Saturday, 24 March 2012

Antimagic and 4e: King Duncan

Dominic Matte

The last stat block is King Duncan himself, leading the campaign to purge magic from the country. He's not the kind of king who has others fight for him -- as a solo soldier he's tough all around and exerts some control over his enemies' movement and abilities. He's also an expert wielder of antimagic, able to disrupt his enemies' connection to the very source of their power and take advantage of their weakness.

Read on for stats.

Feel free to adjust the numbers and flavour to fit your game. Fair warning: the power of this stat block scales up with the number of casters in the party.

Duncan is one tough guy, with well-rounded defenses and a lot of attack options. As the king he's immune to fear, letting nothing stand in his way. His Feedback Loop trait is pretty nasty, turning powers back on the attacker -- if Duncan is hit by an arcane or divine attack, the attacker suffers the miss effects of that power. To put it in more concrete terms, if a sorcerer hits Duncan with the level 15 daily power Scintillating Starburst, that sorcerer will take half of the power's 4d6+Cha damage. Ouch.

In terms of attacks, Duncan can protect himself from melee combatants with a blinding Pistol Whip to the forehead. While this attack is fairly effective, it's not what Duncan wants to be doing when his Disrupting Shot can disable the at-will attacks of arcane or divine characters. With his Double Assault, Duncan can make two basic attacks per turn, or three per turn while bloodied with Royal Fury. In theory he could keep a melee fighter blind forever, but he'd much rather stay out of melee and prevent spellcasters from attacking. This might seem horribly unbalanced, but Duncan is a level 17 solo -- the party should have multiple dailies and encounters at their disposal, as well as a couple of powers that help get rid of save ends effects.

Called Shot is a recharge power that deals a bit more damage than Disrupting Shot, and also applies a condition of Duncan's choice to the target. It might not seem as useful as the basic attack, but if Duncan has already shut down the casters, he may as well slow down someone else.

Headshot Finisher is a frighteningly powerful attack, but how does Duncan knock someone prone to use it? Glad you asked.

Disjunction is Duncan's signature power, able to completely shut down an arcane or divine character until they make their saving throw. The powerful blast of antimagic also knocks enemies to the floor, opening up an opportunity for Duncan to blow their brains out with Headshot Finisher. Disjunction might not recharge for a while, but at the very least, Antimagic Surge will trigger it again when Duncan is bloodied or dropped, whether or not it's recharged. You might want to consider running Disjunction as an encounter power if your party has a lot of casters, though.

Finally, Duncan does get a bit of mobility with Diveroll. He won't be able to use it every turn, but when it's available, he can dodge an attack, reducing its damage a bit and shifting away. This is best used to escape from melee attackers trying to lock the king down.

Duncan doesn't really have any major weaknesses. The only thing that comes close is that he has no special movement options other than the occasional Diveroll. In fact, the party could be far worse off than Duncan. His antimagic abilities are extremely potent, but also depend on party composition -- the more casters there are in the party, the more dangerous Duncan becomes. An all-martial party is immune to half his abilities, but an all-arcane party will be utterly destroyed. So, to summarize: be careful how you play this stat block. Duncan is best used against a party of five with two arcane/divine characters. 

I'd like to hear what you think of the stat block, especially if you've tried it out yourself.

Hope you've enjoyed the series!

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