Monday's Monster Mash is a new weekly series where monsters are selected from the three Monster Manuals and put together as an encounter group. A situation is discussed where these monsters would have been together and how their powers or status effects work together against the players.
The great Ancient Silver Dragon Storath was trapped in an icy prison, lured there by a fair Eladrin maiden with flattery and ill intent. Once inprisoned, his son Gradak took up a quest to find and release his father. Gradak, idealistic and with a crusading temperament, first looked to his fellow Silver Dragons for help. Most were not willing to follow him on his search, but Pruora, a Blizzard dragon, overheard Gradak's pleas and agreed to follow to aid him in the search for Storath. Ever since the Dawn War and the death of Io, Pruora had been lost in search of a master and a cause. As Gradak and Pruora approached the northern mountain peaks, they were attacked by a group of Ice Archons under the command of a Greater Air Elemental. The dragons made quick work of the elemental and the Ice Archons dissolved their weapons, willing to follow Gradak and Pruora in exchange for their lives.
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First up, we have Gradak, the Silver Dragon. These magical beasts have two attacks to be weary of. First, all Silver Dragons, whether Young, Adult, Elder, or Ancient, have an attack called Wing Slice (melee, immediate reaction). This attack is trigger when the players are flanking the dragon and attacks it. The dragon stretches out its wings and slices at the attacker and one enemy flanking with the attacker. Even with the addition of the flanking bonuses, the party would not be able to stay in close because of the Wing Slice. Secondly, every Silver Dragon has the Dragon Onslaught (melee, at will) attack allowing them to make a claw attack (plus one bite a attack for the bigger dragons) against every enemy within reach.
Next up, we have Pruora, the Blizzard Dragon. Much like the Silver Dragons, all Blizzard Dragons share common attacks, regardless of their size. These elemental beasts have two attacks I want to touch on. First, is their Double Attack (melee, at will) which allows them use two standard actions every turn. What's worse than a dragon's bite? How about being bitten twice!?! Their second frightening attack is a triggered action called Chill Rebuke (ranged, recharged when first bloodied) which attacks with a close blast five when an enemy's melee attack deals damage to the dragon. This can spell trouble for the party if the tank has to get in close, potentially taking double attacks on the dragon's turn and causing damage to the entire party when landing a hit.
Last we have the Ice Archons. These elementals have two attacks the party should be deathly afraid of. Much like the Blizzard Dragon, the Ice Archon Hailscourge have a Double Attack, but with a different flavor. Their attack allows them to use their Ice Shuriken (standard, at will) ranged attack twice, much like the Ranger's Twin Strike attack. The second attack is called Hail Storm (standard) which allows the Ice Arcon to send out shards of ice in an area burst with a size of their choice: 1, 2, 3, or 4. Even if the attack misses, the players still take half damage.
So how does this all tie together?
Imagine, a party consisting of a Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, and Wizard are exiting an ice dungeon with their payload of loot and whatever artifact they were sent there to retrieve. Next thing they know, the snowy ground bursts open and they are bombarded by the Ice Archons' Ice Shurikens and Hail Storms. The Fighter rushes in but a Blizzard Dragon lands right in front of him, dealing multiple bite attacks. The Ranger and Wizard begin firing on the Ice Archons when a Silver Dragon lands directly between them using its Dragon Onslaught to deal damage to everyone within range. The Cleric attacks the Silver Dragon with her Lance of Faith, commanding the rest of the party to focus there. The Fighter quickly becomes bloodied without the support against the Blizzard Dragon and Ice Archons so the Cleric tries to make her way to him as the Wizard is taken down in a Hail Storm of ice. The Ranger drops his bow and goes after the Silver Dragon with his sword while still taking damage from the Ice Archons. As the Fighter goes down, he lands a blow to the Blizzard Dragon, causing its Chill Rebuke attack to be triggered, dealing the killing blow to the Fighter and severely injuring the Cleric. As the rest of the party is ripped to shreds by ice and teeth, Gradak searches the bodies for any sign of the party may have had pointing him in the direction of his father's prison.
- What other monsters do you think could add an interesting flair to this group and how would you work them into the story?
- What other strategies could this group of monsters use against the party?
- What are some possible defensive tactics the party could use against these monsters, especially with their trigger attacks?
- How could different party make-ups be better or worse against these monsters?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!