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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    I was just hoping y'all could help me compile a list of abilities I can give an NPC to take advantage of combat advantage. I gonna give this NPC the Grizzled Veteran template for the at-will minor action that grants combat advantage and the extra damage/movement, and was wondering if there are any other abilities I can add to pile on the damage.

    EDIT: I do not have DDI yet, I am probably gonna wait till Dark Sun to get it.
    Last edited by Choco; 2010-03-14 at 10:14 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    I'm assuming you're going rogue with all the sneak attack boosting feats?
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordgleam View Post
    I'm assuming you're going rogue with all the sneak attack boosting feats?
    That is the plan, as much as I can safely (safely = without me being castrated by my players) put on an NPC anyway. I was trying to avoid making this a solo originally, but I guess the Grizzled Veteran and Rogue class templates combined make a good combo.
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    This is 4e. There's no need to stack templates in order to justify a specific ability you want an opponent to possess; templates are there for your convenience, not to reverse engineer a given effect. So in short, just use an appropriate amount of extra damage similar to Sneak Attack and add other powers as needed. Of course, if applying those two templates get the job done, that's great as well
    Last edited by RebelRogue; 2010-03-14 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    What level is it?

    Give it 2d6 damage (or more) on hitting with combat advantage. Have it do ongoing 5 (save ends) with combat advantage. Give it a scary attack that can be done at-will/recharge/encounter only with combat advantage. Pick your poison or go for all of the above.


    Your PCs will still status lock it and blow it to oblivion :P

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightson View Post
    What level is it?

    Give it 2d6 damage (or more) on hitting with combat advantage. Have it do ongoing 5 (save ends) with combat advantage. Give it a scary attack that can be done at-will/recharge/encounter only with combat advantage. Pick your poison or go for all of the above.


    Your PCs will still status lock it and blow it to oblivion :P
    I was thinking around level 15, preferably elite but could go solo.

    I don't like template stacking either, all I really wanted was Grizzled Veteran + a bunch of sneak attack, but yeah stacking that with Rogue class might work.

    Funny you mention status lock, that is exactly the reason for all the damage (and some escape/stealth abilities). If something is going to be status locked anyway, may as well make sure it goes first and deals a ton of damage BEFORE that happens.

    On the topic of status lock, as much as PC's (myself included when I am a player) love to overuse it, they don't find it nearly as awesome when it is done to them...
    Been there, fought that, died horribly.

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRogue View Post
    This is 4e. There's no need to stack templates in order to justify a specific ability you want an opponent to possess; templates are there for your convenience, not to reverse engineer a given effect. So in short, just use an appropriate amount of extra damage similar to Sneak Attack and add other powers as needed. Of course, if applying those two templates get the job done, that's great as well
    To be fair, This applies not only to 4e, but to all RPG games. I don't understand most DM's obsession to work within the written rules when making enemies/obstacles.

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    To be fair, This applies not only to 4e, but to all RPG games. I don't understand most DM's obsession to work within the written rules when making enemies/obstacles.
    I normally don't to be honest, but in this case I am using the rules to stop myself from going overboard and giving characters abilities that are too good or damage that is too high. Only cause we got some new people though, I'll have them fearing for their lives in no time.
    Been there, fought that, died horribly.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    To be fair, This applies not only to 4e, but to all RPG games. I don't understand most DM's obsession to work within the written rules when making enemies/obstacles.
    Agreed. But it seems to be a common way for a lot of people to do things in 3.5. In fact, I guess some find it inspiring.

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Choco View Post
    I normally don't to be honest, but in this case I am using the rules to stop myself from going overboard and giving characters abilities that are too good or damage that is too high. Only cause we got some new people though, I'll have them fearing for their lives in no time.
    Randomly stacking hideous damaging templates and odds and ends is no guarentee that it won't end up dealing ludicrous amounts of damage and essentially being unfair. Best just to put it all together, and then compare it to the damage guidelines for creating monsters, to get some idea of what monstrosity you hath wrought.

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Randomly stacking hideous damaging templates and odds and ends is no guarentee that it won't end up dealing ludicrous amounts of damage and essentially being unfair. Best just to put it all together, and then compare it to the damage guidelines for creating monsters, to get some idea of what monstrosity you hath wrought.
    Only guideline I need is PC body count

    But, on the serious side, looking at the guidelines is a good idea too. I tend to ignore it because my group usually walks all over encounters of their own level, but I guess the "hard" damage of a solo 4-5 levels above the party would be bout right.
    Been there, fought that, died horribly.

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    To be fair, This applies not only to 4e, but to all RPG games. I don't understand most DM's obsession to work within the written rules when making enemies/obstacles.
    I had my players roll 5d6 and drop 2 for their stats.
    For enemies, I typically roll 4d6 and drop 1. Then add some arbitrary number at some point so I can make them more amusing.
    I really want my players to start optimizing and trying to break the game. After all the time I've spent on this board, I can do it better than they can. And with all the flair of an Exalted.

    Of course, I do see the appeal of working entirely within the rules. It's a sort of intellectual challenge, and makes it easier to figure out what's appropriate or inappropriate for a given level.
    Last edited by absolmorph; 2010-03-15 at 01:12 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    To be fair, This applies not only to 4e, but to all RPG games. I don't understand most DM's obsession to work within the written rules when making enemies/obstacles.
    I think it depends on style. If you care more about story, ignore the rules and make something that will be fun to fight and add to the story. But if you care more about rules, about the game as a game, it makes more sense to use the rules to create a "fair fight," one where the players can feel satisfied if they beat you. In a game like that, the DM ignoring the written rules is pretty much "rocks fall, everyone dies" in terms of fairness and enjoyment. At least, that's my understanding of such a thing - I'm a story kind of DM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    So, your problem is status lock. Doing "insta-kill" on round 1 is ... well, a poor solution to status lock.

    Instead, give it anti-status-lock abilities.

    I wouldn't put a single mortal as a mid-paragon solo or elite challenge, unless this single mortal was a nigh on legendary person they have been hearing about since level 5.

    At level 15, on a logarithmic scale you are half way on the way to the power of a god or other greater being.

    A level 15 wizard is a being that could be messing with powers that could shake the world -- summoning low-epic demons or dealing with low-epic devils, for example.

    ...

    So
    Step 1: find some way to mitigate (but NOT veto) lockdown abilities.

    Step 2: For an elite, look at a decently hard even-level skirmisher who uses combat advantage. Boost damage output by a good 1.75 times. For a solo, boost damage by a factor of 2.5, then double it again when bloodied.

    Do this analysis on, say, a 6 round basis.

    Let's take as a basis... Water Archon Tide Strider from MM2.

    Way of Water is going to go off twice in 6 rounds (or so), plus 4 greatspear attacks.

    If everything hits...
    15 damage per greatspear, Way of Water will hit 4/5 PCs for 60, so ... about 180 damage in a 6 round combat. Divide by 2 for 90 damage over a 6 round combat (to account for misses).

    It also knocks prone with combat advantage. Say 4 times per fight. 4 knock prones is probably going to cost the PCs about 1 attack, which is worth about 1 extra round of damage -- or 15 damage, for a total of 105 damage expected.

    As it happens, 105 damage is about the HP of a level 15 defender. :)

    Building our elite off of that balance point, we want it to do 1.75 times as much damage (not 2x, because with two normal monsters, one is going to die before the end of the 6 rounds), giving us a 184 damage budget.

    We'll go for combat advantage on 4/6 attacks (note: PCs should have some way to avoid granting combat advantage they can figure out that works sometimes). Making it deal more damage on combat advantage is fun -- say 2x damage with combat advantage.

    We'll give it 1 recharge 56 ability that deals 50% more damage than a base attack.

    3 recharge attacks @ +50%
    4 combat advantage attacks @ 200%
    2 normal attacks @ 100%
    ->
    Normal attack average damage: 16
    Combat advantage damage boost: +16
    Recharge attack damage boost: +8

    As an elite, he can do some action denial. The recharge attack will take that damage, and instead .. slide 1 + daze.

    Hmm. Sliding and dazing makes me think of chains. And you want a veteran -- what about a shadar-kai chain user? With some shadow magic.

    For status effect immunity, we'll have his shadow (which is untargettable) act as well as him.

    We could add more than a bit of lurker to him (after all, no self respecting elite should be a single type of monster!).

    So: Chains. Reach 3. Attacks 2 targets by default for 2d6+4 damage each (one is physical damage, the other is necrotic damage -- the shadow). Deals 4d6 extra damage when he has combat advantage. (note that I lowered damage expressions, because I'm having it attack 2 targets -- with the damage to the 2nd target being worth 50% of the damage to the first).

    His attacks slide the target 1. The Shadow attacks slow the target (End of shadows next turn), and transfer all effects from him to the shadows target (!)

    His attacks target AC. The shadows attacks target Reflex. The shadow, if he has a choice, never attacks the same target that he attacked.

    Encounter power with the same damage, 6 range, and dazes targets.

    He can step into the shadow of slowed targets to teleport 10.

    He goes on initiative 30, and his shadow goes on initiative 15.

    The shadow can teleport him 5 squares as a move action, and on a recharge can teleport him and make him go invisible, and has combat advantage over anyone who didn't attack him. The shadow gets to act even if he is dazed.

    Needs polish, but that should be an interesting elite to throw at the party.

    As a shadow lurker, I'd give it great Reflex and Will, and give it weak AC and Fortitude.

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: [4e] Help me stack NPC combat advantage damage

    Ah, thanks guys, I will just go out and design my own stuff and just compare it to similar level elites/solos, that does seem to be the best way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    So, your problem is status lock. Doing "insta-kill" on round 1 is ... well, a poor solution to status lock.

    Instead, give it anti-status-lock abilities.

    I wouldn't put a single mortal as a mid-paragon solo or elite challenge, unless this single mortal was a nigh on legendary person they have been hearing about since level 5.

    At level 15, on a logarithmic scale you are half way on the way to the power of a god or other greater being.

    A level 15 wizard is a being that could be messing with powers that could shake the world -- summoning low-epic demons or dealing with low-epic devils, for example.

    ...

    So
    Step 1: find some way to mitigate (but NOT veto) lockdown abilities.

    Step 2: For an elite, look at a decently hard even-level skirmisher who uses combat advantage. Boost damage output by a good 1.75 times. For a solo, boost damage by a factor of 2.5, then double it again when bloodied.
    Since level 1 actually

    That is a nice system, I am gonna give it a try and see what happens.
    Been there, fought that, died horribly.

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