Taking on a Triceratops

'Perception checks, please.' Dice skitter across the table to land on a variety of numbers, such is the random nature inherent in the process. 'Those of you with good rolls hear the sound of tables breaking, and then you see this', says the GM, as he places a rather large miniature on to the map.

'How bad do our perception checks need to be to not see the huge skeletal triceratops?' But it was just the sound of tables breaking that would have alerted us seconds early, as we enter initiative order for combat.

'Yes!' The ranger seems pretty excited about this fight, because he's fighting 'my favoured enemy!'

'Your favoured enemy is a triceratops? That's pretty niche. I hope you get a really good bonus against them.'

'No, undead are my favoured enemy.' Okay, that makes more sense. 'Then again', he says, 'if it is skeletal and immune to my arrows, I'm screwed. And if it has DR 10 I'm screwed. Even if it has DM 5 I'm screwed'.

The GM senses where this is going. 'If it is a god, you're screwed. If it has 4,000 hit points, is immune to damage, or hits for a million damage, you're screwed. If we're just listing the ways you could be screwed, we could be here some time.'

'If it requires him shooting his bow, he's screwed.'

'If it requires being skilled or competent, he's screwed.'

'If it requires someone not complaining about status effects, we're screwed.'

Yes, we're going to be here for some time. But we are also screwed. The skeletal, shadowy triceratops charges forwards and gores our cleric for 35 points of damage, which would take any of us from completely healthy to being on death's door. It's time to be a hero!

I dash forwards, tumbling through the undead creature's extended reach to avoid attacks of opportunity, stumbling at the end to land right on top of its horn. The 33 damage from the gore, on the understanding that a second such hit would kill me, convinces me to use my standard action to heroically play dead. 'Shh. No one tell him.'

Ganelon charges in! He takes a horn to the chest and suffers a nasty wound as a result. This gets Ganelon a bit miffed, as if paladins would be exempt from damage. 'Just be thankful it hasn't worked out it has power attack yet', says Brennan, not quite helpfully.

This calls for desperate measures, and we somehow convince Ganelon that now is actually a good time to use his limited smite evil ability. Even better, he hits with his smite attack to score a critical blow! 50 points in one hit doesn't fell the skeletal triceratops, but it makes his bones shake. 'Are you going to make me roll my 20% miss chance for the shadowy concealment it's got going?'

'I am now that you've reminded me.'

Seeing the rag dolls the triceratops has already thrown around, and this brief hope that we may actually prevail, some sharp glances are directed the paladin's way. 'What? We can't cheat!' Yes, yes we can. Luckily, the paladin is not fooled by the shadows and the mighty strike stands. One rabbit shot by the ranger later and the triceratops is nothing but a pile of bones.

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