Boss Fight: Johann the Daymaster

My players faced the second boss of the adventure – Johann Lipseige the Daymaster.  In the original adventure, it is Janine the Thieves Guild Mistress. This was the first major fight of the campaign.  This is not the exact one I ran as I updated it to reflect what happened in the adventure and tweaked him appropriately.  This is a 3 phase boss fight with a lair puzzle to boot.  Everyone enjoyed the battle.  Bear in mind this boss took on 8 level 15 PCs thus the levels of lethality included.  He knocked out every character except 2 once and the rest multiple times.  The fight itself is based on the Lady Maria fight from Bloodborne.

JOHANN LIPSIEGE, THIEVES GUILDMASTER (PHASE I)

Medium humanoid (human), lawful evil
Armour Class 15 (studded leather)
Hit Points 110 (17d8 + 34)
Speed 30 ft. 

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
11 (+0) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws DEX +6, INT +4
Skills Acrobatics+6, Deception+3, Perception+3, Stealth+9
Damage Resistances Poison
Senses Passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Dwarvish and Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Assassinate. During his first turn, Johann has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn. Any hit she scores against a surprised creature is a critical hit.

Cunning Action. On each of his turns, Johann can use a bonus action to take the DashDisengage, or Hide

Evasion. If Johann is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if she fails.

First Blood. Once Johann is reduced to 0 hit points, he impales himself upon the two blades of Rakuyo in an explosion of blood, coating the blades in tainted blood and phasing into stage 2 of the fight. All status effects end during this transition.

Sneak Attack. Once per turn, Johann deals an extra 21 (6d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally that isn’t incapacitated and Johann doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Special Equipment. Johann has (and uses) a very rare version of dust of disappearance that functions just like the uncommon version of this wondrous magic item but grants greater invisibility for the duration. He has one pinch left. Johann also wields the Rakuyo.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. Johann makes two Rakuyo attacks.

Rakuyo. Melee Weapon Attack:+6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 9 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage.

Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack:+6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target.
Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


JOHANN LIPSIEGE, THIEVES GUILDMASTER (PHASE II)

Medium humanoid (human, mythic), lawful evil
Armor Class 18 (studded leather, Rakuyo’s curse)
Hit Points 204 (17d8 + 68)
Speed 30 ft. 

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 21 (+5) 18 (+4) 13 (+1) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws CON +9, DEX +10, INT +6
Skills Acrobatics +10, Deception +5, Perception +5, Stealth +15
Damage Resistances Poison
Senses Passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Dwarvish and Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Assassinate. During his first turn, Johann has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn. Any hit she scores against a surprised creature is a critical hit.

Burning Blood. Once Johann is reduced to 0 hit points, he sacrifices more blood to the accursed blades, levitating above the ground momentarily as Rakuyo siphons blood from the surrounding area. The blades of Rakuyo are coated in boiling blood and begin radiating heat and phasing into stage 3 of the fight. All status effects end during this transition.

Cunning Action. On each of his turns, Johann can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide

Evasion. If Johann is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if she fails.

Magic Resistance. Johann has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Sneak Attack. Once per turn, Johann deals an extra 21 (6d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally that isn’t incapacitated and Johann doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Special Equipment. Johann has (and uses) a very rare version of dust of disappearance that functions just like the uncommon version of this wondrous magic item but grants greater invisibility for the duration. He has one pinch left. Johann also wields the Rakuyo.

Threatening Reach.  The Rakuyo can take opportunity attacks against target up to 10 feet away.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. Johann makes three Rakuyo attacks.

Rakuyo. Melee Weapon Attack:+10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 12 (1d6 + 9) piercing damage and 24 (7d6) necrotic damage.

Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack:+6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target.
Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


JOHANN LIPSIEGE, THIEVES GUILDMASTER (PHASE III)

Medium humanoid (human, mythic), lawful evil
Armor Class 20 (studded leather, Rakuyo’s curse – empowered)
Hit Points 204 (17d8 + 68)
Speed 30 ft. 

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 21 (+5) 18 (+4) 13 (+1) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws CON +10, DEX +11, INT +7
Skills Acrobatics +11, Deception +6, Perception +6, Stealth +16
Damage Resistances Poison
Senses Passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Dwarvish and Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

Assassinate. During his first turn, Johann has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn. Any hit he scores against a surprised creature is a critical hit.

Cunning Action. On each of his turns, Johann can use a bonus action to take the DashDisengage, or Hide

Evasion. If Johann is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if she fails.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Johann fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. Johann has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Rakuyo’s Blood Healing. Johann now regains hit points from necrotic damage – both received and applied.

Sneak Attack. Once per turn, Johann deals an extra 21 (6d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally that isn’t incapacitatedand Johann doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Special Equipment. Johann has (and uses) a very rare version of dust of disappearance that functions just like the uncommon version of this wonderous magic item but grants greater invisibility for the duration. He has one pinch left. Johann also wields the Rakuyo.

Threatening Reach.  The Rakuyo can take opportunity attacks against target up to 15 feet away.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. Johann makes four Rakuyo attacks.

Rakuyo. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 12 (1d6 + 9) piercing damage and 24 (7d6) necrotic damage and 24 (7d6) fire damage.

Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target.
Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


REACTION (All Phases)
Visceral Counter. When a target misses Johann he may make a single Rakuyo attack against that target, so long as the attacker is within reach. The first time this ability is used during a phase it always hits and it scores a critical on a 19 or 20.


LEGENDARY ACTIONS (PHASE I, II AND II)
Johann can take 1 legendary action per PC (minimum of 3 in phase 1.  This changes to 3 in phase 2 and 1 in phase III), choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Johann regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Martial Prowes. Johann can make a Rakuyo or Light Crossbow attack.
  • Transforming Attack. Johann does a transforming attack with the Rakuyo reconnecting the two blades into a double blade and using it as a spear. This attack uses the Rakuyo attack action but dazes and knocks the target prone on a failed DC 18 Strength or Dexterity saving throw until the end of the targets next turn (Daze: Attackers have advantage on you, you cannot provide advantage to your allies – for example, via flanking and you can only take an attack, move or bonus action). The confusing nature of this attack grants advantage to Johann’s attack roll.
  • Bloody Comet (1/Phase). Johann picks one square within 60 feet that he can see, he then rises straight into the air and crash-lands there with an explosion of blood. Every creature within 10 feet of Johann’s landing spot takes 10 (2d10) necrotic damage and 10 (2d10) fire damage on a failed save and half as much on a success and its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. The DC of this save is Dexterity 18.
  • Expunge the Blood (1/Phase). Johann expunges the corrupted blood in a visceral explosion. Every creature within a 20-foot sphere centred on him must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (2d10) necrotic damage and 10 (2d10) fire damage on a failed save and half as much on a success and its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. Johann heals for the amount of necrotic damage dealt.

LAIR ACTIONS
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the following lair action automatically triggers:

  • The Twisted Mirror summons a vicar of the cosmos to support and protect Johann.  These creatures act intelligently and will flank enemies, block doorways and give their lives, if necessary, to protect Johann.  There is no limit to the number of vicars that can be summoned.

The Twisted Mirror has the following additional traits:

  • Anyone looking at the mirror must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be affected by the mental dissonance emitted by the strange swirling patterns.  On a failed the save the creature has -2 to all Intelligence related rolls (skills, saving throws and ability checks) and is slowed (as the spell) until the end of the creatures next turn.
  • The mirror is immune to all damage but is destroyed when Johann is killed or it takes at least 1 psychic damage.
  • It may be disabled for the entire battle on a successful DC 15 Arcana check made adjacent to the mirror.

DM Note: In my game, four of these giants were summoned before the party managed to shut down the mirror.

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