View Full Version : Fix trog stench- fortitude should matter

04-12-2008, 04:53 AM
Fiend-blood troglodytes are powerful monsters with a nauseous stench defense. Logically, a good Fortitude would help a hero resist this threat. Unfortunately, Fortitude is almost irrelevant towards resisting this effect. For verisimilitude and fair payoff, a character with 32 fort should withstand stench noticeably better than one with 12 fort. Unfortunately, it hits them exactly the same.

In the new Module 6 quests, player characters will often be attacked by a crowd of Fiend-blood trogs. They have three effects that apply stench. In all cases, effects which remove or immunize against poison are effective against the stench, and the penalty for stench is about -50% running speed and -2 on some fortitude saves.

1. Stench Guard- When you attempt a melee attack on a trog you must make a fortitude save against DC 13. A failure debuffs you with stench for 60 seconds. This effect has a cooldown of a few seconds, so it won't trigger on every single swing.
2. Stench Weapon- When a trog hits you with his special weapon attack, there is about a 5-10% chance you become stenched. There is no save against this stench, and the duration is also 60 seconds.
3. Stench Aura- When you come to close range of a trog you must pass a DC 13 fort save or become stenched for 15 seconds. There is a large cooldown on this effect, so you needn't repeat the save often.

So what's wrong with that?
1. Once you get stenched, there is no ongoing save to break out. 60 seconds is a LONG time in a game like this. Either reduce the total duration, or allow a periodic chance to break free (possibly, DC to break out could be higher than the base DC)

2. When trogs apply stench by weapon attacks, there is no save. Your Fortitude is irrelevant, and it shouldn't be. Add a save. (If you don't want to weaken the attack much, then make it a high save)

3. When trogs use stench-guard the DC is so low that basically every level-appropriate PC saves on a 2 or higher. Even a wizard has 5 base + 3 resistance + 4 heroism = Fort 12. For the high-level trogs in mod6 quests, that DC could stand to be raised. At a minimum, follow the PnP rule and give them a DC of 11 + Constitution mod (Typical melee trogs have a +4 con modifier). They also might have spent a feat on Ability Focus- Stench, or gotten a profane bonus to stench DC as part of becoming fiendish.

Essentially, the right way to scale trog stench up to higher CRs is not to increase the duration, but to increase the DC. After all, higher level player characters have better saving throws, but they do not have more time. Players have two tactics to address trog stench: be immune to poison, or stay away from trogs. There should be a 3rd viable approach: Raise your fortitude save.

04-12-2008, 09:50 AM
Yanking stuff from the SRD on stench (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/troglodyte.htm):

All living creatures (except troglodytes) within 30 feet of a troglodyte must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or be sickened for 10 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.

So, the length of time of 10 rounds (60 seconds) is correct. The DC however (11 + CON modifier) should be raised if it were "by-the-books". Although, there are other things in the game that are not currently affected by monster stat modifiers (like mummy despair and monster skills).

However, the troglodytes are not supposed to do a stench effect on being hit or hitting. That was likely added to make the troglodytes a bit more potent in these higher leveled quests.

04-12-2008, 09:52 AM
ummmm.......just drink a proof agaist poison pot.

04-12-2008, 10:17 AM
So, the length of time of 10 rounds (60 seconds) is correct.
Time flows differently in DDO versus D&D. A 10 round debuff in D&D means "until the end of this encounter, but long gone before you attack another monster, and without taking steps to cure it". But as you know, in DDO 60 seconds is long enough to have travelled to a whole other battle... or rather, it would be long enough, if you weren't moving so slowly.

In D&D you cure a 60 second condition for no cost by telling the DM "I wait here for one minute", which takes about 2 seconds of playing time. Asking online players to cure a condition by a 60 sec wait would be a different matter.

For more comparisons, I refer you to the spells Ray of Enfeeblement and Symbol of Pain. The original DDO Ray of Enfeeblement was 60 sec/level (and was an easy way to measure the caster level of things like Ogre Magi in module 2). It was nerfed to a cap of 5 minutes because the original time was excessively punitive. Symbol of Pain is 60 minutes in D&D; the original DDO version was cut down to 1 minute/level... but even that was far too harsh, so it was further reduced to a low cap.

04-12-2008, 10:19 AM
ummmm.......just drink a proof agaist poison pot.
If my Fortitude is 45, and I happily ignore Pit Fiend venom and every other kind of actual poison, why should I need to drink a poison pot just because there's a smelly lizard nearby?