Claudius wrote:Do you find lore books or quest info about the herald or is it all meta-gamed online to help beat him? I would hope that just a casual party on the core DnD settings could beat him?
Some of it was learned originally 1st game through - damage reduction in particular (also one spell grouping immunity). (..and I played before there was any significant info. on it.).
I remember everyone originally bitching about the damage immunity, but me personally - I was bitching about the spell-specific immunity. That's what "grabbed my attention" to go looking online for info.
SPOILER ALERT: here are the immunities based on difficulty setting (though in the case of missile storms it's not correct): http://thieves-guild.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1562&page=3
Almost any party *can* beat the Herald, but often players aren't familiar enough with the limitations of the D&D system to fully appreciate *how* to beat the Herald. Also, what "stopped some players short" was just how much more difficult this battle was (or could be) compared to others in the game. (..I mean your playing a "B" game at best most of the time and at the very end you need your "A" game - which somehow people didn't expect and didn't know how to achieve.)
The other major bitch that people had was the boss's race in context to the rest of the game. Frankly it was "consonant" with game's story (if "abrupt"). An evil deity is likely going to pick a champion that is extra planar in origin - and specifically one that is a Devil or Demon. In other words it's isn't something totally unexpected (nor something you couldn't prepare for).
For my long "bitch" though,
Outside of some quirky equipment, specific spell immunity is unbelievably rare. The developers however gave this "boss" specific spell immunity to some of the most effective spells in the game - and it breaks the game to do so (..no matter what the difficulty setting is).
Damage reduction - OK
Damage resistance - OK
High AC - OK
Higher Saves - OK (..though still relative to class and level)
Monster Attacks - OK
Particular Immunities - OK (mental, death, paralysis, phantasms, etc..)
All of the above you can find on monsters in the monster manual. If a Dungeon Master wants to make it harder, they usually increase LEVEL to improve on those features (..much the same way that a Druid's animal companion improves with Druid level), and/or class to add additional features that are part of that class.
If you want to add something "quirky" to the build (like a spell-specific immunity that you wouldn't find in any class structure), then you do that the same way a character would - with items. Items provide a little extra for your effort, and generally should have a *chance* for removal (i.e. weapons disarmed or sleight of hand from inventory). That chance for removal provides better variety to "win" for any possible class.
Some argue that its the final boss and should have god-like protection - and it does via the Disciples and their auto-healing of the boss. That's OK though, after all - you can have a companion heal you in the game, the method of the auto-healing isn't technically within D&D rules, but it is within the bounds of legitimate game-play. Frankly I would also expect that opponents have healing kits/items within their inventory to use, and actually make use of (..but that in fact wasn't implemented).
Really though, there are many methods in the game for god-like protection that is within game rules that makes other means of protection just plain hinky.
Death Ward/Shadow Shield, Freedom of Movement, Greater Spell Mantle? Ethereal Visage? Premonition? Energy Immunity? HELLO! Why didn't they implement those spells as features? I think it was a combination of laziness and stupidity. Doing so puts real limits on their use that you can actually understand because it's actually part of the game. As a God - Zehir should be able to add most or even all of these spells to the Herald say at level 40 (for their duration and "strength"). It would make MKD relevant, Spell Breaches relevant, spell-scroll use/Use Magic Item more relevant (for either of those spells if you didn't have them), or just plain lasting long enough until some of those spells "ran out of time". It would also make your party's spellcraft more relevant - providing the info. you would need to fully know what kind of additional defenses were being added to the Boss.
..eh, LOT's of missed opportunities.