Content of the article: "I almost killed my party and I’m glad I was talking out of backing down."
I'm running a Ravniva campaign and my party of three level 5s one level 4 and one level 3 had just left a zonot (you can think of it like a pit with labs all around the walls of it if you aren't familiar with Ravnica) for a Krasis hunting adventure. They had to escort a biomancer up from the bottom of the zonot that I used the Wizard stat block for. They were warned of an incredibly powerful rival biomancer that was setting up an ambush at the top of the zonot. This rival was a challenge rating 10 biomancer from GGR and intended to be too powerful for them as it has level 8 spells. I had failsafes for them to back out. There was an escape route they discovered earlier that would lock behind them saving them if they chose that. Additionally after 3 rounds of combat I was going to have a powerful npc show up and break up the fight. And lastly he was going to be a cocky character that would toy with the party more than go all out.
All that combined should have given them a good scare without killing them. Upon reaching the top he starts talking down to the party goblin monk who then suckerpunches him. Fight was on. On the biomancers first turn he does a 5th level cone of cold aimed exclusively on the goblin player, with the intention of making an example of him. He barely survived. What I didn't expect is the biomancer to then get stun locked for the next turn and the wizard npc to oneshot all the goons guarding him with their own cone of cold. This meant that the biomancer got wailed on for 3 rounds in a row. At the end of the round the npc would show up to break up the fight but there were a few turns left including the biomancer who was now at 6hp! I was in a hard spot. At 6hp this was a fight for his life. I couldn't softball his last turn. It was a do or die moment for this villain npc. I was personally terrified from a previous pc death i caused 2 sessions ago from a gelatinous cube trap i rigged. I let them know that he was probably going to do an 8th level prismatic spray to try and kill them all. I was looking for any excuse to not do it, but the goblin monk player insisted I do it. The only hope I had would be a successful counterspell from the wizard npc but odds weren't amazing. I hesitated but did it…SUCCESS! the next turn the wizard npc enlarges the goblin giving him the glorious final blow.
This encounter was a rollercoaster. I'm so glad I didn't hold back in the end and I'm so proud of my players for making this fight, which should have been super difficult for them, a win. Thank you for reading I just wanna share this moment!
- As a new DM, I have a PC that I’m worried about– that I don’t know how to combat.
- Make sure you know how a spell works before you choose it!
- Player seems to enjoy being a contrarian
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