D&D 5E I think a cantrip somewhat cripples the CR 16 marilith

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
The marilith is a nifty monster who gets six reactions each round, one for each arm. She can use those to parry, increasing her AC 17 by +1d6 each time someone attacks her with a melee weapon. Add on advantage for any magic save, and half damage from most elemental damage, and she's a tough combatant (as she should be.)

But the cantrip shocking grasp does paltry damage, and also stops the target from taking reactions. That's huge when fighting a marilith! Even better for the heroes, she doesn't get to try and parry the spell attack, because it's not a melee attack.

This works, right? I'm not missing something simple?
 

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Boarstorm

First Post
I'm pretty sure it's a "melee spell attack."

I'm away from book, but does parry work only against weapon attacks, or any melee attack?

Edit: Forgot I had a PHB in the car. Yeah, melee spell attack. Parry doesn't specify it has to be vs. a weapon attack, just melee.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Easiest thing to do, I'd say, is say that shocking grasp takes away a reaction, not all reactions. Since like 95% of the time, PCs and monsters only have 1 reaction, this doesn't change much, and still lets a marilith be a marilith.
 

Kai Wren

First Post
I'd say she can parry, but if it hits, congratulations!

Of course she's going to focus everything she has on destroying whatever just did that.
 

Boarstorm

First Post
As written, she can parry the Shocking Grasp (if she can see the attacker). No question. If it hits, she has resistance to the damage it inflicts.

I'd say let the spell do what the spell does. It's got enough drawbacks stacked on it to make it a potentially sub-optimal choice already. Reward the smart non-glory-seeking play, IMO.
 

MarkB

Legend
<Shrug> Cantrips aren't supposed to be something that gets outclassed into uselessness at higher levels. If a monster happens to be specialised towards something a cantrip can disrupt, that's no problem.
 

Chocolategravy

First Post
Really the only odd thing is that a small jolt of lighting from shocking grasp prevents reactions while a big one from a lightning bolt or any other electrical effect doesn't. It must be more than just electricity.
 



bganon

Explorer
Even if the marilith loses her reactions, she still has a ridiculous multiattack. If the Wizard wants to walk right up to the six-sword cuisinart, then by all means. The marilith can handily deal 80+ damage to a single low-AC target each round, and guess how many HP your typical high-level caster has...
 





Mort

Legend
Supporter
The marilith is a nifty monster who gets six reactions each round, one for each arm. She can use those to parry, increasing her AC 17 by +1d6 each time someone attacks her with a melee weapon. Add on advantage for any magic save, and half damage from most elemental damage, and she's a tough combatant (as she should be.)

But the cantrip shocking grasp does paltry damage, and also stops the target from taking reactions. That's huge when fighting a marilith! Even better for the heroes, she doesn't get to try and parry the spell attack, because it's not a melee attack.

This works, right? I'm not missing something simple?

1) Shocking grasp states melee spell attack - that certainly seems to qualify as a melee attack for purposes of the marilith's parry ability;

2) the wizard is now in melee with an angry marilith who has every incentive to make sure the wizard doesn't pull the same stunt next round.
 

2) the wizard is now in melee with an angry marilith who has every incentive to make sure the wizard doesn't pull the same stunt next round.
yea... lets imagin a 16th level wizard with lets say a +2 con... so 4(max 1st level)+32(con)+38(2.5x15)=74hp on average... the marilith is 6 attacks at about 13 damage... so if 3 hit 39hp(half the mages hp) if 4 hit 52hp, if 5 hit 65hp, and if all 6 hit then it is 78hp of damage... a a marilith can easily drop the mage... if she crits him with 6d20 rolls it is almost assured he drops...
 

Thank Dog

Banned
Banned
yea... lets imagin a 16th level wizard with lets say a +2 con... so 4(max 1st level)+32(con)+38(2.5x15)=74hp on average... the marilith is 6 attacks at about 13 damage... so if 3 hit 39hp(half the mages hp) if 4 hit 52hp, if 5 hit 65hp, and if all 6 hit then it is 78hp of damage... a a marilith can easily drop the mage... if she crits him with 6d20 rolls it is almost assured he drops...

Your calculations are off. Wizards get a d6 for hit points. There's no standard way to increase hit points but Adventurer's League uses the static hit point increases per level which is the same mechanic for monsters so it's safe to assume that the system is balanced around that method. That means 6 hit points per level and 8 at first level for a total of 98 hit points.
 

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
I don't see a problem with shocking grasp doing this. There are far worse things the caster could have done to the creature with his action, and many of those don't require the caster to get within melee range of the monster, which, especially in this case, is a very bad idea.
 

Your calculations are off. Wizards get a d6 for hit points. There's no standard way to increase hit points but Adventurer's League uses the static hit point increases per level which is the same mechanic for monsters so it's safe to assume that the system is balanced around that method. That means 6 hit points per level and 8 at first level for a total of 98 hit points.
man, after 20 years of d4's I completely forgot they get 6's now
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
2) the wizard is now in melee with an angry marilith who has every incentive to make sure the wizard doesn't pull the same stunt next round.
But she can't take opportunity attacks, so if he has move remaining he can run off and hide behind the meat shields.
 

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