Encounter: Edem Highbeacon vs An Abaddon

PaladinVAbaddonIt’s been a while since I did a battle here. The purpose of this battle is two fold. 1) It demonstrates and tests the rules for mounted combat. 2) It tests the balance of Abaddons, which are intended to have a power level on the order of a level 16 character, like Edem Highbeacon.

Edem berated himself as he rode. He’d set out before dawn, as soon as he’d heard the news. A scout had returned, the only survivor of his group when a devil had attacked them in the night. It was his fault they were there, patrolling territory had a cleared. He would avenge them too. There the evil creature was, riding a fiery horse as reported. He hailed it, challenging it to battle. The armored devil turned its mount, turning to answer Edem’s charge.

Round 0: Edem: 170 HP  Abaddon: 145 HP  Nightmare: 57 HP. Edem got the first round, but gave up his surprise advantage voluntarily. It wouldn’t have mattered, a horse at a charge has little stealth. Now they charge, lances lowered, Edem will hit first, but unless he unseats his target he will be hit normally.

Round 1: Edem: 170 HP  Abaddon: 145 HP  Nightmare: 57 HP. Edem attacks with 2.6*(3d6)+26 To-Hit, rolling 12 for 57 against the Abaddon’s shield block with 5.2*(3d6) to block, rolling 12 for 62.4. The lance is successfully blocked by the shield. This negates the critical hit and halves the lance’s unseating power to (1d8)+19=26, this bumps the Abaddon to a 10% chance of being off-balance and a 90% chance of falling. Furthermore, the Lance of Vengeance is activated, dealing 3*(1d6) damage, and rolling a 1 for 3 damage to the Abaddon and 2.5 damage to the Nightmare.

The Abaddon rolls 1d100 to avoid falling. He rolls a 3! He stays in his seat but off balance. In order to rebalance himself, the Abaddon would have to abort the charge. He instead strikes, attacking with 3.2*(3d6)+8. He rolls a 4 (karma for beating the unseating?) for 20.8. Edem also blocks with his shield, with 4.4*(3d6) rolling 11 for 48.4. The Abaddon’s unseating power is (1d8)+14=18, leaving Edem with a 150% chance of staying on balance. He’s going to have to land a body blow to have a chance of unseating him.

Round 2Edem: 170 HP  Abaddon: 142 HP  Nightmare: 54.5 HP. Having charged past each other with little effect, they circle to engage again. Edem saw the Abaddon reeling and was unphased by the blow on his own shield. He would like the battle to continue in like manner, charging each other. He makes a wide turn at high speed.

The Abaddon, on the other hand, straightens himself in the saddle and resolves to force a standing engagement. He slows his mount and makes a tight turn in order to cut inside of Edem’s wide turn.

Round 3Edem: 170 HP  Abaddon: 142 HP  Nightmare: 54.5 HP. The Abaddon underestimates Edem’s riding ability. Seeing his enemy cutting inside, Edem makes an instantaneous turn (rolling 7 for a 2 foot slide) and charges. He attacks with 2.6*(3d6)+26, rolling 14 for 62.4 against the Abaddon’s shield block with 5.2*(3d6)=26, striking him a body blow! He rolls 4*((1d8)+19) damage, rolling 4 for 96 damage prior to armor. The armor consists of the Hellmount plate with a 24 puncture armor value, and the Abaddon’s natural armor with 8 blunt and 8 puncture armor values. This gives us a final damage of 96*(0.333*0.6+0.667*0.3*0.6)=30.71 to the Abaddon. The unseating power is the sum of the damage done and half of all damage prevented by non-blunt armor. This gives us 30.71+96*(0.667*0.7+0.333*0.4)/2=59.5, enough to give the Abaddon 415% chance of being unhorsed, immediately unhorsing him and preventing the reflexive attack he had intended to make. The Abaddon falls, taking 5*(0.6*0.6)=1.8 damage from the fall.

The Nightmare, however, does make its reflexive attack, snorting flames for 4.5 damage to Edem as he passes. The Abaddon meanwhile stands up and retrieves his lance, but needs nearly a second to mount up, and so does not mount this turn. Standing and retrieving his lance consumed his whole turn, so he would need instantaneous mounting to really mount up this turn.

Round 4Edem: 165.5 HP  Abaddon: 109.49 HP  Nightmare: 54.5 HP. Edem curses, wishing he had employed the power of Lyseana in his lance blow for that successful hit. But he had no way of knowing he would pass the shield. Determined to strike his foe on his non-shield side, Edem comes about more slowly. His Lance of Vengeance recovers its charge.

The Abaddon moves to his mount and climbs up. He is able to move a little, maneuvering to face Edem.

Round 5Edem: 165.5 HP  Abaddon: 109.49 HP  Nightmare: 54.5 HP. Edem moves, but not charging, at his mount’s full speed, making two sharp turns in order to attack the Abaddon on his right flank. He attacks with 2.6*(3d6)+26 against 3.2*(3d6)+7 as the Abaddon attempts to parry. 2.6*8+26 VS 3.2*11+7 = 46.8 VS 42.2. Edem uses Divine Blow  (892/992 SP) this time, confident he could surpass his target’s defenses. He deals 2*((1d8)+19) physical damage, rolling 1 for 40 base damage, reduced to 12.8 damage with an unseating power of 24.8. This leaves the Abaddon with a 16% chance of being off-balance and an 84% chance of being dismounted. In addition to physical damage, the Divine Blow of Lyseana deals 42 damage, and the Lance of Vengeance deals 3*1d6=15, dealing 15 to the Abaddon and 12.5 to the Nightmare.

The Abaddon rolls 1d100 to stay mounted and rolls 83, being unseated again by the flanking attack. He takes 3*(0.6*0.6)=1.08 falling damage. He stands, and would provoke a reflexive attack if he were not sheltered by the body of his mount, and retrieves his lance. The Nightmare, meanwhile, rears, attacking with 2*(3d6)=18 on Edem’s right side. Edem cannot parry, and so is struck by the Nightmare’s second hoof, taking 0.6 blunt damage after his plate mail and padded coat, and 1 fire damage. The Nightmare further snorts fire for 3 more fire damage.

Round 6Edem: 160.9 HP  Abaddon: 39.69 HP  Nightmare: 42 HP. Edem now recognizes the Nightmare as evil as well, and not an unwilling tool of the Abaddon. Now stationary, he attacks the Nightmare with another Divine Blow (792/992 SP) rolling 2.6*(3d6)+26 for 65. The Nightmare dodges with 4*(3d6), 4*(3d6)-10 and 4*(3d6)-20 (he has to dodge three times regardless of which direction it moves, either 3 to get past Edem: 2 for his length and 1 to get even with his attack origin; or 3 to go a different way: 1 to pivot and 2 for his length; horses cannot make a stationary dodge). He rolls 11, 7, 10 for 44, 18, 20. This would be sufficient for most melee attacks, but Edem has Anticipation VII and so is dodged against 22 rather than 15. He strikes the Nightmare, dealing 2*(2.4*(1d8)+10) physical damage for 44 damage, prior to armor. The Nightmare is wearing Hellmount plate, and so takes 44*(0.333+0.667*0.3)=23.46 damage. Lyseana’s Divine Blow deals damage dependent on the alignment of the Nightmare, let’s say (0,-6) for a tamed Nightmare.  This yields 42 damage from the Divine Blow and the Nightmare is slain.

The Abaddon now has no chance of fleeing the battle and Edem has constrained him to stay by killing his mount (though he would have been unwilling to do so if the mount had been a neutral party). The Abaddon has no similar compunction and issues a War Cry (dropping Edem’s morale by 65%) before rushing to kill his mount. The Abaddon attacks with 3.2*(3d6)+7=29.4 and Edem spurs his mount to dodge with 3.6*(3d6), 3.6*(3d6)-10 and 3.6*(3d6)-20, as the Nightmare had to dodge. He rolls 10, 13, and 3! The war horse stumbles on the third dodge and Edem, because he is a very talented rider, manages to stay seated as the blow strikes for 3*(1d8)+4=13, badly wounding Edem’s horse.

Round 7Edem: 160.9 HP  Abaddon: 39.69 HP  Nightmare: -23.46 HP. Edem could use Lay on Hands to heal his horse, but he is enraged. Edem dismounts effortlessly and his wounded horse limps away as he attacks the Abaddon, leading with his lance and Divine Blow (692/992 SP), then stepping in for a shield bash against the larger foe. He rolls 2.6*(3d6)+26=67.6 and 2.6*(3d6)+1=19.2 against the shield blocks of the Abaddon with 5.2*(3d6)=52 and 5.2*(3d6)=52. He strikes successfully with his lance, dealing before armor 2*(2.4*(1d8)+10)=24.8 physical damage, after armor 7.9. His Divine Blow deals an additional 42 damage and the Abaddon is dropped dead before he can see that Edem’s shield blow misses. Though Edem had expected to need to fight longer, perhaps relying on his lance’s enchant to circumvent the enemy’s shield, he is glad of the lucky blow which spared him fighting a long battle with diminished morale.

With Lay on Hands, he heals himself his minor bruise and burns before catching and healing his horse. He removes the saddle from his horse and they both rest a while as he looks over the Abaddon’s equipment. The lance is overly heavy, but the tower shield some of his companions might find useful. The Abaddon’s armor is to big for any humanoid Edem among Edem’s friends, and while it it too small for giants, ogres might be able to wear it. He could sell it for the raw adamantite, but he’d have to come back with a hired horse. The Nightmare armor is a large for his horse, but he puts it on for the ride home. After selling the spoils of this fight, he might be able to afford a horse large enough to properly fit the armor.

On the one hand, this battle was kind of unbalanced, primarily due to Edem’s powerful Divine Blow which against this enemy happens to be on par with the target normal damage for a Divine Blow. On the other hand, it didn’t take forever to play out, so that’s a plus. I’m now left wondering if Divine Blow is overpowered, or if this power comes primarily from the fact that he didn’t need the SP for anything else. I was also surprised that Abaddons were such bad riders. I wonder how the battle would go with an Abaddon using a shield on foot, perhaps one of the varieties with Shield Mastery, instead of the jousting variety. Or would the war hammer Abaddon do better, with Rage instead of Charge. I guess it should be no surprise that an Abaddon loses one on one with a paladin focused on riding, since Abaddons are better rounded. Perhaps in terrain that makes riding hard, an Abaddon would do better. What do you think? Any balance issues you saw?

Did you like seeing a fight? Too long? Too unbalanced? Let us know in the comments below!

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