Dungeons & Dragons Online

I gave my players a Hunter and things got interesting.

Do your players long rest after every encounter? A lot players do, often including mine. So in this campaign, I had the BBEG hire, or rather build, somebody to hunt them.

During the campaign the players are constantly being pursued by an Adamantine Golem, a bigger, shinier iron golem. This could easily two shot any of their characters right now. It walks at only 1 mph, so if you keep pace for most of the day you will be very far ahead of it by next morning, even if you long rest.

The trick is that you don't actually keep track of exactly where it is. It rarely shows up, and when it does it never shows up to stop the PCs from interacting with the locals trying to bargain with a merchant. In only shows up in two situations: The first situation is if the PCs are long resting after each fight or doing something else that's taking many in-universe days. It has time to catch up and cause a chase scene where you run from it while it chucks rocks or you use some conjuration magic to block its path.

The other time is when it would create an interesting or scary situation. Let's say the PCs are at a cliff, where they can either choose to take the long route or try to climb down. If you pick the long way down it can roll a rock into place to block the path and jump down the cliff, then run to the end of the path to block you in. It can also just roll the boulder down the path, forcing you to jump and take damage. If you jump, you will take a lot of damage but you can get away quicker. You'll have to run and risk getting ambushed while you're weak, but it might be safer if the golem can't pursue you as well. This option also lets you think of a way to cushion your fall, with a spell like Feather Fall or a slightly elastic rope you tie somewhere before you jump.

Another cool way it could show up is at the end of a heist, like on your way down from the top of a tall wooden building it could show up, and since it blocks the pathway you might trick it into smashing its giant hand and longsword into the ground, letting you escape through the hole it makes. You get the idea, it's a reoccuring threat to spice up otherwise straightforward situations.

It speeds up to 35ft per round when it spots a PC, just barely faster than most of them can run, so they have to either slow it down or dash to outpace it. It can try to throw rocks if you run too far away, but these are a bit less accurate and don't actually do that much damage. There's no use fighting it since its 21 AC and 250 hitpoints would be unstoppable to a level 3 character.

Basically, what this pursuer does is give a reason for the characters to keep moving. They can't stay in the same town for a week selling ball bearings, but they do still have time for a funny interaction, since they are so much faster and even if the Golem shows up they can dash and be faster than it. This, for the first time, has led to players doing things like only long resting once per day and short resting after other encounters, meaning after each encounter they're still a bit haggered and the only person who gets their spells back is the Warlock.

It's been pretty fun, we've been enjoying this terrifying monster showing up all the time, and it's gotten rid of a lot of long, boring situations where only one or two PCs are actually having fun. I would recommend trying it out, but feel free to drop it if it's not for you.

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