[RPG] How to fight a Balor as a melee character (reduce fire damage on hit?)


In my party we have a ranger, a sorcerer and a monk. We recently had a fight with a Balor and I had to keep introducing things in order for the monk to feel like he was contributing in any way.

For those who don't know, the Balor has a fire aura that deals 3d6 fire damage to any creature that starts its turn within 5ft of it, and it deals 3d6 fire damage to any creature that hits it with a melee attack while within 5ft. For my other two players this was fine, just stay away from the Balor and pelt it with ranged attacks, but my monk was dealing less damage on average than the Balor was doing to him so he just decided it was safer to stay away.

Obviously this is a feature of creatures like the Balor but I am looking for ways to ensure my monk feels like his is still contributing to the fight when they are fighting something that, essentially, kills him if he punches it.

I'm aware I could just give him an item that makes him immune to rebound damage (a term I just decided on) but I am hoping to find something official that could either negate or offset the damage he takes.

Best Answer

I wouldn't try to make his character more powerful, but give him alternative ways of helping.

There are some enemies that are inherently harder for some classes or characters to fight. That doesn't mean that they're weak, or can't assist during a fight; it just means they shouldn't be on the front lines(usually.)

A good example is creatures with magic resistance, which makes them very potent against spell casters. That doesn't mean you should make the spell casters stronger, or "more helpful," as it will end up making them even more powerful when this weakness isn't highlighted.

Perhaps the monk could body-block for one of his party members and take the Dodge action, preventing the Balor from advancing toward his allies. Effectively, he should be playing defensively, as the majority of damage is triggered by attacking the balor. This is more-or-less the intended line of play. It should be a challenge for a player to overcome.

An example.

Personally, if my player can sell me on something, I'll allow it. I actually had a fighter that doused himself with water before running into melee against a balor. I loved the idea, so I gave him resistance to fire damage for that turn, and he waylaid the balor and then fell back on his next turn.

In conclusion..

I think good ideas should be rewarded, as it encourages outside-the-box thinking and leads to more fun moments in combat, and usually, makes the player feel like they were contributing to the encounter. When fighting deadly enemies such as this, some strategy is expected and even require.

A monk charging headlong into combat against a balor and continually soaking up damage is less of a strategy, and more of an action. Rather than simply give the character an item to resist the damage or otherwise counter the "rebound damage", give them alternative ways of contributing to the encounter.

But, that's just my 2 cents.

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