We had my usual Monday night game tonight and it was one of the most awesome solo combats I’ve ever had because it was always in the sweet spot where the players feel threatened and challenged, but never like they were out of control.
It was killed by a critical hit that would have brought it to 11 heads…
- I should have included something that made it immune to blind, not because it would have neutered a magic item, but because it makes sense.
- The damage per bite was originally 2d10+7, but one of my players pointed out that the Heroslayer Hydra uses the low damage expression because it gets so many attacks. The Feybriar gets just as many and they’re worse. I kept the “super critical”, however and scored four of them during the encounter. 1d10+10 felt a little low because damage resistance became a much larger percentage of each bite, but I was generally pleased with the mechanics.
- I probably should have added something that says that Severed Head only triggers off a damaging attack, as the Bard threw Astral Seal on the hydra a couple of times. I would have adjusted on the fly, but I prefer not to have to do that.
- For the first couple of turns, I spread the attacks around as evenly as possible amongst the characters within reach. This had the benefit of slamming a couple of them with Daze and Blind. Then, once the hydra had added a couple of heads, I focused on one target a turn. This put the Fighter on the ground, with no healing surges and no way to make a saving throw. I wasn’t quite able to put down the Paladin, but I did wreck the Bard.
- The Fighter did manage to stand back up, however, thanks to the Battle Standard of Healing, which the Runepriest had dropped as his first standard action of the combat. In many ways, that was the “play of the fight.”
- Suppression worked as well as I had hoped, with the characters making decisions about how many people it was safe to have in the aura. The Bard was able to suck up a full rack of ick early in the fight with one of his powers.