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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    In theory you could wipe out the whole colony with a level 8 Orcish Rogue 2/Shadow Monk 6, as long as you've rolled a 3 on Int. After Orc penalties, your Int is too low for Intellect Devourers and Elder Brains to detect your presence, so you can abuse the Cunning Action (Hide) + Skulker + Pass Without Trace combo to surprise and then basically pick off Mind Flayers and/or thralls whenever they're isolated from the main body, using your surprise round/martial arts/stunning strike. Every two hours you withdraw and take a short rest to regain ki, then do it again. You're basically Pennywise the Dancing Clown terrorizing the illithid Derry. Might take you several weeks to completely depopulate the colony but you've got plenty of time.

    From a RP angle, though, it's very implausible that an Int 1 Orc would ever actually invent such tactics, or be motivated to wipe out a mind flayer colony in the first place.
    He's an escaped subject from an Illithid bioweapons research project?
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-21 at 12:00 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    When you turn the corner, you get hit with a bunch of readied Mind Blasts from prone Mind Flayers. All you've done is chase them until the terrain favors them more than you. This plan seems like a recipe for suicide even if the mind flayers DON'T do anything tricky like envelope you or mousetrap you.
    I mean, as long as you have a decent Int save at level 20 then you're fine. A Wizard 18/Hexblade Warlock 2 should be able to handle it with ease. If you're level 20, you should have been able to find some powerful items by then, so a Staff of Power and Ring of Protection is within reason. Cast a single Mind Blank on yourself and congrats, you are now immune to the Mind Blasts cause you'll have an Int save of +14, so even if you roll a 1 you will make the save

    Ahh, but how about parties without a staff? May I introduce the Paladin with Bless. If they're a good Paladin, they will have taken 20 Charisma, and hopefully snagged Warlock or Sorcerer levels. Remain within the aura as you go around corners for a handy +5 to all saves. Now you don't need items, just Mind Blank.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by sithlordnergal View Post
    I mean, as long as you have a decent Int save at level 20 then you're fine. A Wizard 18/Hexblade Warlock 2 should be able to handle it with ease. If you're level 20, you should have been able to find some powerful items by then, so a Staff of Power and Ring of Protection is within reason. Cast a single Mind Blank on yourself and congrats, you are now immune to the Mind Blasts cause you'll have an Int save of +14, so even if you roll a 1 you will make the save

    Ahh, but how about parties without a staff? May I introduce the Paladin with Bless. If they're a good Paladin, they will have taken 20 Charisma, and hopefully snagged Warlock or Sorcerer levels. Remain within the aura as you go around corners for a handy +5 to all saves. Now you don't need items, just Mind Blank.
    That seems good for the Wizard, but other characters won't have the luxury of a +5 Int, and you only have to fail once to be stunned, regardless of Mind Blank.

    Separately though, would Mind Blank protect against the Elder Brain's mind link ability? It seems possible it would but I'm not sure.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    If our 14th level party (Paladin, Monk, EK/Wiz, Sorcerer) in Dungeon of the Mad Mage made quick work of an upstart colony of Mind Flayers (roughly a dozen Mind Flayers and an Ulitharid) and a Neothelid then I'm sure a specially prepared force could kill many times that. I (the paladin) only stayed stunned for 3 consecutive turns at the entrance, it wasn't that big a deal since my Aura of Protection still functioned.

    Granted this was a relatively small and struggling colony but our success only sets precedent for other more capable groups to do the same.

    We brought the Ulitharid head home, had it magically preserved and put it up as a centerpiece in our tavern. Durnan makes sure people never forget that we saved the city from a potential Illithid incursion and we have the proof hung up on the wall, tavern cross promotion strategy.
    Last edited by ProsecutorGodot; 2019-09-21 at 12:28 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by sithlordnergal View Post
    I mean, as long as you have a decent Int save at level 20 then you're fine.
    I was talking about the party of 11th level Repelling Blast GOOlocks, not the max-level party.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    That seems good for the Wizard, but other characters won't have the luxury of a +5 Int, and you only have to fail once to be stunned, regardless of Mind Blank.

    Separately though, would Mind Blank protect against the Elder Brain's mind link ability? It seems possible it would but I'm not sure.
    It should work, since Mind Blank prevents even Wish spells and spell effects from working. And that is why you go with a mostly Wizard team, or have everyone start as a Wizard and put 14 into your Int at the very least. The Paladin should be fine with a 16 Strength if they have a +3 weapon, which at level 20 they should. Even if they don't Mind Flayers only have a 15 AC, so you should be able to consistently hit one with +3 strength and your proficiency bonus. Just make sure you have Bless up, and bam, you can't roll below a 15.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunali View Post
    That's just bad treasure management, you don't pay the gith to raid mind flayers, you charge them for it.
    I was originally thinking to just tell them about it. Considering the hatred of mine flayer by gith, it would be enough. However, swelling them the location seems like a decent plan too.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    I was originally thinking to just tell them about it. Considering the hatred of mine flayer by gith, it would be enough. However, swelling them the location seems like a decent plan too.
    More trustworthy too! Telling them for free or paying them to raid just sounds fishy, like you're in cahoots with the squiddies to lure them into a trap (heh).
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-21 at 08:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    When you turn the corner, you get hit with a bunch of readied Mind Blasts from prone Mind Flayers. All you've done is chase them until the terrain favors them more than you. This plan seems like a recipe for suicide even if the mind flayers DON'T do anything tricky like envelope you or mousetrap you.
    Darn, I forgot warlocks know Eldritch Blast and only Eldritch Blast.

    If the mind flayers are prone,

    1. It's not for too much defense against Eldritch Blast, as it's neither disadvantage or advantage while the gnomes are in Darkness, so they have reasonable chances to hit still. Mind flayers have 15 AC while wearing a breastplate, they aren't that hard to hit by a mid level warlock.

    2. The warlocks don't need straight attacks. Nabbing them with choice Dex save cantrip or spell would still do the job if they ended up at disadvantage entirely for their Eldrtich Blast. Mind Flayers have a pitiful Dex save. Honestly, it might be even stronger this way.

    3. If our squidly friends are prone to dodge each others Mind Blasts, then a prone gnome dodges it too. Cones don't curve around the prone allies. What a waste.

    4. If the mid flayers are going to Mind Blast through their allies... then their allies are getting hit by Mind Blast too. Free damage and control for our side.

    5. Readied actions need a good trigger. If the trigger was "when I see magical darkness" then they just missed all their blasts, because the gnome can be behind cover the second the flayers see the darkness as it has a radius. If the trigger is "we see Eldritch Blasts", then the warlocks could just not use it. If it was "When anything dangerous happens to out side", the safest option, then our gnomes should probably work around this as it is the safest bet, and the one the mind flayers likely chose.

    6. Wall of Light is a 5th level spell warlocks can know. If the tunnels are still cramped, then a gnome can stand 10 or so feet back from the corner, designate that point at the corner for the wall, and then send it 60 feet down the tunnel. Since the gnomes are still behind their cover, any flayers' that are caught outside will mind blast on zero targets.

    7. Even more, prone mind flayers can get caught in a choice Evard's Black Tentacles on the Goolocks list and now will have a hard time getting out. You mention a "bunch" of readied blasts, so I assume there are a bunch in a group. This compounds the issues I said above, but additionally this is where AoE shines supreme.

    8. Even with just +1 to the save (base 10, gnomes add +2), they are making the Mind Blast save 57.75% of the time due to advantage. Resilient (Int) would make that an easy +5 to the save for a 79.75. If they put any additional points it becomes harder and harder to make the gnomes actually lose the save. For comparison, Mind Flayers themselves only make the save about 65% of the time.

    Before you even say "well how would the gnomes know the layout", warlocks could have Scrying by now. If they met anyone they know is a mind flayer or servant of one, they could scry them. If this feels like a stretch, then why does your party even know there is a colony? I guess they could have killed all of the people they met so far, but then they have no idea where it is. Suffice to say, if they know about the colony, they probably know someone IN the colony, opponent or prisoner. Once they see one target and see any other target, they "should" know the next target "first hand" to make more scrying checks. With enough scrying, and they could know large areas of the colony easily. They could do this hours before and and get a good layout of the area, and then short rest and get their slots back.

    Once they know the area, they could plan their attack more carefully, figure out choke points and so on.

    Yadda yadda yadda. I could keep going, but I won't. We could both play a hypothetical game of DnD back and forth, but the base fact of the matter is: players can be crafty. I am coming up with ideas that run on a single subclass of a single class made up entirely of the same race, and of that class all I have used so far is 1 specific cantrip, 2 invocations (repelling and Devil's Sight), and named a total of 4 spells (darkness, Wall of Light, Evard's Black Tentacles, and Scrying). I have neglected to mention any pact boons, the other of their 4 total cantrips, 10 spells known, and 5 invocations. Each one has many options they could go with. Once you add in multiclassing, different classes, different races, and so on, you open up multitudes of new tactics and ideas. This is all not even accounting for any magical items or any context in the campaign that would allow for more interesting solutions (no mind flayer as written is amphibious, so flood the place. Destroy entrance tunnels, starve them. REALLY seal the tunnels, asphyxiate them or just collapse them under rock. They have plane shift, so they probably won't be held off for long for some of these, but you can remove them from this location at least.) Even so, even the best laid plans can be ruined by random chance in D&D, an errant crit or a 1 on a save can be disastrous, but fortune could make it way easier if the dice roll badly for the other side.

    And when the original question was "hey, could a max level party do it?" then I hope by now the point is proven: Yes. They certainly can.
    Last edited by Protolisk; 2019-09-21 at 10:12 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Protolisk View Post
    Darn, I forgot warlocks know Eldritch Blast and only Eldritch Blast.

    If the mind flayers are prone,

    1. It's not for too much defense against Eldritch Blast, as it's neither disadvantage or advantage while the gnomes are in Darkness, so they have reasonable chances to hit still. Mind flayers have 15 AC while wearing a breastplate, they aren't that hard to hit by a mid level warlock.
    It still negates your advantage, so you hit 75% of the time instead of 94%, and it costs the Mind Flayers nothing (they've got readied Mind Blasts, not readied Attacks, so they might as well), so you can expect them to do it.

    2. The warlocks don't need straight attacks. Nabbing them with choice Dex save cantrip or spell would still do the job if they ended up at disadvantage entirely for their Eldrtich Blast. Mind Flayers have a pitiful Dex save. Honestly, it might be even stronger this way.
    Re-read the Prone condition. Prone does not affect Dex saves. Mind Flayers will be saving at +1, with advantage for Magic Resistance.

    3. If our squidly friends are prone to dodge each others Mind Blasts, then a prone gnome dodges it too. Cones don't curve around the prone allies. What a waste.
    It's not clear what you're trying to say here. Let's say gnome crawls around the corner, gets hit with a bunch of readied mind blasts. Assuming Int 16ish, gnomes are saving at +3 (with advantage) against DC 15, so if there's three Mind Flayers that gnome will fail about 1 save, get stunned (losing concentration on Darkness), and take about 10 HP of damage after resistance. How did going prone help the gnome, and what do you mean by "cones don't curve around the prone allies"?

    4. If the mid flayers are going to Mind Blast through their allies... then their allies are getting hit by Mind Blast too. Free damage and control for our side.
    If they've brought along a bunch of allies, then your Repelling Blast trick isn't even relevant in the first place. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming no allies.

    5. Readied actions need a good trigger. If the trigger was "when I see magical darkness" then they just missed all their blasts, because the gnome can be behind cover the second the flayers see the darkness as it has a radius. If the trigger is "we see Eldritch Blasts", then the warlocks could just not use it. If it was "When anything dangerous happens to out side", the safest option, then our gnomes should probably work around this as it is the safest bet, and the one the mind flayers likely chose.
    You don't think Mind Flayers can measure a 15' radius in their own tunnels? I do. Or the Elder Brain could just tell them, "Now!" since it knows exactly where you are at all times.

    6. Wall of Light is a 5th level spell warlocks can know. If the tunnels are still cramped, then a gnome can stand 10 or so feet back from the corner, designate that point at the corner for the wall, and then send it 60 feet down the tunnel. Since the gnomes are still behind their cover, any flayers' that are caught outside will mind blast on zero targets.

    7. Even more, prone mind flayers can get caught in a choice Evard's Black Tentacles on the Goolocks list and now will have a hard time getting out. You mention a "bunch" of readied blasts, so I assume there are a bunch in a group. This compounds the issues I said above, but additionally this is where AoE shines supreme.
    I'm assuming a small number of Mind Flayers for your benefit, because if there are thousands then your plan is obviously totally infeasible and I assume you wouldn't even propose it. I imagine you're imagining about fifty Mind Flayers or less, total. Am I right? And you said before that you're expecting to fight them in groups of 2-3, so you've got to get through 15-20 fights.

    Can you beat a group of 3 Mind Flayers with an Evard's Black Tentacles or Wall of Light? Sure, probably. Each time you cast the spell, about half of the Mind Flayers will fail their saves (+1 at advantage vs DC 17ish = 56% chance of failure), and then they'll hit you back, and you'll lose some HP and some spell slots and maybe get a PC's brain eaten. And then you burn more spell slots to keep Darkness up another 10 minutes, and then it's on to the next group of Mind Flayers, 15-20 more times, and that's if the Mind Flayers don't do anything halfway clever like cut off your retreat and envelope you from all sides (with thrall support as meat shields/distractions), or flood the tunnels and drown you.

    Before you even say "well how would the gnomes know the layout", warlocks could have Scrying by now.
    You don't even need scrying. Just suppose that one of the warlocks is a chainlock. "How would the gnomes know the layout?" is not an objection I would raise, because the answer is obvious.

    However, knowing the layout is different from knowing the disposition of enemy forces. The Mind Flayers certainly know where YOU are, and they have excellent command and communication facilities, thanks to the Elder Brain--what you need to worry about is, "If I go into THIS tunnel instead of THAT tunnel, what's going to come out of THAT tunnel and hit me from behind when I'm engaged from the front?"

    If they met anyone they know is a mind flayer or servant of one, they could scry them. If this feels like a stretch, then why does your party even know there is a colony? I guess they could have killed all of the people they met so far, but then they have no idea where it is. Suffice to say, if they know about the colony, they probably know someone IN the colony, opponent or prisoner. Once they see one target and see any other target, they "should" know the next target "first hand" to make more scrying checks. With enough scrying, and they could know large areas of the colony easily. They could do this hours before and and get a good layout of the area, and then short rest and get their slots back.

    Once they know the area, they could plan their attack more carefully, figure out choke points and so on.

    Yadda yadda yadda.
    Yadda yadda yadda. Knowing the layout is not a problem, we both know that. Relying on Repelling Blast and psychic damage resistance to stay alive is the problem--those things don't scale well enough to make it safe. Choose a different strategy.

    I could keep going, but I won't. We could both play a hypothetical game of DnD back and forth, but the base fact of the matter is: players can be crafty. I am coming up with ideas that run on a single subclass of a single class made up entirely of the same race, and of that class all I have used so far is 1 specific cantrip, 2 invocations (repelling and Devil's Sight), and named a total of 4 spells (darkness, Wall of Light, Evard's Black Tentacles, and Scrying). I have neglected to mention any pact boons, the other of their 4 total cantrips, 10 spells known, and 5 invocations. Each one has many options they could go with. Once you add in multiclassing, different classes, different races, and so on, you open up multitudes of new tactics and ideas. This is all not even accounting for any magical items or any context in the campaign that would allow for more interesting solutions (no mind flayer as written is amphibious, so flood the place. Destroy entrance tunnels, starve them. REALLY seal the tunnels, asphyxiate them or just collapse them under rock. They have plane shift, so they probably won't be held off for long for some of these, but you can remove them from this location at least.) Even so, even the best laid plans can be ruined by random chance in D&D, an errant crit or a 1 on a save can be disastrous, but fortune could make it way easier if the dice roll badly for the other side.

    And when the original question was "hey, could a max level party do it?" then I hope by now the point is proven: Yes. They certainly can.
    I agree. I'm only critiquing a specific, suboptimal strategy (Repelling Blast warlocking). I'm not saying you can't do it, I'm just saying that is a bad way to do it.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-09-21 at 01:03 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    I getcha MaxWilson, I didn't explain every little detail of my spiel, so I'll give my reasoning for what I wrote. My main point is that both the mind flayers and the players can pull out weird tricks to stop the other, so it comes down to luck, and a party of level 10s can get fairly far even with few options at their disposal. I just started from Gnome GOOlock because they'd have some innate resistances to what the illithids could dish out. I know it isn't fool proof, because honestly, nothing is. Even Wish could just fail, and Divine Intervention has some limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    It still negates your advantage, so you hit 75% of the time instead of 94%, and it costs the Mind Flayers nothing (they've got readied Mind Blasts, not readied Attacks, so they might as well), so you can expect them to do it.
    You are right, I forgot about Magic Resistance. Still, advantage with a +1 will fail a reasonable amount of times to a spell save of around 15 compared to neutral Eldritch Blasts as a AC of 15 is the warlocks spell attack bonus of at least 7. Just saying there are more options that could work. I wasn't even maxing out their charsima, but doing that puts either combat option boosted.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Re-read the Prone condition. Prone does not affect Dex saves. Mind Flayers will be saving at +1, with advantage for Magic Resistance.

    It's not clear what you're trying to say here. Let's say gnome crawls around the corner, gets hit with a bunch of readied mind blasts. Assuming Int 16ish, gnomes are saving at +3 (with advantage) against DC 15, so if there's three Mind Flayers that gnome will fail about 1 save, get stunned (losing concentration on Darkness), and take about 10 HP of damage after resistance. How did going prone help the gnome, and what do you mean by "cones don't curve around the prone allies"?
    I don't need to reread prone, but we are definitely thinking on different trains of thought here about why prone was iffy for me. What I meant was that going prone, and aiming just above allied mind flayers, also prone, would avoid any gnomes that also go prone. My players often say they cast their burning hand/dragon born breath cones "just so" that their allies wouldn't get hit, and I'd allow that to extend to the mind flayer Mind Blast cones as well. I was trying to squeeze out every possible advantage for the mind flayers, in that they don't need to hit other mind flayers too. Otherwise they are all literally standing shoulder to shoulder, which makes them more susceptible to enemy AoE for being so bunched up (which was more reason to make them go prone, in my eyes). Any more behind them to add to the "bunch of Mind Blasts" have no other choice but hit their allied flayer brethren.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    If they've brought along a bunch of allies, then your Repelling Blast trick isn't even relevant in the first place. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming no allies.
    Yeah we were on the same page here.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    You don't think Mind Flayers can measure a 15' radius in their own tunnels? I do. Or the Elder Brain could just tell them, "Now!" since it knows exactly where you are at all times.
    Problem is that talking, even telepathic, isn't a free action RAW: you can only do it on your turn. So even readying an action to work on a telepathic message wouldn't work super great. I'm not even sure talking counts as an action you can ready. But if that counts, then yeah the elder brain could also ready an action when they move in, it's true. But since talking is RAW only on your turn, out of your suggestions the option left the the flayers is waiting for measurements. Since the gnome had to cast Darkness on an item, they could just toss it out into the corner, or just hold out the tip of it. The flayers may know the center of the radius, but the gnome isn't in it. Wasted mind blasts again. Of course, the counter to that would be to change the general Ready trigger, but then it breaks down to getting extremely precise which bogs down the game. It's certainly bogging down this thread as I am adding to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I'm assuming a small number of Mind Flayers for your benefit, because if there are thousands then your plan is obviously totally infeasible and I assume you wouldn't even propose it. I imagine you're imagining about fifty Mind Flayers or less, total. Am I right? And you said before that you're expecting to fight them in groups of 2-3, so you've got to get through 15-20 fights.

    Can you beat a group of 3 Mind Flayers with an Evard's Black Tentacles or Wall of Light? Sure, probably. Each time you cast the spell, about half of the Mind Flayers will fail their saves (+1 at advantage vs DC 17ish = 56% chance of failure), and then they'll hit you back, and you'll lose some HP and some spell slots and maybe get a PC's brain eaten. And then you burn more spell slots to keep Darkness up another 10 minutes, and then it's on to the next group of Mind Flayers, 15-20 more times, and that's if the Mind Flayers don't do anything halfway clever like cut off your retreat and envelope you from all sides (with thrall support as meat shields/distractions), or flood the tunnels and drown you.
    Excellent points. Honestly if it's thousands it's not really a chance for the gnomes, I'll agree, they'll need the showstoppers of level 8/9 spells at that point. I was thinking of a small colony like you said. The more the flayers bunch up though, the better AoE gets, but you are right, warlocks have limited supplies of spell slots for AoE. They'd need to make them count.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    You don't even need scrying. Just suppose that one of the warlocks is a chainlock. "How would the gnomes know the layout?" is not an objection I would raise, because the answer is obvious.

    However, knowing the layout is different from knowing the disposition of enemy forces. The Mind Flayers certainly know where YOU are, and they have excellent command and communication facilities, thanks to the Elder Brain--what you need to worry about is, "If I go into THIS tunnel instead of THAT tunnel, what's going to come out of THAT tunnel and hit me from behind when I'm engaged from the front?"

    Yadda yadda yadda. Knowing the layout is not a problem, we both know that. Relying on Repelling Blast and psychic damage resistance to stay alive is the problem--those things don't scale well enough to make it safe. Choose a different strategy.
    More excellent points. My point is that the gnomes can scout and see the general layout and rough forces of the enemy, which may not give exact dispositions, but gives them a rough estimate to improvise around. But you've also made it "easier" on the warlocks since they don't need scrying either, but scrying negates some of the advantages the mind flayers can use. If the mind flayers can know the choke points, so could the gnomes via scouting. Bit of a tie there, but yes, additional allies could stop the intrepid gnomes, which I already agreed to.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I agree. I'm only critiquing a specific, suboptimal strategy (Repelling Blast warlocking). I'm not saying you can't do it, I'm just saying that is a bad way to do it.
    And you are right. I was just spit balling. Every plan can absolutely fail. We could find a theoretical counter to every single option provided in this thread. Eldritch blasting with repel is just resource-less stuff the warlocks can do all day long while they think of better plans, and it can work in larger spaces where the illithids would get stuck due to range difficulties. It's a pretty low skill floor for what a warlock can do. It makes it less of a suicide mission than the OP first thought. And warlocks aren't even that good, as a fully rested Wizard would circumvent the issues of minimal spell slots, and be ever higher on their Int saves. I just like Warlocks.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Protolisk View Post
    I getcha MaxWilson, I didn't explain every little detail of my spiel, so I'll give my reasoning for what I wrote. My main point is that both the mind flayers and the players can pull out weird tricks to stop the other, so it comes down to luck, and a party of level 10s can get fairly far even with few options at their disposal. I just started from Gnome GOOlock because they'd have some innate resistances to what the illithids could dish out. I know it isn't fool proof, because honestly, nothing is. Even Wish could just fail, and Divine Intervention has some limitations.*snip*
    Ah, okay, then we are on the same page.

    Honestly I think this scenario would be a blast. To me it says "adventure", not "campaign," and I wouldn't try to make it the focal point of a whole months-long campaign, but I'd totally spend 6-8 hours on it.

    Spoiler: Off Topic: As A Campaign
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    If I wanted a campaign setting I'd build in 7-8 other major powers on par with this particular mind flayer colony, and set them all at odds with each other, with the players caught in the middle. Mind Flayer colony, newly-crashed beholder Tyrant Ship taking slaves and territory from the other powers, a fire giant city-state with lots of human slaves, ancient dwarven nation turning to demons and blood sacrifice in desperation to survive, nation of mostly courageous and helpful (Lawful Good) bedoins ruled by selfish and tyrranical (Lawful Evil) Efreet nobles, an Ancient Red Dragon (Dragon Sorcerer 19) and its progeny exacting tribute from the humans in "their" territory but otherwise leaving them mostly free, a militaristic orc confederation doing mercenary work for the other powers, maybe a secret network of Yuan-ti and the few ancient hags they unknowingly worship, and a tyrannical necromanctic magocracy of halflings.

    After all, I don't want the players to run out of stuff to do just because they besieged and then wiped out the Mind Flayers.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-09-21 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Add spoiler tags for off-topic

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Aug 2019

    Default Re: Is taking down a mind flayer colony impossible in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Honestly I think this scenario would be a blast. To me it says "adventure", not "campaign," and I wouldn't try to make it the focal point of a whole months-long campaign, but I'd totally spend 6-8 hours on it.
    One of my last campaigns WAS this style. I actually expected the players to end up fighting the Mind Flayers' home base around level 12-15 or so, but they knew Flayers were creeping about from level 4. It was because of that campaign that I felt strongly about this topic, I had a lot of thought about it and how it could be countered. And the answer it came down to was that I couldn't outright plan for every contingency, with all the general nonsense that PCs tend to get into.

    Spoiler: Minor campaign synopsis
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    Pile up of giants, mind flayers (split into elder brain led illithids and Alhoon/Arcanist renegades), aboleths, yuan ti, necromancers and a "normal" human state with ties to a "nice" Beholder all vying for control over a "slumbering ancient power", which in reality was a Kraken that was manipulating each faction into destroying each other so it could rule instead, as it was the outright smartest thing in the whole place. Krakens be smart, yo.

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