In the final part of designing the Hub dungeon the Slave Galleon I work on the boss fight with the Nun Toad. Part I is here. Part II is here.
The room is 3.1 The Hall and as described previously has to include a boss fight and approximately 200gp of treasure. (I’ll probably include more gold to offset the quantity of treasure hidden in the exploration heavy parts of the dungeon.) The room is a large hall with an altar, pews, and platforms above it.
As explained before the Toad Nun is good at two things, jumping and snatching enemies from afar and keeping them. This leads to a naturally dangerous fight if the Nun can grab someone and then leap to a safer spot. However while she’s eating someone she’s vulnerable. That’s when the urchins should push to distract the players.
I have to be honest that I don’t use CR calculations or any of that. So if this seems to hard or easy by the time I’m done that’s why. My most basic calculation is that the players will have ~15hp by level 2 and assuming a party of five can take around 75 points of damage. With the 4-3 damage output of the urchins and most urchins surviving only 1 or 2 rounds they could take 4 or 5 urchins easily on their own, more with more difficulty. With the Nun Toad mixed in 4 or 5 urchins should work fine. More could be added mid fight if they’re cleaning up.
Currently the Adventurer’s have two ways to enter the Hall, both identical small rooms that open onto the raised platforms on opposite sides of the hall. Technically they could also enter by leaping off of the balcony far above the hall.
Starting positions are crucial to setting up an encounter. Where the players are and how powerful they feel will dictate how the fight feels. If they come out surrounded or in a weak position the fight will feel more desperate, if they come out with an advantage they will feel more powerful.
We could make them incredibly close to the Nun Toad and immediately in range of her tongue while the urchins are spread out to pelt them from all sides. This would make the fight pretty desperate.
Or we could let them sneak out onto the balcony overlooking the hall and take time to plan their approach, with plenty of time to use ranged attacks on the Toad and plan how to take out the urchins.
3.1 The Hall
There are two entrances to the hall, both small square rooms that open onto small platforms raised 20ft off the ground in the middle of the room. They are one turn from the Nun Toad crouching at the center of the room. (This is the middle ground, they’ll have the difficulty of the first option, but will still have a moment to think while looking down from above.)
There are similar platforms in each corner of the hall each 20ft above the floor.
The hall is scattered with long pews giving cover to anyone who hides behind them. (Disadvantage for anyone targeting someone in cover.)
Five Urchins are scattered around the hall each a turn and a half away from the entry platforms. They are putting the silver candles, relics, and other temple treasures in sacks.
The Toad has Passive Perception of 15, anyone failing a Stealth check while in the arena is spotted. The Toad will instruct the urchins to use their slings until She has grappled a target. Once she’s grappled a target with her tongue attack the Nun will jump up to whatever platform is furthest from the Adventurers and direct the urchins to charge the others. (If the Adventurers are smart here they can sneak about the arena without auguring the Toad. Otherwise they’ll have to jump down and be in the thick of the fight immediately.)
Each round where there are not 4 or more urchins, the Nun can croak and summon 2 urchins from the rooms surrounding the hall.
|Rabid Urchin x4
Small / Humanoids
Someone has cursed these street urchins with a rabid fever and painful growths. The urchins have grown spikes and suppurating sores. They’re hunched over and sport nasty spikes.
HP: 15 (Upon death they trigger their spike attack.)
Damage Immunities: poison
Dagger: Melee weapon attack: +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Sling: Ranged weapon attack: +6 to hit, reach 60ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) bludgeoning damage.
Urchin Spike: Anyone within 5ft of the urchin is pushed away 5ft as their spikes extend violently. Those pierced must make a CON or DEX save of DC 10 or take 2d8 poison damage. Other urchins hit by the attack take no damage and trigger their own spike attack.
Loot: Loot Bag: 50gp
(I’ve made some changed to the Nun Toad. She’s got 10 more hp, special loot, and instructions for what happens when she dies.)
|Queen Nun Toad
Large / Beasts
A huge toad with alert eyes and a white stripe painted down it in chalk. Preparing potions against acid would aid in this fight. This Nun has made her Urchin salves crown her with a silver candelabra.
HP: 60 (Once killed the toad collapses with a groan to the floor, the urchins freed from their mind control flee into the Galleon.)
Speed: 15ft / leap 50ft
Sticky Tongue: Melee weapon attack: +7 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8) bludgeoning damage plus 4 (2d4) acid damage. Once struck a target is grappled requiring a DC of 14 to escape.
Confessional Purification: Once stuck to a nun’s tongue the target is dragged into the air where they begin being coated by thick acidic juices to “cleanse” the spirit. This does 4d8 acid damage. Once dead the nun swallows the target whole. As an action the nun can stop its grapple and throw the target 15ft away from itself. She will throw the target instead of purification if she takes damage. (The fall does 1d10 bludgeoning damage.)
Telepathy: The nun speaks in whispers in the minds of those around it. As an action the nun can launch a mental assault on a target. If they fail a WIS save of DC 12 the nun can issue simple commands.
Loot: Toad Tongue. (25gp) – This reach does 1d4 bludgeoning damage and grapples target when hit. The target must make a DC 10 DEX save to escape.
Candle Crown (100gp) – Lights the area 80ft around you when worn on the head. As an action the wielder can shake their head as a bonus action and scald themselves with hot wax (doing 1d4 fire damage) and the crown casts Turn Undead. All undead within the light of the candles must make a DC 10 Wis Save or are forced to flee away from the crown.
To test out how this arena will work I’ll perform a little thought experiment.
The Adventurers enter the room. They look out from the platform and see toad front and center and urchins spread out. The party consists of two or more ranged characters, and three or more melee characters.
The rouge likely will creep down and try to back stab urchins.
The fighty/tank character will want to charge the toad.
Support melee characters will likely join the fight against the toad.
The ranged characters will want to rain down damage on the toad and any urchins near enough to hit.
But… the toad’s attacks will change that strategy pretty quickly.
The toad can then seize one of the melee characters and leap to a platform away from the fight. Urchins will swarm the surviving melee character and the rogue, while one or two urchins remain to pelt the ranged characters with their slings. Once the toad has killed her catch she can return to the fight and seize another character.
The ranged fighters will have to chase after the toad and interrupt her Purification attack while the melee fighters keep the urchins away from them.
If the players plan on the toad’s attack (any wisdom checks could let the player know more about how nuns work) the melee fighters could make sure to stay far enough away from the toad while killing the urchins. While the ranged fighters attack the toad. If the toad gets to close to the ranged fighters they would have to flee to a safe distance.
This seems like a solid boss fight to me. After some play testing I’ll know whether the HP is high enough or not. The fight naturally rewards payers who take more risks as the number of urchins increases (by killing only one urchin and letting two more come in each time) they can get more and more loot bags.
Read Part I and Part II.