Is this monster too much?

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Soon, my players will go up against the heroic-campaign BBEG. When they get to him, they will already have fought 3-5 battles (depending on their previous choices). The party is level 10, and consists of: 

  • A human sorcerer (ranged)

  • An elven fighter with a greatspear (melee)

  • A tiefling blaster wizard (ranged, focus on fire spells)

  • A warforged warden/runepriest (melee)

  • A human warlord/cleric (melee)

The players are all casually optimized with the necessary accuracy feats etc., but no cheesy power combo's. My question is: is this boss, a level 12 solo demon, too nasty? While they're fighting him, the castle they're in falls apart, with something nasty happening at the start of every round.

(I apologize for the hideous lay-out, copying from my text document didn't go as smoothly as I hoped) 


Nissh'ri, Large elemental humanoid (demon) 
Level 12 Solo Brute

Initiative +11        Senses Perception +9; darkvision
HP 480; Bloodied 240
AC 24; Fortitude 26, Reflex 24, Will 22
Resist 10 variable (2/encounter)
Speed 6, Teleport 3
Action points: 2


Action Recovery
Whenever Nissh'ri ends his turn, any dazing, stunning, or dominating effect on him ends.

Threatening Reach
Nissh'ri can make opportunity attacks against enemies within 2 squares of him.

Standard Actions

 Huge Longspear (Weapon)  At-Will
Attack: Melee 3 (one or two creatures); +17 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 + 10 damage.

 Demonfang Strike  At-Will
Requirement: Nissh'ri must be bloodied.
Effect: Nissh'ri uses huge longspear twice.

 Goring Charge At-Will
Effect: Nissh'ri charges and makes the following attack in place of a melee basic attack.
Attack: Melee 3 (one creature); +17 vs. AC
Hit: 3d10 + 9 damage, and the target falls prone.

 Blood Cry (Fear, Thunder)  Encounter (see also Bloodied Cry)
Attack: Close blast 3 (enemies in the blast); +15 vs. Will
Hit: 3d6 + 8 thunder damage, and Nissh'ri pushes the target 2 squares.

Minor Actions

 Tail Sweep  At-Will (1/round)

Attack: Melee 3 (one creature); +15 vs. Reflex
Hit: The target falls prone.

Triggered Actions

Teleport to Safety At-Will
Trigger: Nissh'ri would enter hindering terrain due to forced movement.
Effect (Free Action): Nissh'ri teleports up to 3 squares. Any remaining forced movement is negated.

Spear Push  At-Will
Trigger: An attack hits Nissh'ri.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Melee 2 (one or two creatures); +17 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6+12 damage, and Nissh'ri pushes the target up to 2 squares.

Bloodied Cry Encounter
Trigger: Nissh'ri is first bloodied.
Effect (Free Action): Blood Cry recharges, and Nissh'ri uses it.

Skills Athletics +16, Endurance +18
Str 21 (+10)                Dex 21 (+10)                Wis 16 (+8)
Con 24 (+12)                Int 8 (+4)                Cha 13 (+6)

Seems like a nice demon, can't comment on its power though, as I am new to 4th  
Afer 3-5 encounters it will be dicey if your party makes it out of that fight in one piece.  You might consider adding some sort of healing spring or magic to regenerate 2 healing surges and a daily before they go up against him if the party has hd more than 3 encounters.
"When the winds of change blow, some people build shelters while others build windmills." I now have this amazingly persistant mental image of a tiger smoking a cigar. It's awesome. GMT -4
I agree with Snipertin.  After three battles (even normal ones), that demon could be tough.  I mean, just for three of your party members to get to him, they're going to need to take on OA each, threatening reach essentially gives an extra attack against each melee character (especially if the monster is intelligent and keeps backing up).

Say that the defender loses, oh, 2 surges per fight before coming up to your solo.  At three fights, he's down 6.  At five fights, he's down 10 surges, which could possibly mean that he's completely OUT of surges.

I would recommend a spring or something that allows players to re-charge one daily and maybe two surges, and maybe a scroll of that ritual that allows transference of healing surges from one character to another.

Personally, the way I play it, if you reach two milestones in a day, you get one HS and one Daily power back (item or otherwise) 
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
  TBH, I'd suggest tagging 1/round onto Teleport to Safety and Spear Push*, and cut it down to elite status - 240 HP and 1 AP; then add a couple of supporting standard creatures and/or sets of minions to the fight.

  After 3-5 encounters you don't want to throw a particularly difficult encounter at them, especially if the dice have been unfriendly during those earlier ones. A level + 1 encounter (3000 XP, of which a level 12 elite constitutes 1400 worth) is enough.

  * Another thought: Threatening reach is also too much. Why not emphasize the chaos aspect of demons by putting Threatening Reach, Teleport to Safety, and Spear Push onto a start-of-turn roll? At the start of his turn, roll a d6 to see which of those three abilities he has until the start of his next turn. (1-2: he has threatening reach until SONT; 3-4: he has Teleport to Safety until SONT; 5-6: he has Spear Push until SONT.)
Thanks for the advice so far! 

  • About Threatening Reach: only two party members are actually hindered by this (the warden/runepriest and the warlord/cleric) because the fighter has reach too (fights with a greatspear) and the wizard and sorcerer attack from a distance. Additionally, if the party manages to deny Nissh'ri opportunity attacks (daze, stun, dominate, Winged Horde), Threatening Reach won't even come into play. So I think it's fair game here. One option I considered was only giving him Threatening Reach while he's bloodied. Any thoughts? 

  • Teleport to Safety has been changed to an Immediate Interrupt. This way, Nissh'ri has to choose between Spear Push and Teleport to Safety each round because they're both immediate actions. It's a push-happy party and there's gonna be some hindering terrain, so I wanted to give him an out to that. 
    I've also added to the line "During his next turn, Nissh'ri loses his Move Action" to make this power a little more fair. 

  • About party resources: I already have a mechanic in place to power up the players before the bossfight, so I may restore some of their healing surges and powers depending on how they're doing. 

In the end, I'm not trying to kill them here, but they also shouldn't take this guy down without a good fight. 
Soon, my players will go up against the heroic-campaign BBEG. When they get to him, they will already have fought 3-5 battles (depending on their previous choices). The party is level 10, and consists of:

I think he would be a bit overpowered for the party to face after they are tired out. Being 2 levels over the party, he would probably be a major challenge even if the party was fresh, if they have already used up daily powers it could be unwinable. It is also likely to depend on how good your party is at healing, since they are going to take a lot of damage here. Generally over party level brutes tend to be more dangerous then you would expect and under party level brutes less effective. This is beacuse a brute with an attack roll high enough to hit reliable can do massive damage quickly, while an under party level brute is likely to have little chance of hitting at all.

The combination of Threatening reach and Spear Push/telemport might be a bit much. Beacuse Spear Push is a reaction to any hit he is likely to push them back every turn, forcing them to take another OA to get back into melee. And even if he doesn't, he can just teleport away and still force them to risk an OA anyway.

Unless there is some terribly hindering terrain that the demon needs to avoid, Teleport to Safety will always loss to Spear Push. He can always teleport out of simply awkward location after all.

Just remember that a solo brute could actually end up being a pretty boring fight.  Its nice that he has the teleporting power but they still could end up just locking him down, and turning it into a slow drawn out smack down against his high hp.  How many of their big daily powers do they have left?  I've found that even if they have fought a decent ammount of fights, if they still have 1 or 2 it could help them turn the fight their way pretty fast.

It may be a good idea to support him with some sort of skill challange thats spawning minions or something, like small lvl 6 deamons that crawl out of the cracks in the collapsing building and they need to make arcana or athletics checks to block off the path they are getting through, make it a skill challange.

Just remember that solo creatures always need backup in some form, and if you think the fights going to be too too hard let them have some alternate way of beating the support characters.  We fought a dragon a few weeks back, that was 4 levels higher than us and we had used up the partys total of daily powers.  We ended up trashing it after a good round of burning our 2 encounter powers on action points.
All solo monsters need some kind of support to prevnet the fight becoming a big grind to take down their hp.
If you're not trying to kill them, then take killing them off the table, at least in your own mind.

Give the brute something other to accomplish than just beating on them. Give him a spot on the map to reach, an NPC to kill or capture, an item to aquire or destroy, information to learn, or anything followed by his attempt to escape from the scene. If you do that, it doesn't matter how hard the monster is, because its goal is not to kill the PCs. If it does happen to take one of them out with Spear Push, great, but it mainly means its not going to be as easy for them to hinder him. It could focus on taking them out, but he might risk his mission if he tarries or if the PCs get in some lucky hits. Better to get in and out as quickly as possible.

And if the enemy is too powerful and they can't stop him, the game goes on. The heroes have suffered a set back, the enemy has gained an advantage, but it's not like you're all rolling up new characters.

On a technical note, it's not clear what sort of action Blood Cry is.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Thanks again for the replies everyone. 

Had the fight last night, and things went fine. It helped that the players were able to roleplay themselves through one of the earlier combat encounters (and utterly destroyed another one with Visions of Avarice), so each had at least one daily power and a couple of surges left. 

Overall, this was a fine boss. He got "back-up" from a collapsing castle that kept the players on their toes, so no one was really safe during the fight. Threatening Reach worked as expected, but the fighter mark and a -4 attack debuff from the wizard kept the demon from hitting too hard and often. Spear Push was also a nice power, not overpowered at all. 

In the end, the debuffs and a nasty blinding attack prevented me from taking down the fighter and warden/runepriest, so the wizard and sorcerer stayed safe in the back line. 

The fight lasted 6 rounds, but only because the players had to extract themselves from a collapsed ceiling during the fourth round. Effectively, the fight was over during round 4. 

I could see this demon being a real pain in the ass for parties with a lot of melee characters without reach, and parties without a controller (although every solo will pose more of a problem to those parties). Some back-up in the form of a skill challenge or minions would have made the fight a real blast, but it was already 1 AM on a Monday night when the fight started, so I kinda wanted it to not last too long. 
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