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Stupendous_Man
2008-10-23, 09:09 AM
Last session I was in, out group (level 8, advanced to level 9 after) fought a high level cleric (exact level unknown, estimated at level 12 or higher).

We were losing the battle, but winning the war, so the cleric decided to pull out.

Of course, we would have preferred to win the battle and the war, so I'm asking for advice on how to handle clericzillas.

Our party consists of a Beguiler (played by a newbie), a Dervish (played by a newbie), a Druid (played by a newbie), a Rogue, a Conjurer Wizard (played by a newbie), a fighting oriented Cleric/Warpriest (I warned against it), and a Bard (me, Inspire Courage +4, many skills, Snowflake Wardance, whip disarm)

So far, the best idea I can come up with is to Silence their general area and cast Enervation on them a lot, coupled with many Dispel Magics. The Druid and her animal companion can keep the cleric occupied through Entangle and combat.

Any ideas?

Oslecamo
2008-10-23, 09:20 AM
Wizard spam enervation and other no save spells. beware of death ward however wich makes enervaion useless.

Dispelling will be hard since he's higher lv than you.

Let the druid swarm him with summons.

Dervish and rogue try to flank him for some nasty damage, make sure the wizard and druid buffed them with everything possible.

Bard sing to help companions and shoot debuffs.

Beguiller...Buff party with invisibility, don't bother with spells that demand saves.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-23, 09:21 AM
Using Silence probably won't be that useful due to how it could hinder your own party. If the Druid uses Wildshape, the tactics you suggested should work well (especially if you can Maximise and/or Empower the Enervation spells). Don't forget that Beguillers can use Haste. There is a level 3 Reflex Save-or-Die called Bands of Steel which is Conjuration. the target is either Helpless or Entangled after getting hit with it depending on their save.

Shishnarfne
2008-10-23, 09:26 AM
I'm always partial to targeting a class's bad save. For clerics, that's reflex... I suggest Grease: the rogue will love Sneak Attacks.

Also, even if you won't get most of his buffs with dispel magic, if he relies heavily on having them, one targeted dispel should knock out some of them...

One effective but infrequently utilized anti-caster tactic (largely because it gives people ideas) is to have one character with a ranged weapon ready actions to attack the caster "if he starts casting a spell". The concentration DC is based on the damage dealt, so if you manage it properly (rogue within 30 ft. while cleric is standing on the grease pit), he probably won't be able to make it. If you make a habit of this, expect your DM to use it on you.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-23, 09:26 AM
In general? Dispels(though not against this one, he's too high), Touch Attacks(even the Orb line, his HP will be low due to MAD), and action-spamming(he's one character and you're 7, make that work). Target Reflex saves, use no-saves, and he'll go down.

This one specifically? Have everyone Summon first round while you buff. Put a massive wall of flesh between you and him. Then, while he's dealing with the summons, toss out SoL spells, Illusions of summoned monsters, and spam direct damage. He'll die eventually. If you have Silence and/or Dimension Lock, drop them on him first round, to prevent his buffs and escape. Use the area versions so there's no save.

goram.browncoat
2008-10-23, 09:38 AM
Sleight of hand his holy sombol!

If its a melee cleric maybe try to disarm/sunder his weapon. your bardic inspire courage should go a long way in making up for the extra levels on the cleric.

Dispel magic can definatly be annoying for clerics, though might not be very effective if he is much higher level than you guys. Might be better off to just spam him with no save spells such as enervation and/or the various orb of x's.

Maybe the druid could give grappling a go. At level 8 he/she can wildshape to a large creature, so there should be a decent grapple form somewhere (polar bear just fits in at 8HD i think and will probably have a very respectable grapple mod and the improved grab ability). Dont forget that the animal companion can jump on the dogpile to help out (forcing the cleric to make 2 grapple checks to escape, iirc). This only works if the cleric hasnt got freedom of movement action going on though.

Also, as has been said, abuse the reflex save with save-or-suck spells.

Keld Denar
2008-10-23, 09:40 AM
Depending on how 'Zilla he is, Enervation probably won't work. Neither will Grease, if he's got FoM running. My suggestion, find a way to jack up your CL. The easiest way that I can think of is the bard spell Hymn of Praise. This'll get the wizards Dispel check up to +10 (the cap) which means if the cleric is level 12, barring any CL cheeze on his end, means you have to roll a 13 or higher to get a each buff. That's not too bad of odds. Don't beguilers get Dispel Magic as well? 2 Dispel Magics in the opening round of combat with all of the other characters readying actions to disrupt spellcasting in case he's got a backup Divine Powah in store. If you can manage to drop the Divine Powah and any FoM the cleric is packin, the easiest way to beat him then is for your warpriest battlecleric to grapple him. If your bard can nab his weapon, the cleric won't get an AoO (unless he has IUS) and he can grab him. With the warpriest's higher BAB and str (provided he's hulked up with Divine Powah), he should be able to hold the cleric pretty still while the rogue turns his kidneys into swiss cheese.

Suprisingly, this is a case when direct damage spells are pretty decent. Nothing like an orb to the face to screw up your casting. The DC just gets way too high to even have a chance to make it.

kladams707
2008-10-23, 09:50 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but what is FoM?

hamishspence
2008-10-23, 09:53 AM
Freedom of Movement.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-23, 09:54 AM
Freedom of Movement. It defeats about half the disabling tactics normally used.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-23, 09:57 AM
It's too bad you don't have a spellthief with the Steal Spell Effect ability. All you'd have to do is shank him and rip off his FoM and/or Righteous Might.

Might be worthwhile to hire one, though.

Saph
2008-10-23, 09:59 AM
spellthief

You know, as soon as I saw your name as the last poster in the thread, I knew this was what you were going to say before even looking. :P

- Saph

Fax Celestis
2008-10-23, 10:05 AM
You know, as soon as I saw your name as the last poster in the thread, I knew this was what you were going to say before even looking. :P

- Saph

Oh god. I'm predictable.

Hal
2008-10-23, 10:53 AM
I forget the name of the spell, but either your Beguiler (through his class feature for learning new spells) or your Wizard should be able to cast a 3rd level ray spell (no Save, no SR) that limits the target to one action each round (move or standard, no full-rounds). It's in the Spell Compendium.

The worst thing you can lose in combat is actions (your most precious commodity).

Eldariel
2008-10-23, 10:56 AM
Get a scroll of Anti-Magic field and let your melee subdue him. Oh, and hope he doesn't have Contingency for that. Get two-three scrolls just in case. After that, the Dervish just slices him up while others prevent him from moving. Probably tripping him with your highest Str character (most likely Druid's AC) would be a prudent decision. Then again, counting the AC, there're 8 of you so you could just walk into a circle around him and beat him up.

Other than that? Get a scroll of Disjunction. Although if that's outside your "gentleman's agreement", you're fairly boned. Massive Dispel Magic-attempts could work, except if it's a real Clericzilla, it'll have used Persistent Magic with Beads of Prayer, meaning he'll have CL 16-17 buffs, all but impossible for you to dispel. If you want to use offensive magic on it, touch spells and Reflex-save targeting magic have the best chance of working. Bands of Steel, Prismatic Ray and Enervation are very decent alternatives. Will- and Fort-save spells are probably worthless.

Attempting something like Solid Fog+Cloudkill could also be worthwhile, just incase he doesn't have Teleport/Dimension Door prepared.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-23, 10:56 AM
I forget the name of the spell, but either your Beguiler (through his class feature for learning new spells) or your Wizard should be able to cast a 3rd level ray spell (no Save, no SR) that limits the target to one action each round (move or standard, no full-rounds). It's in the Spell Compendium.

The worst thing you can lose in combat is actions (your most precious commodity).Ray of Dizziness. Turn Clericzilla into a well-armored Zombie, and then see how dangerous he is. I generally ignore that spell on the basis of 'too good', but level 12 optimized v. a party of noobs makes it perfectly reasonable to use. It's even a Bard spell if you want to Wand it.

Hal
2008-10-23, 11:05 AM
Ray of Dizziness. Turn Clericzilla into a well-armored Zombie, and then see how dangerous he is. I generally ignore that spell on the basis of 'too good', but level 12 optimized v. a party of noobs makes it perfectly reasonable to use. It's even a Bard spell if you want to Wand it.

It's just one of those spells that means you can't put all your bad guy eggs in one basket (so to speak). Against a single opponent, yes, this spell will end an encounter very quickly. If clericzilla has mooks, especially if any of them can remove negative buffs, then it's not as useful.

Keld Denar
2008-10-23, 11:28 AM
Ray of Exhaustion would work pretty well. It does allow a fort save (cleric's 2nd best save, which should be really high) but there IS a partial effect, which is to fatigue the target. That part has no save. If you follow up with a 2nd Ray of Exhaustion after he's already fatigued, he automaticlaly becomes exhausted. Make a scroll of it with the wizard, and have the Bard or Beguiler (or better yet, both) UMD it, and nail him with that. Same effect as slow, with a built in -6 str/dex (essentially negates his bonus str from Divine Powah AND tanks his AC/reflex). 3 blasts coming in will do a dandy to nerf the cleric, since he won't be able to charge or make full attacks. That leaves him with one big attack per round IF you just stand around. Since he's exhausted, you could dance around out of his reach and plink him with ranged attacks. There is no way the clericzilla can cure the fatigue that doesn't involve 3 straight rounds of casting a Lesser Restoration (provided he doesn't have Heal available). A good shot with a Ray of Enfeeblement or Clumsiness (or both) will go a lot further to limiting his mobility (if he's in full plate, you might be able to drop his str below his encumbrance threshhold, which would root him to the ground!). After that, grapple, ranged attack, thumb your nose, etc, to taste, because he's pretty well boned.

Darrin
2008-10-23, 11:45 AM
Any ideas?

Does the Cleric have Freedom of Movement active? If not, then just grapple him. Hit him with the Mule Train of Death.

Get about 80 gold, and go buy yourself 10 mules. Train them (or pay for training) so they know how to grapple as a special attack (takes 1 trick, and he's humanoid, so no worries there). Mules are large creatures with a +9 grapple check. Even if he gets out of the grapple... he can't see anything because he's surrounded by 10 stubborn mules.

Keld Denar
2008-10-23, 11:53 AM
Does the Cleric have Freedom of Movement active? If not, then just grapple him. Hit him with the Mule Train of Death.

Get about 80 gold, and go buy yourself 10 mules. Train them (or pay for training) so they know how to grapple as a special attack (takes 1 trick, and he's humanoid, so no worries there). Mules are large creatures with a +9 grapple check. Even if he gets out of the grapple... he can't see anything because he's surrounded by 10 stubborn mules.

God, the OP only wanted help beating a cleric! You didn't have to go about being an "ass" about it!

Get it? Ass? Get it? Funny stuff!

I'll be here all day...

Person_Man
2008-10-23, 12:21 PM
Gangbang.

Every round the Druid and Conjurer and Cleric should cast a Summon, surrounding him from every side and in his square, filling them up as much as possible (www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/movementPositionAndDistance.htm). (A Tiny creature typically occupies a space only 2 feet across, so four can fit into a single square. Twenty-five Diminutive creatures or 100 Fine creatures can fit into a single square.) You should be able to collectively Summon 3d4+3 minions per round. (Remember, summoned creatures can attack the round they're summoned). Look for animals/monsters that have special effects with their attacks, like poison. Snakes are an excellent choice for the Druid, for example. Unless the BBEG has Tumble, any movement beyond a 5 ft step will provoke a ton of AoO. Even if he doesn't, he should be taking dozens of attacks each round. Even if only 5% of them hit (crits), he'll still end up taking damage every round. And even if he makes his Save vs. Whatever most of the time, statistically it's likely he'll fail some of them (1 always fails).

The Bard should Inspire Courage and then ready an action (www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/initiativeActions.html) to Counter Spell with Dispel Magic every round. The Beguiler should cast Dispel Magic on the BBEG the first round or two (to clear out any pre-existing buffs), and then ready an action to counter spell with Dispel Magic every round thereafter. The Rogue and Dervish should ready actions with ranged weapons to disrupt his spell if he casts. All four PCs should basically be playing prevent defense every round, even if they end up just standing there and doing nothing when the BBEG doesn't cast. Let the summoned minions wear him down and kill him. As long as the BBEG can't cast, he can't escape, or seriously screw you with his high level spells.

The wrinkle in this strategy is that if he has a Protection from Good/Evil cast on him, you're summoned minions can't attack him. If that's the case, then have the Beguiler and Bard spam Dispel Magics on him until it's gone.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-23, 12:25 PM
Going with what Person_Man said above: have the beguiler drop a legion of sentinels right on top of him for more provoking goodness.

monty
2008-10-23, 12:54 PM
Since he probably dumped Dex, empowered Shivering Touch. Average of about 16 Dex damage, followed by a coup de grace in the next round. That's really cheesy, though, so expect some DM anger.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-23, 01:31 PM
None of these spells have saves:
Ray of Clumsines: Dex penalty.

Ray of dizziness: standard action or move action each round

Ray of entropy: -6 to physical stats.

Ray of light: blinded 1d6 rounds
Ray of stupidity; Int damage.

Freezing Fog: Like Solid fog but damage too.

Blind Spittle: Druid's no save but be blind spell.

Curse of Impending blades: AC -2. Kinda nifty

Has a save:
Heart Ripper: Save or die, if HD higher than caster stun 1d4 rounds. But come on, you get his heart. Totally can be Link after he gets a Heart (bum bum baaaa).

Bloodstar: Each time takes damage, he must make save or lose 1 con.

Avasculate: save and not be stunned: no matter what reduced to 1/2 current hps.

Prismatic Ray? Worked for the Order vs. the Demon.

Triaxx
2008-10-23, 05:37 PM
Scrolls of Finger of Death are always fun. Even if he makes the save, he's hard pressed to survive the damage from three of them. Expensive, but effective.

Silence is okay, but a Clericzilla without Silent Spell isn't much of a Clericzilla to begin with. Now, Sculpt Spell, and four fighters with reach weapons and a corner are very useful. He's stuck in a ten-foot silent box and even with Silent Spell he's provoking at least two AoO's.

Me? I'd show the Druid Natural Spell, and open his mind to the possibilities. Clericzilla vs. Druidzilla = Epic Showdown.

Stupendous_Man
2008-10-23, 05:40 PM
Thanks guys.

The wizard will be picking up some Orb spells. (Perhaps Orb of Force)

Will look into Bands of Steel.

I'll tell him to scribe a few scrolls of Dispel to keep handy if we meet the cleric again.

I (the bard) would like to try and disarm the cleric of material components for spells with the whip. Is this doable by the rules? I know you can disarm weapons, and would assume the process is the same for disarming objects held.




Me? I'd show the Druid Natural Spell, and open his mind to the possibilities. Clericzilla vs. Druidzilla = Epic Showdown.
The druid has natural spell. It's just a matter of convincing her to put herself and her companion into danger.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-23, 06:16 PM
I (the bard) would like to try and disarm the cleric of material components for spells with the whip. Is this doable by the rules? I know you can disarm weapons, and would assume the process is the same for disarming objects held.

Yes, page 155, and even if fail attempt he can't get a counter disarm attempt.

He gets a -4 to his check as it isn't a melee weapon. If a spell component is loosely secured (undefined so ask DM if it looks so) you get a +4 bonus.

Now if he has some how extra secured it you have to pin him (ring and bracelets are examples). Seeing as a pouch is less secure than a ring; I don't think that rule comes into play.

Tokiko Mima
2008-10-23, 06:20 PM
The wizard will be picking up some Orb spells. (Perhaps Orb of Force)

Good idea. See if the wizard is willing to take Sudden Maximize and Sudden Maximize (Complete Arcane) as feats and use them with the Orb spells to increase damage to intimidating levels. Not the greatest plan overall, but it works well for newbies that want to contribute a lot once or twice a game day.

If you really want to do the newbie Conjurer a favor, point out the Master Specialist PrC, which is awesome for Conjurers or the Abrupt Jaunt replacement feature from PHBII.

Stupendous_Man
2008-10-23, 07:22 PM
The conjurer is already a MS, with a splash of Alienist (slightly homebrewed version).

As far as disarming goes, can you disarm the components of someone casting a quickened spell?

If not, I think it'll be up to me and the rogue to steal/disarm Clericzilla blind, as disarming a spell component pouch is easy, and sleight of handing it away seems to only require a dc 20 check.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-23, 08:26 PM
The conjurer is already a MS, with a splash of Alienist (slightly homebrewed version).

As far as disarming goes, can you disarm the components of someone casting a quickened spell?

If not, I think it'll be up to me and the rogue to steal/disarm Clericzilla blind, as disarming a spell component pouch is easy, and sleight of handing it away seems to only require a dc 20 check.

Standard action to slieght of hand (free action is -20 to check).
To disarm a quickened action (quicken doesn't provoke), you must ready an action, yes, but you'd need spell craft wouldn't you?

Stupendous_Man
2008-10-23, 08:49 PM
I figure that seeing someone reach for their spell component pouch needs no spellcraft check :smalltongue:

Triaxx
2008-10-24, 11:21 AM
Unless he hides it behind the shield he should be carrying. The animated Tower Shield.


The druid has natural spell. It's just a matter of convincing her to put herself and her companion into danger.

Introduce her to the glories of Stoneskin.