Log in

No account? Create an account
D&D 3E
Whilst fighting a dragon, the party cleric takes the AoO and casts… 
18th-Sep-2004 03:23 pm
Whilst fighting a dragon, the party cleric takes the AoO and casts Stoneshape in order to create a collar around the dragon's neck attached the the floor. I asked for an attack roll to grab the dragon's neck and when it succeeded the other party took whacks at the dragon's backside. The dragon got its flatfooted AC since it couldn't move, but it's a dragon, that's the same as its regular AC. The dragon made strength checks to break the stone, but there's no break DC listed for stone and the stone was very thick around the dragon's neck. Finally, the cleric's turn again, I allow him to coup de gras since the head is stuck in one place and I considered it to be bound. Cleric slays dragon.

How would you guys rule in this situation? A reflex save to avoid the stone noose instead of an attack roll on the player's part? A simpler escape for the dragon? Or would you have allowed the CDG at all?
18th-Sep-2004 12:34 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have allowed the CDG, but other than that, it all sounds quite resonable. I might have assigned a break DC to the collar, probably based on the cleric's Spell Save DC, but on the high side, as it's the kind of cunning idea that I like to encourage.

As for the CDG, dragons have long, flexible necks. They have breath weapons, and sharp teeth. They have wings are forelegs that could easily strike at someoneby its head, making a CDG impossible, by my recconing.

The main benefits of the collar would be to limit the directions in which breath weapons can be used, stop bite attacks (unless people are silly enough to stand right by the head and try to make a CDG attack) and, most of all, stop the dragon seeing where people are, and what they're doing. Not only does this make sneak attacks possible, but it would drastically reduce the dragon's attack rolls, as he's attacking blind...
18th-Sep-2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
I would have ruled that you can't cast a spell as part of an attack of opportunity unless you have an epic feat.

Unless of course they are epic or 3.5 has changed what I remember :X
18th-Sep-2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
No, the Dragon AoOed him for casting the spell, but he took the attack (the dragon missed anyway)
18th-Sep-2004 01:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, misread.

Literacy for the win!
18th-Sep-2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
That was the first hard laugh I've had all day.
18th-Sep-2004 01:29 pm (UTC)
I think what you did was fine, after all it rewarded player ingenuity quite nicely. I think I would have done it slightly differently though:
I'd have gone with giving it a ref save;
I think I'd have wanted a few more bands around it before allowing a coup-de-gras, it's head might be caught but the rest of it is still pretty wiggly.
Break DC should probably be between 35 and 50=1ft masonry wall and 3ft hewn stone(p166 Player's Guide).

Those points are all somewhat level dependant though, as it depends how much stone the cleric was shifting around, if there was enough to cover more than just a band then increase the ref save DC, the break DC and possibly the CDG because more of it would be held still.

However when things like that happen in game, the important things are, did you reach a descision with reasonable speed, and did the players enjoy it. If those are fulfilled then who cares what "should" happen.

I like your soloution, and it sounds like an encounter the players will remember and talk about.
18th-Sep-2004 01:32 pm (UTC)
Forgot to say; wmute's answer would also be perfectly valid, it's a call you make at the time.
18th-Sep-2004 01:30 pm (UTC) - A beautiful day in the neighborhood
The dragon should have gotten a reflex roll on top of the cleric's to hit. The dragon would have detected the spell coming at him. Stone shape is not know for being a fast, instant type of spell. The dragon should have then gotten a chance to escape, wriggled it's neck out of there, while attacks with tail sweep and hind feet. He's not flat footed in the least. Also the stone would have to be structurally sound to hold him and unless the cleric has masonry or stone craft skills, I doubt it would be strong enough to hold him. Can the dragon cast dispell magic, dimention door, strength, enlarge?
All in all, the dragon had more escapes, a reflex and attack roll and no CDG.
18th-Sep-2004 01:34 pm (UTC) - Re: A beautiful day in the neighborhood
'Twas but a Juvenile Black dragon, no tail sweep, and no spells beyond Darkness. Juveniles aren't particularly strong either, not enough to break stone.
18th-Sep-2004 01:53 pm (UTC) - Re: A beautiful day in the neighborhood
Ah, I see.
All those meanies beating up on a poor infant Dwagon, minding his own buisness, just looking for a friend to play with.
Well, it does sound like you did the right thing. I get over protective of my dragons at times. It was creative thinking for the cleric and sound like everyone had fun.
Bottom line is fun.
18th-Sep-2004 09:01 pm (UTC) - Re: A beautiful day in the neighborhood
To quote Captain Tagon of Schlock Mercenary:

"Ah, that's a detail. We need those." :)

18th-Sep-2004 01:32 pm (UTC) - My two coppers.
I would have said the spell failed, or applied the 30% failure at best. The priest wouldn't have been able to shape enough stone in less than six seconds to ensnare the dragon by its head. A claw, maybe, but not the head.

Remember, there's a lot going on in that short time frame, and that dragon's going to be moving.

Even if the spell succeeded, there would be a Strength or Escape Artist check applicable here. Probably a DC 35 (same as Masonry wall) or 50 (Hewn Stone)

Lastly no coup de grace for two reasons:

1) The head may be too high for the cleric to reach.
2) The CDG is only for a helpless opponent, and the dragon is far from helpess. It's head maybe pinned down but it can still breathe, break free, kick, cast spells, etc.
18th-Sep-2004 02:09 pm (UTC)
I would have said, a reflex save (calculated normally) to avoid being captured. That and the break DC I would have set by having the cleric making a craft (stoneworking) check and adding 15 or 10 or something. That's just to see if the cleric has enough knowledge of working with the stone to minimize weak points. Lastly, no coup de grace, the dragon is held mobile, but not helpless.
18th-Sep-2004 02:38 pm (UTC)
I probably would have had the dragon make a reflex save (more a chance of him getting away, which seems intuitively right to me). I also think that the dragon could possibly (even easily) have gotten out of the stone noose, it just may have taken a round or two

I would not have allowed the CDG, since the dragon wasn't exactly helpless. It could have continued to claw, kick, fight, roll, whatever. But in the end, the dragon would have died because that is a pretty good move (my players did that once, but the dragon was sleeping).
18th-Sep-2004 02:49 pm (UTC)
agreed... reflex save... no cdg... and that little bugger could have snapped and kicked people till they took him down.
18th-Sep-2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
It sounds like no one was reading the description for Stone Shape. It doesn't CREATE stone, it RESHAPES existing stone into a new shape. Unless the dragon was lying nicely against the stone floor, the stone wouldn't have been able to reach him readily.

Also, Break DCs for the stone collar would be extrapolated from the Materials rules in the DMG - figure out a thickness of the collar and calculate accordingly from the listed stats.

Finally, no CDG. The dragon would be hampered (considered flat-footed, perhaps - sneak attacks!), not helpless. Overall, I generally agree with the above sentiments about the CDG.
18th-Sep-2004 08:19 pm (UTC)
The dragon was in a cave, and as such stone was readily available. As the dragon was on the ground at the time, the stone didn't have to go far to reach it.
19th-Sep-2004 08:52 am (UTC) - Stone Shape
Just about every group has had a Cleric trying to use Stone Shape as a super-powerful, no-save Hold Monster. You have to realize that SS isn't a combat spell -- it's for making doorways, trenches, and other assorted simple shapes. The description states that the caster has to shape the material component (clay) into the correct crude shape, then cast the spell.
19th-Sep-2004 11:50 am (UTC)
aren't most dragons immune to magic up until a certain level or have some type of spell resistance?
20th-Sep-2004 03:50 pm (UTC)
Not juveniles, though.

But it has an acid breath (black dragon), so it should be able to burn its way through part of the stone at least....
21st-Sep-2004 09:31 am (UTC)
The trick was that he caught the dragon right behind the head, limiting its ability to aim the breath weapon. The dragon could've maybe drooled on the stone a bit I guess though.
21st-Sep-2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Most Dragons, yes. Though this dragon is a juvenile and doesn't have SR yet, and Stone Shape doesn't target the dragon, it targets the stone.
21st-Sep-2004 08:48 pm (UTC) - However...
...it's still not how the spell works. Yes, Stone Shape targets the stone, *but* your Cleric is trying to direct the shaping of the stone to entrap a moving target. Even if it's not leaving its square, it still moving around in that area trying not to get hit by other people. Further the casting occurs in the space of 3-4 seconds (a standard action), using the material and somatic component (shaping a piece of clay) to complete the effect.

The spell fails, plain and simple.
22nd-Sep-2004 01:36 am (UTC) - Re: However...
That's neither plain, nor simple. You're saying something that takes a standard action to accomplish can't move fast enough to grab a creature actively avoiding being caught? That's like saying 'why swing a sword? the thing doesn't want to be hit.'
23rd-Sep-2004 03:08 pm (UTC) - Re: However...
Fighting in a melee is completely different from spell casting.

Let's take a closer look at the spell...

Taken from the SRD on Wizard's web site:

"While it’s possible to make crude coffers, doors, and so forth with stone shape, fine detail isn’t possible. There is a 30% chance that any shape including moving parts simply doesn’t work."

At the least, I would consider the dragon a 'moving part.'

Furthermore, this is an instantaneous effect -- a sudden change that can't be modified on the fly. In a melee, you're moving with and against your opponent, adjusting your plan of attack/defense constantly.

Also, it seems to me that this spell is not intended for combat. Spells like Entangle, Web, Hold Monster are.

I do stand corrected on the material component. The Cleric doesn't need to use the clay -- that's for an Arcane Caster.
23rd-Sep-2004 04:03 pm (UTC) - Re: However...
He did take an AoO for casting it, the only trick was causing the effect to occur around the dragon. At his level, he could easily have formed a shape larger than the space the dragon was occupying.
23rd-Sep-2004 10:10 pm (UTC) - Re: However...
That's not the point. Stone Shape is not an attack spell; it's a utility spell. It's still an instantaneous effect, meaning the caster already has the end result visualized and can't adapt it on the fly. Anticipating where the dragon's head and neck is going to be to meet that moment of effect when things are that much a blur is not possible.

Now, if the Cleric used the spell for a larger effect, eg a large wall around the dragon or a big hold beneath it, then it would be a more valid use of the spell.
This page was loaded Jul 16th 2018, 8:37 am GMT.