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Hydras are CR4?!? WTF?!?

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Anonymous
June 11, 2005 9:21:08 PM

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

Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?

--
^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

More about : hydras cr4 wtf

Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:33:57 AM

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

On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
<capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:

>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?

Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into that
category.

AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
horrendous Will saves,

A Fighter or Barbarian with a beefy 2-H weapon can rip heads off super
quickly, which not only goes a long way towards killing the thing, but puts
a severe crimp in its offense. A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.

They are impressive, to be sure..and if one gets into the rear ranks and
starts munchking on your squishie characters, it would be...unfortunate.
But they are also pretty stupid.

Tough, but not grotesquely so.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:33:58 AM

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

"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
> On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
> <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>
>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>
> Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
> that
> category.

The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly bitching
about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).

> AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
> horrendous Will saves,

Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.

> A Fighter or Barbarian with a beefy 2-H weapon can rip heads off super
> quickly, which not only goes a long way towards killing the thing,

Not with fast healing 15+, it doesn't.

> but puts a severe crimp in its offense.

....as long as you can apply 5 points of fire or acid damage to its stumps
within 1D4 rounds. That is by no means guaranteed with a 4th-level party,
even if they are fairly prepared. If you fail, you have just given the
hydra an extra attack, and the ability to make an additional AoO.

> A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
> sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.

Possibly. Even with an average 5-header, each head takes 11 points to take
out, and it pretty much has to be in one shot, given the fast healing. Also
take into account that this takes a Sunder attempt to accomplish, which for
most folks means provoking an AoO from the hydra, which has Combat Reflexes
(and can make 5 attacks of opportunity per round). A 4th level Rogue does
not have the best of chances in this attempt, either, given that it is
competing against a +6 attack bonus.

> They are impressive, to be sure..and if one gets into the rear ranks and
> starts munchking on your squishie characters, it would be...unfortunate.
> But they are also pretty stupid.

True.

> Tough, but not grotesquely so.

For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
tiger), which is also CR 4.

--
^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
Related resources
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 10:53:39 AM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?

Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).

Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
indeed, no sir.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 2:39:21 PM

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

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 00:58:05 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
<capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:

>
>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
>news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
>> On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
>> <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>>
>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>
>> AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>> horrendous Will saves,
>
>Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
>think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.

Well, perhaps belatedly, but I looked at the 3.5 SRD version...wow what a
difference a half an edition makes. I figured that the two would be fairly
similar, but they are really not.

>> A Fighter or Barbarian with a beefy 2-H weapon can rip heads off super
>> quickly, which not only goes a long way towards killing the thing,
>
>Not with fast healing 15+, it doesn't.

I think they made a mistake in the SRD (and the MM too?). It should not
have that.

The sunder attempt is also a change, particularly with the AoO in return.
3.0 has it as a declared attack with no penalty. The ability to launch 5
AoOs (with reach!) is also a bit overwhelming.

>> but puts a severe crimp in its offense.
>
>...as long as you can apply 5 points of fire or acid damage to its stumps
>within 1D4 rounds. That is by no means guaranteed with a 4th-level party,
>even if they are fairly prepared. If you fail, you have just given the
>hydra an extra attack, and the ability to make an additional AoO.

They seem to have folded the "Lernaean" trait into the default monster.
Normal hydras do not regenerate heads.

>> Tough, but not grotesquely so.
>
>For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
>tiger), which is also CR 4.

The CR4 version of the Hydra I was looking at was the 3.0 version, which
has no fast healing, and where Lernaean was a seperate trait, making a 5
header into a CR7 instead of a CR4. Fast healing would probably bump that
to CR8. My CR4 Hydra is also only +1 on Will saves, not +3.

With built-in fast healing and head regeneration, I'm totally with you on
them being way way too strong. Is your source the SRD or the MM? Cause that
is just not right at all.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:50:09 PM

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

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:

> Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> indeed, no sir.

Name them instead of grandstanding then.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 7:54:27 PM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?


The typical lvl 4 party will contain a fighter-type, cleric-type,
rogue-type, and wizard-type. The fighter will most likely have Power
Attack, which leads into Improved Sunder. You can sunder any of the
hydra's heads and not provoke an AoO thanks to your feat. The cleric
can heal the fighter if he does not have Improvecd Sunder. The rogue
can move to flank, beat its low AC, and deal extra d6's thanks to Sneak
Attack. And the wizard can stop a stump from regrowing or just fire
magic missiles into the bulk of the creature. They're not easy by any
means, but neither is the tiger, as was pointed out earlier.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 8:19:31 PM

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

In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...

> > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>
> Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
> generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
>
> Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> indeed, no sir.

What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 11:44:12 PM

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

Behold! for laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu spake unto the multitude thus:

>Malachias Invictus wrote:
>> Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>
>Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
>generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
>
>Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
>indeed, no sir.

At 4th level, neither can I. This is one of those places where I wish
they'd made it a bit more obvious that something had changed so
enormously from 3.0 to 3.5. I had a 5th level party up against a 3.0
7-header, and they killed it with no damage by retreating with
fireballs and arrows. That would Not Work any more.

It's true that the thing can't kill you without forcing you into a
corner, but you can't kill it easily either.

The Fast Healing is just kooky. It's set at 10+HD, which makes it way
too much at low levels and rather redundant at high levels. I'd change
it to 2xHD.

The CR is generally wrong throughout. As a Hydra with more heads
doesn't get bigger, its damage, armour, HP and attacks don't
improve.enough. The SRD puts CR = HD-1. I'd put it at something more
like HD/2+3. Add 2 for Cryo- or Pyro-.

Alternatively, 5- and 6-headed ones should be Large, and 10+ heads
should be Gigantic.

--
Jim or Sarah Davies, but probably Jim

D&D and Star Fleet Battles stuff on http://www.aaargh.org
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 12:15:31 AM

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

"Quiggy" <quiggy@gmail.com> wrote in news:1118616867.621394.89850
@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Malachias Invictus wrote:
>> Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>
>
> The typical lvl 4 party will contain a fighter-type, cleric-type,
> rogue-type, and wizard-type. The fighter will most likely have Power
> Attack, which leads into Improved Sunder. You can sunder any of the
> hydra's heads and not provoke an AoO thanks to your feat.

Expecting a Ftr4 to have Improved Sunder is funny.

> The cleric
> can heal the fighter if he does not have Improvecd Sunder. The rogue
> can move to flank, beat its low AC, and deal extra d6's thanks to Sneak
> Attack.

When it heals 15 points a round, what good does that do?

> And the wizard can stop a stump from regrowing or just fire
> magic missiles into the bulk of the creature.

Magic missile isn't going to overcome the rapid healing, either.

The fact that the 3.0 hydra doesn't regrow heads or have rapid healing,
for the same CR, suggests to me that the CR really is a mistake.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:01:31 AM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
> news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
>
>>On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
>><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>>
>>
>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>
>>Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
>>that
>>category.
>
>
> The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly bitching
> about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).
>
>
>>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>>horrendous Will saves,
>
>
> Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
> think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.

Hydras are meant to be tough, but I don't think they're unbeatable even
at 4th level.

>>A Fighter or Barbarian with a beefy 2-H weapon can rip heads off super
>>quickly, which not only goes a long way towards killing the thing,
>
>
> Not with fast healing 15+, it doesn't.

Well, it'll die when all its heads are severed regardless of how many
hit points its body has
left.

>>but puts a severe crimp in its offense.
>
>
> ...as long as you can apply 5 points of fire or acid damage to its stumps
> within 1D4 rounds. That is by no means guaranteed with a 4th-level party,
> even if they are fairly prepared. If you fail, you have just given the
> hydra an extra attack, and the ability to make an additional AoO.

On average, it'll take 2 rounds for regeneration, giving the party a
couple of
chances to inflict that 5 points of fire or acid damage. Since the
average damage from
an oil flask or alchemist's fire is 3.5, that's 7 points in 2 rounds.
Doesn't seem impossible.
Isn't average damage for Burning Hands at 4th level 5 points, too (don't
have PHB at hand)?

>>A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
>>sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.
>
>
> Possibly. Even with an average 5-header, each head takes 11 points to take
> out, and it pretty much has to be in one shot, given the fast healing.

I don't think fast healing applies to the heads, just the body, but I
need to look in the MM
(also not at hand). Even so, a 4th level fighter or barbarian can
easily do 11 HP per round
in a number of ways. Also, a 4th level fighter can easily have Cleave,
and possibly Great Cleave,
making a 1-round total decapitation distinctly possible.

>Also
> take into account that this takes a Sunder attempt to accomplish, which for
> most folks means provoking an AoO from the hydra, which has Combat Reflexes
> (and can make 5 attacks of opportunity per round).

It's not impossible to have Improved Sunder at 4th level. Hell, a 1st
level fighter could
have that if they want. And since they've already got Power Attack if
they've got IS, it
makes a successful Sunder more likely.

If a bard or sorceror can get off a "Daze Monster," the hydra gets NO
actions for a round
(remember, it's got a bad Will save) which helps a lot.

>A 4th level Rogue does
> not have the best of chances in this attempt, either, given that it is
> competing against a +6 attack bonus.

But, in conjunction with spellcasters, you can give the rogue sneak
attacks against
the heads if he/she can reach them. "Invisibility" and "Glitterdust,"
among other things,
denies the hydra its DEX bonus to AC. So does Stunning Fist from a
monk, but given its good
Fortitude save I wouldn't hang my star on that.

>>They are impressive, to be sure..and if one gets into the rear ranks and
>>starts munchking on your squishie characters, it would be...unfortunate.
>>But they are also pretty stupid.
>
>
> True.

If DM'ed properly, a Silent Image or Ghost Sound should be able to help
distract it.

>>Tough, but not grotesquely so.
>
>
> For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
> tiger), which is also CR 4.

Without smart AND COORDINATED play from the party, a hydra WILL eat them
alive.
Working together, it's no tougher than a normal CR 4 critter.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:24:38 AM

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

Chipacabra wrote:
> Quiggy wrote:
> > Malachias Invictus wrote:
> > >
> > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
<snip>
> > And the wizard can stop a stump from regrowing or just fire
> > magic missiles into the bulk of the creature.
>
> Magic missile isn't going to overcome the rapid healing, either.

In my Cauldron Adventure Path game, a 5th-level party encountered a
five- or six-headed (I forget which) cryohydra. The *only* thing that
let them survive was a series of fireballs from the sorcerer (all of
her 3rd-level slots) followed by a critical hit on a charge from the
half-orc maul specialist.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 3:28:15 AM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
> news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
>
>>On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
>><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>>
>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>
>>Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
>>that
>>category.
>
> The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly bitching
> about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).

How exactly does it challenge a 4th level party? OK, it's a nasty
thing to find in your swimming pool, and it's pretty damn hard to kill;
so you go around it.

>>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>>horrendous Will saves,
>
> Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
> think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.
<snip>

Move 20. Yawn. It's an outside monster: get on your bike and leave
it alone. By 6th level it's barely even a speedbump, so any higher CR
starts to look silly.
If you _really_ needed to kill it at level 4, you probably have the
tools to do so, even if it would be harder than 20%. A good tank would
help, but even /Burning Hands/ would cover the needed fire damage.

>>Tough, but not grotesquely so.
>
> For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
> tiger), which is also CR 4.

Pounce = dead PC. Big cats are like Trolls for CR, if their special
attack comes off they're pretty likely to score a kill.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 3:28:16 AM

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

"tussock" <scrub@clear.net.nz> wrote in message
news:42ac1bd3@clear.net.nz...
> Malachias Invictus wrote:
>> "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
>> news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
>>
>>>On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
>>><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>>>
>>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>>
>>>Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
>>>that
>>>category.
>>
>> The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly
>> bitching about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).
>
> How exactly does it challenge a 4th level party? OK, it's a nasty
> thing to find in your swimming pool, and it's pretty damn hard to kill; so
> you go around it.

If "being able to go around it" is the benchmark for CR, then nothing is a
challenge to a party with teleport.

>>>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>>>horrendous Will saves,
>>
>> Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
>> think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.
> <snip>
>
> Move 20. Yawn.

Obviously, you have never been in a party with guys who wear medium or heavy
armor, or any parties that include dwarves, gnomes, or halflings.

> It's an outside monster: get on your bike and leave it alone.

....and if you cannot?

> By 6th level it's barely even a speedbump,

I disagree. Even at 6th level, it is likely to use more resources than
other CR 4 encounters.

> so any higher CR starts to look silly.
> If you _really_ needed to kill it at level 4, you probably have the tools
> to do so, even if it would be harder than 20%. A good tank would help, but
> even /Burning Hands/ would cover the needed fire damage.

Can a 4th level party crack out enough Burning Hands spells to get the job
done? I seriously doubt it.

>>>Tough, but not grotesquely so.
>>
>> For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
>> tiger), which is also CR 4.
>
> Pounce = dead PC.

Let's see:

Alpha Strike from Tiger (average damage): 31 (46 if it succeeds in a
grapple).
Alpha Strike from a Hydra (average damage): 42.5

Sorry, that is not much more damage than the Hydra, and the Tiger must
succeed at a grapple check to do it. While grappling, its AC drops to 12
(10 on the round that it charged) and it is subject to sneak attacks. It
can also only pull this trick once on a reasonably intelligent party,
because without Pounce, it cannot Rake the same round that it initiates a
grapple (see the rules on Rake). Furthermore, it is not going to last long
with that AC and its average 45 hit points. On the other hand, the Hydra
can keep that damage up every round, has reach, and can take 5 AoOs per
round. With 55 average hit points and Fast Healing 15, it can last for a
good long time in a fight with 4th level PCs.

> Big cats are like Trolls for CR, if their special attack comes off they're
> pretty likely to score a kill.

The Hydra apparently can inflict almost as much damage without needing a
special attack sequence.

--
^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
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:39:06 AM

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

Matt Frisch wrote:
> Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into that
> category.

IIRC, the DMg 3.0 and DMG 3.5 has a specific encounter
category for this type of opposition: "Easy if handled
right, otherwise difficult".

> AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
> horrendous Will saves,
>
> A Fighter or Barbarian with a beefy 2-H weapon can rip heads off super
> quickly, which not only goes a long way towards killing the thing, but puts
> a severe crimp in its offense. A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
> sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.

Average on 2d6 is 7, on top if which comes the actual damage
of the weapon, and any STR bonus (although a Rogue will have
a modest bonus, or none at all).

> They are impressive, to be sure..and if one gets into the rear ranks and
> starts munchking on your squishie characters, it would be...unfortunate.
> But they are also pretty stupid.

This depends on how good a job the GM does when it comes to
roleplaying the mental capacity of the opposition.

> Tough, but not grotesquely so.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 5:36:01 AM

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

In article <MPG.1d1662dd6abeee3f9896c5@news.iskon.hr>,
Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:

> In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...
>
> > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> >
> > Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
> > generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
> >
> > Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> > indeed, no sir.
>
> What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?

You also have to give a monster some credit for what it can do under
ideal circumstances when you are assigning it a CR. Any monster without
a ranged attack in the open is dead against a flying archer, but that
doesn't make them all CR4 or less.

--
Kevin Lowe,
Tasmania.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 5:36:02 AM

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

"Kevin Lowe" <me@private.net> wrote in message
news:me-A602C6.11292213062005@news01.comindico.com.au...
> In article <MPG.1d1662dd6abeee3f9896c5@news.iskon.hr>,
> Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:
>
>> In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...
>>
>> > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>> >
>> > Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
>> > generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
>> >
>> > Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
>> > indeed, no sir.
>>
>> What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?
>
> You also have to give a monster some credit for what it can do under
> ideal circumstances when you are assigning it a CR. Any monster without
> a ranged attack in the open is dead against a flying archer, but that
> doesn't make them all CR4 or less.

That flying archer still would have to be cracking out the damage to defeat
Fast Healing 15. A 4th level character is certainly not going to manage
that easily, even with a strength bow and Rapid Shot.

--
^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
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:00:03 PM

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

Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> Chipacabra wrote:
> > Quiggy wrote:
> > > Malachias Invictus wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> <snip>
> > > And the wizard can stop a stump from regrowing or just fire
> > > magic missiles into the bulk of the creature.
> >
> > Magic missile isn't going to overcome the rapid healing, either.
>
> In my Cauldron Adventure Path game, a 5th-level party encountered a
> five- or six-headed (I forget which) cryohydra. The *only* thing that
> let them survive was a series of fireballs from the sorcerer (all of
> her 3rd-level slots) followed by a critical hit on a charge from the
> half-orc maul specialist.

Neat! A fifth level Sorcerer using all zero of her fireballs....

Are you sure about that party level? It may be the average but
it sure sounds like there is at least one level 6+ member.

DougL
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:46:59 PM

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

"Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
news:vy7re.2872$Cr.439@fed1read07...
> Malachias Invictus wrote:
> > "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
> > news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
> >
> >>On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
> >><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
> >>
> >>
> >>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> >>
> >>Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
> >>that
> >>category.
> >
> >
> > The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly
bitching
> > about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).
> >
> >
> >>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
> >>horrendous Will saves,
> >
> >
> > Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear,
and
> > think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's
resources.
>
> Hydras are meant to be tough, but I don't think they're unbeatable even
> at 4th level.

An irrelevant point given that "not unbeatable" is a tag suitable,
theoretically, for creatures up to CR11 for a 4th level party. The issue
is whether CR4 is appropriate.

> > ...as long as you can apply 5 points of fire or acid damage to its
stumps
> > within 1D4 rounds. That is by no means guaranteed with a 4th-level
party,
> > even if they are fairly prepared. If you fail, you have just given
the
> > hydra an extra attack, and the ability to make an additional AoO.
>
> On average, it'll take 2 rounds for regeneration, giving the party a
> couple of
> chances to inflict that 5 points of fire or acid damage. Since the
> average damage from
> an oil flask or alchemist's fire is 3.5, that's 7 points in 2 rounds.
> Doesn't seem impossible.

Any character is melee will eat an AoO for using a flask of foo and every
round they are lobbing flasks they aren't severing heads (for which they
are eating AoOs too, a lethal set up). This duty will probably fall on the
rear rankers and if they aren't casting burning hands you are in a
desperate situation.

> Isn't average damage for Burning Hands at 4th level 5 points, too (don't
> have PHB at hand)?

10 actually. 4d4 dmg. It is probably fair to say that 4th level characters
*need* this spell to defeat the Hydra.

> >>A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
> >>sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.
> >
> >
> > Possibly. Even with an average 5-header, each head takes 11 points to
take
> > out, and it pretty much has to be in one shot, given the fast healing.
>
> I don't think fast healing applies to the heads, just the body, but I
> need to look in the MM
> (also not at hand).

Incorrect. Use the SRDs if you have no manuals to hand.

> > For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
> > tiger), which is also CR 4.
>
> Without smart AND COORDINATED play from the party, a hydra WILL eat them
> alive.
> Working together, it's no tougher than a normal CR 4 critter.

Bullshit Someguy (wow, never had to say that before).

An Owlbear has the same HD, same CR and same AC as the Hydra. Please
compare their abilities and make that statement again with a straight
face.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:40:31 AM

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

DougL wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > In my Cauldron Adventure Path game, a 5th-level party
> > encountered a five- or six-headed (I forget which) cryohydra.
> > The *only* thing that let them survive was a series of
> > fireballs from the sorcerer (all of her 3rd-level slots)
> > followed by a critical hit on a charge from the half-orc maul
> > specialist.
>
> Neat! A fifth level Sorcerer using all zero of her
> fireballs....

Heh.

> Are you sure about that party level? It may be the
> average but it sure sounds like there is at least one
> level 6+ member.

Yeah, I may have misremembered the party level; I knew they started
that adventure at 5th, and that encounter's pretty early on, but they
must have been 6th, as I distinctly remember the fireballs. The
fiendish umber hulk, the RE wyvern, and the dragon must have bumped
them up to 6th.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 8:20:27 AM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> "tussock" <scrub@clear.net.nz> wrote in message
> news:42ac1bd3@clear.net.nz...
>>Malachias Invictus wrote:
<snip>
>>>The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly
>>>bitching about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).
>>
>> How exactly does it challenge a 4th level party? OK, it's a nasty
>>thing to find in your swimming pool, and it's pretty damn hard to kill; so
>>you go around it.
>
> If "being able to go around it" is the benchmark for CR, then nothing is a
> challenge to a party with teleport.

You'll note that a whole lot of high CR monsters have an impressive
capacity for getting about, there's even quite a few teleporters and
plane-shifters amongst them.
You'll also note that monster whose only gig is to stand and melee
are better at it than comparible PCs. Those that are also *slow* have
ludicrously powerful melee attacks, and/or rediculous defenses.

As to your point: I'm sure you know full well the point of monsters
is to threaten to kill or otherwise disable the party in the course of
an adventure, and to thereby cause them to use resources in overcoming it.

>>>>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>>>>horrendous Will saves,
>>>
>>>Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
>>>think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.
>>
>><snip>
>>
>> Move 20. Yawn.
>
> Obviously, you have never been in a party with guys who wear medium or heavy
> armor, or any parties that include dwarves, gnomes, or halflings.

Your "adventurers", and I use the term loosely, need to invest in
the ability to move. Horses are a good start, as is light armour for
travelling.
After they've learnt to move, I would highly recommend a scout
capable of spotting uncamoflagued huge creatures at a safe distance.

>>It's an outside monster: get on your bike and leave it alone.
>
> ....and if you cannot?

Darwin comes to mind. The party'll also need a Spot skill, and a
Survival skill, incase you're unaware.

>>By 6th level it's barely even a speedbump,
>
> I disagree. Even at 6th level, it is likely to use more resources than
> other CR 4 encounters.

At 55 hp/AC 15 it won't survive a full round of attacks from a 6th
level party, even ignoring tactical abuse of it's obvious weaknesses.

>>so any higher CR starts to look silly.
>>If you _really_ needed to kill it at level 4, you probably have the tools
>>to do so, even if it would be harder than 20%. A good tank would help, but
>>even /Burning Hands/ would cover the needed fire damage.
>
> Can a 4th level party crack out enough Burning Hands spells to get the job
> done? I seriously doubt it.

So come back when you do, scrolls are cheap. Some /Scorching Ray/
or a big /Fireball/ would have even better effect.

>>>>Tough, but not grotesquely so.
>>>
>>>For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
>>>tiger), which is also CR 4.
>>
>> Pounce = dead PC.
>
> Let's see:
>
> Alpha Strike from Tiger (average damage): 31 (46 if it succeeds in a
> grapple).
>
> Alpha Strike from a Hydra (average damage): 42.5
>
> Sorry, that is not much more damage than the Hydra, and the Tiger must
> succeed at a grapple check to do it. While grappling, its AC drops to 12
> (10 on the round that it charged) and it is subject to sneak attacks. It
> can also only pull this trick once on a reasonably intelligent party,
> because without Pounce, it cannot Rake the same round that it initiates a
> grapple (see the rules on Rake).

<sigh> See the rules on *Pounce*, which allow you to full attack
_and use your rake attacks_ on the round you charge; this does not
require a grapple check.
The differences between the Tiger and the Hydra on attack is 40 vs
20 movement, the Tiger can set an ambush, and has +9/+9/+9/+9/+4 vs five
+6 attacks, which is much better against AC 15-20.

~30 damage from an animal that *will* get an attack, vs ~20 from a
creature that you only fight if you want to.

That 20 damage still being there on round 2 is a pain, until you
realise /you/ don't have to be there to take it. But then, that requires
a "reasonably intelligent party".

> Furthermore,
<snip>
I know, killing the Hydra is much harder, I said that already.

>>Big cats are like Trolls for CR, if their special attack comes off they're
>>pretty likely to score a kill.
>
> The Hydra apparently can inflict almost as much damage without needing a
> special attack sequence.

The hydra /does/ have a special attack sequence, the ability to
move and still get all it's attacks. It doesn't much matter, as it's
average number of attacks against an unprepared party is approximately nil.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 8:20:28 AM

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

In article <42adb1d8@clear.net.nz>, scrub@clear.net.nz says...

> >>It's an outside monster: get on your bike and leave it alone.
> >
> > ....and if you cannot?
>
> Darwin comes to mind. The party'll also need a Spot skill, and a
> Survival skill, incase you're unaware.

What if you cannot leave it alone because the objective is to destroy
it? What if it's in a dungeon, guarding a gateway, so there's no way
around it? &c.

I think it's a good indication of the CR being broken that the best
tactical move against the hydra for a 4th-level party is to "get on your
bike and leave it alone", also known as "retreat", "running away" and
"losing the battle" (PC get XP for defeating the enemy when opponents do
that).


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 9:30:31 PM

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

Symbol wrote:
> "Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
> news:vy7re.2872$Cr.439@fed1read07...
>
>>Malachias Invictus wrote:
>>
>>>"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
>>>news:6v6na1psm0c5i924jjebdnke12kca9frho@4ax.com...
>>>
>>>
>>>>On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:21:08 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
>>>><capt_malachias@hotmail.com> scribed into the ether:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>>>
>>>>Pretty bad if you aren't expecting one, but lots of monsters fall into
>>>>that
>>>>category.
>>>
>>>
>>>The more heads it has, the more I agree with the CR. I am mainly
>
> bitching
>
>>>about the 5-headed version, which is only CR 4 (?!?).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>AC is unimpressive, their AB doesn't exactly light the world on fire,
>>>>horrendous Will saves,
>>>
>>>
>>>Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear,
>
> and
>
>>>think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's
>
> resources.
>
>>Hydras are meant to be tough, but I don't think they're unbeatable even
>>at 4th level.
>
>
> An irrelevant point given that "not unbeatable" is a tag suitable,
> theoretically, for creatures up to CR11 for a 4th level party. The issue
> is whether CR4 is appropriate.

Like I said. Moron.

>>>...as long as you can apply 5 points of fire or acid damage to its
>
> stumps
>
>>>within 1D4 rounds. That is by no means guaranteed with a 4th-level
>
> party,
>
>>>even if they are fairly prepared. If you fail, you have just given
>
> the
>
>>>hydra an extra attack, and the ability to make an additional AoO.
>>
>>On average, it'll take 2 rounds for regeneration, giving the party a
>>couple of
>>chances to inflict that 5 points of fire or acid damage. Since the
>>average damage from
>>an oil flask or alchemist's fire is 3.5, that's 7 points in 2 rounds.
>>Doesn't seem impossible.
>
>
> Any character is melee will eat an AoO for using a flask of foo and every
> round they are lobbing flasks they aren't severing heads (for which they
> are eating AoOs too, a lethal set up). This duty will probably fall on the
> rear rankers and if they aren't casting burning hands you are in a
> desperate situation.

Uh, you do realize that flasks can be thrown, right? This is what those
characters who
aren't supposed to be fighting it directly (your average cleric, say)
can be doing while
the fighter and/or barbarian are busy lopping. If the rogue thinks he
won't survive melee,
which he could do via Dodge/Mobility/fighting defensively, he can stand
back and do
the flask hurling. Given that rogues usually have better ranged attack
bonuses than
melee, that can be a very wise way for them to use sneak attack (if
they're invisible or
the hydra is blinded, say).

>>Isn't average damage for Burning Hands at 4th level 5 points, too (don't
>>have PHB at hand)?
>
>
> 10 actually. 4d4 dmg. It is probably fair to say that 4th level characters
> *need* this spell to defeat the Hydra.

Well, it HELPS but it's not necessary. There are numerous other ways to
get the
same results, if perhaps less efficiently. BH is the ideal way to sear
a bunch of neck stumps at once.
So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
getting them all and sorcerer whaps
a Burning Hands across the stumps. There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4
hydra. I don't think that's
out of line.

>>>>A level 4 rogue is getting ~6 points in
>>>>sneak attack damage, which also is a good head-cutter.
>>>
>>>
>>>Possibly. Even with an average 5-header, each head takes 11 points to
>
> take
>
>>>out, and it pretty much has to be in one shot, given the fast healing.
>>
>>I don't think fast healing applies to the heads, just the body, but I
>>need to look in the MM
>>(also not at hand).
>
>
> Incorrect. Use the SRDs if you have no manuals to hand.

The MM's references to Fast Healing all refer to damaging its body, not
its heads, and the way
the hit point model for the heads work suggests (but doesn't state
directly) that they aren't
covered by the fast healing. It's certainly debatable, but I can
outline why I think this is the case
if you're interested.

>>>For CR 4, they certainly are. Compare one to a Tiger (yes, a regular
>>>tiger), which is also CR 4.
>>
>>Without smart AND COORDINATED play from the party, a hydra WILL eat them
>>alive.
>>Working together, it's no tougher than a normal CR 4 critter.
>
>
> Bullshit Someguy (wow, never had to say that before).

Your pacifier must have slipped out. You're whining again.

> An Owlbear has the same HD, same CR and same AC as the Hydra. Please
> compare their abilities and make that statement again with a straight
> face.

An owlbear is stronger, faster, and has a 50% higher attack bonus plus
Improved
Grab. You should really pay more attention before mouthing off about
stuff like that.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 9:42:35 PM

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

DougL wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
>
>>Chipacabra wrote:
>>
>>>Quiggy wrote:
>>>
>>>>Malachias Invictus wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
>>
>><snip>
>>
>>>>And the wizard can stop a stump from regrowing or just fire
>>>>magic missiles into the bulk of the creature.
>>>
>>>Magic missile isn't going to overcome the rapid healing, either.
>>
>>In my Cauldron Adventure Path game, a 5th-level party encountered a
>>five- or six-headed (I forget which) cryohydra. The *only* thing that
>>let them survive was a series of fireballs from the sorcerer (all of
>>her 3rd-level slots) followed by a critical hit on a charge from the
>>half-orc maul specialist.
>
>
> Neat! A fifth level Sorcerer using all zero of her fireballs....
>
> Are you sure about that party level? It may be the average but
> it sure sounds like there is at least one level 6+ member.
>
> DougL
>

They were Silent Image fireballs and the hydra failed its Will save...
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 10:10:15 PM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:


> This {SCORCHING RAY} is better, much better. It will almost certainly do the requisite
> damage (4D6, average 14), but costs more (150 gp each). A costly victory
> again.
>

And a fourth level party usually won't have multiple ones, which they'd
need since Scorching
Ray only affects one target in their hands.

Burning Hands, however, is a cone that is 15' at the end (which is the
hydra's space), does 4d4
at fourth level (average 10, or 5 on a save), and can thus sear multiple
stumps all beyond the hydra's
10 foot reach. Heck, you don't even have to cast defensively to use it!

So you COULD get by with just one, but the odds would indicate you'd
better have some backup
alchemist fires for support.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 10:39:05 PM

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

On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
wrote:

>So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
>getting them all and sorcerer whaps
>a Burning Hands across the stumps. There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4
>hydra. I don't think that's
>out of line.

Since when will a fighter have a 16 dex?
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 11:10:51 PM

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

Loren Pechtel wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
> wrote:
>
>
>>So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
>>getting them all and sorcerer whaps
>>a Burning Hands across the stumps. There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4
>>hydra. I don't think that's
>>out of line.
>
>
> Since when will a fighter have a 16 dex?

Uh, could you ask a question that MAKES SENSE? What does a fighter's
DEX have to do
with Great Cleave?
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 12:01:01 AM

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

"Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
news:XdLre.265$X71.261@fed1read07...
> Malachias Invictus wrote:

>> This {SCORCHING RAY} is better, much better. It will almost certainly do
>> the requisite damage (4D6, average 14), but costs more (150 gp each). A
>> costly victory again.

> And a fourth level party usually won't have multiple ones, which they'd
> need since Scorching Ray only affects one target in their hands.

Sure.

> Burning Hands, however, is a cone that is 15' at the end (which is the
> hydra's space), does 4d4 at fourth level (average 10, or 5 on a save), and
> can thus sear multiple stumps all beyond the hydra's
> 10 foot reach. Heck, you don't even have to cast defensively to use it!

Agreed. However, in order to sear multiple stumps, you need to have
multiple stumps to sear. It is unlikely that the other 3 members of your
average 4th level party are going to manage more than one per round, and if
you do not sear right away, there is the chance that two might grow in its
place.

> So you COULD get by with just one, but the odds would indicate you'd
> better have some backup alchemist fires for support.

That would certainly help. Then again, just hammering away at the hydra
seems more effective, unless someone has Improved Sunder.

--
^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
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 12:12:56 AM

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

"Loren Pechtel" <lorenpechtel@removethis.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 91va1150bgqucbtrmek0oid628o58qqcs@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
> wrote:
>
>>So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
>>getting them all and sorcerer whaps
>>a Burning Hands across the stumps. There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4
>>hydra. I don't think that's
>>out of line.
>
> Since when will a fighter have a 16 dex?

Since when is that relevant?

--
^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
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 12:58:05 AM

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

"Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
news:fc3oa1l8acpbvaal8cjrmubi21iegdemuh@4ax.com...
> With built-in fast healing and head regeneration, I'm totally with you on
> them being way way too strong. Is your source the SRD or the MM? Cause
> that
> is just not right at all.

Monster Manual, generally, although I use both.

--
^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
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 1:16:53 AM

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

Malachias Invictus wrote:
> "Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
> news:XdLre.265$X71.261@fed1read07...
>
>>Malachias Invictus wrote:
>
>
>>>This {SCORCHING RAY} is better, much better. It will almost certainly do
>>>the requisite damage (4D6, average 14), but costs more (150 gp each). A
>>>costly victory again.
>
>
>>And a fourth level party usually won't have multiple ones, which they'd
>>need since Scorching Ray only affects one target in their hands.
>
>
> Sure.
>
>
>>Burning Hands, however, is a cone that is 15' at the end (which is the
>>hydra's space), does 4d4 at fourth level (average 10, or 5 on a save), and
>>can thus sear multiple stumps all beyond the hydra's
>>10 foot reach. Heck, you don't even have to cast defensively to use it!
>
>
> Agreed. However, in order to sear multiple stumps, you need to have
> multiple stumps to sear. It is unlikely that the other 3 members of your
> average 4th level party are going to manage more than one per round, and if
> you do not sear right away, there is the chance that two might grow in its
> place.

Hence my remark about Great Cleave + Sunder. Naturally, you can't guarantee
that all five attacks will hit & all do 11 hp damage, but it's not
impossible, especially
given that the Cleave attacks are all at the same attack bonus.

The DMG suggests that an average NPC 4th level fighter will have an AC
of 21 and
a melee attack bonus of +8. Compare that to the hydra's AC15 and melee
attack bonus
of +6. The fighter only has to score a 7 or better to hit a head, while
the hydra has to score
a 15 or better to hit the fighter. Even with the hydra's multiple
attacks, the advantage is still
with the fighter IF Cleave and/or Great Cleave are possesed.

>>So you COULD get by with just one, but the odds would indicate you'd
>>better have some backup alchemist fires for support.
>
>
> That would certainly help. Then again, just hammering away at the hydra
> seems more effective, unless someone has Improved Sunder.

Improved Sunder is necessary to prevent the 5 AOOs per round you'd
otherwise draw with
your Great Cleave attacks. Thus, a 4th level figher with Power
Attack/Improved Sunder/Cleave/Great
Cleave is more of a hydra killer than you might think, IF there is
sufficient backparty fire/acid
support.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 1:53:53 AM

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

"Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
news:VYNre.307$X71.193@fed1read07...
> Malachias Invictus wrote:

>> Agreed. However, in order to sear multiple stumps, you need to have
>> multiple stumps to sear. It is unlikely that the other 3 members of your
>> average 4th level party are going to manage more than one per round, and
>> if you do not sear right away, there is the chance that two might grow in
>> its place.
>
> Hence my remark about Great Cleave + Sunder.

I see nothing to indicate those feats can work together.

> The DMG suggests that an average NPC 4th level fighter will have an AC of
> 21

That is assuming shield use, which considerably lessens potential damage vs.
a two handed weapon. It also assumes heavy armor.

> and a melee attack bonus of +8. Compare that to the hydra's AC15 and
> melee attack bonus of +6. The fighter only has to score a 7 or better to
> hit a head,

No. Sunder is an opposed roll.

> while the hydra has to score a 15 or better to hit the fighter.

Of course, in addition to his normal 5 attacks, he gets an AoO for every
Sunder attempt.

>>>So you COULD get by with just one, but the odds would indicate you'd
>>>better have some backup alchemist fires for support.

>> That would certainly help. Then again, just hammering away at the hydra
>> seems more effective, unless someone has Improved Sunder.
>
> Improved Sunder is necessary to prevent the 5 AOOs per round you'd
> otherwise draw with your Great Cleave attacks. Thus, a 4th level figher
> with Power Attack/Improved Sunder/Cleave/Great Cleave is more of a hydra
> killer than you might think, IF there is sufficient backparty fire/acid
> support.

The best bet would be a Half-Orc Barbarian with a two-handed weapon and
Power Attack, just hammering the hydra into submission, while the rest of
the party sits back and does the same.

My party (5 characters between 2nd and 3rd level) took one down, simply by
attacking faster than it could regenerate. We tried going after the heads
first, but it was not a happy situation.

--
^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
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 5:50:15 AM

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

Jasin Zujovic wrote:
> In article <42adb1d8@clear.net.nz>, scrub@clear.net.nz says...
>
>>>>It's an outside monster: get on your bike and leave it alone.
>>>
>>>....and if you cannot?
>>
>> Darwin comes to mind. The party'll also need a Spot skill, and a
>>Survival skill, incase you're unaware.
>
> What if you cannot leave it alone because the objective is to destroy
> it? What if it's in a dungeon, guarding a gateway, so there's no way
> around it? &c.

I gave up on huge creatures guarding small passages in cramped
dungeons a loooong time ago. Infact, I'm not entirely sure I would have
ever used a Hydra as a guard.
Big, slow, dumb animals are *real* easy to get past, or to take
things from. It's part of the genre.

> I think it's a good indication of the CR being broken that the best
> tactical move against the hydra for a 4th-level party is to "get on your
> bike and leave it alone", also known as "retreat", "running away" and
> "losing the battle" (PC get XP for defeating the enemy when opponents do
> that).

"Hydras are intended to be monsters that are *difficult to defeat*
by conventional means." My Emphasis. It's handy that you don't have to.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 6:40:36 AM

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

Jasin Zujovic wrote:
> In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...
>
> > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> >
> > Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged attacks,
> > generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
> >
> > Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> > indeed, no sir.
>
> What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?

I was thinking of simple Ranged attacks (and Will save spells).

Well, as Rupert pointed out, killing a hydra at range is possible even
for a single dedicated ranged specialist (and there's no reason why the
whole party can't take part in the hydra-bashing). However, I will
concede the point that it's not really a "trivial" way, and many
parties won't be able to do it.

I also missed the fact that in fact, there is no 1st or 2nd level Will
save spell (that I know of) that'll disable a hydra for any significant
amount of time.

Taking everything into account, I'd say that the CR for a 5-headed
hydra _is_ probably too low, but only if it's encountered in fairly
cramped spaces (like a dungeon). In the wilderness, it's very easy to
evade, and if it's guarding something, it's very easy to lure it away,
evade, then get whatever it was guarding (due to its Int 2).

In other words, no, it's not trivial to kill for many (most?) level 4
parties. It _is_ however, trivial to bypass, as long as its outside, in
its natural environment.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 11:12:58 AM

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

Symbol wrote:
> <laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu> wrote in message
> news:1118828436.887597.113190@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> >
> >
> > Jasin Zujovic wrote:
> > > In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> > > laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...
> > >
> > > > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> > > >
> > > > Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged
> attacks,
> > > > generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
> > > >
> > > > Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> > > > indeed, no sir.
> > >
> > > What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?
> >
> > I was thinking of simple Ranged attacks (and Will save spells).
> >
> > Well, as Rupert pointed out, killing a hydra at range is possible even
> > for a single dedicated ranged specialist
>
> He showed it was theoretically possible that a flying archer (4th level
> party remember) could take out a Hydra despite the fast healing if it
> could find no cover. Without his two shots per round he couldn't really
> affect the fast healing and so fly was vital to the analysis.

Not really. He can just ride a horse.

> > Taking everything into account, I'd say that the CR for a 5-headed
> > hydra _is_ probably too low, but only if it's encountered in fairly
> > cramped spaces (like a dungeon). In the wilderness, it's very easy to
> > evade, and if it's guarding something, it's very easy to lure it away,
> > evade, then get whatever it was guarding (due to its Int 2).
>
> In the wilderness it could be attacking something slow moving that you are
> trying to protect (ambushed a caraven, attacking a nearby farmstead etc).
> These things are not considerations for fixing CR.

I guess, in theory. Not many farmsteads or caravans in the marshes,
though.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 1:28:31 PM

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

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 15 Jun 2005 02:40:36 -0700, laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu carved upon
> a tablet of ether:
>
> > I was thinking of simple Ranged attacks (and Will save spells).
> >
> > Well, as Rupert pointed out, killing a hydra at range is possible even
> > for a single dedicated ranged specialist (and there's no reason why the
> > whole party can't take part in the hydra-bashing). However, I will
> > concede the point that it's not really a "trivial" way, and many
> > parties won't be able to do it.
> >
> > I also missed the fact that in fact, there is no 1st or 2nd level Will
> > save spell (that I know of) that'll disable a hydra for any significant
> > amount of time.
>
> Tasha's Hideous Laughter. It's not reliable (due to the penalty for
> 'different type'). Ooops - doesn't work on Int2 or lower.

Yep, my train of thought exactly.

> > In other words, no, it's not trivial to kill for many (most?) level 4
> > parties. It _is_ however, trivial to bypass, as long as its outside, in
> > its natural environment.
>
> IMO it's simply a really good reason to stay out of swamps when you're
> 4th level.

There are plenty of good reasons for _that_, but I maintain that
vanilla hydras aren't one of them. Evading a hydra is child's play, and
it's not as if they're gonna hide and ambush you, what with the Huge
size and all.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 1:30:55 PM

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

On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 19:10:51 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
wrote:

>Loren Pechtel wrote:
>> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
>>>getting them all and sorcerer whaps
>>>a Burning Hands across the stumps. There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4
>>>hydra. I don't think that's
>>>out of line.
>>
>>
>> Since when will a fighter have a 16 dex?
>
>Uh, could you ask a question that MAKES SENSE? What does a fighter's
>DEX have to do
>with Great Cleave?

You're right, I got confused. I was thinking of AoO's rather than
cleaves.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 2:01:32 PM

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

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 18:41:00 -0700, "Malachias Invictus"
> <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > That flying archer still would have to be cracking out the damage to defeat
> > Fast Healing 15. A 4th level character is certainly not going to manage
> > that easily, even with a strength bow and Rapid Shot.
>
> Hmm. Point-Blank Shot, Weapon Spec, +1 Bow (or arrows), Str16 (and bow
> to match, of course) gives 1d8+7 twice a round. The expected damage,
> with an attack bonus of 4 + 4 (we'll assume a buffed Dex) + 1 (bow) +1
> (PBS) +1 (Wpn Focus) -2 (Rapid Shot) = +9/+9 is: 0.75 x 2 x 11.5 x 1.1
> (for crits) = 18.975. Thus it'll take 55 / (18.975 - 15) = 13.8 rounds
> to blow the thing away. So it's got over a minute to find cover, and
> once it does it's all better in four rounds.

<Silly Pedant>
A bit faster than that, fast healing goes off on the Hydra's
action and stops when it dies, your expected Hydra is healing from
worse than -10 HP the last time or two that it heals.

What you need to do is force -10 HP one one round, so a total of
65 damage with Fast Healing applying one less time than the damage,
so the final round does 18.975 reducing it to 1+(46.025/3.975)~=
12.6 rounds.
<\Silly Pedant>

I agree with the basic conclusion, one archer can do it, but he
needs to be fighting on a really big open field. In practice I
consider four mounted archers, bot none nearly as good as your
example to be more likely, and am not at all sure they can win
that way.

DougL
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 6:04:32 PM

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

<laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu> wrote in message
news:1118828436.887597.113190@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> Jasin Zujovic wrote:
> > In article <1118584419.280936.319260@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> > laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu says...
> >
> > > > Has anyone actually looked at these monstrosities?
> > >
> > > Yeah. Let's see. Poor AC, poor Will save, 20' move, no ranged
attacks,
> > > generally found in temperate marshes (in other words, outside).
> > >
> > > Wow, _I_ sure can't see any potentially trivial ways to kill one. No
> > > indeed, no sir.
> >
> > What are they, taking fast healing 15 into account?
>
> I was thinking of simple Ranged attacks (and Will save spells).
>
> Well, as Rupert pointed out, killing a hydra at range is possible even
> for a single dedicated ranged specialist

He showed it was theoretically possible that a flying archer (4th level
party remember) could take out a Hydra despite the fast healing if it
could find no cover. Without his two shots per round he couldn't really
affect the fast healing and so fly was vital to the analysis.

> Taking everything into account, I'd say that the CR for a 5-headed
> hydra _is_ probably too low, but only if it's encountered in fairly
> cramped spaces (like a dungeon). In the wilderness, it's very easy to
> evade, and if it's guarding something, it's very easy to lure it away,
> evade, then get whatever it was guarding (due to its Int 2).

In the wilderness it could be attacking something slow moving that you are
trying to protect (ambushed a caraven, attacking a nearby farmstead etc).
These things are not considerations for fixing CR.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 7:00:29 PM

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

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On 15 Jun 2005 07:12:58 -0700, laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu carved upon
> a tablet of ether:
>
> > > He showed it was theoretically possible that a flying archer (4th level
> > > party remember) could take out a Hydra despite the fast healing if it
> > > could find no cover. Without his two shots per round he couldn't really
> > > affect the fast healing and so fly was vital to the analysis.
> >
> > Not really. He can just ride a horse.
>
> That makes it harder, as he can't afford to come within PBS range
> because of the risk of a readied charge.

I don't think a hydra is smart enough to use that tactic. If it is,
then by the same token, the horse is smart enough to Ready a move to
evade the charge (since it only needs to take single moves). What's
good for the goose is good for the gander...

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 7:29:44 PM

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

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
>There are plenty of good reasons for _that_, but I maintain that
>vanilla hydras aren't one of them. Evading a hydra is child's play, and
>it's not as if they're gonna hide and ambush you, what with the Huge
>size and all.

Heh. Using the 3.0 Encounter Distance rules, a 7-headed Lernaean hydra
suddenly appeared 20 (yes, twenty) feet in front of the group my character
was in.

(It then instantly moved 10 feet further away, because the DM had
forgotten that my character, who was leading, had 30' blindsight. Of
course, his +17 Spot skill didn't help whatsoever. All dice rolled
out in the open; strangest dice luck I've seen in a while.

Since we were a ~12th level party, the hydra got polymorphed into a
toad and butchered.)

--
--DcB
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 7:42:30 PM

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

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 10:39:21 GMT, Matt Frisch
<matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> The sunder attempt is also a change, particularly with the AoO in return.
> 3.0 has it as a declared attack with no penalty. The ability to launch 5
> AoOs (with reach!) is also a bit overwhelming.

They always had that, and in 3.0, IIRC, they could also full attack
after moving. Good for destroying small armies, they are.


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 7:48:42 PM

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

"tussock" <scrub@clear.net.nz> wrote in message
news:42afba6e@clear.net.nz...
> Malachias Invictus wrote:
> > "tussock" <scrub@clear.net.nz> wrote in message
> > news:42adb1d8@clear.net.nz...
> <etc: snip>
>
> >>>If "being able to go around it" is the benchmark for CR, then nothing
is
> >>>a challenge to a party with teleport.
> >>
> >> You'll note that a whole lot of high CR monsters have an
impressive
> >>capacity for getting about, there's even quite a few teleporters and
> >>plane-shifters amongst them.
> >
> > Do they also have the ability to detect where you teleported to and
follow
> > you? Not generally, so the fact that they have those abilities is
largely
> > irrelevant to you avoiding them by just teleporting away.
>
> <shrug> If you're having a disagreement with something with
> teleport capacity, I'd suggest that running away isn't as safe as it
> seems. PCs aren't the only ones that can find out about their opponents
> if given time.

They aren't the only ones but most high level monsters who teleport can't.
That invalidates your comparison.

> None of that is particularly relavent to the trials facing 4th
> level characters. Their opponents mostly walk.

You were the one that brought up high CR monsters and their ability to get
around. They are still easily bypassed.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 7:56:46 PM

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

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 21:01:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
carved upon a tablet of ether:

> > Sure. Then again, think about what a 4th-level party brings to bear, and
> > think about one of these things using only 20% of that party's resources.
>
> Hydras are meant to be tough, but I don't think they're unbeatable even
> at 4th level.

That's a bullshit argument. Tough monster are meant to have high CRs.
Notice that v3.5 pushed dragon CRs up because they were too low (from
following this faulty logic in v3.0).

Saying "not unbeatable" is like saying "is tough", and if a 4th level
party finds a monster tough to defeat it's not CR4, but more like
CR6-7.

> It's not impossible to have Improved Sunder at 4th level. Hell, a 1st
> level fighter could
> have that if they want. And since they've already got Power Attack if
> they've got IS, it
> makes a successful Sunder more likely.

That's nice. Now, how many fighters do you see actually taking
Improved Sunder? Now, how about the rogue and cleric? IOW _maybe_ ONE
character will have it. That's just not enough.

> If a bard or sorceror can get off a "Daze Monster," the hydra gets NO
> actions for a round
> (remember, it's got a bad Will save) which helps a lot.

Now that might work. Tasha's Hidieous Laughter might be worthwhile
too, despite the lowered DC from differing types.

> Without smart AND COORDINATED play from the party, a hydra WILL eat them
> alive.
> Working together, it's no tougher than a normal CR 4 critter.

Oh, bollocks. A smart and coordinated party that goes tiger hunting
will make complete mincemeat of it much more readily than they will a
hydra. The same goes vs a minotaur or bear - if they ambush a 4th
level party the party will be hurting, but if the party ambushes them
the monster is just dead. Ambushing a hydra is much chancier.


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:12:32 PM

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

<laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu> wrote in message
news:1118844778.552800.274730@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> Symbol wrote:

> > > Well, as Rupert pointed out, killing a hydra at range is possible
even
> > > for a single dedicated ranged specialist
> >
> > He showed it was theoretically possible that a flying archer (4th
level
> > party remember) could take out a Hydra despite the fast healing if it
> > could find no cover. Without his two shots per round he couldn't
really
> > affect the fast healing and so fly was vital to the analysis.
>
> Not really. He can just ride a horse.

True, so long as you can avoid dead ends and obstacles.

> > > Taking everything into account, I'd say that the CR for a 5-headed
> > > hydra _is_ probably too low, but only if it's encountered in fairly
> > > cramped spaces (like a dungeon). In the wilderness, it's very easy
to
> > > evade, and if it's guarding something, it's very easy to lure it
away,
> > > evade, then get whatever it was guarding (due to its Int 2).
> >
> > In the wilderness it could be attacking something slow moving that you
are
> > trying to protect (ambushed a caraven, attacking a nearby farmstead
etc).
> > These things are not considerations for fixing CR.
>
> I guess, in theory. Not many farmsteads or caravans in the marshes,
> though.

Plenty near them though. Especially since they are close to bodies of
water.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:22:39 PM

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

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Jun 2005 22:21:50 GMT, Matt Frisch
> <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > Course, being mounted also applies a tohit penalty, which lowers your
> > expected damage per round, unless we are going to hypothetize that our 4th
> > level character also has the mounted archery feat....looking less and less
> > like a 4th level character all the time.
>
> If they're using mounted archery tactics, they probably do. A mounted
> archer is a valid build, though at higher levels you'll need to find
> some sort of special mount.

Questionable at level 4.
A level 4 human fighter has 6 feats.
Mounted Archery requires Mounted Combat (2)
Weapon Specialization requires Weapon Focus (2)
Rapid Shot requires Point Blank Shot (2)

So while the build is possible it needs to be almost completely focused

on this tactic and human. (And you haven't got that really useful to
a mounted archer Far Shot on this build, for that matter even if using
the flying archer you need a full attack each round which doesn't
work once the frustrated Hydra tries to wander off.)

But I am not sure there is any penalty at all if the horse is single
moving, and there is none if it is non-moving. And IME one mounted
archer implies 3-4 mounted archers. Horses + bows work best in swarms,
so the whole party gets to play.

Just ignore the PBS bonus and shoot it from near maximum local spotting
range...

DougL
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:25:39 PM

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

On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
carved upon a tablet of ether:

> Uh, you do realize that flasks can be thrown, right? This is what those
> characters who
> aren't supposed to be fighting it directly (your average cleric, say)
> can be doing while
> the fighter and/or barbarian are busy lopping.

WTF? The cleric should be casting buffs like Bull's Strength (if not
pre-cast, which implies the party is doing the ambushing - a much
easier fight), Bless, etc., and then spells like Bane or Doom.

> If the rogue thinks he
> won't survive melee,
> which he could do via Dodge/Mobility/fighting defensively, he can stand
> back and do the flask hurling.

Dodge gives +1 AC. Big Effing Deal. Mobility only helps vs AoOs,
leaving the rogue to deal with the main attacks, which do 1d10+3 each
(so vs the ~30HP the rogue will have it'll take 3-4 to put him away -
that's maybe two rounds). Fighting defensively mainly screws the
rogues chances of doing anything useful.

> Given that rogues usually have better ranged attack
> bonuses than
> melee, that can be a very wise way for them to use sneak attack (if
> they're invisible or
> the hydra is blinded, say).

Assuming all that. If it's not, I guess the fighter just gets to die.
So, who wants to play the fighter?

> So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
> getting them all and sorcerer whaps a Burning Hands across the stumps.
> There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4 hydra. I don't think that's out of line.

You might want to read the rules for Cleave/Great Cleave. Also, you've
just required the fighter to have Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave,
and Improved Sunder. That's most of his feats, and requires the
character to have committed to this particular fighting style (and one
that's more down the barbarian's than that of most fighters, IME).

> > An Owlbear has the same HD, same CR and same AC as the Hydra. Please
> > compare their abilities and make that statement again with a straight
> > face.
>
> An owlbear is stronger, faster, and has a 50% higher attack bonus plus
> Improved
> Grab. You should really pay more attention before mouthing off about
> stuff like that.

It has three attacks at +9 (for 1d6+5, average 8.5 each, and 1d8+2,
average 6.5) vs five at +6 (for 1d10+3, average 8.5). Let's see who
does the most damage:

Hydra Owlbear
AC No. hits x dam x crit = total No. hits x dam x crit = total
10 4.25 8.5 1.05 37.9 1.9/0.75 8.5/6.5 1.05 22.1
12 3.75 8.5 1.05 33.5 1.8/0.65 8.5/6.5 1.05 20.5
14 3.25 8.5 1.05 29.0 1.6/0.55 8.5/6.5 1.05 18.0
16 2.75 8.5 1.05 24.5 1.4/0.45 8.5/6.5 1.05 15.6
18 2.25 8.5 1.05 20.1 1.2/0.35 8.5/6.5 1.05 13.1
20 1.75 8.5 1.05 15.6 1.0/0.25 8.5/6.5 1.05 10.6
22 1.25 8.5 1.05 11.2 0.8/0.15 8.5/6.5 1.05 8.2
24 0.75 8.5 1.05 6.7 0.6/0.15 8.5/6.5 1.05 5.7

As we can see, the owlbear never does more damage in a full attack,
which it won't always get, unlike the hydra. The owlbear also gets far
fewer AoOs, and lacks reach. As they lack Rake, Rend, Constrict, or
some other horrible special effect from their grapple, it's only
moderately scary - to use it properly they have to open themselves to
sneak attacks, etc.

Nope, the owlbear don't rate.


--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:25:40 PM

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

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:30:31 -0700, Some Guy <someguy@thedoor.gov>
> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
>
>>Uh, you do realize that flasks can be thrown, right? This is what those
>>characters who
>>aren't supposed to be fighting it directly (your average cleric, say)
>>can be doing while
>>the fighter and/or barbarian are busy lopping.
>
>
> WTF? The cleric should be casting buffs like Bull's Strength (if not
> pre-cast, which implies the party is doing the ambushing - a much
> easier fight), Bless, etc., and then spells like Bane or Doom.

Or whatever.

>>If the rogue thinks he
>>won't survive melee,
>>which he could do via Dodge/Mobility/fighting defensively, he can stand
>>back and do the flask hurling.
>
>
> Dodge gives +1 AC. Big Effing Deal.

At 4th level, +1 AC IS a big deal. At higher levels, it's not such one.

>Mobility only helps vs AoOs,

Which will be drawn moving through the hydra's area, which means some of the
fighter's Sunders, if he lacks Improved Sunder, won't in fact draw AOOs
at all.

> leaving the rogue to deal with the main attacks, which do 1d10+3 each
> (so vs the ~30HP the rogue will have it'll take 3-4 to put him away -
> that's maybe two rounds).

An average 4th level NPC rogue has an AC of 17, which means the hydra hits
half the time. But we are all assuming the hydra isn't attacking just one
character, since the fighter's up there too. Let's even say the cleric
is slashing
away also. That means five heads are attacking three targets. Even the
worst
AC target, the rogue, will still only get hit half the time, and that's
only true IF
NO HEADS EVER GET SEVERED. Short of bad luck, the fighter should be
severing at least one head a round, and if someone is searing the stumps
afterwards
the number of attacks versus targets will drop until there are fewer
heads than
targets.

>Fighting defensively mainly screws the
> rogues chances of doing anything useful.

Fighting defensively keeps him alive until the head to target ratio
changes in his
favor. As I've said, though, if he can't get into a sneak attack
situation via magic
or positioning, he might as well just stay in the back and sear stumps
via alchemist's
fire or oil flask bombs as they become available.

>>Given that rogues usually have better ranged attack
>>bonuses than
>>melee, that can be a very wise way for them to use sneak attack (if
>>they're invisible or
>>the hydra is blinded, say).
>
>
> Assuming all that. If it's not, I guess the fighter just gets to die.
> So, who wants to play the fighter?

Unless your fighter is naked, he's going to hit the hydra about twice as
often
as it hits him. If he's severing heads, the number of attacks per round
will
drop faster than his hit points.

>>So, fighter with Great Cleave does multiple sunders to the necks,
>>getting them all and sorcerer whaps a Burning Hands across the stumps.
>>There's a 1 round kill of a CR 4 hydra. I don't think that's out of line.
>
>
> You might want to read the rules for Cleave/Great Cleave.

I have.

>Also, you've
> just required the fighter to have Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave,
> and Improved Sunder.

I've only required it to show that a 1-round kill is possible. It's not
required
to have any of those feats for the fighter to have a good chance.

>That's most of his feats, and requires the
> character to have committed to this particular fighting style (and one
> that's more down the barbarian's than that of most fighters, IME).

Barbarians sunder more than fighers?

>>>An Owlbear has the same HD, same CR and same AC as the Hydra. Please
>>>compare their abilities and make that statement again with a straight
>>>face.
>>
>>An owlbear is stronger, faster, and has a 50% higher attack bonus plus
>>Improved
>>Grab. You should really pay more attention before mouthing off about
>>stuff like that.
>
>
> It has three attacks at +9 (for 1d6+5, average 8.5 each, and 1d8+2,
> average 6.5) vs five at +6 (for 1d10+3, average 8.5). Let's see who
> does the most damage:
>
> Hydra Owlbear
> AC No. hits x dam x crit = total No. hits x dam x crit = total
> 10 4.25 8.5 1.05 37.9 1.9/0.75 8.5/6.5 1.05 22.1
> 12 3.75 8.5 1.05 33.5 1.8/0.65 8.5/6.5 1.05 20.5
> 14 3.25 8.5 1.05 29.0 1.6/0.55 8.5/6.5 1.05 18.0
> 16 2.75 8.5 1.05 24.5 1.4/0.45 8.5/6.5 1.05 15.6
> 18 2.25 8.5 1.05 20.1 1.2/0.35 8.5/6.5 1.05 13.1
> 20 1.75 8.5 1.05 15.6 1.0/0.25 8.5/6.5 1.05 10.6
> 22 1.25 8.5 1.05 11.2 0.8/0.15 8.5/6.5 1.05 8.2
> 24 0.75 8.5 1.05 6.7 0.6/0.15 8.5/6.5 1.05 5.7
>
> As we can see, the owlbear never does more damage in a full attack,
> which it won't always get, unlike the hydra.

The hydra only gets this when it retains all its heads every round. The
fast healing on its body makes it so difficult to kill that way that, at
4th
level, you're stupid to even try unless you've got some sort of weird
advantage. You SHOULD be lopping off heads, at least one a round,
and someone in the party should be searing stumps as you go.

>The owlbear also gets far
> fewer AoOs, and lacks reach. As they lack Rake, Rend, Constrict, or
> some other horrible special effect from their grapple, it's only
> moderately scary - to use it properly they have to open themselves to
> sneak attacks, etc.

You're not going to sunder owlbear limbs off, though, so it will make
the same number
of attacks every round. Further, an owlbear in a grapple gets to bypass
AC and will
eat alive a grappled foe far faster than a hydra, even with its multiple
attacks (compare
2x attacks at +14 and one at +9 vs. the fighter's probably +6 or +7 or
so grapple check with
5x attacks at +6 versus the fighter's AC of 21).

> Nope, the owlbear don't rate.

The owlbear is only less tough because it requires less coordination by
the party to kill it.
It's certainly no less tough in a toe-to-toe fight.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:25:41 PM

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

"Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
news:p iPre.321$X71.103@fed1read07...
> Rupert Boleyn wrote:

> >Mobility only helps vs AoOs,
>
> Which will be drawn moving through the hydra's area, which means some of
the
> fighter's Sunders, if he lacks Improved Sunder, won't in fact draw AOOs
> at all.

You've just put the Rogue in the Hydra's threat area and deliberatly
provoked 5 AoOs while leaving the Rogue subject to up to 5 normal attacks.
Congratulations he is dead, mobility or not.

> > leaving the rogue to deal with the main attacks, which do 1d10+3 each
> > (so vs the ~30HP the rogue will have it'll take 3-4 to put him away -
> > that's maybe two rounds).
>
> An average 4th level NPC rogue has an AC of 17, which means the hydra
hits
> half the time. But we are all assuming the hydra isn't attacking just
one
> character, since the fighter's up there too.

No *you* are assuming that. Just because a character threatens a creature
it doesn't mean it need devote any attacks to him. Even stupid monsters
know the benefit of concentrating on one foe.

> Short of bad luck, the fighter should be
> severing at least one head a round,

So it's bad luck if a 4th level fighter with one attack doesn't always win
the opposed roll and doesn't always do at least 11hp damage? You really
*aren't* a maths whizz are you?

> > You might want to read the rules for Cleave/Great Cleave.
>
> I have.

Then try to understand them.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 8:25:41 PM

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

"Some Guy" <someguy@thedoor.gov> wrote in message
news:p iPre.321$X71.103@fed1read07...
> Rupert Boleyn wrote:

>>Mobility only helps vs AoOs,
>
> Which will be drawn moving through the hydra's area, which means some of
> the
> fighter's Sunders, if he lacks Improved Sunder, won't in fact draw AOOs at
> all.

?

It gets *5* AoOs per round.

> Short of bad luck, the fighter should be
> severing at least one head a round,

You have got to be kidding. Have you actually done the math on this?
Obviously not. He is wielding a one-handed weapon, remember? He has to win
an opposed check, remember?

> and if someone is searing the stumps afterwards

*If*.

>> As we can see, the owlbear never does more damage in a full attack,
>> which it won't always get, unlike the hydra.
>
> The hydra only gets this when it retains all its heads every round. The
> fast healing on its body makes it so difficult to kill that way that, at
> 4th level, you're stupid to even try unless you've got some sort of weird
> advantage.

Nonsense. A 4th level party can inflict enough damage to whittle the hydra
down. My 3rd/2nd level party did it. the heads-chopping thing was not
working.

> You SHOULD be lopping off heads, at least one a round,

You keep saying this, but the math does not support it.

--
^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
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