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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Okay, this is the third attempt I've made at creating the Balrog. Admittedly, I was still a pretty sucky homebrewer when I created those versions. Hopefully, this attempt is much better.

    Please note that this is not meant to be a carbon copy of the Balrog in the books, but rather a D&D monster inspired by the monster in the books.

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    Balrog
    Divine Rank: 0
    Huge Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Fire, Obyrith, Extraplanar)
    Hit Dice:
    60d8+780 (1260 hp)
    Initiative: +10
    Speed: 100 ft. (20 squares), Fly 150 ft. (average)
    Armor Class: 65 (-2 size, +33 natural, +6 Dex, +12 Abyssal, +13 Deflection), touch 32, flatfooted 59
    Base Attack/Grapple: +60/+84
    Attack: +3 Flaming Vorpal Greatsword +77 melee (4d6+27 plus 1d6 fire/18-20)
    Full Attack: +3 Flaming Vorpal Greatsword +77/+72/+67/+62/+57 melee (4d6+27 plus 1d6 fire/18-20), or +4 Flaming Whip +78/+73/+68/+63/+58 melee (1d6+27 nonlethal plus 1d6 fire)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.
    Special Attacks: Entangle, Breath Weapon, Form of Madness, Mysteries, Spell-like Abilities, Aura of Unlight
    Special Qualities: True seeing, Fast Healing 25, Immunity to poison, fire, and mind affecting spells and abilities, vulnerability to cold, resistance to cold 10 and acid 10, Damage Reduction 20/Epic and Good, Spell Resistance 53, Abyssal Might, flaming body, darkvision 60 ft., quasi-deity traits
    Saves: Fort +53, Ref +47, Will +48
    Abilities: Str 43, Dex 23, Con 35, Int 24, Wis 34, Cha 36
    Skills: Balance +69, Climb +79, Hide +69, Iaijutsu Focus +71, Intimidate +76, Jump +79, Knowledge (Arcana) +70, Knowledge (Religion) +70, Knowledge (The Planes) +70, Listen +75, Search +75, Sense Motive +75, Spellcraft +70, Spot +75, Use Magic Device +76
    Feats: Awesome Blow, Cleave, Great Cleave, Empower Mystery, Enlarge Power, Extend Mystery, Improved Critical (Greatsword), Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Power Attack, Pushback, Shocktrooper, Violate Spell-like Ability (Fire Storm), Weapon Focus (Greatsword)
    Epic Feats: Devastating Critical (Greatsword), Dire Charge, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflex, Epic Will, Overwhelming Critical (Greatsword)
    Environment: The Infinite Layers of the Abyss
    Organization: Solitary, or Cult (1 plus 2-4 Balors plus 6-8 Glabezru or Mariliths plus 9-14 Hezrou or Succubi)
    Challenge Rating: 33
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: Always Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: 60-78 HD (Huge); 79+ (Gargantuan)
    Level Adjustment: -----

    A hulking demon rises out of the darkness ahead. Only its head, hands, and tail seem to have a corporeal form. Out of its mouth comes a burst of flame.

    Balrogs are to Balors as Balors are to Dretches. These primordial manifestations of chaos and evil are among the strongest of all non-unique demons, and they are often used as bodyguards for demon lords. They are also among the rarest of the already endangered Obyrith race.

    Balrogs are believed to be corruptions of light, of which there may be no more than a dozen. Balrogs are formed from shadow and fire, and given a hazy form. Balrogs are not fully physical beings, instead being made mostly of an inner darkness and magically sustained fire. Theoretically, it would be possible to walk right through the Balrog, but it chooses what parts of its body are corporeal and which are not. The only parts that must always be corporeal are its head, its tail, and its hands. All others, including its wings, manifest and demanifest as the Balrog pleases. Besides this limited ability to change their forms, they are for the most part stuck like this without magic.

    It is believed that at one point, Balrogs walked the worlds of the Material Plane in their constant wars against the forces of Law. They helped score many victories for the forces of Chaos, most notably the Sundering of the Rod of Law (though fortunately, not before the dreaded Miska the Wolfspider was slain). During the rise of the Tanar’ri and the Eladrin invasions, however, the Obyriths fell. It is believed that at least one Balrog died at the hands of the Eladrin, while the survivors either fled back into the Abyss or hid deep within the worlds of the Material Plane. At this moment, only eight Balrogs are accounted for; three of them are servants of Demongorgon, while the others are lords of their own isolated layers.

    Combat
    Balrogs tend to enter combat with their mysteries first. Few creatures can actually stand up against the Balrog, especially with their form of madness. If doused in water, however, the Balrog loses any fire-based power mentioned below, and attempts to flee as quickly as possible. The flames come back in 1d6+1 days.

    Abyssal Might: Balrogs are extremely powerful creatures whose very identities are tied to the Abyss. Balrogs gain an Abyssal bonus equal to its Wisdom modifier and a Deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier to its Armor Class. When inside the Abyss, these bonuses are doubled.

    Alternate Weapon (Su): All Balrogs have a +3 Flaming Vorpal Greatsword. They also have the ability to, as a free action, change the form of this Greatsword into a +4 Flaming Whip. Changing the weapon back is also a free action.

    Aura of Unlight (Su): All Balrogs have a 30 ft. aura surrounding them, one that creates darkness. This darkness is not of the usual kind. Instead of merely being the absence of light, this is a new form of energy altogether; a form of unlight. As a result, no creature within this aura besides other Balrogs can see, even those with the ability to see in magical darkness. Any flame besides the Balrog’s flames that enters this aura (even magical ones) is suppressed.

    Breath Weapon (Su): Balrogs may fire gouts of flames from their mouth and nostrils at their enemies, engulfing all creatures in a 30 ft. cone in flames. This attack deals 24d10 damage, with half damage on a successful Reflex save (DC 52). Half of this damage is actually caused by energy channeled directly from the Abyss, which bypasses all damage reduction. The save DC is Constitution based.

    Entangle (Ex): A Balrog’s +4 flaming whip entangles foes much like an attack with a net. The whip has 50 hit points. The whip needs no folding. If it hits, the target and the Balrog immediately make opposed Strength checks; if the Balrog wins, it drags the target against its flaming body (see below). The target remains anchored against the Balrog’s body until it escapes the whip.

    Flaming Body (Su): A Balrog is composed of semi-corporeal shadow and flame. When “touching” its body, great heat is produced, dealing 10d6 damage. This damage occurs when a creature attempts to grapple a Balrog, or hits a Balrog with a natural or light weapon.

    Form of Madness (Su): The primordial fear of darkness may very well stem from the Balrogs themselves, as anyone who looks at either the Balrog or its Aura of Unlight while within 60 ft. of it must make a Will save (DC 48), or be panicked when in any illumination less than bright. This madness can be removed by greater restoration, miracle, or wish, but is otherwise permanent. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected by the same Balrog’s Form of Madness for another 24 hours.

    Mysteries: Balrogs invoke mysteries like a 20th level Shadowcaster. Balrogs can use their fundamentals at will. Balrogs use 1st-3rd level mysteries 3/day, 4th-6th level mysteries 2/day, and 7th-9th level mysteries 1/day. Fundamentals- Arrow of Dusk, Black Candle, Caul of Shadow, Mystic Reflections, Shadow Hood, Sight Obscured, Umbral Hand. Apprentice Mysteries- Steel Shadows, Life Fades, Sight Eclipsed, Flesh Fails, Umbral Touch, Sharp Shadows. Initiate Mysteries- Shadow Evocation, Step into Shadow, Feign Life, Pass into Shadow, Greater Shadow Evocation, Voyage into Shadow, Shadow Vision. Master Mysteries- Greater Life Fades, Dark Soul, Greater Flesh Fails, Soul Puppet, Ephemeral Storm, Shadow Surge, Summon Umbral Servant.

    Spell-like Abilities: At will— blasphemy (DC 30), dominate monster (DC 32), greater dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), insanity, (DC 30), power word stun, produce flame, telekinesis (DC 28), unholy aura (DC 31) wall of fire; 3/day- fire storm (DC 31), implosion (DC 32), Incendiary Cloud (DC 31). Caster level 40th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

    True Seeing (Sp): Balrogs are constantly under the affect of the true seeing spell (caster level 60th).

    Quasi-Deity Traits: Immunity to polymorphing, petrification, or any attack that alters form. Not subject to energy drain, ability damage, ability drain, or death affects. Immune to mind affecting effects.
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2011-06-17 at 09:21 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Wasn't Gandalf a 5th level character?

    In all seriousness, this seems like a super-charged Balor. Is that what you were going for?
    Last edited by Gullintanni; 2011-06-15 at 11:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    I'm surprised that the article was mentioned so quickly.

    I did anticipate it, though:

    Please note that this is not meant to be a carbon copy of the Balrog in the books, but rather a D&D monster inspired by the monster in the books.


    EDIT: The creature uses the Balor as a base, yes, but I've also added in several other abilities that I hope makes it better than just a "supercharged Balor."
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2011-06-15 at 11:51 AM.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Good enough, but Blarog are certainly lawfull, and as minor Maiar, like Gandalf, they have a divine rank of 0, with all waht it inplies. They aren't demon, because demon are the chaotic inhabitants of the infinite Abyss, and Balrog are the direct creation of the gods.

    Edit: sorry I didn't see the warning about the books
    Last edited by le Suisse; 2011-06-15 at 12:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    THE BARLOG DOESN'T HAVE WINGS!


    Ahem. Looks good. Other than the fly speed, which is silly. Because the Barlog doesn't have wings.
    Had to say it. I had to.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    On a balance note... this thing is easily killable by a level 20 blaster wizard using orb spells, much less a level 30 caster of any variety.

    Now, this is not a terrible commentary on your work or anything, but if you want to play at these levels, you HAVE to have a massive laundry list of immunities that this guy just lacks. For example, the following things kill or neutralize him with no trouble:
    -Any of the Holy Word line can auto-kill him.
    -Orb spells.
    -Ability drain.
    -Enervation.
    -Stunning.
    -Dazing.
    -Death effects.

    For a level 15 critter, these weaknesses are fair game. For a level 33 critter... yeah no. His AC is basically non-existent for the level, his saves are merely adequate, and the SR is surprisingly low (SR 46 against level 30-ish casters is not as good as you think).

    You can fix this any way you like, but I merely feel you should be aware of the dangers this is supposed to face on a daily basis.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    I'm surprised that the article was mentioned so quickly.

    I did anticipate it, though:



    EDIT: The creature uses the Balor as a base, yes, but I've also added in several other abilities that I hope makes it better than just a "supercharged Balor."
    I couldn't not mention the article. If Gandalf ever fought this monstrosity he'd be SCREWED

    In order to avoid Balor+ status, I might consider doing away with his vorpal sword and giving it something like an Improved Grapple using an off hand natural attack, which would allow him to pull in a second opponent. I don't remember exactly how the Balrog is described in the book, but I've seen a lot of depictions of the creature on the internet, some with a sword and some without. Someone who knows the material better than I do can probably assist.

    You may also wish to convert the damage from the Flaming Body ability to 10d6 Fire/10d6 Negative Energy. At Epic levels, immunity to fire is trivially easy to obtain, and the Balrog is a beast of "Shadow and Flame". You've got the Flame part covered handily (shadowcaster mysteries obviously notwithstanding). Time for a little 3.5 sprinkling of Shadow. Increased damage from 10 to 20d6 is justifiable in that we're looking at a CR33 creature, and extra damage doesn't add THAT much to the creature's lethality.

    The breath weapon, if you buy the logic above, should also probably be fire damage and negative energy damage. That's just how I'd run it though. YMMV
    Last edited by Gullintanni; 2011-06-15 at 01:19 PM.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gullintanni View Post
    I couldn't not mention the article. If Gandalf ever fought this monstrosity he'd be SCREWED

    In order to avoid Balor+ status, I might consider doing away with his vorpal sword and giving it something like an Improved Grapple using an off hand natural attack, which would allow him to pull in a second opponent. I don't remember exactly how the Balrog is described in the book, but I've seen a lot of depictions of the creature on the internet, some with a sword and some without. Someone who knows the material better than I do can probably assist.
    In the books he's a big guy roughly humanoid surrounded by shadow and fire. They can carry weapons as normal but the one at Kazad-dum had a flaming sword and a whip of many thongs.

    They may or may not have had wings, but in either case they tend to die by falling down a lot and at one point ride dragons into battle. So take from that what you will.

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Mage-King View Post
    THE BARLOG DOESN'T HAVE WINGS!


    Ahem. Looks good. Other than the fly speed, which is silly. Because the Barlog doesn't have wings.
    Had to say it. I had to.
    Shh! This is exactly how the first thread derailed..... Besides, an epic-level threat wouldn't be so epic if a wizard could fly right over it and orb it to death, would it?

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Now, this is not a terrible commentary on your work or anything, but if you want to play at these levels, you HAVE to have a massive laundry list of immunities that this guy just lacks. For example, the following things kill or neutralize him with no trouble:
    -Any of the Holy Word line can auto-kill him.
    -Orb spells.
    -Ability drain.
    -Enervation.
    -Stunning.
    -Dazing.
    -Death effects.

    For a level 15 critter, these weaknesses are fair game. For a level 33 critter... yeah no. His AC is basically non-existent for the level, his saves are merely adequate, and the SR is surprisingly low (SR 46 against level 30-ish casters is not as good as you think).

    You can fix this any way you like, but I merely feel you should be aware of the dangers this is supposed to face on a daily basis.
    Alright, I completely agree. I'll add in the immunities (possibly excluding the orb spells). For the orb spells, I think it would just be better to pump the armor class higher than make it outright immune to the spells.

    I followed the SR equaling CR +13 rule the Abominations have. How higher do you suggest I make it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gullintanni View Post
    I couldn't not mention the article. If Gandalf ever fought this monstrosity he'd be SCREWED

    In order to avoid Balor+ status, I might consider doing away with his vorpal sword and giving it something like an Improved Grapple using an off hand natural attack, which would allow him to pull in a second opponent. I don't remember exactly how the Balrog is described in the book, but I've seen a lot of depictions of the creature on the internet, some with a sword and some without. Someone who knows the material better than I do can probably assist.

    You may also wish to convert the damage from the Flaming Body ability to 10d6 Fire/10d6 Negative Energy. At Epic levels, immunity to fire is trivially easy to obtain, and the Balrog is a beast of "Shadow and Flame". You've got the Flame part covered handily (shadowcaster mysteries obviously notwithstanding). Time for a little 3.5 sprinkling of Shadow. Increased damage from 10 to 20d6 is justifiable in that we're looking at a CR33 creature, and extra damage doesn't add THAT much to the creature's lethality.

    The breath weapon, if you buy the logic above, should also probably be fire damage and negative energy damage. That's just how I'd run it though. YMMV
    I don't think there is really a connection between the Plane of Shadow and the Negative Energy Plane. I'll still increase the damage, but I think I'll stick with 1/2 the damage being fire, while the other bypasses all damage reduction/resistances.

    As for other weapons being used, I vaguely remember a Balrog wielding an axe of shadow. Are there any magical weapons properties that make a weapon more... "shadowy?"
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Personally I'd have put a balrog as a tanar'ri and not an obyrith. The obyriths are like half-formed, and malformed, clay, while tanar'ri are beings of evil made flesh (or in the case of balors evil and fire). Also the descriptions of obyriths place them as, with the exception of the Queen of Chaos, weaker than their tanar'ric brethren which is the reason they created the tanar'ri so that they could have better warriors. I'd also consider giving them DR 0, not because as Maiar they're quasideities (if that was viable logic all celestials would be quasideities) but because they're intended to be as far above a balor as a balor is above a dretch and that should be bordering on full-fledged deity.

    I'm not good with epic creatures so I'm going to leave it at that.
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    I

    EDIT: The creature uses the Balor as a base, yes, but I've also added in several other abilities that I hope makes it better than just a "supercharged Balor."
    Given that the Balor was, IIRC, actually called Balrog in the earliest books (back before they cared about copyright and called Halflings "Hobbits"), that's not a bad thing.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2011-06-16 at 03:41 AM.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Obyrith is quite appropriate because of:
    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post

    A hulking demon rises out of the darkness ahead. Only its head, hands, and tail seem to have a corporeal form. Out of its mouth comes a burst of flame.
    So, the Balrog is, indeed, incomplete.

    More in general, this epic monster seems shaped according to epic monsters in Epic Level Handbook. Not bad if this is the target, but it is exposed to the basic criticities of those epic monsters: being designed before most of the following handbooks, their level doesn't take into account which later became trivial: orbsters and Assay Spell Resistence are the first that comes to my mind. The second can be fixed pushing up the SR, the first maybe with deflect ray or something.

    On the other hand, blasphemy is too strong for a nonevil party. Being 60HD, it should be of CL 60. So any nonevil less than 50HD creature is killed on the spot.

    You should also raise the DC for SLAs and Mysteries: too low for epic levels

    Finally, to be vexing against the balors, add in special abilities in the shape of "I win button" only against tanar'ri. It would be rarely used against players but it would justify the ruling over balors

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gullintanni View Post
    I couldn't not mention the article. If Gandalf ever fought this monstrosity he'd be SCREWED
    Which is why when he fought the Balrog, Gandalf was granted full access to all his divine power.
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    I'll add in a divine rank, and all the benefits of it. I'm sticking with Obyrith, though.

    In order to increase the Armor Class against Orb spells/Save DCs on spell-like abilities, I'm gonna have to up the Charisma score. How about I add another ten points to both Wisdom and Charisma?

    I'll add another ten (possibly fifteen) to the spell resistance.

    If Caster Level 60th is too good for blasphemy, what if I changed the Caster Level to 40th?
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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    For some reason, I was expecting a purple lunch box...

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    Default Re: Balrog, take three (Epic Monster, PEACH)

    Well, if we pretended that the CR system made sense at those levels, and the party wasn't totally immune to Blasphemy somehow (more likely)..

    This is a boss monster, most likely. The party facing it will be below its CR in level. Let's say 31. That would just be enough to not be killed instantly, so I guess it works.
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