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Icewalker
2008-01-04, 10:40 PM
...It seems to be a bit of a problem. A villain who would tear the party to shreds, but die quickly...worst of both worlds, I think.

I'm going to make a warlock villain, but he'll be hitting a probably 2nd level party for 3d6...per round. Seems like it would probably one-shot any class with worse than a d8 hit die, with alright chances of taking them down as well. Then, he would have 19-22 hp, against 5-6 people dealing probably about 2d6 per hit...he seems pretty screwed, but would take some of them with him.

Anybody know a way that the party would not die as fast from his attacks, but he would be able to survive longer? I suppose using more non-blast enhancing invocations would deal with the first one, just causing them to be weakened instead of damaging them, but it seems kind of pointless, as well as not being his style (his style being rampant slaughter).


Also, what are some good escape routes for villains?

Solo
2008-01-04, 10:42 PM
A multiclassed rogue/warlock?

A monk?

BRC
2008-01-04, 10:44 PM
Personally I don't really like this kind of encounter, its not as bad for a boss, but ive run into these types of encounters as mooks, where it's not so much a matter of tactics as it is "He will die in 4 rounds, one of you will likely die each round, so lets just save some time and draw straws."

Nebo_
2008-01-04, 10:48 PM
Use tactics if you don't want him to go down too fast. Stand behind obstacles, use minions as meat shields, don't let yourself be cornered. And if you want to survive, just give him more Con.

Icewalker
2008-01-04, 10:51 PM
Use tactics if you don't want him to go down too fast. Stand behind obstacles, use minions as meat shields, don't let yourself be cornered. And if you want to survive, just give him more Con.

Alright, that works well. He doesn't use minions, but I can see him using innocents as meat shields.

So how do I stop him from 1-shotting all the low-health members of the party?

The_Blue_Sorceress
2008-01-04, 10:55 PM
Alright, that works well. He doesn't use minions, but I can see him using innocents as meat shields.

So how do I stop him from 1-shotting all the low-health members of the party?

Roll low?

Better yet, roll behind a DM screen and fudge the dice rolls. Or don't aim at anyone who can't take at least one average hit without going into the negatives, or one max damage hit without dropping below -10.

-Blue

sikyon
2008-01-04, 10:56 PM
Just switch targets alot. I do it, it makes it more interesting. Mostly for more powerful opponents though.

Tequila Sunrise
2008-01-04, 11:00 PM
You could lower his ray to d4s instead of d6s and raise his hd to d8 (?) rather than d6 (?).

Icewalker
2008-01-04, 11:58 PM
You could lower his ray to d4s instead of d6s and raise his hd to d8 (?) rather than d6 (?).

I suppose I could just do something like that, or give false answers (although they could check the real ones if they cheat, I'm running this as a pbp).

I'd prefer to just find a way to do it without messing with rules, then only fake rolls if it would be really bad, like death. It's more of dropping a PC every shot not killing them.

Aiming for the strong ones will help, definitely.

Collin152
2008-01-05, 12:32 AM
A monk?

Naw, you got that one backwards. You could never hit a monk... that's it.

Balkash
2008-01-05, 12:48 AM
To make it not a TPK, and since he is all hell bent for slaughter, have him personally pick out the biggest, baddest, toughest PC and only attack him. Sort of a 'we are both Alpha males, lets hit each other till one of us wins' thing.

To make it not a TPK, and since he is all hell bent for slaughter, have the PCs take a mob of commoners with them. The BBEG shows up on the edge of town to attempt to taunt the PCs into a fight, so the town gathers up a mob to go with the PCs. Then he can blow away the commoners, and then really fight the PCs after a few hits. That way, still lots of blood, but no one important gets hurt. (my apologies to all you NPCs out there).

To make it not so easy to kill the BBEG, try getting him to use a henchman. Maybe he has a lackey? A wizard lets say? Have the wizard buff him before hand. Or maybe this bad boy has a ring of protection, or some other happy magic item to keep him safe. You said 2nd level? Blur could work well, or hell, glitter dust could keep some of the PCs at bay for a couple rounds.

nargbop
2008-01-05, 12:48 AM
Red shirts. Seriously, work it into the story that the party requires a guide, or some mercenary wants to join for money. Or something.
I've included guides in my campaigns for a while so that I had an easy way to explain history or some nobleman's title (the PCs being travelers, of course). It helps that they're expendable characters, as well.

Corlis
2008-01-05, 12:56 AM
Cover is a good idea. You could have him play a cat-and-mouse game in a warehouse that the PCs are searching, full of twists and turns and random crates that would provide cover for both him and the PCs. He'd take pot-shots from behind crates or on top of gangways, and immediately flee to a new vantage point when they try to close on him, so they have a chance to stabilise anyone who gets nailed. He could go though hidden routes like doors in fake crates and barrels that help him to lose them and therefore not die immediately; it'll also give him the time to swig a few potions. Don't forget a few traps as well.

JaxGaret
2008-01-05, 01:04 AM
BattleSorcerer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#sorcererVariantBattleS orcerer)1/Warlock4.

1st level spells known: Shield + Grease.

Makes him much more defensively minded, and drops the EB to 2d6.

Idea Man
2008-01-05, 01:48 AM
Typical way to protect a glass cannon is with meat shields. If you do this, you have to tone down the boss from lethal to threatening. Really, unless the party has a way to deal with that kind of damage, or hits him at full strength, its either a potential TPK or a one-shot.

Another good way to run this fight would be to apply his damage to things the party doesn't want destroyed. Bridge ropes, beakers full of mysterious magical liquids, a sleeping minotaur; those kinds of things. Average 10 points of damage will break most fragile stuff, so go to town with it.

paigeoliver
2008-01-05, 01:59 AM
I have found that in-general that glass cannon characters, both PCs and villains are often a result of an overpowered game, particularly it is the result of giving the characters too many stat points and/or too much loot.

That 25 point buy talked about in D&D is really what the system works best with. I know I like the 28, and rejoice at the 32 and 36 that some DMs give out, but the results are the same every time.

The more stat points a character gets the more you run into the problem of finding proper things for them to fight. The result is often that anything capable of challenging the character is capable of one-hitting them. This is particularly true in the level 2-8 game.

This is because high stat points can lead to characters who have the offensive abilities of much more powerful characters, but they probably won't have the defense of said characters and certainly won't have the hit points, so stock opponents don't work well against them.

MammonAzrael
2008-01-05, 02:08 AM
I can't add much to what has already been said, but in this particular case, I'm agreeing with the option to multi-class him. A caster goes well with the Warlock theme, and can give him some great buffs to AC and the like. The other option is to make him level 4, but that could result in him dying before you intended.

This just occurred to me: Warlock 4/ Conjurer 1, with the Abrupt Jaunt variant. It'll let him avoid nasty attacks a couple times, give him access to Mage Armor/Grease/Summon Monster I and whatever schools you don't ban, and he'll only EB for 2d6, which would only potentially one-shot the party Wizard, and then only if he rolled nice and high(and at 2nd level, the Wizard probably won't be his biggest worry).

mabriss lethe
2008-01-05, 04:00 AM
Set the confrontation in an area hinders his ability to deal damage as well as recieve it: A cluttered setting, as mentioned above, would be ideal. Plenty of cover and dark corners

Tailor his invocations for less destructive impact: Since he can't always take potshots at the PCs let him use other invocations that don't do quite so much damage, like summon swarm, or darkness. Miasmic cloud when the pc's actually manage to close the gap, or entropic warding to keep enemy missle fire at bay.

Alter the villain's motivation: Wanton slaughter for its own sake gets rather boring in villains. Maybe he was after some sort of magical item and then hides his acqusition by murdering any potential witness/anyone who might know what it is he's stolen. Now, after his last massacre, he's actually obtained his goal. Now he has to get away with it before someone realizes it's missing. His MO suddenly changes. He doesn't really care about killing, it was all an act to throw off the scent. To hide what was really going on. Now the PCs are on his trail and he decides to bolt. He has a route already marked out through the sewers/dense woodland, some place where visibility is poor and it'll be hard to get a clean shot in from either direction. He sets up ambushes and traps that he can trigger from a safe distance to slow the PCs down. It's only when they corner him/ get too close that he fires off an EB potshot.

Learnedguy
2008-01-05, 08:21 AM
I thought the idea of making him a rogue/warlock sounded pretty good. Then he'll be capable of one-shotting only if the party mess up. Furthermore, it gives him a good reason to use invocations like darkness.

Icewalker
2008-01-05, 01:22 PM
I already know his exact motivations, although looking at it, I'd say he would probably be running from the PCs, maybe attacking a few times as he runs. That should keep the fight short enough and him safe enough.

CthulhuM
2008-01-05, 08:40 PM
I'm not clear on why you're so worried about 3d6 1-shotting a 2nd level character. That's, at most, 18 damage, and will rarely be more than 12 or 13 - and that's if he hits. He might knock a low-hp character unconscious with one shot, but the chances of him actually killing them are slim to none, and your clerics and fighters and such probably won't even go into the negatives from one shot.

As the "glass" part of the problem - just give him eldritch spear and set him up as a sniper. Force the PCs to cover 150 feet or so of ground before they can actually get to him and start beating. You can even throw in some cover scattered around to make approaching him over the killing field a more interesting tactical challenge.

MeklorIlavator
2008-01-05, 11:43 PM
I'm not clear on why you're so worried about 3d6 1-shotting a 2nd level character. That's, at most, 18 damage, and will rarely be more than 12 or 13 - and that's if he hits. He might knock a low-hp character unconscious with one shot, but the chances of him actually killing them are slim to none, and your clerics and fighters and such probably won't even go into the negatives from one shot.

The average Hp of a rogue at level 2, assuming a +1 con modifiers, would be 11.5, while a wizard would have an average of 8.5. Clerics and Fighters have it a bit better, with likely 21.5 Hp(Fighter with +3 con) or 16.5(Cleric +2 con). The Warlocks average damage is 10.5, and as a warlock is going for touch attacks, he likely will hit. Assuming a +3 modifier to dex, he will have a +6 Ab, and this will go against a characters touch AC, which will likely be no higher than 15( a dex focused rogue), but for most characters will be around 11 or 12. Thus he will hit often, and will drop his target to negatives in about 1.5 rounds, and the cleric can only provide minor healing, as the blast does more damage than his healing will cover(5.5 on average). Sure, he'll probably will only one shot the wizard, but he'll likely two shot the rogue and cleric, with the Fighter being right on the edge(21.5 hp vs 21 damage), likely requiring 3 shots[Of course, I'm taking "one shotting" to mean reduce to -1 hp or lower, as this takes them out of the fight and makes it increasingly likely that they will die], and the warlock will likely get atleast 3 shots off.

CthulhuM
2008-01-06, 12:16 AM
+1 con is fairly conservative, really - I find con is usually everyone's second highest score, so long as they have the option of choosing their scores. Additionally, a cleric who's actually prepared themselves for healing should be able to heal 8.5 damage a round (4.5+2+2 for augment healing, possibly +1 for healing domain), with no chance of failure (while the warlock still probably has about a 30% chance of missing each turn, more if he has meatshields and is shooting into melee).

Take that all into account, and the rate of attrition on these blasts is really relatively slow. Plus, once the PCs actually reach him, the warlock's eldritch blasts will be fairly useless, and he should drop quickly. I'd say that giving him a few rounds to menace the PCs from afar before they close the distance and end the battle would yield good balance of danger and accomplishment.

Mark Hall
2008-01-06, 03:49 AM
1 villain against a party always results in the party winning. This is why there are minions. Minions are meatshields.

Triaxx
2008-01-06, 07:11 AM
Just hope the wizard isn't packing sleep, or that your Warlock is an elf. Even my sorceror packs a couple scrolls of sleep, for just such an occasion.

Fenix_of_Doom
2008-01-06, 09:21 AM
Just hope the wizard isn't packing sleep, or that your Warlock is an elf. Even my sorceror packs a couple scrolls of sleep, for just such an occasion.

Fortunately the Warlock is level 5, so sleep won't effect him.