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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    There is an undead skeleton sniper on top of an tower in the middle of a ruined city he's been guarding for 300 years. He has had all that time to entrench himself into his position, setting up traps, making decoys, preparing remote spells, and preparing for an attack he is 100% certain is going to come any day now. He has been there so long that surrounding towns and cities know of him and have even named him, warning adventurers of his reputation of killing anyone who dares get to close and no one who has ever entered the ruined city has lived to tell the tale.

    My question is, what kind of traps should he have? I already have a few ideas but I would like some help, since having more than one mind on a project is always helpful.

    Also should there be little scenes that he's set up using bodies and items he's found lying around, like people having a tea party in a crumbled home or a drunken party in a bar, give him a little personality?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    What kind of resources does he have to set up traps with? This is obviously not a mindless skeleton, but how skilled is he? And does he have the ability to create magical traps? Are there supplies in the local area he can use?

    Decoys are probably one of the easiest - he just needs other skeletons, and it sounds like there are plenty there. A little wire, and they'll stay in position. Since skeletons don't have any involuntary movement (like breathing, shifting their weight, stretching, etc), it's not easy to tell an inanimate skeleton from an undead one that's just choosing to stand still.

    You'd want them wired to a bell or something so he knows when somebody shoots one. Maybe directly wired to a trap if you know where attackers would be coming from. A wire does give people something to potentially spot though. An alternative would be putting something in the skull, like a jar of gaseous poison, that breaks when it falls.

    Spiked pit traps are something else than can be constructed in large quantities without many resources besides time, so it'd make sense for there to be quite a few. Skeletons are very light (20-30 lbs for a human one), so he can run right across the traps without disarming them. If he has typical skeleton traits (DR 5/bludgeoning), then he can make large areas of the floor spiked, stick razors on door handles, etc without inconveniencing himself as long as they're small enough (1d4 or less). Likewise encourage toxic mold to grow all over the tower, he's immune to the poisonous spores.

    Yes to the dioramas, that sounds fun.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2020-12-21 at 02:40 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Denmark

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    As a sniper, he needs sight-lines. He will have demolished buildings, and cleared away cover in large areas.

    He might have left some buildings on purpose, in order to booby-trap them. When invaders are under fire, they will seek cover in the one remaining building. Then the skeleton demolishes the building. (or has a few dart traps, if this is a low level party)
    I feel like the skeleton should use the ruins as traps. Floors collapsing, pillars and walls tumbling over. Oh! A really thick pillar rolling down a long set of stairs like the Indiana Jones boulder.

    The little dioramas are a good idea. It might represent the skeletons backstory, some family/friends?
    Maybe, the players can realize that the same handful of people are in all of them. And a way to get close to him, is to disguise the party as these people from the dioramas?
    English is my second language, but I will be more than happy to explain myself in Danish.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Virtual Austin

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    This is a fantastic idea. Maybe enough to be its own kind of undead, a "holdout".

    This is a soldier who was on isolated duty (guard an island, lone sniper, etc.) who was so dedicated to the job in life that they continued it after passing away.

    Something akin to the many Japanese soldiers who kept fighting WWII years (and even decades) after the war was over.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    What kind of resources does he have to set up traps with? This is obviously not a mindless skeleton, but how skilled is he? And does he have the ability to create magical traps? Are there supplies in the local area he can use?

    Decoys are probably one of the easiest - he just needs other skeletons, and it sounds like there are plenty there. A little wire, and they'll stay in position. Since skeletons don't have any involuntary movement (like breathing, shifting their weight, stretching, etc), it's not easy to tell an inanimate skeleton from an undead one that's just choosing to stand still.

    You'd want them wired to a bell or something so he knows when somebody shoots one. Maybe directly wired to a trap if you know where attackers would be coming from. A wire does give people something to potentially spot though. An alternative would be putting something in the skull, like a jar of gaseous poison, that breaks when it falls.

    Spiked pit traps are something else than can be constructed in large quantities without many resources besides time, so it'd make sense for there to be quite a few. Skeletons are very light (20-30 lbs for a human one), so he can run right across the traps without disarming them. If he has typical skeleton traits (DR 5/bludgeoning), then he can make large areas of the floor spiked, stick razors on door handles, etc without inconveniencing himself as long as they're small enough (1d4 or less). Likewise encourage toxic mold to grow all over the tower, he's immune to the poisonous spores.

    Yes to the dioramas, that sounds fun.
    He has everything that was in the city when it fell for resources, so ropes, shovels, oil, bodies, heavy objects, and more. He would also have all the gear of previous adventurers who tried and failed to kill him so weapons, freshish at the time food, armor, and minor magical items that he may have stowed with him or used as bait.

    I want to portray him as an elite unit, the US marine to his US army. So I'd say very skilled and well trained.

    He does, both because he knows magic and because there was plenty of arcane literature for him to discover and read on the bodies of the adventurers who came to challenge him..

    He sometimes attacks passing caravans and merchants, looting them for resources. He makes sure to spread his attacks over long periods of time so people don't just stop going near him.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    After 300 years, it’s fair to say that the city is nothing but barricades and deathtraps. Pit traps, deadfall traps, alarms, blind alleys he can fire into, pretty much anything you can think of. Alongside that, he should have a good way to move throughout the city and multiple places to position himself. And some ways to close paths off behind any invaders to cut them off from support or retreat. If you’re not familiar with Tucker’s kobolds, you should definitely look that up for ideas.

    Definitely take advantage of his undead immunities. Poison, underwater tunnels, things like that. Floors too fragile to support anything heavier than a skeleton was a good idea.

    He would have a much harder time defending against flying attackers, however. Yes, he can snipe at them, but that’s easily avoided with invisibility. His best bet in that case is being able to retreat indoors and switch to hit and run tactics. Force any invader to dig him out of the maze of deathtraps. But magic in general is going to give this guy a hard time.

    His biggest weakness by far is that he’s just one person and adventurers travel in packs. So he always needs a way to avoid open confrontations. Think less “sniper in a tower” and more “guerrila in a maze of tunnels.” Decoys are good, especially if they can draw attackers into a vulnerable position. If there are any dangerous animals or creatures that have moved into the city, he could try to draw invaders towards them as well.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    Quote Originally Posted by TheStranger View Post
    After 300 years, it’s fair to say that the city is nothing but barricades and deathtraps. Pit traps, deadfall traps, alarms, blind alleys he can fire into, pretty much anything you can think of. Alongside that, he should have a good way to move throughout the city and multiple places to position himself. And some ways to close paths off behind any invaders to cut them off from support or retreat. If you’re not familiar with Tucker’s kobolds, you should definitely look that up for ideas.

    Definitely take advantage of his undead immunities. Poison, underwater tunnels, things like that. Floors too fragile to support anything heavier than a skeleton was a good idea.

    He would have a much harder time defending against flying attackers, however. Yes, he can snipe at them, but that’s easily avoided with invisibility. His best bet in that case is being able to retreat indoors and switch to hit and run tactics. Force any invader to dig him out of the maze of deathtraps. But magic in general is going to give this guy a hard time.

    His biggest weakness by far is that he’s just one person and adventurers travel in packs. So he always needs a way to avoid open confrontations. Think less “sniper in a tower” and more “guerrila in a maze of tunnels.” Decoys are good, especially if they can draw attackers into a vulnerable position. If there are any dangerous animals or creatures that have moved into the city, he could try to draw invaders towards them as well.
    I don't see him keeping dangerous creatures that have limited life spans and require maintenance to keep living. However, I do see him cultivating deadly spores, spawning fungal based monsters like Vegepymies, Violet Fungus, Yellow Musk Creepers, and other similar creatures that require no maintenance and are naturally hostile but cannot effect him since he's already undead.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    I don't have any ideas to add really. I considered things like some mindless undead helpers/decoys but that seems a bit off (although with the right magical artifact you could spin it). I do have one thing to ask: what does it think it is protecting the town from? Something it can leave the town for a day to raid caravans but... yeah that's all we know. Anything it might want to counter?

    Also, this is really cool. I almost want to do it as a 1v1 with a single PC that is given a year to prepare or something insane like that.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I don't have any ideas to add really. I considered things like some mindless undead helpers/decoys but that seems a bit off (although with the right magical artifact you could spin it). I do have one thing to ask: what does it think it is protecting the town from? Something it can leave the town for a day to raid caravans but... yeah that's all we know. Anything it might want to counter?

    Also, this is really cool. I almost want to do it as a 1v1 with a single PC that is given a year to prepare or something insane like that.
    He's thinks that humanoids will attack any day now, he doesn't know how many, he doesn't know what race, he doesn't even know what weapons/beasts they'll have. All he knows is that he will defend this city or he will die trying. As our friend above mentioned, air strikes may be a problem if he stays in that tower, I think a complex of tunnels leading to bunkers and mini towers would be a good counter.

    And thank you, if you do that I would suggest making the trapper a random creature/race/class to make it more interesting. A orc barbarian is going to prepare for an attack differently than a sniper skeleton.
    Last edited by Matuka; 2020-12-21 at 09:06 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    A consideration in the "sniper/tunnel guerilla" setup is the skeletons self image. If he sees himself as a sniper, he might prefer to fight from high spots because that's what snipers do*

    Why will the PCs be able to overcome this sniper when all before them failed? Are they simply more experienced than anyone who tried before (maybe it's high risk/low reward but they have their own reason to go there)? More clever? Do they happen to be the right set of tools for the job? Do they have a special advantage (knowledge, item, talent?)

    Those questions will go a fair way to answer how he defends.
    For example if, in D&D terms, if he's a 5th level character defending 3rd level treasure, then the only people to have tried him are probably local enthusiasts rather than professional adventurers. He's dangerous enough for likely attackers just shooting into his prepared killing ground from his tower. Defences should include a few tricks and traps. Scrying and illusions would work as your magic. Don't worry about intelligent flying attackers, they've got richer fish to fry and flight might be the advantage the PCs need to overcome an enemy who's lasted 300 years.
    Or
    He's a 10th level character guarding 15th level treasure. There's a couple of dragon skeletons among his resources. The whole great city is a hellscape of danger with threats designed to erode the intruder. And yet you're still better off walking in using whatever cover you can because if you try to fly in, he has turesight and deadly firepower and you won't even get as close as the dragon did.

    Or the 10th level sniper has evolved as his reputation grew. Dragons flying in at his tower are brought down by "Anti air" fire from the fungus on the roofs. Golems fall into pits and some have been trying to dig their way out for years. And people who get to the top of his tower discover it's not just a great place to shoot from, it's also a good place to get shot



    * Ok, they don't always, but it's part of the image so maybe he thinks that how he should do it
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Hill Bunker, The Sniper

    Something to consider in attrition based extended combats: you don't need to kill the PCs on the way in. You want to pull them in, set new traps behind them, draw them down selected fire lanes into ambushs, divide the enemy into pieces, and then cut those pieces up.

    I'm not up to date on 5th, but Aganazzar’s Scorcher isn't a bad sub for a claymore mine (better if a cone though). Keep it active so the party has to run through them towards your sniper...who uses a trapdoor to drop them all on the water, which seals above them. Are there too many for him to fight, and he needs to run? Hit an ink packet and darkvision is clouded and book. If not, can he see in the dark to fight them? Knifes in the dark, bleeding wounds, poison, sepsis, etc. He runs or kills that guy, have him pop up and start lighting up.

    If you're worried about flight, give him a bonus vs flying creatures, considering they have negative cover. If your worried about invisible creatures, make it so if they cast a spell with an origin (like say, lightning bolt) until they move, he knows the square they attacked from and he can coubter fire. Maybe a reaction in there if the system allows for those. Forces them into a battle of movement, and he can go back to using cover and movement himself- never getting anyone a clean shot.

    Also, mortars, in some way. Indirect fires a bitch. Pretty much anything Rambo would do, or did in the newest (it's bad, but the final bunker scene was cool).

    Cheers.

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