Content of the article: "The Time Wizard, or How can I Use a Single Combatant Against my Party who Dominate Those Fights"
If you adventure with a time-bending Elven Wizard who was temporarily a sheep, or you are a time-bending Elven wizard who was temporarily a sheep, kindly move along to avoid spoilers.
So my party is closing in on the aforementioned Wizard's mentor, who has gone a bit crazy. He's trying to go back in time to his wife, who died while he was at war. The party is now moving to pursue him, and this leaves me with a bit of a dilemma: They dominate single combatant fights. Its fairly clear that this mentor (Faelar) is working alone, as he has even left his old apprentice behind in his quest.
One idea I have is to have him make clones of himself. There are a couple of ways to do this, but I also need to ensure that I'm not overwhelming my level 6 (possibly level 7 when this happens) with a huge number of spellcasters.
I've thought of a few ways to do this:
- As a legendary action, he creates a shadow of himself. It is exactly the same as him, but only has a single hit point. This shadow otherwise has the same expended spell slots and class features as the original.
- A simulacrum, but if he can make one of these, he poses perhaps too much of a threat to the party.
- He creates a version of himself from one round prior. This would require a lot of tracking his stuff, and would overwhelm the party quickly.
Another thought I had was to have some sort of entity notice the amount of time energy being thrown about and come to put a stop to it. This could be a single entity (which I'm not sold on, for a particular reason: my party will demolish it) or a number of weak creatures. My prevailing idea for this is a creature that strikes fear into even veteran players: The Shadow. I'd probably have to modify it a bit, but it could represent a threat to doing this kind of large scale time magic in the future.
Finally, I plan to ensure that my party is unable to go nova in this fight. Faelar might be mad, but he's smart: he knows that this magic will take him time to prepare and cast, so he'll prepare the area to fend off those who would interfere.
The problem I face is finding the right combination of ideas to challenge my players, while not wiping them out on round 2 of combat. Any ideas, insights, or new approaches are welcome. I have some time to prep this, but first I need to know what exactly I'm prepping.
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