Berbalang?

keterys

First Post
Anyone used one of these solos? How did the fight go?

It... looks a little messed up, and I'm trying to visualize how effective it could actually be.

It can have up to 4 duplicates, though it technically only has the ability to make 3 (makes first its hp go down to 306, 2nd to 230, 3rd to 172 and it becomes bloodied).

It tries to flank as much as possible and deflect damage around so that duplicates die slowly. Maybe under some circumstances it's worth sacrificing but it'll eat up like an 8th of his hp to do it. It might spend some actions healing instead of attacking, though presumably only if it's convenient (like if it can get another duplicate by healing itself off an almost dead one).

Is it threatening... at all? Or even all that fun.

I mean, it looks a lot like if you took 4 actual level 10 critters, took away half their powers and damage and replaced it with the ability to bounce around their damage a little, and threw them at the party to see what happens. The party is likely confused and even threatened at first, then they figure out the jig and... that's it?
 

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superpriest

First Post
I used one, but not as a pure solo. It was a harder fight (level +2 or +3), and I paired the berbalang with an elite and some low-level artillery.

You're right, the berbalang can't make four duplicates. I had the berbalang create two. When the duplicate gets below 50 hp, it it profitable for the berbalang to reabsorb it, so I had that happen once before the berbalang created another duplicate.

I agree that it's never wise to explode a duplicate, so I never had it do that. This does seem to be a lame ability.

Overall, though, the monster was pretty fun. It's unique, I think, which is a little exciting for the players.
 


the Jester

Legend
IDHMBIFOM, but IIRC I believe that all the berbalang needs to make it an effective solo monster is a Second Wind ability (that the dupes can't use) so that it doesn't run out of hit points from hiving off its other selves. (Well, okay, so it doesn't run too low, anyhow.)
 

diaglo

Adventurer
IDHMBIFOM, but IIRC I believe that all the berbalang needs to make it an effective solo monster is a Second Wind ability (that the dupes can't use) so that it doesn't run out of hit points from hiving off its other selves. (Well, okay, so it doesn't run too low, anyhow.)

idhmbifom, but in real myth. berbalang are ghouls.

diaglo "filipino" Ooi
 



keterys

First Post
Where's the challenge in that? :)

I'm poking at a version that uses minions as its duplicates. The main thing I need to figure out is how the fight should change at bloodied. Well that and make sure the overall pacing is good.
 


keterys

First Post
If you want a quick version, I'd say make it cost 50 hp from the Berbalang to make a duplicate (and they have 50 hp) and as an immediate interrupt when they die it does a sacrifice at no hp cost to itself. If you want to mix it up just a bit further, make it a free action to divert attacks to them instead. Those changes ought to make it much more of a real fight.
 

Our DM did an interesting thing with these creatures in one encounter.

He had a room with artillery, minions, and one sorcerous type. She had a kind of vault behind her open when we entered the room. The vault was filled with spheres. (they beat us there, it was part of the storyline).

Each time her turn came up, she would grab a sphere, hurl it in our direction (really funny moment, our ranger tried to shoot one mid-air!), and when it broke, a Berbalang would materialize. A couple of us knew their stats so we were very concerned, but the DM had downgraded them so they didn't duplicate and they de-materialized after 2 rounds. Still, she had 4 of them up before we killed her. Good fun, good stuff. :)
 

Mithreinmaethor

First Post
I am not sure how many times that this has been stated. But a SOLO monster is not supposed to be used SOLO.

Here is the recommended encounter group for a Berbalang:

Level 12 Encounter (XP 3,500)
1 berbalang (level 10 solo skirmisher)
1 gibbering mouther (level 10 controller)
1 skeletal tomb guardian (level 10 brute)
 
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keterys

First Post
True, the gibbering mouther will be good at dazing some of those duplicates that get in the way and/or hedging off some of the battlefield so that flanking is a little trickier. ;) A sacrifice will help the gibbering mouther, though... admittedly at a harsh cost, and probably help it doesn't really need, but... some synergy.

More seriously: We all know that, Mith. That doesn't settle whether the Berbalang is actually a good solo or not. It has core design failures and an overwhelming lack of damage output or tricks. It _does_ have a really damn nifty concept though.

Have you run one and found it to be a good threat for its level? Did you overlook its setup of damaging itself for little gain, inability to get the proper number of duplicates, and low number of options and damage? Or did it work despite any of that?
 

ogre

First Post
Level 12 Encounter (XP 3,500)
1 berbalang (level 10 solo skirmisher)
1 gibbering mouther (level 10 controller)
1 skeletal tomb guardian (level 10 brute)

I DM'd this exact encounter for my new group at 11th level. It was in a crypt, the berbalang was buying dead bodies that were supposed to be buried so he could eat their memories. Then he wrote books about them.
Anyway, the encounter was very fun. I like the duplicates, it really challenged the players, especially with the gibberling messing up the terrain.
He almost escaped too, but a choice saved encounter power of a spear in the back finished him just before he fled up the stairs and out into the night.
Only downside was calculating the hit points of the dupes, especially after he lost some hit points. That, and his lack of ranged attack (if I remember right).
 



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