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TOPIC: Request about the boss for E3

Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #1

With the final encounter in E3 likely being the same foe we've been chasing for something like 6 years, I'd love to see him be virtually unbeatable. It would be disappointing to just walk in on nightmare or epic level and kill him in 1 round. Equally frustrating would be him just running after 1 round (unless the idea is him just being a McGuffin for year after year).

If you are open to recommendations, I'd recommend the following:
1. If it is who we suspect it is, he could easily be able to mind control others - having powerful minions fighting the party would make sense (especially nice if it ties to the narrative and are allies we've encountered up to this point);
2. If his abilities are similar to D&D, anyone he kills directly should be unable to be raised (as their brains would have been eaten);
3. Unfortunately (as someone who plays a wizard frequently), high Int characters should be the tastiest and eaten first;
4. Any time he eats someone, he recovers a great deal of health;
5. Possibly have him mind-control party members to attack each other (a wizard hitting the party with everything he has would be brutal - fireball for 40+25 bonus damage then RoSS to do it again or a monk just obliterating the cleric or wizard);
6. Since he's a super-genius, he's watched the party fight many times and prepared for many of the tricks - a ring of spell turning rebounding the lesser maze spell or other similar nerf spells, mirror images to negate early critical hits or sneak attacks, etc.
7. It's ok to wipe us out on difficulty harder than normal (new players generally don't do HC or harder) - this should be a truly epic fight

Thoughts?

Fred
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #2

I feel that most of that is understandable on nightmare or at least epic.
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #3

But the module has probably been written at this point.
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #4

  • jedibcg
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Adam Guay wrote: But the module has probably been written at this point.


Pretty sure it has.
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #5

I love these, but I think some of them might be tough to pull off in a 12 min room.
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #6

I would just advice caution.

During the year of Smoak whole room tpks were common, and it was not fun for many players, I think a good deal of players quit / never returned.

Outside the token elite the experience was:

Round in prep
Party attacks
Smoak uses breath weapon destroying party talisman of protection
Party attaks
Smoak uses breath weapon killing all but maybe barbarian and paladin
Party attacks
Smoak uses breath weapon tpk
5 minutes left in room.


There was a story element about how our party was providing a critical distraction for someone else or something, but the player experience was that it was a railroad-ey, unbeatable end boss.

I’m all up for very difficult combat on Nightmare and Epic.

Normal should be tuned so token 10 pack parties beat the boss at least 66% of the time.

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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #7

  • Harlax
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jedibcg wrote:

Adam Guay wrote: But the module has probably been written at this point.


Pretty sure it has.


But things tend to change as the Con goes on. I was in the first N1 run at Origins last year. We cakewalked Nightmare. It was much tougher later in the day.
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Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #8

Matthew Hayward wrote: I would just advice caution.

During the year of Smoak whole room tpks were common, and it was not fun for many players, I think a good deal of players quit / never returned.

Outside the token elite the experience was:

Round in prep
Party attacks
Smoak uses breath weapon destroying party talisman of protection
Party attaks
Smoak uses breath weapon killing all but maybe barbarian and paladin
Party attacks
Smoak uses breath weapon tpk
5 minutes left in room.


There was a story element about how our party was providing a critical distraction for someone else or something, but the player experience was that it was a railroad-ey, unbeatable end boss.

I’m all up for very difficult combat on Nightmare and Epic.

Normal should be tuned so token 10 pack parties beat the boss at least 66% of the time.


I completely agree with your comments on normal.

I'm not proposing that he be unbeatable - just that it take 4 or 5 rounds and there should be a good chance of fatalities even against the most equipped groups. The biggest parts are making sure nobody is just immune to being hurt by him, that it nerfs the easy ways around encounters (elf wizard RoSP cast prismatic spray, repeat, repeat - baddie gets zero actions and dies), and that it requires the party to work together in a coordinated way to win. I'd be completely ok with a 50% TPK rate at nightmare or epic.

You are completely right that it needs to feel like we had a chance and that the results weren't a foregone conclusion. Using the type of encounter we had in N3 where a puzzle element was combined with the combat would be good - making the combat almost unwinnable if you don't solve something there. At the same time, fix the hole from N3 where the combat could be over in a single slide (happened on our golden ticket run last year).

It's a fine line between unwinnable and really challenging. The golden ticket runs Wednesday night can be a good testing ground for the harder difficulty settings (then tweak them up or down based on what you see).

Fred
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #9

It will be interesting to see how many rounds of combat can be done in 12 minutrs.

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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #10

  • Harlax
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edwin wrote: It will be interesting to see how many rounds of combat can be done in 12 minutrs.


Two DMs make a complex encounter manageable.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #11

I only ran against Smoak once. It was NIGHTMARE and the party was in over their heads. I was the last one in the party standing. A solid hit would have killed him... but I overshot the target and he killed me. Even though I died, it was an epic encounter and I'll never forget it.

So whether it is here or in a future adventure, I'm looking forward to an equally memorable experience when we finally do fight the Mind Slayer and have no problem with entire parties being killed in the process as long as it's a fun experience.
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Request about the boss for E3 3 months 1 week ago #12

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SnakeEyes (Eric) wrote: I only ran against Smoak once. It was NIGHTMARE and the party was in over their heads. I was the last one in the party standing. A solid hit would have killed him... but I overshot the target and he killed me. Even though I died, it was an epic encounter and I'll never forget it.

So whether it is here or in a future adventure, I'm looking forward to an equally memorable experience when we finally do fight the Mind Slayer and have no problem with entire parties being killed in the process as long as it's a fun experience.


As long as I make it to room 7, it’s all good.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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