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  #5751  
Old 04-01-2019, 11:50 AM
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I'm not one to usually complain about the pace of the strips. But it's been almost two weeks and today's strip was almost simplistic, plot-wise. I wonder if he's worked on a few at the same time there will be more updates in the near future.
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  #5752  
Old 04-01-2019, 12:19 PM
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I hope one of the spellcasters has Dismissal prepared.
Allows spell resistance, and the 'likeable deathworm', or LDW, has a ton. 31, tbe. I don't think any of the Order would have a good shot at beating that SR.

I'm surprised that V and Haley were in range of that Cone of Cold, and I'm also surprised the LDW didn't use another spell, then follow with its quickened CoC. GDM would work, or Finger of Death whichever character the LDW feared most---maybe Haley, since Haley looks like a rogue, and evasion means she's just going to probably ignore the quickened Cone anyway. Kind of surprised V took that Cone of Cold and is still standing.

With the range Sunburst has (400 feet and then some), you have to wonder why V just didn't lead with it as soon as s/he got eyes on the vampires. It wouldn't touch the LDW (assuming it even had been summoned by the time V would've seen the vampires), but it'd probably smoke both vampires. Heck, turn the corner into the room while invisible, see where the vampires are, back up until they can't see you anymore, and lob that holy hand grenade at whatever architectural element near the vampires that you can see. Follow up with Disintegrate---another spell with a long range---on whatever is left twitching, or the ceiling.

Poof! Subplot gone, with removing the domination of the dwarven elders, which is probably why that wasnt going to be done.

Hilgya looks like she's going to help out. That's good. I'm amused that Belkar isn't just running up to the LDW for stabby-stabby. Guess he's learned something over the last few days.

What spells don't check for spell resistance?
  #5753  
Old 04-01-2019, 12:28 PM
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It looks like Forcecage doesn't check for SR. Which is strange then that V would choose to use it on the vampires then, and not the worm. With the worm caged, Roy and Durkon are packing weapons that could one-shot vampires that or the following round. (Of course, the worm could probably take the cage down with Greater Dispel Magic whenever it chose)

Most of the other spells that don't check for it are conjuration-based, which V can't use.

Edit, GITP thread I pulled the spell resistance information from: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...istance-spells

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 04-01-2019 at 12:29 PM.
  #5754  
Old 04-01-2019, 12:36 PM
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Forcecage has a fixed size (well, two, technically - 10 or 20 foot cube) so it may not be large enough to contain the worm.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:43 PM
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It looks like Forcecage doesn't check for SR. Which is strange then that V would choose to use it on the vampires then, and not the worm. With the worm caged, Roy and Durkon are packing weapons that could one-shot vampires that or the following round. (Of course, the worm could probably take the cage down with Greater Dispel Magic whenever it chose)

He wanted to stop the vamp from crossing the barrier. SR has a chance to prevent that, but casting the spell one round later definitely prevents that.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:49 PM
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What is SR?
  #5757  
Old 04-01-2019, 12:53 PM
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Spell Resistance
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  #5758  
Old 04-01-2019, 12:56 PM
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D&D 3.0/3.5 Vampires don't have Spell Resistance (having just checked my books).
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:57 PM
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He wanted to stop the vamp from crossing the barrier. SR has a chance to prevent that, but casting the spell one round later definitely prevents that.
I see that, but wouldn't something like delayed blast fireball or disintegrate, followed up with a quickened fireball, do pretty much the same thing, with the advantage of possibly killing the Exargggh, rather than just caging him for one round? Or doing something that doesn't involve marching up into close range (Cone of cold's range is just 60 feet) with something like that worm or the gaze threat of the vampires?

I guess I'm just annoyed at watching the Order continually fight with one arm behind their back, otherwise we wouldn't have a dramatic story.

Ender, if you can figure out the update schedule, more power to you. (Though either dtilque or Peter did a great job of trying to a few pages back.) I think though that the art takes him more time to draw than the plot does to write, and this update has quite a few different art elements. I'm not surprised the new and improved OOTS took this long to provide this kind of update. Sucks it takes two weeks, but what can you do? He's got to be just about done with all the Kickstarter swag by now, right?
  #5760  
Old 04-01-2019, 01:02 PM
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D&D 3.0/3.5 Vampires don't have Spell Resistance (having just checked my books).
Nope, but they're not the main threat if they were to stay and fight the Order. That spellcasting worm is. A Nightcrawler is a really, really nasty critter. CR 19, I think. I was just trying to think of some way that V could help spellwise against the worm besides just trying not to die.
  #5761  
Old 04-01-2019, 01:44 PM
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I'm not one to usually complain about the pace of the strips. But it's been almost two weeks and today's strip was almost simplistic, plot-wise. I wonder if he's worked on a few at the same time there will be more updates in the near future.
I believe Roy v Greg round 1 went by very quickly as a big climactic moment. Hopefully as we're getting into what must be the book 6 climax, the strips will come at a similar rate.
  #5762  
Old 04-01-2019, 01:54 PM
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I wonder if he's worked on a few at the same time there will be more updates in the near future.
In the past I have suggested that he build a slight backlog so that he can issue new strips more regularly during periods of low productivity, but I don't know if he's ever seriously considered doing that. I can't possibly be the only person who has suggested it in the many years he's been doing this and the extreme variability of releases hasn't changed.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:06 PM
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Roy's is green. Granted, they could come in other colors but I'd expect Burlew to make them Matching Belt Buddies if Durkon owned the same thing.
I just assume everything that the characters wear will fit into their colour scheme, except for joke items like Haley's boots.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:16 PM
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In the past I have suggested that he build a slight backlog so that he can issue new strips more regularly during periods of low productivity, but I don't know if he's ever seriously considered doing that. I can't possibly be the only person who has suggested it in the many years he's been doing this and the extreme variability of releases hasn't changed.
Well, y'know, he kinda did. And then one of his stretch goals on his Kickstarter (a week's worth of daily updates, IIRC) used the buffer up.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:41 PM
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Well, y'know, he kinda did. And then one of his stretch goals on his Kickstarter (a week's worth of daily updates, IIRC) used the buffer up.
Do you have any cite that he ever drew strips ahead of time and had a buffer? Fairly sure he drew that week's worth (actually 9 days worth) one per day. He couldn't do that anymore. With the latest art upgrade, it takes more than a day to draw a strip.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:44 PM
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Well, so much for an attack on the roof from above. Also Durkon remains beltless (as least in a magic item sense)
Is he though? The belt he's wearing in the last few panels of this strip looks different (no belt buckle) than the belt he was wearing when we last saw him in his priest's robes.

I'd have liked it if we also saw a belt in the drawer with the hammer and gauntlets, but I'm ok with assuming he's got a strength belt like Roy.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:18 PM
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Is he though? The belt he's wearing in the last few panels of this strip looks different (no belt buckle) than the belt he was wearing when we last saw him in his priest's robes.
Yeah, but he also got a whole new set of armor and a new shield. I'd think that the belt is just part of that.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:48 PM
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Yeah, but he also got a whole new set of armor and a new shield. I'd think that the belt is just part of that.
Good point. I wonder if him getting a strength belt or not will be covered in a bonus strip? Maybe the same one where he picks up the armor suit from wherever he got it?

I thought the Hammer of Thunderbolts didn't have all of its abilities unless you knew it was a HoT and you had all the components (hammer, belt, gauntlets)? The knowledge part is covered about as conclusively as possible. It looks like it does return w/o having all of the pieces; it's just a +3 hammer of returning, but you can't stack gauntlet and belt bonuses.

Does it thunderclap when it hits the LDW? I can't tell with how Burlew drew that panel. And it doesn't matter against undead, anyway. One thing this hammer should have from the artwork, that the RAW HoT doesn't, is some sort of electrical damage on top of the usual bonuses. And unlike the vamps, electricity should have full effect against the worm.

Thinking about the worm some more, the Order's really lucky the monster seems to be fighting as indifferently as the Order does. Finger of Death at DC 21 has a really good chance of killing a rogue like Haley, and then following up with a quickened cone of cold stands an even better chance of chunking her. Which'd be a real downer. Although any remaining frozen bits would be enough for resurrection, unlike a lot of D&D video games.

I'm still shaking my head that V not only survived 15d6 to the face, but still got the spell off. Must have saved.

Part of me wants the Exarrrgh to get away with it, and get the dwarves to cast a vote to destroy the world, as it'd be so unexpected, and I think Burlew's a good enough writer to write his way past that problem.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 04-01-2019 at 05:49 PM.
  #5769  
Old 04-01-2019, 05:58 PM
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I dn't know what effect Burlew will choose for a great stunning clap of thunder but I assume it's not "WHAM!" written about as the same size as "SLASH!"
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:46 PM
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V has taken one of Xykons lessons to heart. She didn't blow the spell despite an enormous distraction.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:15 PM
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Power is power, and V has earned a lot of hir power honestly, by this point in the strip.

Speaking of power, the worm is basically Xykon with a much smaller spell list and spells/day, different defenses, and a much better melee setup. 25th caster level! Int 20, Wis 20, Chr 18, Str 48: the thing is basically one of the smartest, wisest, and definitely the strongest creature they've faced yet. MITD a possible exception. The Pit Fiend was both smarter and wiser, and probably better in melee if the worm couldn't grab and swallow you, but this worm is no slouch.

I'd expect to lose a party member if I had to take the Order against it in a game, especially with the condition that it has to be ignored in favor of stopping the vote.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 04-01-2019 at 09:16 PM.
  #5772  
Old 04-02-2019, 01:27 AM
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Do you have any cite that he ever drew strips ahead of time and had a buffer? Fairly sure he drew that week's worth (actually 9 days worth) one per day. He couldn't do that anymore. With the latest art upgrade, it takes more than a day to draw a strip.
Nope, no cite. I just donít find it plausible for him to have drawn one strip per day, even at that art level.
  #5773  
Old 04-02-2019, 02:26 AM
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I dn't know what effect Burlew will choose for a great stunning clap of thunder but I assume it's not "WHAM!" written about as the same size as "SLASH!"

For my part, I'm amazed Durkon actually hit 35 AC using that thing. It's not like dorfs or clerics are renowned for their Dex.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:04 AM
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Just pondering how a worm would cast Finger of Death...
  #5775  
Old 04-02-2019, 05:12 AM
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For my part, I'm amazed Durkon actually hit 35 AC using that thing. It's not like dorfs or clerics are renowned for their Dex.
Thrown weapons use Str, not Dex. He has +9 from BAB, a likely +5 from the hammer, +2 from the gloves, +2 to +4 from base Str, and +1 from Weapon Focus before any other adjustments. That's +19 to +21 right there. And he likely only has -2 or -4 for range.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:08 AM
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Huh ? What ? No. You add your STR to damage with thrown weapons, but they're still ranged weapons so use dex to hit (unless you have the Brutal Throw feat)
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:14 AM
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Thrown weapons use Str, not Dex. He has +9 from BAB, a likely +5 from the hammer, +2 from the gloves, +2 to +4 from base Str, and +1 from Weapon Focus before any other adjustments. That's +19 to +21 right there. And he likely only has -2 or -4 for range.
They use it to calculate damage, but I thought thrown melee weapons were classed as ranged weapons, which use Dex to calculate hits? http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm

I think Burlew is playing this critter as 'death worm light.' I didn't even think when I was writing earlier, about the thing's crazy AC to go along with the rest of its bonuses. Really, they need to knock a hole in the roof and let some daylight in to both nerf this thing's stats, as well as induce it to go somewhere else.

And ninja'd. So it goes. Those of you who actually played 3.5, what do you think would happen with this situation in a game?

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 04-02-2019 at 06:16 AM.
  #5778  
Old 04-02-2019, 06:18 AM
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Just pondering how a worm would cast Finger of Death...
I was going to say, "Just treat it as a gaze attack," but looking at it....yeah.
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:35 AM
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but they're still ranged weapons so use dex to hit (unless you have the Brutal Throw feat)
You are, of course, quite correct.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:25 AM
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And ninja'd. So it goes. Those of you who actually played 3.5, what do you think would happen with this situation in a game?

It's a summoned monster ordered to guard a fixed point. Just stand back and wait 2 to 5 minutes until it poofs out of existence, while readying another Force Cage to launch at any vamp trying to cross the portal.
Alternatively it has no ability to fly or teleport, so just knocking it into the chasm (with Bigby's, or disintgrating the platform) solves the problem.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:57 AM
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That was a Gate spell, not Summon Monster. It'll take a lot longer than 2 to 5 minutes to wait it out. Depending on which version of Gate was used, it'll be somewhere between the next day, and whenever it feels like leaving.

But knocking it into the chasm does seem like a viable option.
  #5782  
Old 04-02-2019, 12:04 PM
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Nope, no cite. I just donít find it plausible for him to have drawn one strip per day, even at that art level.
I had a brief exchange with him on the GitP board during that time. After about 3 of those daily strips, I pointed out to everyone that it looked like he was doing the week's worth of strips he'd promised in the Kickstarter. Note, this was only 4 or 5 months after his hand injury. He chimed in and said something like "if my drawing hand holds out, this was going to fulfill that promise; if not, I'll stop it and do it later and everyone would just enjoy a few rapidly posted strips." So it sure sounds like he was drawing them one per day.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:52 PM
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I decided to find that exchange with the Giant and his answer could be read as him doing a few strips in advance for that sequence. So maybe I read too much into it. Here's a link to the exchange. My post is 1417, but you can find it fast by searching for my username. His post is immediately after and followed by some further exchanges about this with other posters.
  #5784  
Old 04-02-2019, 01:21 PM
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It's a summoned monster ordered to guard a fixed point. Just stand back and wait 2 to 5 minutes until it poofs out of existence, while readying another Force Cage to launch at any vamp trying to cross the portal.
Alternatively it has no ability to fly or teleport, so just knocking it into the chasm (with Bigby's, or disintegrating the platform) solves the problem.
I don't know if it's instructions would allow it to chase the Order if the Order were to leave the large cavern. But "Defend this area, this platform thing," so long as it also kept anything from going through the orange portal, I'd think would allow to chase any character in the chamber.

As to moving it, it's around 27 tons. With 48 Strength. I don't think it's getting moved unless it wants to. Another weird thing about the monster is that it burrows faster than it moves. I don't think it can do it through stone though.

There are a ton of things it can do, but action economy, and it thankfully arriving only as the Order did, is going to ensure it's not going to be able to do most of them. Jeez, imagine if it had enough time to spam deeper darkness throughout the cavern, summoned additional undead, and hasted itself and them?

EDIT: thanks for the thread link, dtilque. I'm surprised the speculation about buffers and his work habits went on as long as it did in that thread, given how testy he's been about that subject in the past.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 04-02-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:47 AM
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:01 AM
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I'm now having flashbacks to 8-Bit Theatre and Fighter's "Me-doken!" move.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:13 AM
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OK, a couple things. Haley is attacking the earth elements, which is a better use of her bow than attacking the worm. A nightcrawler has immunity to cold, so her bow doesn't do much damage to it.

Gontula poked his hand out of the orange barrier in order to cast the spell. Another indication that it blocks spells both ways. But his invisibily purge should have gone away, because it's based on him. There's one place where the Giant isn't following the rules. But that's probably just to make life harder for the heroes.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:27 AM
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Is it realistic that Belkar could "take on these 2 scrubs" by himself?
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:39 AM
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But his invisibily purge should have gone away, because it's based on him.
Oops, my mistake on this. Once they attacked the worm, their invisibility goes away. Never mind.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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Is it realistic that Belkar could "take on these 2 scrubs" by himself?
Those are two Earth Elemental(Huge). Each has a CR of 7, meaning they're roughly equivalent to an 8th level PC. Two of them should be roughly on par with a lone lvl 9 PC. The OOTS is what, 16, 18 by now ?


Mechanically speaking, they're just two bags of 100hp at AC19, each with only a couple of relatively low dmg attacks. At his level, Belkar would need mayyyybe a couple of rounds to kill one, and three to kill both (assuming : first round charge, do 1 attack, Mr. Scruffy pounces, first elemental is at 3/4th health. Second round, both scruffy and belkar do their full iteratives, first elem dies, maybe one blow lands on the second. Third round belkar unleashes on the second one, kills it)


TL;DR : they really are chumps. And melee DPS guys like Belkar are *really good* at dispatching big discrete sacks of HP.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:47 PM
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Those are two Earth Elemental(Huge). Each has a CR of 7, ...
No more than Large size, since two were summoned and Summon Monster VII only summons multiples from the SM VI list or lower. Strange that the Exarggh, isn't summoning from the Evil list instead of the Neutral one but whatever, RedCloak doesn't seem to have any problems doing it.

Your points about the monsters being a pushover for Belkar or anyone else on the Order, are even more relevant, as Large EEs have a CR of 5. I don't see in the SRD where EEs can throw rocks, but I'm guessing it's similar to how giants do it. Large giants like Hill giants can't throw very big rocks. The SRD lists a rock from a hill giant as doing 2d6+7, which isn't a love tap, but isn't that hard of a hit.

Haley can sneak attack elementals, can't she? If someone was to fix their attention while she flanked them?

Mass Cause Serious Wounds might have been better than those two summons, especially if it were directed at Haley/V; still, the summons should occupy Durkon for a round.

Mass Hold Monster at DC 23 isn't a lot of fun, is it? I'm mildly surprised the LDW got it to work without having to soften up the Order with some debuff beforehand.

So, we don't know where Hilgya is---maybe she's sneaking around the building somehow? I'd expect a cleric of Loki to have some way to misdirect attention and sneak around. We don't know if Minrah's been raised. Roy's in midair, somewhere below the bridge. Belkar and Elan are held, but it doesn't look like they fell. Durkon made his save. All four of them took some minor damage from the rock, V's still pretty dinged up from the cone of cold, Haley's untouched.

On the flip side, the Exarggh isn't hurt, has a bunch of spells remaining, if no time to cast them, and the LDW has three pretty nasty looking wounds in it. With no means to heal them without eating something with class levels. Unless the Exarggh bothers to expose himself enough to cast a cause x wounds spell on the LDW.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:57 PM
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L___ Death Worm... I'm missing what the L is.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:02 PM
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L___ Death Worm... I'm missing what the L is.
Lovable/Likable. Named such at the GITP boards, probably because of its eager-to-please demeanor. Easier to type than Nightcrawler over and over.

An odd thing to think of when contemplating a creature of pure evil and malevolence, but Rich is a pretty good writer. His characterization is not how would have thought of a creature with 20s in Int and Wisdom, but it works.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:16 PM
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Has Burlew mentioned his health recently? Because he's slowed to one update a fortnight for some time now.
  #5795  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:10 PM
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Likely Burlew is just working on other projects. He still has several Kickstarter promises to keep, for example. And I understand he's doing more of those Monster For Every Season things, even though he didn't promise any more. He just likes to do them.


About the Invisibility thing I mentioned a few posts up. If they just used regular invisibility, it goes away when they attack. But the last time V cast it (when fighting the Frost Giants in the mountain pass), it was Greater Invisibility for Haley, and that doesn't go away like that. Since they're likely to reuse the same spell, it is a violation of the rules. Of course the Giant doesn't care about that; he mostly follows the rules, but violates them as needed.
  #5796  
Old 04-15-2019, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
About the Invisibility thing I mentioned a few posts up. If they just used regular invisibility, it goes away when they attack. But the last time V cast it (when fighting the Frost Giants in the mountain pass), it was Greater Invisibility for Haley, and that doesn't go away like that. Since they're likely to reuse the same spell, it is a violation of the rules. Of course the Giant doesn't care about that; he mostly follows the rules, but violates them as needed.
Or he used something like Invisibility Sphere, so he could make both of them invisible with only one spell. Or Haley had a single-use item that gave her invisibility, and V. saved his fourth level spell slots for more damage spells.
  #5797  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:25 PM
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Mass Hold Monster at DC 23 isn't a lot of fun, is it? I'm mildly surprised the LDW got it to work without having to soften up the Order with some debuff beforehand.
Given their luck with vampire Dominate attempts, it seems par for the course that they'd all blow a Will save, Durkon excepted.

Last edited by Jophiel; 04-15-2019 at 08:26 PM.
  #5798  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:39 PM
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Power is power, and V has earned a lot of hir power honestly, by this point in the strip.

Speaking of power, the worm is basically Xykon with a much smaller spell list and spells/day, different defenses, and a much better melee setup. 25th caster level! Int 20, Wis 20, Chr 18, Str 48: the thing is basically one of the smartest, wisest, and definitely the strongest creature they've faced yet. MITD a possible exception. The Pit Fiend was both smarter and wiser, and probably better in melee if the worm couldn't grab and swallow you, but this worm is no slouch.
One thing is I think we can assume V has learned not to discount non-magic attacks since the fight with the black dragon. We saw some signs of that in V's last fight with Zz'dtri.
  #5799  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:06 AM
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Haley can sneak attack elementals, can't she? If someone was to fix their attention while she flanked them?
I forget if it was the same in D&D 3.5, but in Pathfinder elementals are specifically immune to precision damage (which covers both sneak attacks and criticals). Since D&D had a weird hard-on about nixing the one combat feature rogues had at every conceivable opportunity, I strongly suspect they were immune to sneak attacks in 3.5 as well.
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  #5800  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:51 AM
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I forget if it was the same in D&D 3.5, but in Pathfinder elementals are specifically immune to precision damage (which covers both sneak attacks and criticals). Since D&D had a weird hard-on about nixing the one combat feature rogues had at every conceivable opportunity, I strongly suspect they were immune to sneak attacks in 3.5 as well.
Actually, PF loosened up how many enemies could be hit by sneak attack. It went from:

Elementals, Oozes, Swarms, Undead, Plants, Constructs,

to:

Elementals, Oozes, Swarms, and Incorporeal Undead.

That might not seem all that different but allowing physical undead and constructs was a big deal as they were just common enough that it allowed the rogue to be a lot more effective.

As for myself, if they had ghost touch, I allowed it vs incorporeal undead. I think I made a feat to allow it for elementals as well, if the rogue player wanted it.
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