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Thread: The Gorgon

  1. #1
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    Trying to rule play out the Gorgon, So my question is? Why after hundreds of years has he not taken over every thing! Why does he sit in his Iron keep doing nothing, He is unstopible he has close to 1,000 hp, the only thing that has a chance of saving aginst his death gaze DC is himself, If you pick the ten most powerfull Anuirean charitors and pit them aginst the Gorgon he'll kill one each round for the next ten rounds and be ready for more. Any battle that he leads is a garinted victory, he'll kill the comandor and wade through hundreds of troops with out braking a sweat in fact I doubt any common men-at-arms even show up to a battle they knew the Gorgon would be at. I could understand him boding his time for far reaching goals if he had some thing to fear or some thing to rival him but he doesn't, the only thing that The Gorgon would need to fear is a DM that does not use all his abilities to there best advantages.

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    Well for starters in the actual campaign setting (not the BRCS but the original box set) he wasn't nearly as beefed up, though he was still easily the most powerful guy in cerilia. But there was definatley the possiblity that enough powerful people uniting against him could take him out. And invading and smashing everything is a good reason for them to unite.

    As for his current incarnation, the best explination I've heard is that there's no "D&D rules" to the gorgon. That is to say that he doesn't think in terms of initiative, feats, and such. While he knows that he's heavily protected, he doesn't know that the rules make him invincible.

    There's an older thread on this board discussing this topic. I'll try and find the URL.

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    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    I propose to merge all 3 threads together. I've read them all... interesting.
    My answer is (as always) from the non-low-magic-Brt:
    There are about 5 archmages*, twice as many hierophants, several very high level Fighters and a lots of magic items in Anuire. Meeting all of them in the battle and don't rolling a 1 on d20 only once, this last one, is a miracle. The Gorgon don't counts on miracles.

    * Dosiere, Avanil, Boeruine, Mhoried, Ghoere in the original campaign. Maybe Master of College of Sorcery is sixth.

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    I was once in a campaign where we ran into a dragon massively more powerful than ourselves, but we still had some strong magic. Some spell was used like harm, the dragon rolled a 1 on its saving throw and then we easily finished it off. There are what 5 mages capable of casting limited wish, and maybe another 1 or 2 capable of casting wish. Even the Gorgon has to fear that kind of magic.

    I would personally like to see the Gorgon toned down a bit though. Maybe a 15th level fighter/11th level mage/3 scion levels. Make it not just possible, but likely that he would be killed if 2/3 of the major character in Anuire united agaisnt him. I mean, how did he advance beyone 30th level? At 30th level he would have personally have to won 4 CR 30 fights to advance. Where did he find these creatures? Not anywhere in Cerilia.
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Seeing as how my campaign is building up final momentum to this very meeting...and yeah, I once had the same question concerning, "How could PC's possibly face him and win?"

    Well, in part, I've put that question to the players, so they've been focusing the PC's actions for many years now on preparing themselves for that challenge.

    The Gorgon being a super-fighter, anceient awnshegh with a true bloodline, and a high-level wizard definitely makes things difficult in the extreme. Plus he has some immensely potent allies, who IMC are more numerous and even higher level than in the BRCS because about 13 years have passed since 551 MR, and NPC's aren't static in my world.
    Yet for all that, the Gorgon and friends are not entirely unbeatable by a prepared group of high-level characters (meaning low-epic levels, 21-25).

    Here are a few key points that might enable a victory against the Gorgon:

    1. Dimensionally anchor the bastard so he can't teleport away when things look bad for him.

    2. Death Ward = immunity to the Gorgon's death gaze. Mass Death Ward, an 8th level cleric spell (Complete Divine), can ward the entire party with a single spell. With a high level caster, it will be tough to dispel by the Gorgon or his best spellcaster, the Hand of Azrai.

    3. Keep 1 or 2 primary spellcasters (with high caster levels) ready to counterspell anything the Gorgon casts. Most importantly, counter the Greater Dispel he tries to use to either target a main PC's active spells or rid himself of negative spells (like Dim. Anchor), or counter his real ace-in-the-hole, Antimagic Field.
    The Gorgon is a powerful mage, but still only 15th-16th level: not unbeatable by a high-level caster. The PC's in my game are hitting caster levels between 20th and 26th...which means they can out-duel the Gorgon in a magical contest, and successfully dispel his enhancment magics. This is pretty essential, because it means the Gorgon's magical advantage can be neutralized. Having someone else ready to counter the Hand of Azrai's spellcasting is equally important.

    4. A powerful targeted dispel against the Gorgon is a key step in neutralizing all of his own prep spells - between the arcane ones he can cast, and the divine ones the Hand can lay on him, he'll be jacked up well beyond his base stats. This is an excellent 1st round opener, right before the Dim. Anchor hits - and so the trap is sprung.

    5. A Rod of Negation is a great tool for supporting characters (like a rogue) who can't manage to hit the Gorgon's high AC. Instead, they can target his really potent magic items, like his tighmaevriel sword, armor, and shield, and help bring the Gorgon down to the PCs' level.

    6. Obviously the PC's will want every possible enhancement spell they can use before going into physical combat with the big G. A few nifty magic items, like a Greater Ring of Spell Storing, can really help the party's melee fighters with personal cleric spells like Divine Favor and Righteous Might.

    7. The party cleric plans to cast Shield Other on the fighter (tank), then be ready with many heal (and mass heal) spells to keep the fighter and himself alive through a full round of attacks by the Gorgon. Very smart tactic.

    8. Having at least 2-4 characters who can manage to hit the Gorgon with multiple physical attacks is pretty important - he isn't likely to fail any saves vs. spells, and he might have energy resistances besides (though an archmage with Mastery of Energy might be able to work around that). A couple of strong melee fighters and a good archer make for a strong team.

    9. Spells, abilities, and magic items that can lower or bypass natural armor are VERY useful in dropping the Gorgon's main combat defense. The Draconomicon has some good ones for this purpose (Scale Weakening spell, I think, plus some items with similar effects). High level spellcasters should be capable of designing some spells and maybe magic items to this effect.

    10. Weaken his natural armor, and negate (suppress) his magic armor, and suddenly the world changes as the rogues can start nailing him with sneak attacks...watch the damage total climb rapidly after this.


    With enough specific, long-term and before-battle preparations that includes some high level spellcasters, almost any opponent can be dealt with...even the Gorgon. His stats, levels, hit points, damage-dealing, magic items, and blood ability DC's are all outrageously potent - and in the end, I think it won't be enough to save him from a group of ready PC's and NPC's who are 15+ levels below him. Levels just don't tell the whole story, and at high levels, good preparation can more than compensate for wildy skewed CR's. Trust me. D&D isn't as well-balanced as it claims to be, especially after 20th level.

    Osprey

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I was once in a campaign where we ran into a dragon massively more powerful than ourselves, but we still had some strong magic. Some spell was used like harm, the dragon rolled a 1 on its saving throw and then we easily finished it off. There are what 5 mages capable of casting limited wish, and maybe another 1 or 2 capable of casting wish. Even the Gorgon has to fear that kind of magic.
    Unless you have a small army of spellcasters ready and able to throw spells at the Gorgon, relying on him rolling a 1 to fail a save is a poor tactic. Hope for luck, never rely on it.

    I would personally like to see the Gorgon toned down a bit though. Maybe a 15th level fighter/11th level mage/3 scion levels. Make it not just possible, but likely that he would be killed if 2/3 of the major character in Anuire united agaisnt him. I mean, how did he advance beyone 30th level? At 30th level he would have personally have to won 4 CR 30 fights to advance. Where did he find these creatures? Not anywhere in Cerilia.
    I don't want to see him toned down. I would quite rather he stay at the power of a lesser god...it makes him a truly epic threat.

    I've often wondered about getting XP at such high levels for guys like Rhuobhe and the Gorgon. This is something the static xp of 2nd ed never really accounted for - then, the Gorgon could have killed 5 million humans and still gotten the same xp at 1st level or 40th. He just needed to do it a lot more for high levels.

    What I imagine is the main source of xp for the Gorgon is a mix of epic contests, mostly in the shadow world against potent outsiders or natives of the SW, and non-combat xp awards: doing impressive stuff on the domain level (espionage and intrigue, military victories, etc.), seeing hundred-year schemes come to fruition...those are good versions of epic xp story awards in my opinion.

    See my last post, but let's just say I'm using IMC a more potent version of the Gorgon than in the BRCS (revised feat/skill selection mainly) with more and better lieutenants. And I still think this super-group can be beaten by a band of epic heroes who are nowhere near the Gorgon's level individually. Of course, someof them may (and in fact are likely to) die, but it wouldn't be the greatest battle in history if no one died, now would it?

    Osprey

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    After looking at link that Osprey posted witch is the same thing I was wondering, I would have to agree with Osprey that the only thing that makes sence to me is that he is a farmer of bloodlines waiting to become a god, and takening over and killing all the scions would be salting his field. Makes playing birthright a little edgy thinking like that because no matter what your char does or where his country is The Gorgon might come to harvest his crop.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    After looking at link that Osprey posted witch is the same thing I was wondering, I would have to agree with Osprey that the only thing that makes sence to me is that he is a farmer of bloodlines waiting to become a god, and takening over and killing all the scions would be salting his field. Makes playing birthright a little edgy thinking like that because no matter what your char does or where his country is The Gorgon might come to harvest his crop.
    Yep...it's been one of the best sources of underlying tension in my campaign. And one of the driving motivations for the PCs to better themselves. Everyone hates living in constant fear and on edge...even worse for regents who've built up truly great domains but have many years before their heirs come of age...a good 10-20 years of chaos should those regents die, which is perfect from Raesene's POV.

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    I myself am in a campaign where the Big-G is getting antsy and starting his inevitable march. I play a high level rogue (19th) Fighter (2) Noble (1, don't ask) and Scion (2). I have a phasing sword, basically a sword that can become brilliant energy on command and revert back also on command, a very high sneak attack, a rod of negation, and the feat lingering damage as well as a ring of blinking. As you can see this opens up several possiblities for me to defeat the Gorgon in a high level group of heroes. I have every intention of negating his armor and then sitting on his ass sneak attacking the hell out of him. A little improved invis. and a slew of enhancing spells especially for my AC and of course the archmage in our crew laying in a few very high caster level greater dispels should really rain on the Gorgons' parade. A very high level cleric to back up the mage with dispels as well as shield other and some heal spells for our main fighter who, though mostly noble levels, is a pretty nasty little sword swinger. That's just our core group. Let us not forget the second archmage in our ranks, the epic Aracane Trickster, the 200 year old Awnsheigh hunting Ranger, and the husband and wife duo of very tricked out and battle tested Rangers. As you can see it's a brutal little group of heroes coming up to the Gorgon with his very immediate and painful death in their collective eyes. I've roleplayed with this campaign and these various PC's and NPC's for over two years now and I can tell you; if I were the Gorgon I'd poo myself in the middle of the battlefield.
    I think the primary issue with the Gorgon is that he's been so built up the as the mother of all evil monsters that alot of players are scared. At the same time I think alot of players are far too use to the hack and it dies method of play that is so common in D&D. Only rarely have I ever come across a GM who forces his players to not only out muscle their opponents but also outwit them. Also have I only rarely come across a group of players who choose to outwit their opponents. So when we come across a foe such as the Gorgon. Powerful, tenacious, brutal, and strong in every category we come up with this "oh shit" reaction because alot of the mentality that's been produced out there in the D&D fan base is one of "out muscle the opponent and take his stuff". The Gorgon as a NPC villian demands everything that can be given by both the GM and the players. As you mentioned, why the Gorgon hasn't just mowed down and taken over Anuire is a mystery. While I agree with alot of what Osprey has written on the subject I also believe in a fantasy role playing game there can be many different reasons for things to be the way they are. The Gorgon can be all sorts of things from the classic iconic figure of abosolute evil to the merely confused and tormented soul of a man forever corrupted by what he has done in the past. All in all the issue of the Gorgon, as with all great evils in any kind of story-telling environment cannot be dealt with lightly and demands serious consideration and thought applied to every aspect of this very powerful, very evil, and very enigmatic being.

    Whew...that was exhausting, g'night all.

    Justinius ExMortis

    "The dead are free, it is the living who are enslaved."

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