View Full Version : Nasty Creature - Is it CR appropriate?

2007-09-20, 01:12 PM
Apocallypse D&D group, STAY OUT. This thread constitutes spoilers for the Apocalypse D&D game I'm running.

I'd like to know what people think of this monster and if it's CR is correct.

Phrenic Vampiric Werewolf
(Only stating out hybrid form here, to save time and space)

Werewolf, Hybrid Form
Size/Type: Medium Undead (Augmented humanoid, Shapechanger, Psionic)
Hit Dice: 1d12 plus 2d12 (25 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 24 (+4 Dex, +10 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+7
Attack: Claw +7 melee (1d6+5) or Slam +7 melee (1d6+5)
Full Attack: 2 claws +7 melee (1d6+5) and bite +3 melee (1d6+2)
Space/Reach: 5ft/5ft
Special Attacks: Curse of lycanthropy (dc 15), blood drain, dominate (dc 14), energy drain (dc 14), children of the night, create spawn, 3/day—defensive precognition, 1/day—force screen, 3/day—empty mind, mind thrust (all dc 14, manifester level 3), Power Point Reserve: 1
Special Qualities: Alternate form, wolf empathy, damage reduction 10/silver and magic, low-light vision, scent, fast healing 5, cold resistance 10, electric resistance 10, spider climb, turn resistance +4, power resistance 13,
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +4
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 19, Con -, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 16
Skills: Handle Animal +5, Hide +16, Listen +13, Move Silently +16, Spot +13, Survival +5, bluff +11, search +10, sense motive +10
Feats: Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Stealthy, Track, Weapon Focus (bite), Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, and Lightning Reflexes
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Special Abilities:

Alternate Form (Su)
A werewolf can assume a bipedal hybrid form or the form of a wolf.
Curse of Lycanthropy (Su)
Any humanoid or giant hit by a werewolf’s bite attack in animal or hybrid form must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or contract lycanthropy.
Blood Drain (Ex)
A vampire can suck blood from a living victim with its fangs by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained. On each such successful attack, the vampire gains 5 temporary hit points.
Children of the Night (Su)
Vampires command the lesser creatures of the world and once per day can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or a pack of 3d6 wolves as a standard action. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might summon other creatures of similar power.) These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the vampire for up to 1 hour.
Dominate (Su)
A vampire can crush an opponent’s will just by looking onto his or her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the vampire must use a standard action, and those merely looking at it are not affected. Anyone the vampire targets must succeed on a Will save or fall instantly under the vampire’s influence as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet.
Create Spawn (Su)
A humanoid or monstrous humanoid slain by a vampire’s energy drain rises as a vampire spawn 1d4 days after burial.
Energy Drain (Su)
Living creatures hit by a vampire’s slam attack (or any other natural weapon the vampire might possess) gain two negative levels. For each negative level bestowed, the vampire gains 5 temporary hit points. A vampire can use its energy drain ability once per round.
Alternate Form (Su)
A vampire can assume the shape of a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf as a standard action. While in its alternate form, the vampire loses its natural slam attack and dominate ability, but it gains the natural weapons and extraordinary special attacks of its new form. It can remain in that form until it assumes another or until the next sunrise. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might allow other forms.)
Damage Reduction (Su)
A vampire has damage reduction 10/silver and magic. A vampire’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Fast Healing (Ex)
A vampire heals 5 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, it automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.) Any additional damage dealt to a vampire forced into gaseous form has no effect. Once at rest in its coffin, a vampire is helpless. It regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round.
Gaseous Form (Su)
As a standard action, a vampire can assume gaseous form at will as the spell (caster level 5th), but it can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Resistances (Ex)
A vampire has resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10.
Spider Climb (Ex)
A vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.
Turn Resistance (Ex)
A vampire has +4 turn resistance.
Naturally Psionic
A phrenic creature gains 1 bonus power point.

So this thing looks pretty darn nasty. The players will probably encounter it in a temple where, thanks to scent, it'll most likely know they are coming. This and maybe some vampire spawn will be the only enemies in the temple. I want this to be a major fight, as it is supposed to be the singular reason this remote temple is deserted.

The party is a group of five level 5 characters, a monk, a druid, a wizard (the power-gamer of the group), a fighter, and a rogue. According to the templates, this is a CR 6 creature (werewolf = 3, vampire adds 2, phrenic adds 1, and yes this is legal, WoTC has done an article on werewolf vampires). I'm afraid of this being too powerful, but I also don't want the players to defeat this easily. It's supposed to be a real challenge, as in, nobody dead, but defenitely a close call. Also, I think I will not make the negative levels have a chance of being permanent. Instead, they can make the save each day until they succeed in getting rid of it.

So, how difficult of a fight do you think this will be -
A) Solo, no surprise round, party fully rested.
B) If it gets to sneak up on them...
C) If the party has already had 1-2 CR 4 to 5-ish encounters already that day.
D) If it has one or two vampire spawn with it (CR 4 each).

Edit: Fixed con score and CR addition.

2007-09-20, 01:19 PM
Just a nit-pick but with four or less HD it'd rise as a spawn not a vampire, which would mean it drops to fast healing 2 and loses a couple of the niftier vampire powers I think, other than that it looks like a fun beastie:smallsmile: . Definately a hard bugger but with warning or a well played team it shouldn't be unbeatable unless it gets spawn of its own in which case it will trounce your party.:smallfrown:

2007-09-20, 01:22 PM
Why does it have a Con score? It's Undead.

According to the templates, this is a CR 5 creature (werewolf = 3, vampire adds 2, phrenic adds 1, and yes this is legal, WoTC has done an article on werewolf vampires).Err, that adds up to 6, not 5.

Keld Denar
2007-09-20, 01:40 PM
Yeah, all of its hit dice should shift to d12, and it loses its con score (which means +0 bonus hp per die, not -5) for avg hp would be 12 + 7/level after 1 or 28.

Looks ok to me. The DR is kind of a pain, if they don't have any silvered weapons to augment with a bless weapon/magic weapon spell, but the HP are rather low, so a couple choice hits will take it down. The damage output is low, but the neg levels are kind of a suck. That said, its AB is kind of low as well, a +7 will only hit an AC 20 character 40% of the time. If the party can keep moving to deny it a full attack, it'll be an ok encounter.

If the wiz is worth his guano like you said, I wouldn't expect the encounter to last very long indeed, especially if he can hit it with a glitterdust and/or ray of enfeeblement. RoE would drop it's AB down to the point where it would start needing 15+ to hit an AC 20 character. That's almost boardering on too easy.

If the party had a cleric with, it would be even more easier, as even with turn resistance, a sun domain cleric 5 would dust it most of the time.

Biggest problem for the party is if the BDF gets dominated. If they are smart, they'll Prot Evil, otherwise it will be a bigger challenge.

I'd add in a DM fudge factor. If they anticpate at all with buffage of Prot Evil, add mooks (1-2 spawn) if they don't, have it make a suprise dominate from hiding and aim for the big guy with the big stick and the low will save.

2007-09-20, 01:58 PM
It is woefully low on HP. Even with DR, a few solid swings from the fighter and it's going to be in a world of hurt. If the fighter and rogue have appropriate weapons, a straight up fight is suicidal for it.

So, that means A) A straight up Fight is out of the question. B) A sneak attack is a much better idea. If it can get the jump on the party, it can take control of a meleer with Dominate and slap a drain on the primary spellcaster. From there, hit and run tactics with spider climb and gaseous form can make it hard on the party.

C) A few encounters first will make it possible to do A. D) will also make it possible to do a straight up encounter if you leave this guy in the back and let them mooks run interference.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-20, 02:02 PM
I'd give it a few levels in either Rogue or Scout, as per Werebear's comments.

2007-09-20, 02:10 PM
Okay... just looked over their character sheets again, and considering that none of them have a silver weapon, the fighter is doing a ranged attack build, and vampires, being undead, are immune to crits, sneak attack, and ability damage...well, it turns out that none of the characters can actually do enough physical damage to hurt this thing except on a max roll, i.e. 1 or 2 damage a round if they get lucky. The only hope in terms of damage is the druid or wizard using some direct damage spells, which neither is likely to have prepared.

Considering what someone said about the number of hit dice and the rules for vampires, I think I will re-write this as a vampire spawn. Differences are:
-DR 5/Silver instead of 10/silver and magic
-Fast Healing 2 instead of 5
-1 negative level bestowed on hit, instead of 2
-+3 natural armor instead of +6
-No children of the night ability
-+4 bonus to various skills instead of +8

Think that'll be more appropriate?

2007-09-20, 02:13 PM
Slightly, yeah...

I have to ask, why all of the templates? You might be better off just with a normal vampire, or with a Werewolf with Psychic Warrior levels.

2007-09-20, 02:16 PM
How much do/will the players know? Do they know that the main monster is hiding in this temple? That he's an undead? That he's a vampire? That he's a lycanthrope, or that he's both? Especially considering that the party's powergamer is a wizard (who needs to know what spells to prepare), this would make a big difference.

2007-09-20, 02:16 PM
I have to ask, why all of the templates? You might be better off just with a normal vampire, or with a Werewolf with Psychic Warrior levels.

I wanted something freakish and bizarre, something that would surprise the party despite the fact that I'm only using the SRD. Also, for plot reasons, it needed to be something sufficiently unnatural for, well, the plot. Long story.

How much do/will the players know? Do they know that the main monster is hiding in this temple? That he's an undead? That he's a vampire? That he's a lycanthrope, or that he's both? Especially considering that the party's powergamer is a wizard (who needs to know what spells to prepare), this would make a big difference.

The party will know that there is something nasty in the temple but will not know how many or what kind of nasty things to expect, unless someone gets creative with some divination.

2007-09-20, 02:19 PM
Again, this is only a Vampire Spawn. One must needs have 5 HD to to be a full blooded Vampire. Otherwise, you rise as a Vampire Spawn with up to 4 HD.

So as a Vamp: illegal build.

As a Vamp Spawn: it is fine. But loses most of abilities.

Keld Denar
2007-09-20, 02:20 PM
I agree, drop the phrenic and add a couple more levels of something or another. It doesn't have too much synergy with a melee based badie like a werewolf. Scout, rogue, fighter, or barbarian (ouch) would all be likely adds to the werewolf vamp.