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N1njato
Staj
(3/15/04 12:40 pm)
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Is the Grell too low a CR?
I had 5 4th level characters take on the Grells in the Moathouse (yes Grell's... the players decided to touch the wall 4 times... :rolleyes )

They made a mild complaint... and I tend to agree. The CR of the Grell is only 3? 10 attacks, paralyzation... flying... Improved Grab. Seems a lot higher than a CR 3 creature to me. Anyone?

GM Nemo
Staj
(3/15/04 1:44 pm)
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Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
Admittedly, I have only my experiences going through RtToEE as a playtester to go on, since the party I'm running through it is still taking their first baby-steps into the moathouse, but I don't think that CR3 is unreasonable. It's a tough and conditional CR3, but if it is run by the book, that's reasonable.

Now of course, any flying-Improved Grabbing critter is dangerous if the party aren't really pulling out the stops and watching each other's backs, but unless the critter is taking a -20 to grapple checks to tentacle-only grapple, the Grell should get badly beat down once it grapples someone. Ideally, all strong party members should pile on, either joining the grapple until the weight is too high for the Grell to fly away, or aid-anothering the person in the grapple to get loose. I've heard a story about a party casting a grease spell onto their party member, who willingly failed his save, in order to keep the Grell from keeping a grip and flying away with him.

Edited by: GM Nemo at: 3/16/04 9:53 am
N1njato
Staj
(3/15/04 3:54 pm)
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Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
There's no DR for a Grell as far as I know. At least, it's not listed in the Appendix for the creature on the module.

I didn't quite understand what you meant for the -20 grapple thing... what is that about?

Caedrel
Ghoul Worm
(3/15/04 3:58 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
Quote:
the players decided to touch the wall 4 times

Does this mean you were running the gate as in the number of times it's touched = the number of grells that come through? I played it as every time the gate it touched in one round = 1 grell comes through on the next round. The first way does seem a much bigger recipe for disaster, and would also be surely limited by the dimensions of the gate (4 grells would need to be at least 10' x 10' - I don't recall what it is in the module...)

If the grells emerged one at a time, that's a lot easier than all 4 of them arriving at once. 4 grells = CR 7, which is starting to get into "very challenging" territory for a 4th level party. Think about it: grells aren't very intelligent, so they'll probably be trying to attack and grab the nearest thing. With 1 grell, that's probably going to be the front line tank - good Fort save to resist the paralysis, good grapple check score to fight in the grapple. Add another 3 grells: they start attacking the cleric, rogue and wizard types, who are going to be in a lot more grief. Those folks shouldn't even think about going toe to toe with a grell - those 10 attacks mean they're going to get tagged for sure. They should be trying to stay out of reach and hitting them with ranged weapons. At least on the ground, this is an option: the attack by the grell while they're coming down on the platform is a lot nastier for exactly this reason.

DR is less of an issue with 3.5, where it's less of a "you must have a good enough + or forget it" thing. It effectively gives the critters more hp, and grells don't have a lot to begin with.

Personally, I was worried about this becoming a bit of an xp rort: everyone readies action to attack emerging grell while one person touches the gate. Emerging grell dies without even getting one attack off, or at most one round attacking tank an ineffectually. If the fight goes a bit pear shaped, the party go upstairs, rest and heal up, then come back down again and do it again. It didn't occur to my group to do this, thankfully - I guess I play too many CRPGs... :)

Edited by: Caedrel at: 3/15/04 4:01 pm
N1njato
Staj
(3/15/04 4:07 pm)
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Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
Again, I don't see where it says Grell's have DR. Can someone tell me?

The grapple thing is confusing. I just read the Erratta and converstion to 3.5 where it talks bout the Grell using Improved grab. It can use it's Improved grab on S size creatures, but not M? Ok that's fine, but it says in the monster description that the Grell can make a grapple attempt as a free action on a successful hit. An attack made by the Grell to initiate a grapple *only* is different from a 'free action' on a successful hit, is it not? So going from the Erratta and the description both to the letter, it seems that if the Grell his with a tentacle, it gets its free grapple attempt on any size creature (up to two categories bigger I think is the rule for grapple, -4 for each size category right?). If it just tries to grapple without first succeeding on a hit, then it can only do so vs. an S size creature (and it get's a +20 to the roll??) or on a M size creature at -20 to the roll.

Is this correct?

To anser the question of how many they summoned at once... actually the party member in question touched the wall after killing each Grell. I was actually a little worried they would try to use the wall as an "XP" well of endless creatures. After the 4th one though, their resources were wearing thin (the spellcasters couldn't cast scorching ray anymore) so they decided to stop the summoning. It said that a new Grell would exit the portal anytime the wall was touched, so the party member threw an arrow at the wall, so out came a Grell. I thought of ruling that it would have to be living material, but I just went by the letter of the module. Not important I suppose. I'm a bit worried they'll go back there though to 'fill up on XP' as the Grell they summond wasn't all that dangerous for them. But what I might do if they try that is make the next Grell that appears a "Mother Grell" with 15 tentacles, double the hit points and +5 on the DC to save vs the paralization. I wonder if they'll get that hint...? :evil

Edited by: N1njato at: 3/15/04 4:11 pm
Caedrel
Ghoul Worm
(3/15/04 9:11 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
Whups, sorry, didn't see that you'd already posted... I was just going by GM Nemo's statement about the DR - I didn't actually check to see if grells had it. Since you've checked, they clearly don't - sorry about that.

The +20 refers to the grell's normal grapple check. When you grapple a creature, both creatures are grappled. However, the attacker can choose to be "not grappled" if it doesn't enter the other creature's space and doesn't use its whole body. The target is still considered grappled, but the attacker isn't. In this case, the attacker must subtract 20 from their grapple check - a grell doing this (ie. grappling one creature in one tentacle while leaving its other tentacles free) therefore has a +0 to its grapple check.

All Improved Grab does is let you start a grapple automatically if the associated attack is successful. With a grell, this means that if its hits a Small creature with a normal tentacle attack, it can start a grapple straight away. Medium creatures are too big: to grapple them, a grell has to follow the normal grappling rules ie. make a successful melee touch attack that allows an AoO.

Re: the gate, it makes sense to me that it only responds to living matter. Although my group's one appeared when they touched it with a 10' pole. It also makes sense to me that repeated uses of the gate start attracting larger, hungrier, and nastier grells... :evil or maybe even the things that prey on grells in whatever place they come from... :evil

GM Nemo
Staj
(3/16/04 9:52 am)
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Re: Is the Grell too low a CR?
Whoops! Yes, Grells don't have DR. I sort of slipped into a general discourse on abilities that are threatening to give a low CR creature, rather than sticking with the monster at hand. If the party is willing to monkey-pile the Grell and use aid-another, it shouldn't be too serious a threat. It is the type of monster that punishes a party for failing to learn a backup to the "I move up and whack it" tactic.

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