Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

When You Build a Giant Juggernaut Monster in a Dungeon…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 23, 2010

… it’s good policy to make sure it can actually fit out the door.

I was playing the Temple of Elemental Evil a little more, and ran into the Juggernaut. A big temple statue water-god statue thingy.  Maybe there was a better way to defeat it, but it was almost impossible to hit and could kill my characters in a single round in melee. However, the idiot priests of the evil water elemental whatever hadn’t actually made sure it could fit through the door. So after dispatching the priests and gargoyles with spells and ranged effects (or letting them come to me through the door), I fought this thing… which was almost impervious to spells, very hard to hit, and resistant to damage … by simply shooting it with about three hundred arrows, crossbow bolts, and sling stones.

It was long, slow, and boring, but it seemed the best way to take care of the problem to me.

It wasn’t really Troika’s fault – they were adapting an existing module as literally as they could.  As far as I’m concerned, a DM running the original AD&D module should have allowed the same strategy to work back then. It’s just that on paper it’s harder to visualize that sort of thing sometimes. Or you can hand-wave and explain how a giant Rock Lobster can squeeze through the doorway…

Filed Under: Retro - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Greg Tedder said,

    This sounds like how I defeated a dragon in NWN. That stupid thing followed out of the cave after a level load, so I ran around until I got it stuck on some geometry and fired arrows at it for a half hour. Not a lot of fun, and really made me wish I had a party, and not just a rendered impudent by circumstance melee fighter.

  • Robyrt said,

    I’m reminded of a writeup of the Tomb of Horrors where a similar monster is defeated because it can’t climb the stairs, so the party rogue is enlisted to steer it into range of everyone hiding on the top of the staircase.

    As far as “300 arrows” goes, Demon’s Souls has a couple dragons which can only be defeated in this manner. In keeping with the general hardcore theme, the second time you meet one, you are required to save a melee-only AI character from it. Hope you came prepared!

  • McTeddy said,

    I liked to refer to said action of using terrain to win a cheap victory as Strategy. 🙂

    Maybe the Water-God-Statue-Thingy had a really big appetite and would travel far and wide for meals. The Mages needed to find a way to keep the thing protecting that spot, such as summon him in a room he can’t escape. Now, he’ll always be there, and he’ll always want to eat passing heroes.

    I think the better lesson that the mages should learn is that if you want to spring a trap involving a giant monster eating trespassers… close the door behind the heroes.

    As for lessons for developers, I actually don’t see anything wrong with it. People have a choice whether to use said tactics or play the way it was intended. I don’t blame developer’s because I made a choice to exploit problems.

  • Miral said,

    Hey, maybe it started out as a baby monster which could fit through all the doors, then grew into a juggernaut once it discovered it could eat all the adventurers that came through with little effort on its part…

  • Ruber Eaglenest said,

    Or he could just… break the frame and the surrounding wall of the door, to “surprise” the player 😉