Ghostwind said:A red dragon lives inside a volcano. The party must traverse an open cavern filled with lava by means of 5ft. stepping stones that only allow enough room for each party member to go in single file. Besides the obvious Balance checks that have to be employed, the dragon waits in the magma for the last character to pass and then catches him by surprise from behind only to vanish in the magma again. Assuming the party members fail their Spot checks, they will believe the character fell into the magma. And so it goes on from there.
Using the DMG rule of thumb for "Is this balanced?": Is this feat so good that any dragon would be foolish not to take it? If so, it is overpowered. Or is there some sort of drawback (longer time between attacks) to balance it?Ghostwind said:I believe Monster's Handbook has a feat that allows a dragon to change his breath weapon.
It sounds to me like the feat allows a dragon to change its breath weapon to a different type, but not at will. A Gold dragon with a cone of cold, maybe. But not a cone of cold one round, and then an acid line, and then fire/lightning line the round after that.Brother MacLaren said:Using the DMG rule of thumb for "Is this balanced?": Is this feat so good that any dragon would be foolish not to take it? If so, it is overpowered. Or is there some sort of drawback (longer time between attacks) to balance it?
It seems to be a "must-have." If the feat exists, you might as well say that every dragon has taken it, every dragon can change its breath weapon at will, and there are no expected breath weapon types associated with dragon colors. And, therefore, the PCs wouldn't have those expectations for you to take advantage of.
Rystil Arden said:...
The dragon sensed him enter as before, but he dodged the pit trap this time, and snarled at the dragon as he spat off the incantations for a pair of twinned-empowered Polar Rays (one was quickened). Then he watched again in horror as the first spell and 80% of the second spell came hurling back at him for 200+ damage. The dragon had cast spell-turning before appearing.
Yes, much of this was due to the wizard's hubris and incompetence. The same character later balefully polymorphed himself into a bird (he forgot that he couldn't cast in that form) and spent the whole session trying to find an NPC who was high-enough level to successfully dispel it. But I like to think that my crafty dragon's clever strategy helped as well.
It's highly nonintuitive that Spell Turning doesn't turn Polar Ray, but you're absolutely right. Wow, so spell-turning turns Horrid Wilting and Magic Missile out of all damaging spells my players actually cast (and they vastly prefer damaging no-save spells to save-or-lose vs. dragons and the like for obvious reasons). Spell turning is much less useful against my PCs than I thought. I learn something new every day. Thanks, Shilsen.shilsen said:Actually, in the case above, neither your player nor you actually knowing the rules really helped . Spell Turning doesn't turn area or effect spells, and since Polar Ray is an effect spell, the Spell Turning would have been useless in this case. Nice story, however.
Ooh... and don't forget:Plane Sailing said:One tactic that I've had which worked very well for another DM:
Dragon with improved disarm. Doesn't have any problem winning the opposed disarm check and swallows the weapon or otherwise puts it out of reach.
Sorry, but you are still wrong. I based my statement on the assumption that the character has the normal equipment and prepation of a 20th level PC, nothing Dragon-specific in there. Of course the Wizard and Cleric will have some long-lasting buffs up (Mindblank, GMW, magic Vestment, etc) but that is they way 20th level PC behave when they want to survive. For the rogue and fighter I assume nothing else than their standard equipment.iwatt said:You are basing your examples on the fact that the PC is prepared beforehand. If you are going to use the example of a buffed out single class fighter or rogue, then you should at least give the Dragon the same benefit.
And Anyways, flying PCs still can't catch a flying Dragon due to the absurdly high flying speeds of the Dragons. The best shot for the fighter is to catch the Dragon in tight quarters (hopefully squeezed) and have a Ring of freedom of movement (not a given in all campaigns).
iwatt said:by average PC I mean a core rulebooks PC built using average wealth but also built through campaingning through the 20 Levels. Supposedly (and this is an opinion) the gear you have in Level 20 should include some subpar items you've actually obtained through your own blood and sweat. This is stuff you've collected through the years, not something you got with your Faerun Express at the Adventuerer'R'US back at Waterdeep the week before. The half price rule for selling is there for a reason.
iwatt said:And to adress your statement about a spellcaster: Yes, a 20th level caster has a 50% (aproximately based on what others on this thread said) of taking out the dragon with one spell. But therefoer he also has a 50% chance of not killing him. Those aren't particularly good odds in my book.
iwatt said:Basically, fighting a Dragon is unfair. He's a tough monster with some decent spellcasting thrown in. He also has some interesting special qualities. Take into account his excellent perceptions and defenses, and you have one tough mo... That's why fighting Dragons is and always has been about stacking the odds as far possible in your favor. Fair fights are for suckers, and never more so against a Dragon, any Dragon.