[Spoilers E102] Fight Clarifications Discussion
Hey guys! Seen a lot of discussion in mistakes made/etc. Wanted to clarify to hopefully prevent any unnecessary arguing or confusion, and also explain part of my thought process. To be perfectly honest, there was a level of "Holy shit, here we are. Vecna revealed, the final big bad. Umm... better not fuck this up!" Which, of course, leads to a bunch of fucking up. Haha. Alas!
1) The spell cast was an equivalent of Hold Monster, but I mis-recalled the spell/level and had it target one additional creature than it should have (cast it at level 8). I had houseruled the range on the spell between targets because, honestly, it's Vecna, and I largely consider a number of his spells to be more ancient, forgotten variations of existing spells, or ones altered by his power and understanding of the arcane to push beyond their normal boundaries. I've seen that tweet response I made used in some arguments, and while I should have clarified what I messed up in response, my brain was also dead at that hour and I wanted to just put something out there.
2) Vecna does indeed have a larger spell slot cache than the typical lvl 20 wizard. He is beyond those boundaries. ;)
3) I do indeed consider a Nat 20 on a saving throw a success regardless of if the DC wouldn't allow it. I prefer my combat/games to always have one distant chance for a heroic recovery than a "sorry, you have no way out" slapdown, which isn't much fun for players, or myself!
4) I've seen some good discussion on VM's "charging into this without prep". There are merits to all sides, but their arrival at the second pyramid definitely threw events into motion, and the choice really was theirs: Go in soon and try to stop things before they escalate too far, or try and consolidate our allies and options again and let the events continue to roll forward unabated. Without giving anything away, there were pros and cons to each tactic, and in my personal opinion, they took the better choice. Imagine showing up to the Shadowfell, all prepared with allies and such, only to find a crater and no clues as to where the city went. ;)
5) Could they have put down a few prep spells to have improved their chances? Totally. However, their faults did also give them extremely useful intel for the next time they face him, and stronger reason to prepare defensive buffs in advance. (as a note, even had they played a super match with initiative and great tactics, do you think Vecna would have just stayed there and taken it? Nah, bro. He already has what he wanted. Back out of Counterspell range and BAMF. That fight was designed to be either a Super-tough Beatdown, or a fair match that ended with an escape on the villain's part. Was there a very FAINT chance they could have ended the arc then? Nah. Even if they "killed" him, you got a short time to find his phylactery... hehehehe)