View Full Version : Fighting Dirty?

2007-12-06, 02:55 PM
Hey there, I'm about to have my players encounter a major villain - he's a 14th level lawful evil Cleric, domains Law and Strength, and has had a fair amount of opportunity to study the party. What I need are a few ideas for low-down dirty tricks he could use to trip up the players - disabling and humiliating is better than outright killing them.

A few ideas so far -
- Strategically placing Symbols around the area before the fight.
- Blinding/deafening/cursing the party early on.
- Using spells like Repulsion / Blade Barrier to control the battlefield.

Any ideas? What are some dirty tricks you've used on your group, or you've encountered as a player?

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-06, 02:58 PM
I've defeated a group using a CWar samurai who only used Dirty Fighting (3.0 feat) attacks. That's as humiliating as it gets.

2007-12-06, 03:11 PM
If you want to really frustrate the players, there's a corrupt spell from the Book of Vile Darkness that makes the target's eyes explode - seething eyebane. It costs Con damage to cast though.

If the PCs are going to be fighting this guy again, make him pretend to ba a vampire - hissing at light sources and so on. Next time, they'll stock up on holy water and so forth and be terrified when it doesn't work! :smallamused:

Horizontal walls of force at knee level. I think he needs arcane backup for that though.

Get him to cast levitation on himself, hovering less than an inch above the floor, then cover the floor in pit traps. He won't trigger them, but the players will.

That's what I can think of for now.

Keld Denar
2007-12-06, 03:14 PM
If a fair number of the party arn't Lawful, hit em with Dictum (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/spellsDtoE.html#dictum) (CLR7, LAW7). With his +1 CL from the Law Domain, and his status as BBEG being a level or 2 above the PCs, his Dictum will deafen and slow all non-lawful PCs. That's a pretty massive straightup AoE debuff. No save either. If you can boost his level to be 5 levels above the party (level 10 party vs level 14 cleric w/ Law Domain, or level 11 party vs level 14 cleric w/ Law Domain and Orange Ioun Stone/Divine Spell Power) then he will PARALYZE any non-lawful PCs for a few minutes. If you have 1-2 Lawful PCs, this will put it up to them to free their allies/defeat the BBEG/run like a sissy. If all PCs are non-lawful, this gives the BBEG a few minutes to monologe in an obligatory fasion(including demonic laugh) before depositing the party on the slow moving conveyer toward lava/spinning blades/certain death. Then the paralyse wears off just in time for the party to escape and fight the BBEG, who acts utterly supprised that they aren't killed/incinerated/minced. That would make em sweat a bit, and afterwards, exclaim "Dictum....wtf is a Dictum?"

2007-12-06, 03:28 PM
...samurai who only used Dirty Fighting...

That seem wrong to anyone else?

2007-12-06, 03:36 PM
If he's had time to study the party, then what is the party like? Who is he fighting against? What are their weaknesses and what can we do to them?
In general, however...

Use Dictum and Blasphemy a bunch. That set of spells is really, really irritating. I mean, just look at the effects. And no saves? Yes please!

Forbiddance could be fun, and would be a nice preparation for him. Not especially big, but... well, if you keep him leaving and reentering the Forbiddance zone, they'll have to make saves over and over or take damage, and it would be REALLY mean. ^-^
In an evil use of this spell, you could have a ton of Sculpted Forbiddances around the room so they would be constantly entering and exiting the area, and wouldn't know where to step to avoid the damage.

Create walls of stone to block most of the party off. Maybe put the most dangerous combatant into a little box of it just to humiliate him/her.

Fight in a library. Use Animate Objects on the books. Watch the PCs get repeatedly assaulted by copies of Wuthering Heights. Furthermore, tons and tons of books will really clutter up the battlefield, and it'll be infuriating. And you won't care if they die, either.

Bestow Curse can be really mean if you use it correctly. Just drop it on them a few times by using Reach Spell or something.

Cast Silence and/or Deeper Darkness in the room multiple times so they can't get rid of it, and ensure you have ways around it. (Trueseeing. Silent Spell). Watch them bumble around, unable to see or communicate to each other while your books attack them repeatedly. If you want to use the symbols in conjunction with this, wait until they've dealt with the symbols, then dump out a ton of darkness radiating rocks from a bag of holding.

2007-12-06, 03:36 PM
That seem wrong to anyone else?It seems neccesary. Have you seen the CWar Samurai? Ugh!

As for tricks with your cleric: What decent evil cleric doesn't have a small army of undead at his command? He should be riding a saddle inside the rib cage of a skeletal gray render, using the dupe as cover while slinging aligned spells up their rear.

Of course, the Strength Domain suggests a more hamfisted character, in which case I would suggest skeletal dire wolves ordered to trip the party members. Skeletal dire wolves still get the free trip when they bite, right?

Finally, aligned attack spells FTW. Dictum and Unholy Blight, particularly the latter if you're packing undead minions.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-06, 03:37 PM
They had annoyed me. I got two bajillion save boosters and a few Heals ready and won.

2007-12-06, 03:41 PM
That seem wrong to anyone else?

If you're trying to suggest a samurai wouldn't stoop to dirty tactics, bear in mind that the CWar samurai bears little to no resemblance to real life samurai, nor to fantasy samurai in media. And also that real life and fantasy samurai weren't always above dirty fighting themselves. Of course, those two points may nullify each other, which potentially destroys my argument.

If you're suggesting that a CWar samurai using a crappy 3.0 feat beat up a bunch of other people seems wrong, I'll back you up on that.

2007-12-06, 03:41 PM
Step 1:get BoVD
Step 2:read the section containing spells
Step 3:go nuts

Example ideas:If your cleric has an army of undead, Unliving Weapon. Your zombies now explode when hit.
Or you could just give them massive heart attacks with Stop Heart (they drop to -8 hp and dying and go down to -9 at the end of the round. Better be quick with the healing:smallamused: )

2007-12-06, 03:51 PM
Spiritual Weapon and an illusion that looks like the cleric.

It will drive them crazy that they can 'hurt' the guy, and yet he never dies.

For added frustration, have them 'behead' him... and of course he keeps fighting.

Of course, that would be better suited to a cleric of Chaos and Trickery than Law and Strength :smalltongue:

2007-12-06, 04:09 PM
Animate the corpse of a well-loved NPC. Desecrate also helps.
Make the terrain inferiorating, such as a knee-deep bog (of feces) combined with Levitate and Fly.

2007-12-06, 04:19 PM
Give this guy arcane support with illusionists and transmutters. Hehehe. That'll really do some anoying. Also. Trapping the floor is good.

Sornjss Lichdom
2007-12-06, 04:25 PM
Illusions = masive dirty fighting.

Dirt in the eyes?

Cirlce of Magical Protection (good).

Summon tons, apon tons of monsters.

fill all the area with cursed water.

web. lots of it.

2007-12-06, 04:26 PM
If he's had time to study the party, then what is the party like? Who is he fighting against? What are their weaknesses and what can we do to them?

The party is composed of 7 10th level characters:
Marcellus, a half-elf bard - very low constitution and hit points, but brilliant in terms of diplomacy, bluff, etc.,
Ladrao, a gadget-obsessed half-elf rogue, the party's quick thinker.
Archaicus, A reserved, intelligent cleric, with an emphasis on offense and healing. He's been framed for murdering the High Priest.
Isildur, A ranger with a deadly bow, and a former miliatary man. Tends to shoot first and ask questions later.
Orc, A barbarian orc with a giant axe, the party's tank.
Kamatari, A monk/rogue, fast and incredibly deadly (plus his kobold cohort.)
Thane, A fighter/sorceror, recently introduced to the party.

The party works reasonably well as a group, and are capable of some forethought, but there are a number of notable weaknesses - Marcellus is near-useless in a fight, and sticks to support spells, and Ladrao might be swayed by the promise of riches.

At all costs, the BBEG needs to keep himself away from Orc's melee range and preferably safe from Isildur's arrows, and Archaicus's spellcasting has proven a thorn in his side time and time again.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-06, 04:30 PM
Fly and Wind wall should negate both Orc and Isildur. As for Archaicus, the augmented Sleep spell (Methinks it was named Hiss of Sleep) that hits guys with up to 10 HD could help, Kamatari is a monk and therefore almost de facto useless, and if you can Entangle Thane you'll handle him. That'd leave Ladrao, who will UMD the BBEG as much as he can, and Marcellus, who'll be desperately trying to destatify everyone. It should work, one and a half chars will have a hell of a time against a BBEG.

2007-12-06, 04:36 PM
Wow. That's a good number of people.
Definitely have a Windwall prepared to help negate Isildur. Antilife Shell and Wall of Stone to keep the meleers away. Dot silence around the room to smack on the spellcaster capabilities.

2007-12-06, 04:45 PM
Depends. Are you trying to seriously screw up the party or not?

2007-12-06, 04:47 PM
Mechanics wise I can't help much but general tactics should take their greatest strengths and belittle them. Shatter the orc's axe, curse the rogue's gadgets with malfunctions, freeze the monk to the spot and have his cohort attack him from behind. It'll demoralise them and then force them to become better.
I love the idea of bringing them all inside a Blade Barrier as well, as it really causes panic and confusion. If there's a particularly loved party member (the bard most likely as he sounds like he helps in several areas), use your Strength domain to hold him hostage with Grasping Hand unless they comply with your demands, assuming their ressurection means are slim to none or you can quickly raise him as your own servant.

2007-12-06, 04:50 PM
It seems neccesary. Have you seen the CWar Samurai? Ugh!It seems equivalent to cutting off one's own arm. Have you seen the Dirty Fighting feat?

2007-12-06, 04:56 PM
I like the legion of sentinels (PH2) spell for blocking narrow corridors and harrowing spellcasters/ranged attackers. They only make AOOs, but if there are enough of them to fill a 10' radius circle, that would be nasty.

Lots of difficult terrain plus flying enemies would be very difficult. I heard in an older thread that Dread Wraiths are particularly nasty. Dread Wraiths swooping down on a party in an abandoned cathedral/temple (complete with rows and rows of bolted pews) and a cleric at the altar bolstering them would be harrowing for even a mid-level party.

2007-12-06, 05:06 PM
What book is the Fighting Dirty feat from?

Miles Invictus
2007-12-06, 05:24 PM
A quick google indicates that the Dirty Fighting feat allows you to, as a Full Attack, make one attack with +1d4 precision damage that doesn't stack with Sneak Attack.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-06, 05:43 PM
Which shows how a person can be a really sadistic bastard once players start toying with the Wizardly Swordsage variant.

For the record, I thrashed them at level 17.

2007-12-06, 09:22 PM
Which shows how a person can be a really sadistic bastard once players start toying with the Wizardly Swordsage variant.

For the record, I thrashed them at level 17.

You at level 17 and then at level 1 right?

2007-12-06, 09:58 PM
Not sure how easy it would be to implement in D&D magical terms, but how about forcing them through a series of rooms - each with a tough logic puzzle and a very short time limit. Every failed attempt leads to half their money being taken away or some other penalty.

Have the evil cleric gloating with each failure.

2007-12-06, 10:20 PM
Prep some stuff to string out the party, like symbols or traps, and be buffed into Clericzilla. Then use nonlethal damage to take them out one at a time, and put them in a dungeon (where they can escape from, minus their best items).

2007-12-07, 03:58 AM
Start with an illusion of yourself, which the ranger easily takes down. As soon as he's down, send in another illusion, which gets taken down, then in comes another illusion, and so on, and slowly throw in more and more illusions, have one seem to take damage and run...over an area where there's a few pit traps. Meanwhile, the party chases, and the real cleric is lying 'dead' with the other illusions and now comes up from behind.