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Old 07-08-2019, 08:42 PM   #31
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

I ran a Peshkali battle with some relatively new players this weekend (a shortened one-shot version of You All Meet at an Inn). I swapped the Peshkali with my first group last year because they were a small, sub-optimal group (bard, swashbuckler, and scout) who would have been obliterated. This weekend, however, I had a full group of six strong PCs (knight, swashbuckler, martial artist, thief, wizard, cleric). It was still a surprisingly tough battle.

One thing I wasn't sure about was how to handle the Peshkali's hit points. It could only be killed "after all six arms are crippled," but can its torso be injured prior to crippling all six arms? Could they, theoretically, take it down to -500 HP before finally crippling the arms? Would it be at reduced speed and dodge after the second arm goes (taking it below 1/3 HP)?

I ran it such that its injuries magically healed as they fought it unless they injured the arms. (It laughed at all other injury.) I had it disintegrate upon crippling the final arm. This was for dramatic and timing reasons as much as anything, but it would have been at -46 at that point just from the arm injuries, so well on its way to death.

One other minor question came up: if the Peshkali (or its hex) is hit by an explosive fireball, would any of the damage affect the arms (for the purposes of crippling them), or only if an arm was specifically targeted? I assume not, since I've never had explosions affect limbs before, but maybe I'm missing a nuance in the rules.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:04 PM   #32
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
One thing I wasn't sure about was how to handle the Peshkali's hit points. It could only be killed "after all six arms are crippled," but can its torso be injured prior to crippling all six arms?
Yes, it can take damage normally to the torso, it just doesn't have any checks for death or consciousness until all six arms are crippled.
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Could they, theoretically, take it down to -500 HP before finally crippling the arms? Would it be at reduced speed and dodge after the second arm goes (taking it below 1/3 HP)?
You actually can't cripple its arms until its below 0 HP, at which point it uses its own special rules.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:24 AM   #33
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Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

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I ran it such that its injuries magically healed as they fought it unless they injured the arms. (It laughed at all other injury.)
That gives me an idea for an alternate way to run peshkali resilience:

Drop Supernatural Durability; the peshkali takes damage, and is injured and killed like any other creature. Instead, give the demon a fearsome, arm-powered regenerative ability: regeneration of 1HP/turn, for each functioning arm.

So, a fully armed pesh will laugh at most damage, regenerating 6HP/turn and returning quickly even after being "killed". Fortunately for the PCs (and for simplicity), a crippled pesh arm stays crippled, so taking the arms out one by one slows the regeneration and finally shuts it off. Once that's done, the creature can be properly killed.

That's quick off the top of my head. No claims that it makes for a better monster! (But it would do away with any uncertainties about the workings of Supernatural Durability.)
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:11 AM   #34
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Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

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That's quick off the top of my head. No claims that it makes for a better monster! (But it would do away with any uncertainties about the workings of Supernatural Durability.)
SD, as written up in DF:M, is pretty simple:
  1. Damage reduces HP normally, but does not cause shock, physical stun, or knockout (I assume this includes consciousness rolls or it's not very relevant).
  2. If HP >= 0, full move and immune to crippling.
  3. If HP < 0, half move and can be crippled.
  4. If kill conditions are not met, it cannot be killed. If conditions are met, it makes death checks normally, or just dies if below -5xHP.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:57 AM   #35
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Drop Supernatural Durability; the peshkali takes damage, and is injured and killed like any other creature. Instead, give the demon a fearsome, arm-powered regenerative ability: regeneration of 1HP/turn, for each functioning arm.
I like this variant. Consider it stole.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:06 AM   #36
Dalin
 
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Default Re: I Smell a Rat impossible to beat [spoilers]

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
SD, as written up in DF:M, is pretty simple:
  1. Damage reduces HP normally, but does not cause shock, physical stun, or knockout (I assume this includes consciousness rolls or it's not very relevant).
  2. If HP >= 0, full move and immune to crippling.
  3. If HP < 0, half move and can be crippled.
  4. If kill conditions are not met, it cannot be killed. If conditions are met, it makes death checks normally, or just dies if below -5xHP.
Crystal clear and right there in the book. Thanks for pointing it out. This actually makes a Peshkali fight a bit more interesting because there's value in causing injury even if it doesn't cripple the arms. Our wizard, for example, trying to stay out of melee range, didn't want to stack hit location penalties on top of her range penalty. Without reviewing the rules, I basically nerfed the spell strikes since they weren't aimed at the arms. Per RAW, though, hitting a Peshkali square in the torso with a fireball (or nearby with an explosive one) would help take it down far enough that its arms could be crippled. The damage would also ensure a speedy death after crippling the last arm.

Musing aloud here... if the Peshkali starts at full 20 HP and a melee character begins attacking its arms, injury will max out at the crippling threshold of 11 but would not cripple the arm because the Peshkali would still have 9 HP (i.e., HP >= 0). Even if the character could potentially do 22+ injury, which would normally destroy or dismember the limb, this would not apply because the attack can't do more than 11 injury. Subsequent strikes, with the Peshkali having less HP than the crippling threshold, could cripple or destroy limbs.

Now I want to do the battle again. Maybe on Thursday with another group.
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