This boss character, Omega, is inspired by
- Zhylaw, leader of the Necromongers, in the Riddick film series
- Tobi, Akatsuki member from the Naruto anime
This boss, meant for a level 16 boss fight (where players enter tier 4 play), has the ability to shift between the Material Plane and the Shadowfell at will. The adventure has the group separating, 4~5 fight in the Shadowfell, and 4~5 in the Material Plane.
Narratively, it's incredible to describe how Omega fights.
You throw a spear at him, and immediately see that his body glows and shimmers briefly, and your attack simples passes through him, unphased. Is it an illusion, you wonder? Yet, he smiles, jumps in the air, and throws a projectile in your direction. The very sound of the wind whistling as the projectile flies through the air makes it obvious the projectile is not an illusion, and you'd better dodge it somehow!
Basically, just like Tobi, moves his body onto the Shadowfell when being attacked. He avoids the attack, and then reappears in the Material Plane to go on the offensive. Here's an example:
The end of the fight, when the PCs finally defeat him, should also be a fantastic climax, where Omega is getting attacked in both dimensions at the same time, and needs to choose in which it will die.
I have tried this encounter once, but it fell flat. I basically had my players on the Shadowfell, and their archnemesis group in the Material Plane (both groups had to unite to defeat him). I gave Omega the following ability:
At the beginning or end of every turn, Omega can planeshift, dealing 2d10 force damage on the locations he leaves and enters at, and pushing enemies away from where he appears.
This basically created a slow slog fest, where everyone was just readying their attacks and attacking every other turn. Worst of all, it didn't quite feel like the strategic shift to avoid an attack.
I think I want to move this ability into a Reaction (instead of it being at beginning or start of turns), and also give Omega the ability to take as many Reactions per round as he wants to (although at most one Reaction per turn). That way, he could plane-shift when he was about to take damage.
I wonder if there is a better way to frame his powers within the ruleset of 5e.
- An ability that already exists in a published monster, and which is not relying on infinite reactions (which I think is not something any monster has?). Or maybe reflavoring an existing ability to match the description of his powers.
- Or homebrewed abilities that other DMs have tried and tested. What did the experience go? Any pros and cons of that session? Did the players enjoy it, and could it be used to emulate Omega's powers?