Starknife (20 / x3 Crit) Wielding Lyrakien Swashbuckler13 / Monk1 Playtest--Tyali's Day Off


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Tyali, Desna's Swashbuckler Lyrakien Swashbuckler13/Master of Many Styles 1 (CR 15 technically, but she's a CR 2 with 14 class levels, so let's call her level 16 and use WBL for 16)

Str 7
Dex 33
Con 16
Int 12
Wis 21
Cha 30

HP: 167 (currently 175 from false life scroll)

AC: 48 (+11 Dex, +5 Wis, +2 Size, +2 enh to natural, +2 deflection, +4 armor, +1 Dodge, +4 Fighting Defensively, +1 insight, +2 luck, +1 haste, +3 Nimble) or 58 vs one target of her choice

Saves: Fort +16, Ref +28, Will +18 (+10 more when using Charmed Life)

Traits: Fate's Favored, Duelist

Feats: Phantom Weapon Finesse and Improved Critical from Swash features, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Starknife), Greater Weapon Focus (Straknife), Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte, Weapon Specialization, Osyluth Guile, Combat Reflexes, Signature Deed (Parry and Riposte), McFarland's Maneuver (New Dex to Damage Feat)

Attacks:
Melee Tiny +5 EOBane Starknife +45/+45/+40/+35/+30 for 1d2+38+2d6 (when using haste)
Ranged Tiny +5 EOBane Starknife +44/+44/+44/+39/+34/+29 for 1d2+39+2d6 (when using haste in point blank range)
Parry Bonus vs Balor Lord +40 (when using haste)

Gear: Cloak +5, Blinkback Belt, +5 Evil Outsider Bane Starknife, Ioun Stones of +2 Str, +2 Wis, +2 Con, Headband of +6 Cha, Boots of Speed, Cracked +1 to Attack Ioun Stone, Cracked Initiative Ioun Stone, Jingasa, Gloves of Dueling, +6 Dex Ioun Stones (ouch 72k!), Ring of Protection +2, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, Luckstone, Over 10k in Expendables

Tyali was once the familiar of the PC who has Rhiana as a cohort (this is actually true in our Kingmaker game). In this universe, she thought Rhiana was awesome and struck out on her own after training with Rhiana. She wandered for a long time until she heard a rumor about a cavernous cathedral to Lamashtu deep in the Abyss where Lamashtu stored away Curchanus's last expression of paternal love for his pupil Desna. Tyali decided to go get that item by entering into the Abyss, but she didn't realize that it would be through a long tunnel, all of which was covered in a forbiddance effect keyed to Chaotic Evil alignment.

Entering the tunnel immediately dealt her 6d6 damage, with a DC 30 Will save for half. She managed to take half, and she healed herself to full with a CLW wand. However, her biggest fear came from the other half of forbiddance--she now couldn't use dimensional magic such as plane shift to escape.

She finally made it into the final cathedral and saw the crystallized love on a pedestal, but before her stood a terrifying foe indeed, the mighty Balor Lord (from Demons Revisited) Karaznak, a being of madness, lesser spawn of Lamashtu himself, and covered in hideous malformed growths, unlike other balors. In fact, he has all the abilities of the Balor Lord from Demons Revisited but also has four secondary tentacles with Grab that Constrict for 1d6 Wisdom Drain, just for Lamashtu style points.

Despite Tyali's +41 to Stealth, Karaznak has +44 and barely notices her as she emerges from the end of the tunnel 30 feet from his position in front of the pedestal (-3 to Perception), so there is no surprise round.
Tyali won initiative and threw her starknife at Karaznak defensively 6 times. Bizarrely, she got 2 critical threats exactly when she didn't need them so much (since she started at full 10 panache), and unsurprisingly every attack hits. She spent 1 panache to gain 13 extra damage as a swift, since is the only time she'll ever have a swift. She dealt 296 damage before the extra from crits, plus an additional 111 from the extra of the crits, for a total of 407. She spent one additional panache to add 11 bleed to the first attack, and she gained back 2.

Karaznak is somewhat shocked that a tiny little butterfly girl just did 407 damage in one round, particularly since this would have killed an ordinary balor instantly. He was considering leading off with implosion and disarming her weapon with telekinesis (the latter of which auto-fails because level 11 swashbucklers are crazy people) since she was at range and that's what his tactics says, but instead he is going to use the brutal trick in the tactics: quickened telekinesis to pull her in and then full attack. Tyali makes her Will save against DC 24 without using Charmed Life, but that's no fun, right? So I'll say she failed just to see what happens; note that this is basically GM fiat for the balor lord. He decides to fling her to be right next to him and full attack, entering a rage. He makes four vorpal unholy longsword attacks, three whip attacks, and four secondary tentacles. His first longsword attack is a natural 14 for a 54, which misses Tyali's AC. His others only hit on a 20, so they all miss. His first whip attack is a natural 13, which misses Tyali's AC. His others only hit on a 20, so they all miss. One of his 4 tentacles does hit on a Natural 19, and she fails to Parry. She could deflect it with Crane Wing, but she wants to save that for a Natural 20, so she uses Dodging Panache for +10 AC to make it miss and moves five feet away from him. It turns out she never used the Crane Wing. Oh well! He bleeds for 11.

On her turn, she takes a 5 foot step back, out of reach (except the whip, which doesn't threaten) and annihilates him. No crits, but still he is so negative that there is nothing left of him, particularly since he actually goes on unconscious after the second hit and dies from rage ending. I'll be nice to him and say his rage was still up for the explosion, so that's a DC 37 Reflex save or take 100 damage. She uses Charmed Life for a +10 and now has +38. She didn't roll a 1 and thus took no damage.

After her flawless victory against the Balor Lord Karaznak, Tyali recovered Curchanus's last memory of love for his pupil and continued on her way out, praying that Lamashtu had not taken notice and sent an opponent that would be a fairer match against a mid-to-high-level Swashbuckler than a Balor Lord.


Notes--

*I chose starknife because it fit the goddess Desna, even though it is one of the worst possible choices for a light piercing weapon with its 20/x3 crit.

*Compared to Greater Weapon Specialization, the new feat McFarland's Maneuver added 156 total damage to Tyali's total 520, so between 25% and 33% of all damage comes from that Dex-to-damage. Tyali actually still would have killed the Balor Lord on her second full attack, but it would have been closer and wouldn't have worked without any crits. As it stood, even if Tyali didn't get any crits, she would have easily killed Karaznak in two full attacks.

*It turns out she was more accurate than I thought she would need to be, so in this particular case, Deadly Aim for -5 to hit and +10 damage would have been better for her than her Weapon Specialization feat. It would have messed up her parries though, so generally not worth it, even though it turned out all 11 of her parries were irrelevant.


Long Term Viability of Tyali vs more Balor Lords for a day with 4 encounters per day, all of them Balor Lords--

Tyali ended with the same panache she started, but she did use one of her 5 Charmed Life uses on the explosion. She probably could have just rolled at +38 with the 60% chance of success, since it wouldn't have killed her, if she needed to save up. Future Balor Lords might use implosion or blasphemy on her, and in order to save on all rolls but natural 1, she requires a use of Charmed Life each time that happens.


Tyali decided to keep going because she hadn't had enough fun yet today. Since the Magister in her kingdom was the elven wizard Lolipop (not actually his name but she calls him that) from Kyonin, she asked him if Kyonin needed some pest extermination in the form of killing Treerazer. Lolipop agreed. In exchange for her services killing Treerazer, the elves agreed to provide her what she asked for, which was 30 copies of caster level 11 corruption resistance, 20 copies of mage armor cast upon her (a 6800 gp value, which is really nice for a bounty on a nascent demon lord).

Using her stealth, Tyali sneaked past everything until she neared Treerazer, and she even beat his Perception with her superior Stealth, but unfortunately, Treerazer has a constant Detect Good in a 60 foot cone, so the moment she flew from 110 feet away to 30 feet away, initiative happened, no surprise round for Tyali!

Tyali won init and began with a full attack. She managed a crit, and some unlucky rolls meant she would have missed twice if Treerazer hadn't been flat-footed, but she still hit every time. 280 damage of not-critting damage + 55 extra crit damage makes 335, plus she gives him bleed. She also failed her Fort save against the aura of icky-grossitude and now counts as a plant.

Treerazers tactics are to use time stop, so we'll do that, after a quickened greater dispel magic that strips off 5 of the corruption resistance. He manages only a minimum 2 rounds, unfortunately. Not knowing how long it will be, he casts antiplant shell and then summons 4 nalfeshnee and 12 hezrou because his tactics say he can, even though I'm not convinced that he's allowed to summon that many. Whatever, we'll let it work because it's in his tactics. He moves to end the time stop with Tyali just at the edge of his antiplant shell (aka 10 feet away from him) and he bleeds for 11 several times.

The other demons acted on TR's turn. The nalfeshnees all activated their free action disco balls, and they used feeblemind, greater dispel magic, and two full attacks. All attacks missed, Tyali did not roll a 1 and saved on the feeblemind, and the GDM stripped off 3 more corruption resistances because it rolled high. The 12 hezrous also acted. Four hezrous used blasphemy, and she did not roll a 2 or a 1, so she saved all 4 and was not dazed for one round. Four hezrous used unholy blight, and she did not roll a 1, so she took 3, 1, 3, and 8 damage (the last one managed 46 on 10d6!). Of the other four, two full attacked and missed, while the other two tried to disarm or sunder her weapon and failed to beat CMD (and frankly they auto-failed anyway, but how do they know this?).

Tyali's turn. Since she was in the ribbity aura of frogitude, she failed one of the 12 DC 24 Fortitude saves and was now sickened. She made her attacks on Treerazer defensively. The first attack provoked 17 Attacks of Opportunity, and she activated Dodging Panache to move out of Treerazer's reach entirely. Fortunately, somehow there was only one natural 20 of the bunch. She wasn't parrying the crappy demons, and in fact, just to protect herself, she doesn't even use Crane Wing on the nat 20, so she winds up being hit for 18 damage (taken 33 so far). She takes every attack on Treerazer. In total, she crits once, but her second to last iterative would miss him with with a Natural 4. 227 non-crit damage and 51 crit damage would make 281 damage this round, but that's massive overkill, so she winds up directing that natural 4 to a nalfeshnee (it is now a hit) and her last iterative also. She deals 90 damage to that nalfeshnee.

Demons' turn. They are shocked and horrified that their master was killed by this pesky good outsider, so they swear vengeance. Tyali's main problem is that four disco balls now pop on her and she could potentially be dazed for 1d10 rounds on a roll of 5 or below. She blindly activates Charmed Life on the first disco ball, and she lucks out quite massively because that one was a nat 2 and the others succeeded. The nalfeshnees all activate disco ball again. They then annoy her with feeblemind, greater dispel, and slow. This time, the greater dispel strips some mage armor spells and she still makes both saves. The 12 hezrou decided that unholy blight is the awesomest, so they all do that. 46 total damage (owwie!). Since she is a good outsider, Tyali's weapon attacks all count as good, so Treerazer is well and truly defeated. She throws one last attack at the injured nalfeshneee defensively (provoking 16 AoOs including 1 nat 20 which she deflects with Crane Wing) and then flies away so she won't be hit by the stupid disco balls. She realizes these potentially-illegally-summoned allies still last for 1 hour like the usual summon ability, so she can just wait it out, rather than needing to kill them. Plus she's pretty beat up by the blights. She took 79 damage at this point. The nalfeshnee attempt to follow and cast some parting spells, which are irrelevant, but the hezrous are able to manage another round of blights from the ground for another 43 damage. Missing 122 and not able to take another two rounds of that, Tyali continues to fly away, this time sprinting through the air out of the max range of the toad demons. An hour later, the demons vanish, and Tanglebriar itself begins to wither, as the elves all cheer in surprised relief!


Hmm... I don't have access to Karaznak's stats, but I do have access to Treerazer.

After that first hit, Treerazer should have Greater Teleported away, and used his Black Axe to kill a tree and gain the benefit of a heal spell. He could have then teleported back in, out of range of Tyali, and activated his timestop from there. Or he could have opened with Defoliation which would force Tyali to take 20d10 damage and 1d8 strength damage with a DC 39 Fortitude save for half.

I know his tactics say otherwise, but they also say 'most combats' and with an Int of 21, he's smart enough to know to retreat and heal before returning and possibly changing his tactics. The heal alone would have let him survived that second round of full attacks, and given him another turn.

However, despite all that, it's still an interesting and valid playtest as it shows how touch a mid-high level Swashbuckler can be.

Either that, or it shows how awful high level enemies are.


I followed his tactics, which I think also gave him an illegally good summon. As it stands, I was going to have him use that heal on the third round of time stop if that occurred--he didn't know he rolled a terrible minimum 1d4+1=2. I followed his tactics strictly for when he retreats (150 hit points or lower, which seems to be a strict limit, since it doesn't say "usually"). If TR does leave for some reason, that will stop her assassination attempt for sure, but he has no good way to find her again, since her Stealth is higher than his Perception.

Defoliation is a pretty good move, but he'd have to not use time stop for that so he could affect her. I like it as a possibility, so let's see what would happen if he led off with it. Not knowing that the DC coming in is going to be 39, Tyali spends a Charmed Life for the +10 to the save. She is still unlikely to save, but a Nat 14 gets it for her! Even if she had failed, I rolled 113 damage and 5 Str drain, and she would have survived that and killed him.

TR is definitely scary compared to the Balor Lord. I think being a good outsider hampered her hugely in this fight compared to if she had, for example, 2 Paladin levels instead for Pal2/Monk1/Swash13. That would have given her more saves by a lot and a 50/50 on lasting the aura without using Charmed Life. Oh snap, I just calculated and I forgot to include her lyrakien outsider base saves in that first post! She should have 1 better Fort, 3 better Ref, and 3 better Will!


Rogue Eidolon wrote:

I followed his tactics, which I think also gave him an illegally good summon. As it stands, I was going to have him use that heal on the third round of time stop if that occurred--he didn't know he rolled a terrible minimum 1d4+1=2. I followed his tactics strictly for when he retreats (150 hit points or lower, which seems to be a strict limit, since it doesn't say "usually"). If TR does leave for some reason, that will stop her assassination attempt for sure, but he has no good way to find her again, since her Stealth is higher than his Perception.

Defoliation is a pretty good move, but he'd have to not use time stop for that so he could affect her. I like it as a possibility, so let's see what would happen if he led off with it. Not knowing that the DC coming in is going to be 39, Tyali spends a Charmed Life for the +10 to the save. She is still unlikely to save, but a Nat 14 gets it for her! Even if she had failed, I rolled 113 damage and 5 Str drain, and she would have survived that and killed him.

It's possible, but of the two, I think Treerazer is probably the more dangerous, for the Swashbuckler, than Karaznak was. It is worth noting that Tyali had foreknowledge of her enemy and prepared for it, where as without that foreknowledge, things would have been very different.

Contributor

This is very cool, but considering that most PCs won't A) be trying to solo balors or B) be playing lyrakin, I have to wonder if this was an effective use of your playtesting energies?


Tels wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:

I followed his tactics, which I think also gave him an illegally good summon. As it stands, I was going to have him use that heal on the third round of time stop if that occurred--he didn't know he rolled a terrible minimum 1d4+1=2. I followed his tactics strictly for when he retreats (150 hit points or lower, which seems to be a strict limit, since it doesn't say "usually"). If TR does leave for some reason, that will stop her assassination attempt for sure, but he has no good way to find her again, since her Stealth is higher than his Perception.

Defoliation is a pretty good move, but he'd have to not use time stop for that so he could affect her. I like it as a possibility, so let's see what would happen if he led off with it. Not knowing that the DC coming in is going to be 39, Tyali spends a Charmed Life for the +10 to the save. She is still unlikely to save, but a Nat 14 gets it for her! Even if she had failed, I rolled 113 damage and 5 Str drain, and she would have survived that and killed him.

It's possible, but of the two, I think Treerazer is probably the more dangerous, for the Swashbuckler, than Karaznak was. It is worth noting that Tyali had foreknowledge of her enemy and prepared for it, where as without that foreknowledge, things would have been very different.

I agree completely. Even though I gave Karaznak more things that the Demons Revisited Balor Lord normally has for free, TR is a much stronger opponent. With Treerazer, I assumed Tyali talked to Lolipop about him, but yeah, both of the two (TR and Tyali) would have died if she came unprepared due entirely to unholy blight being super effective against good outsiders.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
This is very cool, but considering that most PCs won't A) be trying to solo balors or B) be playing lyrakin, I have to wonder if this was an effective use of your playtesting energies?

Eh, the lyrakien was for style points on the Desna theme, and because it's another character in the same campaign as Rhiana from the dragon playtest (also, there's a popular Lyrakien Cleric NPC in our Jade Regent game who is written into the AP, so Lyrakiens be out there). Replace that 2 CR with paladin levels for a nearly strictly better character.

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