hp 11/63, AC 19/16/13, CMD 25, F: +7, R: +10, W: +5, init: +3, per: +15 Elf Ranger Infiltrator
GM JaceDK: You gave me the results of my knowledge check. Would that include the monster Type: humanoid, fey or other? I ask only to save some time in asking about many of my class features as we go through the battle(s). The fact that Know:Nature worked suggests fey, but "gnome kin" suggests humanoid. [And I'm afraid to ask what "fellnight" might do to the monster type and abilities.]
But I also understand about you playing it close to the chest to keep things mysterious.
Anyway, I'm suitably creeped out by these guys, both ic and ooc!
These guys actually have a bit of an unusual creature type, thanks to the template Neil used in designing them. I've added a hint in the DC 20 Spellcraft spoiler in response to Goodluck's post. I'll allow a DC 20 Knowledge (nature) roll to unlock the spoiler as well. But they are NOT fey, at least not in regards to Favored Enemy etc.
Btw, I'm a bit challenged in my descriptions because I can't just call these by name. Thus all the "thorn-creature", "thorn-giant" and "thorn-thing" business.
I'm glad you feel the creepiness of these guys. And I must admit that I'm a lot more impressed by them than I was when I read their stat block. They have a LOT of interesting options, especially in forest terrain. And to think I almost gave them the Advanced template to challenge you, because there are five of you with 20 pt buy.
Just imagine what happens if these guys successfully use entangle on someone and then walk through the affected area with their woodland stride ability to start flanking and sneak attacking foes. Or, maybe they collectively use Aid Another actions to grapple and pin someone while another uses sneak attack on coup-de-grace attempts. Simply put, under the right circumstances, they're nasty little minions. Just like Rhoswen prefers. :->
In addition, during playtesting, this particular battle was extremely poignant and horrifying (from a roleplaying sense) when I ran it. Initially, the PCs busied themselves with trying to herd the panicked wedding guests to safety. But, Tenzekil used the wall of thorns to separate and trap some of them before they could escape to the safety of the chapel. The spriggans then merged through the wall of thorns to attack and kill the trapped townsfolk inside. In addition, the spriggans could stand within the wall of thorns and attack from it. So, anyone trying to fight back would need to push through 5-feet of thorns just to get inside their reach to launch a melee counterattack...all while taking further damage from the thorns.
Meanwhile, the helpless PCs had to consider whether they wanted to suffer the thorn damage to push their way through and save the townsfolk trapped inside...whose screams of terror got louder and louder as the spriggans carried out their brutal handiwork. As one or two of the trapped victims finally managed to crawl through the thorns in an attempt to escape, I'd have the spriggans hit them with their prickle whips and drag them kicking and screaming back through the thorn wall to die. It put a huge sense of urgency on the PCs to do something. One of them even climbed the gazebo just so they could leap inside the ring of thorns to carry the fight to the spriggans...whereupon he got flanked by a couple of them and started suffering sneak attacks while his friends outside worried over what they could do to come to his aid.
Needless to say, the whole situation drove home the serious of what just three simple spriggans commanded by Tenzekil could achieve...not to mention the potency of the bee swarms at his command (which had already weakened some PCs with their poison). This scene was primarily intended to set the stage and strike fear and terror into the hearts and minds of the people of Bellis...and, by extension, the PCs. But it's also the presence of the PCs and their actions to save the townsfolk that causes Tenzekil and Rhoswen to re-evaluate what they're up against...knowing full well that anyone capable of fighting off the spriggans, bees, and wall of thorns in this kind of attack could pose a serious threat to their plans.
Regardless, you're running the encounter very well. This is the level of threat vs. heroic action I meant for the scene to contain. I'm glad to see it coming off well for you. And, in terms of looking ahead, you should now have a good feel for how any future encounters with fellnight spriggans could play out, especially given that the PCs have learned a little better what they're up against. Individually, the spriggans aren't that much of a threat to the PCs. But, with stuff like the bee swarms weakening the AC of some PCs with Dex ability damage via their poison, the greenblood poison from thrown thorn darts potentially affecting their Con, and certainly the wall of thorns and their thorn walk ability complicating things, it's the circumstances of the battle more than the spriggans' individual attacks that make encounters with them sustainable and challenging.
Future encounters with them (in the adventure) get easier, though. There's not as much circumstantial stuff to make them more effective. And, again, the PCs should develop a better sense of how to fight them. That's important from a storytelling standpoint. You want the PCs to start meting out some payback on these scoundrels...to turn the tables on them...and to carry the fight against Rhoswen's nasty little army of spriggans even as they seek her out. But, even then, Rhoswen has her own whole bag of tricks that can lay them low. This adventure is really a story...or a fairy tale...of epic proportions, depending on how you let it develop. And it's told in layers, moving from a heightened sense of danger and fear to a reversal of confidence, anger, and revenge on the part of the PCs.
Elven Bard 8 HPs 46/59 (shaken) AC 21 FF 18 T 13 CMD 19 Fort +6 Ref +10 Will +7 Init +3 Per +12
Yup. I am more accustomed to casters that have memorized spells. With Tae, I ran out of 3rd level spells WAY too quickly because I wasn't being careful with them. If this bard was worth his salt, he would have had a Haste left for when these thorn giants showed up. :p
Don't worry too much about it, guys. The whole wedding scene, fight included, serves as a nice way for everyone to get acquainted with the various features and powers of both your own characters and your fellow party members.
I suggest you take a good, long look at your sheets. You will probably find that you have options you had not considered, even if you are stuck inside a thorn wall, or outside it. Even if you can't harm the enemy directly, you might do something to help those of your allies that can.
I promise you, you will need every ounce of teamwork and every last class feature if you want to defeat the Fellnight Queen.
Can I get some quick feedback from you guys on the way I'm running this encounter.
I am aware that we are moving a bit slowly due to the individual maps and all the spoilers, and I just want to make sure that I'm creating a mood of suspense and not boredom by doing it this way.
This encounter is really designed to showcase the effects of fighting sneaky fey in the mist, and so far I'm pretty pleased with the amount of confusion and hidden ambushes I have achieved. The unfortunate side effects are that each player has to wait 3-5 days to take a single action.
So...keep things going like they are, or pick up the pace?
(As always, lurkers are welcome to throw their opinions into the mix).
I, too, was letting the Bard have fun with this one; given that Jervaise is not exactly especially pleasing to the eye, and wields an 'anti-Fey' weapon, I thought it prudent for him to keep a low profile ;-)
It's really your call. Daigle's work on that monster is very much in line with what the original gossamere was intended to be. I was going for a fey creature a bit more than one based on an elemental. But, even so, I originally wanted the gossamere to be an air/water-themed fey with an incorporeal subtype and the inhabit ability.
What you'll need to consider, however (if you go this route), is the overall CR for the spark. At CR 5, it won't present a significant enough challenge for 7th level PCs in Realm of the Fellnight Queen. So, you might need to kick it up a notch. That said, it's got some pretty nasty spell-like abilities it can invoke. But, using any of them would grant Devarre an opportunity to force it out of him (with a simple DC 17 Will save--which he should easily make). The gossamere (and the variant will-o'-wisp Sean changed it to) actually attacks the Wisdom of an inhabited victim. That's what brings Devarre's Will save down enough that he can't force it out of himself. So, you might want to vary the spark so it does something along those same lines.
Thanks for the swift response. When i first saw the Spark, I immediately thought of the comments you made about your unhappiness with how gossamere ended up in your interview in the Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast, and that this monster fit what you said you were going for a bit better than a will-o-wisp.
I'm thinking that this particular spark somehow got caught in the Fellnight Realm along with Rhoswen and her minions. And like them, it has been warped by the dark magic.
I'd use the following changes:
- Add the advanced template to the spark. Among other things, this should raise the DC to evict it to 19.
- Change the damage caused by being inhabited from CON to WIS - and keep Devarre's current WIS on 5.
Sounds reasonable. You might also want to give the spark "control" of Devarre while inside him...i.e., his remaining spells (greatly diminished due to his Wis loss) should be at the spark's command in addition to its normal spell-like abilities. I'd also suggest that you limit the amount of "shakiness" exhibited by Devarre. Make the elemental completely hidden within him until his eyes flash with electricity or something when he becomes "angry" or under duress. Or, maybe grant it a Stealth check to remain hidden inside (thereby indicating a varying degree of "control" it has over Devarre--and a failed Stealth check opposed by the PCs' Perception would reveal something's amiss).
If you say Neil's name three times, does he have to grant you a wish?
Actually, I'm fairly certain I have just entered a sizable portion of my immortal soul into some kind of lend-lease arrangement. But the advice on tormenting innocent PC's he gave me in return is definitely worth it.
Any of you guys in the RPG Superstar this year? I'm polishing an item for entry, and since we happen to have a fellow player who have actually made it into the the top 32 and beyond (not to mention our lurking contest judge), I'm curious if I'll be competing against any of you.
I have an item I am going to through in for consideration. I have competed each year except the first, and haven't hit the top 32 at any time. I honestly have had very little time to work on it; I have had family visiting the last two weeks, including a trip to the hospital for my mother-in-law. But as of this afternoon, everyone is well and on their way home, and I should have a little time to put into it.
Hi guys, The round 2 entries of RPG Superstar are finally public, including my Maidens of Veiled Vengeance. I would appreciate it greatly if you would drop by, leave a comment if you like and most of all VOTE for me (Jacob Trier).
All right...as you may have noticed, my Superstar tag changed from top 32 to top 16. That means I'm going to be somewhat...distracted...the next three days. After that, posting should return to normal.