What are some systems that do boss fights well Veeky Forums?

What are some systems that do boss fights well Veeky Forums?

In D&D the action economy fucks lone creatures, and even when you give them minions it's way too easy to just focus fire on the boss

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mediafire.com/download/m555wbs905jb00z/Strike! Core Rulebook.pdf

the boss is disguised as the minions.
Using terrain for a boss to play whack a mole with.
The boss follows the party throughout the game attacking randomly.
The boss has clones of himself he keeps sending back in time.

Honestly I can't think of a system that handles it particularly well with the maths alone unless you just stack modifiers until the beastie has way more HP than anything of its kind normally has.

Good level design will do more for a boss battle than systems and stats will, though. Especially if you add a variable the boss can use against the PCs, one the boss might want to protect from the PCs, and mooks who make focusing on the boss a hazard.

An example is the Big Bug Monster Boss. Imagine that it wants to protect an egg clutch, so PCs can rely on it staying close to that, however it has the nest positioned so it can clearly see the only significant ways in. The PCs can attack stalactites on the cave ceiling that can fall on eggs, provoking the boss to protect them with its body and damage itself. The boss, on the other hand, has an edge in the form of light drones that are weak individually, but if they latch onto a PC can vomit up their own digestive tract in a suicide attack and deal tremendous acid/poison damage plus a sickening debuff. IT might also have a sort of psychic feedback scream that stuns them if they try to attack it by getting too close; to let your melee nerds feel like they have a shot, give it a recharge rate so they can learn the pattern of "it shrieks every 3 turns" or whatever.

If you want to use (e.g.) Final Fantasy style boss fights in a game like D&D, just do what that game does: make the bosses immune to save-or-suck magic and inflate their HPs so drastically that it still takes five or six rounds of focus fire to bring them down.

I play OD&D, which means that monsters have (depending on the version) d6 or d8 hit points per hit die. If I want to make a monster a "boss" (which isn't something you normally do in OD&D, but sometimes it comes up), hell, I'll give them 16–20 hp per hit die. That solves the problem rather handily.

Or it could just grab the egg and move oit from under the stalagMITES

Stalagmites MIGHT hang from the ceiling, but they don't. Meanwhile stalactites hang TIGHT.

'tites are the ones on the ceiling, chief.

Make the most of the boss's action currency.

A shout out to activate a trap, or animate a statue. A nod to summon minions from hiding.

Place the boss in a tough to get to spot, where he can't easily be ganged up on.

Make that fucker fight like a PC. He's lv (x), just like them, with access to the same shit. Let him have buffed up minions that are annoying as shit to get through.


Kingdom Death Monster.

Of course, all systems can have good boss fights if you have a good DM

Crazy idea here, but give them two initiatives. Or more. Why not?

The boss monsters splits in two every time it's hit. There, now it has lots of actions.

This. Give it more actions to balance the action economy.

Make it impervious to everything except for conveniently placed lava crystals.

Doesn't 5e already have Legendary Actions and Resistances?

Don' take the b8, m8


That reminds me of something...oh right, best edition.

I run osr, but I do something similar.

Normal monsters roll initiative really simply: They always go first if they surpise the party, always go last if the party suprises them, and must roll 10 or more on 2 dice to go first if things are otherwise equal. I swear to god if someone asks me what type of dice

Almost everything gets only 1 attack per round.

The exception to this are boss-type monsters. Those I give two attacks, generally with significan't mechanical stuff that the party can interact with. The first one is usually a fast attack, and I let the boss get it off first unless a player does sommething really creative. The second attack is its main attack. For dragons this would be flame (which actually isn't that threatening, since its save/dodge) and claws (which HURT).

After the first round, the boss effectively goes both first and last every round.

why two dice though?

In my game you take 70% of the total party XP to make a BBEG. Each party member has 100k (400k) XP? BBEG has 280k XP. If there is more than 1 BBEG in a fight, you give them an additional 10% XP per BBEG, and divide XP equally between them, so a 4v4 fight should have both sets of characters with equal XP.

It's enough to make a BBEG challenging, but equal to the party. But, it's also not pathfinder.

lots of stuff in old dnd involves rolling 2d6 and comparing the number. It gives a good curve, is comparable to craps, and chainmail exclusively used 2d6 as its resulution mechanic.

Fate has always made boss fights interesting.

Unfuck action economy. Make boss attack twice, or make him attack wide area.

Tenra Bansho does an interesting thing - if one character's defense roll is higher than another's attack roll, he parries the strike, dealing difference in rolls in damage. It's a game inspired heavily by samurai movies, so it makes sense thematically and makes any fight dangerous mechanically.

I honestly don't know why I've never thought of that before. You fucking genius.

You are welcome. Just be careful of caster bosses fucking over everything. Throwing an additional attack isn't so bad, but two cc spells or aoes a round can be tough

I always heard it as "stalaGmites are on the Ground, stalaCtites are on the Ceiling."

Strike! (4e based) does the thing where bosses have multiple initiatives and shake off debilitating effects for free, and also has Titanic monsters that are part of the terrain on top of being monsters.

Either having multiple monsters, or monsters that have a disjointed body, or other movement related/positioning related effects are still important because it's a movement/positioning based game.

Stop shilling Strike!

Why does Veeky Forums keep shilling Strike!?

They need to survive a couple of initiative rounds and be able to act. Make them somewhat fast, give them enough defenses. Maybe they can ignore an attack per turn or something.

They need to threaten an entire party. They need AoE or multi target attacks.

They need to be interesting, have personality and soul.

it's one hyper invested shill who needs you to buy his game.

Strike sure sounds fun. I like big monsters, if there's a system in place for running them smoothly (as part of terrain for example) I'd love to check it out, at least for inspiration!

I'm glad you asked, user who is most certainly not me!

There's a basic rundown of the game here: forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3758699

Here, have this download link to what I believe is the latest PDF:
mediafire.com/download/m555wbs905jb00z/Strike! Core Rulebook.pdf

Fair warning: It's amateur as shit.

Even if I'm not running a game with a battle mat of some sort, I'll still keep track of everyone's positioning and if they ever get in a nice line of some sort I'll usually only have bosses take advantage of that by attacking multiple characters with a simple attack as opposed to using an AoE. I do like the idea of giving them an extra initiative as well, though.

I usually have one "definitely there" boss, who will fight the party, and one "Schrodingers" boss, who is there dependent on how quickly Boss 1 is getting fucked up. Also, mooks.

Last Sesh, my players were attacking a Goblin camp. They already knew an Ogre was gonna be there, and they scout and see an Ogre, bunch of goblins, and two orcs, one of which seems to be ordering the other around.

The fight eventually ensues, and the players are fucking up the ogre with Ranged attacks and good planning, while the two orcs and many goblins are swarming, shooting.

The bigger orc (who was ordering the other) is in this case my Schrodingers boss. If they were losing / struggling, he would've been a normal orc, but seeing as they were stomping the ogres shit, he was a slightly nerfed Orc Chieftain, and thus a significant threat, somethign they could only really ascertain as he got closer.

Surprisingly, palladium. Particularly heroes unlimited and palladium fantasy. Beyond the supernatural too. Not rifts. Never rifts. Don't go to rifts. Seriously, don't.
Action economy means a lot less when everyone has 4-6 attacks but need to save a couple to dodge.

It sounds like action economy matters a LOT in that system, if you also need to save to dodge.

I do this, but I often do it by 'theoretically' stacking a couple of monsters on top of each other. Ie. take three orcs and make them one. They get three initiatives, and three times the hp of a lone orc. But as their health is whittled down past the hp of 'one' orc, they lose one of their initiatives.

See that's where you get the players, the boss has a large number of attacks, far more than any player, and has an auto dodge, or a high natural Armor rating.

A good example is a wizard vs like 3 fighters.
That wizard throws down a spell that gives him a high natural armor, meaning the fighters have to roll higher than the armor to even hurt him. The fighters swing their swords, some might roll well but the wizard can use a weapon to try to parry, it doesn't cost an attack. The fighters then have to save attacks to dodge because the wizard is gonna throw spells which you can't parry, only dodge or save against.

The fighters might have 3 times the attacks of the wizard but they never know who hes gonna target so they save actions, knowing that if they spend them all he's gonna throw a big spell at them.

Change the wizard go an ogre, give it a high natural AR, because it's got thick skin, make it's weapon larger than the fighters so they have to dodge rather than parry it. It takes a solid understanding of the system but action economy gives way to clever thinking in palladium. As long as you avoid rifts. Trust me. No rifts.

What if the players have "must dodge" attacks though?

That basically just evens everything out.

Unless that's an NPC only thing (or so expensive in build-currency that may as well be an NPC only thing), in which case it is actually pretty smart design.

Usually it's an NPC only thing. Players can be wizards and have must dodge attacks but a good boss fight can shrug a good amount of damage off before falling, magic in palladium uses mana points basically and it's usually better spent making the fight easier for the guys in the thick of it. Damage spells are more of an, "well I can throw another spell if it's below level 3, so I may as well" kinda thing.

I did what XCOM2 did. In 5e.

For every PC action the boss also gets an action. For every move the boss also gets a move.

Went exactly as you would imagine.

In DnD 5e higher level bosses get Legendary actions and shit - basically free extra-powerful moves they can do on their turn.