[WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

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[WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:51 am

This topic is being archived from the Ravenloft forum at Wizards of the Coast, prior to that forum being deleted. It was posted Sep 27, 2008 10:21:46.
Evil_Uncle_Tony wrote:So I am running Castle Ravenloft in 4th edition converting as I go. I am having trouble making Strad von Zarovich. In the 3.5 book he is a 10th level necromancer Vampire. I would like to make him an 11th level Solo Vampire lord with Ice and necrotic spells and maybe spider climb. Can anyone help me with advice on designing this?
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:52 am

Cpt_Micha wrote:
Evil_Uncle_Tony wrote:So I am running Castle Ravenloft in 4th edition converting as I go. I am having trouble making Strad von Zarovich. In the 3.5 book he is a 10th level necromancer Vampire. I would like to make him an 11th level Solo Vampire lord with Ice and necrotic spells and maybe spider climb. Can anyone help me with advice on designing this?
What level is the default Vampire in the MM? I'd take him, and add two templates. (and give him Solo Hp) I know there is an Icy one, but I can't remember if there is a spiderclimbing one.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:53 am

Great_Zamboni wrote:One of the things that made Strahd so terrifying in previous edition was that he was as versatile as a PC, and specifically able to switch out prepared spells from night to night to better hone in on the party's weaknesses.

What I would do is stat Strahd up twice - once as a controller and once as, I guess, a soldier or brute. He attacks in controller mode when he's trying to wear down the party as they explore the castle. Then, if they finally track him down, he "switches strategies" and uses his knock-down-drag-out-fighting stats.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:53 am

pauln6 wrote:Stat him as a solo according to the party's level. Original Ravenloft was for 5-7 level 1e characters. If you pitch your 11th solo against a group of 5th level characters they will probably be massacred, most probably finding it really hard to hit his defences, which adjust according to his level now. A radiant damage Sunsword will give them some extra properties to give them a chance when they have the sword, but be a bit careful to balance it so that any fight isn't totally one-sided up until they have the sword unless your intention is just to toy with them until that point.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:55 am

mourn_dup wrote:
Evil_Uncle_Tony wrote:So I am running Castle Ravenloft in 4th edition converting as I go. I am having trouble making Strad von Zarovich. In the 3.5 book he is a 10th level necromancer Vampire. I would like to make him an 11th level Solo Vampire lord with Ice and necrotic spells and maybe spider climb. Can anyone help me with advice on designing this?
First off, go to the NPC creation section in the 4e DMG and create an 11th level wizard character with ice spells. Add in a climb speed (no need for a spell/power). Slap on the Vampire Lord template in order to give him the vampire abilities. If you want him to be a better necromancer, slap on the Death Master template and he'll be a Solo.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:55 am

The_Jester wrote:Strahd is the definitive lurker.
He has some controller elements (gaze attacks, necromantic debuffing, etc) and he's tough. But that's in past editions. But what's his role in the adventure?
Well, he attacks continually, guerrilla warfare-style with hit-and-run tactics. He fights and escapes, harassing the party when they least expect it and seldom sticks around long enough to be seriously hurt (except in one particular room foretold in the card reading).
That's a textbook lurker. Hide, attack mid-fight, then retreat.

For a 4e Castle Ravenloft I'd limit the number of hard encounters (those 2-4 levels above the party's). Restrict them to easy and normal or ones. Then just have Strahd show up for a round or two, just long enough to strike once then run.
Essentially, leave some xp room in all the encounters for Strahd, who they won't actually get xp for because he's never killed.

Strahd should have a solid melee attack, as he was a fighter in his early years (seldom reflected in his stats). So maybe a basic melee attack with a bastard sword.
His basic ranged attack should maybe be some kind of necromantic ray or dark magic missile that attacks and debuffs.

But really, he should have several preparable encounter powers (a spell-book function). So he's diverse and so the PCs can't prepare for or anticipate his attacks. He picks his encounter powers each morning then waits for a chance to use them.
Maybe a few one-time spells or gotcha! abilities. Daily powers that he can only use once instead of the standard monster encounter powers (4e monsters aren't really designed for Strahds who survive their combat and attack repeatedly).

I'd use necromantic powers for a basis, plus standard vampire fair.
Like turning into a bat swarm for a turn and dealing swarm aura & poison damage.
And also leader powers that boost his minions and servants for the round or two he's present.

I'd avoid templates. If you're designing a solo from scratch you're better without them.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:01 am

The_Jester wrote:Okay, let's make a Strahd right here and now.

We'll go with 12th level, a little higher than in EtCR and the original material, but this way you can easily modify him between 10-14 depending on how fast the party levels.

So he should have an average score of 19 in his stats (13+6), with one at 22 (13+6+3).
So we'll do this:
Str 19
Con 17
Dex 16
Int 22
Wis 17
Cha 16
These are close to his original stats, with Str and Int boosted.
Which gives him 537 hitpoints.

Defences: AC 31 Fort 24 Ref 29 Will 26 (with AC and Ref being boosted for high Int but Will going down by 1, and the +3 solo bonus going into AC, Ref and Will)

Attack vs AC: +17 melee, +19 w/ Int
Attack vs other: +15 melee, +17 w/ Int

Damage, we're looking at 2d6+5 to 3d6+5 with limited of 4d8+5 to 4d10+5.
But a bastard sword does 1d10 so that'll be tweaked. His strength would normally do 1d10+4 w/ a b-sword (average of 9.5) while 2d6+5 is an average of 12. So we'll arbitrarily boost his sword damage to 1d10+7 (he's Strahd, he'll have a freakin' magic sword).

For his basic ranged we'll use the moderate damage column of 2d6+5 but maybe have it necrotic damage.

What have we got so far:
Strahd von Zarovich Level 12 Solo Lurker (leader)
Medium natural humanoid (undead) XP 3,500
Initiative
+13 Senses Perception +9; darkvision
HP 537 Bloodied 268
Regeneration 10 (regeneration does not function while Strahd is exposed to direct sunlight)
AC 31 Fortitude 24 Reflex 29 Will 26
Immune disease, poison; Resist 10 necrotic; Vulnerable 10 radiant
Saving Throws +5
Speed 8, climb 4 (spider climb)
Action Points 2
M Bastard Sword (standard; at-will) ✦ Weapon
+17 vs. AC; 1d10 + 7
R Necrotic Missile (standard; at-will) ✦ Necrotic
Ranged 10; +17 vs. Reflex; 2d6+5
m Blood Drain (standard; recharges when an adjacent creature becomes bloodied) ✦ Healing
Requires combat advantage; +15 vs. Fortitude; 3d8 + 5 damage, the target is weakened (save ends), and Strahd regains 134 hit points; see also combat advantage.
r Dominating Gaze (minor; recharge ⚅) ✦ Charm
Ranged 5; +17 vs. Will; the target is dominated (save ends, with a –2 penalty on the saving throw). Aftereffect: The target is dazed (save ends). Strahd can only dominate one creature at a time.
Combat Advantage
Strahd deals an extra 3d8 damage with his attacks against any target it has combat advantage against.
Mist Form (standard; encounter) ✦ Polymorph
Strahd becomes insubstantial and gains a fly speed of 12, but cannot make attacks. Strahd can remain in mist form for up to 1 hour or end the effect as a minor action.
Second Wind (standard; encounter) ✦ Healing
Strahd spends a healing surge and regains 134 hit points. Strahd gains a +2 bonus to all defences until the start of his next turn.
Spellbook
Each day Strahd chooses one Daily power and two Encounter powers from the list below. Strahd cannot choose the same power twice.
Alignment Evil Languages Common, Balok
Skills Arcana +17, Bluff +14, History +17, Intimidate +14, Stealth +14
Str 19 (+10) Dex 16 (+9) Wis 17 (+9) Con 17 (+9) Int 22 (+12) Cha 16 (+9)
Equipment bastard sword, spellbook, crystal ball, Dracula costume
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:55 pm

[quote='The_Jester"]Still needs work because, for a solo, Strahd has a lack of interrupt/refresh abilities.
And he still needs his leader power.

Let's see (looking at his House of Strahd spell-list).

Encounter power... I suggest:
One where he becomes a bat swarm (gains fly 12 and Aura 1 that lets him makes a basic attack on anyone in the aura).

There's always fireball, but I might add necrotic damage (on top of the fire).

A touch attack that weakens and drains life (like enervation) doing necrotic damage.

He's got dimension door, so that's a quick teleport power.

Dailies...
Maybe something similar to mirror image where he has a chance to avoid an attack.

To reflect his necromancy he might summon some skeletal minions (should be L10+ and mebbe done up as new monsters. Strahd Skeletons).

His original list had polymorph other, so he might force other shapes on people.

Leadership power might remove undead allies' vulnerabilities while he's within # squares.

I'll come back to it later.

But really, as a lurker, he should try to attack (with CA) fight for a round, then run and hide. Only, in his case, he doesn't come back that fight.

You might also want to tie unique powers to certain rooms, so when they enter he does special power X. He should be a regular thorn and really **** off the players. They should want to kill him by the end.[/quote]
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:55 pm

Irving wrote:This is a bit of a mind-bender for people, but try this concept on for size:

There is no reason to have one set statblock for Strahd.

If you're using him in an adventure, his stats - or to be more specific, the powers he has - can change from encounter to encounter. When first encountered, he could be a lurker with a crawl speed - a quick hit and run and run away up the castle walls. Later, in a great hall filled with undead minions, he's a controller. Near the final stages, he's a full bore solo.

The "new" abilities he uses in each encounter aren't new per se - they're just the ones that are tactically sound in each encounter. Strahd can "always" spider climb, but there's no reason for him to do so in a relatively small space, so don't even bother putting it on the stat block when he's in a small room. List what you want him to do in each encounter, and design appropriately. It's a bit like computer RPGs, where you can run into the same badguy multiple times and have him be tougher each time you reach him.

And if you're sitting down for a chat with Strahd, and combat's not on the menu... well, don't stat him at all. No combat's in play, so why bother? Strahd doesn't need "knowledge skills" per se; he knows what you, the DM, deem he ought to know to further the plot of the adventure.

Now, I can understand the logic of statting him in case the PCs jump him when you're not expecting it - a "generic" version of Strahd, as it were. But honestly, if you're paying attention that shouldn't happen... and if it does, Strahd would probably prefer to retreat and drop a big, nasty necromantic construct behind him on the way out, to give the PCs something to chew on.
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Re: [WotC] Strad von Zarovich in 4th eddition

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:56 pm

scythe0925 wrote:i'd just like to say this is offically the sexiest forum thread ive read in a while. I've always been a huge ravenloft fan (though i admit im HORRIBLE at running a ravenloft campagin, much better at the realms). Mainly due to my 1st readthrough of I, Strahd.

Im so going to be using strahd, espically the whole hit and run tactics idea.

Thanks again!
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