“You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” -Shady Kalvin, the Shady (don’t trust this guy)
I like to use DnD’s built-in spells but I also love using big epic set pieces in my DnD boss battles. As a compromise, I’ve started using “superior” abilities that mimic normal class features with a bit of a bump to their power. Something like “Superior Portent” might always result in a 1 or a 20 rather than rolling numbers at the start of the day. “Superior Cunning Action” adds dodge to the list of available actions the rogue can take. The players have an idea of what to expect, the boss gets a powerful ability to stave off the group of heroes and I get a list of powers I can reward the players with through future magic items or plot arcs! It’s a win-win-win!
Do you guys write your own abilities for your homebrew boss fights or do you build everything using raw spells and features?