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Old 06-22-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: What do you do about one demon?

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post

Back and forth seems like a popular request, but I really don't understand it. Back and forth means one side swung from a losing position to a winning one, and then back. More than once, probably. Logically, that should be unlikely unless the relative advantage is trivial, and actively encouraging it would devalue conventional tactics since pulling 'ahead' raises the expectation of being dragged back behind.
Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post

I'm in favour of the "smack-the-forehead" to kill it boss; some tropes being: no man of woman born/ no man/ no weapon forged by man (but that wraith-amulet fits the pattern), oh, and Rip its horn off!*
I'd back both sentiments. My most memorable fantasy boss fights have all been ones where the PCs were repeatedly trying to deliver the "killing blow" ordained by prophecy, revealed by their skills, found etched in a burial tablet, or whatever. They spent many turns being fended off by powerful defenses while attempting this, with each turn of failure-to-kill and success-at-defense granting the boss one more chance to use some overwhelming takes-out-a-PC attack. There was no back-and-forth there, and no sack of HP. The boss was basically winning, and the PCs weren't whittling away but desperately looking for a lucky break.

One example was a mummy with an amulet that made it immortal. The mummy literally couldn't be harmed by any attack the PCs had; the only way to defeat it was to remove the amulet, wherepon even a small dog could probably bite it to destruction. However, because it couldn't be hurt, it could afford to ignore all non-grabbing, amulet-targeting attacks and save its defenses for those. And those required getting close to a mummy that emitted Deathtouch-like doom at grappling range, withering people in their boots. The day was saved when the former slave-driver PC remembered his whip, dropped his sword, and did an Indy on the amulet.

Another was a minor god that could only be defeated via a proper ritual. This had to take place in combat time, as the god fixed stares of madness and heart attack on the PCs. The PCs had to carve a hole in it and remove a symbolic talisman, and then one PC had to dive inside and win a bunch of Quick Contests of Will to drive it from the mortal realm. Just slugging the thing didn't matter, and the whole time, the PCs were at a huge disadvantage and mostly on the defensive. One PC died, and only came back because he had a favor owing with the God of Death.
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