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SIERK
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(1/31/03 4:22 pm)
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Rules questions on the module
There are questions that tend to come up related on how to adjudicate certain monsters within the module. While some of these might be better suited for a DM board, I think that maybe it makes sense to have a consolidated list here. We've all had to figure out Big U's Hover, for instance.

Gray Render: I've been running the Rend attack as the result of winning an improved grab grapple check, and it takes effect that same round. But now that I look into it more carefully, it doesn't seem that way.

The text says "A gray render that gets a hold latches onto the opponent's body and tears the flesh...". This means to me that the Rend only happens after the Render gains a hold (i.e. winning a grapple check). But on MM pg 9 it says that "a successful hold does not deal any additional damage unless the creature also has the constrict special ability".

So which is it, does the rend take affect this round, or is it next round if the PC hasn't escaped the grapple in the meantime?

While grappling, I would also guess that the rend takes effect each round in addition to all other grapple-related activities.

Edited by: SIERK at: 1/31/03 4:22:58 pm
AshaThoth
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(1/31/03 4:36 pm)
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Gray Renders
I've rules in each instance that the rend damage is dealt each round, including the round in which the successful grapple check is made. That may or may not be "legal", but it seems to me that "rend" is functionally equivalent to "constrict" in terms of the intent of the rule. YMMV, as always.

Infiniti2000
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(1/31/03 8:03 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Rules questions on the module
Sierk, that's a good idea. I was thinking about the same thing a while ago, and was gonna further suggest an "extended tactics" thread, but thought it might be too much. I'd be more than happy to contribute though.

The gray render gets an improved grab (free action, no AoO) on its bite. If it gets a hold on the improved grab, it can then perform the rend automatically. I view the term automatically as meaning immediately. So, the Rend (Ex) damage is extra in the same round as the bite and then the subsequent claws. It would stay in the grapple until its opponent is dead, automatically rending each round, and also getting the two claws (though not the initial bite again unless the opponent breaks the grapple). A troll also gets a rend attack, though it doesn't have improved grab, and the damage applies immediately and in addition to other damage. A gray render is significantly more dangerous than a troll.

CrossNightwalker
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(1/31/03 10:56 pm)
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Re: Rules questions on the module
Agreed, infiniti. You could consider the Rend to be similar to Constrict damage: i.e. if a hold (opposed grapple check) is established, the Rend happens automatically. This continues on subsequent rounds, assuming the Render continues to make and win opposed grapple checks to maintain the hold.

The troll is a little different in that it doesn't need to make that grab in the first place...it simply has to hit with both claw attacks.

-Cross

Siobharek 
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(2/1/03 12:30 am)
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Re: Rules questions on the module
I agree: It's an excellent idea. Might I suggest that as we reach consensus on the monsters someone (*cough*SIERK*cough) begins a post in the FAQ called Monster Tactics, or something like that, and then we post whatever we agree on there?

Siobharek
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Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

SIERK
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(2/1/03 8:00 am)
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Re: Rules questions on the module
Thanks, all. This agrees with my gut feel for the situation.

In my case, the question came up because my Drd8/Shifter3 went out and grappled Naquent to death last session, and made me realize I didn't know grappling/improved grab as well as I thought I did. The Shifter is considering other forms (Gray Render, Girallon) and likes the grappling tactic.

Here's another question about Improved Grab:
I have seen errata on the WotC MM message board that when a creature uses Improved Grab and grabs ahold, it ends up forfeiting the remainder of its attacks that round, because all appendages are now being used to grapple the opponent (unless it takes -20 on its grapple check). Furthermore, if this was not the initial attack of the creature, it must use the -20 grapple check to hold it in only one appendage. Does this seem right? If an Annis Hag hits with her second claw, she has to take -20 on the grapple check and would give up her bite if she won?

How about a dragon's Snatch feat (such as Chymon)? Does she require a -20 with a grapple check to grab someone with her bite and still use her remaining 5 attacks? If she has a small creature in her mouth (without the -20 check), is she considered grappled, and has thus lost her dex bonus? Could she do a flyby attack, grabbing a small creature, continuing her flight without the -20 grapple modifier?

How about natural weapons in a grapple? My take is that normally a creature with improved grab can attack with all natural weapons, but must roll melee attacks for each one (except the one that started the grapple, that one automatically hits). Alternatively, one could use multiple grapple checks (base attack bonus dependent) to damage the opponent using one natural weapon.

----

In general, it seems like there are 2 similar yet separate things that have been mentioned in this thread. I was thinking of this more as a Rules FAQ rather than a Tactics FAQ. Perhaps both would be in order.

Rules:
Q: How does Big U's Hover work?
A: My take is that it is a full round action. If U charges out and attacks, he can hover the following round. As a full-round action, the dust cloud would begin immediately upon beginning. He can take 5' adjustments each round. The PC's would be blinded from when the hover starts until a round after it stops. With U's 5' reach, whoever was hit by an attack knows where the hit came from, and can attack without having to guess his location (though the 50% miss chance is still in effect).

Tactics:
Q: My party is a higher level. How do I make Big U more dangerous?
A: His best assets are his breath weapon and hover. He might be better served starting the battle with his lightning breath on the tower. He could use his flyby attack while waiting for his breath weapon to recharge. If the party is damaging him at range, he should probably switch to hovering.
While hovering or flying by, don't forget his Power Attack feat.

SIERK
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(2/2/03 4:55 pm)
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Trashing a vampire's coffin
Okay, so when a vampire goes below 0 hp, it goes gaseous and has to get back to its coffin.

Can it take any offensive actions below 0, or is it just kind of a vapory mist that can't do anything?

What if the coffin is destroyed? Does the vampire die at that point, or is it still two hours later when it can't get to the coffin?

What about its gear? When it goes gaseous, the gear would transform with it, but does it reappear when it is finally destroyed?

Infiniti2000
Here to stay
(2/3/03 10:41 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Trashing a vampire's coffin
I say that a vampire in "mist" form after "death" cannot take any actions (besides going to its coffin) and also cannot be further damaged. It could, however, be hindered with spells like gust of wind. This is different than a vampire choosing a gaseous form, in which case it can be injured (as normal) and can take actions, using any abilities that only require the mind or concentration. For example, the vampire could still use Children of the Night. If the vampire cannot reach it's coffin, for whatever reason, then it expires, never returning to corporeal form, and losing whatever items it had. Personally, I like the idea that the coffin isn't the important part, the dirt is. So, if they destory the coffin, it doesn't matter, they need to "destroy" the dirt, such as with a consecration, burial blessing, or something. Dumping the dirt in the Stalagos would also work, I think. If the vampire successfully returns to its coffin (or dirt), it immediately reforms, but cannot otherwise take actions and is very vulnerable. All the gear also rematerializes. If you rule that the "mist" form is destroyed, then the equipment should also be destroyed, IMO.

Infiniti2000
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(2/3/03 11:19 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Rules questions on the module
Rules:
Q: How does Big U's Hover work?
A: Hovering is only stopping in place. It should be a MEA to reach the location desired for hovering, a free action to hover, and the dragon can then potentially get an attack action, such as a breath weapon. Regardless of his maneuverability, the dragon can move straight up, down, or hover in place. The dust swirls up either immediately (as I would rule it) or it starts on the next round at the dragons initiative (the dust taking a full round to really start swirling).

Q: How does Chymon's snatch work?
A: If she doesn't want to be considered grappled, she needs to take a -20 penalty. Remember, however, that she has a very good grapple check, and the PC she snatches (small size or smaller) gets a heavy penalty, so it shouldn't be difficult. After snatching someone, her next action will be to use her breath weapon (no save for the snatched victim). Her grapple check is +37 (+19 BAB, +10 STR, +8 special size mod.). A sample 10th-level halfling rogue with STR 14 has a grapple check of +5 (+7 BAB, +2 STR, -4 special size). If she doesn't take the -20 penalty, she loses all additional attacks and is considered grappled, with all of its implications.

Additional Tactics:
Q: My party is a higher level. How do I make Big U more dangerous?
A: Hover over any single PC and take a full attack action, putting up to 12 points on power attack (Big U has a BAB of +12, equal to his HD for dragons). This is especially useful against opponents with high Dex, who are then considered blind and thus lose their Dex bonus to AC, not to mention the +2 against blind opponents.

Q: Besides what is listed in the module, what are other good options for Satau?
A: After reading Andorax's thread, I thought that it would be a great attack for Satau to remain invisible, cast true strike, move up to opponent (preferably the strongest-looking fighter-type), and cast a plane shift (will save DC 20, it's a 7th level sorcerer spell). It also might be a good idea to plane shift the weakest character, and then follow him for a little one-on-one, only returning with the PC's brain. However, I don't think plane shift is that accurate.

Q: How can Chymon use her scrolls more effectively?
A: (Straight from Andorax's thread, great idea btw!) If you have Chymon "on her guard", please take a moment and have her affix one or more of her scrolls to the roof of her chamber (Teleport Without Error, at the very least). Reach a claw up, make an "oh-so-hard" concentration check, and a somewhat more difficult caster level check, and use that as a quick, easy, no-AoO way of getting the heck out of there, or otherwise improving on firepower.

The party, of course, might see a number of scrolls at the roof of the cavern. The spot DC would be 26 (base 10, +8 tiny, +2 outer fane walls, +1 distance, +5 spotter distracted). More might be added if no light sources are present. I would subtract one per scroll. Chymon can get some sort of substance to affix the scrolls from Naquent. Maybe a paste made out of halfling blood.

Infiniti2000
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(2/6/03 1:34 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Rules questions on the module
Rule
Q: Clerics of Big T/EEE get such a poor will save. What gives?
A: Their wisdom is reduced by their insanity score for the purposes of determining wisdom based checks, including the will save. However, once/day a cleric with the Madness domain can add the insanity score to a wisdom based roll, including a will save. Example clerics are Dunrat, Festrath, and Lareth. This gives a much better will save once/day than he otherwise would get without the insanity score. If the evil cleric has spellcraft, he can more easily choose which spell to apply it to.

Eltern
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(2/9/03 4:33 pm)
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Hedrack and Element Temple Head Priests
So what are some ways to effectively use Hedrack and other priests to make them more fiersome vs the party?

Eltern

Infiniti2000
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(2/11/03 10:10 am)
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ezSupporter
More Questions
1. How much silver (in pounds) is in the air temple altar and dais? I think 20 pounds (1000sp) seems reasonable.

2. Can an air elemental move 100' picking up all characters in its path?

3. Does the unhallow effects in the temple areas also affect the turning of elementals? Any cleric of Moradin with the Earth domain in the Air Temple will appreciate this question.

Edited by: Infiniti2000 at: 2/11/03 10:10:24 am
ZansForCans 
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(2/11/03 11:42 am)
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Re: More Questions
Quote:
3. Does the unhallow effects in the temple areas also affect the turning of elementals?


Not by my reading. The spell specifically mentions turn checks against undead. There is also an FAQ entry that says that greater turning (Sun domain power) would not aid a turn from an elemental domain.

IMC, we have a no-deity nature cleric of Earth and Water domains, so I'm glad you made me look this up early ;)



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Abelard
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(2/11/03 1:51 pm)
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Re: More Questions
"2. Can an air elemental move 100' picking up all characters in its path?"

In whirlwind form you mean? Yes, it can! Yikes, eh?

I got a sage advice answer clarifying how the whirlwind form works. I posted it on the rules board I think, but maybe not here - is it in the FAQ or anything? If not, let me know & I'll repost.

Infiniti2000
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(3/9/03 9:13 am)
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ezSupporter
Chymon and the Armband of Reduction
Okay, so I started thinking about this. The spell reduce does not change the target creature's size category. So, with the armband of reduction activated, Chymon is still at the huge size category (10x20, 10' reach, can crush and snatch). Sure, she gets a -5 enlargement penalty to strength, dropping her down to 26, but that only applies a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls, not a big deal. I think using the reduce is a great tactic for her, because now she can easily move through the halls without affecting her special attacks.

Edit: For those who are interested, I posed this question in the Rules forum, under Reduced Again.

Edited by: Infiniti2000 at: 3/11/03 9:37:49 am
Abelard
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(3/20/03 12:40 am)
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Re: Chymon and the Armband of Reduction
Well, I have no Small characters in my campaign, which leads me to notice that if reduce doesn't change a creature's size categories, then Chymon couldn't learn that spell and use it to help Snatch that annoying Krusk. So it cuts both ways (a bit - on balance this would still help Chymon).

But, I think that would be the strict reading of the rules. Since it's unlikely you'll ever have a PC with the Snatch feat to whine about the ruling, you could just decide by fiat that it does reduce her size for this purpose, and preserve versimilitude. You're only hurting Chymon, who can take it - she's tough.

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