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Nich_Critic
2010-03-10, 01:54 PM
In the SRD, the sea hag has a CR of 4. However, looking at it's abilities, that seems a little bit off:


Horrific Appearance (Su)
The sight of a sea hag is so revolting that anyone (other than another hag) who sets eyes upon one must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or instantly be weakened, taking 2d6 points of Strength damage. This damage cannot reduce a victimís Strength score below 0, but anyone reduced to Strength 0 is helpless. Creatures that are affected by this power or that successfully save against it cannot be affected again by the same hagís horrific appearance for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Evil Eye (Su)
Three times per day, a sea hag can cast its dire gaze upon any single creature within 30 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Will save or be dazed for three days, although remove curse or dispel evil can restore sanity sooner. In addition, an affected creature must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or die from fright. Creatures with immunity to fear effects are not affected by the sea hagís evil eye. The save DCs are Charisma-based.


2d6 str is a lot, enough to disable a caster type (or at least force them to drop their gear) or severely weaken a melee type. Dazed for three days seems insane. It's basically a giant "screw you" to one of your players. Additionally, although failing both saves in a row will be rare, it has a save or die effect.

What makes this balanced? Is it the (relatively) low saves? Is it because the Hag otherwise has pretty low attack and defences? Or is this just par for the course for a CR 4 monster?

What are your experiences in dealing with hags in your campaigns?

Jack Zander
2010-03-10, 01:59 PM
By level 4, a party has access to both lesser restoration and remove curse/dispel so those abilities really only matter for one battle (or at the very worst, 1 day).

Saph
2010-03-10, 02:01 PM
By level 4, a party has access to both lesser restoration and remove curse/dispel so those abilities really only matter for one battle (or at the very worst, 1 day).

Remove Curse is a level 3 spell for Clerics and a level 4 spell for Wizards (and a large number of Wizards don't take it).

So yeah, better hope that you have a cleric in the party, and that the cleric isn't the one who got hit with the ability in the first place. :P

I fell victim by an advanced version of one of these in the very first session of our Seven Kingdoms campaign. I managed to come up with a solution to deal with the permadaze effect, but yes, it's a very silly monster.

arguskos
2010-03-10, 02:01 PM
By level 4, a party has access to both lesser restoration and remove curse/dispel so those abilities really only matter for one battle (or at the very worst, 1 day).
I'd like to point out that you are assuming a CLERIC in the part. If there isn't one, then Evil Eye really can destroy a party. Look no further than Saph's current campaign journal (Seven Kingdoms) to see how.

EDIT: Ninja'd, by Saph themselves.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-10, 02:03 PM
1: All effects are a Fort save, so it's targeting most classes best save.

2: Con is going to be good for everyone except Necropolitan PCs (and they don't need to worry about the Str damage, only the Death/Daze effect).

3: It happens once/day/person.


So, let's assume there's a 4th level Sorcerer with a Con score of 14. They have a 50% chance of passing right off the bat. If it's 32PB, you can expect the Con score to be 16 or better (via Dragonborn Dwarf, or Dragonborn Lesser Aasimar in the Sorcerer's case).

So the Arcane casters just need to be prepared with a Save Booster. The Divine casters have less trouble because Fort is a good save for them, and they have more spells that boost saves.

2d6 Str averages out to 7 Damage, so even if it hits it's unlikely to completely incapacitate the casters with 8 Str, giving them time to off the Sea Hag with something like Color Spray, Glitterdust, etc. Granted, they will be irate because they can't even wear their pants without ASF, but oh well.


The melee types, however, will be much better off.

Runestar
2010-03-10, 07:14 PM
It is probably cr4 in the sense that a medusa is cr7 - either the party fails their fort saves, or they simply close their eyes and take it down with minimal casualties, though it may make for a fairly frustrating fight. There is no in-between.

So over the course of 10 fights, maybe 2-3 parties will fail their saves to devastating consequences, the rest will make theirs, so it theoretically balances out in the long run. Of course, for the average fight, there is no balance, either at least 1 PC dies or the sea hag goes last, everyone makes their saves and kill it before it can even act.

faceroll
2010-03-10, 07:25 PM
1: All effects are a Fort save, so it's targeting most classes best save.

2: Con is going to be good for everyone except Necropolitan PCs (and they don't need to worry about the Str damage, only the Death/Daze effect).

3: It happens once/day/person.


So, let's assume there's a 4th level Sorcerer with a Con score of 14. They have a 50% chance of passing right off the bat. If it's 32PB, you can expect the Con score to be 16 or better (via Dragonborn Dwarf, or Dragonborn Lesser Aasimar in the Sorcerer's case).

So the Arcane casters just need to be prepared with a Save Booster. The Divine casters have less trouble because Fort is a good save for them, and they have more spells that boost saves.

2d6 Str averages out to 7 Damage, so even if it hits it's unlikely to completely incapacitate the casters with 8 Str, giving them time to off the Sea Hag with something like Color Spray, Glitterdust, etc. Granted, they will be irate because they can't even wear their pants without ASF, but oh well.


The melee types, however, will be much better off.

A fair evaluation, but I think you underestimate how much the SD screws you at ECL4. While not impossible, if a hag just jumps out at the party and everyone rolls initiative, I can really see the fight going either way.

Though if the party war wizard recognized that it's a hag and pops nerveskitter, he's pretty much guaranteed to go first. Then glitterdust or web or some powerful "gtfo" spell goes off and the fighter reduces the ugly mother to ichor.

tyckspoon
2010-03-10, 07:32 PM
By level 4, a party has access to both lesser restoration and remove curse/dispel so those abilities really only matter for one battle (or at the very worst, 1 day).

Horrific Appearance: 2d6 ability damage.
Lesser Restoration: 1d4 ability damage restored.

So.. yeah, if you want to spend all of your level 2 spells, you can recover from Horrific Appearance the day after. Of course, that means you've spent all of your level 4 Cleric's 'high' level slots, which means you're probably not wanting to engage in any real serious risks that day, so it's a 2-day delay.. if only one party member was affected. It's not quite death, but it does suck if you're under any sort of time constraint.. seems like the CR 4 equivalent of the CR '10' Trap of Wail of the Banshee, really. Sea Hag shows up! Bam, Str damage bomb! Ok, now you can actually figure out how to fight it.

Runestar
2010-03-10, 07:51 PM
That's the thing with quite a few 3e monsters. Their abilities are so swingy that it is nigh-impossible to assign any sort of reasonable cr to them, because combat can easily go either way.

I guess that is part of what makes 3e well...3e. :smallbiggrin:

awa
2010-03-10, 10:11 PM
The horrific visage is pretty nasty while its unlikely to drop any one it can certainly mess you up and while the dc is not very high every party member has to make the check and one failure will hurt. and the 3 day daze is just mean a level 4 pc does not have access to the ability to get rid of that.

If that goes off pow one pc out of the fight 1/4 of your resources have just been expanded with one action (assuming a 4 person party) this things mean but it's also a bit of a glass cannon its ac is low and it's hit points are as well if you can avoid it's evil eye and horrific appearance it cant do much.

In my opinion this monster is not good at killing an entire party but it is very very good at ruing a pcs next couple days.

HunterOfJello
2010-03-10, 10:35 PM
14 AC and a full attack of 2 claws at +7 melee (1d4+4)


that's what makes it balanced

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-03-11, 12:21 AM
Anyone can make a DC 13 save, even at level 4. That's the balance factor.

awa
2010-03-11, 12:33 AM
sure the save can be made likely with a 50% or better chance but it hits the whole party and theirs a decent chance someone rolls badly.

Its annoying but hardly unbalanced becuase the monster is physically so weak that's likely all it will get to do before someone kills it.

It's just annoying becuase it takes a lot longer to get rid of the effects

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-03-11, 12:41 AM
sure the save can be made likely with a 50% or better chance but it hits the whole party and theirs a decent chance someone rolls badly.

Its annoying but hardly unbalanced becuase the monster is physically so weak that's likely all it will get to do before someone kills it.

It's just annoying becuase it takes a lot longer to get rid of the effects

None of the 'tanks' are going to fail the Fort save, as between the high Fort save and the high Con, they should only fail on a 1. None of the casters should be failing the Will save, for the same reason. So the Evil Eye is going to be worthless vs your casters, and even if a Tank bombs his Will save, he's not going to die.

So, bottom line is... no permanent damage, and no one is going to die. So yea, sounds about right for a CR4 encounter

Runestar
2010-03-11, 01:03 AM
There is no point in designing an ability with a DC so low everyone will make it.

At 4th lv, the typical PC has a good base save of +4, +3 from stat, maybe +1 from a cloak of resistance. The PC is going to fail a DC13 save on a roll of 4 or lower, or 20%. This increases to 35% for a poor save.

Low yes, but still potentially devastating to anyone who lucks out.

I guess devastating outcome makes up for poor odds? :smallfrown:

awa
2010-03-11, 01:18 AM
not every one has a 16 con/wis and the rouge can still be messed up by losing a lot of strength