log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Silly Dhampir tricks (prone on ceiling)

tommybahama

Adventurer
So this happened today. Our DM targets spellcasters. He's been using fiends with 40' teleport as movement so the front liners can't stop them.

A fiend teleported up to our dhampir cleric and mauled him for half his health. The dhampir disengaged and spider climbed up a 15 foot wall and went prone on the ceiling thinking it would keep him safe. Smart, right?

Well the DM had the fiends do a standing jump five feet and make a melee attack with advantage because the dhampir was prone. The player went unconscious and took an automatic death save fail from the 15' fall.

Is that legit by RAW/RAI? The only penalty that the fiends took was they could only do one attack instead of their two attacks. It seems to me that having advantage on one attack is almost as good as two regular attacks though.

For the DMs: Do your monsters routinely ignore the front line to attack spell casters with a hard-on? How do players feel about this? Personally, I think it's emasculating to the characters. Neither the front liners or spell casters feel epic.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

The fiend would have had advantage but would lose it because it would not be able to attack normally. So one attack at normal at my table.

That said, my fiends will target weakest and potentially most disruptive targets in priority depending on their cunning and/or intelligence. The notion of tank does not hold in my games without terrain features to enable a character to block the access to other characters such as a corridor, a doorway or whatever. Your DM's call was a good one.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
If the fiends are large size, they wouldn't even need to jump to hit the dhampir, unless their reach is 0. They occupy a 10' space, so with even a 5' reach someone on a 15' ceiling is within reach. That said, I would have pointed that out to the player, as I hate gotcha DMing and it would have probably been quite obvious to the character (assuming these aren't Stretch Armstrong fiends), but not necessarily the player.

I have monsters attack the back line if they can. That said, 40' teleport as a move sounds a bit potent. Most monsters in the MM require an action to teleport. While I could see that being an interesting challenge for a small number of encounters, I could also see it getting very old, very fast if overused.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Hiding in the back (or on the ceiling) is no guarantee of safety in all cases.

But let's flip this around. Let's say you had a paladin* with Misty Step and an annoying caster in the back. Do you think it would be logical for the paladin to do the same thing? Bonus action teleport, and attack? I think that would be called "good tactics".

So while I wouldn't set up every encounter to go after specific PCs, this is just the fiend using good tactics.


*Or other melee type that has the spell, I just know there's a couple of paladin oaths that grant it.
 

Hiding in the back (or on the ceiling) is no guarantee of safety in all cases.

But let's flip this around. Let's say you had a paladin* with Misty Step and an annoying caster in the back. Do you think it would be logical for the paladin to do the same thing? Bonus action teleport, and attack? I think that would be called "good tactics".

So while I wouldn't set up every encounter to go after specific PCs, this is just the fiend using good tactics.


*Or other melee type that has the spell, I just know there's a couple of paladin oaths that grant it.
I second that sentiment:

How fair would it be if sides were flipped is always a good way to judge DM actions.
 

ECMO3

Hero
So this happened today. Our DM targets spellcasters. He's been using fiends with 40' teleport as movement so the front liners can't stop them.

A fiend teleported up to our dhampir cleric and mauled him for half his health. The dhampir disengaged and spider climbed up a 15 foot wall and went prone on the ceiling thinking it would keep him safe. Smart, right?

Well the DM had the fiends do a standing jump five feet and make a melee attack with advantage because the dhampir was prone. The player went unconscious and took an automatic death save fail from the 15' fall.

Is that legit by RAW/RAI? The only penalty that the fiends took was they could only do one attack instead of their two attacks. It seems to me that having advantage on one attack is almost as good as two regular attacks though.

For the DMs: Do your monsters routinely ignore the front line to attack spell casters with a hard-on? How do players feel about this? Personally, I think it's emasculating to the characters. Neither the front liners or spell casters feel epic.

Jump is considered movement. I would have given them two attacks with advantage.

When I DM. intelligent enemies with a numbers advantage will almost always go after casters and after the first turn go after Rogues and Archers when they can. You only get one reaction attack from a front liner, so the cost of this is low compared to the payoff. If there is one front liner engaged with 4 bad guys and all 4 can reach the caster they will. At most only one of them will get hit by one attack and even if the front liner has sentinel the other 3 can still swarm the caster if he is in range. If I am DM they will ALWAYS do that if they can.

Generally, the only times this is not viable is when the party outnumbers the enemies and there is not enough of them or when they can block a corridor so they can't go around them. For example if the party has 3 front liners, and you are fighting 2 enemies, that turns the math upside down. In this case it is three AOOs on 2 bad guys to do the same thing and that is generally not smart (Although 1 trying to grapple and move a defender so the other can get by might be an option).
 
Last edited:

Think about this, do you want "challenges" that are just scenes for your party to have guaranteed victory at no cost or risk? You can play this way and be guaranteed participation ribbons all campaign long.

Or do you want "challenges" that the outcome is uncertain? That to overcome you must be smart, take risks, and lucky (even if it's making your own luck). That to "win" you know that it is no participation ribbon, that you were challenged, you faced a real risk of loss, and you overcame.
 

Iry

Hero
Geek the Mage is a long-standing tradition. So it should be expected from moderately intelligent enemies with any idea of what spellcasters can do, and some indication that you might be such a spellcaster. That said, morale is an important part of the game. If one or more players are consistently having a bad time, the DM might consider using less efficient tactics or enemies with lower intelligence. You have to find the right balance for your table, both for the players and the DM.

There's also some shenanigans you can try. Use disguises that make the spellcasters look massively armored, or make the warriors look unarmored (fancy clothes, or even wizard robes). Have the warriors "chant" the same magic words as the spellcasters, and wave their hands around somatically (if they have any free hands). Loudly point at someone and shout for them to cast a spell they can't actually cast. Etc.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
In a very recent (less than a week) we were fighting a large monster that - unknown to us - could throw boulders that could knock you prone if hit.

So the flying assimar ranger gets one of those in the face, falls 40 feet out of the sky, and rolls 6 6 5 4 on the damage...

(the entire story is pretty funny but I'm compressing it down because it's off topic)
 

Think about this, do you want "challenges" that are just scenes for your party to have guaranteed victory at no cost or risk? You can play this way and be guaranteed participation ribbons all campaign long.

I love fights where you feel like you're on the verge of a TPK the whole time. And I want DMs to both create encounters and run the monsters to make them challenging. But it's annoying when the challenge comes via questionable rulings.

For the scenario in question, I would have ruled that the fiend still gets two attacks because jumping is movement, but with disadvantage for the irregularity of the attack, cancelled by advantage for the prone target. And had the player announced their plan before executing it, I would have told them ahead of time how the ruling would go. (Which is an example of why it's a good idea for players to explain their reasoning before trying to be too clever with their action declarations.)

P.S. "participation ribbons" isn't a very respectful way to make your point. Just sayin'.
 

First of all I don't think you go prone on the ceiling, but don't know RAW (RAI seems like no, but RAF says yes). I wouldn't allow it myself.

As for tactics, it really depends on the intelligence of the enemy. A fiend is going to have good tactics and going after the cleric is a no brainer. A bunch of beasts taking attacks of opportunity to get around the front line doesn't seem right (although going wide around them to easier meat does). Terrain and setup make a big difference as well, since a confined space generally favors the PCs (who can prevent enemies from getting behind them without major effort). As a player, I take my enemy's potential tactics into consideration, and in open areas often spread out to avoid what we call "fireball formation."
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top