I haven’t really been discussing combat encounters for a while, though I think there have been some pretty good ones in my new campaign. I thought I’d just do a quick (you know, relatively) write-up of the fight I enjoyed from last weekend.

Caught in the middle of a feud between two churches, my players ran afoul of some assassins hired by the opposing side. After multiple assassination attempts, it became clear that these assassins were taking their contract very seriously, and the best solution was to just take down the entire criminal organization they were a part of. This lead to a covert assault on their headquarters, a massive walled estate that towered over the slums of the city, and a showdown with the lord of the Redheart crime syndicate, a vampire much more powerful than those they had encountered previously.

Lord Sydney Redheart
  Lvl10 Solo Controller
  AC23, Fort20, Ref21, Will23
  Spd.6, Init.+7, AP 2, saves+5
  HP500

No Dachi, melee 1, stnd., at-will
  +15 vs AC – 2d12+8 and immobilized (UEONT)

Blood Slashes, stnd., at-will, target must be bloodied
  Make 2 no dachi attacks, if both hit, target is stunned (UEONT)

Sword Throw, range 5, stnd., at-will
  +13 vs Ref – 2d12+5 and ongoing 7

Superior Will, free action
  Make a save against a daze or stun effect at start of turn

Infinite dimensions, imm. int., recharge 456
  Trigger: An attack roll is made against Sydney.
  That attack is negated and Syndey teleports 5.

Friend Bats, close burst 10, minor, recharge 56
  2 bats are summoned in the burst in squares not adjacent to another creature (only 2 bats can be present at a time). These bats act with Sydney starting on his next turn.

Illusionary aid, close burst 2, minor, recharge 456
  Summons an illusionary fighter, who acts with Sydney starting on his next turn

Mass confusion, blast 3 – range 10, stnd., recharges when bloodied
  +13 vs. Will – 1d10+5 and dominated (UEONT), dazed (UEONT) on miss

Gut punch, melee 1, minor, at-will
  +13 vs. Fort – 1d6+3 and dazed (UEONT)

Friend Bat
  AC22, Fort19, Ref21, Will20
  Spd 6 flying
  HP50

Swoop, melee 1, stnd., at-will
  +14 vs. AC – 2d8+3

Intercept, imm. react., at-will
  Trigger: Sydney is hit by an attack
  Can make a charge attack against the attacker

Sonar, range 5, stnd. recharge 6
  +12 vs. fort – 1d4+4 and target is dazed (UEONT)

Illusionary Fighter
  AC23, Fort22, Ref21, Will20
  Spd 5
  Minion

Terrorize, melee 1, stnd.,at-will
  +12 vs. Will – 1d10+2 and -2 to attack (UEONT)

Font of Death
  Lvl9 trap
  At the start of the round, floor tiles in a specific pattern begin to glow. At the end of the round, these glowing tiles erupt, attacking any player still standing on them.
  1st round: Alternating vertical rows of tiles; 2nd: Those not included in round 1; 3rd: Alternating rows of horizontal tiles; 4th: Those not included in round 3; 5th: Checkerboard pattern; 6th: Those not included in round 6; 7th: Repeat round 1.
Attack: +13 vs. Ref – 2d12+4 necrotic damage and weakened UEONT, -2 to attack (UEONT) on miss

I think this fight ended up working really well because there was some spatial component to it that wasn’t too gimmicky – the trapped floor just caused players to constantly move around a bit to avoid taking damage – and I was able to apply pressure to the players by having the bats deal consistent damage to all players attacking the boss. Plus the boss was able to negate some of the heavy attacks throughout the fight to keep that pressure up for longer.

Lastly, I’ve been growing increasingly annoyed at the invoker in the party for bringing out his brilliant beacon daily every boss fight to apply a consistent -2 to defenses saving throws and attacks to enemies inside a burst 1 zone that he can move around and sustain as a minor. You may notice the monsters had a ridiculous amount of daze attacks specifically so that I could get rid of that beacon once it was up. Plus I focused most of my damage on him to KO him, which also had a good chance of ending the beacon. This added sort of an extra layer of competition on top of the normal boss battle, and in the end I’m afraid I must admit I failed. I did manage to daze him twice, but he superior willed out of it both times, and I KOed him once, but a healing power had him back on his feet before his next turn rolled around.

I think it ended up being a little too easy, and that was mostly due to the fact that only one of the 6 players had used any dailies in the fights leading up to the boss encounter (including another boss encounter that just didn’t go very well for me). I gotta bring more consistently challenging fights to spread out the dailies, but sometimes that’s hard when your story calls for only one major battle in a day. You don’t want to bog the players down with meaningless battles because a challenging combat encounter can easily take half a session, so spending that amount of time on something means it’s gotta have purpose.