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TheThan
2008-01-17, 07:05 PM
Here’s the situation, the party is going to be hired to scout out some hobgoblin raiding camps (10-20 hobgoblins per camp). They don’t have to do any real fighting to accomplish their mission, but knowing my players as well as I do, I believe they’re going to pick a fight with the whole band, and get their butts kicked (they’re a level one party). So I need a way to get them out of the stockade, in order to do that I created a ranger NPC to do just that, should things go as I suspect. This ranger is level four and has high enough wisdom (14) to gain access to a ranger spell, so I looked over the rather lackluster ranger spell list.
Now I’m stuck between the entangle spell or summon nature’s ally I.


Thinking about it, entangle is the more powerful spell, especially since he’s a bow focused ranger. However the party is mostly melee, with really only one ranged character (the mage). So casting it will put them out of the fight, unless they want risk getting stuck in the entangling field themselves. Summon nature’s ally would give the ranger and extra set of attacks to deal with the hobgoblins, until the heroes rearm themselves and get in the fight. Yet it doesn’t stop the hobgoblins from surrounding them or running for aid or some other fairly smart idea (they are hobgoblins after all).

So what do you all think this NPC ranger should take as his spell? I’m indecisive, both are good choices and I can’t decide on which spell to take.

The party consists of 1 druid, 1 rogue, 1 monk and 1 wizard. The druid has a wolf animal companion (MVP of our last session actually). all first level.

marjan
2008-01-17, 07:56 PM
I would go with entangle. Since there are lot of opponents chances are not all of them will get caught in the entangle so melee guys will have their targets. If somehow ranger manages to get them all in the area of the spell, he can still put some of them on the edge of the spell's area to allow PCs to approach and smack them.

Summon Nature's Ally just doesn't last long and critters you can summon with it it are not strong enough to make much difference.

Chronos
2008-01-17, 09:22 PM
Definitely entangle. As you describe the situation, even with the NPC, if they try to kill all the hobs, they're going to get slaughtered. The goal here is escape, not combat, and Entangle will help very nicely with that.

Plus, a 4th-level ranger has a caster level of 2, so Summon Nature's Ally would only last two rounds. He can probably do more damage by fighting by himself for the round he cast the spell in.

TheThan
2008-01-17, 11:14 PM
Oh yeah, something I forgot: the wizard has sleep in his spell book. So he has the ability to take several of them out of the fight. Whether he prepares it or not remains to be seen. He’s definitely not going to have time to prepare it in the middle of the encounter.

Oh wow that brings up another question. How does a CR dependant spell like sleep deal with creatures below CR1? Are the hobgoblins counted as being cr1 or cr ˝ for the purposes of this spell?. If its CR ˝ then the wizard can put 8 hobgoblins out of the fight in one shot (assuming they fail their saves). Which means suddenly entangle may not be needed as badly. That means that there would only be 12 goblins to divide up between five characters and two animal companions.

Now if hobgoblins count as CR1, then entangle will still be my best option.

tyckspoon
2008-01-17, 11:22 PM
Sleep's limit is counted by Hit Dice, not CR. That said.. I still don't know how the spell interacts with fractional HD.

triforcel
2008-01-17, 11:30 PM
I'd go with entangle and then have the ranger save it until the party decides to run away.

Even if the wizard fills all his slots with sleep they're going to have some trouble with it. As for fractional hit dice, it works like you would expect it to.

TheThan
2008-01-17, 11:44 PM
Said CR, meant hit dice. Anyway now I’m a little embarrassed :smalleek: since the hobgoblins are 1 HD creatures anyway. I guess that’s what I get for not checking my work before posting.


anyway I'm going with the entangle spell for this ranger, unless the druid takes it then i can switch it on the fly to to summon nature's ally. probably should have thought of that first.

Anyway thanks for the help everyone.

daggaz
2008-01-18, 02:36 AM
The druid will have entangle anyhow, and so should you. Its the best spell on the list at that level and having more of it is a good thing. Believe me, this spell will drive your DM nuts.

As for all the melee characters, there is no reason really why they shouldnt be carrying bows/crossbows. Its stupid not to, if they have any kind of applicable proficiency.

Yami
2008-01-18, 03:28 AM
Believe me, this spell will drive your DM nuts.

Urge to slay druids... Rising!!

Charity
2008-01-18, 03:48 AM
The druid will have entangle anyhow, and so should you. Its the best spell on the list at that level and having more of it is a good thing. Believe me, this spell will drive your DM nuts.

He is the DM.


As for all the melee characters, there is no reason really why they shouldnt be carrying bows/crossbows. Its stupid not to, if they have any kind of applicable proficiency.

There is every reason at first level to not waste between a quarter and two thirds of your starting cash on a second string weapon. (yes I know it's a terrible pun)