We need to talk about the Slayer

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zedturtle
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by zedturtle » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:06 pm

Thanks for that very detailed breakdown on the fight! I think you were a little generous in allowing Dwarves Resilience to be effective against a Paralyse saving throw but its still very interesting to see how dangerous this fully armed and armoured Dwarf Slayer is.
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

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Wanton
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Wanton » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:28 pm

I have to concede your argument is very compelling,very sad.

One question, if the spider had been able to cast Terrorize as a bonus action (which is what I was considering) would this have made a difference. the fact that a CR9 only attacks once per round is a big drawback it seems.

Michebugio
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Michebugio » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:38 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:25 pm
I still see a possible problem with Slayer in AiME (not enough diferent damage type mind-affecting effects), but it strikes me that Tauler, as a monster with CR 9, do not have multiattack as one of his actions.
Wanton wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:28 pm
One question, if the spider had been able to cast Terrorize as a bonus action (which is what I was considering) would this have made a difference. the fact that a CR9 only attacks once per round is a big drawback it seems.
Using the DMG guidelines, I tried to "reverse-engineer" Tauler's statistics and I can confirm that it's a CR 9 monster, at least against a party without any magic weapon. I see no design flaw in the monster: it's a very dangerous adversary. Terrorise as a bonus action would increase the CR at least by 1 point, making him a really fearsome opponent if the party has no reliable defense against the frightened condition.

The real problem here is the Slayer. Substituting him with a Dwarf Warrior of the same level and similar statistics, I think we would have observed at least 2 characters down and at risk of death, instead. I realize the fact that Dwarf Slayers are the perfect "spider-killers", thanks to their resistances, but come on - a level 5 character seriously injuring a CR 9 monster almost all alone?

zedturtle wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:06 pm
Thanks for that very detailed breakdown on the fight! I think you were a little generous in allowing Dwarves Resilience to be effective against a Paralyse saving throw but its still very interesting to see how dangerous this fully armed and armoured Dwarf Slayer is.
I had some fun writing it, I admit ;) but I didn't realize that Tauler's "poison" may not be counted as poison in allowing the application of Dwarven Resilience. In retrospect, I would probably still allow him to apply the bonus, but I would have stripped him of the physical resistance: a stomp from an elephant-sized hunter spider should be quite difficult to soak, after all...

Also, Reckless Attack is a huge advantage against big monsters, since they would probably hit the character anyway 90% of the times thanks to their high proficiency bonus and/or Strength, and a Dwarf-wrought hauberk also removes the fear of getting critically hit.

On the other hand, not using it means that the monster still has to beat AC 20 with a single attack with a +9 bonus, so it will essentially miss 50% of the times. Missing with a 26-damage wallop, wasting a whole round of attacks, is huge: I would probably have splitted Tauler's attacks into many smaller stomps (which makes sense, since he has 8 legs!), ensuring that at least some wouldn't miss.

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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:37 pm

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Round 1: the players decide that while the Slayer and the Wanderer distract Tauler, the Scholar brings the paralyzed Treasure Hunter to safety. The Wanderer charges the monster but but only deals 8 damage (attacks twice, misses once), reduced to 4. The Dwarf Slayer enters rage and wants to make a “shield charge”, so I rule that only for this round he can make an attack with his tower shield (1d6, light) as a bonus action. He uses Reckless Attack to roll with advantage and attacks twice with his axe (+7 to hit) and once with the shield (+6 to hit): one crit with the axe, and two normal hits! Total damage dealt: 40-something (very good damage rolls), reduced to 20 by Tauler’s resistance.
Tauler must choose between using its Beak, its Stomp or Terrorise. Since the Slayer gives him advantage, Tauler counterattacks the Dwarf with its beak, hitting him and dealing 12 damage reduced to 6 by the Dwarf’s rage. The Dwarf rolls against poison’s DC 16 (+7, with advantage), and easily succeeds. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 24 (20 by the Slayer, 4 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 6.
I feel like I must be missing something here. In this context, what does 'light' mean in reference to the Dwarf Slayer and his tower shield (1d6, light)? Isn't the tower shield essentially the same thing as a great shield which weighs around 35 lbs.? I am not finding rules in AiMe (Player's Guide) for 'shield charge".
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Anarfin
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:01 pm

I think Michebugio allowed this bonus action (I think light was added as a feature allowing the off-hand attack but it could be treated as bonus action from Warrior's Protection specialisation without adding light property to shield) as a "one time fluff feature" in a moment of confrontation with powerfull foe, not realising in that moment that Dwarf won't be needing that for whooping Tauler's arse... ;) Not that this d6+3 would make a difference in the final outcome anyway :mrgreen:

Btw, that's strange, that Warrior's feature Protection inflicts d6 (+STR dmg) and the damage from Men of The Lake Cultural virtue varies from d4 (shield) to d8 (tower shield) and they are excluding each other in some way.
But that's a different story.

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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:12 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:01 pm
I think Michebugio allowed this bonus action (I think light was added as a feature allowing the off-hand attack but it could be treated as bonus action from Warrior's Protection specialisation without adding light property to shield) as a "one time fluff feature" in a moment of confrontation with powerfull foe, not realising in that moment that Dwarf won't be needing that for whooping Tauler's arse... ;) Not that this d6+3 would make a difference in the final outcome anyway :mrgreen:

Btw, that's strange, that Warrior's feature Protection inflicts d6 (+STR dmg) and the damage from Men of The Lake Cultural virtue varies from d4 (shield) to d8 (tower shield) and they are excluding each other in some way.
But that's a different story.
That's okay, I'm not sure that a 'shield charge' should have been allowed with a Tower Shield as it seemingly cannot be used for a shield bash. However, this write-up is for D&D 3.5e and might not apply here:
This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding. You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else.

When employing a tower shield in combat, you take a –2 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield’s encumbrance.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Anarfin
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:27 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:12 pm
That's okay, I don't think that a 'shield charge' should have been allowed with a Tower Shield as it seemingly cannot be used for a shield bash.
This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding. You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else.

When employing a tower shield in combat, you take a –2 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield’s encumbrance.
Ok, sorry, my mistake, that needs some clarification :)

In AiME there is no Tower Shield, there is Great shield. It weights 35 lbs, it gives +4 AC bonus and Disadvantage on Stealth checks, requires STR 13 and do not have any restrictions on shield bashing.

Huge and round or barrel-shaped these shields are carried in battle by the sturdiest of warriors, and are considered too cumbersome and unwieldy by many. Great shields can only be used by Size Medium or larger warriors.

BTW, in core D&D 5 ed rules there is no tower shield (you're quoting 3.5 ed rules).

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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:35 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:27 pm
Ok, sorry, my mistake, that needs some clarification :)

In AiME there is no Tower Shield, there is Great shield. It weights 35 lbs, it gives +4 AC bonus and Disadvantage on Stealth checks and do not have any restrictions on shield bashing.

BTW, in core D&D 5 ed rules there is no tower shield (you're quoting 3.5 ed rules).
Yes, I caught my error and edited my post between the time you read it and when you posted your reply. :)

As you noted, the damage done by a Great Shield is 1d8, not 1d6. I thought, perhaps, that the Tower Shield is introduced in something that was released after the AiMe Player's Guide. I guess not, though it might be in use in Gondor (and might have even been developed in Númenor). We might yet see the Tower Shield in some future release, though I won't hold my breath. :lol:
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

BookBarbarian
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am

Alright, I don’t recall it perfectly but I’ll try to describe it as faithfully as possible.
Premise: the Dwarf Slayer is wielding a self-crafted dwarf-forged axe (+1 to hit and damage rolls) and a dwarf-wrought hauberk (negates extra critical damage), but the axe doesn’t count as “magical” so Tauler is resistant to every damage he deals. The Fellowship had 3 combat encounters after their previous long rest, and the Dwarf Slayer had one rage left.
There are no Tower Shields in AiME so I assume you mean Great Shields? And by rage I assume you mean Battle-Fury?
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Before initiative: the Treasure Hunter enters alone the Millfort, while the other Companions (a Scholar, a Wanderer and the Dwarf Slayer) wait at some distance; he retrieves the Roadwarden’s staff, but gets ambushed by Tauler. Tauler hits him with its beak during the surprise round and paralyses him.

Round 1: the players decide that while the Slayer and the Wanderer distract Tauler, the Scholar brings the paralyzed Treasure Hunter to safety. The Wanderer charges the monster but but only deals 8 damage (attacks twice, misses once), reduced to 4. The Dwarf Slayer enters rage and wants to make a “shield charge”, so I rule that only for this round he can make an attack with his tower shield (1d6, light) as a bonus action. He uses Reckless Attack to roll with advantage and attacks twice with his axe (+7 to hit) and once with the shield (+6 to hit): one crit with the axe, and two normal hits! Total damage dealt: 40-something (very good damage rolls), reduced to 20 by Tauler’s resistance.
Entering a Battle-Fury takes a Bonus Action ans since each Character can only have one bonus action a turn the Slayer should not have gotten an additional attack. So even if he could have attacked with his shield as a bonus action (which is something only Level 3+ Warrior Weaponmasters with the Protection Fighting style, and Men of the Lake characters with the appropriate Cultural Virtue can do) he wouldn't be able to do it in the same turn as entering a Fury.

You're free to rule however you want, but I find messing with the Action Economy, can have very undesirable consequences. Also I don't like giving things that are unique to a certain Class, Subclass, or Virtue away for free, but again you can rule as you wish.
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Tauler must choose between using its Beak, its Stomp or Terrorise. Since the Slayer gives him advantage, Tauler counterattacks the Dwarf with its beak, hitting him and dealing 12 damage reduced to 6 by the Dwarf’s rage. The Dwarf rolls against poison’s DC 16 (+7, with advantage), and easily succeeds. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 24 (20 by the Slayer, 4 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 6.
Terrorize might have been the better choice here since if you can keep the Slayer from attacking or taking damage, they will drop out of Battle-Fury, reducing their damage, and getting rid of their resistance.

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Round 2: The Scholar drags the incapacitated Treasure Hunter as far from the fight as he can. The Wanderer attacks twice, misses once, another 9 damage reduced to 4 by Tauler. The Dwarf Slayer once again attacks using Reckless Attack, easily hits twice (he has +7 to hit Tauler’s AC 17, rolls with advantage), deals 20-something damage reduced to 10. Tauler counterattacks the Dwarf using its Stomp, rolls with advantage: a critical hit! But the dwarf-wrought hauberk negates the extra damage, so the Dwarf Slayer “only” gets hit for 26 damage, reduced to 13. The Dwarf rolls a Strength saving throw DC 16 to avoid getting Prone, and easily passes (+6 bonus, rolls with advantage thanks to the rage). Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 38 (30 by the Slayer, 8 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 19.
That's good armor to have, certainly.
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Round 3: The Scholar checks the Treasure Hunter conditions: he can’t treat him right now, but at least he’s not in danger, so he decides to join the fight in the next round. The Wanderer attacks twice, misses twice! Things are getting rough for the players. The Dwarf Slayer, a bit scared by Tauler’s critical in the previous round, doesn’t use Reckless Attack this round, so he attacks twice and misses once. Still, he deals 12 damage, reduced to 6. Tauler is annoyed by these puny creatures, so he uses Terrorise: the Wanderer fails the saving throw, the Scholar succeeds and the Dwarf Slayer uses his Inspiration to succeed as well. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 44 (36 by the Slayer, 8 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 19.
A wise use of Inspiration.

Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Round 4: The Scholar shoots an arrow to Tauler and misses. The Wanderer is frightened, so he can’t attack. The Dwarf Slayer, determined to turn the tides, once again uses Reckless Attack and hits twice: one is another critical hit! He deals a total of about 30 damage, reduced to 15. Tauler counterattacks with its Beak, hits the Dwarf and deals 6 damage (12, resisted). Once again, the Dwarf easily passes the poison saving throw. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 59 (51 by the Slayer, 8 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 25.

Round 5: The Scholar shoots another arrow to Tauler and misses again. The Wanderer recovers from fear and attacks, hitting once: another 9 damage, reduced to 4. The Dwarf Slayer keeps using Reckless Attack, easily hits twice (he only needs a 10 rolling with advantage),
Do you mean a Natural 10 since +7 to hit makes it enough to hit AC 17?
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
deals 20-something damage, reduced to 10. Tauler uses Stomp, hits the Dwarf and deals 13 damage (26, halved by rage’s resistance). The Dwarf passes the Strength saving throw to avoid getting Prone, rolling with advantage. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 73 (61 by the Slayer, 12 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 38.

Round 6: The Scholar, feeling a bit useless in this combat, proposes to heal the Slayer, but the Slayer feels confident and tells him to save his healing abilities for others. So the Scholar shoots an arrow… and misses. The Wanderer attacks twice, hits once, rolls very low damage (6 or 7, reduced to 3). The Dwarf Slayer attacks normally, hits once, deals 10 damage reduced to 5. At this point, Tauler is below 60 hit points, so he should run! I decide, however, that he keeps attacking: everybody is fine except the Treasure Hunter and the Slayer, so I want to scare them off. Tauler uses its Beak but misses (+9 to hit vs. AC 21), but since I roll secretly, I decide that he hits anyway. 12 damage reduced to 6, the Dwarf once again passes the poison saving throw (damn Dwarves!). Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 81 (66 by the Slayer, 15 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 44.

Round 7: The Scholar shoots another arrow and hits… rolling 4 damage, reduced to 2. The Wanderer decides to do something very brave or very foolish: he wants to climb up one of Tauler’s legs, and try to stab the monster’s abdomen. He rolls Athletics using Inspiration and succeeds, but he receive an opportunity attack from Tauler’s Stomp: hit, 26 damage (ouch!). But at least he passes the Strength saving throw, and I rule that in the next turn he will roll with advantage. The Dwarf Slayer presses the offensive and attacks using Reckless Attack, hits twice, for a total of another 20-something damage, reduced to 10. Tauler counterattacks using Stomp, hits for the usual 13 damage (halved from 26). Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 93 (76 by the Slayer, 17 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 57.

Round 8: The Slayer yells to the others to start running for their lives: he wants to make a last stand against the monster. The Scholar starts running, and the Wanderer attempts his dangerous maneuver: he rolls poorly, even with advantage, and hits only once for a total of 8 damage reduced to 4. The Slayer attacks twice without using Reckless Attack: he hits twice, and rolls well with the damage dices. He deals about 26 damage, reduced to 13 by Tauler. Tauler counterattacks with the Stomp and misses again: I decide not to fake this one, since Tauler hit every round so far and the Dwarf Slayer had to be awarded for not using Reckless Attack at least once. Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 110 (89 by the Slayer, 21 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 57.

Round 9: The Wanderer jumps off Tauler and starts running. One round before the rage ends: the Slayer goes all in and he attacks twice using Reckless Attack: he hits twice again! He deals another 25 damage, reduced to 12 by Tauler. Tauler counterattacks with the Beak, hits for 6 damage, the Dwarf passes the poison saving throw (at this point, I am starting to think that Dwarves’s ale is made of cyanide). Total Damage dealt to Tauler so far: 122 (101 by the Slayer, 21 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer so far: 63.

Round 10: The Wanderer decides to helps his fellow Slayer who is facing death and shoots an arrow to Tauler, dealing 7 damage reduced to 3. The Slayer stays true to his death wish and instead of running away, he attacks with Reckless Attack, this time hitting only once! He still deals deals 11 damage, reduced to 5 by Tauler.
At this point, Tauler only has 7 hit points remaining! So I decide that I want to keep him for further encounters. Tauler runs away, screaming in pain.
Interesting. At this point, the Battle Fury would have run out as 10 rounds is one minute, and the next round the Slayer would not have had Resistance to damage, or advantage to Strength saving throws.
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
FINAL COMBAT STATS: Total Damage dealt to Tauler: 130 (106 by the Slayer, 24 by others). Total damage dealt to the Dwarf Slayer: 63.


So, with just a little help from his friends, a 5th-level Dwarf Slayer has almost single-handedly defeated a CR 9 monster.
Neat! Sound like you have a good story!

Now if he hadn't had the perfect combination of Culture, Class, Magic Armor, Good rolls, and lenient rulings it might have been a very different story.

BookBarbarian
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Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:41 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:37 pm
I feel like I must be missing something here. In this context, what does 'light' mean in reference to the Dwarf Slayer and his tower shield (1d6, light)? Isn't the tower shield essentially the same thing as a great shield which weighs around 35 lbs.? I am not finding rules in AiMe (Player's Guide) for 'shield charge".
Light would be a necessary property to attack with a weapon in the offhand as a bonus action, but you actually need both weapons to be Light to do it according to the rules for TWF.

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