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Togath
2011-08-03, 05:41 AM
I had been think of using the following creature as a boss monster for a portion of an adventure that takes place in a swamp, the group I'm running it for is 8th level and consists of an optimized pathfinder bard, a pathfinder rogue(dual wields longswords), a DMPC goliath paladin(standard dnd one, though he doesn't have a mount yet, and specializes in healing), a pathfinder ninja Fairy(basically a halfling with wings stat-wise), and a Dragonblooded human (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208007) Earthbender (http://sites.google.com/site/avatard20/earthbender2.0)(I'm using the classes rather than the setting) with a dragon bloodline
Bog Serpent
Huge Dragon
HP: 149(13d12+65),
Initiative: +1, Senses; Listen +21, Spot +21. darkvision 120ft.
Speed: 40ft.(8 squares) Swim 20ft.(4 squares), Climb 20ft.(4 squares)
AC: 25(+16 natural armor, +1 dex, -2 size),
BAB: +13, Grapple: +26
Attack; Bite +18(2d8+5 & poison)
Full Attack; Bite +18(2d8+5 & poison), and 2 Wings +16(1d8+2),
or 2 Claws +18(2d6+5 & grab[+26]),
Space/Reach: 15ft./15ft.(20ft. with claw)
Special Attacks; Fire breath(6d8[standard rolling method]/1d8+22[average damage] fire damage in a 30ft. cone, DC 19 reflex save for 50% damage)[usable once every 1d4 rounds]
Special Qualities; Immune Acid & Poison, Grab, Poison, Bog Magic
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +11
Abilities; Str 20, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 10
Skills; Hide +8, Knowledge[nature] +16, Listen +21, Move Silently +16, Spot +21, Survival +19
Feats; Multi Attack, Improved Toughness[x2], Endurance, Alertness
Environment: Any Marsh
Organization: Solitary or Pair
CR: 10
Treasure; Standard(double coins)
Alignment: usually neutral
Advancement[/B]: 17-24HD(huge), 25-32HD(gargantuan), 33-40+(colossal)
Level Adjustment: -

Bog serpents closely resemble 20ft. tall tatzl worms, though the scales of bog serpents are signifigently thicker than those of a tatzl worm, and are a dark greenish black color, similar to those of a black dragon.
Bog serpents are usually solitary creatures, only coming together to mate.
The wings of a bog serpent are incapable of sustaining flight, but are large enough be used to make wing attacks.

A bog serpent can breathe both air and water.
A bog serpent can speak draconic.

Combat;
A bog serpent prefers to start combat by using itís breath weapon, using itís claws in order to maul itís enemies in later rounds.

Poison Fog(ex): the area around the bog serpent is smothered in a cloud of toxic miasma, all creatures within 50ft.(10 squares) of the bog serpent must make a DC 19 fort save every 3 rounds they remain in the miasma or take 1d3str and wis damage. the save DC is con based, and is a poison effect.

Improved Grab(ex): if the bog serpent succeeds on a grapple check after hitting an enemy with a claw attack it can make a bite attack as a swift action

Poison(ex): A target hit by the bog serpentís bite attack must make a DC 19 fort save or take 2 points of str damage, this effect repeats again 1 minute later, requiring a second save., this save DC is con based

Spell-Like Abilities(su): The bog serpent can use the following spells at will as spell-like abilities;
Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Flare, and Fairie Fire
In addition the Bog serpent can use the following spells 3/day as spell-like abilities; Contagious Fog, and Tree Shape
the Bog serpentís caster level and save DCs are equal to a druid of half itís HD

Breath Weapon(su): A Bog serpent possesses one type of breath weapon, a cone of fire, the save DC is con based

Skills: A bog serpent can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. A bog serpent always can choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. It can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.

The fight is intended as a final boss(after about 3-4 encounters with CR 3-4 dragons), guarding a rare herb that the PCs need to gain in order to cure a zombie causing plague, and I was hoping I could get some feedback with regards to how likely the PCs are to succeed
edit; I am also using the following house rules for the PCs
I am using the class defense bonus variant, along with the armor as DR variant, I granted all of the PCs a free +1 worth of level adjustment(either through race, or a bloodline), and I am using a HP variant giving all classes the maximum result of their HD(PCs and enemies with PC class levels)

Yitzi
2011-08-03, 07:33 AM
The party seems to lack any major spellcasters, so I'd be reluctant to make bosses that much more powerful than normal monsters.

Phosphate
2011-08-03, 07:54 AM
Fire breath will slaughter the group in no time.

Ziegander
2011-08-03, 08:56 AM
Compared to other Dragons of its CR, the Bog Serpent has fewer HP, lower attack bonus, lower AC (not by much), no flight, and much lower Breath Weapon damage and save DC. Okay, but in the Serpent's corner he forces PCs to make LOTS of saves per round with some pretty harsh consequences should they fail more than one.

Fire Breath most assuredly will not slaughter the party in no time, but the Bog Serpent's poisonous bite and its Poison Fog ability might. Of course, with antivenom being a possibility the difficulty of the encounter changes rather dramatically, and even without it the PCs have a very solid chance to take out the Bog Serpent before it ever gets off a second Fire Breath on them.

Vacuus
2011-08-03, 09:07 AM
Unless there's something I'm missing, shouldn't the DC of all the Serpent's Constitution based abilities be 26? (10 + 8 (1/2 HD) + 4 (Con mod) + 4 (racial))

SamBurke
2011-08-03, 09:40 AM
They have no magic, and the only person who's likely to survive is the Paladin, and barely at that. Low fort saves, here. They'll make two to three the first round (Fire -note, this is a reflex save, thus meaning the paladin may not survive it easily, despite divine grace-, Miasma, and Bite for someone). Optimal chance for a TPK, right there. Besides that, you have a recurring /10 round (Miasma), as well as the fire (the best and most logical weapon), Bite on whoever he hits, in addition to those SLAs (Contagious Fog, Poison... again?)

Are they going to be surprised? Who will act first?

Besides: 8th level? CR TWELVE? CR+2 is usually the max recommended in the DMG... unless they're going to level up, then I wouldn't think so.

Overall, this sounds like a tough job.

Ziegander
2011-08-03, 09:43 AM
Unless there's something I'm missing, shouldn't the DC of all the Serpent's Constitution based abilities be 26? (10 + 8 (1/2 HD) + 4 (Con mod) + 4 (racial))

Good point. In which case definitely lose that +4 racial bonus (you seem to currently be applying it as a penalty).

Seriously though, the Bard could probably solo this thing (well, by solo I mean hire a small band of third level Warriors and use ranged attacks), so if he and his team mates are tactically minded and have a basic understanding of the rules and of optimization 5 vs 1 are pretty good odds (the party itself makes up a CR 13 encounter).

Ingus
2011-08-03, 01:03 PM
It can be appropriate encounter if you want them to learn to flee or to circumvent obstacles in a more subtle way.
They really seem a stealth party, by the way (rogue, bard, ninja)

If they have to kill it to have the herb... well...

Ziegander
2011-08-03, 03:05 PM
If the save DCs are 26 the party will be pretty ****ed.

If the save DCs are 18 the battle will be challenging, memorable, but ultimately beatable (and with strong tactics no casualties).

Phosphate
2011-08-03, 04:10 PM
Oh wait, I just realized you say in your houserules that classes gain maximum from HD, like deities. Well in that case, fight is much easier.

Togath
2011-08-03, 06:47 PM
I edited the serpents statistics(fixing the saving throw DCs and reducing it to[I think] about CR 10), does it look like a better power level for boss encounter for level 8 characters?
Also if this changes anything about it's power level; the serpent is going to be encountered in a clearing(about 50ft. in diameter), with it's back to a thick forest and a shallow(about 3-4ft. deep) bog in front of it, and the PCs will be able to approach from any direction
edit; the bard uses a sword and shield, but has a few ranged attack spells, the ninja and the rogue are melee, and the earthbender and paladin are about 50/50 to ranged attacks and melee attacks

Debihuman
2011-08-03, 10:31 PM
I like this one but it has a few issues.

First, take your monster out of the spoiler. It doesn't belong in a spoiler.

The rest is in no particular order...

You should note whether it can breathe both air and water.

Hit Dice: 13d12+45 (129 hp) 6.5x13= 84.5; con bonus is +3 so 13x3= 39; plus toughnessx2 is +6. 84.5 +39 +6= 129.5 or 129 hp. You always round down in 3.5

Normally, only land movement is described in "squares" not inches. This is because Climb and Swim can have just vertical movement and can be in the same square.

Since the bog serpent has a Swim speed, it gets other bonuses to Swim. This information should be noted in a separate Skills section.

Skills: A bog serpent can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. A bog serpent always can choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. It can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.

Attacks: The damage modifier is +5. Normally wing attacks deal the indicated damage plus Ĺ the dragonís Strength bonus (round down) and are treated as secondary attacks.

It should have 5 feats not including bonus feats. Endurance should be a standard feat or it is missing a feat.

The damage modifier is +5 . I'm not sure how you arrived at +6 and +9.

Bog Magic is just standard Spell-Like Abilities. I'm not sure why you created a new name for a standard ability.

In the Poison special ability you need to identify which ability the poison is based on. It should probably be constitution based.

Poison Fog should probably only affect Living creatures. Creatures that don't breathe such as Constructs and Undead shouldn't be affected by the fog. A save every two minutes is too long between saves. It should be a save every round (or every other round if you are feeling particularly generous). Creatures that make their save should be unaffected by the Bog Dragon's Poison Fog for 24 hours.

I am not sure why it does an extra 22 points of fire damage with its breath weapon. How did you arrive at that number?

Debby

Togath
2011-08-04, 12:07 AM
First, take your monster out of the spoiler. It doesn't belong in a spoiler
fixed


You should note whether it can breathe both air and water. I had forgotten to add that, added it to the description.


Hit Dice: 13d12+45 (129 hp) 6.5x13= 84.5; con bonus is +3 so 13x3= 39; plus toughnessx2 is +6. 84.5 +39 +6= 129.5 or 129 hp. You always round down in 3.5
The extra HP is because the feat is improved toughness(+1HP/HD) rather than toughness(+3 HP), though I had forgotten to round down rather than up.


Normally, only land movement is described in "squares" not inches. This is because Climb and Swim can have just vertical movement and can be in the same square.
Hadn't thought of the swim and climb speeds, fixed


Since the bog serpent has a Swim speed, it gets other bonuses to Swim. This information should be noted in a separate Skills section.

Skills: A bog serpent can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. A bog serpent always can choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. It can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line. added


Attacks: The damage modifier is +5. Normally wing attacks deal the indicated damage plus Ĺ the dragonís Strength bonus (round down) and are treated as secondary attacks.
The damage modifier is +5 . I'm not sure how you arrived at +6 and +9.

I had misread the damage entry on dragons in the MM, fixed


It should have 5 feats not including bonus feats. Endurance should be a standard feat or it is missing a feat.
I realized that earlier today but was busy. fixed


Bog Magic is just standard Spell-Like Abilities. I'm not sure why you created a new name for a standard ability.
I was half asleep when I wrote that part of it's stat block. Fixed


In the Poison special ability you need to identify which ability the poison is based on. It should probably be constitution based.

Poison Fog should probably only affect Living creatures. Creatures that don't breathe such as Constructs and Undead shouldn't be affected by the fog. A save every two minutes is too long between saves. It should be a save every round (or every other round if you are feeling particularly generous). Creatures that make their save should be unaffected by the Bog Dragon's Poison Fog for 24 hours.
added save dc mechanics for poisonous bite, and added that the fog works as a poison.


I am not sure why it does an extra 22 points of fire damage with its breath weapon. How did you arrive at that number?
the extra number is the average damage of 6 if the dice used in the breath weapon, mainly added it to speed up rolling it's damage., the standard damage layout is there as well, I will make sure to note the difference in it's stats.

Welknair
2011-08-04, 12:07 AM
When you say "Dragon Bloodline", are you referring to the one given in UA, or mine (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204586)? Because it makes a bit of a difference.

Togath
2011-08-04, 12:14 AM
The draon bloodline used was the red dragon bloodline you made, rather than one of the ones from UA.

Welknair
2011-08-04, 12:23 AM
The draon bloodline used was the red dragon bloodline you made, rather than one of the ones from UA.

Very good. And certainly an interesting character concept.


As for difficulty, I'd certainly say it's dependent on the amount of preparation the PCs have. If they have antitoxins and prior knowledge of it's abilities, they'd obviously have the upper hand. If it were a complete surprise... It'd be very difficult, though they could likely still win.

Yitzi
2011-08-04, 12:30 AM
A save every two minutes is too long between saves. It should be a save every round (or every other round if you are feeling particularly generous). Creatures that make their save should be unaffected by the Bog Dragon's Poison Fog for 24 hours.

There is precedent for abilities that are too slow to be of any use in combat, such as the Howler.

SowZ
2011-08-04, 12:35 AM
Straight up? Like, arena fight? Nah, yeah, that would be mean. But the thing about a Bog Serpent, unlike even Kobolds, is that they don't have the advantage of tactics or hyper intelligence. They aren't going to prepare for an ambush or set up an ambush themselves unless they have real reason to. If the PCs know what is coming, they can feel free to gather information on what these things are, buy items and potions tailored to this encounter, and then plan/set traps/use the environment and their brains to beat the Bog Serpent. The AC should be no problem for level 8s. Even the HP should be no biggie if they are optimized at all. What concerns me is that most everyone will be tackling it in melee... I still think good planning and good tactics could come out on top. There would be a chance of PC mortality with even teh best plans but, hey, that's what makes it a challenge, right?

Of course, as a DM, I know that it is often expecting too much from players to do anything but charge in with heroic confidence...

P.S. You might not want to listen to me, though, as without real forward thinking on the players parts in my campaigns... Let's just say I have an every other session PC death count average if you count those not permanently dead as deaths and an every third session average if you count perma-deaths. So... I am not necessarily the best authority on how to keep players alive.

Togath
2011-08-04, 12:40 AM
The NPCs in the nearby village will hopefully help to warn the PCs about the serpent(I was planning on having the NPCs mutter about a giant toxic dragon dwelling in the swamp), and both the bard and the paladin have ranks in knowledge local and knowledge nature, so hopefully the PCs will be able to prepare ahead of time.
edit; i also sped up the time between saves to once every 3 rounds, and the PCs have to save each round they are within the miasma, regardless of if they succeeded on their previous save, at least while the serpent is alive.

Debihuman
2011-08-04, 07:34 AM
FYI Improved Toughness feat can't be taken more than once as far as I know. It doesn't say it can be taken more than once. You can take Toughness feat multiple times.

Can these speak? I'd imagine that they speak Draconic or Common (they don't have a high enough Int for 2 languages).

Poison and Improved Grab should be Extraordinary Abilities while Poison Fog and Breath Weapon should be Supernatural ones.

Otherwise, it looks pretty good. I could see these used as minions for a powerful black dragon.

Debby

Togath
2011-08-04, 04:39 PM
Hadn't noticed until you pointed it out about the improved toughness thing, looks like it's a once only boost(or at least it doesn't say that it stacks), I'm also going to give it the ability to speak draconic, since the standard tazylwyrms can(though they can only speak a few words of it, so one language seems about right for a greater version), and I'll add the note about the ability types for poison, improved grab, and the miasma and breath weapon(the poison fog is caused by toxins seeping from the bog serpent's body so I put it as Ex rather then Su as it's basicly the same as it's poison).
also minion of a higher powered creature was what I was going for, for it's power level, this specific one is under commands from a fairly high level vampire gish(about level 14-16, I haven't built his exact stats yet)

Yitzi
2011-08-04, 06:26 PM
Straight up? Like, arena fight? Nah, yeah, that would be mean. But the thing about a Bog Serpent, unlike even Kobolds, is that they don't have the advantage of tactics or hyper intelligence.

Actually, the Bog Serpent has INT 10, so it should be able to use tactics. Now, if it had INT 3 or even 2, that'd help a lot (although not as much as it would a party with a summoner in it.)

And there's nothing "even" about kobolds when it comes to using tactics to maximum advantage. :smallsmile:


[FONT="Book Antiqua"][SIZE="2"]The NPCs in the nearby village will hopefully help to warn the PCs about the serpent(I was planning on having the NPCs mutter about a giant toxic dragon dwelling in the swamp), and both the bard and the paladin have ranks in knowledge local and knowledge nature, so hopefully the PCs will be able to prepare ahead of time.

Ah, that'll help quite a bit. That way, they should know to get Delay Poison or at least antitoxins, which will help a lot.

Togath
2011-08-04, 06:41 PM
I was planning on having the bog serpent send a few mooks(about 3-5 troops consisting of 2 advanced tatzylwyrms[from pathfinder, about the only stats I could find for them] or a very young black dragon, with a low level fighter, of some race, probably lizardfolk).
The bog serpent will begin the encounter by hiding under the water and muck of the swamp/bog near the field of herbs the PCs need, only attacking directly once the PCs either somehow notice it(the only that would have a fairly good chance of noticing the serpent is the DMPC to I'm thinking of just not rolling his spot checks) or once it can charge out of the water and ambush them.
(though the PCs will hopefully prepare for poison attacks as the villagers' will warn them, and the tatzyl wyrms possess a(weak) poison effect.)
edit: also there is a small chance(depending on wether or not the PCs decide to help cure the plague, destroy the zombies and other misc undead, stop the wolf attacks[by dire wolves and were wolves] on the village, or clear out an evil cult first), that the PCs could end up in the swamp at level 9 or level 10