View Full Version : Grell encounter for campaign: templates and upgrades?

2010-11-08, 10:17 PM
Hello gang. As the title says, there's an encounter in the campaign coming up that is suppose to be a nest of Grell.

Problem is my party is up at level eight and I doubt even a swarm of the flying brains will be able to so much as make them break a sweat. I"m just curious if anyone has some interesting templates to add to the nasties to make them a bit more memorable and perhaps scary?

If nothing else I suppose I can strap several levels of warrior npc on to them

2010-11-08, 10:22 PM
Depends - which version of the grell are you using? There's one version that gets something like 10 tentacle attacks, all capable of paralyzing, and there's another that gets 10 tentacle attacks, where the more tentacles that hit a target, the higher the one save vs. paralysis is.

If it's the first ones.. that's a whole lot of chances to fail vs. paralysis, and I'd avoid doing that.

If it's the second.. well, I don't remember their stats offhand, but if they advance via HD, that might be better than going by NPC levels, if only to increase their size and get boosted con for the DC.

2010-11-08, 10:46 PM
Couple things: Grell have modern level technology, but most of it doesn't function in our dimension. So for fluffyness have things that look like tiny silver blimps lying around rusting in their layers.

But more importantly: Grell Shock Lances (Lightning Lances?) Are freaking sweet 3d6 weapons that their philosophers make to wage war with. A bunch of normal grell with those become instantly dangerous even to fair level characters, since they are ranged touch based and do fair damage. 3d6x6= 54 average, making it 54 dmg on the first round almost guaranteed. Even spread out that is pretty good for CR3 monsters. Bump it up by having them attack you from the otherside of a crevice or bars so you get zapped.

2010-11-08, 10:46 PM
I have to admit, I did not realize there were two versions. I was going with the "lords of madness" book version, which is a single save that gets worse with number of tentacle hits. The problem is the party's AC's are so high most the time that I don't think any of them will get hit at all with a measly +5 to hit.

2010-11-09, 05:51 AM
Include Grell Philosophers in the encounter and have them cast mass buff spells. A mass of hasted grells with lightning lances is going to be awesome.

2010-11-09, 06:11 AM
Advancing them to large would be quite cheap, and significantly improve their stats. You can always slap on the dungeonbred template to reduce them back to medium size if being large would be counterproductive.

I would peg the extra 10 racial HD and stat boosts at +3cr (since they don't benefit from a size increase with dungeonbred). This puts them at cr6, so a group of 3-4 should be sufficient to challenge your party (if they are smart, they will prepare freedom of movement, so don't get hung up too much on the paralysis part). :smallwink:

2010-11-09, 10:24 AM
Giant brains with tentacles = Phrenic.

2010-11-09, 11:53 AM
Oh, they changed how grell work? Thank God - those things were nasty when each tentacle got a chance to paralyze.

Case in point: 5th level grell rogue. He hits with the first tentacle, paralyzes, hits with the other nine, and does 27d6 sneak attack. *shudder* Those things were NOT RIGHT.

2010-11-09, 11:59 AM
My personal suggestion is don't let the players get a break. have them face monsters who by themselves are challenging and thus lower their resources. The party caster will have fewer spells, thus making him more venerable, considering an 8th level caster has very few 4th level spell slots.

On top of that, I like the Dungeonbred template, as well as the Half-Illithid template (forgot what book tho...) to give your grells the extra scare-tactic-esq abilities.

In a final note, to limit caster cheese, use terrain to hinder the caster's spell list. A low ceiling and/or a rope bridge makes the battle not only cinematic, but hampers the casting of fly and wind wall, since he can only fly barely out of the range of Grells and his wind wall would rock the bridge, thus making his allies less capable of effectively fighting. Give the Grells some minions to keep the tank-y players at bay, such as Goblin Archers or Kobold Slingers, who while limited in the ability to hit, can keep the tanks occupied while the Grells focus on the squishy foes, such as mages and archers.

hope it helps