(DM only) Important notes for Sessions 12, 13, & 14

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Hail and well met, valiant DMs!

Here are a few notes about the last few encounters, specifically with an eye to tweaking the difficulty to match your table.

Encounter 12:

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Beware the Gate of Minion Spawning.

Probably, you don't want to make closing the gate into the victory condition in this encounter. But the way it's written, plaguechanged maniacs keep appearing (4 at once, no less!) until the gate is closed. I recommend one of the following:

1) Close the gate or else: If you're going RAW, then the PCs have to close the gate to win the encounter. If you do this, make it VERY OBVIOUS to the PCs that they have to close the gate, and make it obvious HOW to close the gate. I also suggest making fewer minions spawn after the first couple rounds.

2) Intimidate the Plaguechanged: If the heroes wipe out every enemy on the board, then they successfully intimidate the remaining plaguechanged, who don't try to get through the gate (knowing they will instantly die).

Also, minion control is absolutely key here. Play the maniacs incredibly stupid. Have them trigger defender auras and provoke opportunity attacks.


Encounter 13:

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Exploit Seldra's Spellscar powers.

When I initially wrote this encounter, Seldra started things off by blasting all the PCs with her spellscar, exactly the way she's been blasting and warping innocent bystanders into plaguechanged monsters. Indeed, she means to make all the PCs into plaguechanged creatures. I'll include that as option 1 below, but there are other methods as well:

1) Seldra blasts all the PCs the instant the forcefield goes down (or when initiative is rolled or at some other dramatically appropriate point) with her spellscar: Close burst 20, enemies in burst, attack +8 vs. Fortitude, Hit: Ongoing 10 fire and necrotic damage and target is dazed (save ends both), Miss: ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage and target is slowed (save ends both). 

Note that the Spellscarred Harbinger or any other character with a spellscar is as -2 defenses against this attack.

2) If one of the PCs is spellscarred, you can have Seldra exercise control over that PC. Until Seldra is bloodied, once on her turn as a minor action, she can force a spellscarred PC to use an at-will power as a free action on a target of her choice. (If no PC is spellscarred or you just want to grab whoever you want, rule that she plaguewarps a PC slightly and forces them to make an attack.)

3) Seldra plaguewarps the surrounding onlookers into plaguechanged maniacs, who swarm the PCs. I suggest on her turn she can spend a minor action to spawn 2 plaguechanged maniacs from the crowd. (Obviously, PCs should get a chance to disperse the crowd before or during the battle, I suggest with hard Diplomacy or Intimidate checks.)

4) I don't usually recommend action denial sorts of powers, but you could hit your PCs with this:

Seldra gains the following power:

Spellplague Warp (Standard action, Recharge when no target is affected by this power)
Close Burst 10 (one enemy in burst)
Attack: +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: Target is warped into a plaguechanged monster (save ends). While under this effect, the target is dominated and may use at-will powers normally.

Only use this if your players are ok with it. Dominate, stun, etc., statuses that deny actions tend to make people bored/upset with you.

Finally, remember that anyone with a spellscar should be at -2 defenses against all of Seldra's attacks.


Encounter 14:

[spoiler]Make the Dragon TOUGHER.

This is the last encounter of the season, so this guy should not have a glass jaw. He was a real challenge in Session 2, but the PCs are probably a few levels higher and the players are probably used to him a little or at least better at D&D. So this is your opportunity to bring a few new things to the table. Use some of these tricks to make him tougher and more memorable as a final boss:

1) Augmented Breath Weapon: the dragon's BW inflicts cold AND fire damage.

2) Bloody spellfire damage: the dragon's bite and claw attacks all inflict an extra 5 cold and fire damage when it is bloodied.

3) Bloodied breath: The Dragon's breath weapon recharges when it is bloodied, like any other dragon's does. It's your tactical call whether he uses the breath immediately to hit a blast radius or he uses the blue fire burst to hit a burst of opponents around him. (He can't do both.)

4) Azure fire trail: When the dragon rampages, he leaves a trail of blue flame that lasts until the next time he rampages. These blue flames are just like the Heir's trail, and cause 5 fire damage once per round (either when entered or when you end your turn there) to a creature that enters the square.

5) Neverwinter Elemental Resistances: The dragon has resist 10 fire in addition to its normal cold resistance.[/quote]


Cheers
Bump for people running session 12 today!
Play the maniacs very stupid. Check. Honestly, that will be a relief. Am kind of tired working around Defender Auras and Glowering Threat or whatever it's called. Time to bring on the horde! =)
Play the maniacs very stupid. Check. Honestly, that will be a relief. Am kind of tired working around Defender Auras and Glowering Threat or whatever it's called. Time to bring on the horde! =)

I earnestly support this plan. The PCs should feel like they are facing a horde, and respawning 4 (or up it to 5-6, depending on party size and ability) minions each round gives you plenty of shoulder room to do that.

Cheers

Hahaha, I noticed that the Plaguechanged Hound in Encounter 1 of Session 12 seems to have an identity crisis. It seems to think it's a reptilian and has a drake's power, hahaha. The plaguechange has gotten to its mind! Just amused me is all...
Hi Erik, any update for Session 13 yet? Smile
Bump for session 13 notes!
Hail and well met, valiant DMs!

Here are a few notes about the last few encounters, specifically with an eye to tweaking the difficulty to match your table.


Encounter 13:

Show
Exploit Seldra's Spellscar powers.

When I initially wrote this encounter, Seldra started things off by blasting all the PCs with her spellscar, exactly the way she's been blasting and warping innocent bystanders into plaguechanged monsters. Indeed, she means to make all the PCs into plaguechanged creatures. I'll include that as option 1 below, but there are other methods as well:

1) Seldra blasts all the PCs the instant the forcefield goes down (or when initiative is rolled or at some other dramatically appropriate point) with her spellscar: Close burst 20, enemies in burst, attack +8 vs. Fortitude, Hit: Ongoing 10 fire and necrotic damage and target is dazed (save ends both), Miss: ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage and target is slowed (save ends both). 

Note that the Spellscarred Harbinger or any other character with a spellscar is as -2 defenses against this attack.

2) If one of the PCs is spellscarred, you can have Seldra exercise control over that PC. Until Seldra is bloodied, once on her turn as a minor action, she can force a spellscarred PC to use an at-will power as a free action on a target of her choice.

3) Seldra plaguewarps the surrounding onlookers into plaguechanged maniacs, who swarm the PCs. I suggest on her turn she can spend a minor action to spawn 2 plaguechanged maniacs from the crowd. (Obviously, PCs should get a chance to disperse the crowd before or during the battle, I suggest with hard Diplomacy or Intimidate checks.)

Finally, remember that anyone with a spellscar should be at -2 defenses against all of Seldra's attacks.


Cheers


Ooh. That's wicked! IMAGE(http://bestsmileys.com/evil/3.gif)
- Rico
I added this into the first post, but in case you don't want to read it all over, consider this power too. Granted, I don't usually recommend action denial sorts of powers, but it's your table.

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Seldra gains the following power:

Spellplague Warp (Standard action, Recharge when no target is affected by this power)
Close Burst 10 (one enemy in burst)
Attack: +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: Target is warped into a plaguechanged monster (save ends). While under this effect, the target is dominated and may use at-will powers normally.

Only use this if your players are ok with it. Dominate, stun, etc., statuses that deny actions tend to make people bored/upset with you.

Also, let her minor action plaguewarp apply to any PC you want--just rule that Seldra can do a small little warp on anyone at any time. Won't THAT be scary?


Cheers
I added this into the first post, but in case you don't want to read it all over, consider this power too. Granted, I don't usually recommend action denial sorts of powers, but it's your table.

Show
Seldra gains the following power:

Spellplague Warp (Standard action, Recharge when no target is affected by this power)
Close Burst 10 (one enemy in burst)
Attack: +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: Target is warped into a plaguechanged monster (save ends). While under this effect, the target is dominated and may use at-will powers normally.

Only use this if your players are ok with it. Dominate, stun, etc., statuses that deny actions tend to make people bored/upset with you.

Also, let her minor action plaguewarp apply to any PC you want--just rule that Seldra can do a small little warp on anyone at any time. Won't THAT be scary?


Cheers

Cool. That is kind of what I did when I ran this last week. I am running the dragon encounter this week. Could you send me your suggestions to teachamath@gmail.com please?
The suggestions for the dragon are all in my spoiler block above under "Encounter 14."

Cheers

Erik,


I'm a little confused. Can you clarify one thing on Session 13?


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Under Spellplague Warp you wrote, "Hit: Target is warped into a plaguechanged monster (save ends). While under this effect, the target is dominated and may use at-will powers normally."

What do you mean by normally? Do you mean the target can only use at-will powers? Or do you mean that Seldra can have the dominated character use an at-will power to attack a target of her choice, as per number 2 above?

 

- Rico
Might I just say that I LOVE the art on the main Wizards D&D site advertising Encounters this week? www.wizards.com/dnd


Erik,


I'm a little confused. Can you clarify one thing on Session 13?


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Under Spellplague Warp you wrote, "Hit: Target is warped into a plaguechanged monster (save ends). While under this effect, the target is dominated and may use at-will powers normally."

What do you mean by normally? Do you mean the target can only use at-will powers? Or do you mean that Seldra can have the dominated character use an at-will power to attack a target of her choice, as per number 2 above?

It's the second option. While dominated, a PC can't take actions of its own accord.

I added the verbage for "may use at-will powers normally," because a lot of people get confused about the dominated status. There's some misunderstanding about whether it allows at-will powers to be used (and yes, according to the latest rules updates, it does), but I wanted to make it absolutely clear that this particular power does.

Also, the power should have the Charm keyword.

Cheers

Might I just say that I LOVE the art on the main Wizards D&D site advertising Encounters this week? www.wizards.com/dnd




You mean this?

- Rico
Yes indeedy. I'm really looking forward to next week, where we have the final battle.

Cheers
I worked up something for Session 13 in my old copy of the Monster Builder:

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Here's Seldra with some of the suggested powers added in. I made the initial burst that she hits everyone with be something that spawns a bunch of
plaguechanged maniacs right off the bat. I think I may have the fire elementals move out of the shield if the PCs start attacking it, to act as a bit of a
distraction. I don't want to overwhelm them with both the maniacs and elementals (or maybe I do, I dunno. heh). Smile

Seldra, False Heir
I worked up something for Session 13 in my old copy of the Monster Builder:

Show


Here's Seldra with some of the suggested powers added in. I made the initial burst that she hits everyone with be something that spawns a bunch of
plaguechanged maniacs right off the bat. I think I may have the fire elementals move out of the shield if the PCs start attacking it, to act as a bit of a
distraction. I don't want to overwhelm them with both the maniacs and elementals (or maybe I do, I dunno. heh). Smile

Seldra, False Heir


Man, that is just awesome!
- Rico
Well done, SM.

A potential revision:

Since it's unlikely Seldra is going to kill a PC with that plaguechange burst, I would recommend that whole "killed by this power" be something more like "reduced to 0 or fewer hit points." Once the maniac is dropped, the PC can be revived normally, but healing effects have no effect on the PC while the maniac is up and fighting (on the plus side, while "reanimated" in this way, the PC does not have to make death saves).

Eh?

Cheers
I actually didn't have the PCs in mind for that little bit. I figured there would be plenty of bystanders within 20 squares of Seldra when the burst goes off (well, as many as the DM wants), so she could create a whole bunch of maniacs right away, which can swarm the PCs (as per one of your suggestions). I had it recharge when she's bloodied, just in case the DM feels that the PCs are having too easy a time of it. heh.

Still, there is the possibility of her dropping a PC to zero hit points with that power, so your revision is a good idea, and it would still cover dropping the bystanders.
I've updated that stat block for Seldra and added a new one for the Plaguechanged White Dragon (with some additions based on Erik's suggestions).

@ScottyMet: "I'm Erik Scott de Bie, and I approve these statblocks."


Cheers

Darn, missed the options. That would have indeed spiced up this week's encounter. We didn't have enough to run two tables, so I had 6 PCs (including the other table's DM), and this was an underwhelming encounter. The Fire Elementals do not do enough damage to be very threatening, and Seldra's damage was also poor, especially with 2 Warpriests. I'll definitely have to make sure I read up the stuff for next week's dragon.
Darn, missed the options. That would have indeed spiced up this week's encounter. We didn't have enough to run two tables, so I had 6 PCs (including the other table's DM), and this was an underwhelming encounter. The Fire Elementals do not do enough damage to be very threatening, and Seldra's damage was also poor, especially with 2 Warpriests. I'll definitely have to make sure I read up the stuff for next week's dragon.


I have to agree on the Fire Elementals. The fact that they only did ongoing damage made provoking opportunity attacks from them to be no problem if the player was already taking ongoing fire damage. Once my players figured that out, they just moved away from them to go attack Seldra. I think they needed an attack that did damage on a hit, not just ongoing damage. But the rest of the upgrades made this encounter awesome. One of our tables had a TPK.
- Rico
Sadly I did not catch the upgrades in this encounter first.

Multiple ongoing 5 fires don't stack

Tieflings care little about ongoing fire

The elementals were a joke.
One of our tables had a TPK.



That was me. It was kind of funny. The last 2 PCs were a ranger and mage that have hardly been hit all season long. They were at 7 and 8 hit points respectively, so they decided to split up and make me run after one while the other pummeled me (I had run out of elementals to "eat" at this point). Seldra was at 2 hit points and was currently standing in a fountain of flame. Unfortunately, our mage has a spellscar so what I did was force him to launch a magic missile at the ranger, brought her down, then Seldra charged the mage and finished him off. It was amazing and the people at my table even clapped because the suspense was so great and the upgrades definitely gave the encounter more flavor. They were really pulling out all the stops. Definitely my favorite encounter so far, but I agree that the elementals needed some kind of attack that did damage on a hit.
Yeah, the elementals were not my original design, but came out through development. They exist in this fight not as a threat, but mostly as a HP source for Seldra.

I altered it at my table so that if an elemental hit a creature that was already taking ongoing fire damage, it would deal 5 fire damage normally. (This including Seldra's burst power from SM's post.) Fire resistance would still stop this, but as a DM, you wouldn't want to have your elementals trying to attack people with resistance.

Cheers
Yeah, the elementals were not my original design, but came out through development. They exist in this fight not as a threat, but mostly as a HP source for Seldra.


At my table, I did run into the problem of them not doing any damage, because the PCs were already taking ongoing damage, and Seldra only got one of them as the hit point source. Even then, it was because I momentarily misread the power in the heat of the moment, and had her use that ability immediately upon being bloodied. She absorbed the highest-hit-point elemental and survived one hit longer than she would have without it. Having to wait her turn to do that, with the amount of damage my PCs were dishing out, was a real detriment to her.

I altered it at my table so that if an elemental hit a creature that was already taking ongoing fire damage, it would deal 5 fire damage normally. (This including Seldra's burst power from SM's post.) Fire resistance would still stop this, but as a DM, you wouldn't want to have your elementals trying to attack people with resistance.

Cheers


I wish I'd thought of that.

Still, the PCs did manage to figure out that she was using them as a hit point source, so they were set to start attacking them (thus splitting their damage), but the Thief and Paladin finished off Seldra before it mattered. I had the elementals vanish as soon as the crown rolled off her head.

Edit: Oh, and I really need to say "Thanks!" to Erik for adding some of the extra details and ideas in this thread, and for collaborating on the enhanced stat block for Seldra. The addition of the "0 hit point" detail he mentioned brought something into the encounter that I didn't think about at first, and that my players really ended up enjoying.

I'm really looking forward to next session, to see what the Dragon can do. If anyone has any more suggestions for that stat block, please post them!
Session 14 and the crown: RAW dominated targets still know allies/enemies. Run by intent? Otherwise the Mantle Aura won't work on the party only the dragon?

For a real challenge: wearer gets the dominate ability usuable on their party only?
@SM: You are welcome, sir!

@RRN: Sorry, I don't understand your post. Could you clarify your questions?

Cheers
Sorry, I tend to be cryptic and short when using my ipod keypad

If a character is wearing the crown and subject to the domination effect, does the neverwinter mantle aura affect her allies? The mantle only normally effects enemies. And when dominated a dominated character still knows the difference between ally and enemy?

My other suggestion for makung the last fight more interesting is if the character wearing the crown could manifest Seldra's dominate ability (but does not work on the dragon) but that's probably scaling the encounter difficulty too high.
Here's something I need to ask Erik.

I'm very likely going to have 10 players at my table for the last session.

It's not an ideal situation, but I don't think anyone else is going to step up to DM, and I don't want to turn anyone away from playing in the finale. We start our game at 8:30, so playing two sessions back to back won't work. I gave some brief consideration to standing in the middle of two tables, and run one game on each, switching back and forth as I cycle through the initiative orders... table 1 first, table 2 first, table 1 second, table 2 second, etc... kind of like a Simultaneous Exhibition for D&D... but I'm not sure how well that would work. 

Okay, justifications for the large group out of the way...

What would you do with the dragon to make it a challenge for 10 characters? A 4th level encounter for 10 characters would be 1750xp worth of monsters, which would equal an 8th level solo, but making the dragon 8th level would be overwhelming. One well-timed, well-placed blast of its breath weapon could destroy the entire group!

I could keep it 4th level and add more minions to the board... plaguechanged that were subconsiously summoned by Seldra in the previous encounter, and only showed up now. It seems to me that I should still give the dragon a little boost, though.

What do you think? Does anyone else have any suggestions? 

Maybe boost the dragon to 5th or 6th and add grunts and maniacs to round things out? Something else, maybe? 
I am expecting 7 at my table and have the same dilemma. One of my plans to buff the dragon without raising its level (too much) was to give its breath the ability to create a zone of Azure Fire -- much like what the Heir was creating (by accident) -- that lasts until the end of the encounter. The dragon, of course, is immune to this effect and it will allow him to alter the battlefield a little to compensate for the 7 on 1 battle.

Some minions or additional enemies would be good too but I am having a hard time justifying their presence so will just make the dragon as nasty as I can, possibly including another Plaguechanged ability like Scouring Lash; see NWCS p.95. I intend to force PCs into the zone of Azure Fire as often as I can to wear them down and most of them are 3rd level so they can take it.

Selda is alive, the party knocked her out after realizing that she was cursed and/or possessed, but severely wounded and completely (mentally and physically) exhausted. I need her for my continuing campaign in Neverwinter so she will not sacrifice her life nor aid much in the upcoming combat. She also has some plot immunity, for a while, since they let her live.

An ace-in-the-hole I have is one of my PCs decided the crown is pretty but would look better on his head. He is a low Will defense half-orc Fighter so this should be fun. The only way to remove the crown is to take him out or convince him, via Diplomacy or Intimidate, to remove it himself. Also, I will rule the Aura of Neverwinter and his Defender's Aura affects the PCs since, in his paranoia, he believes they are his enemy -- in addition to Selda (and the dragon). This should be an interesting twist because he will be gunning for Selda whom the party desperately wants to protect so they can learn about what is happening.
Well, my first suggestion is TRY TO GET A SECOND DM. Email folks and say "Hey, do you want to come run a dragon?" And see what happens.

Secondly, if you really can't get a second DM, here are some thoughts.

Potential solutions:

Use the next tier of dragon (level 9 solo brute): Upping the creature's level is a workable solution, but tough. PC attacks and defenses are capped by their level, and if you make the dragon too much more powerful, they aren't going to be able to hit it (or avoid its attacks) enough to make it a fair fight. Brutes have naturally low AC, so they're more within reach--you wouldn't want to do this with a soldier, for instance.

A common rule of thumb I go by is +1 level per extra PC, but a level 9 solo brute is going to have 21 AC, defenses in the low 20s, and another 450 hit points. Sure, the PCs might be able to hit it, but probably not enough before it murders all of them with attacks that are +5 to hit and +8 (brute) damage (basically, it will never miss their defenses). Still, it's a worthy consideration, and probably the EASIEST thing you could do.

Swarm them with minions: Adding the minions is a good idea, but you'd have to add like 20 minions for it to be anything like even, and odds are the PCs would just blow through them like nothing.

So things you SHOULD DO:

The main things you need to be concerned about with an extra-large party are lock-down effects, hit points (how long the creature lasts), the creature's damage output, and size.


1) Lock-down effects: Give the dragon the following power:


Triggered Action
Spellplague Purification
Trigger: A creature within 20 of the dragon ends its turn.
Effect (No action): The dragon makes a saving throw against an effect on it, even if the effect does not usually allow a save.


In effect, this means the dragon gets to save against any effect placed on it as soon as it gets placed there, and it can try to shrug off any effect once per turn. So if the wizard immobilizes it, it can save immediately; if it fails, it can try again on the next turns (say the rogue goes next, then the fighter, etc). It doesn't have to save against an effect just placed on it, but on any effect on it. I put it at the end of each creature's turn to give them a chance to have the benefit of their own powers. It works normally on marks, dazing effects, stuns, etc., etc. It does nothing to zones or conjurations.
(You might consider imposing a -5 penalty to this save to keep the dragon from basically auto-succeeding with its +5 solo save bonus.)


2) Hit Points: Do nothing to the creature's defenses--the PCs want to be able to hit it. Just up its hit points to make it last longer. You need to increase it by +20% per PC if you want it to last as long as it ordinarily would. I'd up its HP 100%.

You might say "but Erik, won't that drag out my combat?" Not really, since with that many PCs whaling on your dragon, you're probably going to see if go down WAY FASTER than you would have expected. I estimate 2-4 rounds.

Swarming the PCs with minions is also a good way to deflect some of their damage, but in that case, they're probably going to ignore the minions and focus on the big threat.


3) Damage output: Even a solo brute is going to have a hard time endangering that many PCs, and they can easily limit its attacks to one or two PCs (particularly defenders). Do nothing to its attacks, as that will unfairly balance it against whatever PC is unfortunate enough to get in its way (in my case, this was the bard, who I would have killed if not for Seldra). Instead, give the dragon this power:


Spellplague Aura
Aura 20 (cold, fire); any enemy that starts its turn in the aura takes 5 cold and fire damage (or 10 cold and fire damage when the dragon is bloodied).


(I would have recommended this for the white dragon on its own without extra PCs, actually.)

Swarming the PCs with minions might have this extra damage output as well, but you have to drop like 8-10 minions on the board each round.


4) Size: Having 10 PCs swarming a large creature gets a little ridiculous, so you probably want to up the dragon's size a little. Use a HUGE size mini, or if you really want to go for broke, use the GARGANTUAN (Icingdeath) if you can get your hands on it.


Cheers
@Red: I would suggest yes, have the character affected by the crown harm his/her own allies (ie with the aura), and the dragon would also be subject to the crown (though it has resistances). If you have multiple characters caught by the crown, have them fight each other for it.

I like the dominate idea, but I would suggest not using it unless you have 6+ PCs at the table.

Cheers
Thanks Erik! I like those SHOULD suggestions. I was already thinking of using this Dracolich miniature I have (I painted the one from the Castle Ravenloft game), so I'm glad that I was thinking along the right lines there. 

I also thought about throwing a bunch of Wretches and Grunts on the table, instead of Maniacs, to give them a bit more staying power.  

Hmm. An idea just came to me.

I played through an encounter with another group of mine, in a home campaign, where they were fighting an undead warrior and a bunch of wraiths. When the warrior became bloodied, it set off a close burst 2, and for each character it hit, it regained 10 hit points. When it was "killed", the wraiths would each set off a close burst 2, and whatever damage they did, the warrior would immediately regain that number of hit points, as long as it was included in the radius of the bursts. If it wasn't included in a specific wraith's burst, the wraith would "store" those hit points, and the warrior could move up adjacent to that wraith and absorb the hit points it "stored" as a minor action. It was mainly just an interesting way to make the warrior into an Elite, without actually making it an Elite.

I wonder if a version of that could be used here, instead of increasing the number of hit points it has.

Perhaps Blue Fire Burst could do that. When it is bloodied, that gets set off, and either it regains 10 hit points for each PC hit by the attack, or it regains a number of hit points equal to the total damage it does to those hit by it (I'm not sure which yet).

In addition, when it does Instinctive Rage, and leaves behind the  trail of blue flames, those blue flames manifest into minion fire elementals. When the dragon "dies", those blue flames all explode in a burst... maybe a burst 1 each, and the dragon regains 10 hit points for each target hit by them (if a PC is hit by more than one, each hit counts towards giving the dragon back more hit points). 

Also, this would allow the dragon to potentially become bloodied twice, so it could end up using both Blue Fire Burst AND Bloodied Breath.  
I like the idea of it regaining hit points with its burst, and it could work well though I would be worried about getting into a loop where it's bloodied, it heals from burst, not bloodied anymore, it's bloodied, it heals from burst, not bloodied anymore, ad nauseum. Then again, doesn't the power say it recharges when FIRST bloodied? That would eliminate the endless loop.
You are correct, Sior. It only auto-recharges and breathes when FIRST bloodied. If it becomes bloodied again, it doesn't do it.

You COULD however specify that if it has the breath weapon recharged anyway, then it does the breath weapon in response to being bloodied. It just doesn't auto-recharge except on the first instance.

I want to say that the high hit points I suggested were to eliminate the record keeping of healing the monster. They have the same effect (the monster lasts longer) but there's less for the DM to do.

Cheers
I've updated that stat block for Seldra and added a new one for the Plaguechanged White Dragon (with some additions based on Erik's suggestions).
 


ScottyMet, I just noticed that on the Dragon's triggered action for tail slap, you didn't include the trigger. I wrote it in on my copy, so it's OK. But I thought you might wish to know.
- Rico
I'm curious about input from other DMs and Erik about my dwarves and their situation and how to run S14.

At the end of last week, they were split. Three were attempting to kill Seldra, two were attempting to protect her, and one simply walked over and put the crown on his head. I know the book says just take a poll and majority wins but to me that's incredibly bland and kills all the accompanying roleplaying. And the dwarves said they would have none of it - either side.

I'm planning on letting them know (they had a lot of arguing in character before we ended for the night) that they have just enough time for a short rest. But they may very likely continue to argue and attempt to fight / defend through the entire five minutes which would leave them without encounters and second winds for the final fight.

My question for all of you is how would you deal with it? Similar to my way? Force them to rest? Some other method?
The passage you're referring to is meant to suggest that when you have a new party composed of people who played previous encounters differently, then you should figure out what the majority of people did, and say that's what happened in your campaign. I just added it to head off the "but not all my players accepted Neverember's quest" or "but some of my players killed Charl and the others didn't!" It's not intended to retcon the actions of a cohesive group.

Here's a for instance. Going into session 14, you have five players from three different tables. Two of those players were at a table where Seldra died. Two were at a table where Seldra lived and decided to help them. One was at a table where Seldra lived but the PCs wanted nothing to do with her help. In this case, you look at how many PCs let Seldra live (the majority, 3 of 5), then how many of those PCs accepted her help (the majority, 2 of 3). Hence, you start the session with Seldra being alive and choosing to help. Logically, the person who didn't want her help doesn't trust her, and the people who killed her might try to kill her during the battle.

This is the sort of situation where DM discretion has to rule the day. I just proposed my rule in order to give you a framework to go from.

In your case, it sounds like everyone was there for a given event (dwarf brawl, with some wanting to kill Seldra and some wanting to protect her). Why not let it happen exactly the way it did? Start the encounter off with three dwarves fighting two others, and the sixth dwarf claiming the crown. Or have the dragon rise up, put the brawl on hold (because the dwarves realize that if they don't work together, the dragon will kill all of them), and resolve the interparty conflict AFTER the big bad dragon.

If they really don't want to rest or just prefer to keep fighting, don't force them to stop. But do pause the game, point out that the dragon is stirring and will attack, and give the players the option to take a short rest. If they don't, then just jump into the fight, with the PCs having exactly what they had at the end of last session.

Cheers
VileSin: Have you considered giving half of a short rest? Like, the dwarves can spend one healing surge and recover either an encounter power *or* their second wind, depending on how much physical brawling they get into during the short rest? If two of the dwarves tussle over the crown, then those two only get to spend a healing surge during their short rest. If one of the dwarves stands by and makes witty comments but doesn't actually *do* anything, then they get the full "short rest" benefit.

5 minutes is a LONG time in combat for D&D. There is no limit to how much bickering one can do during a "short rest."

In any case, I would certainly not allow them to cycle through two sets of encounter-based surges (you know, the whole "oh, the leader triggers two healing surges, then two more..." the leader can only trigger one set of surges during this short rest, and that's only if he isn't brawling with the others at the time).