Monster Analysis: Liam's Quest - Full Circle

Often, our Monster Analyses are fairly in-depth looks into whatever battle happened in the most recent episode, including discussions of monster histories and player strategies. Level 17 characters, and the monsters that fight them, have so many differentiated abilities, each aspect of the battle merits a closer analysis. As we saw in Full Circle, Level 1 characters and corresponding monsters are much more limited and generalized in their abilities, so we can look more generally at their battles. This episode had no fewer than four battles: the initial skinned cat attack, the pack of cats, the demogoron and friends, and the machines.

Skinless Cats

Thanks to @drunken_pilot for this art piece!

  • Armor Class 10-13
  • Claw Attack
  • Max HP: 4

“You turn around and see what looks like a really pissed off ocelot or bobcat with no skin. You see grease, red muscle and blood.” Like the mini Liams in Liam’s first one-shot, the cats served as nuisances to the level 1 adventurers. Each one had no more than 4 hit points, and were each taken out in one shot by Laura, Marisha (twice), and Taliesin (three times).

Demogorgon and Friends

Thanks to @Takayuuki_art for this art piece!

  • Legendary Actions
  • Attacks: Tail, Bite, Stare, Stomp, Slam
  • Suggested 1st Edition Hit Points: 200 (which was a LOT in 1st edition)
  • Update: 5e stats, from Out of the Abyss 

The self-proclaimed Prince of Demons held the power of a lower deity, as well as the position of one of the most powerful demon lords in existence (in all five editions, no less!). His two baboon heads, Aameul and Hethradiah, were originally just one, growing out of the split caused by the deity Amoth, mounted atop a powerful reptilian body with serpentine arms. Aameul, who favors deception, and Hethradiah, who favors destruction, continually plotted to maintain their grip of power over the abyssal lair known as the Gaping Maw, but even against even each other.

This encounter was designed to be a recreation on one of Liam’s actual nightmares, and another twist on the metaverse rollercoaster. Short of back-to-back natural 20 persuasion checks by all of the voice actors, there was very little chance of avoiding a “gift” TPK, whether at the tentacle of the demogorgon, any of the legion of fiends surrounding it, the ocean monsters, or the endless ocean itself.

Machines

Thanks to @stv_armstrong for this art piece!

  • Big Machine
    • Armor Class 15-16
    • Leg Attacks
    • HP: 13-16 (16 damage taken, 4 killing blow by Marisha)
  • Small Machine
    • Armor Class 13-17
    • Various slashing/stabbing attacks
    • HP: 6-9(Killing blows by Matt, Marisha, and Neil)

Last of this episode’s encounters were the sentient voice over equipment machines. While the machines were malevolent and attacked the group whenever they had a chance, a shred of Liam’s remaining humanity was visible in the big machine’s screens.

Both the big and small machines dealt comparable damage to the level 1 adventurers. From what we can tell from the damage dealt, each small machine had between 6 and 9 hit points, while the big machine had between 13 and 16.

Amidst the chaos of their VO equipment suddenly coming to life, the actors utilized three tactics: bring down the machines, find out who was sending them the messages and what to do about them, and running to crafty (we’re looking at you, Travis).