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    kpenguin's Avatar

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    Default Dragon vs. Wizard

    Since it is obvious how a lvl 20 wizard could beat a CR 20 dragon from the "Wizard vs. Dragon" thread, how could you make/play a dragon in order to beat a wizard.

    The Rules:
    1) Base creature must be one of the "true dragons"
    2) Creature gets equipment equal to that of an NPC of 20th level (220,000 gp)
    3) You may use any class or template, but you must reference the splat book it's from if its noncore
    4) No cheese
    5) Dragon's total CR must be equal to 20
    6) Assuming a lvl 20 wizard with elite array stats and equipment equal to a lvl 20 PC
    Last edited by kpenguin; 2007-04-27 at 12:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Feat : Spellcasting Harrier (Draconomicon)
    Tactics : Sneak up on wizard

    Sneak up within 200 feet. Single move action later you're next to him.Sure, the wizard can cheese it all he wants and use Foresight so you don't get a surprise round, but you can still win initiative (specially if you're preparing for this). Get next to the wizard, and when he tries to cast defensively, oh no! He's got a massive penalty to his concentration check! Then you hit him, he fails to cast the spell, and you full attack.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    What if the wizard instead Withdraws and casts Quickened Teleport? Granted they might not, but it's a reasonable precaution.

    EDIT: And they only need to withdraw because you might have an AMF in effect. Quickened spells don't provoke, even with Spellcasting Harrier.
    Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 2007-04-26 at 12:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    What if the wizard instead Withdraws and casts Quickened Teleport? Granted they might not, but it's a reasonable precaution.
    Or create forcecages when you get close to the dragon's lair. Quicken silenced dimension door into one when you get in trouble, then do whatever.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Guys, guys, the point is to figure out how to make it so a dragon beats a wizard, not the other way around.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Well, if you can sneak into 400 feet of the wizard, you could use Dire Charge. Might that be enough to kill off the wizard in a single round? For a Wyrm white dragon with power attack and magic items?

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    May not work, but I'd make a juevenile red dragon Ranger5/Occult slayer5 (CR20) using her wealth by level for disguise stuff to become a stealthy mage serial killer. Feats including -- but not limited to -- Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Concealment and Protection, and this Spell Harrier.

    Perhaps swapping out some Ranger levels for Rogue or Swordsage?
    Last edited by Diggorian; 2007-04-26 at 01:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    I'd suggest having the Dragon wear or use Antimagic Field, since very few PC's will be able to stand up to a dragon in one on one direct combat. (Especially if the dragon can Full Attack)

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
    What if the wizard instead Withdraws and casts Quickened Teleport? Granted they might not, but it's a reasonable precaution.

    EDIT: And they only need to withdraw because you might have an AMF in effect. Quickened spells don't provoke, even with Spellcasting Harrier.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Withdrawing from melee combat is a full-round action. When you withdraw, you can move up to double your speed. The square you start out in is not considered threatened by any opponent you can see, and therefore visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against you when you move from that square.
    If the dragon has 10 foot reach, he still gets an attack of opportunity, which he can Snatch you with, since if he has 10 foot reach, he's Huge and qualifies for Snatch and Improved Snatch. And if he is old enough to take Spellcasting Harrier, an Epic feat, he's certainly old enough to be Huge. Your ring of freedom of movement won't help you either if he's done his homework and cast antimagic field.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Ancient Brass Dragon - CR 20, sorcerer caster level 15th.

    Key Feats: Snatch, Improved Snatch (Draconomicon), Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Divine), Combat Reflexes, Spellcasting Harrier (Epic SRD or Draconomicon)

    Key Spells: contingency, antimagic field, teleport

    Key equipment: contingency focus (1,500 gp)

    Step 1: Cast contingency - antimagic field (your caster level is 19th thanks to Practiced Spellcaster) triggered the instant a tasty wizard is within 10 feet of you

    Step 2: Teleport next to your intended meal

    Step 3: Eat

    Step 4: Collect 760,000 gp of delicious PC wealth by level allocation

    It's not failure proof, but there's quite a bit of room left to go wild. He is a pretty competent sorcerer in his own right, and he has a few epic feats left to play with. I also spent next to no money, and only used up three of his spells known (and seriously, he should probably just know limited wish instead of contingency).
    Last edited by deadseashoals; 2007-04-26 at 02:27 AM. Reason: Forgot to cite the source for Practiced Spellcaster.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Easy.

    Give the dragon levels in wizard.



    Okay, okay, seriously... I think it really depends. Are dragons:

    a) Big nasty lizards who sit in gold-filled caves waiting for knights in shining armor to come charging up to their door? ("Sweet! Delivery!")

    b) Lone schemers, perhaps with some minions or mercenaries or monsters (unwitting, perhaps allowed to "settle" in the lower levels of the dragon lair to act as guards), who are proactive yet still mostly reliant on themselves or, in exceptional occasions, other dragons?

    c) Actually worth every point of Int/Wis/Cha that they get thrown PLUS benefiting from their massive wealth and long lifespan, and therefore (with the proper motivation, which Option A & B lack) likely to be heavily involved with the local kingdom/trade factors/assassins guild/church that the dragon is not merely a dragon but head of/a major player in an entire goddamn army who can oppose the character but may very well hunt them for quite a long time afterwards if their dragon overlord is killed.

    How the dragon deals with a wizard depends quite heavily on what you consider to be "dragon-like."
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    What we consider to be dragon-like for the purposes of this discussion is a statblock in the Monster Manual. Naturally, dragons can vary from campaign to campaign (and should) - and some of those dragons will be formidable enough that a wizard won't pop in and kill them for money in a pinch. It doesn't really matter in basic RAW-governed debates, though.
    Last edited by Jade_Tarem; 2007-04-26 at 02:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    You don't need that much more than Antimagic Field. A dragon with an AMF is well-nigh untouchable. Of course, Dragon With An AMF is essentially abusive. And... does a dragon really want to spend all day, every day, in an AMF? Does every dragon wants to do this? If not, a wizard can Dominate two or three CR 20 dragons (or more if he wants to find the time) and get them to kill the AMF Dragon for him, so the dragon should be prepared to deal with that, I suppose.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    You probably need to add scrying of some kind (to observe the target for the teleport) and want to use Greater Teleport, because a single scroll removes the sizeable 24% chance of going horribly off target.

    I'd also suggest thwarting Greater Anticipate Teleportation by coming in a little more than 100 feet off, with a Time Stop so you can get close enough for your AMF to work before they move. Practiced Spellcaster lets you cast any sorcerer or cleric spell in the from a scroll with no check, exploit it.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    I ask partially for the purpose of knowing whether the Leadership feat is thematically available or not.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Leadership orta be banned outright. Especially for dragons, who could pick up an epic caster cohort, RAW.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Hehehe... in principle I agree, but for the purposes of this... it seems entirely appropriate.

    I mean, you're a very smart/charismatic/pragmatic creature with an incredible lifespan. Are you going to risk your own hide against every would-be dragonslayer who comes a-knockin'? Or are you going to let your wrecking crew deal with the problem?

    (It's a shame, 'cause I like the idea of the leadership feat, but it rapidly gets out of control.

    "What? The party is now double its size? And you have hundreds of redshirts, too?")
    Last edited by Vyker; 2007-04-26 at 02:59 AM.
    "Invenium viam aut faciam -- I will either find a way, or I shall make one."

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Leadership is lame, yeah. If you want someone to play two characters, let them play two characters. As a feat, it doesn't work well.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    Since it is obvious how a lvl 20 wizard could beat a CR 20 dragon from the "Wizard vs. Dragon" thread, how could you make/play a dragon in order to beat a wizard.

    The Rules:
    1) Base creature must be one of the "true dragons"
    2) Creature gets equipment equal to that of an NPC of 20th level (220,000 gp)
    3) You may use any class or template, but you must reference the splat book it's from if its noncore
    4) No cheese
    For the purposes of this thread:

    I allow the variant Personal Mindblank spell based on psionics and original spell research costs is that an option for this thread?

    For sorcerers I allow them to buy scrolls of standard spells at standard spell scroll costs with the standard feat modifier adjusting the spell level instead of requiring the sorcerer to have blow a feat to enhance a few or a handful of spells which also addresses a lot of meta concerns and spellcasting.

    Mechanically MotAO and GMoW both use the spell pool. I allow sorcerers to take the Spell Pool feat with MotAO usage limitations. In this scenario the dragon sorcerer would get up to 9 spell levels of arcane spells a day using the spell pool feat.

    I don't consider taking a few crafting feats and getting more for your 220,000 gold pieces cheese and figuring the HD of the Wyrm it would really be neglible in any event at mid level.

    What are your thoughts?

    P.S. I like the Leadership feat option for a BBEG because it would give the dragon access to a information/spy network along with intermediaries and underlings for targets like this wizard.

    Would the Leadership Feat be an option without a Cohort which could be so easily abused for the purposes of this thread?

    Since you don't get the leadership feat for the dragon in this thread and this dragon really wants to kill the wizard several or more limited wishes to get gold to fund information gathering and professional divination spellcasting by other casters would be in order and not be cheese IMO with the experience pool availabe to the dragon to draw on in return for the experience and probable treasure he would gain in return for defeating the wizard.

    A limited wish could be used to discover if the the wizard is normally mindblanked.

    If the wizard is mindblanked and thereby protected from most divinations. Funding a few Communes is in order to determine where his lair/base of operations is and determining is he has more than one lair. Does he use body doubles or substitues to throw off attackers? Does the wizard normally use the Contingency spell? If yes what does he normally use as his back up emergency spell? Does the wizard have an emergency clone? Does the wizard maintain more than one spare emergency clones? Where is it hidden? Who are his closest friends, family and enemies?

    Mindblank doesn't protect you from nonmagical surveillance like the local thieve's guilds, other independent operators and neighbors.

    One information ruse in a campaign was having charismatic people considering moving into the neighborhood with "concerns' regarding the safety of their children and stories regarding that/those dangerous adventurer(s) and simply inquiring around the neighborhoodand renting a property or taking a room at the inn or actually going through the process of purchasing a nearby property.

    The rumor mongering ruse turning public sentiment against them in a city campaign or the areas where he or she conducts most of their business.

    The impersonation campaign impersonating enemies and the PCs doing dastardly deeds and witnessed by locals in town.

    All through intermediaries with the Master Mind cloaked from divinations.

    _________________________________________


    Before I call it a night and come back to this thread later today or tomorrow.

    Because the dragon is really penalized by the CR factor and augmenting normal sorcerer spell casting level ability in most situations with a quick look at the monster manual.

    One potentailly good dragon candiate might be the CR20 Brass Wyrm with CL15 from the Draconomicon and the Monster Manual. Haven't looked at the Draconomicon or other source books yet.

    Just using the kobold dragon ritual would get you level 8 spells and the Timestop monster killer spell could always be purchased for use with a scroll or a limited usage prorated magical item similar to permanent Gates and the major cost reduction limiting usage to 1/10 days vice unlimited daily usage.

    If you really wanted level 9 spellcasting you could go Ur-Lord or Priest or gestalt and Sublime Bard might be a possibility.

    A level 20 wizard is a very capable and very dangerous character not someone you would want for an enemy bearing a grudge so you would want to take him out the first time you attack him.

    While in theory you could just reverse and use the tried and true tactics people really seemed to like in the wizard versus dragon sorcerer thread:

    Just teleporting inside his lair Timestopped and casting a bunch of area effect spells on the unprotected defenseless sleeping wizard monster at home unprotected in his lair most people would have no problems with the wizard having defenses and protections because he is a genius wizard at home protected in his lair so a little caution might be in order.

    I'm still in the planning stages myself considering options and planting a few seeds for others like an arcane think tank.

    If the wizard's lair isn't warded via dimensional travel maybe teleporting in with a contingency anti magic shell to activate on arrival a few hours after he normally goes to sleep wouldn't be a bad option negating his spells and just killing him.

    So several questions:

    Mechanically how does that scenario play out in this campaign for this thread if the wizard had a contingency teleport spell cast that if someone teleports into his presence he would be teleported to safety when the arriving caster has a contingency antimagic shell spell set to go off on arrival.

    What if the arriving dragon sorcerer had a Quickened Anti-Magic Shell set into the Contingency (via a Rod) would his spell take effect first negating the wizard's contingency and the majority of his magical protections?

    If the wizard was hidden inside a dimensional space like the Rope Trick or Mord's Mansion what effect would the Anti-Magic Shell have on those spells in this game?

    __________________________________________________ _________________

    There is the rather INSIDIOUS method of using Trap the Soul by tricking the wizard into touching a Trigger Object option since it has No Will Save and most wizard PCs don't prepare contingencies against it in dailly routine which could always be purchased as a scroll as a last resort.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    Since a level 20 wizard is a legendary and usually reknowned figure you could do simple things like cast limited wish to make gold pieces to pay spies to provide you information regarding said wizard particularly who his enemies are along with who his friends are and who their enemies are.

    34HD is 12 general feats at 1,3, 6...........

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    A +0 Soul Locked template from Heroes of Horror for the dragon that will not die even after getting toasted with Saph's Permanent Emanation Feat Anti-Magic for a dragon with a Chaotic alignment and the Flexible Mind feat to gain the necessary spellcraft levels.
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2007-04-27 at 06:26 AM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    have him fight a great wyrm, aboce CR 20 but it'll get the job done.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    How fair fetch is it to say that a dragon could have Contingency with a circle of death that goes off when ever someone teleports into their lair? Granted this would be used only by evil dragons that do not care about there minions. If I read the spell right it kill 1d4 per caster level of creatures. This would go off before timestop, and would be a fortitude save-or-die effect. That would easily get about 12-14d4 levels worth of creatures, or an average of 24-28 levels. Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Here's a thought.

    One of the big reasons that the Wizard beats the Dragon is his extra actions, usually from some combination of Celerity and/or Time Stop.

    While a dragon shouldn't be hyper-paranoid and spend all his treasure on protecting himself, I'd think any dragon who had thought about it might well either use a Wish from its hoard or hire a wizard (or, if powerful enough, cast itself) to arrange for a Contingent Counterspell. Now that I think about it, I don't know if there is a RAW way to set up a contingent counterspell against a spell you're not the target of, but I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed - and a counterspell attempt that uses the same spell as is being cast is successful without a roll.

    That would go a long way towards leveling the playing field, I'd imagine.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    The dragon could leave some Alarm spells around, get some anticipate teleport himself, or use the oldest trick in the book: Invisibility, and some Ilusion spell to make it looks like he's sleeping in the treasure room, not at the wizard's side near the entrance. He could use these spells to anticipate if someone will ambush him that day also, including the one that doesn't let him be ambushed.

    Ya know, "just in case", being that "just in case" usually happens everyday for a dragon.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Would a Dracolich count? Those undead immunities really help against all those save-or-die/suck spells.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Are Dracolichs Undead type or templates that get smacked on, or something else? Kpenguin put his prereqs at the top.

    Really woundnt a truely random encountered Black wyrm in a field be enough? Spot distance starts at 6d6x40 ft. The highest Spot check determines who becomes aware first and the range. Odds say it's the dragon, her spot check x10 = range in feet.

    Alot depends on what she sees. An armorless fine robed human/elf on a horseback, flying, or polymorphed will evoke different reactions ofcourse. If the first two are the case, pre-emptive disintegrate is within their alignment.

    Sure a Wizard has spells to prevent even this kind of ambush, but on an individual basis many wont be ready for this.
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Vyker View Post
    Easy.

    Give the dragon levels in wizard.
    If you follow CR guidelines as written, that is actually better than you might think.

    You see, as a Dragon is not inherently Wizardly, Wizard levels technically qualify as nonassociated class levels until they exceed racial Hit Dice.

    A Very Young Silver Dragon is CR 5 and has 10 racial HD. If you add 10 Wizard levels, those 10 are nonassociated, and increase the CR by 5; additionally, you get to add the elete array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) in free of charge. Officially, a Very Young Silver Dragon has stat modifiers of: +4 Str, +4 Con, +4 Int, +4 Wis, +4 Charisma. With the Elite array, that could be, oh, Str 12 (8+4), Dex 10 (10+0), Con 18 (14+4), Int 19 (15+4), Wis 17 (13+4), Cha 16 (12+4) - and the dragon would get normal stat increases at HD 12, 16, and 20; three of them; Intelligence sounds good for this build, so that's Str 12, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 16 - and we haven't introduced Magic yet.

    So your officially CR 10 dragon is a Wiz-10 with some stat boosts and 10 racial HD. Further Wizard levels are now associated, though. Still, when he hits CR 20, he is a full-fledged Wiz-20 (and still with 10 racial HD). And two more ability boosts (HD 24 and 28; Int is good - brings it up to 24 before magic). Do note that a Venerable Elf variant with a +2 Racial bonus to Int and a base Int of 18 would only have an Int of 28 before magic. Toss in a +5 Tome and a +6 Headband of Intellect for both, and there is, at best, a save DC difference of... 2? And the Dragon has a few bonus feats to play with, better saves, better BAB, better movement, better ... well, almost everything, really, unless the non-dragon rolled really well on stats... and these competitions usually use a point buy.

    And the dragon is playing defense, in the lair. And can play a human whenever (3 times a day, for as long as desired). Basically, the Dragon can be a Wizard+.

    (A Wyrmling Bronze is also a decent choice, as is a Young, Very Young, or Juvenile White; a Very Young Red, a Young or Very Young Green, a Young, Very Young, or Wyrmling Blue, or a Young Black - but the Very Young Silver is about the best for this piece of cheddar... if you are focusing on Save DC and stats; for other choices, you will want different dragons and ages).

    The Very Young Silver actually has a level adjustment (+4), so can quite legally have a defineable XP pool. If the Young Silver forgoes a single level of Wizard, that's 33,000 loose XP to play with.

    The Dragon's actual lair is not physically accessable without going through solid rock (turned into a critter with a burrow speed, went underground until the Dragon hit bedrock, cast a Silent Stilled Disintigrate to make a 10x10 seed room; regular Disintigrate spells (after becoming a "normal" creature) to enlarge as needed; Wall of Stone to seal off the top like normal rock, and keeps the area covered with a Dimension Lock and a Permanencied Mage's Private Sanctum). The actual lair also has a few Permanencied and Heightened Symbols, set to a custom trigger activiation: As soon as ready. No more than one is offline at any given time. Half a dozen will do the job quite nicely. As the attacking Wizard, you don't know this until after you're in (pretty much can't view the area by any means).

    The Dragon maintains a "social" lair with similar defenses, minus the always-active Symbols; there are still several Permanencied Symbols about, but they have a custom trigger method that the Dragon can cause whenever (Symbols can be set to anything the caster wants, provided it is either observable or in a short list of things; a Quickened Shadow Conjouration can cause a critter of semi-arbitrary size, shape, and alignment to suddenly be inside the area of all of them, setting them off with a Swift action on the part of the dragon).

    The Dragon of course maintains a normal set of The Logic Ninja's Paranoid Wizard Defenses (Mind Blank, Well-worded Contingency, and so forth).

    Oh yeah - and so far, the above is pure Core.

    ... and going outside Core, the Wizard is going to have problems. Having 30 HD, the Dragon qualifies for Epic feats - like, oh, Spell Stowaway (Time Stop). Or maybe Permanent Emanation (Antimagic Field) (can be turned on or off as a free action). The Dragon also has the option of such things as the Celerity+Foresight combo.
    Last edited by Jack_Simth; 2007-04-26 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Stupid Math... and some non-core stuff.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    A dragon that can beat a Level 20 Wizard? No problem. You don't even need class levels.

    First, let's pick us a dragon. We need a dragon capable of casting 6th level spells. I'll pick a Very Old bronze dragon, because it has a CR of a nice round 20, and because I like bronze dragons. They're cute.

    Next step, the core Epic feat: Permanent Emanation.

    Benefit: Designate any one of your spells whose area is an emanation centered on you. This spellís effect is permanent (though you can dismiss or restart it as a free action). Effects that would normally dispel this spell instead suppress it for 2d4 rounds.
    Antimagic Field is an emanation. Pick it.

    Voila, permanent antimagic field. Every round, on its turn, the dragon dismisses the antimagic field as a free action, does whatever it wants (casts spells, uses its breath weapon), and restarts it again as another free action.

    The dragon now has near-complete immunity to magic, combined with the ability to use its own magic whenever it wants. The wizard is limited to attacking the dragon with stuff unaffected by an Antimagic Field. The dragon can attack the wizard with whatever it feels like at the time. Attacks, breath weapon, spells, Improved Snatch, crush attacks . . . the works.

    The wizard loses.

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Heck--a high-CR dragon could probably even cast AMF often enough to have it up 24/7, sans permanent emanation.

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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    A dragon that can beat a Level 20 Wizard? No problem. You don't even need class levels.

    First, let's pick us a dragon. We need a dragon capable of casting 6th level spells. I'll pick a Very Old bronze dragon, because it has a CR of a nice round 20, and because I like bronze dragons. They're cute.

    Next step, the core Epic feat: Permanent Emanation.



    Antimagic Field is an emanation. Pick it.

    Voila, permanent antimagic field. Every round, on its turn, the dragon dismisses the antimagic field as a free action, does whatever it wants (casts spells, uses its breath weapon), and restarts it again as another free action.

    The dragon now has near-complete immunity to magic, combined with the ability to use its own magic whenever it wants. The wizard is limited to attacking the dragon with stuff unaffected by an Antimagic Field. The dragon can attack the wizard with whatever it feels like at the time. Attacks, breath weapon, spells, Improved Snatch, crush attacks . . . the works.

    The wizard loses.

    - Saph
    How does he get the required 25 Spellcraft ranks? IIRC, Spellcraft is cross-class for Dragon type...
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    Default Re: Dragon vs. Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Heck--a high-CR dragon could probably even cast AMF often enough to have it up 24/7, sans permanent emanation.
    But Permanent Emanation is so much more stylish. You get to activate/deactivate it as a free action! There's no limit on free actions AFAIK, so you could switch it on and off a hundred times in a round. Keep flicking it on and off as spells go back and forth!

    Re: Spellcraft - yeah, I don't think it's a class skill for dragons, but you can just take the Skill Knowledge feat or something similar.

    - Saph

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