[High-level Playtest] Testing the CR system to its limits


Playtest Reports

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@DM_Blake:
It's true that a CR20 creature that cannot use all his powers lowers the EL (not the CR) of the encounter - so, let's say that the EL was 19.
However, my group insisted (and they admittedly were right) that the Arena was on favor of the Balor - he could fly high, with an excellent maneuverability (no rolls needed thanks to his high Fly skill), while the party was admittedly a 'sitting duck' thrown in the middle of nowhere - and with no ranks in Fly to make a decent fight while airborne (see the Pit Fiend fight for comparison). This actually rises the EL to +1.
And here we go, EL 20 again (more or less).

@Lord oKOyA:
You are right, sometimes (for example) a damaging spell thrown 'in da face', although a suboptimal choice (damage output of spells is not effective as a disabling spell), can still punch... obviously not in the first rounds (as suggested by the SRD), unless the damage is so high that the casters are annihilated, but when they are dealt with...

As a slight digression, the tactics in the SRD are not exactly optimal, IMHO (although mine are not optimal, those are... strange at best). I mean, they suggest to use Implosion on the first round, then fly away, rinse and repeat? Implosion is 1/day only (Close range), a Balor that casts it wants to maximise its effects, not wasting on a single target !

@AlKir:
You cannot use the Ready an Action outside of the flow of combat; at best, you can Ready an Action in the surprise round. Plus, the Balors themselves appeared on the Arena (after buffing), so this was not even remotely possible.
Also, Quickened Fireball is a Pit Fiend tactic - a Balor doesn't have Fireball to start with...
I am extremely happy of the nerfing of Blasphemy, Holy Word, and similar (which now allows a Save), most groups tend to die around 8/9 level when you throw the casual Hezrou demon (CR 11) as a boss and then his Blasphemy (CL 13) start to Paralyze everybody; your tactic of Blasphemy every round is still good, but with the high Save Will of casters at 15th level (and of some Martial characters, too, like the Paladin) this is not an automatic success. People sometimes tend to forget that the DCs of spells and spell-like abilities of monsters are not extremely high, save from some exceptions (I remember Abraham Spalding calculating an optimized Wizard with a DC for his 9th-level spells around 34 or so, 7 points more than the Balor's Implosion...)

@Lord oKOyA (regarding the Entangle ability of Balors):
this is explained in a wacky way... however, regarding the Paladin falling, remember that it was the MOUNT that drank the potion of Fly... plus, being without any ranks of Fly, could he still drag free from the entangled position? A HORSE, even with his enhanced Int 6 and his loyalty to the Paladin, is still a Horse... I seriously doubt he flied much in his entire life (perhaps some flying charges, but no strange maneuvers like flying dragging his rider AND a 4000 lb flaming beast with him) - BTW, what are your impressions on the Flaming Aura? Is it suppressed when the Balor is unconsious, or it's still burning? Regardless, a Horse in those conditions has a hard chance to start flying away - Paladin made the only righteous decision possible, he saved the life of his trusted ally and friend and died gloroiusly among his enemy (much Gandalf-style, I admit...)

Now, more food for the thought:
1) the Fly skill needs some polishing, IMHO... perhaps, if it were allowable even to Untrained creatures, it would be (almost) perfect. I know that 1 rank of Fly is not the end of the world to take, but sometimes (especially at low levels) the characters need to try to pummel a flying monster with their swords without training...
Giving a creature the chance to try (even with the abysmal flying skill of a crippled duck) is still better than making them drop like a Warner character (Wile E. Coyote anyone ?) every other round...
2) the Death Throes is a trap... for fiends!!! There is no energy descriptor to this ability, and it's a Supernatural one; a bunch of wounded Balors (real ones, not summoned - a summoned Balor who is 'killed' simpply disappears) start to explode like Lemmings(tm)* (the green-haired thingies, not the animals...) if one of them is killed outright !!!

*this is the fabled 'Balor Chain Reaction', or 'Randon's Chain of Death', named after the Tiefling Sorcerer who destroyed 3 Balors by himself (after they were damaged) with a single damaging spell (or it was a Finger of Death? I don't remember, it was years ago...)

3)this is an interesting one...
"When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the
creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have." (page 158)
So, this means that the PWS of a Summoned Balor (our Sbalor, in the above example) would cease to affect any creature, if he dies. What are your impressions on this rule? I know that it exists to allow charmed/dominated creatures to act by their own free will again, but isn't it a bit too crippling in cases like this ?
What about spells with an Instantaneous effect? In this case, I think that their effect (being come and already gone) is not eliminated - but is this RAW?

Another - slightly related - thing: PWS has a duration of (see text). This means that it can be DISPELLED !!! Great power, indeed (sure, it has no Save, but with a Close range and a hp cap...) Shouldn't it be 'Duration: Instantaneous (see text)', in order to avoid the 'desummon-dispel magic' thing ?


Hey ,what happened to my Avatar when I described the Lemmings as 'smurf-like' thingies !?!?!?!

EDIT: what a strange feature indeed... I cannot be taken seriously as a SMURF !!!


Lord oKOyA wrote:
@ OTHERS: I still don't understand why people would insist on following the suggested tactics verbatim except the two references to the demons reluctance to summon other demons.

Not me. I hardly ever use any MM tactics verbatim for any monster.

1. Many of my players are veterans, many of them also DM their own campaigns, so they know the tactics before the fight begins. I like to keep them guessing.
2. I view those tactics as guidelines to help DMs who are unfamiliar with the monster and its abilities, not as hard and fast rules. In fact, I firmly believe that no two monsters can be expected to behave identically, just like no two humans can be expected to.
3. I sometimes edit my monsters to make them unique. Think of it as monster prestige classes, or just another evolutionary step. No, nothing major. Red dragons always breathe fire. But feats may change, and even a few spell-like abilities (maybe this one balor was raised in a different region of the abyss where everything is immune to fire, so it trained in cold-based abilities instead). This can change their tactics considerably.

Lord oKOyA wrote:
Once in the general description of demons and then again right in the suggested tactics itself. "If the balor does not deem itself seriously threatened, it conserves abilities usable only once per day and uses blasphemy instead."

All well and good, but we're talking INT and WIS of 24 each, making Einstein and Socrates both look like school children.

Confronted with a party of 4 well-armed heroes, clearly adventurers and clearly spoiling for a fight, in an environment that lowbie wannabe adventurers cannot even reach, the Balor has to feel seriously threatened, even before the fight starts.

Lord oKOyA wrote:
Summoning additional demons is a once a day ability. I guess it is all right for the Balor to metagame because he realizes that this is his only combat today because he is a NPC/monster.

Nope, he doesn't know that. But those adventurers are very dangerous. He is threatened. Dying because he wanted to save his once a day ability for a worse possible encounter is counterintuitive to a super-genious INT 24 WIS 24 self-aware creature who values his life.

Lord oKOyA wrote:
He doesn't have to worry that he might need that once a day summoning ability in a few hours from now when he is really in trouble in that other encounter. Right?

Sure he does. Unless he dies in this encounter, in which case he won't have to worry about a second one.

Simple logic (INT 24) says maximize your chances in this highly dangerous and threatening fight because you don't want to die. The rest of the day must fall into one of the following logical continuations:
1. No more encounters, which supports the initial conclusion to maximize your chances in the first fight.
2. One or more easy encounters, again supporting the initial conclusion because you can win these easy encounters without the once-per-day abilities.
3. One or more equal encounters. If you could have handled the first encounter without the once-per-day abilities, then you can handle other, equal, encounters without them too. Again, this supports the initial conclusion.
4. One or more harder encounters. This possibility discredits the initial conclusion.

3 out of 4 chances that the initial conclusion is right.

Even more compelling is the following:

Let's consider what encounters the Balor might face in the rest of the day.

Assuming a party of 4 heroes of level 15 is very rare (how many are walking around YOUR world?), what are the chances of encountering another such party in the same day?

One would have to say very slim indeed.

Even slimmer would be to encounter a second group of heroes that is even more powerful, hence even more rare.

What about encountering other enemies? Devils, angels, etc.

Could happen, of course, but most of those are easy pickings for a Balor, unless they come in swarms. Demons swarm too, so how often does a lone Balor face a swarm of devils or angels?

That must be fairly rare too.

And even if any of these eventualites do occur, how hard is it to escape?

INT 24 WIS 24, I hope he thought to have a contingency spell or two loaded for a quick return home if he gets overwhelmed.

With all that, what are the real odds that a Balor will fight a group of level 15 heroes and then encounter something worse later in the same day, and not be able to simply go home and live to fight another day?

Compound that with the obvious fact that those heroes are loaded with loot. Our balor wants that loot. He desperately wants to kill them (for fun, sport, and loot) far more than anything else he might encounter today. So bring a friend, split the loot (or get lucky and the friend dies so our balor gets all the loot - clever battlefield manipulation - INT 24 - can arrange just that), and worry about the rest of the day when it happens.

On a final note, we're talking CHAOTIC here. The very epitome of "worry about the rest of the day when it happens" mentality.

Lord oKOyA wrote:
Or maybe the Balor has already used his summoning ability earlier that day. Nah. That could never happen.

Sure it could.

But if you deliberately design an encounter where the monster has had its resources previously depleted, that changes the CR of the encounter.

I like to let my players catch enemy BBEGs with their pants down, especially if they plan for it.

I once had a group of PCs who had a rival party of NPCs deliberately leak the location of the BBEG's lair to their rivals, then deliberately let the BBEG know the rivals were coming. BBEG wiped out most of the rivals, then the PCs mopped up the depleted BBEG.

That BBEG was a 12th level cleric, but I set him to CR8 for that encounter since he was down to low-level spells and out of potions from fighting the rival NPCs.

You want to have a balor that has already used up its summoning ability (which, by the way, is counterintuitive to your argument that they save them instead of use them), then you should seriously consider droppng the CR accordingly.


Lord oKOyA wrote:
And another thing. Why does it seem that the only demon ever summoned is another Balor? Why does the summoning line include those other lesser demons if they are never an "intelligent" (meta-gaming) option? Maybe one could make an argument that multiple lesser demons might have their use, but why summon in one nalfeshnee, glabrezu or marilith when you can get a balor? If the balor's are meant to "always" summon another balor then that is what the suggested tactics should read. "Balor's should always be encountered in pairs. One normal and one summoned. Or two normal, two summoned... 1st round: Summon Balor or Teleport away, summon Balor and return with summoned Balor." Forget any other tactics as they aren't optimal.

One argument for it is the relative size of the bargain or offer or bribe necessary.

Want to kill 4 adventurer heroes? Summon in another balor and offer it half of the loot. Or summon in a marilith and only offer her 1/4 the loot.

Assess the situation, determine what you can get away with, and summon the weakest possible minion needed to maximize your chances without overdoing it.

I do believe, however, that the monster's CR is set according to the assumption that they use their summons to maximum effect. In this case, I believe that the balor is CR20 because he is supposed to bring in a balor. After all, if he feels threatened enough to use his daily summons, then what point bringing in a wimpy demon that can't save him from the threat?

Putting other creatures on the list gives the balor options, which in turn gives the DM options.

I could set up an encounter for a Balor who prefers to summon mariliths because they're sexy. Or because he doesn't have to pay them as much. Or because he doesn't feel threatened by them.

I could set up an encounter by letting my PCs scry on the room, find out a balor is in there, and find out that he always summons a particular balor to help him fight, so the PCs decide to bribe the second balor (before the fight) to refuse the summons, or to stab the first balor in the back. When the fight begins, our clever (INT 24 WIS 24) balor guess what is up (or uses telepathy) and summons a marilith instead. Surprise!

It's all about the options.

Lord oKOyA wrote:
If characters have to act according to alignment/nature or suffer consequences, why shouldn't monsters? Most DMs play monsters to the monsters intelligence ability (dumb monsters do dumb things) so why should the demons get a free pass? Chaotic creatures don't work well together, for various reasons. I think I touched on a few reasons above.

I don't make players act according to alignment or nature at all, with the only exception being a player who chose a class with certain alignment restrictions.

Chaotic creatures don't work well together, but they are also unpredictable.

And every creature wants to live.

The really smart ones (INT 24 WIS 24) recognize the danger, maximize their options, and deal with the consequences later.


The Wraith wrote:


3)this is an interesting one...
"When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the
creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have." (page 158)
So, this means that the PWS of a Summoned Balor (our Sbalor, in the above example) would cease to affect any creature, if he dies. What are your impressions on this rule? I know that it exists to allow charmed/dominated creatures to act by their own free will again, but isn't it a bit too crippling in cases like this ?
What about spells with an Instantaneous effect? In this case, I think that their effect (being come and already gone) is not eliminated - but is this RAW?

I know that it's a bit funny to quote himself, but I have another thing regarding this feature of summoned creature that I previously didn't point out.

The fact is that Supernatural abilities, as stated above, are not affected by the 'expire when creature disappears' (in fact, in my playtest, the Fear Aura and the Infernal Wound of the Cornugon - both Supernatural abilities - didn't went away when the Cornugon was dealt with).
(As a side note, I was so sure of the 'instantaneous' duration of Power Word Stun - since Blasphemy, for example, has a duration of 'instantaneous' and a similar effect - that I didn't double-check the description of the spell.)
But here's another thing: the description speaks of 'spells', and one can argue that spell-like abilities are included. But is this really true? If not, monsters with spell-like abilities would be extremely powerful (their abilities wouldn't expire when desummoned).
However, the whole thing is a bit strange (especially the 'Supernatural abilities not included')

Now, another thing I noticed yesterday:
we all know that the new DR system allows to bypass DR x/material with a high magical bonus on the weapon (+3 for silver and cold iron, +4 for adamantine). I made some time ago a question regarding the new Smite Evil feature of Paladins (which can bypass any DR from Fiends and Undead), and if it could negate the Regeneration of such creatures - and the answer was 'No, he can bypass the DR but his weapon is not made of such material and so the damage regenerates again', and this I can understand.
What about a +3 aligned weapon and the Regeneration of Devils, however (they regenerate any kind of damage, except spells with the Good descriptor and Good silver weapons)? Do you still need Silver weapons to block the regerating factor of such a creature? Or is a +3 weapon enough?
I suspect the right answer is the first one (so, you can easily bypass the DR, but the regeneration punches again), but in this case, the 'golf bag syndrome' is back again... I know that in the SRD there are not many monsters with such strange Regenerations (perhaps only devils), but there could easily be other creatures in the zillion of Monster Manuals/Splatbooks (like Planar Handbook/BoED/Heroes of Horror and so on...)/Campaign books. What is the official answer in this case? Is a +3 weapon considered a Silver/Cold Iron (and other materials as well, in other campaigns like Eberron) for all qualities (including Regeneration) or not?


Awesome playtest Wraith. I'm glad to see at least some of the stuff put into action to see what things look like at the higher levels.

Regarding the regeneration of Demons and Devils, maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see any of them with horrendously high regeneration rates to create such a situation where it'd prevent the party from being able to knock them out at least and then finish them off through either a silver dagger or something or utilize some silversheen to deal with the beast for good. I think the highest regeneration rate I found was on the Pit Fiend at Regen 5 (which by level 15 or higher, any class should be able to deal out more than 5 points of damage in a single round). I dunno, I guess I just don't see it as being such a bad thing that there's some semblance of the 'golf bag syndrome' since it's not something that I've ever seen in an actual game. Typically what I've seen is a player has a particular weapon that's their favored weapon and then they have some potions or spells or whatever to cover their bases otherwise.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello,

if i read the entrance in the Beta Rules right only DR can be overcome by the associated magic bonus but not Special Qulities like Regeneration.

So any +5 Magic Weapon will overcame any DR but not stop Regeneration that is overcome only by the "real" materials.

So the Pit Fiend hit with a "simple" +5 Longsword has no DR but regenerates as normal.


Ok, me and my group just did this and decided to do 2 playtests. one without buffs, and will do another tomorrow with buffs. They didnt know what they were fighting or facing. I made one change to the balor and that was replaced quickened sla and weapon focus with combat expertise, and improved trip. Put the whip in main, and sword in it's weak hand (using one size smaller). The other balor is the one from the SRD.

The PC's were:
Cleric (NE) - Destruction / Evil
Sorceror(NE) - Undead Bloodline
Wizard(N with evil intent)- Necromancer
Paladin

The balor opened with holding it's actions. The paladin placed 2nd in initiative (the player focuses on charisma and dexterity) and attempts to charge the balor. Balor makes AO with whip to trip the paladin, and succeeds, resulting in the paladin being entangled and prone attached to the balor. The balor then does a coup de grace on the paladin, dealing 48 points of damage. The paladin gets a 37 on his saving throw, and as such dies.

The wizard then casts disintegrate on the balor, and passes the saving throw taking 14 points of damage. The cleric casts disintegrate on the balor, and the fails the saving throw dealing 124 points of damage. The sorceror attempts to cast a ranged bestow greater curse, and gets kicked back from spell resistance. Balor(S) casts firestorm dealing 71 points of damage to the mages.

status:
paladin - dead
wizard - 71
sorceror - 71
cleric -71
balor - 138
balor(s) - 0

the balor then casts firestorm on the PC's dealing 24 points of damage, slaying the wizard. The cleric casts mass heal, recovering the hit points of his comrades. The sorceror casts disintegrate on the balor, and fails its save. dealing 180 points of damage, causing the balor to explode, dealing 100 points of damage to everyone, killing the sorceror and the cleric.

status
paladin - dead
wizard - dead
sorceror - dead
cleric - dead


That is a very odd playtest. Two evil characters and a Paladin, that is going to be a very interesting justification. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the buffs, like fire resistance and such.

I'm not sure about your rulings on the use of the Balor's whip. For one it could not have done a coup de grace on the paladin. Entangled does not make a character helpless, nor does being prone. True, nothing would have stopped the balor from beating the holy snot out of paladin given his unfortunate position but he would have lasted longer and changed the flow of the battle.

I'm not sure if the trip is a valid 'hit' with the whip to trigger the Entangle(Ex) ability. I won't really quibble but it is an interesting call.


We didn't play tonight due to things going on. THe balor did the free attack after the paladin was prone however it didn't do any damage do the pally wearing an amulet of natural armor +5 which is why he didn't take any damage. along with a shield crafted from the hide of a red dragon. These characters were made for a corruption/redemption campaign. The paladin is currently a thrall to the wizard and as such it sucks to be him currently right now. But I talked to them and they are want to pay the balors back this weekend. Scott (the wizard) asked me if I would allow them to use spells from the book of vile darkness for this fight and I told them sure. But we basically used this as an example. If we duct tape someone to a dresser, can that person dodge a marshmallow. Sure the person can miss, however, the person can't actually dodge it. Let alone if they are prone which to us if it was done the person would land on his back, and would be Head Down(entangled to an object and prone). By the way, when i say duct taped, i mean hands, arms, all ducktaped together and attached.

Another debate, which we came to the conclusion on was if the balor were to teleport in that situation, only the balor would teleport away, however, the whip wouldn't be treated as a possession. So balor can fly up 200 feet, teleport back down, and let the person go smack down against the floor, and should it be a caster they would need "still spell", which would take a few rounds for him to hit the ground, rendering the character out of the fight, and should someone try to "save" the cannonball, that would be one additional person.

Knowing them they will get items that grant them +6 con for the 60 additional hps so it will be interesting to see what they do, and give up. The Paladin and the wizard have a Larloch and the Paladin lich thing going on. The wizard takes great pleasure in making the paladin's life hell, and the paladin wants the wizard to die by his own blade. The cleric is trying to convert them both to her deity, and the sorceror is waiting for the day for the paladin to die, so it can rise it as a death knight. I always ask characters there goals so that way i can base campaigns on them.


The air drop is a nasty move, assuming the balor is under a light load (which is likely given size and strength). Letting go of the whip (free action) so it doesn't teleport with the balor is also a nice touch to leave the subject entangled (1/2 move if able to fly, concentration DC 15 + level for spells). Cast defensively to avoid the AoO. Even doing this as a 90 ft. move in single round would be painful.

I don't agree with your example involving the ducktaped to dresser. The character is entangled, not hogtied. Being prone (or in this case thematically ruled as being upside down) and entangled is bad, -6 attack and effectively -6 AC, but does not put him in a helpless state. Hopeless maybe, but not helpless.

He is not paralyzed, held (pinned and the like), bound (1 minute with use rope if it was still a skill), unconscious, or otherwise at the balor's mercy. He could have tired to 'stand' with a move action (and AoO from the Balor), attacked, or attempted to break free.

Was he going to die? Yes mostly like, and rather quickly if he didn't get free fast. However it would have taken longer then the first turn.


Which tends to make me wonder what this means:

"The target remains anchored against the balor’s body until it escapes the whip."

only change it to : The target remains anchored against the dresser until it escapes the ducktape.

It is a very debatable thing, especially when you add in the prone you are denied your dexterity bonus (ability to move) and the only action you can make is stand up or a standard action and still provoke an attack of opportunity. (which most rogues would like, and something a paladin would not like considering that moves such as trip (requires a touch to initiate, and a variety of spells are ranged touch/touch spells.

Personally when i look at this i picture it as being grappled, which if you read the BoVD one of the requirements for executing someone is if someone else grapples the person (in this case, the whip is "grappling" since it requires a STR check(a net has no BAB0 or an escape artist check) and then performing the coup de grace.

Very debatable. Wonder what others might think. By the way, game day is Saturday night, so i will post results this sunday.


sarya wrote:


It is a very debatable thing, especially when you add in the prone you are denied your dexterity bonus (ability to move) and the only action you can make is stand up or a standard action and still provoke an attack of opportunity. (which most rogues would like, and something a paladin would not like considering that moves such as trip (requires a touch to initiate, and a variety of spells are ranged touch/touch spells.

Except for you aren't denied your DEX bonus and you can still take any action you want, you'll probably just have a penalty to it.

As seen here you only take a penalty to your dex while prone, or entangled. While grappling both things in the grapple lose their dex bonus and you have a random chance to hit either of them.


Since you playtest, DMG suggests in encounters-adventures like that you should charge one-used items x5 their normal price. And you should always give more attantion on what items a player has (especially if none has feats to create them)

Btw, for the first combat you could use Dominate Monster on paladins mount. You should also dispel (easily) the potions.

Implosion as i can recall doesnt allow you to use it twice agains a target.

Some other things i would also like to notice: why do you let the players cast dispel magic at the begining of the fight? They know that there are summoned creatures somwhow?... And why do you let them make full attacks and only THEN fall because they cant hover? The yshould fall at the beging of the round. No hover = no action.


Gyftomancer wrote:

Since you playtest, DMG suggests in

encounters-adventures like that you should charge one-used items x5
their normal price. And you should always give more attantion on what
items a player has (especially if none has feats to create them)

Btw, for the first combat you could use Dominate Monster on paladins
mount. You should also dispel (easily) the potions.

Implosion as i can recall doesnt allow you to use it twice agains a target.

Some other things i would also like to notice: why do you let the
players cast dispel magic at the begining of the fight? They know that
there are summoned creatures somwhow?... And why do you let them make
full attacks and only THEN fall because they cant hover? The yshould
fall at the beging of the round. No hover = no action.

I didn't think this topic was still active, after all this time.

Regarding Implosion, you are absolutely right (Lork oKOyA already pointed this out); however, since their Fort Save was almost the same,
the result was that the second Implosion killed the Wizard instead (but
it's true that the Sorcerer could still use Enervation, then) OR that the first Implosion went on the Wizard and then the second on the Sorcerer. This is the problem of bookkeeping high-level powers from the scrap (as opposite to using them for a while and so being accustomed to them). But this was effectively my fault.

Dominate on the Mount could have been a viable solution, but the couple of Balors wanted to nerf/annihilate the most obvious threats (the casters), and only in a second moment concntrate their attacks on the combatants. This could be done with some solutions: Power Word Stun (the choice made, which was ineffective due to Spell Turning), Implosion (used from the following rounds), Fire Storm (but at those high levels there was the risk of minimal damage, thanks to Resistance to Energy and similar spells), and Unholy Word (but, as I stated before, the party was extraplanar and the spell would have banished them on the Material Plane - and the Playtest was made to see if the Balor could kill such a group, not merely escape from them/banish them).

The Dispel Magic at the beginning was due to the fact that the Wizard made a good check of Knowledge (Planes) to know that it was a high possibility that one of the Balors was merely summoned by the other (since, by definition, Balors at best work with lesser Demons - the organization of the creature says 'Solitary or Troupe (1 Balor, 1 Marilith, and 2-5 Hezrous'), not other Balors - unless such Balors are summoned); so, he hoped to eliminate the double threat.

Regarding the 'full attack and then drop'... you know, you are right. I allowed the characters to make their full attacks and then asked for the Fly check (which they obviously couldn't make - and so they dropped), but it's true that in order to hover in the first place to land their full attack they had to make FIRST the Fly check... you gave me a good lesson on a (relatively) new mechanic, I must admit.

Overall, I admit that those playtest could have been handled a bit better; however, it has been years since I made such a high level fight, and I must confess that I'm a bit rusty...

Again, thanks for your feedback !

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