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Swarm attacks 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Swarm attacks
I've been working on converting some old 1e & 2e monsters into C&C / Amazing adventures and have come up on something I need help with.

h monster itself is Crawling Claw, and the conversion is easy. However, in the monster block it mentions swarm as the organization with 1 - 20 being the number encountered.

That got me thinking, the little bugger isn't tough as an individual, but a swarm of 10 15 or 20 of the things could be deadly. So, I've tried to think about how to handle the mechanical effects of fighting a swarm of them.

I don't want to have to roll that many attack rolls for the swarm (just think how slow a combat would be if you had to roll 15 different attack & damage rolls every round), but how would you handle it

I was thinking 4 or less claws attacking a single target roll attack & damage as normal.

Consider 5 or more claws attacking 1 target is considered a swarm of them. However, what would the to hit and damage bonus be for the swarm and how would it increase as more claws made up the swarm ? +1 per every claw over 5 (seams kind of high) …

Also, what about the claws gouging the eyes of the target, crushing the wind pipe, grabbing the wrist and numbing the hand, grabbing the foot and tripping the target.

Would something like being entangled and unable to move work? Save for Str or Dex to avoid the entangle, if entangled then need a Str save to pull off enough of the claws to gain mobility back ? Again what would the CL level be for the swarm ?

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Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:09 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Swarm attacks
I've used a similar system for some time for swarms (6 or more) of tiny (1-ft >) and small creatures (1'-2') though I use a +1 per 4 (tiny) and +1 per 3 (small) for to hit and damage. It's not as bad as it sounds in effect. If the swarm rolls a crit, then apply the choking or gouging effect...or even ripping off sections of armor. The downside of using things as a swarm like this is that they all have to go after a single target rather than spreading the pain through the party. You could also look at adapting the mechanics of the summon swarm spell or using that as a base.

As to entangled or restrained; I would only look at those if the PC fell prone and/or the swarm was made up of enough creatures or a type of creature that would have enough weight or capability of even doing so in the first place. CL would be base HD and the same bonuses used for the to hit/damage used.

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Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:28 pm
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am
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Post Re: Swarm attacks
It may not help in the general sense, but what I tend to do is consider an attack like that described to be an overbearing one, with multiple hands increasing effective Strength/Dexterity and size (and/or other modifiers as required for the attack.)

For example, I might decide that a single claw has a Strength equivalent of 12, is size S, with a Dexterity of 10.

At 7, this goes up by +2 Str, to medium, and Dex of +2.

At 13+, their combined effective Strength is +6 (18), size large, with Dexterity of 16.

Damage would probably be one single attack, but with +1 for every 2 or 3 in the group, if they are attacking to injure and not drag down or whatever.

Different swarms might function in a different way -- the creeping doom spell certainly is very different.


Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:35 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Swarm attacks
Thanks for the Ideas on this, sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I had training this week and was out of pocket most of the time

I do like the idea of starting at 6ish as the base for a swarm, and then every x amount going up on the + to hit and damage.

I thought about the spell summon swarm but since the critters in the spell are basic bugs bats rats and the like, and the undead crawling claws are more substantial (and have a more creepy evil intent) I didn't think it fit the feel of what I was going for.

GoO rgr on the down side being that the swarm has to focus on 1 target. Plus, it gives up multiple chance to hit v 1 chance at a more significant attack. However, if there is a whole mess of the buggers, there could be a few 'swarms' and one or 2 singulars skittering around causing problems.

Also, as it is more of a Poe horror feel than a standard game, I like the idea of the group encountering 1 of them, then 2 more then 4 more and every round the little buggers just keep coming

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"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:29 am
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