As far as swapping DMs goes, it's totally fine by me. Strasa, even though I've put a lot of work into it, really isn't "my" creation, after all. I'm running a game in the city, but it's very much a communal creation, and that's what I love about it. The Raining City is a collection of a lot of good ideas from a dozen or so really talented posters, and the way I see it, having Akkarin's player DM can only enhance it further. And in any event, I've intentionally been really, really vague about the rest of my campaign world outside Strasa; my players know that the area surrounding the city is a vast marshland full of bullywugs, lizardmen, goblins, etc. They know very little else. I've mentioned some minor areas in the world like "Northbridge" (a border town up north, where Mal hid out after framing Phaedra for murder), but I haven't said anything at all about it. Even though another DM may very well keep the action centered around the Raining City (and I hope he does), I've left the world completely open so that another DM isn't restrained creatively. It's very much a blank slate, and I'd like to keep it that way.
Also, I'm not expecting to be able to play at any point, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared, just in case. I'm constantly writing up characters anyway, and some of them really interest me. I flesh them out because that feels like the natural thing to do, and before I know it, I've got myself a character I'd really like to play.
At this point, honestly, all my time is being poured into Vhauglohrl; I want to make that encounter as epic, dynamic, and exciting as possible for everyone involved. Because Solo encounters tend to be, well ... boring HP grinds, to be honest, I've decided to use some variant rules for Solo encounters. There are "Worldbreaker" Solos over on the At-Will Blog, as well as a completely new "Boss Fight" rules over at the Angry DM blog. Both of these new rule sets have their own Pros and Cons, and I've decided to use a combination of the two with Vhaug. I'm very near to being completed with a basic version of the creature and the fight, which I'll obviously want to present to you guys. I think it'll be a lot of fun. The only issue is that I essentially have to build this multi-phased creature / encounter from the ground up.
I'll keep you updated on my progress.
Okay guys, I'd really like your opinions on this. I've been working pretty hard on the Vhauglohrl encounter, using several variant rule-sets that I found on the Angry DM and At-Will blogs that were designed to make Solo encounters more dynamic and exciting. Both variants have their ups and downs, so I decided to use a combination of the two. Essentially, I've split the Dragon up from a single 225 HP monster into three monsters with 75 HP each. The players will fight Vhauglohrl in a series of consecutive phases (once Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp is defeated, she's replaced by Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows, who's then replaced by Vhauglohrl, "Name Coming Soon" at the end). Each monster is essentially a unique creature with only a few traits and abilities in common. For example, in the beginning, Vhaug is at the height of her arrogance, and she's essentially an airborne skirmisher; when phase 2 hits, I'll reduce her flight mobility to clumsy to represent that she's taken damage to her wings, and she'll gain a new set of ground-based moves with a fewer flight options; during the final phase of the fight, Vhaug essentially becomes a brute, and her attacks get super-aggressive -- lots of push and prone effects, additional damage at the cost of lower defenses, etc.Each creature has a transition ability that allows them to break away from the "gank n' spank" (or "surround n' pound", or whatever other people call it) that usually happens to Solos in 4th edition. Essentially, when they're reduced to 0 HP or fewer, they escape from the pack and transition to the next phase from a more powerful position.Worldbreaker abilities come from the At-Will blog, and I'm pretty excited to see how they work in practice. Worldbreaker abilities enable the creature to create some massive encounter-changing event, and players have to respond by using skills or abilities appropriately. Examples from the creator include a White Dragon that's able to summon up a howling snow storm (not so different from what I've done with Vhaug, to be honest), and a Gorgon that can splinter the earth and create huge stretches of difficult terrain while showering its enemies with chunks of rock. While these Worldbreaker core abilities are active, the creature gains a suite of new attack powers that can only be used while its corresponding Worldbreaker ability is in effect. Vhaug can exhale a billowing cloud of noxious fumes that covers the battlefield, for example, and while that's happening, she's able to stealthily stalk her foes or call upon the Crow Eater Tribe for assistance.I think they're neat abilities, but I need to know what you guys think.I've used the modified attack and damage values from the Monster Math Cruncher, so I'm pretty certain the values I have in place there are solid. I removed a couple of the standard Black Dragon abilities, and added several, which is really where I'd like some input. I took out Cloud of Darkness, for example, because I find it a little complicated to use, and in practice, all that happens is the Dragon sits in the cloud with impunity while it recharges its most powerful attacks, then jumps out. I just don't like it, so I replaced it with a minor action attack (usable only once per round) called Eye of Shadow, which targets Will and temporarily blinds the target. I figure that's a good middle-ground, but if it's not, I'm open to suggestions.Of course, I added in the standard suite of "Solo Boosting" traits, like Draconic Alacrity and Resilience, which help make up for the action disadvantage that Solos face, as well as their lockdown vulnerability.I'm still working on Phases 2 and 3, but I'm prepared to show you guys Phase 1 at this point. Please, let me know what you think.For reference: (M) is a Melee attack; (MB) is a Melee Basic attack; (R) is a Ranged attack; (RB) is a Ranged Basic attack; (C) is a Close attack; and ... I think that's it?Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-SwampLevel 4 Solo SkirmisherLarge Natural Magical Beast (Aquatic, Dragon, Worldbreaker)HP: 75; Bloodied: SpecialInitiative: +9; see also Draconic AlacritySenses: Perception +9; DarkvisionArmour Class: 20, Fortitude: 18, Reflex: 18, Will: 18Resist: 15 AcidSpeed: 7, Fly 7, Overland Flight 10, Swim 7Action Points: 1Traits:Draconic Alacrity:Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp makes two initiative checks at the beginning of combat, and takes a full turn on each initiative result. She may take one immediate action between the end of each turn and the beginning of the next.Draconic Resilience:Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp is entitled to a saving throw, at the end of each of her turns, against any effect or condition that causes her to become Dazed, Dominated, or Stunned. She is entitled to this even if the effect or condition does not normally allow a save. A successful save ends the effect or condition immediately.Standard Actions:(MB) Bite (Standard; At-Will) * AcidReach 2; +9 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage, and ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).(MB) Claw (Standard; At-Will)Reach 2; +9 vs AC; 1d4+4 damage.(M) Flyby Attack (Standard; 2/Encounter) * AcidThe dragon flies up to 7 squares and makes a bite attack at any point during the move without provoking an opportunity attack from the target.(C) Strafe (Standard; Encounter) * AcidThe dragon flies up to 7 squares and makes a breath weapon attack at any point during the move without provoking an opportunity attack from the target.(C) Breath Weapon (Standard; Encounter) * AcidClose blast 5; +7 vs Reflex; 3d6+4 acid damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 acid damage and takes a -4 penalty to AC (save ends both).Gas Chamber (Standard; 1/Encounter) * Acid, Worldbreaker, ZoneVhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp exhales a noxious cloud of viridian gas that quickly spreads across the battlefield, obscuring vision and corrupting all it touches. Vhauglohrl disappears into the fog; remove her from the game when this ability is activated. For the duration of this ability's effect, Vhauglohrl loses the benefit of Draconic Alacrity, and acts only once per round, on her second initiative count. This effect lasts for 1d4 rounds. While Gas Chamber is active, all player characters are slowed, and their vision is severely limited; any creature standing more than 2 squares away from a player has concealment, and any creature standing 5 or more squares away has total concealment. When this ability is first activated, each player is entitled to a special skill check, as a free action:* Endurance DC 15: Success grants the player immunity to the Gas Chamber's slowing effect.* Insight DC 15: Success grants the player a +2 bonus to all defenses for the remainder of the Gas Chamber's effect.* Nature DC 15: Success grants the player a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, skill checks, and all defenses for the duration of the Gas Chamber's effect.* Perception DC 15: Success allows the player pierce the fog, and see much further than others; for the duration of the Gas Chamber ability, creatures don't gain concealment from the player until they're 5 or more squares away, and don't gain total concealment until they're 10 or more squares away.* Stealth DC 15: Success grants the player concealment from any enemies 2 or more squares away, and total concealment from creatures 5 or more squares away for the duration of the Gas Chamber's effect.Lurker In The Swamp (Standard; Special) * Gas ChamberCan only be used during Gas Chamber. Vhauglohrl stalks and pounces on the PCs from within the fog. Each player rolls Perception against Vhauglohrl's Stealth. Any player who rolls lower takes 1d10+4 damage from the dragon's surprise attack. Any player who rolls higher not only escapes damage, but can also make an opportunity attack. After Lurker In the Swamp has been resolved, remove Vhauglohrl from the game once again.Mother's Call (Standard; Special) * Gas ChamberCan only be used during Gas Chamber. Vhauglohrl summons the vicious Crow Eaters to her aid. Place 1d4+1 Crow Eater Goblins anywhere on the map at least 5 squares away from a player character. A Crow Eater Goblin is a small-sized minion with 18 Armour Class, 15 Fortitude, 16 Reflex, and 15 Will. All summoned minions act on Vhauglohrl's initiative order, and can use the following attack: (M) +9 vs AC; 5 damage.  Their speed is 6.Minor Actions:(M) Tail Slap (Minor; 1/Round; At-Will)Reach 2; +7 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is knocked prone.(R) Eye of Shadow (Minor; 1/Round; At-Will)Range 10; +7 vs Will; the target is blind until the end of its next turn.Triggered Actions:(M) Wing Buffet (Immediate Reaction, when any enemy misses the dragon; At-Will)Reach 2; +9 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is pushed 1 square.Ear-Shattering Roar (No Action, when Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp is reduced to 0 or fewer HP; special) * Thunder(C) Close Burst 5; +7 vs Fortitude; 3d6+4 thunder damage. Effect: The target is pushed 2 squares and knocked prone. Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp shifts up to 7 squares. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. Remove Vhaughlohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp from the game, and replace her with Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows.Alignment: Evil, Languages: Common, Draconic, GoblinSkills: +9 Nature, +19 StealthStrength: 16 (+5), Dexterity: 20 (+7), Constitution: 16 (+5)Intelligence: 16 (+5), Wisdom: 16 (+5), Charisma: 16 (+5) By the way, she only has 1 Action Point because they're spread out amongst the Phases, and I didn't give her Frightening Presence because I wanted to use it on a later Phase of the fight.[edit again] Also, after "transition abilities" are resolved, all player characters are allowed to spend a healing surge and regain the use of one of their encounter powers. These variant rules were intended to make Solos harder, after all, so I have no problem allowing them to shore up their hit points and regain a power after each phase. Also, one of the biggest problems I've encountered with Solos is that everyone naturally fires off all of their abilities straight away, and then they're down to just At-Will attacks for the last 150 hit points or so; allowing each player to regain the use of an encounter power after each transition helps keep things interesting for the players, too.
Okay, I'm back. Even though I've been super busy lately, I've managed to build up a concept that I'm pretty happy with. I appreciate your input Shovel, but I wanted to pull back and write up the rest of the adventure on my own, so as not to spoil anything else for you or anyone else reading through the thread. We'll be playing this weekend, so I'll have a full review available on Sunday (or Monday, depending on what else I have to do this weekend). I can, however, paint you guys a quick picture of what's currently happening in Strasa:
Only a few short hours have passed since the Warlord, Zessith, led a daring, full-scale invasion against the raining city. Open conflict has more-or-less ended, but pockets of resistance still remain. Their leaders have pulled them from the front lines, and are attempting to consolidate their strength before pushing back against the lizardmen (in much the same way that the 'Watch is holding out temporarily inside the Temple of the Everlasting Storm). Up on the hill, the bulk of Zessith's forces have begun their siege of the Council chambers. The warlord seeks to crack the tower's shell, and force the remaining Councilmen to legitimize his rule, ending the Strasan resistance (on paper, at least).Below Cecil's Wall, the poorer sections of the city have been devastated. Vhauglohrl, the self-styled Queen-of-Crows, has made a roost of its ruins. Her Crow Eater goblins have spread through the area like a plague, dragging survivors out into the street to be dealt with: half of everyone they find are killed outright; a quarter are simply maimed (their legs broken, so that they can only kneel before the Mother-In-The-Swamp, and their fingers crushed, so that they can never raise a sword against Her); another quarter are brought before Vhauglohrl herself, to be devoured -- only the lucky ones are eaten right away, of course: the unlucky ones are tied to bits of rubble and tossed into the canals, to be consumed once they're properly "pickled".The Crow Eaters haven't pressed past Cecil's Wall, however. Shortly after the invasion began, the necromancers of the Ferryman Institute opened the doors of their vaults and released dozens of skeletal warders. These undead creations aren't perfect defenders, though; they were meant to be used as a labour force, capable of working underwater indefinitely. As such, they are only capable of understanding very simple commands. They're doing a fine job of defending the streets (in fact, the area between Cecil's Wall and the Council's Hill is almost completely free from conflict), however, they aren't always capable of distinguishing friend from foe. Civilians in the area are completely safe, so long as they remain in their houses, but anyone out on the streets (especially those visibly armed with steel and magic) is likely to be confronted by the undead.Essentially, I've split the city up into 3 sections with 3 completely different "styles":Council Hill: Fighting in this section of the city is mostly against Lizardmen, culminating in an encounter with Zessith, himself. Minor quests in the area involve seeking out and rallying pockets of resistance, to aid the 'Watch in lifting the siege.Strasa Proper: This is the "main" section of the city, where the Roost, the Temple of the Everlasting Storm, the Ferryman's Institute of Practical Necromancy, and the Brazen Foal exist. Thanks to the Ferrymen, this section of the city is relatively free from open conflict. If the 'Watch it traveling through it, however, they're likely going to have to fight some skeletons -- this is essentially just a "buffer zone" between the Hill and the area beneath Cecil's Wall. There could be some minor quests, but I haven't thought of many yet.Beneath Cecil's Wall: Fighting in this section of the city is mostly against goblins, culminating in an encounter with Vhauglohrl. Minor quests in the area involve locating and rescuing survivors, preventing canibalistic rituals from taking place, etc.So, yeah, that's the basic outline I've formed for the adventure. I don't anticipate the group will make it all the way to Zessith or Vhaug in one session; we only play for a few hours at a time, and combat takes a while in 4e. I expect they'll get pretty close to either major villain, depending on which direction they take, but not all the way to the end. Anyway, let me know if you've got any questions, comments, or suggestions. I'm always open to ideas.
Goblin LurkerSmall Natural Humanoid – Level 4 Lurker – XP 175Initiative: +10 – Low-Light-Vision – Perception: +4HP: 45; Bloodied: 22AC: 18; Fort: 16; Ref: 17; Will: 16Speed: 6; see also Goblin Tactics(Melee Basic) Short Sword (Standard; At-Will) * Weapon+9 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage, and the Goblin Lurker makes a secondary attack against the same target. Secondary Attack: +7 vs Reflex; the target is knocked prone.(Melee) Sneak Attack (Standard; At-Will) * WeaponRequires Combat Advantage; +9 vs AC; 2d8+4 damage.(Melee) Go For The Throat (Standard; At-Will)Requires Combat Advantage; +7 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is grabbed (until escape). While grabbing a creature, the Goblin Lurker loses the ability to use Short Sword, Sneak Attack, and Go For The Throat, but gains the ability to Butcher.(Melee) Butcher (Standard; At-Will) * WeaponIf the Goblin Lurker begins its turn with a target grabbed, it makes an attack against the grabbed creature: +9 vs AC; 3d6+4 damage. Miss: Half damage.Goblin Tactics (Immediate Reaction, when missed by a melee attack; At-Will)The goblin shifts 1 square.Goblin Lurker notes: Okay, so the reason he's got a Sneak Attack ability instead of the more standard Combat Advantage trait is because I thought he might churn out a bit too much damage with Butcher if he got to add in an extra 1d6. The way he's designed now seems a little more round-a-bout, but I think it works. Essentially, when he's got Combat Advantage (which he can potentially gain with his Short Sword attack, even if he's not capable of setting up a flank), he can either Sneak Attack for 2d8+4 damage, or he can attempt to Go For the Throat, dealing only 1d6+4, but also initiating a grab. This sets him up to potentially Butcher his target the next round, which is his most devastating attack. Basically, he's got choices beyond just "get behind them and deal extra damage".Originally, Butcher was called Strangulate, and it targeted Fortitude at a +9 to attack. The idea was that the Goblin Lurker grappled his opponent, then chocked the living daylights out of them. I think that concept works well, too, but in the end, I decided to call it Butcher, and have it target AC at a +11 -- it's like he initates a grapple, then repeatedly stabs at close range to open up a serious belly wound.I tried to design this guy by looking at a number of existing Lurker monsters that I felt did a good job of representing their role. Specifically, I took a lot from the Poisonscale Collector -- a lizardman who uses a "combo system" similar to the Goblin Lurker to initiatve progressively more powerful attacks. He starts off with a melee basic Dagger attack, which gives his target ongoing poison damage; he follows this up with a melee Blinding Poison attack, which can only target someone taking ongoing poison damage, and blinds the target in addition to dealing damage; finally, he finishes it all up with End Strike, which can only target a creature who can't see the Collector (ie: someone who's blind) and deals a lot more damage than his other attacks. Essentially, this is the same way the Goblin Lurker operates.Next up ...Goblin SoldierSmall Natural Humanoid – Level 4 Soldier – XP 175Initiative: +4 – Low-Light-Vision – Perception: +4HP: 55; Bloodied: 27AC: 20; Fort: 16; Ref: 16; Will: 16Resist: 5 AcidSpeed: 6; see also Goblin Tactics(Melee Basic) Hand Axe (Standard; At-Will) * Weapon+11 vs AC; 1d10+4 damage, and the target is marked and slowed until the end of the Goblin Soldier’s next turn.(Melee) Shield Bash (Minor; recharge 5 6)+9 vs Fortitude; 2d8+4 damage, and the target is knocked prone or pushed 1 square (Goblin Soldier’s choice).Goblin Tactics (Immediate Reaction; when missed by a melee attack; At-Will)The goblin shifts 1 square.Goblin Soldier notes: Okay, so this guy's your basic soldier. I took some abilities from existing Soldier-class monsters around level 4 (the mark and slow melee basic effect is from a Hobgoblin Soldier, and the Shield Bash is from a Dwarf Hammerer), so I think it's well-balanced. He seems like he could use something more, but maybe that's just because the Lurker's entry is a lot bigger. I toyed around with the idea of giving him a "Challenging Shout"-style attack that marked targets in a burst 3 or something, as an encounter power. I still haven't ruled that one out. As is, though, I think he's a pretty decent Soldier.General Note: Also, all of my numbers come from Asmor's 4e Monster Math Cruncher. It's really easy to use; you just plug in your monster's level, role, and ability scores, and it tells you what it's defenses, attacks, damage, etc should be. So if any of the numbers on the monsters seem too high, or too low, let me know, but understand that they are "correct" according to the Math Cruncher site.
Okay, I'm hoping to have Vhauglohrl's final phase entry up tonight, at some point. For the moment, all I've got finished are the first two phases: Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp, and Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows. During Phase One, Vhaug is essentially an artillery-class monster: she has a powerful area attack, and has good maneuverability in the air. Her Gas Chamber ability now functions as a transition effect between phases. When Phase 2 begins, Vhaug has changed into a Skirmisher-type monster, with a lot more ground mobility. Her wings are damaged at the end of Phase One, so even though she can still fly, her mobility changes to Clumsy. Her final phase, which, again, should be up tonight, is called Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-Clutch. In that phase, she loses her ability to fly completely, and turns into a Brute. Her attacks are a lot more vicious, and I'll likely add a damage aura as well. Her defenses, however, drop back down a little to compensate.
In case anyone didn't read when I explained how multi-phased solo encounters work before, when one phase ends and another transitions in, all player characters are allowed to spend a healing surge and regain the use of an encounter power. Multi-phase Solos are a hell of a lot harder than standard solo encounters, of course, so this helps balance the playing field. Also, giving players back an encounter power each phase helps prevent everyone from just spamming At-Wills for the last two phases, which is usually what happens in standard solo encounters.Anyway, I'll give each phase its own post, so it's easier to read. Here's Phase One:
Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-SwampLarge Natural Magical Beast (Aquatic, Dragon, Wordbreaker)Level 4 Solo Artillery – XP 875Initiative: +11; see also Draconic AlacritySenses: Perception: +9; DarkvisionHP: 75; Bloodied: SpecialAC: 18; Fort: 18; Ref: 18; Will: 18Resist: 15 AcidSaving Throws: +5; see also Draconic ResilienceSpeed: 7; Fly: 7; Overland Flight: 10; Swim: 7Action Points: 1TraitsPhase OneThis entry represents Vhauglohrl in the first of three consecutive phases. Her maximum hit points and action points are split between these phases, and when one phase ends, the next one immediately begins. During Phase One, Vhauglohrl is never considered bloodied.Draconic AlacrityAt the start of combat, the dragon makes two initiative checks, and takes a full turn on both initiative counts. Vhauglohrl takes a full set of actions on each of these turns, and her ability to take an immediate action refreshes on each initiative count.Draconic ResilienceThe Dragon is entitled to a saving throw, at the end of each of her turns, against any effect or condition that causes her to become Dazed, Dominated, or Stunned. She is entitled to this saving throw, even if the effect or condition does not normally allow a save. A successful save ends the effect or condition immediately.Standard Actions(Melee Basic) Bite (Standard; At-Will) * AcidReach 2; +11 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage, and ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).(Melee Basic) Claw (Standard; At-Will)Reach 2; +11 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage.(Area) Choking Darkness (Standard; At-Will) * Necrotic, PoisonArea Burst 2 within 10; +9 vs Reflex; 1d10+4 necrotic and poison damage. Miss: Half damage.(Close) Breath Weapon (Standard; Encounter) * AcidClose Blast 5; +9 vs Reflex; 3d6+4 acid damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 acid damage and a -4 penalty to AC (save ends both).Move Actions(Close) Wing Buffet (Move; Encounter)Close Burst 2; +9 vs Fortitude; 1d6+4 damage. Effect: Each target is pushed 1 square.Minor Actions(Ranged) Eye of Shadow (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will) * Gaze, PyschicRanged 10; +9 vs Will; the target is blind until the end of its next turn.(Melee) Tail Slap (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will)Reach 2; +9 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is knocked prone.Triggered ActionsGas Chamber (No Action; when Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer; special) * Acid, Poison, Worldbreaker, Zone
The dragon exhales a noxious cloud that spreads across the battlefield, obscuring vision and corrupting all it touches.
Vhauglohrl, Mother-In-The-Swamp disappears into the fog; remove her from the game when this ability is activated, and replace her with Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows, in a space no less than 6 squares away. This ability affects the entire battlefield, and lasts for 1d4 turns. While it is in effect, all player characters are slowed, and their vision is extremely limited; any creature standing more than 2 squares away has concealment, and any creature standing 5 or more squares away has total concealment. Special: Vhauglohrl and her allies are immune to the negative effects of this ability, and each player character is entitled to a special skill check to stave off a portion of its effects:
Endurance 15: Success grants the player immunity to the Gas Chamber’s slowing effect.Insight 15: Success grants the player a +2 bonus to all defenses while Gas Chamber is in effect.Nature 15: Success grants the player a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls, skill checks, and defenses while Gas Chamber is in effect.Perception 15: Success allows the player to pierce the fog, and see much further than normal – for the duration of the Gas Chamber ability, creatures don’t gain concealment from the player until they are 5 or more squares away, and they don’t gain total concealment until they are 10 squares away or more.Stealth 15: Success grants the player concealment from creatures standing 2 or more squares away, and total concealment from creatures 5 or more squares away.
Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-CrowsLarge Natural Magical Beast (Aquatic, Dragon, Worldbreaker)Level 4 Solo Skirmisher – XP 875Initiative: +11; see also Draconic AlacritySenses: Perception: +9; DarkvisionHP: 75; Bloodied: SpecialAC: 20; Fort: 18; Ref: 18; Will: 18Resist: 15 AcidSaving Throws: +5; see also Draconic ResilienceSpeed: 7; Fly: 7 (Clumsy); Overland Flight: 10; Swim: 7Action Points: 1TraitsPhase TwoThis entry represents Vhauglohrl in the second of three consecutive phases. Her maximum hit points and action points are split between these phases, and when one phase ends, the next one immediately begins. During Phase Two, Vhauglohrl is never considered bloodied.Draconic AlacrityAt the start of combat, the dragon makes two initiative checks, and takes a full turn on both initiative counts. Vhauglohrl takes a full set of actions on each of these turns, and her ability to take an immediate action refreshes on each initiative count.Draconic ResilienceThe Dragon is entitled to a saving throw, at the end of each of her turns, against any effect or condition that causes her to become Dazed, Dominated, or Stunned. She is entitled to this saving throw, even if the effect or condition does not normally allow a save. A successful save ends the effect or condition immediately.Arrogance UnchainedVhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows makes saving throws against immobilized, slowed, and restrained conditions at the start of her turns, as well as at the end of her turns.Standard Actions(Melee Basic) Bite (Standard; At-Will) * AcidReach 2; Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows shifts 2 squares before and after making the attack; +9 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage, and ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).(Melee Basic) Claw (Standard; At-Will)Reach 2; +7 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage.(Melee) Spring Attack (Standard; At-Will)Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows moves 7 squares and makes a Claw attack at any point during that movement. The dragon does not provoke opportunity attacks from its target, but she does provoke opportunity attacks from other creatures, when appropriate.(Close) Breath Weapon (Standard; Encounter) * AcidClose Blast 5; +7 vs Reflex; 3d6+4 acid damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 acid damage and a -4 penalty to AC (save ends both).Move ActionsMother’s Call (Move; Recharge 5, 6)Vhauglohrl summons her the Crow Eater Queensguard to her aid. Place 1d4+1 Crow Eater Goblins on the map at one or several pre-determined locations. A Crow Eater Goblin is a small-sized natural humanoid minion, worth 43 XP, with 18 Armour Class, 15 Fortitude, 16 Reflex, and 15 Will. All summoned minions act on Vhauglohrl’s second initiative count, have a speed of 6, and can make the following attack as a standard action: (Melee Basic) +9 vs AC; 5 damage.Minor Actions(Ranged) Eye of Shadow (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will) * Gaze, PyschicRanged 10; +7 vs Will; the target is blind until the end of its next turn.(Melee) Tail Slap (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will)Reach 2; +7 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is knocked prone.Triggered Actions(Close) Ear-Shattering Roar (No Action, when Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows is reduced to 0 or fewer HP; Special) * ThunderClose Burst 5; +7 vs Fortitude; 3d6+4 thunder damage. Effect: The target is pushed 2 squares and knocked prone. Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows shifts up to 7 squares. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. Remove Vhauglohrl, Queen-Of-Crows from the game, and replace her with Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-Clutch.
I’ve been following your storyline and I have to say that you’re game sounds like it would be a blast to play in! I really like how you’ve used the city and added to it. I can’t let you call your creations Goblin Lurker and Goblin Soldier though! How about Crow Eater Cutthroat and Crow Eater Talon or something like that?
A couple words of advice since I don’t remember how much D&D 4E you have run. With such a high damage minor on the soldier I would be wary of making it a recharge power. The reason I mention this is that its entirely dice dependent, ive had games where ive recharged powers every turn for 6 turns-making that power way more effective than intended, and games where it never recharged and was practically worthless. So in my games now I either relegate them to minor annoyance powers or bump their power up and turn them into an encounter power (possibly with a recharge condition).
My second comment is I would be leery of putting 3 phases on a low level solo. Especially at that level its perfectly likely that your group is going to completely explode through 1 phase (probably the first, maybe the second) without her getting to do practically anything in it. So if there were any powers/abilities you really wanted her to use I would consider dropping it to 2 phases and just use the coolest powers. Otherwise you could see a whole phase of neat abilities just get completely bypassed by 75 damage in one round. At higher levels it’s at least a little more difficult to do that to a solo in one round, barring optimizing.
Since you’re mixing AngryDMs solo and the Worldbreaker solo you may want to consider adding ability rolls to combat her attacks in the second phase (not against the worldbreaker environment, you took care of that already) since that’s essentially her Worldbreaker phase and that seems to be the standard for their solos. Maybe change the worldbreaker effect to last 1d4+1 rounds to make sure she gets a little use out of it and having it fade when she transitions again. Just my 2 cents, im very interested to see the results no matter what you decide to do, keep it up!
I didn’t really think you leave them with such terrible names but I thought I would offer something up in case you were having trouble coming up with something. I did know what was in your group but I was unsure of builds so that helps clarify things.
You certainly know you’re group better than I do, I know ive been surprised by how much damage low damage groups hitting with 2W encounter powers, action pointing, and smashing with dailies can do before though so I wanted to give you a heads up.
The blind is a good counter to anyone frankly but I would really caution against focusing it on her exclusively or she’s just going to get frustrated (ive also made this mistake, it may be smart for the monster but it sucks for the player). I would probably hit her with it once every other turn at most, barring times Vhauglohrl misses or Phaedra does a ton of damage-definite motivation to blind her at that point. Knocking Vhauglohrl prone will cause her to drop to the ground, taking appropriate fall damage which could be significant. Stunning her does the same unless she has hover, I don’t believe immobilizing her will have the same effect. As far as save ends versus until end of next turn-end of next turn is nicer right now. At low levels there arent a lot of ways to grant extra saves so bad rolls could keep someone blinded for a while. At later levels save ends becomes the nicer option as there are many ways to grant saves and theyll likely have saved against it before their turn even starts. So I guess it all depends on if youre trying to be nice or mean. I look forward to seeing how the fight works out.
Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-ClutchLarge Natural Magical Beast (Aquatic, Dragon, Worldbreaker)Level 4 Solo Brute – XP 875Initiative: +11; see also Draconic AlacrityMiasma (Acid) aura 3: Creatures that enter or start their turns in the aura take ongoing 5 acid damage and a -4 penalty to AC (save ends both).Senses: Perception: +8; DarkvisionHP: 75; Bloodied: SpecialAC: 18; Fort: 18; Ref: 18; Will: 18Resist: 15 AcidSaving Throws: +5; see also Draconic ResilienceSpeed: 7; Swim: 7Action Points: 0TraitsPhase ThreeThis entry represents Vhauglohrl in her third and final phase. When this phase has ended, Vhauglohrl has been defeated; assign XP accordingly. During Phase Three, Vhauglohrl is always considered bloodied.Draconic AlacrityAt the start of combat, the dragon makes two initiative checks, and takes a full turn on both initiative counts. Vhauglohrl takes a full set of actions on each of these turns, and her ability to take an immediate action refreshes on each initiative count.Draconic ResilienceThe Dragon is entitled to a saving throw, at the end of each of her turns, against any effect or condition that causes her to become Dazed, Dominated, or Stunned. She is entitled to this saving throw, even if the effect or condition does not normally allow a save. A successful save ends the effect or condition immediately.Overdrive (Free Action; At-Will)Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-Clutch deals an additional 2 damage on her attack, and takes an equal amount of damage, herself. Vhauglohrl cannot resist, reduce, or negate this damage in any way.Standard Actions(Melee Basic) Bite (Standard; At-Will) * AcidReach 2; +7 vs AC; 1d10+4 damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 acid damage (save ends).(Melee Basic) Claw (Standard; At-Will)Reach 2; +7 vs AC; 1d10+4 damage.(Close) Frightful Presence (Standard; Encounter) * FearClose Burst 5; targets enemies; +5 vs Will; the target is stunned until the end of the dragon’s next turn. Aftereffect: The target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls (save ends).Minor Actions(Close) Death Burst (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will) * NecroticClose Burst 5; +5 vs Fortitude; 4 necrotic damage, and Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-Clutch takes an equal amount of damage. Vhauglohrl cannot resist, reduce, or negate this damage to herself in any way.(Close) Elemental Vortex (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will)Close Burst 5; +5 vs Fortitude; Vhauglohrl, Last-Of-Her-Clutch pulls the target 2 squares.(Melee) Tail Slap (Minor; 1/Turn; At-Will)Reach 2; +7 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 damage, and the target is knocked prone.Triggered Actions(Melee) Caustic Blood (Immediate Reaction, when a melee attack hits the dragon; At-Will) *Acid+5 vs Reflex; 1d6+4 acid damage.
Ah babysitter trouble. We have the fortune (or misfortune I suppose if you dont get along) of having her mother in town so our babysitter is fairly reliable, and free. Well I hope you all have fun, I look forward to hearing how they fared.
Hey Ibaum, I'm glad I could help! Feel free to use anything you see in here, and be sure to let me know how it goes.Okay, so last night was really cool. I don't have time right now to go over the whole session, but it was awesome. The group had two fights before Vhauglohrl that softened them up pretty well, so when they got to the Queen-Of-Crows, they really had a challenge. At one point, Phaedra only had a single Healing Surge left, so she had to be really careful about her positioning. The fight was very difficult, but everyone agreed that it was difficult in a fun way, rather than difficult in a frustrating way, you know what I mean? Those big, multi-phased solo fights wouldn't be good for every solo, necessarily, but for Vhaulgohrl, it worked really well.Phases 1 and 2 were hard, and the group took a lot of damage. In phase 3, they were hurting about as much as they could be, but Vhaug was grounded, so they could finally get ahold of her properly. Virgil, Phaedra, and Akarrin all rolled amazingly high initiative (higher than either of Vhaug's), and, in an amazing display of outright savagery under fire, were able to burn her down from 75 hp to 0 before she even got to move in phase 3. Which was awesome and actually really good for them, because they wouldn't have lasted many more rounds.Anyway, I'll go over the whole thing later. Right now, I must have coffee!
Congratulations on 3,000+ views, guys. That's pretty great!So, we'll be playing again this weekend. I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but I'll keep everyone up-to-date on my progress. I think I've got two sessions left (this one, and then the next) before Akarrin and I switch places. I'm getting super-excited about that, too. We're getting together later this week to sort of talk a bit about his campaign (his idea, by the way). We both want to make sure that everything transitions over well, so I'll let him in on a few of the little secrets of the campaign world that I've been keeping, and he'll let me in on some of his plot, so I can help the transition from my end.It's going to be pretty cool.
Sounds like your players had a lot of fun with the dragon encounter, the first giant solo encounter of a campaign always has a lot of potential to propel the game forward and it certainly seems to have in this case. Your character sounds pretty interesting, a nice injection of history from a prior unknown area. Will you be continuing updates or will your transition to a PC kill that? Either way, thanks for keeping us updated, always interesting to see what happens in other people’s games.
Prince Mögr, Son of Brasch.In the north, beyond the furthest reaches of human civilization, lies Mjörgard; howling and frozen. It is a desolate and inhospitable land, called "home" by only one people - the Naurung. They had once been Men, the stories say, who laid with the giants in the Time-Beyond-Remembering. They are a hale and hearty people, half-again as large as men, and well-suited to the natural conditions of the north. Scholars speculate that the mingling of Giant and Mannish blood complicated their biology to a certain degree, as one in every ten Naurings are born sterile. Beyond even that, the Naurung are plagued by almost unsustainably low birth rates, and the torturous conditions of the north claim the weakest and youngest among them each year. Because of these issues, every birth is celebrated amongst the clans. Few civilizations can boast of communities with bonds as strong as the Naurung.They are a fierce and independent people, however.Mjörgard is a hard and frigid land, incapable of sustaining crop growth, so the Naurung are raiders by necessity. In the lands of the Reach, their clan banners are well-known and well-feared. Naurings rarely take more than their communities require, however, and almost never cut down those who stand aside from the conflict. In truth, most of the villages gave up resisting the attacks generations ago, and now simply pay tribute to the Naurung on every moon-turn.The Naurung pay tributes of their own, however. In the highest Mjörgardian peaks, amongst the tall stone spires of Rassal, the abandoned City of Bells, lives an old white wyrm called Boreandr, who commands both respect and admiration ... and demands sacrifices of wealth and blood. The Naurung are not an especially intelligent people (though many are cunning); most cannot read or write, so the vast majority of their traditions and history are passed down through the generations by song and story. Boreandr, like most great wyrms, measures his vast lifetime in centuries, and has warped the stories of the Naurung over the course of many long generations -- many now believe that he is the avatar of Talos, the god of storms, destruction and savagery, and so happily pay tribute in return for his favor. In return, Boreandr (and his consort, the wicked she-dragon called Shiver) watch over the Naurung, and bring their terrifying wrath upon any who would dare strike back at them.The Naurung are a nomadic people, with only one permanent settlement: Hollowhome. In the Time-Beyond-Remebering, scholars say that Hollowhome was a dwarven fortress-city, but the dwarves have long since fled; driven aback by the giants, most-like, through the deep roads their anscestors carved from stone and fire. Now it is home to the Naurung. The cavernous entrances to the city sprout up all around the base of Rassal, the fabled City of Bells that rises from the tallest and oldest peaks, and serves as Boreandr's roost and throne. The Naurung are forbidden to ascend the mountain, or step foot in Rassal, but when the wind howls (and it often howls), they can hear the massive, ancient bells ringing down in Hollowhome.Prince Mögr is a Nauring warrior, descended in an unbroken line from Ymirius, the first Thane of Hollowhome. His devotion to his people and his Gods is unquestioned, and his battle spirit is unquenchable. When tales from the south reached Mjörgard -tales of the invasion of Strasa- Mögr and his people were infuriated; amongst the Naurung, Kord is considered to be a southron depiction of Talos (opposite side of the same coin), first amongst the Nauring Gods, and Strasa is a holy city. To prove his devotion and his skill, Prince Mögr sent off on a sacred pilgrimage toward the Raining City, leaving his people and his family behind, in hopes of securing Talos' favor by helping its people rebuild.More to come.
In regards to the deities of Mjörgard, I've decided to use the Deities of Fury from Forgotten Realms: Talos (The Destroyer, the Storm Lord, God of Chaos, Storms, and Destruction); Auril (The Frostmaiden, Queen of Air and Darkness, Goddess of Winter); Malar (The Beastlord, the Black-Blooded Pard, God of Hunters, Skinchangers, and the Moon); and Umberlee (The Bitch Queen of the Depths, Goddess of the Sea).
I'll be honest, these are all evil deities, but the Naurung mostly worship them out of fear of retribution, rather than admiration. The Naurung are not an evil race, but they believe that the Gods are fearsome, jealous beings, and need to be placated by offerings of blood and wealth, or they'll turn their terrible wroth upon the world in spite. In their eyes, people who believe the Gods are just and benevolent are naieve.