View Full Version : Best guess on the CR of this thing?

2008-01-27, 10:25 AM
We had an encounter in yesterday's session with a really heavily augmented monster. For those of you who are good at monster advancement, what would you say the thing's CR is?

The basic monster was a grick (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/grick.htm). However, it had the following changes:

HP was increased from 9 to somewhere between 24-30.
Attack bonus was increased from +3/+3/+3/+3/-2 to +7/+7/+7/+7/+2.
Base damage was unchanged, but it did an extra 1d6 cold damage on each hit.
Cold damage dealt to the grick healed it instead of harming it.
Damage reduction was the same - 10/magic.

The party was 5 level 2 characters, but a fast-flowing river divided the party, so only 3 of the characters were actually able to fight. Fortunately, one of the PCs had a magic weapon.

- Saph

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-27, 10:36 AM
It is about 4 extra HD which means an increase from CR 3 to CR 4.

Sounds like it got a cold template and perhaps fire vulnerability (?) and that could perhaps increase the CR one step further.

That and the circumstances of the encounter might make it EL 5.

If the size also increased it would make it CR 5 without accounting for the Cold template and possibly CR 6 with.

2008-01-27, 10:46 AM
Size wasn't increased - it was Medium. Didn't have fire vulnerability (at least, I'm pretty sure it didn't).

CR 5, then, maybe?

- Saph

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-27, 10:49 AM
CR 5, yes. Not a walkover for a party of 5 level 2 characters.

I would not mind a description of the battle if it is not too much trouble. :smallsmile:

2008-01-27, 10:54 AM
I'm sure none of us would - who doesn't love a good story? :smallsmile:

2008-01-27, 11:25 AM
Well, since you asked so nicely. :smalltongue:

5-person party; high elf wizard, human swordsage, human cleric, human scout/ranger, and human warblade (me). All are level 2, and under-equipped except for a +1 scythe we took off a 4th-level crusader who tried to kill us last session. Several PCs are slightly wounded, and the casters are down a spell or two.

We enter an underground room with a 10-foot wide, freezing cold, fast-flowing river blocking the way to the exit on the other side. I hop across effortlessly (having 5 ranks in Jump is surprisingly useful). We set up a safety line with rope, and the swordsage and then the wizard follow me. The wizard's carrying the party light source, and as he lands on the other side he illuminates the grick, which was in the shadows in the exit on the other side. It's 15 feet away. Roll initiative.

Round 1: We win initiative. The wizard gets a 25+ on his knowledge check and starts giving a dissertation about gricks. I step up and ready a Crusader's Strike for if the grick comes into range. The swordsage steps next to me and readies an attack of his own. When the grick's turn comes around, it readies an attack too.

(Note: I've played enough D&D to know not to run into melee against anything with lots of natural weapons. If I'd charged the grick it would have full attacked me on its turn. Just as well I didn't.)

Round 2: We ready attacks again. The grick readies an attack again. We're still staring at each other from 10 feet away.
Round 3: We ready attacks again. The grick readies an attack again.
Round 4: I ready an attack again. The swordsage gets bored and throws a spear at the grick. He misses. The grick backs off 5 feet and readies. Meanwhile, behind us, the cleric is trying to cross the river in her heavy armour and failing, and the scout/ranger is trying to get a clear shot and failing (he's out of range for skirmish).
Round 5: The swordsage chucks another spear. It bounces off the grick's damage reduction. The irritated grick moves up, attacks him, and misses. I Crusader's Strike it with my readied action, using the magic scythe. I hit for minimum damage and heal myself up to full HP.
Round 6: I take a swift action to recover maneuvers and attack, hitting the grick again for 10 points or so. The swordsage uses Burning Blade and hits it as well, doing some fire damage. The wizard takes a swipe with a sword and does nothing.
The grick full attacks me, hitting with two tentacles, doing extra cold damage on each hit, for about 17 damage.

(Note: Our DM has a bad case of wanting fights to always be as lethal as possible. In this case I just know that he gave the grick a template and some extra HP in the middle of the fight because he didn't think it was doing well enough.)

Round 7: Since I have a d12 hit die, I'm still up. I Crusader's Strike the grick again, dealing lots more damage and healing myself. The grick's still up. I'm thinking about tumbling away, but then someone else will just get full attacked instead. The swordsage uses Shadow Blade Technique, hits the grick with cold damage, and heals it. The wizard uses Ray of Enfeeblement and drains the grick's strength by 5 points.
The grick full attacks me again for another 15 damage.
Round 8: I take a swift action to recover maneuvers, hit the grick again, and it dies.

With the battle won, we were able to turn back and help the cleric and scout across the river. The party was actually in pretty good shape, since I was the only one who'd taken damage. The session ended there and next week we'll be going further into the dungeon.

I think a normal level 2 party would have been wiped out, but warblades are very good at low levels. Having Crusader's Strike means I can keep on healing myself in battles throughout the day. I was fairly lucky with my attacks, though - if both Crusader's Strikes hadn't hit I would have gone down, the party would have had no way to hurt the thing, and everyone could easily have been wiped out.

On the downside, our DM now keeps complaining about how overpowered Tome of Battle is in general and how overpowered my warblade is in particular. Honestly . . .

- Saph

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-27, 11:50 AM
Well, since you asked so nicely. :smalltongue:

Thank you, I will of course be expecting regular updates now. :smallwink:

On the downside, our DM now keeps complaining about how overpowered Tome of Battle is in general and how overpowered my warblade is in particular. Honestly . . .

I think he played the overplayed the Grick's tactical abilities a bit in round 4. Lashing out would be the natural thing to do if you have tentacles for brains....

He was right about you ruling that encounter though. I think you can expect some serious challenges in the future. :smalltongue:

2008-01-27, 11:56 AM
He was right about you ruling that encounter though. I think you can expect some serious challenges in the future. :smalltongue:

Well, the encounter before that, the previous day, was 8 Grimlocks (each CR 1) and a spellcaster capable of using 2nd-level spells. So the grick was probably the less dangerous fight of the two. :smalltongue:

We play fairly high-lethality games - our previous campaign averaged about 1 PC death per session over 30ish sessions. I kind of like the challenge, though.

- Saph

2008-01-27, 12:14 PM
I am no expert but the grick started with a cr of 3. Sounds like it has some levels in fighter maybe, as size didn't increase. I would guess 4 levels... but lets assume 3 for right now (unlucky fighter level mind you).

The cold thing is some kind of augmented cold subtype (or feat + cold subtype... it could be a barbarian with frozen berserker for that matter). The subtype may be a +1 I am not sure... if it is without a feat I would put that special cold healing as a cr +1.

Which would make the cr 6-7 it sounds like.