Dragon Encounters

Creative Combat Encounters, and other ways of using the monsters of dungeons and dragons


NALFSHNEE: The Thinnest Veneer of Polish

minions/allies

Combat rating 16

 

1 Nalfshnee (CR 13)

3 Wereboars (CR 4)

1 Otyugh (CR 5)

 

Combat rating 18

 

1 Nalfshnee (CR 13)

2 Flesh golems (CR 5)

3 Green hags [coven] (CR 13)

2 Ogre zombies (CR 2)

 

Combat rating 21

 

1 Nalfshnee (CR 13)

2 Fomorians (CR 8)

1 Hydra (CR 8)

3 Giant apes (CR 7)

 

Combat rating 22

 

1 Nalfshnee (CR 13)

1 Beholder (CR 13)

2 Mezzoloths (CR 5)

3 Nycaloths (CR 9)

 

How to Use – Combat Scenarios (difficulty 15)

With the nalfshnee, I am going to give a couple of different strategies that it is likely to use. You can use them all, to set up one large boss fight, or you can use one or two of them to spice up an otherwise basic fight.

Several of my ideas involve entering into dialogue between the nalfshnee and the PCs. When talking to them, the nalfshnee will say outrageous things, propose obviously bad deals, assure them to his honesty, and so forth. Being honest, seeming believable, actually being able to pursued them, none of these are important. The same thought process that leads them to eating humans alive with rusty cutlery being a demonstration of culture, also leads to negotiation and discussion being a sign of culture.

Sample discussion: How he’s going to bloody eviscerate them if they don’t lay down their weapons and surrender unconditionally. If they do surrender unconditionally, he’ll only eviscerate some of them. After all, they’re surrendering unconditionally, so it’s his right to do what he wants. It’s been a while since he last eviscerated a human, and it would cut him to the soul to deny himself such a pleasure. And so forth. Remember to use elaborate, flowery language. Nalfshnees consider themselves quite cultured.

  • The nalfshnee will give the appearance of being open to negotiation. It will stride into the middle of the PCs, or travel with them, or allow itself to be taken prisoner. In each of these cases, after a minute or two, and when he’s in their midst, he’ll activate horror nimbus. Because he’s in the middle of them, the only places they can move are in separate directions, and his minions are going to be coming out from their hiding places on all sides. In the meantime, he’ll either laugh or offer obviously ridiculous terms and lies.
  • Alternatively, have him sit on a large chair and call them to him. (He can always use the horror nimbus strategy from last paragraph afterwards.) Again, give the appearance of wanting to talk. Once they’re near, he’ll teleport himself out of the room. The nalfshnees’s weight was holding down the chair, and by extension holding up the nets that are fastened to the ceiling. Once the nalfshnee is gone, they’ll all fall toward the PCs, entangling them.
  • Have the same room contain a second layer of traps. Have the floor be made of thin wood. The pillars are holding it down, but once they break, either from area of effect spells or because the nalfshnee uses an action and his considerable strength to uproot in and throw it down on one or more PCs, the floor collapses under them. Again, the nalfshnee can always teleport away, if the players somehow prevent him from flying out.
  • Either at the beginning, or when he sees that he’s losing, he’ll propose a cease fire so that he can show them something. If [when] they don’t accept, he’ll lead them there anyway be flying out of the room and leading them to the balcony. Once they get there, they’ll see several civilian prisoners that he has chained up, and that he’ll release monster on, or set on fire, if the PCs don’t lay down their weapons and surrender. If they refuse, he’ll wax poetic about how much seeing such cruelty as the PCs are demonstrating hurts him to his core. If they attempt to negotiate, he’ll do something like insist that they surrender first, as the dogs are hungry and he can’t keep them waiting.

This last scenario is going to force the PCs to split up and attempt to rescue the captives. The nalfshnee has the power of flight, and is perfectly happy to attack the captives himself, [while speaking sorrowfully about how the PCs betrayed him by not surrendering]. If he can take down the PCs themselves, he will, but if all he can do is hurt them emotionally, he’ll consider that a victory. (The nalfshnee is one of those rare demons that are willing to accept a moral victory instead of a physical one, and it doesn’t bother them to die in the process, in necessary. When outside of the Abyss, anyhow.)

Be aware that this tactic will get some players quite upset, and with good reason. One of your jobs is to know your audience, and what is and isn’t too much for them.



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About Me

I have been a DM for several years, and I was designing home RPG games since my young childhood. I have been a fan of many different types of games (computer, board, RPG, and more) and have designed several for my own entertainment. This is my first attempt to produce game content for a wider audience.

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