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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Nerfing an Upcoming Archdruid Boss

    So I'm doing a 5e homebrewed campaign where my players have been looking for an archdruid (AD for short I suppose) who stole a magic scythe. The party is coming very close to finding him, however they are probably going to be at level 6-7 when their party of 4 gets to face him. I'm aware that an archdruid is CR 12. I want to provide the party with a worthy challenge for reaching this point of my campaign, but I also don't want to cross the line of being a killer DM. I was thinking of having AD gain an extra level of fatigue for each turn he ends in human form since he *has* been carrying a cursed scythe around for quite awhile.

    Will it be anticlimactic if he just bites the dust from exhaustion after a few rounds? If anyone knows a way that I could tweak this encounter so that it'll play better I'd love to hear your suggestions.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Nerfing an Upcoming Archdruid Boss

    I might suggest keeping him at his current power level, but litter the combat area with things the players can use to stun, damage, or weaken him.

    Maybe the players interrupt his ritual, which needs living human sacrifices (Allies to join the battle), as well as unstable alchemicals (Damaging Explosives), and a portal to the Elemental Plane (Lightningbolts which stun).

    Hope this helps.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    San Antonio, Texas

    Default Re: Nerfing an Upcoming Archdruid Boss

    Take away a lot of his spell slots. He may still be a powerful druid, but if you remove the spell slots above a a certain level, he's much less of a threat.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    In a castle under the sea

    Default Re: Nerfing an Upcoming Archdruid Boss

    It's a common trope for villains to not immediately pull out the big guns, whether it's Space Napoleo-Hitler not even being in his final form or the wicked swordsman revealing new special attacks only after beating his first phase. Give the archdruid deliberately inefficient but cool tactics. At first, just have him smack PCs with his shillelagh. When reduced below, I dunno, 2/3 health he starts taking the first seriously and casts low-level spells. Below 1/3 health, he turns into a giant animal and starts mauling people. When knocked out of giant animal form, with the few HP he has left, then he starts casting the flashy spells...until the PCs pour enough damage into him to take him out of the fight.

    Note: I haven't actually read the archdruid's stat block or considered the tools available to a 6th-level party; I'm just describing tactics I've used to hold back an opponent I expected to be beyond the PCs' abilities.
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