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Kill Kyuss in 1 round...


Age of Worms Adventure Path


I have a few questions regarding the final battle against Kyuss.

1. Given his list of immunities, should I hint that he is not well protected against fire if the characters use divination magic?
2. How many prep rounds should the characters get as they reach the top of the spire?

The reason I ask these questions is that after reading his stat block, I came up with this quick and dirty game plan to defeat him. It does need some prep work, but does not use any extreme custom magic items. It also assumes that the characters completed all victory conditions to greatly weaken Kyuss and are only fighting him and no other minions at the same time.

The Plan:

The party’s Druid creates four scrolls of maximized Fire Seeds. These cost 2,250 gp and three days each to make. Hopefully they have the down time to make these. If not, then the Druid could also memorize the four spells and not have any 9th level spells available for the fight to the top of the spire. The Druid could also memorize regular Fire Seeds at 6th level for extras or to use instead, but with only four 6th level slots, this is not a guaranteed win. The Druid creates a single 20d6 acorn with each spell.

Party Wizard has the Talisman of the Sphere and the Sphere on Annihilation.

Before the characters reach the roof, they bring out the Sphere, and the scrolls are used with the acorns given to the Ranger. Any extra are given to other party members to use.

The characters reach the roof, and Kyuss starts to emerge.

The Wizard hits him with the Sphere, causing him to loose half his hit points. He goes from 660 to 330

The ranger throws all four acorns using a full attack action. Each acorn deals 120 points of damage with no SR and no save to avoid the damage. This is a ranged touch attack against an AC of 31. The Ranger has the Rod of Seven Parts thus is at a minimum of +40 to hit (+20 BAB and +20 insight from Rod). As long as his DEX bonus is at least +6, he will hit with all four acorns. Each acorn deals 120 points of fire damage, minus his 6 fire resistance, for a grand total of 456 points of damage. Kyuss is destroyed.

If they use the normal Fire Seeds, then the damage is 20d6 for an average of 50-70 points of damage. They would then need around seven to eight acorns, and more than one person would need to throw them. Thus with the Druid throwing three and the Ranger throwing four, and another party member throwing two to four, they can easily do the remaining 330 points of damage, if they have enough casting of Fire Seeds.

While this uses some meta-game knowledge, it is not a stretch that the characters would use Fire Seeds as it is one of the very few spells that bypasses SR and does a potential 20 die of damage. Couple that with some high level divinations to scope out a possible weakness of Kyuss, and this scenario is not that far fetched. Also when he is emerging is the perfect time to test the Sphere against him.

What are your thoughts on this? Should I bump up his fire resistance? Lesson the effect of the Sphere? Have Kyuss use his high INT score and emerge on the side of the monolith that is not facing the characters so they spend their free round using move actions to get to him? Or not do anything and see what happens?


I don't have my copy of Dungeon with me at work, so I can't check, but could Kyuss cast quickened spells as he's emerging from the monolith? That way, even if he's stuck taking two rounds to manifest he could lay down an abjuration or two to protect himself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

If your PCs come up with a plan like this, I say let it work. If you're afraid it'll make the campaign to anticlimactic, feel free to drop the sphere's damage down to 100 hp per hit, or take away the limitation on Kyuss having to spend a full-round action to emerge from his prison, or throw in a few late-coming broodfiends to the scene so they can distract the party and maybe take a few hits for the boss.


There are doubtless other ways for Kyuss to go down in 1 round, and if the players come up with a good plan, let them use it.

However, to your question, I wouldn't allow any divination spells to work against a deity... even a low-level deity.


I'm sorry, but if the spell contacts a diety,
the diety will act in his or her best interests.
What would Pelor do?
"Well I would like to answer your BURNING question but..."
"If you trust in the scorching truth of my sunlight you
will find an answer to any question."


Goth Guru wrote:

I'm sorry, but if the spell contacts a diety,

the diety will act in his or her best interests.
What would Pelor do?
"Well I would like to answer your BURNING question but..."
"If you trust in the scorching truth of my sunlight you
will find an answer to any question."

My only contribution on this particular point is that a Diety may act in their best interests, but they can only act with the knowledge that they posess. It's possible that the weakness may not be known to many gods. None of them are truly omniscient, so I'd say go with what feels right for your game.


Thanks for the input; it has given me some things to consider. I am not too worried about it yet as we have just completed The Prince of Redhand. I think I’ll leave Kyuss as he is and see how the characters handle themselves in the later modules. It’s just that the Druid has just reached the level to cast Fire Seeds. If he starts to over use it and it becomes a signature spell of his, then Kyuss may just get a boost to his fire resistance.

The real problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of downtime now to make magic items, thus I may need to make some one who can make magic items on commission available. That way they can have magic items being made while they are off on other parts of the adventure. One of the things I have done that has helped in the magic item department is the weapons they used to kill the Ebon Aspect in Three Faces of Evil are legacy weapons. This has helped the players greatly with having custom magic weapons that they really feel connected to.

As to divinations, I am not too worried as most of them are yes/no questions. Only Legend Lore will be an issue, and by then I will have a little bit of information written up to give the players should they use it.

If it seems that the players take an inordinate amount of buff time at the on the way to the top of the spire, I will just have the place start to shake and rattle to give them a sense of urgency.

All in all this has been a great adventure path. My players and I have greatly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the hardback version and to AP3.


Hey -

This has never come up in my games, as using splash weapons is often a low-level tactic, abandoned at high levels. . . I've never run into a situation where me or another PC has attempted to throw more than one splash weapon in a round.

I looked it up and found that preparing to throw a splash weapon is considered a full-round action. You may have house-ruled other-wise, and that's cool if you did. . . I just wanted to point out the rule from the book.

It sounds like you guys are having a blast. I can't wait for my PCs to get that far. :)


Another thing to realize about the divination magic: if Kyuss is still Divine Rank 1 at the time a divination spell asking about him is cast, he can sense it (his Remote Sensing divine ability allows him to sense 1 mile around anyone saying his name) and just answer the questions himself. I personally would be nice and allow the caster to realize this with a Knowledge: Religion skill check.

If the divination isn't cast until after the actions weakening Kyuss to Divine Rank 0, then I would allow it to go through.


Chris Wissel - WerePlatypus wrote:
I looked it up and found that preparing to throw a splash weapon is considered a full-round action.

What page is that on? A player is going to have an alchemist fire-chucking gnome in an upcoming game that I'm running and this could impact how he performs.


SRD Combat II section wrote:

THROW SPLASH WEAPON

A splash weapon is a ranged weapon that breaks on impact, splashing or scattering its contents over its target and nearby creatures or objects. To attack with a splash weapon, make a ranged touch attack against the target. Thrown weapons require no weapon proficiency, so you don’t take the –4 nonproficiency penalty. A hit deals direct hit damage to the target, and splash damage to all creatures within 5 feet of the target.
You can instead target a specific grid intersection. Treat this as a ranged attack against AC 5. However, if you target a grid intersection, creatures in all adjacent squares are dealt the splash damage, and the direct hit damage is not dealt to any creature. (You can’t target a grid intersection occupied by a creature, such as a Large or larger creature; in this case, you’re aiming at the creature.)
If you miss the target (whether aiming at a creature or a grid intersection), roll 1d8. This determines the misdirection of the throw, with 1 being straight back at you and 2 through 8 counting clockwise around the grid intersection or target creature. Then, count a number of squares in the indicated direction equal to the range increment of the throw.
After you determine where the weapon landed, it deals splash damage to all creatures in adjacent squares.

Preparing to throw a splash weapon is indeed a full round action. And while the description of Fire Seeds does say that they are splash weapons, I am undecided though if Fire Seeds are treated as splash weapons in this matter. The RAW does seem to support this though.

As to Kyuss intercepting divinations, it begs the question just how much influence he has on the outside world while trapped in the monolith. Also if Comune is used, I don’t see Kyuss be able to intercept that communication since it “contacts your deity or agents thereof”. I also don’t see him being able to intercept a Legend Lore or Vision spell.


There is some precedence in official WotC adventures for powerful beings intercepting divination magic. For instance, the first D&D adventure path ended in the planar-hopping module "Bastion of Broken Souls." One of the party's main antagonists is Demogorgon whom the module says intercepts diviniations regarding himself. All such questions are met with mysterious silence.


is there anything preventing the PCs from placing 8 holly berries in front of the monolith and dealing 8d8+160 damage to Kyuss the moment he emerges?


Chris Wissel - WerePlatypus wrote:
I looked it up and found that preparing to throw a splash weapon is considered a full-round action.

Table 8-2 seems to be referring to this:

Player's Handbook, page 127 wrote:
Oil: A pint of oil burns for 6 hours in a lantern. You can use a flask of oil as a splash weapon (see Throw Splash Weapon, page 158). Use the rules for alchemist's fire, except that it takes a full-round action to prepare a flask with a fuse...

Nowhere else do the rules say that you have to prepare splash weapons in any special way before throwing them, so the fire seeds (and N1NJ4's alchemist's-fire-chucking gnome) should work just fine. (Also note that the rules do not say splash weapons have to be prepared immediately before being thrown, so even if you interpret the rule as applying to all splash weapons, there's no reason that full-round action can't be taken days or even weeks before you get around to actually using the splash weapon.)


Thanks for the correction Vegepygmy. It looks like the Gnome can continue being a splash-slinging weapon of destruction after all. And Kyuss. . . is toast.

*Edit*: You know. . . Considering that a spash weapon doesn't use the ranged attack bonus of the PC, but rather a ranged touch attack, would it make sense that a single splash attack still requires a standard action all by itself? In other words, a PC cannot use the full attack option to throw more than one a round? I dunno.


Chris Wissel - WerePlatypus wrote:
*Edit*: You know. . . Considering that a spash weapon doesn't use the ranged attack bonus of the PC, but rather a ranged touch attack, would it make sense that a single splash attack still requires a standard action all by itself? In other words, a PC cannot use the full attack option to throw more than one a round? I dunno.

No. Touch attacks are no different than regular attacks with regard to how many you can make in a round. Trips, attempts to start a grapple, chill touch attacks, thrown produce flame attacks...all of these are just Attack Actions, and can be made multiple times in a round using the Full Attack Action.

What normally prevents one from throwing multiple splash weapons is the same thing that prevents one from throwing multiple daggers: having to use a move action to draw the next one (unless you have Quick Draw).


Oh, good to know! Thanks for the clarification. Now the gnome can go about his merry way...


I was going to mention quick draw.
If you prepare a molitove cocktail ahead and walk around
with it all your gear becomes oil saturated.
You can prepare one in the buff segment.
I generally allow two buffs each.
A caster can buff someone else while they are drinking potions.
Note that the full round prepare would apply if you want
to dump a barrel of oil on him while the driud Fire Seeds him.
Similarly if you want to dump a consecrated barrel of holy
water on the Dracolitch.
Note that you can spend the round when you Shrink Object as
the spell.


so is the spell Fire Seeds too powerful?? The holly berries seem even more destructive than the fire seeds.


Hi

I don't have issue which has dragotha or Kyuss. I was thinking how cleric with hierophant prc, could cast two heals in round to opponent (undeads). Dealing 150 dmg per heal. Since hierophant get reach spell, it could be casted from 30ft? How to cast two heals per round..easy with divine metamagic quicken spell. I am not sure bout their SR bout with certain feats/spells you could breach SR quite easily.

-Gildur


The reason I personally like Fire Seeds is that they are no SR, no Save. The Reflex save is only for the splash damage. Couple this with a 20 die max damage and they are very nice. The balancing feature is that you cannot throw the acorns in the same round you cast the spell, thus it takes a round before you can use them. Unless you want to take a chance and cast it sometime before combat and hope the duration doesn’t expire before the encounter. However, they are excellent for an ambush scenario.


So if you have quickdraw, you could conceivably throw several a round? Or you could give a couple to allies to throw. that's pretty powerful. i suppose having to make a ranged touch attack weakens the spell a little.

Qadira

Well, if I understand correctly, the "fire acorns" do incorporate a Reflex save, as they can deal 20d6 damage, while the "holly bombs" ignore the save and use a ranged touch attack, but their damage is 1d8+catser level (forget the cap) and thus are far less lethal.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Magagumo wrote:
Well, if I understand correctly, the "fire acorns" do incorporate a Reflex save, as they can deal 20d6 damage, while the "holly bombs" ignore the save and use a ranged touch attack, but their damage is 1d8+catser level (forget the cap) and thus are far less lethal.

I might not be understanding what you're saying, but the reflex save is only for splash damage (as mentioned). There is no save for a direct hit. The Holly Bombs always give a save because they are entirely splash damage.

From the SRD:

SRD wrote:


Acorn Grenades
As many as four acorns turn into special splash weapons that can be hurled as far as 100 feet. A ranged touch attack roll is required to strike the intended target. Together, the acorns are capable of dealing 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 20d6), divided up among the acorns as you wish.

Each acorn explodes upon striking any hard surface. In addition to its regular fire damage, it deals 1 point of splash damage per die, and it ignites any combustible materials within 10 feet. A creature within this area that makes a successful Reflex saving throw takes only half damage; a creature struck directly is not allowed a saving throw.

Holly Berry Bombs
You turn as many as eight holly berries into special bombs. The holly berries are usually placed by hand, since they are too light to make effective thrown weapons (they can be tossed only 5 feet). If you are within 200 feet and speak a word of command, each berry instantly bursts into flame, causing 1d8 points of fire damage +1 point per caster level to every creature in a 5-foot radius burst and igniting any combustible materials within 5 feet. A creature in the area that makes a successful Reflex saving throw takes only half damage.


dungeonblaster wrote:
So if you have quickdraw, you could conceivably throw several a round?

If you have Quick Draw and BAB +16, you could throw 4 daggers/acorns/whatever in a round (more if you have Rapid Shot or add in an off-hand attack, etc.). Just like you could fire 4 arrows from a bow without Quick Draw.

Qadira

Sebastian wrote:


I might not be understanding what you're saying, but the reflex save is only for splash damage (as mentioned). There is no save for a direct hit. The Holly Bombs always give a save because they are entirely splash damage.

*blank look* Hmm, I blame my horrible memory and tendency to reverse things :P. Thanks for the correction, Sebastian, and apologies to the poster I attempted to correct ;).

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Magagumo wrote:


*blank look* Hmm, I blame my horrible memory and tendency to reverse things :P. Thanks for the correction, Sebastian, and apologies to the poster I attempted to correct ;).

You probably were looking at the Holly Bombs and thinking "holy crap, these suck compared to the Fire Acorns," and then you created a version of the spell that would make more sense. ;-)


As far as the OP goes:

I think I need to reread the encounter. I got the pretty strong impression that while the party may know that they have to confront Kyuss, they aren't really very clear on exact details. The plan and level of planning you describe seem to be for a party that has read the module.

Not to mention, if they are doing it in the way you would guess, they've just fought their way up to the top of the monolith against some pretty dangerous foes. Even if they knew that fire was needed, would they be able to save all of that till the end?

Lastly, It seems like your theoretical players knows what happens when they hit Kyuss with the sphere. Even if they get to the top, and guess that Kyuss is about to emerge, unless they are walking around with the incredibly dangerous artefact out in the open (which is pretty well covered in the module) they have to spend some time getting it ready, which means that our boy may have more to say about the encounter than a yawn and a surprised look.

Taldor

shoot, I plan on having Kyuss kill the PC's in 1 round. How? help me out guys...whats the Wormgod's best tactics? Are the ones printed really the best? I want a TPK here. What a crown to the campaign...

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Cardinal_Malik wrote:
shoot, I plan on having Kyuss kill the PC's in 1 round. How? help me out guys...whats the Wormgod's best tactics? Are the ones printed really the best? I want a TPK here. What a crown to the campaign...

No, no. The best crown to the campaign would be having Lashonna charm them all, take them up to Maralee for conversion, then having the new Chosen of Kyuss choose the first place to experience the full force of the Age of Worms outside of Alhaster.

Having Kyuss just waste them is second-best.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redox wrote:


The party’s Druid creates four scrolls of maximized Fire Seeds. These cost 2,250 gp and three days each to make. Hopefully they have the down time to make these. If not, then the Druid could also memorize the four spells and not have any 9th level spells available for the fight to the top of the spire. The Druid could also memorize regular Fire Seeds at 6th level for extras or to use instead, but with only four 6th level slots, this is not a guaranteed win. The Druid creates a single 20d6 acorn with each spell.

Can you use metamagic feats on Scrolls me and my DM have been discussing this where in the DMG is the write up that says this is legal?


After reading through the last batch of responses I have decided that his “weakness” to fire will not be revealed through divinations. Legend Lore and Vision will only reveal general information on him, basically expanding on the information they get from other sources.

While the characters may not know exactly what the Sphere of Annihilation will do to Kyuss, Manzorian does tell them “while the exact effects of using one against a deity are unknown, at the very least contact with a Sphere would weaken Kyuss greatly.” Once they realize that they have a free round to hit him, they will potentially unload as much firepower on him as they can. So if they get the Sphere out right before they hit the summit, then they can use it at least once if not twice if they have completed the victory conditions. If they use it in the battles before the summit, then there is a very real chance it will be destroyed or control of it stolen from them.

As to the party using Fire Seeds; while they may not know that Kyuss is “weak” to fire, it is still one of the best spells to use against him as it is a no SR, no Save, 20d6 damage spell. Given all that the players have gone through up to this point and knowing that if they fail it is ultimately the end of the world, it would make sense in character if the Druid prepares a scroll of maximized Fire Seed as a first strike weapon. The gold/xp cost to make the scroll is a pittance to 20th level characters. If it doesn’t work, you know he is protected against fire, if it does work; you just did 120 points of damage to him.

I couldn’t find it in the SRD, but you can use metamagic feats to make magic items. You use the adjusted level of the spell for determining cost. These two quotes from the FAQ demonstrate the point:

3.5 FAQ wrote:

Can you use the Divine Metamagic feat to create a scroll or wand with the metamagic effect without changing the spell level? If so, how much would it cost to make?

You can use Divine Metamagic in item creation; the cost to create the item is just as if you used the regular metamagic feat. For instance, using your Divine Metamagic feat to create a scroll of empowered flame strike costs as much as a scroll of a 7th-level spell (which is what an empowered flame strike is). The act of creating the scroll or wand expends three daily uses of your turn/rebuke undead ability, just as if you had cast the empowered flame strike spell using Divine Metamagic, but you don’t have to expend a 7th-level spell slot (only the normal, 5th-level flame strike).
Can sudden metamagic feats (from Complete Arcane) be used to scribe scrolls or craft wands that include the metamagic effect? If so, how would you calculate the cost (since sudden metamagic feats don’t alter the level of the spell)?
You can use a sudden metamagic feat in item creation; the cost to create the item would be just as if you were using the
regular metamagic feat. For instance, using your Sudden Widen feat to create a scroll of widened fireball would cost as much as a scroll of a 6th-level spell (which is what a widened fireball is). The act of creating the scroll or wand would expend your daily use of Sudden Widen (since the act of creation triggers the spell, making it unavailable for casting).

The two questions I really had are how to handle divinations about Kyuss and how to handle prep time on the way up to Kyuss. The divination question has been answered, but how long is reasonable to give them as they near the top of the spire for prep?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What about when making arcane scrolls can you use metamagic feats?

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

JOEY VIRTUE wrote:
What about when making arcane scrolls can you use metamagic feats?

Metamagic spells are treated the same as any other spell, so unless the rules say otherwise, they can be incorporated into scrolls. The above info from the FAQ alludes to this fact as does the following segment from the Creating Magic Items section of the SRD:

SRD wrote:


While item creation costs are handled in detail below, note that normally the two primary factors are the caster level of the creator and the level of the spell or spells put into the item. A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell. Using metamagic feats, a caster can place spells in items at a higher level than normal.

Note that whether or not it is an arcane or divine spell has no bearing on the above statement.

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