

Kelvezu Assassin 1/Rouge 1: Pretty standard tactics: study the party, death attack/sneak attack/full attack anyone who went off by themself...

Vrock something or other: He would unleash sneak attack spores then teleport away, then teleport back and do it again, always attacking with a martial manuever.

Succubus person: I had a large tempting scheme, beginning with her saving the character's life, and ending with them promising their souls to Malcanthet. If they attacked her, she could strip them down of all of their clothing/equipment/armor/weapons and teleport away in one turn.

Something else: Was a Mature Nabassu cleric/warblade. Started summoning minions and demon lords before leaping into the frey.


Thats all Im going to do now...theyre kinda incomplete, but I need to go to bed :smallsigh:

VirOath
2009-05-16, 02:41 AM
Huh? *Looks up the Permanency write up*

Meh, we normally end up running Permanency as any spell with a duration with an EXP cost linked to the caster level needed to use the spell (or at the level the spell is being cast at) like wands.

Or maybe that was 3.0's version.

Either way, it's how Permanency should be imo.

kpenguin
2009-05-16, 02:45 AM
Two words: Tucker's Kobolds

Yahzi
2009-05-16, 03:03 PM
Check out this thread for more:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6104478&postcount=18

GoC
2009-05-16, 04:03 PM
Fire-souled Spellhoarding old brass dragon.
I would never actually play that against anyone but it's fun to think about.:smallcool:
18 full attacks in a single round is always good.:smallbiggrin:

Two nice templates are Monster of Legend and Greater Phantom.
Also, brewing up that custom Living Spell of Shapechange is fun.:smallbiggrin:

Kornaki
2009-05-16, 04:26 PM
Attacking on the 3D world. most expect that in dungeons you are attacked from front, back or flank, something coming out of the floor or ceiling is a surprise. and might be deadly.

Incorporeal creature reaches through the floor and starts draining people by touching their feet. See how long it takes the party to figure out what the hell is going on.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-16, 05:08 PM
Incorporeal creature reaches through the floor and starts draining people by touching their feet. See how long it takes the party to figure out what the hell is going on.

Pretty sure this is actually the recommended tactic for wraiths and shadows, isn't it?

It's the only sensible one, too. To be fair to PCs, I usually figure it's surprise and improved cover - obviously they're timing their attacks for when the thing is reaching out to strike them, and the incorporeal ghosties mostly still need to stick their sensory "organ" out to see their enemies.

'course, when they sink into the floor and move under it, the PCs lose track of them entirely and have to wait and re-orient themselves.

ChaosDefender24
2009-05-16, 05:27 PM
Actually, Libris Mortis and MMIII have rules for incorporeal attackers striking from behind objects. AFB, but I think it's something like they have cover if you ready an action to whack them when they pop out.

And oh, the incorporeal creatures can sense anything within 5 feet of them.

This is why you do something like the ethereal marauder, where you have the incorporeal creature simply flying under the floor and waiting for the party to get into a nasty situation, when they aren't going to be ready for you. Then you strike. It adds up after a while.

Applying the Evolved Template, which bestows fast healing, to an incorporeal undead is both really mean and something that they actually did in Libris Mortis (the sample creature is an evolved wraith, hurr durr). It's like the Dybbuk squirrel raid only worse.

Kornaki
2009-05-16, 07:36 PM
Just remembered something neat I did with an NPC adventuring party... the PCs were working with another group towards an unremarkable goal, and the NPC group was going to backstab the PC group at the end. Except the PCs decided to backstab the NPCs first (in planning this, they never considered the NPCs might be working against them at the same time). The PCs were actually more powerful (since I was planning a ruthless ambush, I didn't want the NPCs to just wipe the floor) and the NPCs escaped by teleporting back to their 'lair'. The PCs scried, saw the lair, and ported in. Unfortunately, the lair was underwater and had a mirage arcana over it to appear to be on solid ground. The wizard got enervated, lost his teleport and the whole party drowned to death

Eon
2009-05-16, 08:50 PM
Mean tactics? well, there are quite alot.

Invisible "boss" to a group of very obvious lackeys. often take them by surprise.

About that invisible boss part...
Me and my party had just killed a dragon that had (with another) almost killed the halfling rouge, when we had to stop. we were all low health and our cleric had died. (thank god for rez scrolls) When we go to kill the other dragon after healing up because a commune spell said we may be safe there... when we enter the room... only treasure is there. then boom. a frost breath. I had 40/61 or so health. It hit me for 42. i was -2 down and all that was left to fight was a: cleric out of spells. wizard almost out of spells and a fighter at 20 health. me and the paladin were unconcious and the halfing was dead. they barely killed the dragon-caster when a little later we are resting and a patrol comes in. I hate invisible dragons

Myrmex
2009-05-16, 10:06 PM
Is this what you mean by halfling rouge???

http://www.whatforever.info/podcasts/episodes/imgs/005/my-hot-midget-girlfriend.jpg

The_JJ
2009-05-16, 10:09 PM
Have them emply tactics. :smallbiggrin:

Triaxx
2009-05-17, 06:25 AM
Combined arms. An unprepared party is always good, especially if they're not expecting. I had a party who were hired to clear out a dragon, either kill it, or convince it to move elsewhere. On route, they learned of several tribes of Kobolds serving the dragon as usual. As one of them held a tunnel large enough for the party which it's warren shot off of, they decided to wipe it out for free access to the Dragon's lair. As they approached, a half-dozen Kobolds appeared, and fired crossbows at them. Most of the shots missed, though one tagged the wizard. The shots did not do damage, but instead handed out negative levels. The kobolds then turned and ran. Fearing a repeat and ambush the party decided to try and kill them before they could reset. The Kobolds ran into a narrow which would easily conceal an ambush.

Unfortunately, none of the party managed a spot check as they approached the valley, and the Worg pack that the Kobolds had trained managed to get the jump on the party. Namely, the wizard. Full attacks are bad for the wizards health. To make it even worse, when the party turned around, the kobolds unleashed another volley of enervation crossbow bolts, most of which hit.

Needless to say, it was a TPK.