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    Canonfire :: View topic - Babau Query
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    Babau Query
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
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    Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:17 am  
    Babau Query

    My last session ended on a cliffhanger with the wizard triggering a trapped scroll that has summoned a babau demon into the room.

    Reading up on the babau it has a number of special spell-like abilities it can use at will (1 per round). Can it use one of its spell-like abilities in addition to its melee attacks or is it a case of either/or?

    The description in the MM2 also says that anyone within 20' staring at the eyes of the babau must make a saving throw or be afflicted with an effect like ray of enfeeblement. How would you adjudicate this? Anyone directly attacking or targetting the babau with a spell must make the save? I know the spellcasters will argue that they want to look at its feet instead!

    I also just want to be clear - as a demon a babau has infravision but this will not allow them to see through their 5'R darkness spell-like ability right?
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:44 am  

    I don't remember AD&D addressing these issues perfectly, so I'll offer some suggestions for how to deal with it.

    Spell-like abilities are generally treated like spells, in that only one can be initiated per round and that is the user's action for the round. I suggest that you allow previously initiated spell-like abilities to continue automatically (eg. see invisible, darkness, detect good/magic), but only allow the demon to cast/initiate one new spell-like ability per round. It should only be allowed to defend itself while using a spell-like ability, though, not attack. Again, previously cast spell-like abilities that are constant in effect do not hinder the demon's ability to attack.

    If a person attacks the demon at no penalty, they should have a normal chance to meet its gaze. You might say 50% per round of combat. If they specifically claim that they are averting their gaze by looking at the demon's feet/legs, award them a +2 bonus to their save and reduce the chance of meetings its gaze to 25%, but give them a -2 penalty To Hit. If they are fighting the demon by looking in a mirror or a polished shield, reduce the chance of meeting the gaze to only 5% and award a +4 bonus to the saving throw, but give them a -4 To Hit penalty. If they are fighting with their eyes closes, they have a 0% chance of meeting the demon's gaze, but suffer To Hit penalties as if the demon were invisible (sorry, don't remember what those are in AD&D).

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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:52 am  

    Wolfling,

    I am going to give you the 'enhanced' Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix version of the Babau... Evil Grin

    At will (as for ALL Tanar'ri): Darkness, 15' radius, Infravision, Teleport without Error

    Acid: full damage
    Cold: half damage
    Electricity (Lightning, too): no damage
    Fire (magical): half damage
    Fire (non-magical): no damage
    Gas (poisonous, etc.): half damage
    Iron weapon: full damage
    Magic missile: full damage
    Poison: none
    Silver weapon: full (half for greater tanar'ri)

    Babau, Greater Tanar'ri
    AC: -3
    MV: 15
    HD: 8 + 14
    THAC0: 13
    NA: 1 or 3
    D/A: by wpn or 2-5/2-5/2-8 +7 due to strength (on all attacks)
    SA: corrosion, gaze, backstab
    SD: +1 or better wpn to hit, thief abilities
    Magic Resistance: 50%
    Size: M (7 feet tall)
    Morale: Champion (15-16)

    -Strength of 19, attack with weapon (20% chance for magical bonus) or claw/claw/horn attack
    -Generate slick, red substance on their bodies; all piercing/bludgeoning weapons do but half damage
    -Liquid has a corrosive property, causing 1d6 pts of damage to exposed flesh; may corrode items upon contact: metal wpns save vs Acid with each hit or become useless; magic wpns lose a "plus" if failed (each time)
    -Any creature meeting gaze save vs Spells or become affected as per Ray of Enfeeblement spell; range is 20 feet; gaze can be used on ONE opponent per round, and can be employed with other attacks in the same round
    Additional spell-like abilities (include those listed above), one per round, at will:
    -Dispel Magic
    -Fear
    -Fly
    -Heat Metal
    -Levitate
    -Polymorph self
    -May Gate other demons: 1-6 cambions or 1 other babau with 40% chance of success (for either type); may be used only once per day
    -Thief abilities (at 9th lvl ability):
    -Pick Pockets: 30%
    -Open Locks: 30%
    -Find/Remove Traps: 25%
    -Move Silently: 95%
    -Hide in Shadows: 80%
    -Detect Noise: 35%
    -Climb Walls: 90%
    -Read Languages: 30%
    -Backstabbing: x4

    -Immune to all non-magical wpns
    -20% chance that a true tanar'ri (randomly rolled for type) will come to a babau's aid if attacked

    Nasty piece of work, don't ya think? And Iuz had hosts of them aiding him during the Wars, and even afterwards, before the Flight of Fiends! Shocked

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:33 pm  
    Re: Babau Query

    Wolfling wrote:
    Can it use one of its spell-like abilities in addition to its melee attacks or is it a case of either/or?

    No, they can use either use a spell-like ability or attack, but not do both unless they have rules that say they can (which they don't).

    Wolfling wrote:
    The description in the MM2 also says that anyone within 20' staring at the eyes of the babau must make a saving throw or be afflicted with an effect like ray of enfeeblement. How would you adjudicate this? Anyone directly attacking or targeting the babau with a spell must make the save? I know the spellcasters will argue that they want to look at its feet instead!

    It is a gaze attack. Characters actively avoiding the babau's gaze are just less likely to meet it.

    Wolfling wrote:
    I also just want to be clear - as a demon a babau has infravision but this will not allow them to see through their 5'R darkness spell-like ability right?

    Right.
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:21 am  

    Thanks guys!

    Lanthorn - now that's just cruel. I'm not sure how the party will manage with the original type babau (especially if he manages to summon a mate to join the fray!).

    Evil Grin
    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:41 am  

    Quite true. ALL fiends have been upgraded in 2e (demons, devils, daemons), so you can well imagine my concern when my DM had us fight some in a campaign (my PC is fighting a cult of Nerull). Shocked

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:51 pm  
    Re: Babau Query

    Wolfling wrote:
    Reading up on the babau it has a number of special spell-like abilities it can use at will (1 per round). Can it use one of its spell-like abilities in addition to its melee attacks or is it a case of either/or?


    That's a DM ruling, since there's no clear statements about this in the MM or DMG. I allow demons and other creatures with "at will" powers to use them at will, one per round, in addition to their melee attacks. YMMV.

    Wolfling wrote:
    The description in the MM2 also says that anyone within 20' staring at the eyes of the babau must make a saving throw or be afflicted with an effect like ray of enfeeblement. How would you adjudicate this? Anyone directly attacking or targetting the babau with a spell must make the save? I know the spellcasters will argue that they want to look at its feet instead!


    If you're actively avoiding the gaze of the babau, I'd apply the same penalty for PCs as when trying to not look at a medusa, basilisk, etc.

    Wolfling wrote:
    I also just want to be clear - as a demon a babau has infravision but this will not allow them to see through their 5'R darkness spell-like ability right?


    No, but if they're casting the darkness themselves, they are able to see through it, so the infravision is somewhat moot. They would also get MR against any other darkness spells, etc., too, of course. Again, YMMV :D
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    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:01 am  
    Re: Babau Query

    grodog wrote:

    That's a DM ruling, since there's no clear statements about this in the MM or DMG. I allow demons and other creatures with "at will" powers to use them at will, one per round, in addition to their melee attacks.


    I quickly perused the 1e books (DMG and PHB) b/c I am not as familiar with them as 2e. I found nothing that addresses this situation, but I do know that in the subsequent 2e books, they address that 'at will' spell-like abilities cannot be used simultaneously with melee attacks. It's an 'either/or' case. Furthermore, "Spells & Magic" (2.5 book) notes that 'at will' powers cannot be disrupted in the same vein that casting spells can be due to damage upon the caster.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:26 pm  

    It so happens that I've been perusing Monster Manual II lately to brush up on a couple of demons for an upcoming adventure. While I've always been of the school of thought that demons get only one action per round (attack or spell-like ability), the language in MMII does suggest otherwise:

    Arcanadaemon
    "In addition to his clawing attacks, the arcanadaemon can, at will, use burning hands as spell, doing 13 points of damage to those within 3 feet of his claw attack."

    Bar-Lgura
    "In addition to clawing and biting attacks, this demon can use the following spell-like powers..."

    Dretch
    "In addition to their normal attack mode, dretch can, at will, perform the following spell-like powers..."

    Rutterkin
    "In addition to normal attacks, rutterkin can, at will, use the following spell-like powers..."
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:13 pm  



    Last edited by BlueWitch on Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:19 pm  

    I agree with BW's interpretation on this.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:14 am  

    Right. It is exactly like stating, "In addition to being able to attack somebody with a dagger, dart, knife, sling, or staff, a wizard can, at will, use any of their memorized spells." That doesn't mean that the wizard can attack somebody with a weapon and cast a spell in same round though. They are just stating that the various creatures have other attack options besides their natural attacks, not that they can do make use of both natural attacks and spell-like abilities in the same round.
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    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:00 am  

    I found the language interesting when considered in context. The demon descriptions in Monster Manual (1977) typically use the verbiage, "The demon has the following powers, which can be used once per turn or melee round...". This left it unclear whether these powers could be used while making a melee attack. Monster Manual II (1983) introduced the phrase, "In addition to normal attacks...", which certainly could be interpreted to mean, "In the same round as a normal attack." (I absolutely believe that to be the case in the arcanadaemon example.) I'm still not entirely convinced that this was Gygax's intent, but I can see the other side's argument.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:49 pm  

    Spell-like abilities count as cast spells, and are handled accordingly in the rules:
    Quote:
    Spell combat includes cleric and magic-user, as well as monster-oriented spells.


    That is the only clarifying statement I have found regarding combat. I guess things really were a lot simpler back in the day, though still not all that clearly explained at all times. So, barring some very specific special rule, creatures cannot cast a spell/use a spell-like ability and attack in the same round- they must choose one or the other action, as normal. The only spell-like ability a babau has that can be combined with an attack (and only a single attack at that) is fear, which it must roll to hit with. Spells and spell-like effects that require a successful to hit roll can very much be implemented through a claw or bite attack.

    The "at will" adage would better be described as telling us that the creature can use such powers an unlimited amount of times, or if a power is limited to a certain number of uses per day/week/etc. that they need not rest and then memorize their powers before being able to use them again (i.e. the allotted time simply needs to pass before they can use them again), not anything else.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:14 am  

    BlueWitch wrote:



    As for the other snippets you quoted, I would say that is not implying they can do these simultaneously. In addition to posting here in CF, I can ride a bike, but I cannot do both at the same time. In addition to casting spells, Tenser can attack with a weapon or his bare hands, or he could run away, but he has to pick just one; he cannot do all of these at the same time.


    Heheh you should practice BlueWitch - riding a bike and posting on Canonfire could be a useful skill to have!
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    Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:22 am  

    I've always ruled that demons can use one "at will" power in addition to their allotted melee attacks per round. It's how I interpreted the rules and more importantly, it keeps the demons fearsome in first edition.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:33 pm  

    Due to their immunities and various abilities (foremost among them their gating ability), demons are already fearsome enough. And they get much, much nastier in 2E onwards.

    As a side note, psionics (which many demons/devils/etc. have) also can't be used in addition to normal attacks- it is one or the other.
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    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:10 pm  

    2e definitely made fiends FAR deadlier as Cebrion noted. I've been on both the DM and player side of that equation. Either way, they've got some truly terrible powers and you'd better have some great spells, weapons, and tactics at your own disposal lest you end up on their menu.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:42 am  

    My demons can ride a bike, chew gum and use an at will power at the same time. My Marilith demons can also text on their cells while doing all the previous mentioned tasks.

    2E and beyond, demons are fearsome, which I like. I've always looked at demons and devils as special opponents for players; deserving of a little extra background and alway having the potential to act as a reoccuring villian or foil.
    GreySage

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    Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:25 am  

    Fiends weren't the only Planar beings that got boosted in power by the 2e rules, but they were the main ones. Devas ("angels") did, too, likely to balance out the powers. Elementals, oddly enough, did not, but perhaps that's the topic for another thread.

    With all the increase in power for fiends, it is no small wonder that Iuz was easily able to crush his foes. But, as many have noted in other threads on other posts, I, too, think it was overkill in campaign terms (though completely tactically sound) and I liked that most demons were banished by the Crook of Rao.

    -Lanthorn
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