Rachel and I both DM separate Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. In an effort to improve our knowledge of D&D monsters and fight more creatively, we decided to challenge each other to a duel.
Cambion vs. Vampire Spawn
Challenge Rating (CR) 5
A cavern 80 ft long narrows in the middle with a natural pillar in the center.
The cambion, let’s call her Raja, flies forward until she is within range to cast Command on Lucy the vampire spawn. It is successful, and Lucy Halts. Raja swoops forward and finishes her turn. Lucy, held by the Command spell for one round, can take no action.
On the next turn, Raja uses the ranged spell attack Fire Ray twice and deals damage before flying out of range of the vampire spawn. At the start of Lucy’s turn she regenerates 10 HP (something she will do at the start of each of her turns) and scuttles out of sight behind the pillar.
Raja flies past the pillar to bring the vampire spawn back into view, but she isn’t there. Lucy held her action and used Spider Climb to scale the pillar until she was 20ft above the ground. When the cambion comes into range, she leaps forward and grapples the creature out of the air after succeeding on contesting strength rolls. Raja sustains fall damage and fails to break free of the grapple on her turn. The vampire spawn has now regained full HP thanks to the Regeneration ability and Bites Raja, dealing 19 points of damage. If she hadn’t already been at full HP, the necrotic damage done via Bite would have healed the vampire spawn. Lucy holds on to the Cambion and maintains her grapple.
On her next turn, Raja breaks free and blasts Lucy with two Fire Rays before retreating to a safe distance. The vampire spawn once again scuttles behind the pillar.
At this point, we paused to discuss how to resolve the hiding aspect of the vampire spawn's tactics. Because the cambion has 60ft of movement through the air compared to the vampire spawn's 30ft, there is no way for Lucy to close the gap. Hiding and leaping out as the cambion flies past is her best option. We decide to contest Stealth and Perception rolls when Raja and Lucy potentially have line of sight on each other.
When Raja swoops past, she spots Lucy immediately and blasts her with 2 more Fire Rays. Lucy scuttles away and regenerates.
On the next pass, Lucy surprises the cambion by falling from the ceiling. Their contested strength rolls match, so Lucy does not grapple Raja and the cambion is free to move. We imagine Lucy is hanging on to Raja’s foot. Raja flies up as high as she can and kicks the vampire spawn off with a contested roll, Lucy takes 40ft of falling damage (4d6).
The game of cat and mouse around the pillar continues. The vampire spawn’s best tactic is to try and drag the fight out as long as possible. The cambion is below half HP; Raja is doing a lot of damage but has no way to heal, Lucy has taken a total of 140 points of damage, but Regeneration is keeping her in the game. If she can land another couple of surprise attacks, she could win this.
On Raja’s next pass Lucy drops on her from above and drives her to the ground dealing 20ft of falling damage, Raja grips Lucy’s wrist and casts Plane Shift. After a successful spell attack and a failed Charisma saving throw from Lucy, the vampire spawn is transported to a plane of Raja’s choosing. “Celestial,” the cambion says with an evil grin. Lucy lasts 12 seconds in the celestial realm, taking 20 points of radiant damage each turn before bursting into flames.
Tricia aka Lucy the Vampire Spawn
I tend to hack and slash my way through fights, whether as a player or the DM. This fight took that option away from me, since my speed was half that of my opponent, who could also fly! I had to get creative, which meant using Spider Climb to hide and surprise attack the cambion. Having Regeneration was a (literal) lifesaver, and if it weren't for that stupid Plane Shift spell, I maintain that I would have won!
Rachel aka Raja the Cambion
Utilizing my movement advantage was key to this fight, so I was constantly flying close and retreating out of reach. It became apparent that I wasn't doing enough damage to the vampire spawn, and I was starting to take significant damage myself without a way to heal. It was nice to have Plane Shift in my back pocket, but because there were two checks, it was not a guaranteed win. This time, it worked in my favor.