Most inaccurate CRs?

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which monsters have the
most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR too high or too
low for it?

--

Matthias (matthias_mls@yahoo.com)

"Scientists tend to do philosophy about as well as you'd expect philosophers to
do science, the difference being that at least the philosophers usually *know*
when they're out of their depth."
-Jeff Heikkinen
52 answers Last reply
More about most inaccurate
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Matthias wrote:
    > Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which monsters
    have the
    > most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR too
    high or too
    > low for it?
    >

    Dragons, too high. I think a lot of the Outsiders have problems one
    way or the other. A lot of it is situational as well so many may
    consider a particular creature overpowered and other may consider the
    same creature under powered. Undead come to mind, a lot depends on
    having a certain type of cleric in the party.

    - Justisaur
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Not so much CR, but I think some ECLs are too high. If one were to
    play a non-core race, I think it should be possible in some cases to
    start off with 1 class HD like everyone else instead of the more than
    one they get just because that's what the monster manual says. Gnoll
    PCs, for example, don't really need to start off with 2d8 hit points
    and no class. Let there be a 1HD 10 hit points + CON 1st level gnoll
    fighter and be done with it.

    Hound archons also have too high an ECL. I know they have out of the
    ordinary abilities and thus a plain 1st class level hit points just
    wouldn't work. However, +5 is still too high. To play a hound archon
    is to start at the equivalent of 11th level with only 6d8 hit points.
    That is too few hit points for the given level. The closest comparison
    is a wizard with 11d4. However, a hound archon does not have the
    equivalent power of an 11th level wizard. From a powergame
    perspective, I would always choose the 11th level wizard over the hound
    archon. Given the other classes which would have more hit points, and
    the hound archon becomes irrelevant. If they must start at 6d8 hit
    points, let them come in at 6th level. Since they are CR 4, then four
    4th level characters could "take it". Putting it in a party of four
    6th level characters should then be just fine, fair and balanced. When
    everyone reaches 7th level, the hound archon can take 1st level in a
    class.

    Gerald Katz
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > Matthias wrote:
    >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which monsters
    > have the
    >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR too
    > high or too
    >> low for it?
    >>
    >
    > Dragons, too high.

    To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is especially
    true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> wrote in message
    news:1112673997.000235.149680@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > Not so much CR, but I think some ECLs are too high.

    Many are *way* too high. I usually use Soldarin's ECL calculator. One of
    the more stupid assumptions the game makes (and Soldarin does not) is "a
    monster level is a monster level". This is simply absurd. Compare a level
    of Outsider or Dragon to a level of Fey sometime.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Hadsil wrote:

    > Not so much CR, but I think some ECLs are too high. If one were to
    > play a non-core race, I think it should be possible in some cases to
    > start off with 1 class HD like everyone else instead of the more than
    > one they get just because that's what the monster manual says. Gnoll
    > PCs, for example, don't really need to start off with 2d8 hit points
    > and no class. Let there be a 1HD 10 hit points + CON 1st level gnoll
    > fighter and be done with it.
    >
    > Hound archons also have too high an ECL. I know they have out of the
    > ordinary abilities and thus a plain 1st class level hit points just
    > wouldn't work. However, +5 is still too high. To play a hound archon
    > is to start at the equivalent of 11th level with only 6d8 hit points.
    > That is too few hit points for the given level. The closest comparison
    > is a wizard with 11d4. However, a hound archon does not have the
    > equivalent power of an 11th level wizard. From a powergame
    > perspective, I would always choose the 11th level wizard over the hound
    > archon. Given the other classes which would have more hit points, and
    > the hound archon becomes irrelevant. If they must start at 6d8 hit
    > points, let them come in at 6th level. Since they are CR 4, then four
    > 4th level characters could "take it". Putting it in a party of four
    > 6th level characters should then be just fine, fair and balanced. When
    > everyone reaches 7th level, the hound archon can take 1st level in a
    > class.
    >
    > Gerald Katz

    I agree with you in principle, but remember that the Hound Archon's 6
    hit dice are in Outsider, which is superior to any PC class.

    - Ron ^*^
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Malachias Invictus wrote:
    > "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > >
    > > Matthias wrote:
    > >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which
    monsters
    > > have the
    > >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR
    too
    > > high or too
    > >> low for it?
    > >>
    > >
    > > Dragons, too high.
    >
    > To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    especially
    > true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.

    I meant dragons are too high for thier CR.

    I assume you mean the same thing, Dragon's CR is too low?

    - Justisaur
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Malachias Invictus wrote:
    > "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > >
    > > Matthias wrote:
    > >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which
    monsters
    > > have the
    > >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR
    too
    > > high or too
    > >> low for it?
    > >>
    > >
    > > Dragons, too high.
    >
    > To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    especially
    > true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.

    I second that, though it's not too bad. Elementals also seem a bit
    strong for their CR.

    Also, IMHO most grappletastic monsters have ridiculously low CRs. I've
    had a level 7 (!) party have trouble with Ankhegs and Assassin Vines,
    both CR 3 nasties.

    Also, humanoids almost invariably have too low CRs. A level 10 NPC is
    simply not (normally) a CR 10 challenge.

    Laszlo
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
    > Malachias Invictus wrote:
    > > "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > > news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > > >
    > > > Matthias wrote:
    > > >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which
    > monsters
    > > > have the
    > > >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR
    > too
    > > > high or too
    > > >> low for it?
    > > >>
    > > >
    > > > Dragons, too high.
    > >
    > > To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    > especially
    > > true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.
    >
    > I second that, though it's not too bad. Elementals also seem a bit
    > strong for their CR.
    >
    > Also, IMHO most grappletastic monsters have ridiculously low CRs.
    I've
    > had a level 7 (!) party have trouble with Ankhegs and Assassin Vines,
    > both CR 3 nasties.
    >

    I'll have to 2nd that. Most 'improved grapple' monsters seem a bit
    more nasty than thier equal counterparts. Doubly so if they can fly.

    "Hey I managed my escape artist check, but now I'm 200' up in the air
    with nothing keeping me up here!"


    > Also, humanoids almost invariably have too low CRs. A level 10 NPC is
    > simply not (normally) a CR 10 challenge.

    If you mean NPC classed (warrior, commoner, adept, expert, noble) then
    I'd agree. I believe the concensus is about at 1/2 for everything
    execpt commoner which is about 1/4. If you mean humanoid NPCs with PC
    classes, I'd disagree.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    How about if I said they were too hard? (IYKWIM AITYD)

    - Justisaur
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1112723607.830017.17130@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > Malachias Invictus wrote:
    >> "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >> >
    >> > Matthias wrote:
    >> >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which
    > monsters
    >> > have the
    >> >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR
    > too
    >> > high or too
    >> >> low for it?
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> > Dragons, too high.
    >>
    >> To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    > especially
    >> true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.
    >
    > I meant dragons are too high for thier CR.
    >
    > I assume you mean the same thing, Dragon's CR is too low?

    Yeah, that. Talking past each other? On Usenet? Unheard of!

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Justisaur wrote:
    > Malachias Invictus wrote:
    >
    >>"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >>news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    >>>Dragons, too high.
    >>
    >>To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    >> especially true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.
    >
    > I meant dragons are too high for thier CR.

    You mean dragons are too *powerful* for their CR. Altitude's got
    nothing to do with it. ;)

    -Will "unless you mean they're toked up" Green
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Werebat wrote:
    > Hadsil wrote:
    >
    > > Not so much CR, but I think some ECLs are too high. If one were to
    > > play a non-core race, I think it should be possible in some cases
    to
    > > start off with 1 class HD like everyone else instead of the more
    than
    > > one they get just because that's what the monster manual says.
    Gnoll
    > > PCs, for example, don't really need to start off with 2d8 hit
    points
    > > and no class. Let there be a 1HD 10 hit points + CON 1st level
    gnoll
    > > fighter and be done with it.
    > >
    > > Hound archons also have too high an ECL. I know they have out of
    the
    > > ordinary abilities and thus a plain 1st class level hit points just
    > > wouldn't work. However, +5 is still too high. To play a hound
    archon
    > > is to start at the equivalent of 11th level with only 6d8 hit
    points.
    > > That is too few hit points for the given level. The closest
    comparison
    > > is a wizard with 11d4. However, a hound archon does not have the
    > > equivalent power of an 11th level wizard. From a powergame
    > > perspective, I would always choose the 11th level wizard over the
    hound
    > > archon. Given the other classes which would have more hit points,
    and
    > > the hound archon becomes irrelevant. If they must start at 6d8 hit
    > > points, let them come in at 6th level. Since they are CR 4, then
    four
    > > 4th level characters could "take it". Putting it in a party of
    four
    > > 6th level characters should then be just fine, fair and balanced.
    When
    > > everyone reaches 7th level, the hound archon can take 1st level in
    a
    > > class.
    > >
    > > Gerald Katz
    >
    > I agree with you in principle, but remember that the Hound Archon's 6

    > hit dice are in Outsider, which is superior to any PC class.
    >
    > - Ron ^*^

    It doesn't matter why they have 6d8 hit points; that's still not enough
    for an 11th level adventure. As an Outsider the Hound Archon would be
    immune to a lot of spells, such as Charm Person. By the same token,
    they are also "immune" to Raise Dead and Resurrection. Should the
    player's Hound Archon be killed, he can't come back barring a
    "miracle". Maybe an ECL of some kind is still warranted, but the hound
    archon should not be coming in at 11th level, certainly not as a cohort
    for a 13th level paladin let's say. I could see an ECL of +2 because
    even though the will save vs their aura is relatively low, it is a
    constant effect along with their magic circle against evil. A hound
    archon in an 8th level adventure can probably do alright. It would be
    suitable as a cohort for the paladin taking Leadership at 9th level,
    which I just realized coincidentally is where they appear for 9th level
    spellcasters in Summon Monster V.

    Gerald Katz
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Will Green <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXoX.com> wrote in
    news:77F4e.21273$kM1.5237@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com:

    > Justisaur wrote:
    >> Malachias Invictus wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >>>news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >
    >>>>Dragons, too high.
    >>>
    >>>To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    >>> especially true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.
    >>
    >> I meant dragons are too high for thier CR.
    >
    > You mean dragons are too *powerful* for their CR. Altitude's got
    > nothing to do with it. ;)
    >
    > -Will "unless you mean they're toked up" Green
    >
    Well, many of 'em do emit toxic vapors.

    --
    Terry Austin
    www.hyperbooks.com
    Campaign Cartographer now available
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    tussock wrote:
    >
    > > Hound archons also have too high an ECL. I know they have out of
    the
    > > ordinary abilities and thus a plain 1st class level hit points just
    > > wouldn't work. However, +5 is still too high. To play a hound
    archon
    > > is to start at the equivalent of 11th level with only 6d8 hit
    points.
    >
    > With +2 Con, and /Aid/ at will for an extra 1d8+6 per fight, not
    to
    > mention the DR 10/Evil.
    >
    > > That is too few hit points for the given level. The closest
    comparison
    > > is a wizard with 11d4. However, a hound archon does not have the
    > > equivalent power of an 11th level wizard.
    >
    > /Greater Teleport/ (self only) at will is pretty damn powerful,
    > Dire Wolf form is handy enough for battle with the right feats, or
    just
    > stack up the Str and use weapon, and bite.
    > Tank up to suit the +9 natural armour and the only real things
    the
    > character is vulnerable to is one round damage-spell kills (less so
    than
    > a Sor or Wiz), or a /Blasphemy/.
    >
    > > From a powergame perspective, I would always choose the 11th level
    > > wizard over the hound archon. Given the other classes which would
    > > have more hit points, and the hound archon becomes irrelevant.
    >
    > Powergamers are _supposed_ to choose single class humans, that's

    > the way the rules are balanced; everything else is weaker.
    >
    > > If they must start at 6d8 hit points, let them come in at 6th
    level.
    > > Since they are CR 4, then four 4th level characters could "take
    it".
    >
    > Ha! They're CR 5 with elite stats, but no 5th level party has
    the
    > means to kill a hound archon that doesn't want to be killed.
    >
    > > Putting it in a party of four 6th level characters should then be
    just
    > > fine, fair and balanced. When everyone reaches 7th level, the
    hound
    > > archon can take 1st level in a class.
    >
    > They'd start with Warrior level BAB, Rogue level skills, some
    > powers of a mid-high level Wizard, great stats, DR 10/Evil, and +9
    > natural armour. April fools day was a few days ago mate, I'm not
    falling
    > for it.
    >
    > --
    > tussock
    >
    > Aspie at work, sorry in advance.

    Okay then, Hound Archon is too good to start in with a 6th level party.
    I still think 11th level is too high. I'm settling for 9th level as
    an opinion for where it should be. It's where spellcasters can summon
    them. It's a good place for paladins or other lawful good heroes to
    take Leadership for a cohort.

    Gerald Katz
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Hadsil wrote:
    > Not so much CR, but I think some ECLs are too high. If one were to
    > play a non-core race, I think it should be possible in some cases to
    > start off with 1 class HD like everyone else instead of the more than
    > one they get just because that's what the monster manual says. Gnoll
    > PCs, for example, don't really need to start off with 2d8 hit points
    > and no class. Let there be a 1HD 10 hit points + CON 1st level gnoll
    > fighter and be done with it.

    Much better to let them drop 1 monster HD in exchange for their
    first class level, as part of being elite. Dropping all their HD for
    class levels isn't usually too bad (exchange skill points and hit
    points, keep the powers and LA).
    Most *do* need to start with the right number of HD in total
    though; or go the Savage Species way and make it a class of it's own.

    > Hound archons also have too high an ECL. I know they have out of the
    > ordinary abilities and thus a plain 1st class level hit points just
    > wouldn't work. However, +5 is still too high. To play a hound archon
    > is to start at the equivalent of 11th level with only 6d8 hit points.

    With +2 Con, and /Aid/ at will for an extra 1d8+6 per fight, not to
    mention the DR 10/Evil.

    > That is too few hit points for the given level. The closest comparison
    > is a wizard with 11d4. However, a hound archon does not have the
    > equivalent power of an 11th level wizard.

    /Greater Teleport/ (self only) at will is pretty damn powerful,
    Dire Wolf form is handy enough for battle with the right feats, or just
    stack up the Str and use weapon, and bite.
    Tank up to suit the +9 natural armour and the only real things the
    character is vulnerable to is one round damage-spell kills (less so than
    a Sor or Wiz), or a /Blasphemy/.

    > From a powergame perspective, I would always choose the 11th level
    > wizard over the hound archon. Given the other classes which would
    > have more hit points, and the hound archon becomes irrelevant.

    Powergamers are _supposed_ to choose single class humans, that's
    the way the rules are balanced; everything else is weaker.

    > If they must start at 6d8 hit points, let them come in at 6th level.
    > Since they are CR 4, then four 4th level characters could "take it".

    Ha! They're CR 5 with elite stats, but no 5th level party has the
    means to kill a hound archon that doesn't want to be killed.

    > Putting it in a party of four 6th level characters should then be just
    > fine, fair and balanced. When everyone reaches 7th level, the hound
    > archon can take 1st level in a class.

    They'd start with Warrior level BAB, Rogue level skills, some
    powers of a mid-high level Wizard, great stats, DR 10/Evil, and +9
    natural armour. April fools day was a few days ago mate, I'm not falling
    for it.

    --
    tussock

    Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    <laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu> wrote in message
    news:1112724581.724624.155650@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > Malachias Invictus wrote:
    >> "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:1112648894.977757.268330@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >> >
    >> > Matthias wrote:
    >> >> Out of the WOTC-published books with monsters in them, which
    > monsters
    >> > have the
    >> >> most inaccurate CRs? What is it about each monster makes the CR
    > too
    >> > high or too
    >> >> low for it?
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> > Dragons, too high.
    >>
    >> To *high*?!? I was about to say, "Dragons, too *low*." That is
    > especially
    >> true if you use the Draconomicon feats for them.
    >
    > I second that, though it's not too bad.

    Someone here once suggested the following adjustments to Dragon CR:

    If the CR is 1-4, double it; if it is 5 or higher, add 4. That seems to
    work out pretty well, especially if you are using the Draconomicon.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Hadsil wrote:
    > It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    > still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....

    Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or two.
    Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to electricity.
    So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.

    Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote in message
    news:slrnd5761h.5em.bradd+news@szonye.com...
    > Hadsil wrote:
    >> It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    >> still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....
    >
    > Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or two.
    > Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to electricity.
    > So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    > 11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    > Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.

    Archons are not too bad on the taking damage end (although SR 16 is about as
    effective as tissue paper at that level). They don't deal damage out very
    effectively, though. Of course, once you give them 4 Outsider levels and
    they advance to Large size, they are much more effective, as the Strength
    increase makes up for the relatively low BAB, and the Constitution increase
    makes up for the low hit points. They have a good amount of abilities, good
    skill points, and decent saves. Over all, they are just about right.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 5 Apr 2005 11:09:41 -0700, laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu carved upon
    a tablet of ether:

    > I second that, though it's not too bad. Elementals also seem a bit
    > strong for their CR.

    They do? Every time I've seen an elemental in play it's died very
    easily for it's supposed CR. OTOH I've never seen one bigger than
    'large', so maybe it's the big ones that are too powerful.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Rupert Boleyn wrote:
    > On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 00:39:15 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    > <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    > > Someone here once suggested the following adjustments to Dragon CR:
    > >
    > > If the CR is 1-4, double it; if it is 5 or higher, add 4. That
    seems to
    > > work out pretty well, especially if you are using the Draconomicon.
    >
    > IME, not using the Draconomicon, dragons in the CR8-12 range are
    about
    > right, and certainly not more than CR +1-2 higher than they should
    be.
    > The game I ran had the party meet, and fight, 4-5 dragons in that
    > range and they didn't seem any tougher than I expected.

    I think it depends on situation and conditions of engagement.

    In a dungeon they are fine at listed CR IMAO.

    Against a fully preped party in the open they are about right
    also. (Although I have seen the "did anyone load some extra
    arrows in the bag of holding? I'm out.", way to often to consider
    this trivial.)

    Put the DRAGON on a clock and it gets weaker. Don't notice that
    it senses the party coming well before contact and casts it's
    mage armor spell and it's noticably weaker.

    IME if it is a dark night and the engagement is outside a smart
    dragon is MUCH more powerful than CR would indicate, quite likely
    a TPK vs. an equal level fresh party. It has better, longer range
    senses that the party, and hence is only in sight during flyovers
    to breath (or whatever).

    It's smart enough to recognize who is dangerous and kill him first,
    or to pull back to wait out spell durations.

    Fly in from out of range, breath, next round flyby attack with a
    bite on the way out, your reach exceeds that of most fighters so
    all they get is bowshots (especially since if the party is not
    all using ranged weapons you have no reason at all to come in
    for the followup melee attack).

    The problem is a dragon is fairly good at EVERYTHING, it has an
    area ranged attack, it is fast (few things are faster), good
    senses (quite possibly the best in the game), lots of HP, a
    really powerful melee attack, fair AC, all saves are good, SR,
    a deadly full attack, it flys, it casts spells, it has more
    lots of skill points/HD, and it has lots of HD for those good
    saves and skill points to add up, ...

    If you catch a dragon where much of this isn't aplicable (like
    a typical dungeon room) it goes down without excessive trouble,
    if it can take advantage of the ability synergies (fly and breath;
    spells and melee; flyby, reach, and melee;...) it starts getting
    deadly for the CR.

    DougL
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    The Tendriculous is a CR 6 I think...way too low for this planty
    killer...DR, regeneration, grapple etc.

    Also, I just read a CR 5 creature from the MM3, A Bone Claw. Undead,
    100+ hp, 20' reach, It struck me as more powerful then a 5 from the
    reading.

    Most animals (Dire / legendary are too low IMO. the Grapple /
    constrict / rend type combos are mean if concentrated on a single PC

    Rich
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > Hadsil wrote:
    > > It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    > > still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....
    >
    > Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or
    two.
    > Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to
    electricity.
    > So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    > 11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    > Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.
    >
    > Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.
    > --
    > Bradd W. Szonye
    > http://www.szonye.com/bradd

    Dwarves also get +2 Con, and they're +0. SR 16 gets trivial. Drow
    have spell resistance and they're only +2. Immunity to electricity is
    nothing a cleric or wizard can't mimic with a 2nd or 3rd level spell.
    DR 10/evil does mean something; hence I would agree that starting the
    hound archon at 6th level probably isn't a good idea after all. I
    think its +5 ECL is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be +0 either.
    I still say 9th level is a good start, i.e. +3 ECL.

    Gerald Katz
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <1112743969.800671.170820@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
    Justisaur <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote:
    >I'll have to 2nd that. Most 'improved grapple' monsters seem a bit
    >more nasty than thier equal counterparts. Doubly so if they can fly.
    >
    >"Hey I managed my escape artist check, but now I'm 200' up in the air
    >with nothing keeping me up here!"

    I'd be inclined to let the "escape" mean you'd climbed out of its talons onto
    its leg. Still not a great place to be, but it lets you jump off just before
    the dragon gets to its mountain, and prevents it from deciding to drop you.
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed into
    the ether:

    >
    >Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    >> Hadsil wrote:
    >> > It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    >> > still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....
    >>
    >> Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or
    >two.
    >> Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to
    >electricity.
    >> So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    >> 11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    >> Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.
    >>
    >> Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.
    >> --
    >> Bradd W. Szonye
    >> http://www.szonye.com/bradd
    >
    >Dwarves also get +2 Con, and they're +0.

    Dwarves get -2 cha and are 10 feet per round slower than a normal medium
    creature. Their con bonus doesn't exist in a vaccuum.

    > SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.

    Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...

    SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level 6.
    Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.

    > I think its +5 ECL is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be +0 either.
    > I still say 9th level is a good start, i.e. +3 ECL.

    Seems fairly decent, since Hound Archons really come with few (any?)
    mechanical drawbacks, and a giant pile of bonuses. If you really play up
    the alignment side, and have a game world with a lot of persecution towards
    non-core races (a walking, talking, glowing man-dog would certainly
    qualify) then those would be fairly significant.
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "eyebyte" <rbrouwer@rogers.com> wrote in message
    news:1112837133.818069.18120@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > The Tendriculous is a CR 6 I think...way too low for this planty
    > killer...DR, regeneration, grapple etc.
    >
    > Also, I just read a CR 5 creature from the MM3, A Bone Claw. Undead,
    > 100+ hp, 20' reach, It struck me as more powerful then a 5 from the
    > reading.

    We fought some advanced versions of those in a convention game, with 10th
    level PCs. We were shredded like tissue paper.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    news:lek951teb9c4f66v7kbv9j5fnuve86eh10@4ax.com...
    > On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed into
    > the ether:
    >
    >>
    >>Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    >>> Hadsil wrote:
    >>> > It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    >>> > still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....
    >>>
    >>> Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or
    >>two.
    >>> Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to
    >>electricity.
    >>> So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    >>> 11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    >>> Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.
    >>>
    >>> Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.
    >>> --
    >>> Bradd W. Szonye
    >>> http://www.szonye.com/bradd
    >>
    >>Dwarves also get +2 Con, and they're +0.
    >
    > Dwarves get -2 cha and are 10 feet per round slower than a normal medium
    > creature. Their con bonus doesn't exist in a vaccuum.

    They also have other stat bonuses, and their move is 40'.

    >> SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >
    > Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    > spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >
    > SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level 6.
    > Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.

    At level 6, magical spells are not all that tough to begin with.

    >> I think its +5 ECL is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be +0
    >> either.
    >> I still say 9th level is a good start, i.e. +3 ECL.
    >
    > Seems fairly decent, since Hound Archons really come with few (any?)
    > mechanical drawbacks, and a giant pile of bonuses. If you really play up
    > the alignment side, and have a game world with a lot of persecution
    > towards
    > non-core races (a walking, talking, glowing man-dog would certainly
    > qualify) then those would be fairly significant.

    They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so. The other thing I am not
    seeing much mention of is the teleportation. That is a *very* powerful
    ability.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 00:39:15 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > Someone here once suggested the following adjustments to Dragon CR:
    >
    > If the CR is 1-4, double it; if it is 5 or higher, add 4. That seems to
    > work out pretty well, especially if you are using the Draconomicon.

    IME, not using the Draconomicon, dragons in the CR8-12 range are about
    right, and certainly not more than CR +1-2 higher than they should be.
    The game I ran had the party meet, and fight, 4-5 dragons in that
    range and they didn't seem any tougher than I expected.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Bradd wrote:
    >> Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or
    >> two. Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to
    >> electricity. So while they will have significantly fewer hit points
    >> than an 11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less
    >> damage. Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the
    >> archon.
    >>
    >> Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.


    Hadsil wrote:
    > Dwarves also get +2 Con, and they're +0 ....

    So what, Gerald? What part of "Don't make snap judgments based on just
    one stat" did you not understand?
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:06:59 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:


    Didn't get the original post...

    >"eyebyte" <rbrouwer@rogers.com> wrote in message
    >news:1112837133.818069.18120@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >> The Tendriculous is a CR 6 I think...way too low for this planty
    >> killer...DR, regeneration, grapple etc.
    >>
    >> Also, I just read a CR 5 creature from the MM3, A Bone Claw. Undead,
    >> 100+ hp, 20' reach, It struck me as more powerful then a 5 from the
    >> reading.
    >
    >We fought some advanced versions of those in a convention game, with 10th
    >level PCs. We were shredded like tissue paper.

    Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that* difficult...keep it
    turned and all of its combat ability is negated.

    But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does seem
    too strong.
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    news:av3b51lq6h1bq8cqg36rjush4a2qesetqa@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:06:59 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    > <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >
    >
    > Didn't get the original post...
    >
    >>"eyebyte" <rbrouwer@rogers.com> wrote in message
    >>news:1112837133.818069.18120@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >>> The Tendriculous is a CR 6 I think...way too low for this planty
    >>> killer...DR, regeneration, grapple etc.
    >>>
    >>> Also, I just read a CR 5 creature from the MM3, A Bone Claw. Undead,
    >>> 100+ hp, 20' reach, It struck me as more powerful then a 5 from the
    >>> reading.
    >>
    >>We fought some advanced versions of those in a convention game, with 10th
    >>level PCs. We were shredded like tissue paper.
    >
    > Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that* difficult...keep
    > it
    > turned and all of its combat ability is negated.

    We were unable to turn them. The party was almost *all* clerics and
    paladins. I believe the area was desecrated or something.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:09:54 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:

    >
    >"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >news:lek951teb9c4f66v7kbv9j5fnuve86eh10@4ax.com...
    >> On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed into
    >> the ether:
    >>
    >>>


    >>> SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >>
    >> Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    >> spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >>
    >> SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level 6.
    >> Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.
    >
    >At level 6, magical spells are not all that tough to begin with.

    A sleep spell at level 1 can doom an entire party. Level 6 is where you
    start running into the possibility of NPC fireballs and hold spells. Magic
    is certainly more common at higher levels, but it isn't unimportant early
    on.

    >>> I think its +5 ECL is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be +0
    >>> either.
    >>> I still say 9th level is a good start, i.e. +3 ECL.
    >>
    >> Seems fairly decent, since Hound Archons really come with few (any?)
    >> mechanical drawbacks, and a giant pile of bonuses. If you really play up
    >> the alignment side, and have a game world with a lot of persecution
    >> towards non-core races (a walking, talking, glowing man-dog would certainly
    >> qualify) then those would be fairly significant.
    >
    >They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.

    Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    difference between celestials and infernals.

    > The other thing I am not seeing much mention of is the teleportation.
    > That is a *very* powerful ability.

    There is also the Aura of Menace, which will improve with class levels.

    Shapechanging into any dog form at will is also not without it's merits. A
    lot more limiting in form than Polymorph Self, but it's still nearly
    duplicating a 4th level spell, and is "at will" with no per day
    restrictions to boot.
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    news:b24b519os3fa5t2o1q1gh6fsccrrbn2uu2@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:09:54 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    > <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >
    >>
    >>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >>news:lek951teb9c4f66v7kbv9j5fnuve86eh10@4ax.com...
    >>> On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed
    >>> into
    >>> the ether:
    >>>
    >>>>
    >
    >
    >>>> SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >>>
    >>> Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    >>> spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >>>
    >>> SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level
    >>> 6.
    >>> Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.
    >>
    >>At level 6, magical spells are not all that tough to begin with.
    >
    > A sleep spell at level 1 can doom an entire party.

    ....but not a Hound Archon.

    > Level 6 is where you
    > start running into the possibility of NPC fireballs

    That is a pretty insignificant fireball, really.

    > and hold spells.

    You mean Hold Person, which does not work on Outsiders?

    > Magic is certainly more common at higher levels, but it isn't unimportant
    > early
    > on.
    >
    >>>> I think its +5 ECL is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be +0
    >>>> either.
    >>>> I still say 9th level is a good start, i.e. +3 ECL.
    >>>
    >>> Seems fairly decent, since Hound Archons really come with few (any?)
    >>> mechanical drawbacks, and a giant pile of bonuses. If you really play up
    >>> the alignment side, and have a game world with a lot of persecution
    >>> towards non-core races (a walking, talking, glowing man-dog would
    >>> certainly
    >>> qualify) then those would be fairly significant.
    >>
    >>They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.
    >
    > Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    > difference between celestials and infernals.

    Check their description in the Monster Manual.

    >> The other thing I am not seeing much mention of is the teleportation.
    >> That is a *very* powerful ability.
    >
    > There is also the Aura of Menace, which will improve with class levels.

    It also fails as soon as you damage the Hound Archon. Not very effective,
    really.

    > Shapechanging into any dog form at will is also not without it's merits. A
    > lot more limiting in form than Polymorph Self, but it's still nearly
    > duplicating a 4th level spell, and is "at will" with no per day
    > restrictions to boot.

    Agreed.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <av3b51lq6h1bq8cqg36rjush4a2qesetqa@4ax.com>,
    Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    >But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does seem
    >too strong.

    I've heard that *modules* are based on the presumption of the skills of the
    standard party -- fighter, cleric, scount, mage. So why can't CRs be based on
    the same assumption?
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    MI wrote:
    >> They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.

    Matt Frisch wrote:
    > Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    > difference between celestials and infernals.

    Too silly! You really think they'll need an explanation?
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Matt Frisch wrote:
    >
    > Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that*
    difficult...keep it
    > turned and all of its combat ability is negated.
    >
    > But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does
    seem
    > too strong.

    Would it be a reasonable house rule to make the basic cleric ability
    work like keeping a vampire at bay? (What would be a good name for
    this? Repel Undead? Avert Undead? Undead Ward?) The distance could
    be fifteen or twenty feet, so the ability continues to be useful to the
    rest of the party.

    Feats would be available to improve this ability to either Turn Undead
    or Command Undead as we currently have them. It seems like this sort
    of treatment could reduce the big gap in undead-encounter difficulty
    for parties with and without clerics.

    --Iss
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:19:22 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com>
    scribed into the ether:

    >MI wrote:
    >>> They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.
    >
    >Matt Frisch wrote:
    >> Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    >> difference between celestials and infernals.
    >
    >Too silly! You really think they'll need an explanation?

    Depends on just how enlightened these peasants are. If you are lifting them
    from the middle ages, then no explanation will suffice...it's torches and
    pitchforks (even ignoring that the character is not in any danger from such
    an attack, not being able to interact with the populace is going to be a
    major stumbling block) from the get-go.

    If you go with village folk taken from Elizabeth Moon's northern kingdoms,
    then they might be convinced to listen to reason.
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 16:51:38 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:

    >
    >"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >news:b24b519os3fa5t2o1q1gh6fsccrrbn2uu2@4ax.com...
    >> On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:09:54 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    >> <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >>
    >>>
    >>>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >>>news:lek951teb9c4f66v7kbv9j5fnuve86eh10@4ax.com...
    >>>> On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed
    >>>> into
    >>>> the ether:
    >>>>
    >>>>> SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >>>>
    >>>> Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    >>>> spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >>>>
    >>>> SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level
    >>>> 6.
    >>>> Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.
    >>>
    >>>At level 6, magical spells are not all that tough to begin with.
    >>
    >> A sleep spell at level 1 can doom an entire party.
    >
    >...but not a Hound Archon.

    Who would not be level 1 anyway...this is just giving some examples of low
    level magic being a concern, and the value of SR16, not looking for
    specific threats against the Hound.

    [snip more refutations]

    >>>They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.
    >>
    >> Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    >> difference between celestials and infernals.
    >
    >Check their description in the Monster Manual.

    Maybe there is some info in the 3.5MM that is not listed in my 3.0 version,
    but nothing I can see really leaps out to show why people who don't know
    what a Hound Archon is would have any reason to trust it over any other
    non-standard-pc-race.

    >>> The other thing I am not seeing much mention of is the teleportation.
    >>> That is a *very* powerful ability.
    >>
    >> There is also the Aura of Menace, which will improve with class levels.
    >
    >It also fails as soon as you damage the Hound Archon. Not very effective,
    >really.

    Ah, but it does work on everyone, whether they are fighting the Hound or
    not. Other members of the party will reap the benefit while being attacked.
    Especially relevant in a melee-heavy party where the bulk of the opponents
    are not going to be attacking the Hound.

    It's not the ultimate ability, but you can't just ignore it either.

    >> Shapechanging into any dog form at will is also not without it's merits. A
    >> lot more limiting in form than Polymorph Self, but it's still nearly
    >> duplicating a 4th level spell, and is "at will" with no per day
    >> restrictions to boot.
    >
    >Agreed.

    And it just occured to me that turning into the party's pet dog would be a
    hell of a way to get around problems with the natives that might arise from
    their natural form.
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:06:09 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:

    >
    >"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >news:av3b51lq6h1bq8cqg36rjush4a2qesetqa@4ax.com...
    >> On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:06:59 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    >> <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >>
    >>
    >> Didn't get the original post...
    >>
    >>>"eyebyte" <rbrouwer@rogers.com> wrote in message
    >>>news:1112837133.818069.18120@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    >>>> The Tendriculous is a CR 6 I think...way too low for this planty
    >>>> killer...DR, regeneration, grapple etc.
    >>>>
    >>>> Also, I just read a CR 5 creature from the MM3, A Bone Claw. Undead,
    >>>> 100+ hp, 20' reach, It struck me as more powerful then a 5 from the
    >>>> reading.
    >>>
    >>>We fought some advanced versions of those in a convention game, with 10th
    >>>level PCs. We were shredded like tissue paper.
    >>
    >> Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that* difficult...keep
    >> it
    >> turned and all of its combat ability is negated.
    >
    >We were unable to turn them. The party was almost *all* clerics and
    >paladins. I believe the area was desecrated or something.

    Well, that's a recipe for a TPK indeed.
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 7 Apr 2005 20:42:17 GMT, dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca (David Alex Lamb)
    scribed into the ether:

    >In article <av3b51lq6h1bq8cqg36rjush4a2qesetqa@4ax.com>,
    >Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    >>But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does seem
    >>too strong.
    >
    >I've heard that *modules* are based on the presumption of the skills of the
    >standard party -- fighter, cleric, scount, mage. So why can't CRs be based on
    >the same assumption?

    The DMG says it isn't. It gives advice to the DM about certain kinds of
    encounters being easier with certain abilities, but it mentions that you
    don't change CRs based on that. ELs (and thus XP earned) can vary on that
    basis, but not CRs.
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 6 Apr 2005 16:21:23 -0700, "DougL" <doug.lampert@tdytsi.com> carved
    upon a tablet of ether:

    > IME if it is a dark night and the engagement is outside a smart
    > dragon is MUCH more powerful than CR would indicate, quite likely
    > a TPK vs. an equal level fresh party. It has better, longer range
    > senses that the party, and hence is only in sight during flyovers
    > to breath (or whatever).

    A black dragon in swamps with deep water handy will quite easily kill
    a careless party, too. However this sort of thing is preventable with
    proper planning.

    > If you catch a dragon where much of this isn't aplicable (like
    > a typical dungeon room) it goes down without excessive trouble,
    > if it can take advantage of the ability synergies (fly and breath;
    > spells and melee; flyby, reach, and melee;...) it starts getting
    > deadly for the CR.

    Until at least mid age levels a dragon's breath weapon isn't that
    special - it's handily outranged by bowfire and most spells, and it
    doesn't do enough damage to overcome the expected elemental
    protections of a prepared party. That means the dragon really needs to
    melee, and unless there's no cover around a party should be able to
    minimise fly-bys. The big thing is that preparation makes a really big
    difference, and tactical screwups by players are very expensive
    because the dragon has many options.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Issachar44 wrote:

    > Matt Frisch wrote:
    >
    >>Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that*
    >
    > difficult...keep it
    >
    >>turned and all of its combat ability is negated.
    >>
    >>But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does
    >
    > seem
    >
    >>too strong.
    >
    >
    > Would it be a reasonable house rule to make the basic cleric ability
    > work like keeping a vampire at bay? (What would be a good name for
    > this? Repel Undead? Avert Undead? Undead Ward?) The distance could
    > be fifteen or twenty feet, so the ability continues to be useful to the
    > rest of the party.
    >
    > Feats would be available to improve this ability to either Turn Undead
    > or Command Undead as we currently have them. It seems like this sort
    > of treatment could reduce the big gap in undead-encounter difficulty
    > for parties with and without clerics.
    >
    > --Iss
    >

    This really depends on the "world feel" that you are looking for.
    Holding at bay/1 for 1 round/level, or for duration of concentration
    (max 1 min level) makes for quite a different flavor of game. Fun, in my
    opinion, as I like the ominous undead.

    However, I don't think you'd change the difficulty gap of parties
    with/without clerics. Those with clerics will still have a great advantage.

    CH
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Holding at bay... very interesting. I like it - maybe a house rule
    like:

    1) "normal" successful turn check - undead are held at bay (can't enter
    turn radius)
    2) turn check is 4 or more greater than what is needed to turn the
    undead - causes undead to flee, per RAW. If cornered, they cower, RAW
    3) Destroy undead if cleric has twice the HD of the undead, RAW

    if the turning cleric causes the undead to enter the turn radius by
    cornering it and continuing, the cleric is giving up the turn. If the
    undead is cornered by the turn (but the cleric stays far enough away
    that the undead is not forced into the radius), assuming the undead is
    at bay rather than panicked, the undead should get some kind of opposed
    check vs the turning roll each round it takes damage to overcome the
    turning, maybe d20 + HD? Makes fighting undead a little scarier :-)
  43. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Rupert Boleyn wrote:
    > On 6 Apr 2005 16:21:23 -0700, "DougL" <doug.lampert@tdytsi.com>
    carved
    > upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    > > IME if it is a dark night and the engagement is outside a smart
    > > dragon is MUCH more powerful than CR would indicate, quite likely
    > > a TPK vs. an equal level fresh party. It has better, longer range
    > > senses that the party, and hence is only in sight during flyovers
    > > to breath (or whatever).
    >
    > A black dragon in swamps with deep water handy will quite easily kill
    > a careless party, too. However this sort of thing is preventable with
    > proper planning.

    Why do you assume ANY planning!?!

    They should beat an equal CR foe in a come as you are withno
    special prep and losses of no more than about 25% of consumables.

    This is a HENCHMAN or minor obstacle level dragon we are talking
    about, a Boss dragon where it is appropriate to assume prep
    should be +2 to +4 CR above the average party level.

    Do they need "proper planning" to deal with other equal CR
    monsters? Say 4 level 5 ork warriors for a level 8 party?

    > > If you catch a dragon where much of this isn't aplicable (like
    > > a typical dungeon room) it goes down without excessive trouble,
    > > if it can take advantage of the ability synergies (fly and breath;
    > > spells and melee; flyby, reach, and melee;...) it starts getting
    > > deadly for the CR.
    >
    > Until at least mid age levels a dragon's breath weapon isn't that
    > special - it's handily outranged by bowfire and most spells, and it
    > doesn't do enough damage to overcome the expected elemental
    > protections of a prepared party. That means the dragon really needs
    to
    > melee, and unless there's no cover around a party should be able to
    > minimise fly-bys. The big thing is that preparation makes a really
    big
    > difference, and tactical screwups by players are very expensive
    > because the dragon has many options.

    Outranged by spells and bows is why I MENTIONED that the Dragon's
    SENSES and MOVEMENT outrange the party, the breath weapon could
    be max range 15' and it wouldn't matter as long as the area was
    large enough to catch the party. They get a shot, it gets a shot,
    it comes back and takes a shot, they get a shot, ...

    Again elemental protections are only UP if you were expecting
    a dragon, and note that I pointed out specifically that it is
    smart enough to pull back and wait out durations, 10 min per
    level is no real help unless they have some way to lose it during
    that time.

    And minor screwups against an equal CR foe by a fresh party should
    carry little risk of a TPK, if they carry a substantial risk against
    a dragon that is yet more evidence that the dragon CR is wrong.

    DougL
  44. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 8 Apr 2005 06:31:06 -0700, "Issachar44" <Issachar44@gmail.com> scribed
    into the ether:

    >Matt Frisch wrote:
    >>
    >> Given a cleric, the CR5 version doesn't seem all *that*
    >difficult...keep it
    >> turned and all of its combat ability is negated.
    >>
    >> But CRs can't be based on the assumption of a cleric. That thing does
    >seem
    >> too strong.
    >
    >Would it be a reasonable house rule to make the basic cleric ability
    >work like keeping a vampire at bay? (What would be a good name for
    >this? Repel Undead? Avert Undead? Undead Ward?) The distance could
    >be fifteen or twenty feet, so the ability continues to be useful to the
    >rest of the party.

    Fear an undead into a corner so it can't run anymore, and have it be
    attacked by someone besides the cleric, and it's pretty much helpless. If
    it were even possible to coup de grace an undead, that would be the
    effective result.

    Does seem like a decent enough modification to the ability, if you find
    basic Turning to be too powerful. Fits in with the established genre as
    well. You'd need to come up with the results of the cornering...if the
    undead is physically unable to retreat out of the protected area, what
    happens? Undead turned by the RAW just run in panic, but an undead repelled
    in this manner would be fully in control of its actions, just unable to
    enter a specific area.
  45. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    > On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:19:22 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com>
    > scribed into the ether:
    >>MI wrote:
    >>>> They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.

    >>Matt Frisch wrote:
    >>> Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    >>> difference between celestials and infernals.

    >>Too silly! You really think they'll need an explanation?

    > Depends on just how enlightened these peasants are. If you are lifting them
    > from the middle ages, then no explanation will suffice...it's torches and
    > pitchforks (even ignoring that the character is not in any danger from such
    > an attack, not being able to interact with the populace is going to be a
    > major stumbling block) from the get-go.

    They are obviously celestials. Why would peasants attack them?
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  46. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Matt Frisch wrote:

    > On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed into
    > the ether:
    >
    >
    >>Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    >>
    >>>Hadsil wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>It doesn't matter why [hound archons] have 6d8 hit points; that's
    >>>>still not enough for an 11th level adventure ....
    >>>
    >>>Hound archons also have +2 Con, which is worth another Hit Die or
    >>
    >>two.
    >>
    >>>Furthermore, they have DR 10/evil, SR 16, and immunity to
    >>
    >>electricity.
    >>
    >>>So while they will have significantly fewer hit points than an
    >>>11th-level fighter, they'll also take significantly less damage.
    >>>Overall, it comes out about even, maybe even in favor of the archon.
    >>>
    >>>Moral of the story: Don't make snap judgments based on just one stat.
    >>>--
    >>>Bradd W. Szonye
    >>>http://www.szonye.com/bradd
    >>
    >>Dwarves also get +2 Con, and they're +0.
    >
    >
    > Dwarves get -2 cha and are 10 feet per round slower than a normal medium
    > creature. Their con bonus doesn't exist in a vaccuum.
    >
    >
    >>SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >
    >
    > Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    > spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >
    > SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level 6.
    > Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.

    Doesn't it increase as the archon gains levels, like a drow's does?

    - Ron ^*^
  47. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Matt Frisch wrote:

    > On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 16:51:38 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    > <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >
    >
    >>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >>news:b24b519os3fa5t2o1q1gh6fsccrrbn2uu2@4ax.com...
    >>
    >>>On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:09:54 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
    >>><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    >>>>news:lek951teb9c4f66v7kbv9j5fnuve86eh10@4ax.com...
    >>>>
    >>>>>On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed
    >>>>>into
    >>>>>the ether:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    >>>>>spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >>>>>
    >>>>>SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level
    >>>>>6.
    >>>>>Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.
    >>>>
    >>>>At level 6, magical spells are not all that tough to begin with.
    >>>
    >>>A sleep spell at level 1 can doom an entire party.
    >>
    >>...but not a Hound Archon.
    >
    >
    > Who would not be level 1 anyway...this is just giving some examples of low
    > level magic being a concern, and the value of SR16, not looking for
    > specific threats against the Hound.
    >
    > [snip more refutations]
    >
    >
    >>>>They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.
    >>>
    >>>Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    >>>difference between celestials and infernals.
    >>
    >>Check their description in the Monster Manual.
    >
    >
    > Maybe there is some info in the 3.5MM that is not listed in my 3.0 version,
    > but nothing I can see really leaps out to show why people who don't know
    > what a Hound Archon is would have any reason to trust it over any other
    > non-standard-pc-race.
    >
    >
    >>>>The other thing I am not seeing much mention of is the teleportation.
    >>>> That is a *very* powerful ability.
    >>>
    >>>There is also the Aura of Menace, which will improve with class levels.
    >>
    >>It also fails as soon as you damage the Hound Archon. Not very effective,
    >>really.
    >
    >
    > Ah, but it does work on everyone, whether they are fighting the Hound or
    > not. Other members of the party will reap the benefit while being attacked.
    > Especially relevant in a melee-heavy party where the bulk of the opponents
    > are not going to be attacking the Hound.
    >
    > It's not the ultimate ability, but you can't just ignore it either.
    >
    >
    >>>Shapechanging into any dog form at will is also not without it's merits. A
    >>>lot more limiting in form than Polymorph Self, but it's still nearly
    >>>duplicating a 4th level spell, and is "at will" with no per day
    >>>restrictions to boot.
    >>
    >>Agreed.
    >
    >
    > And it just occured to me that turning into the party's pet dog would be a
    > hell of a way to get around problems with the natives that might arise from
    > their natural form.

    I'd kinda figured that would be the whole point of that ability, actually.

    - Ron ^*^
  48. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 19:49:47 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com>
    scribed into the ether:

    >Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    >> On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:19:22 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com>
    >> scribed into the ether:
    >>>MI wrote:
    >>>>> They *are* celestials, though, and obviously so.
    >
    >>>Matt Frisch wrote:
    >>>> Paranoid villagers are not likely to stop for an explanation about the
    >>>> difference between celestials and infernals.
    >
    >>>Too silly! You really think they'll need an explanation?
    >
    >> Depends on just how enlightened these peasants are. If you are lifting them
    >> from the middle ages, then no explanation will suffice...it's torches and
    >> pitchforks (even ignoring that the character is not in any danger from such
    >> an attack, not being able to interact with the populace is going to be a
    >> major stumbling block) from the get-go.
    >
    >They are obviously celestials. Why would peasants attack them?

    The unknown is dangerous. That's even more true in a D&D universe than it
    is here. Celestials, and Hound Archons in particular, can effortlessly be
    confused with genuine monsters. Do peasants get a guidebook on telling
    Celestials apart from Infernals? If people automatically trust anything
    that looks Celestial, then that gives Evil a big open door to exploit
    gullible tools by means of a polymorph spell.

    Unless there is some compelling reason that joe average peasant is going to
    A) Know what a Hound Archon is, and B) Be able to reliably identify one by
    sight, I can't think of any reason why they would trust the walking,
    talking, glowing man-dog.
  49. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 20:51:59 -0400, Werebat <ranpoirier@cox.net> scribed
    into the ether:

    >
    >
    >Matt Frisch wrote:
    >
    >> On 6 Apr 2005 21:35:57 -0700, "Hadsil" <forumite@netzero.com> scribed into
    >> the ether:

    >>>SR 16 gets trivial. Drow have spell resistance and they're only +2.
    >>
    >>
    >> Plus all the basic elven traits (except weapon proficiencies) and innate
    >> spell-like abilities, and a racial save bonus, and darkvision...
    >>
    >> SR16 is 50% immunity to incoming magic vs even level opponents at level 6.
    >> Prior to that, it is even better. That's some heady stuff there.
    >
    >Doesn't it increase as the archon gains levels, like a drow's does?

    I couldn't find anything to support that in my 3.0MM, but it is really
    light on rules for monster advancement. This is also a celestial advancing
    with PC class levels, not conventional "make me bigger" advancement as the
    MM describes. Unless the class in question is Monk, I don't think it would
    improve.
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