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Dragon Fights - While we're at it...


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

At the time, I am crafting a dragon encounter for my group; APL is going to be 11, so the target CR for a Dragon Fight I aim for is 14.

Based on the environment, a Red would be most fitting. However, I am not a fan of solo encounters (action economy can be a royal PITA), so I am shying away fom a single Adult Red (which would be CR14).

An idea that crossed my mind was to toss a trio of (CR 11) Juvenile Red siblings at them, instead (IIRC this is the maximum age before any clutches break up). Of course, all three sisters are going to have a different set of spells, are equipped differently, have the advantage of terrain and employ group tactics...

Is such a multi-dragon fight viable? Too brutal? Or do you think an APL 11 group is going to pretty much LOLstomp a trio of level-appropriate dragons?


CR 15 encounter (each separate creature of equal CR adds +2 to the CR of the encounter, so 11+2+2). Its even harder than a single adult Red.

Depends really on the party makeup.

prototype00


prototype00 wrote:

CR 15 encounter (each separate creature of equal CR adds +2 to the CR of the encounter, so 11+2+2). Its even harder than a single adult Red.

Depends really on the party makeup.

prototype00

Gamemastering section disagrees with you. Three creatures of the same CR are treated as encounter with CR equal to the creatures' CR +3.

Seems viable encounter.


Ah, right. Thats been changed since 3.5 then. Or its possible that I'm remembering it wrong.

prototype00


Midnight_Angel wrote:
(IIRC this is the maximum age before any clutches break up)

That makes sense. Good to know.

I don't know if you saw my thread but I just ran a Juvenile Green against an APL 6-ish party and they stomped it. One problem I had was the save DC's seemed easy, especially on it's casting. So I guess the saves will be trivial for your encounter where APL=CR (of each juvenile red. Granted the CR of the whole encounter is APL+3).

OTOH your clutch of juvenile reds will solve the action economy problem which is probably an even bigger deal. So it might be a memorable encounter if you run it smarter then I did! Good luck :)


A lot depends on the party in these fights.


prototype00 wrote:

Ah, right. Thats been changed since 3.5 then. Or its possible that I'm remembering it wrong.

prototype00

CR system was greatly changed between 3.5 and PF.


The issue mentioned worked the exact same way in 3.5 as it does in PF (although PF did make it more clear, with the tables specifying it as opposed to DMs having to figure it out for themselves; 3.5 only stated that each doubling of the number of enemies added +2).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The challenge I face in dragon fights -- or other similarly complex creatures -- is remembering to pay attention to all their special abilities and remembering for them to buff and prep and everything. And often while ultimately you want them to be able to just thrash and deal damage, the set up and establishing battlefield control with their special abilities can be important. While younger dragons have fewer abilities to worry about, it is still something to bear in mind.

If _I_ were to do a multiple dragon fight -- which in general I agree is a good idea to counteract the action economy issue -- I don't know if I'd therefore give them all different spell lists, because I know at least with my personal limitations, it'd trip me up mid combat. If I wanted something to differentiate them, I might give them each a different magic item that gave them a different advantage in some way, but something that is static that I do not have to activate.

Of course you may manage such things better than I anyway, but that's my thought.

Also maybe 2 adult magma dragons (from Bestiary 2) instead? That's CR 14 (although probably a nasty CR 14).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

First of all, thank you all for the comments!

DeathQuaker wrote:
The challenge I face in dragon fights -- or other similarly complex creatures -- is remembering to pay attention to all their special abilities and remembering for them to buff and prep and everything. And often while ultimately you want them to be able to just thrash and deal damage, the set up and establishing battlefield control with their special abilities can be important.

Of course! Throw a couple consumables into the mix (which I fully intend), and things should get quite... interesting :)

DeathQuaker wrote:
If _I_ were to do a multiple dragon fight -- which in general I agree is a good idea to counteract the action economy issue -- I don't know if I'd therefore give them all different spell lists, because I know at least with my personal limitations, it'd trip me up mid combat. If I wanted something to differentiate them, I might give them each a different magic item that gave them a different advantage in some way, but something that is static that I do not have to activate.

I am aware. *laughs* Thanks for the heads-up, but I _think_ I can manage. After all, I hope the bookkeeping will not get any more nightmarish than the one I had when my party faced off a couple of human spellcasters, each with a different set of spells ans specializations :)

DeathQuaker wrote:
Also maybe 2 adult magma dragons (from Bestiary 2) instead? That's CR 14 (although probably a nasty CR 14).

Hmm... this might be quite a nice idea. I'll keep that variant in mind, thank you!


3 CR 11 dragons could be too much unless your players are really strong. If they play it smart I can't see them loosing against almost any APL 11 party that I can think of...


Are they going to LOLstomp a dragon encounter? O.O....

Well I don't know. Do your party have a dedicated and well-built archer? Can your fighters fly?

Remember that IF your caster buffs your fighter with the fly spell, he still has to make fly checks to do anything meaningful while off the ground.

Dragons are absurdly powerful and dangerous. The minute you see that shadow cross the sun, you either know you're ready to win, or you run. The dragon can fly faster than anything the heroes can toss together, its breath weapon is gigantic and hits like a truck.

And worst of all, the dragon is smart. Really smart. Look at the entry for an adult red dragon, that's a 16 intelligence you're looking at right there. It has perception +23 and it speaks common, so it's likely going to know any tactic they throw together (Hearing details of whispered conversation is DC 15). It is infinitely patient and it is malicious as all hell. It has no reason to land, it's too smart for that. It doesnt WANT to get within range of Conan's Bustersword of Lancelot's Holy Avenger.

Hell, its fearful aura will send Conan the barbarian the Stabby the thief into a self-s$%~ting, flailing panic, and its haste will keep the other monkeys off its back while it flies circles around the party and melts them. If its tactics do not seem to work, it will leave. It is in no rush. It will effortlessly identify any spells cast by the caster, and will simply wait for a moment to pick off the party as it feels like it, if the party turns out to be too tricky to fight together.

Conan or Stabby probably die in the first encounter because they run screaming for 5d6 rounds, and once they're far enough away, nothing keeps the dragon from swooping by, grabbing one of them and mincing him in its jaws. Or alternatively fly him high into the air and drop him, or wait till he dies of suffocation.

If the party is not expecting it and is not geared to fight a dragon, with the dragon encounter specifically in mind, then their chances of surviving are slim indeed.

my 2 cents :)

Cheers

-Nearyn


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dragons do need some way to deal with archers, though.

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