Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Xanesha aka Teepeekay


Rise of the Runelords

51 to 86 of 86 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I ended up not using all of her abilities or in the most tactically sound combinations that she was capable of due to the party not being very optimized. We had: Cleric5/Barb1, Cleric6, Druid6(PHB2 variant), and Wizard6. The wizard had already used up most of his spells on fly and invis for the party so I knew the arcane firepower would be low. I didn't use her touch attack wisdom drain since three of my players were wisdom based and this would have removed their ability to cast spells within 4 rounds with average rolling for the drain. It ended up being a very very close fight and I think was very memorable for them.

Fight details for the curious:

Spoiler:

The party split up at Aldren's mansion and the rogue encountered the two faceless stalkers solo. They took him into the negatives and the druid that was waiting outside bolted when the creatures came out, so they had no inkling that shapeshifters were involved (important later).
The party waited until midnight on Oathday and came across the cultists at the top floor of the sawmill. The room is described as being covered in sawdust up to a foot deep in places. The wizard wins initiative and fireballs the room...
They ended up with a cool battle in a burning building in which they saved the sacrifice victim and one unconscious cultist, along with Ironbriar's body. Problem is they burned the journal, the messenger ravens, Ironbriar was dead, and Speak with Dead failed (made the save). Soooo they questioned the cultist and learned he was going to meet with a divine agent somewhere in the Shadow. They check out the Shadow the next day and spy a sihedron mark on the clocktower. Then they decide to wait a couple of days while they buy scrolls, identify some magic items, and plan their attack.
I decided that Xanesha would not be idle during this time. She had three faceless stalkers in the tower and the two that survived the mansion encounter. Two of them had infiltrated the city watch and had worked their way in close to the guy who was handling the murder investigation. This gave her some info on who they were and what moves they were making. The remaining three stalkers took on the forms of: the missing party rogue, Shalelu (who the cleric/barbarian was sweet on), and a third random person they had never met. They sat around the support of the stone angel and let themselves be bound up with rope by Xanesha. Xanesha then found a comfy hiding place in the nearby bridge pillar so she could watch for the party's approach.

The party bought scrolls of fly and invisibility and flew to the top of the tower, neatly bypassing the encounters down below. When they got to the top of the tower and saw who was there, they abandoned caution, flew down, and untied their "friends". When the wizard untied the strange he asked him who he was, the man replied "Your death" and they all shifted back into their natural forms. The surprised looks, groans, and cries of dismay filled my evil dm heart with glee.

While they fought the stalkers, Xanesha spent 4 rounds buffing before casting major image. The wizard spent two big spells on it before he realized it was an illusion. Xanesha broke invis by trying to petrify the wizard. After that it was a combo of deep slumber, scorching rays, and some more meleeing.

They did manage to defeat Xanesha with several very close calls. The cleric/barb hit -9 and later 0hp. At 20hp she started to dimension door away but the players were so disappointed I had her blip to the room below to recover and buff up some more. They thought she was long gone, went down below and were nearly killed again before they took her down.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seven PCs: Cleric 5, Monk 5, Ranger 5, Druid 4, Fighter 5, Warlock 5, Rogue 5.

The PCs needed about six rounds to take down Scarecrow (this is a lot for them) -- magic immunity and DR/adamantite really stumped them for several rounds until they figured it out and the rogue was able to pass the adamantite longsword off to the fighter. In the course of this the cleric fired off her two best party buff spells (Elation & Prayer) and was already down one 3rd level spell from having to Remove Curse on the rogue (thanks to the late Justice Ironbriar).

For time reasons (we are breaking for a month for summer vacation) I skipped the intermediate encounters with the faceless stalkers and had them proceed right to the roof. I also decided to run her as statted, without the mage armor, shield, silence, invisibility, etc -- the only thing from the list that I gave her was the mirror image spell.

Even so, it was a complete rout. By the end of the third round, the monk was dead, gutted by a 34-point critical from the Impaler, while the fighter was unconscious at 0 hp. The party had managed to tear through all the mirror images but had only dealt 8 points to her (from the warlock's eldritch blast). The cleric had already used her last CSW and was down to two CMWs.

At this point the party's morale was completely shot, so I played it out as follows: Xanesha leaned over the monk's body and snatched the Sihedron Medallion off him (Nuala's), hissing "THIS does NOT belong to YOU." Then she waved disdainfully at them and said "You children can take your dead and run away now" which they did.

So they'll see her again at Hook Mountain...


delabarre wrote:

Seven PCs: Cleric 5, Monk 5, Ranger 5, Druid 4, Fighter 5, Warlock 5, Rogue 5.

The PCs needed about six rounds to take down Scarecrow (this is a lot for them) -- magic immunity and DR/adamantite really stumped them for several rounds until they figured it out and the rogue was able to pass the adamantite longsword off to the fighter. In the course of this the cleric fired off her two best party buff spells (Elation & Prayer) and was already down one 3rd level spell from having to Remove Curse on the rogue (thanks to the late Justice Ironbriar).

For time reasons (we are breaking for a month for summer vacation) I skipped the intermediate encounters with the faceless stalkers and had them proceed right to the roof. I also decided to run her as statted, without the mage armor, shield, silence, invisibility, etc -- the only thing from the list that I gave her was the mirror image spell.

Even so, it was a complete rout. By the end of the third round, the monk was dead, gutted by a 34-point critical from the Impaler, while the fighter was unconscious at 0 hp. The party had managed to tear through all the mirror images but had only dealt 8 points to her (from the warlock's eldritch blast). The cleric had already used her last CSW and was down to two CMWs.

At this point the party's morale was completely shot, so I played it out as follows: Xanesha leaned over the monk's body and snatched the Sihedron Medallion off him (Nuala's), hissing "THIS does NOT belong to YOU." Then she waved disdainfully at them and said "You children can take your dead and run away now" which they did.

So they'll see her again at Hook Mountain...

Thats Xanesha. The real problem is if your PCs are tough enough to take her down and they were not phenomenally lucky then this bodes badly for the rest of the campaign as she is far more powerful then her CR suggests.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Thats Xanesha. The real problem is if your PCs are tough enough to take her down and they were not phenomenally lucky then this bodes badly for the rest of the campaign as she is far more powerful then her CR suggests.

Has Paizo acknowledged that Xanesha is more like a CR 12?

Did they intend to put a TPK at the end of this very gruesome module?


delabarre wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Thats Xanesha. The real problem is if your PCs are tough enough to take her down and they were not phenomenally lucky then this bodes badly for the rest of the campaign as she is far more powerful then her CR suggests.

Has Paizo acknowledged that Xanesha is more like a CR 12?

Did they intend to put a TPK at the end of this very gruesome module?

I think they have admitted to screwing up. I vaguely recall a thread where Mary Yamato drilled them a new one on this issue.


Tonight.
It is our Bard's Final game before he moved to Philly.
I have no idea what will happen.

more soon.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
delabarre wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Thats Xanesha. The real problem is if your PCs are tough enough to take her down and they were not phenomenally lucky then this bodes badly for the rest of the campaign as she is far more powerful then her CR suggests.

Has Paizo acknowledged that Xanesha is more like a CR 12?

Did they intend to put a TPK at the end of this very gruesome module?

I think they have admitted to screwing up. I vaguely recall a thread where Mary Yamato drilled them a new one on this issue.

Okay. What is the fix? :(

(Or should I have my Sci-Fi campaign ready to start after this TPK?)


I've ran this twice for my group. Once at the tower and once on the way to Turtleback Ferry. The second I even through in two 3rd level bow shooting ranger Harpies as well. It was tough but not a table killer. In fact the spellcasters with their new 7th level spells from defeating here before kept dispelling her buff spells. made it real hard for her to get the upper hand.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
delabarre wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Thats Xanesha. The real problem is if your PCs are tough enough to take her down and they were not phenomenally lucky then this bodes badly for the rest of the campaign as she is far more powerful then her CR suggests.

Has Paizo acknowledged that Xanesha is more like a CR 12?

Did they intend to put a TPK at the end of this very gruesome module?

I think they have admitted to screwing up. I vaguely recall a thread where Mary Yamato drilled them a new one on this issue.

Okay. What is the fix? :(

(Or should I have my Sci-Fi campaign ready to start after this TPK?)

The fix is a swap.

Swap around Xanesha and Lucrecia (the Lamia Matriarch in Hook Mountain Massacre).

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

After having read all the things mentioned about how tough this fight, I pulled my players aside when they were still pretty early on in PF1 and told them that later in the game there was a fight that was often considered to be a TPK waiting to happen, and that it was very possible for me to switch it and another encounter in the game that wouldn't affect the story at all but would make both much more survivable.

They told me not to pull any punches with them.

I think that it depends on how your group views things like this, knowing that this campaign wasn't afraid to come at them solidly and at some point was likely to go out of its way to outright kill them really brought my group together, and while we are playing a very core campaign(I've allowed maybe a handful of splat things spread between all the characters) they have become very effective tactically and its allowed me to boost combats and for them to come through it ok(we are in the middle of hook mountain right now and the only loss they have taken was an animal companion to malfeshnekor).

Xanesha was hardly a cake walk, but they did a bit of information gathering(read as questioning a few survivors rather roughly) they still knew almost nothing about her but they had gathered she was a spellcaster at least.

With that in mind they ascended the tower(with quite a bit of trouble from the bell) and battled her somewhat prepared. There was definitely some luck involved as she was a tough fight, but the teams wizard devoted himself to ruining her enhancements through repeated dispel magics that he prepped in expectation of fighting a caster and a magic missile that took out her mirror images.

While the fight was still a rough one they came through it more or less intact.

-Tarlane


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a 6-player party that's heavy with fighter-types (and 1 cleric). The party is a challenge for the bad guys because they all have a high AC and good hit/damage output. I have been increasing the level of most of the bad guys to compensate.

For exapmple, I made most of the goblins in Burnt Offerings into Goblin Commandos even if they were written up as "standard" goblins. I bumped both Gogmurt the Druid and Ripnugget the Chief from 4th to 6th. The party was still able to pound them both.

I added levels to the other characters in Thistletop, but I almost wound up with a TPK, because the party managed to concentrate Nualia and all her allies in one place before the big fight. It ended up being 6 3rd level PCs vs. CR6 Nualia, CR6 Bruthazmus, CR5 Orik, CR4 Lyrie, and a CR3 Yeth hound. The PCs killed the yeth hound, Bruthazmus, and Nualia. But 3 PCs were knocked to negatives, so they were forced to let Orik and Lyrie get away.

So I probably won't need to add anything to Xanesha. It will be a tough and memorable fight for the party, but I think they will probably prevail. They don't rely on a mage to be their big gun, so the Xanesha's silence won't be as much of an issue. By the time they hit 6th, they will probably be able to coordinate (flanking, buffs, etc.) and hit AC 34.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The one thing I would worry about for a party of bruisers with Xanesha is that she is a flyer and has reach, so if they are a melee group, she probably won't have to come within reach of them. It will likely lead to some quick tactics(duck inside the building, ect) that can lead to a good battle, and if they have good AC and HP then they can probably survive long enough to find out.

Be careful though, she is tough. With buffs her AC is pretty ridiculous for a fighter of that level even and toss on mirror image on top of that and you have a tough battle.

-Tarlane


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tarlane wrote:
The one thing I would worry about for a party of bruisers with Xanesha is that she is a flyer and has reach, so if they are a melee group, she probably won't have to come within reach of them.

That's a good point. Most of the party is outfitted with heavy composite longbows with STR bonus. Some of the bows are masterwork. There aren't any pure ranged specialists in the party, but they can put up a decent fight at range if they need to. Not necessarily enough to match up against all of Xenesha's spells, but they wouldn't be completely ineffective.


Michael F wrote:

I have a 6-player party that's heavy with fighter-types (and 1 cleric). The party is a challenge for the bad guys because they all have a high AC and good hit/damage output. I have been increasing the level of most of the bad guys to compensate.

For exapmple, I made most of the goblins in Burnt Offerings into Goblin Commandos even if they were written up as "standard" goblins. I bumped both Gogmurt the Druid and Ripnugget the Chief from 4th to 6th. The party was still able to pound them both.

I added levels to the other characters in Thistletop, but I almost wound up with a TPK, because the party managed to concentrate Nualia and all her allies in one place before the big fight. It ended up being 6 3rd level PCs vs. CR6 Nualia, CR6 Bruthazmus, CR5 Orik, CR4 Lyrie, and a CR3 Yeth hound. The PCs killed the yeth hound, Bruthazmus, and Nualia. But 3 PCs were knocked to negatives, so they were forced to let Orik and Lyrie get away.

So I probably won't need to add anything to Xanesha. It will be a tough and memorable fight for the party, but I think they will probably prevail. They don't rely on a mage to be their big gun, so the Xanesha's silence won't be as much of an issue. By the time they hit 6th, they will probably be able to coordinate (flanking, buffs, etc.) and hit AC 34.

My experience with this style of party is that they are very good until you get past 9th level or so and then you just start to get pummelled by enemies with all sorts of potent abilities and the lack of a mage to try and fix things that have gone wrong starts to really be noticed.


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

We had to flee for our lives when fighting Xanesha on top of the tower. Same deal, natural 20 to hit her, etc. Luckily my summoned celestial hippogriff outpaced her fly speed or we would have TPKed.

We set up an opportunity to attack her when she wasn't expecting it later, and did better, but still she escaped. Then we met up with her yet again, and still she escaped. It was only once I was of the level to cast Dimensional Anchor that we finally forced the issue (middle of Stone Giants).


I think I'll wait and see how strong/weak my PC's are at the time and nerf her accordingly.

Even without the spells 3 melee attacks doing 2d6+9 is going to hurt anything thats not a D10+ hit die class. Add to that AC 26 and SR 18 and you're going to have serious amounts of blood on your hands.

Have any of you that have had her escape found problems fitting her in somewhere in Hook Mountains? Have you used her as a single creature encounter or added her to an existing one? And where?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
tricky bob wrote:


Have any of you that have had her escape found problems fitting her in somewhere in Hook Mountains? Have you used her as a single creature encounter or added her to an existing one? And where?

I had her escape, and am going to replace Lucrecia with her. That means they get their payback from their "tie" against her in the Tower.

My campaign has a slower timeline than the default pathfinder though. I will have a couple of years pass between SM and the Massacre.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tarlane wrote:

The one thing I would worry about for a party of bruisers with Xanesha is that she is a flyer and has reach,

-Tarlane

No she doesn't. She has Space 10' Reach 5' as written.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Reckless wrote:

No she doesn't. She has Space 10' Reach 5' as written.

5' reach with her touch, she's wielding a spear. She's quite a dangerous lady.


Tarlane wrote:
Reckless wrote:

No she doesn't. She has Space 10' Reach 5' as written.

5' reach with her touch, she's wielding a spear. She's quite a dangerous lady.

Yes, she has a spear, not a longspear. A spear doesn't have 10' reach. A longspear does.

-Jack


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Repairman Jack wrote:
Tarlane wrote:
Reckless wrote:

No she doesn't. She has Space 10' Reach 5' as written.

5' reach with her touch, she's wielding a spear. She's quite a dangerous lady.

Yes, she has a spear, not a longspear. A spear doesn't have 10' reach. A longspear does.

-Jack

But she is Large, which give her Reach of 10' with weapon's sized for her


Ian Watt wrote:
Repairman Jack wrote:
Tarlane wrote:
Reckless wrote:

No she doesn't. She has Space 10' Reach 5' as written.

5' reach with her touch, she's wielding a spear. She's quite a dangerous lady.

Yes, she has a spear, not a longspear. A spear doesn't have 10' reach. A longspear does.

-Jack

But she is Large, which give her Reach of 10' with weapon's sized for her

There are two sorts of Large size. Long and Tall. Tall has 10' reach, but Long has only a 5' reach. Matriarch Lamia are Large(Long), not Large(Tall). See the SRD under Big and Little Creatures in Combat.

Page 53 of The Skinsaw Murders, in her stat block under offense, indicates her reach is 5'. It is also indicated on page 92 in the Beastiary under the Matriarch Lamia entry.

-Jack


Repairman Jack wrote:

See the SRD under Big and Little Creatures in Combat.

-Jack

Linkified:

Big and Little Creatures in Combat

Sean Mahoney


First things went well. The main tank (Halfogre Crusader) was petrified before even the rest of the group reached the top. The surprise attack went well, but after that things went downhill. The monk, who specialized in grappling, got her pinned. After that she died fast.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

This is how my group beat her.

During the first few rounds of battle the Ninja blows a poison dart at Zanesha. The Dart hits her and Xanesha rolls a 1 for her Fort Save.

Xanesha falls asleep. They Cut Her Head Off.

Grand Lodge

You don't have to spear ppl all the time, if your baddie is having too easy a time of it, sunder a weapon or shield, go for a grapple on the fighter, trip somebody... it may honk a player off that you smash their +1 Sword but at least it was not their face. Then, after a few good sunders (maybe giving the party an AoO to remove an image or two), give somebody who can take it a good stab to put the fear in them, when it gets to the point where you think that the monster and the party and go at it without TPK (Maybe just 1-2pk), let loose. Just because you can stab ppl and the monster likes to mix it up in melee does not mean hasted baddie TPK... unless you want it to.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Eric Stelle wrote:
You don't have to spear ppl all the time, if your baddie is having too easy a time of it, sunder a weapon or shield, go for a grapple on the fighter, trip somebody... it may honk a player off that you smash their +1 Sword but at least it was not their face. Then, after a few good sunders (maybe giving the party an AoO to remove an image or two), give somebody who can take it a good stab to put the fear in them, when it gets to the point where you think that the monster and the party and go at it without TPK (Maybe just 1-2pk), let loose. Just because you can stab ppl and the monster likes to mix it up in melee does not mean hasted baddie TPK... unless you want it to.

No, but Xanesha's behaviour as described in the adventure is, essentially; "Wipe the floor with those PCs!"

My players don't know when I've subbed in a weaker protagonist but they can feel when I'm pulling punches.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm heading on the Road to Xanesha for a second time and I'm thinking of using the Lamia Matriach entry (Skinsaw Murders 92). In this form, Xanesha is a Dracula-like figure who uses her Climb skill to scale the Shadow Clock.

Xanesha will retain her Impaler of Thorns as a signature weapon but I'm dropping the Medusa's Mask and the Snakeskin Tunic from her gear. In basic entry form, she also loses fly and silence in this form but retains all other buffs as written.

Her AC is slightly lower, she loses the high ground since she can't fly), the environment is less hostile without silence, and her most terrifying attack--the Mask's petrification power--is unavailable.

Comments or suggestions?


Gotham Gamemaster wrote:

I'm heading on the Road to Xanesha for a second time and I'm thinking of using the Lamia Matriach entry (Skinsaw Murders 92). In this form, Xanesha is a Dracula-like figure who uses her Climb skill to scale the Shadow Clock.

Xanesha will retain her Impaler of Thorns as a signature weapon but I'm dropping the Medusa's Mask and the Snakeskin Tunic from her gear. In basic entry form, she also loses fly and silence in this form but retains all other buffs as written.

Her AC is slightly lower, she loses the high ground since she can't fly), the environment is less hostile without silence, and her most terrifying attack--the Mask's petrification power--is unavailable.

Comments or suggestions?

What you want your players to live through this? What a strange sentiment.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Well after reading this forum for a year or so, I finally got to run this. I had a tough time deciding whether to make any adjustments or not, but basically decided to run her as is - only skipping the silence spell (only a single cleric anyhow, and X had spells to cast), plus haste was already 2 rounds into the duration (which is likely anyhow).

They had spoken/interrogated Ironbriar plenty, so knew about the golem, and knew Xanesha was "a sorceress with fire and enchantments". They also used all the skinsaw masks and robes to disguise themselves and 6 town guards (3 pikemen, 3 archers) on the way in. That got them past the Scarecrow, but not the Faceless Stalkers.

The bells did a bit of damage, but through some luck and ingenuity only one of three that fell actually hit anyone. 2 town guards were knocked down enough (from jumping a gap actually) to stay behind, while the 91 hp fighter brushed off the hit and fall and marched back up. Dusted the stalkers easy.

Before going up to the roof *all* of them quaffed Protection from Evil potions, and all the PCs quaffed (or cast) Resist Fire potions.

Details of battle:

Spoiler:
Up to the roof and Poof demon - mostly ignored simply from lack of options (very melee group). Xanesha pops out of invis with a mask hit on the Fighter - no chance (needed a 4, rolled a 16?)

Round 1 - Everyone needs 20's to hit her, two of them do. She hits, then crits the fighter's cohort, obliterating him and activating the Despair - only one archer and one pikeman affected.

Round 2 - mostly miss miss miss. X Charm Monster's the Fighter easily - suppressed by Protection from Evil.

Round 3 - more misses, - X deals a solid 64 damage to the fighter (oof). Total of about 5 20's on her by by now though for about 30-40 damage.

Round 4 - Cleric bull strength's the Ranger, X does a sweep with the spear (4 attacks, 4 targets), misses only the fighter. Pikemen start aiding another on the Ranger, who starts hitting.

Round 5 - Cleric heals fighter, X blasts Cleric with Scorching Ray - blocked by Resist Fire, X then closes in. New Rogue character flies in and sets up flanking.

Round 6 - Haste expires. Some hits - X drops Fighter to negatives - Die Hard keeps standing.

Round 7 - Cleric calls on Torag to smite (dispel) X's protections - Shield pops off, more hits. X, under 60, says "This isn't over", and dimension door's straight up to re-up her spells and heal.

Round 8 - Party floods area with attacks to make sure she's not invis, then hears screaming of Xanesha as she falls 576 feet from lack of fly (dispelled). X casts fly and stops just about level with the tower.

Round 9 - Fighter gets fly, charges out - hits. Cleric re-dispels, hits mage armor and - you guessed it - fly (used action point to recall spell). X makes DC 31 on reflex save to cast spell semi-soon enough, takes half damage from 150 ft drop, down under 10.

Round 10 - Fighter charges straight down and takes X out - with a final wisdom draining touch leaving him at 2 Wis - Protection from Evil expires, leaving the charm in effect.


Okay, so most people really didn't need to read that, but enh.

Basically - they got good info before hand (oh - some from Brodert Quink as well - they hired him before leaving Sandpoint to find out about the "Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms"), got *help*, and got slightly lucky. I was pleased with them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Sounds like a great gaming night, Majuba - thanks for sharing!


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

Yeah I cant wait till my game starts so I can run this Combat I did added a Wand of Dispel Magic CL 10 but thats about it


GeraintElberion wrote:
Eric Stelle wrote:
You don't have to spear ppl all the time, if your baddie is having too easy a time of it, sunder a weapon or shield, go for a grapple on the fighter, trip somebody... it may honk a player off that you smash their +1 Sword but at least it was not their face. Then, after a few good sunders (maybe giving the party an AoO to remove an image or two), give somebody who can take it a good stab to put the fear in them, when it gets to the point where you think that the monster and the party and go at it without TPK (Maybe just 1-2pk), let loose. Just because you can stab ppl and the monster likes to mix it up in melee does not mean hasted baddie TPK... unless you want it to.

No, but Xanesha's behaviour as described in the adventure is, essentially; "Wipe the floor with those PCs!"

My players don't know when I've subbed in a weaker protagonist but they can feel when I'm pulling punches.

I fully expected this to be a TPK for the group I am running for. They were all 7th level, a Dwarven Bard, Human Cleric of Gorum, Half-Orc Rogue, and a Human Soul Blade variation that is more Warrior like than the original. After petrifying the Rogue on the first round, Xanesha used a full attack action that left the warrior with single digit HPs. While "wipe the floor" may have been the described behavior, I modified it a bit... made her overly arrogant and self absorbed. Played outright ruthlessly, she would have killed the entire party in a few more rounds with her melee attacks alone.

Instead I had her cast many low level spells from melee range daring the party to hit her and peppering them with damage from Silent Spell enchanced magic missiles and such. Eventually I had her fly out of the tower and start using spells from range while she laughed and taunted the party. They missed obvious hints about the Silenced area, and never got a detect magic off to find the source. This neutered the Cleric somewhat, as he is fond of Inflict spells, which of course would have worked wonderfully against Xanesha's lower touch AC. He did have a damage shield spell going when he arrived that allowed no save and no SR and Xanesha took minor hits from it each round she was in melee range, but never failed a Concentration check. Both he and the Bard retreated down far enough to escape the Silence effect. The Cleric piled on a few more buffs to push his Strength up to 26 or so and then the Bard turned the whole fight around. A targeted Dispel Magic removed only a single buff... Fly. Xanesha plummeted to the ground and took 60some odd points of damage.

As the Cleric returned to the roof and the Bard cowered in the lower level readying his crossbow, the Warrior set a smokestick up to obscure the entrance. Xanesha re-cast Fly and came back angrier than ever after a couple of heals and ended up smack in the middle of the smoke cloud trying to re-enter the tower thanks to the Clerics chosen position. Most of her lower level spells were gone by this point, and I was debating flying her back out to Dimension Door into the tower to retrieve her possessions (she was near flee threshold from the fall) or to try a full attack action against the Cleric through the miss chance of the smoke concealment. But all that debate ended when the Cleric finally rolled a natural 20 (the only weapon hit in the entire encounter) through the miss chance. The damage from his Magebane Greatsword coupled with 26 Strength was enough to finish her off.

In retrospect, from a DMs perspective, this is a very badly designed encounter for this level. Played as described, this encounter would eliminate a normal party in 5-6 rounds just from melee attacks... less if the petrification goes off at the correct place and the victim is pushed from the tower. The party I ran for moved entirely inside the top room on one round, leaving Xanesha no target to petrify near the edge. There's no way the CR on Xanesha makes ANY sense, and it must have been a ruthless, bloodthirsty person behind the creation of this. :) I have no problem with overpowering encounters... but when present, they should be presented with accompanying text indicating what their purpose is and how they should be handled. I assume Xanesha is a mistake in this regard, as the Magga in the next module includes such detail. Making her this powerful and expecting her to flee and show up in Hook Mountain would have made far more sense.

In short, there were only 3 reasons this party survived: A lucky Dispel Magic roll on the only buff that could hurt Xanesha, a non-resitable ongoing damage spell (ie, a little cheesy and probably overpowered... Ring of Blades) from the Magic Compendium that was in place before the Silence was encountered, and (most importantly) my willingness to portray Xanesha as a little more arrogant and reckless than she is probably supposed to be.


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

Well, your party didn't just "not die", they killed her! Which isn't that bad. Seems to me that in general this encounter is a test of "can your PCs swallow their pride enough to run away."


My players faced Xanesha last night and were summarily defeated, though not killed.

Though I had read this thread, my players hadn't really had any trouble with anything in the campaign so I wasn't too worried about a TPK as I they seemed pretty competent...and had the advantage that we were playing PFRPG characters, more powerful than the 3.5 ones the encounter was written for. All four characters were 6th level.

This is what happened...our wizard and cleric (of Cayden, with the Travel domain) both had fly active and zoomed right up to Xanesha after the bell fell leaving our ranger just starting up the big stairs and our enlarged dwarven fighter stuck on ground zero because he was too heavy for the weak stairs.

The two flyers gave it their best shot, quickly figuring out that they were operating in a silenced area and using Xanehsa's own tricks (flying outside the area and casting in) to dispel it.

Nonetheless, between her super high AC and her Spell Resistance, they couldn't do much to her, so eventually they flew back to the bottom, whereupon she chased them. Down below, the dwarf attacked her as she entered but in no time was skewered by her Impaler of Thorns to his very last negative hit point before actual death...fortunately the cleric got to him on time.

A few more rounds desperate battle ensued, upon which they finally realized they were over-matched and had to flee. The ranger, now 50' up the stairs, hopped up through a window and down to the ground with is grappling hook while the cleric grabbed the dwarf and dimension hopped outside (I houseruled to allow him to keep the ability early when we transitioned from Beta and it got pushed back to a 8th level ability).

That left our gnome wizard inside, and he was charmed by Xanesha before he could fly away.

So the session ended with the gnome charmed and in Xanesha's nest while the rest of the party fled into the slums of the Shadow.

The players were all pretty shocked by the whole debacle, and when we discussed it outside the game, they thought that the main issue wasn't simply that it was overpowered (though they thought it was) but that everything else had been so easy so far (especially her minions in the Skinsaw Cult, but also in the campaign general), that they simply weren't preferred for that level of challenge. They seemed to think an overwhelming encounter could be acceptable, but that if that's the case there should be more difficult encounters in the game to get them ready for it.


Okay, I know this is an old thread I'm resurrecting, which hasn't had a post in over a year, but I'm running rotRL for the first time, so it's new to me and my party finally fought Xanesha last night.

It was a tough fight, but the party prevailed. Having the collected insight of this forum, I have been coaching the party on some useful things that groups I've GMed for have never really used, so they've been discovering the usefulness of the Aid Another action and Glitterdust, which they used against the cultists back at the mill and blinded a number of them.

The party is:
Fighter 5/Ranger 1
Cleric 4/Paladin 2
Wizard 6 (specialized in summoning creatures)
Sorcerer 6
Rogue 6

They had a rough time of it with the Scarecrows DR and immunity to a lot of their spells, then the party Fighter and Cleric got hit by a bell, which knock the Cleric down to 1HP when he landed 100' below. The Wizard summoned a Dire Bat to soften up the bell droppers before they arrive, which got slaughtered without doing much, but they still had a relatively easy time of it with the stalkers due to the Sorcerer's Haste spell.

Then, it was time for Xanesha.

Here is the short version of the fight:

spoiler:
As they came up the stairs, the "Demon" appeared, which initially distracted 3 of the 5 party members, but kept the Rogue out of most of the fight. The Cleric Detects Evil, finds nothing on the "Demon" (he made his Will save) but locates evil emanating outside the tower (I had Xanesha start outside, flying). The Wizard Detects Magic on the "Demon" (also made Will save) and the spot where the Cleric says "There's something right out there!" Xanesha tosses a Silence stone onto the tower, which is found and tossed off quickly.

Next round, the Wizard casts Glitterdust on her, which doesn't blind her, but makes her visible, so she drops Invisibility (I didn't use her Mirror Image) and uses the mask to petrify the Sorcerer (she was the closest to the edge, still being on the landing to the stairs). This takes out the party's utility caster, who can turn the tide of a fight quickly with things like Haste. The fight goes badly for a while until the Cleric gets a lucky Critical Hit with his bow (while she is being harassed to little effect by a summoned Dire Bat), doing some ability damage on her (I use the Critical Hit & Fumble Decks). She gets pissed and comes after the Cleric, which brings her in the range of the Fighter and summoned dogs who are there just to harry her.

The Str & Dex damage she took softened her hits and nerfed her AC a little, but she is wearing out the party, causing them to use up a ton of resources and reducing their HP, when the Cleric rolls another incredibly lucky Critical Hit and this time blinds her, which gives her a 50% miss chance. Then she concentrates on the Fighter and the Cleric, bringing the Fighter to 6HP and the Cleric pretty low too, but she then Fumbles and with a draw from the Fumble Deck, trips herself and falls prone. She immediately starts to Dimension Door out (at 26HP), but the party brings her to -12HP quickly and she dies.

51 to 86 of 86 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / Xanesha aka Teepeekay All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.