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ToiaTheKing

Mob Idea: Night Takers

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I wrote down a mob idea that a few of us were talking about at the work day today. Feedback appreciated! :)

Night Takers
Body: 4 Damage 4. Throws no incant "Banish" tagbags. Claw weapons. No armor. Very intelligent.

Costuming: Black garb, some type of creepy mask.

Night Takers are undead that are only seen at night. They are pale creatures with two long appendages for arms. They are always alone, and prefer not to attack large groups. Rather, they wait silently, and banish a member of the group to a small pocket dimension. Night Takers will then attack the banished member when the group is no longer nearby and the banish has worn off.

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I think you have a neat tabletop concept here, but in a live action setting there are some issues here that would make this fail.

To explain lets walk through what an IDEAL encounter with this creature would require.

First it gets the jump on a group of players, sneaking up at night and landing a Banish tag-bag.  Throwing tag bags at night is generally a fairly close range job because of visibility and the target clearly hearing it.  

Having landed the banish the NPC now needs to run away in the dark and hide.  There are certainly players capable of that, but its a pretty limited number.

Now comes the hardest part.  The PC's need to not metagame, and walk away from their banished friend.  While the banished person has to stand around bored for 10 minutes.

Assuming this happens correctly the banished person waits 10 minutes to get jumped then does some solo combat that well buffed players will probably live through, but inexperienced/ unbuffed players will have a hard time with.  Those unbuffed players will have spent 10 minutes standing around waiting to die, then get dropped, then have to wait alone in the woods however long their party leaves them there trying to not metagame knowing the person is out there.

In the end its a series of events that punish players (not characters) for not taking advantage of out of game knowledge.

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Thanks Ryan, this is really helpful feedback. I've also had some of this brought up to me by other players so I've had some time to think of adjustments. Ultimately, the goal would be for a mob to create the feeling of being in a Blair Witch Project type scenario where members of your party just "vanish" one by one and you're left searching for them. With that in mind, some ideas I had to adjust while keeping the main goal:

1. Banish being boring concerns: If the NPC player notices that the other PCs have left, I believe they have the ability to dispell the banish correct? This could be used to help reduce lag time between the banish being cast and the fight happening.

2. Metagaming concerns: True, I get the concern about punishing players for not metagaming. A possible workaround could be to have a mechanism for the monster to "teleport" the banished player to a different spot. Maybe it can use a laylines type ability to bring the player to a different spot like a hive or nest. This could increase the stakes and make the scenario more intense.

Finally, some of your concerns about the combat mechanics of a buffed player being able to defeat this monster 1v1 could be solved with some stat adjustments and additional spells the monster could have.

I'm totally open to workshopping this idea more and changing things around.

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There is no way to dispel your own offensive spells.  Thus Banish would sit out the full 10 minutes.  It could have some special mechanic to see into the banish and remove the person.  This only partially solves the problem.  If the creature waits for the party to truly be far enough away the person is still probably waiting most of that 10 minutes (otherwise the sound of fighting happens).

Your work around on metagaming only makes this creature more deeply problematic.  Now if the person dies, they probably get Pcd'd.  Further exacerbating the either someone buffed deals with the creature, or someone not buffed gets royally hosed.

A monster built around banish as its primary mechanic in the wheelhouse of very rare very challenging monsters.  That type of monsters is almost never a random encounter in the woods which is what you want for this creature.  And rare monsters are something Novitas wants in very limited quantities.  Assembling garb and getting masks etc costs a lot, then it all has to be stored, which means hauling it back and forth.

What I'm trying to say is that adding creatures is a challenging topic.  Not an impossible one, but a challenging one.

The Blair Witch project is a cool feeling for an encounter, but that's something probably best suited to a custom encounter built for that purpose as opposed to a creature designed to give that feeling on a regular basis.

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These would be a very cool non-com plot monster like we had back in the day using veronica in different ways.

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