View Full Version : How many levels could a wight drain if a wight could drain levels?

2012-01-24, 08:43 PM
Sorry for the attempt at a joke. But the wights draining Tsukiko down to 0 got me curious. I haven't played AD & D in decades, but is there a limit to how much an individual wight can drain? So if I'd spent a few years to get a character up to level 9, say, could he be taken down to level 0 with a single encounter with a wight? Or is there some sort of levels drained/encounter/wight rule?

I understand that Rich can make his creations do whatever he wants to make the plot advance, and that's cool. But I'm really curious about what could happen in a game.

2012-01-24, 08:48 PM
See "Energy Drain and Negative Levels" here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm) and the Wight creature entry (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wight.htm) for the details on these rules. In short: A wight can gain as many levels as it wants, but getting level-drained by a wight isn't always the same thing as just straight-up losing a level, so if your level 9 character survived and could make some DC 14 fort saves, they'd be okay the next day.

Dumbledore lives
2012-01-24, 08:48 PM
Well what wights do is they give negative levels to people, which are actually just a really bad debuff as seen here on the srd. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#energyDrainAndNegativeLevels) You get to make a fortitude saving throw after 24 hours to make the level do nothing to you, but if at anytime you have as many negative levels as you have levels you die. So no, there is no limit.

Grey Watcher
2012-01-24, 08:50 PM
According to the rules, (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wight.htm) there's no upper limit to how many levels a wight can drain from a given target.

That said, if you're level 9 and having trouble taking down a single wight, either the dice or the DM hate you. Probably both.

2012-01-24, 09:00 PM
The only limit is how many times the wight can hit you. Wights only get one attack per round, and only drain one level per hit. A 9th level character could theoretically be taken down to 0 in a single encounter with one wight, but it would take a minimum of 9 rounds and would realistically take a lot longer because the wight would have difficulty hitting. Even 9 rounds would be exceptionally long for a D&D 3.5e combat, and a typical 9th level character should be able to kill a typical wight in 1 or 2 rounds, maybe 3, so that would be extremely unlikely to happen.

The wights only beat Tsukiko in the comic because they had numbers, surprise, and Redcloak's support, and used a tactic her kind of character is especially weak against - the way a focused caster like her usually deals with grappling is not letting enemies get close enough to try it in the first place, and if that fails the next backup is teleporting out. If both of those measures fail or are unavailable, there isn't much a typical primary caster can do about it without help.

2012-01-24, 10:56 PM
Undead energy draining attacks have definitely mellowed as the editions moved on. In 1st Edition AD&D, levels (and the XP that represented them) were lost instantly (unless you had a rare item like the scarab of protection--which was expensive and really useful in other ways--that could absorb a limited number of such attacks before becoming useless). The only way to get them back was one at a time through a seventh level (then the top clerical spell level) restoration spell (which would age the caster 1 year, IIRC) or a wish spell (if you had a reasonable DM and could find a caster willing to be aged 3 years). In 3.x, negative levels are bad, but not remotely permanent unless you suffer enough to be killed outright, or can't access a 7th level cleric within a week after you fail one or more saves against the negative levels. A single 4th level restoration will clear out all negative levels--a single 7th level greater restoration will restore even fully drained levels. That's a couple of orders of magnitude less nasty (4E has become gentler still, but that is another story. . .).

2012-01-25, 08:37 AM
that's because negative level attacks are more common now.

in the past AFAIK only higher level rare monster had them,
now even wight (CR 3) can do it - and IMO they're much weaker then your run-in-the-mill Ogre (CR 3).

2012-01-25, 09:07 AM
Wights always had energy drain on hit.

They just...got a lot, in my opinion, more sane about just how bad their "undead are really bad" attack should be.

2012-01-25, 09:11 AM
Thanks, all. I understand the concept much better now. Incidentally, I just pulled the 9th level thing out of the air. I wanted something high enough so it would be a real tragedy to lose them all (unlike a 2nd level character you rolled up a couple of months ago), but not so high that there would be, I dunno, some sort of interference due to epic-ness.