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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Post [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    In the campaign I'm running, I've bene trying to figure out what the final BBEG should be. More and more plotwise there will be lots of things related to Time, time travel, and the timeline. So I figured that the BBEG should be a Phane.

    My campaign will end at level 20 most likely, and I wonder how possible is it for 4 characters, ranging from unoptimized (a Dragon Shaman) to DMM cleric to defeat a Phane. The party also has a Warblade (a newbie player who likes hitting stuff hard to do damage) and a Wizard (likes blasting, but I've been trying to introduce him to Batman ideas. He does NOT use any metamagic reducers).

    My first instinct is that the Phane will eat them alive even though according to the CR system, this is winnable (if unlikely) battle. I really want one as the BBEG, so I'm thinking it's possible I have to tone it down or maybe give my spellcasters infinite spells, and give my Warblade unlimited uses of Maneuvers, and I'm not sure what to do with the dragon shaman.

    Do you think it's possible or am I foolish for thinking a non-epic party can take on this abomination?

    The campaign is a high-wealth one. At least 50% above normal WBL.
    Last edited by Frosty; 2008-09-04 at 11:07 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Ya, probably, though the CR for that thing is unrealistic. Most CR's in the Epic Level Hand Book are unrealistic
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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    I think they can take it.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    I have no idea how EPIC play and CR itneracts,namely because I know almost nothing about epic spellcasting.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I have no idea how EPIC play and CR itneracts,namely because I know almost nothing about epic spellcasting.
    Per the OP, no need to worry about Epic Spellcasting - party expects to end the campaign at 20th. It's just a low-epic monster.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    You could always make it a weaker, smaller Phane without the crazy Epic "Suck or Lose" abilities...

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Per the OP, no need to worry about Epic Spellcasting - party expects to end the campaign at 20th. It's just a low-epic monster.
    Right. I'm not allowing epic spellcasting. I'm worried that the CR assumes Epic Spellcasting is in the hands of PCs.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    It does, along with epic feats, saves, and WBL- (Which is wayyy more than +50% WBL.)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    If the Warblade gets access to crazy damage, the Wizard can batman just right, the DMM Cleric gets the proper spells, and the Dragon Shaman, uh, has the right magical items, they might be able to take him. But, if you really want them to have a chance at taking him on, I think you should train them how to fight one of these suckers before having them fight the real thing.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    But I want to have some of it remain mysterious. It's no fun going into the final battle knowing exactly what you're up against. I'll be dropping some hints at its abilities, but they're not going to be reading the monster entry before the fight. Given that, how much weaker do I need to make it?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Right. I'm not allowing epic spellcasting. I'm worried that the CR assumes Epic Spellcasting is in the hands of PCs.
    The default spells of Epic Spellcasting also kinda suck. Very few of them are worth the money and XP it would take to develop them, let alone cast them for the ones that have XP and/or backlash costs. They're more useful for showing off to non-Epic creatures than they are for actually fighting Epic monsters; I wouldn't worry about the lack of it. My advice would be to just let your party get ahold of some Epic magic items, especially Cloaks of Resistance and Epic magic weapons for your more physically-inclined characters. The saves against Stasis Touch and Null Time Field (29 Fort 30 Will, respectively) are going to be their biggest problems; if they can save against those with a reasonable success rate they'll probably be able to beat down a Phane if they're smart about buffing (like.. True Strike. Lots and lots of True Strike.)

    You may want to refrain from having the Phane use its own epic spells. Safe Time would negate an otherwise effective strike and Time Duplicate gets the party tag-teamed for a round.. on the other hand, both spells offer a breather round if the party survives, which would be a good chance to add buffs or recover anybody who was in stasis.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Well, the fact it can move so damn well makes it tough to combat. 120 fly, and it can haste if it feels the need - that's darn fast.

    It's got True Seeing at will, you can't use magic to hide (His spot is over +40 anyway, tho, so mundane probably won't work either). It's got immunity to all forms of ability damage, has super-saves, that SR is rough, and Null Time Field is pretty damn nasty.

    Are you letting anyone take Leadership?
    Last edited by Deepblue706; 2008-09-05 at 12:12 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Cloaks of resistance are not epic as far as I know, unless you mean getting them to provide more than +5 in protection?

    I wouldn't say no to leadership, but none of them have it.

    And how is the Wizard going to hit it? Even with a +9 BAB, +3 Dex bonus, and +20 Insight (from True Strike), hitting that 50 Touch AC will be tough.
    Last edited by Frosty; 2008-09-05 at 12:15 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    You'll need a lot of nerfing. The Phane is a pretty tough CR 25--for comparison, I'd say that a Solar isn't nearly as brutal (doesn't have any "you don't do anything" abilities with DCs in the stratosphere, and it doesn't have Time Stop-but-way-more-brokenly-awesome), and it's a CR 23. If everyone in the party was as good as a heavily-optimized Clericzilla and really good Batman, the PCs could probably take it, but it would take extraordinarily good planning and preparation. Or a Planar Shepherd, which I assume isn't allowed.

    If you're going to try to bring the BBEG down to the party's level, I'd suggest keeping the basic creature, but removing the most devastating special attacks/abilities. Eliminating the Null Time Field and Time Regression, and making the Stasis Touch special available a certain number of times/day instead of at-will would probably make the phane beatable by a strong 20th-level party.

    As a note, in this particular case, the phane's incorporeality and abomination traits make traditional Batman tactics much less optimal than they usually are. Nobody is going to make the Phane save-or-else, and battlefield control magic is decidedly suboptimal when the enemy is incorporeal. The lack of metamagic reducers makes the tactic I'd go for--straight up Orb of X (probably force) nuking--less easy, but still probably good in combination with buffing friendlies.

    As long as the Warblade has a magic weapon (obvious, I know) s/he should be able to contribute. Does the Warblade have either Diamond Mind or Tiger Claw 9th-levels?

    The Cleric is in the same boat as the Warblade, except with DMM cheese. Enough said.

    I don't have any idea how to help a Dragon Shaman. Actually, I'm not entirely sure how the Dragon Shaman has survived this long. Is the player unusually creative with that class?
    Last edited by imperialspectre; 2008-09-05 at 12:15 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialspectre View Post
    You'll need a lot of nerfing. The Phane is a pretty tough CR 25--for comparison, I'd say that a Solar isn't nearly as brutal (doesn't have any "you don't do anything" abilities with DCs in the stratosphere, and it doesn't have Time Stop-but-way-more-brokenly-awesome), and it's a CR 23. If everyone in the party was as good as a heavily-optimized Clericzilla and really good Batman, the PCs could probably take it, but it would take extraordinarily good planning and preparation. Or a Planar Shepherd, which I assume isn't allowed.
    The Clericzilla isn't even heavily optimized. He just uses Personal buffs to become a good melee-er. Nothing game-shattering in the face of a Phane. And yeah, no Planar Shepherd...not that we have a druid in the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialspectre View Post
    If you're going to try to bring the BBEG down to the party's level, I'd suggest keeping the basic creature, but removing the most devastating special attacks/abilities. Eliminating the Null Time Field and Time Regression, and making the Stasis Touch special available a certain number of times/day instead of at-will would probably make the phane beatable by a strong 20th-level party.
    Since the BBEG will have all of its daily-use powers at the beginning of the fight, times/day isn't *that* different from at-will depending on how long the fight lasts. The Null Time Field does seem to screw over everyone but the Cleric, who can probably make the saving throws reliably. I'm actually confused about how Time Regression works. The Phane uses 4 turns to do nothing but concentrate on it, and then turns back time 4 turns? I assume this gives the party back their resourcres that they spent in the past 4 turns?

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialspectre View Post
    As a note, in this particular case, the phane's incorporeality and abomination traits make traditional Batman tactics much less optimal than they usually are. Nobody is going to make the Phane save-or-else, and battlefield control magic is decidedly suboptimal when the enemy is incorporeal. The lack of metamagic reducers makes the tactic I'd go for--straight up Orb of X (probably force) nuking--less easy, but still probably good in combination with buffing friendlies.
    I am definitely removing the incorporeality. Immunity to ability damage is not a huge deal since I disallow things like Shivering Touch and Moonbolt, etc. But it might matter to the Warblade if he wants to do that one level 9 maneuver that does 2d6 Con damage. As for Orbs...how is the Wizard going to hit? Even a Quickened True Strike won't get the Wziard to hit a 50 touch AC.

    Quote Originally Posted by imperialspectre View Post
    As long as the Warblade has a magic weapon (obvious, I know) s/he should be able to contribute. Does the Warblade have either Diamond Mind or Tiger Claw 9th-levels?

    The Cleric is in the same boat as the Warblade, except with DMM cheese. Enough said.

    I don't have any idea how to help a Dragon Shaman. Actually, I'm not entirely sure how the Dragon Shaman has survived this long. Is the player unusually creative with that class?
    The Warblade is focusing on Diamond Mind. They're not at level 20 yet. They're only at level 14. I am looking waaay into the future. The player is actually pretty suicidal and reckless with this character (he's RPing the character as he's supposed to with the character's personality). The way I've kept him alive is thru very occasional fudging of dice, even MORE wealth by level than the others, custom items, a custom PrC that he'll soon take I hope, a few extra feats here and there, and having Fighter BAB.

    I mean, this is a Dragon Shaman who is going down the Two-weapon fighting route (I've condensed the TWF tree down into 2 feats) and spent half his feats on meta-breath feats. He needs to remember that he has the Power Attack feat as he was beating on a golem with enough DR to make all of his attacks mere tickles, and he kept attacking normally. The player's not new, but he's not playing optimally at all.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Instead of a concealed nerf, you might want to consider some sort of plot-based debuff that the players get to trigger before the battle.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    That's definitely how I'd do it. The phane is the Aspect of a deity who wishes to destroy all life...and then take all the souls out of the time stream so no new life can be born. A strange deity who can somehow survive without worshippers. Or maybe it would put all souls in a permanent time stasis that only he can siphon power from.

    There will be a plot event whereby the deity gets weakened, and so his Aspect gets weakened. The gods themselves take on the deity, and the PCs take on the aspect tomake sure all traces of it are destroyed.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Since the BBEG will have all of its daily-use powers at the beginning of the fight, times/day isn't *that* different from at-will depending on how long the fight lasts. The Null Time Field does seem to screw over everyone but the Cleric, who can probably make the saving throws reliably.
    You're right on the times/day point, but this fight will probably end quickly only if it ends in a TPK. The Phane has too many immunities to one-shot it, and with over 600 hp it'll take a lot of direct damage. Probably three rounds' worth, with regen and everything.

    The Warblade can probably ace a Will save with no problem the first couple times (Moment of Perfect Mind from Diamond Mind with Concentration maxed is +23 before Con bonus...DC 30's a cinch), but it'll get harder quickly, and the other two characters are just hosed. Worse, losing to the Null Time Field means the Stasis Touch apparently just auto-succeeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    I'm actually confused about how Time Regression works. The Phane uses 4 turns to do nothing but concentrate on it, and then turns back time 4 turns? I assume this gives the party back their resourcres that they spent in the past 4 turns?
    If I were running the Phane, I'd fly around at max hasted speed for 4 rounds, spending "an action" (I read that as a standard action, still being able to move, same as spells that require "concentration"). I would use that to get a good look at what the party was capable of doing and what their tactics would look like, thus giving me "in-game" knowledge of the enemy to use against them in the encounter. Also to screw with the party's heads by "rewinding."

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    I am definitely removing the incorporeality. Immunity to ability damage is not a huge deal since I disallow things like Shivering Touch and Moonbolt, etc. But it might matter to the Warblade if he wants to do that one level 9 maneuver that does 2d6 Con damage. As for Orbs...how is the Wizard going to hit? Even a Quickened True Strike won't get the Wziard to hit a 50 touch AC.
    Incorporeality at the bottom--that has a bunch of different effects. As for the immunities, I'd probably just go for ray of exhaustion + ray of enfeeblement against a corporeal foe if they were vulnerable to that kind of thing. And the Warblade is better off going with the Diamond Mind 9th-level, 'cause full-attacking twice is a good way to hurt the BBEG badly.

    As for incorporeality, that means the Phane's AC drops (it loses the deflection bonus from CHA, and I'm not sure where the insight bonus to AC comes from), it takes full damage from all weapons and spells, guaranteed, and you have to come up with a STR score for it, if only to determine melee touch attacks.

    This means that the party will eat through HP much faster (two warblade full-attacks followed by a cleric full-attack with divine power and whatever else followed by an angry glare from the dragon shaman? no 50% chance to avoid damage? ouch). It also means the wizard suddenly has a chance to score touch attacks, and it further means that mean battlefield-control tactics are viable.

    Lastly, I'm not sure how a wizard would have just a +3 DEX modifier at level 20. There's got to be a way to jack up touch attack bonuses. Additionally, if the Phane isn't incorporeal, it's touch AC is now 40. 9 BAB + 3 DEX + 20 TS means the wizard has to roll 8 to hit with that Empowered, Maximized Orb of Pain. Definitely a possibility.

    And if the Dragon Shaman player is experienced, but not playing smart, I don't know what to do. I have the same problem with one of my players when I DM, and I've already had to come up with reasons why antagonists would want to revive his unconscious body and negotiate instead. So...I feel your pain. ;)
    Last edited by imperialspectre; 2008-09-05 at 01:07 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    1) Consider having the fight take place on a special Time Plane with regression happening constantly: IE his Stasis touch lasts only one round, spells return, maneuvers reset, ect.

    2) Drop some insight bonus, that crap is really just there to take care of the fact that Wizards have Epic Spells that automatically get +40 to touch attacks for no reason except epic scaling.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    A fight on a plane where time means nothing? Pure awesome. Skills are always ready, players (and the phane) randomly get extra actions or turns, spells take longer to do, or happen faster, or last longer. (an orb that hits, then hits him again and again, hey!) The phane gets some benefit from it as well, so it's not like you're cheesing the battle for your players, but since there's 4 of you and 1 of him, it would probably help your party more than the monster. Supporting factions (who the party has done quests for) giving epic artifact scale items to them would also go pretty far. Hey look, a bracer of +10 to touch attacks! A cloak of +15 Fortitude! A cap of +15 Will! An epic spell! Classic last-minute powerup, or you could start now and power them up as they get closer to the big baddie.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akimbo View Post
    1) Consider having the fight take place on a special Time Plane with regression happening constantly: IE his Stasis touch lasts only one.
    Wouldn't that mean HP resets every round or something?

    imperialspectre: I'm thinking of removing its immunities to negative levels (the wizard won't be expecting to deal more than 6 negative levels a turn). Hmm...so with a touch AC of 40, the Wizard can hit semi-reliably but only with a True Strike. So every two turns unless the Wizard uses all his 5th level spells Quickening the True Strikes. And he doesn't even have Quicken Spell right now...

    You really expect a Corporeal Phane to go down that quickly given its Null Time Field?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Null Time gets negated for the melee-ers in the first two rounds because it's extremely unlikely for the Cleric to fail the Will save (with no items, we have a +12 base save and probably a +8 ability modifier...add in a +5 Cloak of Resistance and spells, and we're in natural 1 to fail territory) and the Warblade should have Moment of Perfect Mind prepped at least once (I do it twice when I'm worried about Will saves and refresh if I have to). It's hardly unreasonable to expect the Cleric to do 100 points of damage in a round, and the Warblade should be able to do quite a bit better than that with a pair of full attacks, or a charge and then a full attack.

    Basically, it becomes an issue of whether the Wizard can pin down the Phane long enough for the melee'ers to get there and do damage--after that, it's academic because the melee'ers will make their first Will saves and probably do close to half the Phane's hp in damage in the first round.

    'Course, then the Phane can time stop and do fun stuff. If it does, though, it trades melee damage taken (through neutralizing a melee combatant) for negative levels, close to 100 points of direct damage, or debuffs from the wizard.

    The Phane's other option is grabbing the Wizard's past self and unleashing hell on the party, which is both brutal and potentially fight-ending, depending on how good the Wizard is (at 20th level, it's an 18th-level duplicate...that's not significantly going to limit the Wizard's battle-altering capabilities).

    I don't know, honestly. I think making the Phane corporeal and getting rid of Time Regression means that you'll have a big drag-out fight, it'll probably last four to six rounds, all said and done, and that unless the Phane summons a party member and employs them extremely well or the good guys really screw up some saves, the party will probably win.

    Eliminate the Null Time Field as well and you basically put the fight completely under your control: the Phane no longer has passive save-or-suck abilities, and its active options are pretty varied--hit for 15d6, use SLA, grab a Time Duplicate, at least temporarily neutralize PC through stasis touch. If the PCs are doing well, hit them with something nasty; if they have a couple bad rolls, hit the Warblade for 15d6 (out of 19d12+12+CON? yeah right) or try to hit a blurred, mirror imaged Wizard with a ranged touch attack.

    Sorry for the epic post length--I'm procrastinating from Spanish homework due in the morning, and this is all I have to stretch things out.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    That Insight bonus looks like an arbitrary number to me.

    Maybe nerfing that number is a good solution. Half hit dice or intelligence modifier as insight bonus to AC would bring it down a bit and a lot, respectivelly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Now, I've never actually played at level 20 before, but usually how will the Cleric deal more than 100 damage a round in melee? what buffs are you expecting him to have? The cleric is a cleric/Storm Lord. Some of his damage is Electricity, which is dampened a lot by the Phane's resist 20.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Throw them some Balor and heretic Solars for them to train first. If they can defeat them they may have a chance against the Phane.

    The thing is, at lv20 you have just too damn variables. Equipment, feats, spell combinations, very few people know how to use them properly.

    For example, the cleric can use miracle to emulate the giant size Wu Jen spell and become gargantuan size, greatly increasing his damage, CON and STR.

    Start throwing your party those lv 20 and up monsters from the basic MM so the party learns how to best use their toys. Then, when they're used, throw them the Phane, and let all hell breack lose.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2008-09-05 at 06:23 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    If Cleric has maxed Wis, Superior Resistance, high Con and straight Cleric-levels, his saves will be so high that there's basically no way for a Phane to harm him save natural 1s (and if he has the Pride-domain, not even those). All Phane's attacks are more of less save-or-die except for Chronal Blast, which is extraordinarily weak (15d8 damage is barely above 40 - Cleric can take 3-4 of those and cast Heal to basically ignore them all, or takes 5-6 of those and cast Mass Heal).

    Level 20 Cleric can have saves of:

    Fort: 12 Base + 6 Resistance (Superior) + ~8-10 Con + random Insight modifiers and stuff like that (Ioun Stones, Luck, what-have-you) for a minimum of 26, and likely modifier in the 30s.

    Will: 12 Base + 6 Resistance + 13 Wis for base 31 without any random modifiers. Since Phane can only force DC30 SoDs, the Cleric just isn't failing.


    The only real way for the Phane to win would be to actually KILL all the others (not just Stasis - simple Greater Dispel Magic frees the Stasised characters), then summon the Cleric's (or possibly try to summon the Wizard's/Warblade's before killing him and try to blow the Cleric out - it all depends on who has the best chance of harming the Cleric) past time replicate and gangrape the Cleric.

    So if the Cleric is played well, Phane would be an appropriate challenge - I'm just worried about the rest of the party not really posing a threat to the Phane. The Warblade is gonna fail his saves soon enough (after he runs out of counters and actions), the Wizard has to contend with huge Touch AC, huge Saves and Incorporeality (if he's not played well, that's going to be a problem - simple blasting is gonna fall short, especially without Metamagicked Orbs of Force True Shot) and the "immunity" to Time Stop and the Dragon Shaman is probably gonna keep on sucking. So the encounter would be very much Cleric-only, which is kinda sucky.


    Still, Phane is an incredibly COOL opponent so if you can work the inter-party issues out and make sure it's not at least an immediate TPK (remember that a Phane is an excellent runner too), go for it. It's not overpowering for 4 level 20 characters, although without optimization, they're the underdogs.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Wouldn't that mean HP resets every round or something?

    imperialspectre: I'm thinking of removing its immunities to negative levels (the wizard won't be expecting to deal more than 6 negative levels a turn). Hmm...so with a touch AC of 40, the Wizard can hit semi-reliably but only with a True Strike. So every two turns unless the Wizard uses all his 5th level spells Quickening the True Strikes. And he doesn't even have Quicken Spell right now...

    You really expect a Corporeal Phane to go down that quickly given its Null Time Field?
    It's an arbitrary time plane, I'd have negative levels and HP damage/ability damage carry over. It would also allow the Warblade to Perfect Mind every save, which against the Null Time Field is kinda the point.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojotech View Post
    You could always make it a weaker, smaller Phane without the crazy Epic "Suck or Lose" abilities...
    I'm with Mojotech. You can always adjust the creature to lower it's CR a couple points so that it's tough, but doable and then just...

    ...(wait for it)...

    ...Phane ignorance that you changed anything.
    Digo Dragon - Artist
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Now, I've never actually played at level 20 before, but usually how will the Cleric deal more than 100 damage a round in melee? what buffs are you expecting him to have? The cleric is a cleric/Storm Lord. Some of his damage is Electricity, which is dampened a lot by the Phane's resist 20.
    Assumptions I'm making: I assume that the Cleric has Power Attack, and that the Cleric is preparing this battle for almost straight-up melee combat. This means that we're persisting low-level buffs out of high-level spell slots instead of putting real spells there (why bother? it's not like Implosion is going to take out the Phane).

    Strength base 14
    +4 inherent (tome)
    +6 enhancement (persisted Divine Power)
    +4 size (persisted Righteous Might)
    +4 untyped (Greater Visage of the Deity)
    = 32 = +11 mod

    Chance to hit: 20 BAB (persisted Divine Power)
    +11 STR bonus
    +5 enhancement (GMW)
    +3 morale (Righteous Wrath of the Faithful)
    +1 luck (persisted Prayer)
    -1 size
    +1 untyped (haste)
    +1 weapon focus (hopefully longspear)
    = +23 on top of BAB

    If the Cleric's deity is LG, we add in a Zealot Pact. The Pact triggers on the first hit, then adds +4 to hit and doubles damage (you can do this for both melee'ers, it's just a 5th-level spell and lasts until triggered, so we're not going to make the Warblade feel useless here). I am not assuming this in place, although it would certainly be awesome.

    BAB 20, with the above bonuses, gives us five iteratives (normal + haste):
    +42/+42/+37/+32/+27. I think it's safe to say that Power Attacking for 5 is smart, as this means the first two attacks hit on anything but natural 1, the cleric needs to roll a 7 to hit on the third, the fourth needs a 12, and the fifth needs 17 (but that's iteratives for you). Three hits are basically guaranteed (four's not a stretch, but let's play this safe).

    If the Cleric has Leap Attack, s/he auto-succeeds the jump check. In this case, if charging first round, PA for 7.

    Damage:
    I don't know what weapon the cleric is using. Let's play with a holy longspear--it's what I would use if playing a stormlord--that or a shortspear.
    2d6 base (size) = avg 7
    +2d6 untyped (holy weapon) = avg 7
    Electrical stuff from Stormlord won't matter, nor will the sonic damage from Thundering.
    +5 enhancement
    +11 STR
    +10 Power Attack
    +1 luck (persisted Prayer)
    +3 morale (Righteous Wrath of the Faithful)
    = 44 avg damage/hit

    Assuming 3 hits, 132 damage in a full attack. This is using ONLY cleric spells and Power Attack, and I can't believe a cleric wouldn't have PA.

    If charging the first round, without Leap Attack, we get at least 48 average damage in the first round. This is without any way to full attack. With Leap Attack, we get 62 on the charge (PA for 7, 14 from THW, x2 is 28 for Leap Attack).

    With an LG deity, we get Zealot Pact. The chances of missing the first attack are basically zero. After that, we get a +4 to hit, but Power Attacking for another 4 would be counterproductive--instead, we use that to make iteratives more likely to hit. This means four hits per round, almost guaranteed. Each one does double damage, for 88 dmg/hit, for 352 damage on a full attack.

    Lastly, if the Phane is moving around a lot, the Cleric can charge (Greater Visage gives flight at twice normal speed, +haste) and keep up with the Phane without a problem. Sans Leap Attack and Zealot Pact, our damage per round is only 48 (but the Warblade gets to shine, because of strikes being awesome and not requiring full attacks). With Zealot Pact triggering, we then Power Attack for 11 every time (still misses only on nat 1), because we only get one attack. This gives us 66 average damage, doubling from Zealot Pact to 132 damage/round.

    One final note: This is with a basically standard weapon, and all but three of the spells are core. Two of the others are definitely around, because they're in Complete Divine and so is the Stormlord. The last (Righteous Wrath) is in the Spell Compendium.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England

    Default Re: [3.5] Can unoptimied characters defeat a Phane?

    I just had a cool idea on how to foreshadow this (and thus give the players a chance to prepare).

    when the players have all reached L18 have a session which steps away from the current plot and has them battle against more powerful versions of themselves for a their master (basically they are the alternate dimension copies that another phane has called in to kill its attackers) they don't ever really see their master, just know they must be loyal to him. you can drop a few hints about its abilities if you need too.
    Doug

    Currently GMing :
    Moonshae Mysteries IC / OOC / Central Map / west rooms map / east rooms map
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