I’m playing a fighter in a pretty standard D&D 5th edition game. Currently 7th level. I’m wanting to ask my DM for a magic item that would be something like the following. I’ve tried to make it something that would let me go out with one heroic bang (and also give one of my backup characters a chance to shine…) without making it something that is "always on", hence the drawback if it’s not used. I’m also trying to make this a conscious decision as one final act of defiance. Perhaps it’s something given to soldiers of a certain army? Anyhow, I’m wondering if this is a reasonable item to ask for and if there exists anything similar to this that already exists rather than being goofy homebrew of an inexperienced player. And if there is anything that can be done to improve it, mechanically or wording-wise.
Bead of Final Countdown:
When a creature is locked in mortal combat, it may become apparent that this will be its last such encounter. The creature can use a bonus action to place this bead in its mouth, biting down on it. This begins to charge a delayed blast fireball. When the creature dies (not just unconscious, but truly dead) the fireball explodes as in the spell, dealing damage to all creatures in range and destroying the creature’s body. If the creature does not die within two minutes, or if it removes the bead from its mouth, it suffers one level of exhaustion from the stress of holding such an explosion in its mouth.
I have thought of a few methods they might accomplish this. In this question, I am wondering about a potentially more controversial option. I am considering having them attempt to monologue or engage the PC’s in dialogue (e.g. offer for them to join his side, explain his plan, answer questions, etc) with a timer running, then increase the battle rounds based on the amount of time they were able to enthrall the PC’s with their speech.
I can see some problems with this:
- I haven’t used this "on the clock" method before and the players may not recognize what’s happening (kind of the point?); I’ve loosely enforced limiting speech to your turn to maintain a suspension of disbelief
- This could cause balance issues with planning the time depending on if they catch on quickly or not as all (see below)
- It would require significant setup, coordinating clues that may let them read into what is happening while also maintaining a monologue
- Our game is online, so it may be more difficult to implement this strategy
Some details about the campaign/fight (major spoilers for Paizo’s Ruins of Azlant AP)
The party will already be in initiative when they arrive in his area (they have to fight or bypass a couple ‘mooks’ before reaching him) but in our circle of gamers there is a precedent for NPC’s to interrupt combat rounds with speech. In this campaign, that even includes the players taking up another potential enemy’s offer of working together instead of fighting. In the past, however, it hasn’t been relevant that the clock continues moving.
My goal is to cost them a handful of rounds if they are willing to listen to the creature, who is manipulative by nature. I feel this is thematic but unlikely to make the difference in their success or failure in regards to the creature’s plan, but I think it would be an epic moment if it does (or comes down to the line).
Is this a bad idea? Has anyone had success doing something like this, and what was needed to pull it off?
Directly related to my question about doing it with spells.
Reminder: per "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective", to answer this question, one would either need direct experience using such a delay tactic or have experienced a GM doing so with them as a player.
The divination wizard’s Portent ability states (emphasis mine)
You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.
The PHB (pag 7, "The D20", 3rd paragraph) describes saving throws, attack rolls and ability checks as
[…] the three main kinds of d20 rolls, forming the core of the rules of the game.
All three of them consists of a d20 roll and then modifiers are applied to this die roll. The description of Portent is quite foggy: the first sentence suggests that it allows to replace the final result (d20+mods), while the second part of the description mentions the roll, without specifying if it just refers to the d20 roll or to d20+mods.
Is Portent allowing the wizard to replace the final result or just the d20 roll?
This topic is covered in several answers and questions related to Portent working with other rules/aspects of the game: these report some tweets by Jeremy Crawford. On one hand, the Sage Advice Compendium ("Official Ruling" section) states they are not considered official anymore, on the other hand in the very same section is stated that they could be a preview of rulings that will appear here [i.e. in Sage Advice]. Jeremy’s tweet about this issue have not been still included in any version of Sage Advice Compendium, at the best of my knowledge.
Similar to the Rise of Tiamat – Dragon assets [Major spoilers] question, there appears to be a big lack of guidance regarding the final battle
In Episode 1 p23, it says:
However, without repeating what is said in Episode 9 pp86-87 very little information is given to deliver on the promise given above.
Speaking generically (those who know the module will be able to fill in the specifics), the PCs have the opportunity to acquire “assets” during the adventure that can neutralize the “assets” of their enemies. If they acquire all of the assets then they should have a relatively easy run through to the climactic battle we have all been waiting for. A few encounters with skirmishes between the “assets” of both sides where the PCs can weigh in to tip the balance without draining too many resources and the party gets the idea that they are a small (but vital) part of greater things and away we go.
However, it is more than likely that they will not have been able to acquire all of the “assets” leaving unopposed enemy “assets”. For example:
Obviously, if they totally blow the acquisition of “assets” their chance of reaching the big final scene would be practically zero.
I am conscious that the question I am about to pose steers dangerously close to seeking opinions so I will be very specific.
What strategies can be employed to:
- Make the acquisition of “assets” meaningful, and
- Make the allocation of those assets significant, while
- Allowing the party a reasonable chance of reaching the big boss battle?
To get you started, I am thinking (embryonicly):
I have thought of a few methods they might accomplish this. The easiest, mechanically, is to give him spells to accomplish this.
Some details about the campaign/fight (major spoilers for Paizo’s Ruins of Azlant AP)
What are the best 5 arcane spells for area denial? The area to be protected is a control panel that can be reached from two adjacent squares; there is also a hallway leading into the room that they will need to travel through that is 10×10 and 40ft long.
Some members of the party have inanely high Saves, especially against spells, so spells that do not require Saves or still have some effect with a Save should be considered stronger than similar spells that do. The party, as most high level organizations do, have easy access to Freedom of Movement.
Directly related to my question about doing it with narrative.
For the given NFA, how do you reduce the number of paths without adding $ \epsilon$ -transitions?
I am currently hosting a group for Dungeons and Dragons. The DM is pushing new players into my home without asking. He claims he has this right because he is the DM. No one else wants to host. What can I do?
From what many remembered as open-world, explorable, side-quest, challenging battles and tactics of many similar RPGS/JPRGs of the 90s to the 2000s even, it now largely seems like the genre — especially referencing to FF series since they are among the "top dogs" of it — have diminished. I get the impression that lots of what made the old games good is lost:
What was once more explorable of a main navigation element seems to have become more centered, linear, and/or restrictive. You can have nicer walking animations and prettier backgrounds, but the same "tunnel" like forward direction — or more aimless all-way walking potential in huge open areas replaces that special emphasis on simple old rooms (often smaller) with less to give graphically but more to give in a travel, explorative or more sensible approach than just "hunting" or "running around and grinding." If you make a large area you should at least give different elements to it than just "lots of space." If you scale up you need more of that "something" to scale up too — otherwise it’s more empty.
The old free-to-explore open-worlds/world maps, airship/flying ship/etc. mechanics (even re-visit mechanics) are almost always chopped down or implemented much less attractively (think how it started with FFX and then onwards — i.e. you can "explore" fast but it’s really largely watered down stuff/processes in doing such). The whole "open world" aspect to the classics is largely reduced to large areas/fields but no longer a blend of different terrains, sub-areas, sections or just the general nature/element of traveling/entering/exiting different areas rather than storyline/linear rules imposed on all areas/paths.
The battle system is definitely a hot topic, as some will tell you the new mechanics add some new flesh to the table while others feel the older system worked best and it’s been "slaughtered" merely at the attempt of "spicing up" something that people already liked for the most part/settled in with over time. The thing is — if the battle system is to be made "better" so to speak — it should try and maintain the same elements of what the skeleton of original battle systems were based on. As an example old turn-based games kept the same skeleton even when becoming "active time" battles where it’s every turn to grab for themselves the quickest. The idea was that you can maintain the same "skeletal base" of the mechanics and only tweak them better — but lots of newer stuff almost always tries to go completely a new path that strays away from this with new experimentation, impositions, rules, and/or unneeded "extra steps" at times too. Basically it’s like the game’s old and functioning system has been put less concern to while trying to "splice" its old DNA under the impression that you can supposedly better an old thing by going in a completely a new "frankenstein" direction rather than just sprucing up the initial base in a more specific/oriented/targeted manner that fulfills its initial life blood/base than trying
Always an extreme. Nowadays it seems games of this series are either too linear or not linear at all — there’s no longer a good balance between the two. For example one game may have so much explorable, massiveness to specific areas that you would be to get lost/tired/grinding excessively/etc. in one area to then go to the next one and rinse and repeat. On the other hand you can go super linear (think FFXIII for example) where everything is just "new area -> go straight -> battle -> story -> repeat" and such. What made the classics arguably more "wow" is the fact that the game — when it needs to — switches from storyline/linearity to open/some explorableness (to pique the natural exploring instinct) while going back to restriction when danger arose (defensive mechanism/protective inhibition) — because both of these angles match human behavior/etc. it suits gameplay. But if you make it either too open or too linear you force one side too long and it doesn’t align naturally with the cycle of human operability/engagement well enough to have proper "ups" and "downs."
More "complex" systems or angles regarding leveling/power ups/etc. In old games it’s often fairly simple and straightforward to a large degree on how something more direct leads to a more expandable nature of said system to grow and keep delivering. What has replaced easy but expandable seems to be complex and rigid — more learning curves but less direction to go once you "have it." Slowly I think the series has gone this way, possibly starting with FFXIII/around that era. You make something simple that expands as needed become complex that really doesn’t give much over time. Something like junctioning in FF8 starts simple but can scale up to cool stuff as the game goes on, especially with the addition of GFs to character stats and so on. In a game like FFXIII for example you can liken the "powering system" to weak remnants of FFX and FFXII in ways of both combat means and stat growth.
Games/scenes (probably applies to others outside this genre/series/etc. though) are now largely presented as cinematics/films with bits of gameplay as the only crux to break apart that concept of whether it’s innately a movie with gameplay or gameplay with cinematics (like older games of the series where "movies" in, say, the FMV form/class were much less emphasized as part of the overall game). "Cutscenes" in old FFs were mostly seamless or passive — now they are expected to emphasize more (due to the graphics) and "fill" a part of the game/impression as such rather than just be more of a seamless flow with only particular moments having more "weight" to them. In old FFs, how much of the story is lost removing the dialogue/locked moment/cutscenes? Now compare that to how much would be lost in modern games. If there is more to "lose" from the cutscenes overall then maybe they are relied on too much to shape the impression or experience of the game.
Final Sacrifice (https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=689) targets one minion, slains it and does damage to everyone close to it.
Nonlethal Spell (https://2e.aonprd.com/Feats.aspx?ID=1835) can make a spell nonlethal, which means it "knock creatures unconscious instead of kill them".
What would happen to my minion if i cast a nonlethal final sacrifice on it? Would it die or not?
I am sure it was in one of the dark age books it wasn’t traditional blood magic all I remember about the ritual is that it involved a specialy prepared room with runes painted all over the walls