D&D 5E New Vecna Battle (Let's Get Ready to RUMBLE!!!) - CONCLUDED

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think its more a factor of we aren't playing 20th level characters "organically". We are just putting some characters together and going to work. In a normal campaign, the players have grown into these characters (and the DM has watched them grow) over many many sessions, so the abilities become ingrained. Under that condition its a lot easier to run 20th level games, because everyone just knows what everyone in the group can do.
That and the time PBP takes. In both cases where I argued with the DM (to my eternal shame!) it was where I knew about the thing in the days/weeks prior, but didn't think of it during the moments I took to post. If we'd been sitting down at a table, it's possible that I would have forgotten them in the seconds of my turn, maybe, (I can't say I always remember everything at the table, naturally!) but I had them both in mind outside of the time when it became important, which is its own frustration.
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
Oh. Yeah. I forgot about Stroke of Luck (I knew about it weeks ago, when I wasn't missing, of course, but when I finally missed I couldn't think of it).
I figured it might be the case, which is why I tried to give you a hint/time to think of it...

Honestly, I would MUCH RATHER players take their time before posting if you are busy with life and such and have a more genuine experience than have people feel "rushed".

Speaking of which, @FitzTheRuke what is Pyre doing? ;)

(Unless I skimmed over it? 🤷‍♂️)
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
There's a thin line between DMing and playing the PCs yourself, I know I find it hard not to point out the various times my players don't notice x or y ability at the right time.
Sigh... Yes, it is very hard to be unbiased. Often times I find myself saying (to myself LOL) "Why did they DO that and not do THIS!?"

Of course, even when I try my best to not act with DM knowledge, I understand I have insights because of it that players don't and so they might not think to do something or use some feature.

And yes, players DO also forget features of their PCs, but in this case I think a lot of it is because we are doing a:

"WHAM! Here is a 20th-level PC which you didn't play from the ground up but I still expect you to know everything your PC can do and play them like a PC with dozens of hard adventures under their belt."

This fight is all about the lair
While the lair plays a HUGE role here, another aspect is I am gaining experience playing Vecna and utilizing him more effectively with each scenario. Also, this is a slightly altered Vecna (swapped out some spells) with the Book of Vile Darkness. Personally, I think the spell choses made him more effective, but the Book is a factor as well.

I also encouraged the participants to being a private DM chat to discuss plans and strategies, but I don't think much of that (if any) has happened.

While I think these scenarios show a well-honed and well-played Venca is certainly a match for a party of 20th level PCs, without some tweaks, etc. I think the stat-block Vecna presented originally by WotC is a bit lack-luster otherwise.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Also, thanks to all for the props. I am glad you think this has been run (decently) well and (hopefully) fair. Like I said, I am running this just like I would run a real in-person game, so the praise is appreciated. :)


No problem, I've enjoyed it myself. It almost makes me want to run a game via EnWorld posts LOL! :unsure:

I currently run four PBP games here. It's lots of fun, and a lot of work. You should give it a shot. I'd like to play if you decide to do it!
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Pyre took a second or two to think, she called out to Vyrlim, "I don't think we'll make it, my friend. Farewell."

She ran to her left, and took cover behind the edge of the room, while shooting her bow.

(15 feet left. Shoot. Die, probably).
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
4.8.19 (Pyre) Pyre takes a total of 13 necrotic damage (half 10+6+10), and fails all three saves to shrug of Afterthought's effects (rolls 15,14,1+4= 19,18,5 vs. DC 20 CON save).

Pyre hesitates, then calls out to Vyrlim, "I don't think we'll make it, my friend. Farewell." She then darts to the left, seeking some cover from Vecna, and lets her arrow fly! She HITS (Roll 17+12=29 vs. AC 18) for 12 piecing damage.

Venca utters a fell word and Pyre takes 6 necrotic damage (half 12). He then teleports further away from Vyrlim.

Pyre staggers backwards into the corner and watches Vyrlim, hoping the Paladin can somehow be victorious...

1658177957764.png


It is now Vecna's Turn on Initiative 12.
 

Stalker0

Legend
While the lair plays a HUGE role here, another aspect is I am gaining experience playing Vecna and utilizing him more effectively with each scenario.
I mentioned this in my vecna fight commentary thread, but while the lair is strong, I think vecna has "extra" synergy with any good lair.

1) Infinite teleports can be combined with all sorts of things, such as the tower in the middle of the room, dark nocks and crannies, behind symbol traps, etc. Vecna's healing is incredible when he gets a chance to use it (but weak if he gets novaed), and again the lair augments that.

2) The super counterspell really changes the dynamics. Often in normal boss lairs, your casters can shut down the various features, or even turn them against the boss with their own control effects, and then the fighter types move forward and deliver the pain. But the super counterspell shuts down a lot of that, forcing the party to "deal" with things in way that is not normal for such a high level party to have to deal with. Case in point, in a normal lair I would have just dispelled that key symbol....but with vecna's counterspell I just could never find the chance.
 

While the lair plays a HUGE role here, another aspect is I am gaining experience playing Vecna and utilizing him more effectively with each scenario. Also, this is a slightly altered Vecna (swapped out some spells) with the Book of Vile Darkness. Personally, I think the spell choses made him more effective, but the Book is a factor as well.
I guess I don't know what the book or his spells are doing at this point. Spells could certainly make it worse, if he needed to cast any.

Near as I can tell, this is the ballgame for a party that can't create cover without casting. And, honestly, if the party were less caster-dependent, he probably just sits in his magically obscured pillbox and lets them eat not-spells while they try to figure out how to get at him without casting a spell.

Maybe I'm wrong. 🤷‍♂️

Again, not bitching -- it's a cool lair. But...it's the lair. You had players who couldn't find any better tactical option than casting 9th-level spells and hoping Vecna gets unlucky, entirely because of the lair. ;)

Lair.png
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
4.8.12 (Vecna) A whirlwind of necrotic energy engulfs Vyrlim, causing him agony (FAIL roll 10,6+7=17 vs. DC 22 CON save), dealing 48 necrotic damage (half 96).

Moving forward, Venca teleports next to Vyrlim, inflicting 15 psychic damage on Vyrlim and Pyre, as his wounds heal! Pyre collapses in unconsciousness! "And so another falls!" Vecna taunts the Paladin.

Vecna stabs Vyrlim twice with Afterthought, HITTING (Roll 14+13=27, 15+13=28 vs. AC 21), dealing 10 damage (7 piercing + 3 necrotic (half 7)) and 10 damage (7 piercing + 3 necrotic (half 6)).

Vecna falls back, but the Paladin strikes and HITS (Roll 16+11=27 vs. AC 18) for 47 radiant damage. Vecna laughs at the Paladin's feeble strike and utters a fell word, dealing 5 necrotic damage (half 11) to Vyrlim. Vecna teleports outside of the holy nimbus and moves back further.

1658198537624.png


@Smythe the Bard it is now Vyrlim's Turn on Initiative 2.
 





I guess I don't know what the book or his spells are doing at this point. Spells could certainly make it worse, if he needed to cast any.

Near as I can tell, this is the ballgame for a party that can't create cover without casting. And, honestly, if the party were less caster-dependent, he probably just sits in his magically obscured pillbox and lets them eat not-spells while they try to figure out how to get at him without casting a spell.

Maybe I'm wrong. 🤷‍♂️

Again, not bitching -- it's a cool lair. But...it's the lair. You had players who couldn't find any better tactical option than casting 9th-level spells and hoping Vecna gets unlucky, entirely because of the lair. ;)
Not really.
I would put that entirely on the fact that these are simple characters put together hastily for a nice show down.
Some mistakes were made sure.
1) No scouting. Where was wizard eye? Scry? Clairvoyance? Sending a familiar, especially in 5ed, to scout a bit ahead would not have been that hard.
2) It is a lich. Some potions of necrotic resistance would have had a lot mileage. Liches powerful lair damage and usual legendary actions involves necrotic damage. Any 20th knows that. I would not have consider it unfair knowledge as this applies to all "normal" liches...
3) It is play by post. Not everything is optimal here. In real person, things would have been easier as player might actually talk to each others and give insight or help another remember something he/she is about to forget. This is not so in PbP.
4) So far, I consider the players did a good job considering PbP. Same with @DND_Reborn. No one is flawless and the retro time were all justified.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I'll touch a bit on these:
1) No scouting. Where was wizard eye? Scry? Clairvoyance? Sending a familiar, especially in 5ed, to scout a bit ahead would not have been that hard.
FWIW, Vecna was scrying the PCs once they activated the portal to enter his sanctum. @Stalker0 asked what pre-knowledge they would have and I told them what they knew without resorting to actually taking actions. If they wanted to take actions to investigate before moving forward, they could have, but elected not to. Perhaps this was because last time the level 20 PCs beat the pulp out of (default) Vecna (well, toasted him). 🤷‍♂️

2) It is a lich. Some potions of necrotic resistance would have had a lot mileage. Liches powerful lair damage and usual legendary actions involves necrotic damage. Any 20th knows that. I would not have consider it unfair knowledge as this applies to all "normal" liches...
True. Of the PCs, two had necrotic resistance (one by race, one by magic armor).

3) It is play by post. Not everything is optimal here. In real person, things would have been easier as player might actually talk to each others and give insight or help another remember something he/she is about to forget. This is not so in PbP.
Yes. I wish the players had communicated more, especially via direct message, to form a strategy and discuss tactics. I am not certain how much that would have helped, given the lair structure, but I think it would have helped some. Unfortunately, PbP is slow and communication is often unclear.

4) So far, I consider the players did a good job considering PbP. Same with @DND_Reborn. No one is flawless and the retro time were all justified.
Again, thanks. I think everyone has done fairly well considering the format, also. Some features would have been useful if activated sooner (such as holy nimbus) or even recalled (like stroke of luck).
 

Stalker0

Legend
True. Of the PCs, two had necrotic resistance (one by race, one by magic armor).
This is again a scenario where your one off versus organic story can create a difference.

For this one shot we were given a certain number of items (which is exactly how I run my one shots too). However, in a campaign where I knew I was fighting vecna as the endgame, yes I would shop around or even try to craft potions of necrotic resistance...that just makes good sense. Then again, there was dispelling, so potions might have failed...and I would not expect all players to have items of permanent necrotic resistance. Likewise, if a group of 20th level characters is prowling around an area, the super lich is probably going to know about it...and might have preparing for weeks for our arrival....so that's always a possibility.

Ultimately half of the primary being resistant to his primary damage is pretty good.

I can say my biggest goof in this one, was having contingency but not using it. I thought of my shorter range buffs, and completely forgot about the super long term one!
 


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