Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

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Brianna Sollandry
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Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:44 pm

Strahd was tough. He has a lot of powers - including Legendary Powers. I would say that I didn't hold back, except, reviewing them again, I pulled his punches a bit by not using his Legendary Actions each round. Many of his powers simply did not come into play since you didn't actually ever bring the battle to him; he had already moved before Kili did his Flame Strike, so he never even got a scratch. I will continue to not hold back - and he will likely be even tougher next time, as I remember to use ALL of his powers.

None of that is encouraging, I am sure. But, in the ten rounds you fought him, what did you learn?

You saw three spells:

greater invisibility - concentration up to one minute
fireball - area effect 8d6 fire damage
blight - single foe 8d6 necrotic damage

You saw "Lair actions" in operation. Consider the high end of the initiative order:

Ezmerelda - 21
Cat 19
Strahd 19

Every round, after Ezmerelda and before Cat, something happened. Things you saw:

- doors opened or slammed closed. If closed, they were (magically) held shut such that only a DC 20 Strength check could open them. Dispel Magic did not work. (In V3.5, we'd call this is a "supernatural" effect, vs. a "spell-like" effect. Both are "magic" and are suppressed by anti-magic, but "supernatural" effects cannot be dispelled.)
- A spectre appeared next to a character, attacked, and disappeared.
- A character's shadow was ripped away from their body and became an undead thrall of Strahd's. DC 17 CHA save to resist.

Some rounds you did not see an effect like that - but, rest assured, something was happening every single round at Initiative count 20.

You noticed that Strahd seemed to be able to move between various rooms without using a (known) door. For example, after the doors to the study slammed shut and Strahd vanished, NEXT round he was in the next room attacking Kili.

You noticed that he hit easily - Attack +9 - and did a lot of damage. Part of it was physical damage, part of it was necrotic damage.

Since he was invisible through this whole battle, you didn't actually attack him successfully, and you have no idea of his AC, Saves, Speed.

Consider all of the above. Also consider your magic items:

Kili - Holy Symbol of Ravenkind
Morpheus - Sunsword
Brandt - attune to the Icon of Ravenloft
Kili - attune to the magical mace from the chapel (if you can; you are unconscious and need a long rest. Half way through, wake up, and attune during the remainder of the long rest?)

Also consider that four people - Calder, Kili, Morpheus, Kasimir - are unconscious but stable. You NEED a long rest. Where are you going to go?

Over to the players!

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Hazen
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Hazen » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:43 pm

Yes, our first priority is a safe place to do a long rest, then we need to consider:

Ideally, we like to avoid encountering Strahd again until we can do it on our terms and at the time of our choosing. Barring that, at least having some warning. So, some sort of way to avoid him or detect would be great:
Clairvoyance
Locate Creature
Detect Evil
See Invisibility
Divination
(where is Strahd? Are these rooms clear of him? etc).

Defenses against both Strahd and the legendary effects:
Greater invisibility helped, as did
Death Ward
Protection from Energy (fire)
Protection from Evil
Knock

What else?

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Veracity
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Veracity » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:31 pm

How did he separate people from their Shadows? That's creepy. And what are the implications of people's Shadows fighting for Strahd? Which abilities of the person does the Shadow retain?

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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby MercyDrake » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:14 am

I've been thinking about possible things we can do:
(1) detect magic conc up to 10 mins, which several of us carry, might work in locating approximate position of the attackers
(2) Kili can try to turn Strahd/force him away, but I think that has little chance of success.
(3) Odd idea: Create Water - causes rain 30' r. Vampires don't like running water...
(4) Detect Evil conc up to 10 mins
(5) Prot Evil conc up to 10 mins
(6) Aid can be used to add to 3 creatures' hit points
(7) Magic Circle cast at 5th level can offer protections to the party (10' r)
(8) Prot Energy/fire conc up to 1 hr
(9) Spirit Guardians??
(10) Need to remember I have Channel divinity and can heal 45 HPs (divisible over several, each max half total)

I've also been thinking that we need to attack Strahd himself and ignore his minions (if possible).

The questions I have are:
(1) do we think the lair action is only available on that floor or is it throughout the castle. I'm betting on throughout.
(2) Will Strahd follow us down a level?
(3) We need to find a way to get a second person in the party to have STR. Morpheus went down and we were stuck. Do we Enhance Ability on someone? Conc up to 1 hr
(4) my presumption is that we need to get as far away from the study as possible. We can't leave, I think. To that end I am suggesting at least two levels and the other end of the building. Maybe where the dead cleric lies.

For Veracity - four characters are unconscious and stable, three (two?) characters had their shadows ripped away. Everybody is down to about three HP.
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MercyDrake
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby MercyDrake » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:16 am

How about setting fire to all that wood?
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Veracity » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:11 am

Strahd seems to enjoy toying with us. I don't think he plans to kill us off yet. Don't know that we can move the unconscious people... Can we carry that much?

Protection spells sound good.

How effect was the Light spell?

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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Yoshi » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:50 pm

Although we are (now) likely to encounter Strahd in a location other than the Library, one presumes that will not be his "lair". Let's avoid the Library for now, at least.

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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:16 pm

MercyDrake wrote:(1) do we think the lair action is only available on that floor or is it throughout the castle. I'm betting on throughout.

Castle Ravenloft is Strahd's "lair".
You know the extra action that takes place at Initiative count 20 is a "Lair Action" because I told you.
The action is that of the castle itself, at Strahd's direction.

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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Yoshi » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:12 pm

I think it's possible the DM has been playing invisibility a little wrongly. Specifically, I believe that after Strahd attacks (physically) from invisibility, even greater invisibility, he provokes an attack of opportunity when he (presumably) withdraws. This would be at disadvantage.

See https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions ... -in-combat

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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Yoshi » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:18 pm

Yoshi wrote:I think it's possible the DM has been playing invisibility a little wrongly. Specifically, I believe that after Strahd attacks (physically) from invisibility, even greater invisibility, he provokes an attack of opportunity when he (presumably) withdraws. This would be at disadvantage.

See https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions ... -in-combat

... not that I think it would have made any practical difference!!

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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Strategy and Tactics vs. Strahd

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:31 pm

Yoshi wrote:I believe that after Strahd attacks (physically) from invisibility, even greater invisibility, he provokes an attack of opportunity when he (presumably) withdraws. This would be at disadvantage.

I looked at your thread. I saw nothing that suggested that. In fact, one person said the exact opposite:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. (PHB p195)

I looked at PHB 195 and that is exactly what it says.

The person who is struck by an invisible foe is aware of their location and can attack (as normal, not as an opportunity) with disadvantage. Once the invisible foe moves, nobody is aware of their location.


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