Friday, June 2, 2017

The Lizard's Jaws ~ Round 3

The giant decides to attack Enrico, rolling a natural 20.

That is very, very bad with giant lizards.  The old monster manual gave a special ability to these, saying that if a lizard hit with a 20, it caused double-damage.  Since a 20 causes double damage anyway, I used to say that it caused four times damage . . . but that is when I was still using the monster manual's damage of 1-8 for a giant lizard's bite.

Since, I'd decided that was too low for large creatures and increased it to 2-12.  The last time I had a giant lizard attack a party, I did not roll a natural 20.  In fact, I haven't rolled a natural 20 with giant lizards for more than a decade, and I did not expect to do it today.  But . . .

I'm going to rule that it adds 1d6 to the normal attack and that this is then doubled.  I haven't rolled the damage yet, but I expect it to hurt.

The lizard causes ~ oh damn, you're very lucky.  I roll a 6 on 3d6; doubled, that is 12.  Lucky, lucky you.  Enrico is stunned.

Additionally, the creature causes incidental damage half the time to any creature within one hex.  Kismet gets off lucky, but Enrico suffers 2 damage from being struck by the creature's body.

The creature then retreats back six hexes, moving between the damaged pillar bases.

The players may now take their move.


Enrico Guerriero said...

Lucky, lucky you.

This is the THIRD natural 20 against me in three combats. I don't feel lucky!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ha. But please tell me what action your character takes.

Kismet said...

Quick wiki search did not yield anything about bracing polearms against large fast moving attackers so I'm going to guess there is no real benefit in this case.

Since my estimate right now is 8AP I'm going to move to try and force 3 ap of movement to the nearest target which... if not stunned, will allow me to move and hit should they try and retreat on the same turn.

Kismet moves to 0911 then to 0910.

I anticipate the only way I'm getting a chance on a hit is if I swing first, so here's to luck on that roll.

Enrico Guerriero said...

I think Kismet has the right strategy... Enrico moves to 0811 via 0812.

Alexis Smolensk said...

So cautious!

I'll let Sofia's go lapse, then, as I want to give another chance to move as this day wraps up.

The lizard, not sufficiently provoked, will remain where it is, making no attack.

Don't make me redraw the map for two tiny moves. Take yourselves from the new positions you've named and take another turn.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry about Enrico's move. I did forget that I had just stunned you, and then asked you to move. Foolish, and I'm sorry.

Still, was waiting for Sofia; some days, just can't make any headway, can we? Okay, Enrico for this second move certainly isn't stunned, but only Kismet moved in that first round.

Oddbit said...

Not really cautious, I can't reach and attack out that distance, but from this position I can... Once Sofia moves, I'll be rushing it as I'll be within attack range. Moving adjacent when you can't attack seems like just handing your opponent free attacks.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Sorry for the delay folks, Fridays can be bad for me. It looks like we may not rely so heavily on Friday playing to make headway soon, though. I'll post my move in a moment.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Agreed on the strategy Oddbitt.

Alexis, I think the party has been getting a bad rap from you on this abundance of caution idea. Recent rule changes with movement and encumbrance have limited the options for fighters particularly, plain and simple. This thing is bigger, has better range, has a better AC and does more damage than any of us. One hit stunned our unlucky fighter. I reject that we are being over-cautious.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Sofia moves 0912-1012-1011, drawing and throwing another dagger.

to hit: 18
dmg: 4

Kismet said...

Well, I mean we generally think in terms of survival and estimating the odds. And I definitely look at the party status as a whole.

I think this critter CAN do impressive damage, but isn't excessive. The crit was unfortunate, but hey, if we live that's XP, HP exists to be used.

My concern is it's total HP (Did not stun when Kismet hits like a semi), our hit chances, and it's ability to hit and run resulting in rerolling initiative in engagements each time.

Balancing that against mine and Sofia's full health, and Enricos probably what... 1/3-1/2? I think we can keep going without being eaten or saved by rats again. Can we keep following the orc? I dunno, depends on how the rest of the fight goes. I'm aiming for lizard skin boots though.

As for movement, I don't actually think we've been hurt in terms of AP. If anything I think we've benefitted as armor doesn't lock your AP in. That said, 5AP is 5AP, it's 3 move and an attack.

The biggest impact on my capacity actually has been CLO (mandatory weight). But aside from it having some components I don't COMPLETELY understand yet, I'm ok with it. Especially at this pace of game.

If the fighter had low strength I could see the new rules being an issue, but even Enrico had a significant amount of AP in his what... full plate?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, I have Wednesday off. That will probably work better for you, Sofia.

That dagger attack hits. I have to go out for an appointment today, before work; I will get a new map up tomorrow.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Here's the thing that baffles me about caution; IF you know the thing is going to attack anyway and IF you know the first engagement is going to be based on initiative, no matter who rushes whom, then why not just move your full distance towards the creature?

[And if you're not being exceptionally cautious, why is it the daggers are always thrown? Why this resistance against hand-to-hand combat?

[But hey, I don't want to get anyone's back up. I'm merely trying to point out that these battles are slowed down by players making the smallest amount of movement possible]

Kismet said...

[My presumption is that even if I win initiative, I will have 0 AP, and the lizard will STILL attack first. Is this a wrong supposition? Do I get a "free" attack or turn if this is not the case?]

[Daggers if anything should speed it up, I'm presuming Sofia does not have the AP to close AND attack as above and is throwing daggers in an attempt to deal damage while positioning to where they can close and attack.]

Alexis Smolensk said...

[If the combat is broken off, initiative has to be rolled again before re-engagement occurs. If there are multiple opponents, and any one set of combatants is still engaged, then initiative is not rolled again - except in circumstances where the two opponents are decidedly separated from the main fray and have both made full movements without engagement.

[Initiative resets the order of movement. This does not mean "a free turn." It is best to remember that, effectively, all movement is simultaneous, but represented by a turn-system in order to maintain ease of resolution. So in effect, you're not getting a free turn, you're merely changing the order of attacking. If the creature were to rush you now, then fail initiative, then we presume it hesitated long enough in real time for you to move to the new hex, get your bearings, enjoy the creature's hesitation, then strike first when the creature moves close enough.

[This has always been the system and I have implemented it several times against this party. If you win initiative, you attack first]

Enrico Guerriero said...

[Enrico has 5 AP but he's now wearing leather armor. In plate I believe he had 3 AP.]

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Oh, and before someone brings it up; "breaking combat" occurs when both groups of combatants move/act a complete round without any combat taking place (including the casting of spells or loading of weapons). If one combatant pulls back as part of their movement, and then the opponent moves in to continue the attack, initiative would NOT be rolled in that situation]

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

(All of this OCC:)

I don't think my back is necessarily up, Alexis. If I could speak all of this you could read my tone better. You took us to task recently for being overly cautious and upsetting you. I think it's important you see things from our perspective.

As for my choices,

dagger damage: 1d4
unarmed combat damage: 1d4

I fail to see the advantage in closing. Once I'm 3rd level and the unarmed damage increases to 1d6, that plus the extra hit points will create greater incentive to do so. It's been my practice to expend my daggers to soften up the enemy and use the 6 AP to remain flexible in moving into and out of danger. If ANYBODY has better ideas I'm open to trying them, but be specific. Keep in mind due to limitations of Sofia's background she can neither dual wield nor use any weapon weighing more than 5 lbs. such as a pole arm, which at once destroyed each of the melee concepts I had for her at 1st level. With one weapon proficiency and 1d3 unarmed damage at the time of my choosing, a dagger seemed a nice, versatile weapon to fall back to.

As for movement/ encumbrance NOT being an issue, Kismet, didn't you and Enrico both choose to not wear your best, most protective armor to keep as much of your AP's as you could? Movement becoming more restrictive led me to sell off Andrej's plate mail for leather some time ago. With less protection for fighters comes more caution, I think.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Yes, Enrico is supposed to be a turtle, but due to the restrictions of "off roading" here as it were I had to make him a soft-skinned turtle.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

(More OCC on movement)

If a fighter hangs back, forcing an opponent to use AP's to close with him, doesn't this benefit the fighter as the opponent will have less AP's to spend to get away after making a melee attack? If Kismet closes with the lizard, the lizard simply strikes and moves out of range again, doesn't it? What am I missing Alexis?

Kismet said...

I didn't see the off-roading portion as a rules change so much as an environment change. But I can accept your interpretation Sofia/Enrico.


Yeah, so if I closed with the Lizard on my turn, there might be no reroll of initiative (probably would since I would not have attacked), however in that case I still would get no attack, since the engagement was still engaged as it were. (0 AP after moving)

Now, there will be a initiative check when the party closes and there's a non-zero chance of being able to attack first based on what you're saying. (I will charge the lizard, then initiative)

I'm still not seeing the benefit of closing and spending all AP on movement.

Yeah I think we're missing something.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Kismet, if you don't move at least close enough to provoke, animal brained creature runs away. You get nothing. If you don't risk giving the creature first swing, it runs away. You get nothing. Pure survival is a zero sum gain.

You kill easy, low armor class, isolated creatures like this one so you can mass experience for tougher creatures. Skip these opportunities and you don't gain experience.

I thought you guys had played this game.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Fuck texting!

Some of my comments are on the previous post.

James Clark said...

Really? We're going there Alexis?

Alexis Smolensk said...

(Still going to work)

Where else are you giving me to go. I create an encounter, with a beast you can kill, and you hold back and let it run away. I create an encounter with soldier minions, who you can kill, and you hang back, bang drums and let them

Alexis Smolensk said...

Oops. Let them trap you. I set up an underwater beast and you swim away without investigating. I make an underground series of caves and you dutifully obey orders, climbing up and out. I set up a weak black pudding and you sidestep it.

You're not winning this game, you're going through it like tourist. This is my time and energy. I'd like to know what it's being used for.

I repeat, where else are you giving me to go?

James Clark said...

I think we've played well enough given the circumstances. Not perfectly, no, but well enough to not deserve the snark you continue to fling at us. If there are better uses for your time and energy I think you should consider them. There's no sense in spending both on running a group that makes you this unhappy.

As for me, and taking my own advice, I think I'm done here. It's clear to me that whatever magic I once felt playing with you is gone and I suppose waiting any longer for it to rekindle is wasting everybody's time. Out of respect for you all I don't want to do that any longer.

It was truly a pleasure playing D&D with you Oddbit and Butch. We made some great memories "at the table" that will always be with me. Your characters Ahmet and Lukas were memorable, well-played and will go down as some of my favorite PCs ever.

Alexis, I really appreciate and respect the time and attention you have put into the game in general and to us in particular. I hope you consider this parting an amicable one. I wish you happiness, peace and fulfillment. I hope your circumstances continue to improve.

Best of luck everybody.

Oddbit said...

Fair enough.

I think Alexis has been giving us the benefit of our history for this run through. Otherwise I wonder if we'd have been kicked or not.

That said I think I would also rather not press on Alexis time further. Obviously you can get examples of your work through the Juvenais campaign, and the effort put in there, and any saved time can be put towards whatever task is more appealing. Maps, writing, whatever.

Anything that goes up on the blog I can take the time to appreciate, and it will probably be more convenient for all.

I did enjoy the time spent, but clearly am not ready to put in the effort and research required to succeed or capitalize on your work properly. Thank you for the time you have spent trying to work with us through this run.

To the players...
Thank you as well for putting up with my play style, I hope I didn't too poorly influence you through this go. I did enjoy playing with you, and the time we've previously spent. We had some good times, but perhaps it's just time for a new chapter.

I'll see you around on the main blog.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Very well, it's settled then. Little point in my addressing this further.

I intend to leave the blog as is. But if you wish to remove any content that is personal to you, let me know and I will accommodate your wishes.

James Clark said...

Everything from James, Sofia and Andrej can stand as-is for as long as you want it to stand there.