Indomintability Dominated!
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  1. #1
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    Indomintability Dominated!

    Wow, just finished Fire Forest. Vuhl kicked some butt....However, Indomitability was killed in a round and the fraction of the second round by a group of four tonight after I raised his defenses by 1, and gave him an extra 10 hp.

    Basically, with Gwnevere's boon, they positioned themselves around the alleged mighty one. Once the sword was drawn, initiative was rolled. Indomitabilty was going second to last (the defender was last). My party's rogue was pre-positioned in a flanking area and possesses Slaying Action which grants two rounds of sneak attack cheese, has backstabber, and marked Ind. as his quarry w/ his multiclass feat. He used Driving Assualt and got two attacks that way, used Low Slash as a minor action for a third attack, and used as action point to unleash more power. Stacked onto that was the fact that he had a radiant weapon thanks to a certain aquired magic item. He hit with 3 attacks, criticaled with the 4th, doing 127 damage (This IS a 6th level character). Another striker (avenger used a daily and AP to build it up to nearly 160.

    The primal power sourcebook enabled the shaman to grant both the strikers additional basic (but flanking attacks). Indomitabilty was well-past bloodied and not even out of the water or having acted. I fudged the swim notes and let him use his recharging supermove power, leaving most in his wake, but he had to grant op attacks to do so. He was now reduced to 40 hp.

    In the end, the dwarven fighter didn't even get in a blow. He had one turn, missed a charge attack and then the others dmeolished him. Indomitabilty had one set of actions plus an action point that was needed just to get him to land.

    So... if effectively 3 of my players took out the big bad, what does that mean? Was Indomitability a pushover? Are they proving that the 3.5 power gaming is alive and well in 4.0? I know that Vuhl's Burst 6 zone was outstandingly difficult for them to deal with; did Indomitabilty have anything nearly close in power? Probably not, since he had nothing effective to do/sustain with a minor action. I think solos need to have less reliance on many standard action options: more immed. reaction like the dream elemental and minor action goodness like a dragon.

    Summary to come later in the misnamed "Torrent's journal" thread.

  2. #2
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    1) Not sure if this was intentional by EnWorld, but that encounter is set up poorly for power gamers. Your party was ready to tackle him head on, understandably so, and he was completely helpless while the PCs arranged themselves carefully to utterly slaughter him.

    2) I personally feel it is your job as a DM to think on your feet. Make one of his attacks a "immediate reaction" when attacked when you saw your rogue was going to go crazy on him.

    3) Don't do anything to punish your players for being good though. They won fair and square. They planned the fight carefully, got the luck they needed (rogue crits are crazy), and you happened to have given them magic items that you knew are directly useful against this enemy.

    I see nothing wrong with all this -- they won a thrilling victory over Indomitability. I don't think this proves anything at all about 4e as a system. Indomitability was not a very hard solo, and much of the impact of the fight is supposed to be the flavor of it and what it means to slay Indomitability.

    When I ran him, I had him run straight for shore and start slaughtering Seela, so the players never really got a chance to see how much of a challenge he'd be. They killed him in 2-3 rounds. That sounds about right for a low-level solo.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, he definitely wasn't built solid as written. I had no idea just how powerful the rogue was though, since he had just leveled up and I was getting a first taste of his new power) AND he made a convincing argument during the break that everyone should have 2 action points now (the two successful skill challenges against Gwenvere and Timbre technically count as two encounters and they had come off an extended rest before that).

    I guess I think it felt a little underwhelming after the massively tough fight against Vuhl and his (did I read that correctly?!) BURST 6 zone that does auto-damage. And Vuhl only had an 18 AC...

    But as DM I do hold the ultimate decision, I know. I think being down one player, I erred on the side of caution, thinking the last fight would be a tough challenge. Heck, maybe if I had just given Indomitability better than his +4 initiative, he would've hit land and it would be a moot point.
    :-)

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    I think it's a bit odd to count low-complexity skill challenges as encounters. The skill challenges you refer to are both complexity 1, so even together, they do not add up even to a single encounter. If the PCs were rebuffed by two hobgoblins their level when trying to enter a shady bar, and they killed those hobgoblins, would you count that as two encounters? Didn't think so. I wouldn't even count it as a single encounter -- the PCs wouldn't lose any healing surges, daily powers, action points, etc. None of their resources were at risk, either with the skill challenges or with the hobgoblins.

    Remember that the DMG states that a complexity 1 skill challenge of the PCs level is equivelant to a single monster of their level. Hence a complexity 5 skill challenge is a "real" encounter. And, sure, in a *well designed* complexity 5 skill challenge, the PCs stand to lose at least healing surges, and possibly other things as well. Plus, awarding them a milestone for a long skill challenge is just polite.

    Anyway, sorry if that goes a bit off topic. Yeah, Vuhl is menacing, but he's also not stuck in a lakebed while his enemies arrange and conspire to slaughter him. Trust me, that's a big difference. Remember that surprise rounds grant a party (or an enemy) a huge advantage, and they're just a single standard action. With Indomitability stuck, the PCs basically got an infinite surprise round, with the one stipulation that they couldn't actually deal damage during it. It's a small price to pay.

    At least they didn't all ready actions to slay him as soon as the sword was pulled... that would have been even worse.

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    Yea, I wouldn't have made those two small SCs the equivalent of a milestone. And keep in mind, the 2 encounters = milestone is only a guideline. I like the idea of milestones being, well, milestones in the adventure.

    Also, it shouldn't matter if a PC has two action points for an encounter. A PC can only use one AP per encounter anyway. Did I misunderstand you and assume that your Rogue player lobbied for the 2nd AP and then used them both?

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    No, he only used one...Of course, he only needed one. I hear you about the milestones, but since only two people used 1 AP each, I gotta say that the Indomitability encounter, as written with him pinned, pretty much was major weak sauce and a little anti-climactic. I shoulda flubbed it, but again, with only 4 players that day, I assumed it would be a challenge.

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    Do any of you other WotBS DM's have any suggestions on how to beef this one up and make it challenging? I don't want the trilliths to be weaksauce. They should feel like really tough otherworldly creatures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catsclaw227 View Post
    Do any of you other WotBS DM's have any suggestions on how to beef this one up and make it challenging? I don't want the trilliths to be weaksauce. They should feel like really tough otherworldly creatures.
    I haven't ran the encounter yet, but since I'm going to, and I will surely adapt it. Here's my 2 cents.

    First of all, this encounter has several characteristics to take into account:

    a) Indomitability is a Skirmisher, thus, it should have high mobility. Being a Solo, it should have an extremely high mobility

    b) Indomitability has to silence the Song. If I understand correctly, she should go for the Seelas that are on the tower. Unless the party betrayed it, then she goes for them first.

    c) Indomitability starts surrounded. Which for a Skirmisher is a big problem. Not only that, but the party could have pre-activated all powers that last for an encounter. In addition, they could modify the terrain, adding rocks and other stuff to make Indomitability's escape much more difficult. Or even blindfold and tie up the stag.

    d) Kazyk may be part of the encounter

    e) Papuvin and Tiljann join the battle against Indomitability

    f) The moment Indomitability manages to shut down the Song, she becomes incredibly tough: Fly and Insubstantial

    g) Depending on how the party handle the previous part of the adventure, Indomitability can begin the encounter free, flying and insubstantial or surrounded, substantial and having to hunt 3 seelas in order to gain fly and insubstantiality

    So, as written, we should have a Solo Skirmisher that should be challenging against a party plus two NPCs, plus maybe some other NPCs as well: Torrent, Crystin and Haddin. Easy enough so that it can be handled even if Kazyk joins the battle.

    One solution that comes to my mind now is to have Deception make a mind attack vs the party just as they remove the blade: Burst 2 centered on Indomitability; +14 vs Will; Affects enemies only; Hit: Target is stunned until the end of it's next turn. Miss: Target is dazed until the end of it's next turn.

    This should give Indomitability enough time to burst in flames with Searing Spirit, removing any bonds and blindfolds and getting the hell out of there, towards the beach.

    Another solution is to give Indomitability an encounter power to teleport. Although the blindfold could prove a good counter to this.

    One thing I don't understand is why the singing Seela couldn't keep singing and fly at the same time? Thus, been immune to Indomitabiliy's attacks and still forcing her to be substantial.

    Even if Indomitability manages to escape the first round, she must still cope with a party making range attacks against her and Papuvin and Tiljann making ranged attacks with impunity (since they fly and Indomitabiliy doesn't have any ranged attack)

    Personally, I would add two levels to Indomitability. So it becomes more of a challenge, compensating for the two NPCs that join the battle.

    I would change Burning Gore hit line to:
    1d10 + 4 + 1d6 fire damage and the target is pushed 2 squares and knocked prone. So that PCs with heavy fire resistances don't ignore the attack.

    I would change Double attack to: Indomitability makes to basic attacks (so she can choose between Burning Gore and Fiery Hooves.

    I would remove the Fire keyword to Hurl since it doesn't deal fire damage.

    I would lower the attack bonus on Psychic Symbiosis, it's too high for it's level. It should be +10 vs Will, not +20.

    I would remove the Fire keyword from Trample since it doesn't deal fire damage.

    These are just the basic modifications I would do.

    I'm noticing also that as a Solo, it has a damage output equivalent to two skirmishers, not 4 as a Solo should. The only way it can damage more than two party members is with Trample, and then at the cost of an OA for each enemy it attacks.

    The possession isn't clear to me why she would use it, it grants the target a +2 vs Will.

    Another problem I see is that it isn't obvious what attacks should use when.

    Double Attack seems solid and a good default attack. It can get rid of melee opponents (Burning Gore, useful for a Skirmisher) and do heavy damage (Fiery Hooves)

    Hurl is subpar vs Double Attack if she wants to get rid of a melee opponent.
    Hurl is subpar vs Psychic Symnbiosis if she wants to possess someone.
    Why would you want to have a chance of both? I can't imagine.

    Mobile Melee Attack seems useful to sacrifice a bit of damage, doing only one attack, but having a high mobility that round. Maybe to attack one party member and leave the rest in the dust. It can attack and move 15 squares.

    Psychic Symbiosis, I don't know why she should use this. The possession makes the target stronger in his/her will defense.

    Trample seems only useful if someone is blocking Indomitability.
    I can only think of two situations when this could happen:
    - at the beginning of combat, when she is surrounded
    - if someone blocks the tower entrance
    BTW, How does a stag climb to the tower?

    Searing Spirit, I looove this power. It's sooo Indomitability-as-a-burning-stag.
    Seems useful to surround the party with a firey wall, to block a path, and if you rule that the wall is opaque (I will) it can block line of sight se she can gain some protection against ranged attacks.

    Well, these are my observations for now.

    Item g) is the one that concerns me more. Although I could make two Indomitabilities, one for each scenario.

    After some thought I need to do I'll post how I'll change the whole encounter.

  9. #9
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    Wow.... that's a great post. This weekend, I'll crack open my WotBS #2 and compare your notes to the actual module.

    My group is barely less than 1/2 way though WotBS #1.

  10. #10
    I had wondered if there was a way Indomitability, who is pretty much granting eternal life to the creatures of the forest who have been taken by flame, could summon some of those creatures who may be nearby in some Aquaman-esque format.

    I figure, to prevent them from setting up so well, if Indom starts to feel threatened, why not call wave of creatures towards it to stave off the would-be attackers? Especially if you can bring in the threat of dead party members/NPCs coming back.

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