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Skjaldbakka
2009-02-24, 05:17 AM
Have you found that it is easier for a villain that you intended to get away to do so in 4E?

Charity
2009-02-24, 06:00 AM
I guess with the larger pool of HP's and short duration of status effects it should be easier, and indeed in the game I'm playing at the mo several monsters have 'got away' from us... though the archery focused ranger bounty hunter likes to make as difficult as possible...

kieza
2009-02-24, 11:55 AM
I've pulled it off a couple of times, but that was through unusual circumstances. The first time, the villain was in fact a projection from the Feywild, since he couldn't get his actual body past a bunch of wards, and he just dropped the spell when he got too badly injured. The second time, the villain (a different one) was inside a Magic Circle effect performing another ritual which he used to get away.

The second trick makes it fairly easy to retreat your villains if they aren't meant to stand and fight, but it's harder if they have to get beaten up first.

Saph
2009-02-24, 12:10 PM
Haven't given it a proper test, but I doubt it. In my Red Hand of Doom game, several of the Wyrmlords and dragons were able to effectively escape losing battles by one of the following methods:

High flight speed
Invisibility spell/potion

I don't think either would work very well in 4e, as speeds are lower and invisibility/speed-up effects are a lot harder to get hold of. So a villain that tried to flee would probably take a lot of hits on the way out.

- Saph

Oracle_Hunter
2009-02-24, 01:31 PM
Haven't given it a proper test, but I doubt it. In my Red Hand of Doom game, several of the Wyrmlords and dragons were able to effectively escape losing battles by one of the following methods:

High flight speed
Invisibility spell/potion

I don't think either would work very well in 4e, as speeds are lower and invisibility/speed-up effects are a lot harder to get hold of. So a villain that tried to flee would probably take a lot of hits on the way out.

Very true!

No, an unprepared villain will have a lot of trouble escaping. That's why he will need to take reasonable precautions beforehand:

- Run early, run often
If you have a couple of meatshields between you and the PC, then they can hold back the pursuit long enough for you to get lost.

- Escape Pods
Secret doors behind altars, concealed boats, portcullis to slam shut behind you; a secure escape route is a good escape route.

That said, there are lots of things that can improve the escape-rate of your villain. Warlock & Wizard powers include several powerful teleportation effects; insubstantial villains can still slide through walls; invisibilty can greatly aid escape.

All this means is that you can't just have a potion of fly, invisibility, or what have you for a "guaranteed escape."

Kurald Galain
2009-02-24, 05:18 PM
Have you found that it is easier for a villain that you intended to get away to do so in 4E?

It's probably harder. It's quite easy for players to slow, prone, or immobilize somebody for long enough to surround him; for instance, the wizard has a level-1 encounter power that automatically slows everyone who passes through a doorway, i.e. the exit.

So on the one hand, anything clearly incapable of beating the party (to the point where fleeing would become necessary) is likely also incapable of fleeing. Note that this goes both ways.

On the other hand, anyone who gets approximately a thirty meter head start can't be caught, since there are no effects that reach that far.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-02-24, 05:30 PM
On the other hand, anyone who gets approximately a thirty meter head start can't be caught, since there are no effects that reach that far.

Or who breaks line of sight. Walking through a doorway and closing the door as a minor action (and locking it with a key) can do wonders in keeping PCs off your back.

Of course, a BBEG who gets jumped by a bunch of PCs is always going to have a hard time running. That's why you need flunkies!

KillianHawkeye
2009-02-25, 05:46 AM
My idea for inreasing a recurring villain's survivability is to have them begin fleeing once they are bloodied. This should preferably be done before the villain is completely out of minions and lackeys.

A recurring villain (and thus, the DM) should also have at least one escape route planned, with contingencies in place in case things go horribly awry. (Such as the secret doors, portcullises, etc. that other people have mentioned.) He should always position himself so as not to get surrounded. And possibly have a big trap or other sudden threat that can take the PCs' attention while he gets away.

I think becoming bloodied is a good trigger for a cowardly villain's escape attempt because it makes sense from an IC point of view, and because having half their HP left will make it easier for them to escape/survive the PCs' last few attacks.

Kurald Galain
2009-02-25, 05:57 AM
My idea for inreasing a recurring villain's survivability is to have them begin fleeing once they are bloodied. This should preferably be done before the villain is completely out of minions and lackeys.

Sure, but how does the villain deal with, say, the party wizard dropping a Web on him? Or the spear fighter throwing him prone every turn?

KillianHawkeye
2009-02-26, 02:23 PM
Sure, but how does the villain deal with, say, the party wizard dropping a Web on him? Or the spear fighter throwing him prone every turn?


This should preferably be done before the villain is completely out of minions and lackeys.

Hey, I didn't say it was a perfectly complete idea. If the villain is getting screwed that hard, he probably shouldn't wait to start his escape at all. That's what underlings and contingency plans are for. In that situation, I'd say he uses his custom short-range teleportation item and makes a run for the secret passage or sets off the trap or whatever he's got for an escape plan.

Thanatos 51-50
2009-02-26, 02:30 PM
The Villian makes his death saving throws, but never happens to roll a twenty until the PCs have left the area.

DiscipleofBob
2009-02-26, 08:11 PM
I find it easy to introduce the BBEG in a 4e game, mostly because outside of maybe some epic-level cheese (which come on, it's epic level), it's hard to one-shot or deal an unpredictable amount of damage to a single target. That and you can easily say, "When this villain's HP reaches bloodied or 0, the villain vanishes in a puff of smoke" or "...takes a full-round action to move at 8 times his speed as he runs away, ignoring difficult terrain and not provoking opportunity attacks" or whatever.

That and you can usually have them just stand there and give out their diabolical speech as that half-level defense can make sure the lower-level characters don't get that first shot ever off.

ninja_penguin
2009-02-26, 08:40 PM
There's nothing to say that you can't ever just have the recurring villian have a sidekick who pops in with a Raise Dead ritual a few hours afterwards. I've had a villian 'fake' his own death by doing this, as the players expected him to be totally dead. Also, I've found that if you want to have an enemy get away, it needs either a teleportation effect, invisibility, or some sort of alternative moving speed, as normally trying to flat out run for it works.

I also kind of try and imagine the mood/mental state of the bad guy. If wherever the fight is taking place is a surprise (i.e. ambused by the PCs), or if whatever plan the PCs are interrupting isn't that important, I generally have them plan to bug out around bloodied value.

Charbau927
2009-02-27, 12:43 AM
Ive got an Amazing recurring villain in the 4th edition campaign im DM'ing! At first i just started the evil cleric off as a really annoying holy symbols vendor, and the party thought nothing of him, until they realized that he was the general to main plot villain that they had just encountered and obliterated their good-alligned butts! Now they all absolutely hate this cleric i use, and he shows up at the most inconvenient times just to wreak havoc on their plans to save the world! I say the number one thing that helps in 4th edition with recurring villains is the much improved amount of HP and the whole bloody system. And especially with a cleric, even if you are close to death, the healing surges and cleric powers go pretty hand in hand, and so its very hard for a dm to lose someone they want to show up again later unless they just arent trying. Good luck and keep questing!