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

PaizoCon 2014!

My group faced Xanesha last night - Lots of spoilers - for GM eyes only.


Rise of the Runelords

101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

TwoWolves wrote:
Ideally, whomever was watching us would see us buff up, do the same, and then watch as both buff timers wore off and then they were out of their daily buff spells but we had back-ups ready to go...

Deliciously paranoid... and clever. I love trying to outmanoeuvre NPCs that way.

Unfortunately you need a GM who is willing to play along with it. Many GMs simply run adventures by the book, regardless of the players' elaborate precautions. That is to say, if it's written down that an NPC is in a certain place and has readied themselves with said buffs, then that's what the players will encounter whenever they actually open the door. It can be terribly frustrating as a player, but there you have it.


I guess I should add that "the door" was all but flashing a neon sign, and we had been near it before (it led to a region of a massive sandbox dungeon) and had noticed the scry sensor watching us every time we got close to it. A little legwork outside the dungeon got us intel on who might be behind that door, so we weren't just wishfully thinking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Old Drake wrote:
Right; and how does X know when they'll open the door. She doesn't have any spells or other means to keep track of the party, unless they are very loud. That means she has to begin at some point after the combat with the Stalkers concludes. You are giving her perfect preparation; that's very unfair to the players since your monster now used information she couldn't have had.

No more unfair as your arbitrary timing that makes her haste end at just the right time.

Oh, and there is no door to open. They have to climb up the scaffolding on the outside.

Old Drake wrote:


Second, the party scout would have a great chance to hear the casting of mirror image and haste; certainly would hear the casting of invisibility. I don't know about your parties, but the scout in my group would fall back and tell the others; the fight would certainly be delayed by at least three rounds and quite possible ten minutes.
Hearing the details of a conversation is DC 0; spellcasting requires loud speaking, certainly louder than most normal conversations. +5 for closed door, at most +2 for distance. So worst case it's a DC 7 to hear casting; I'd say DC 2 to hear sounds and DC 5 to recognize spellcasting. So the scout would have to fail three checks; DC 10, DC 10, DC 5 (for not paying attention the first two times). Since skill checks can succeed even on a natural one, there's no chance of failing any of those checks (a scout will have maxed Perception).

So, is your scout going to be staying around for all the time he's taking? You already know that there is a big baddy up here (you came here to find them, after all), he now knows that she's buffing, so he'll go back and tell the party. And your party decides to wait.

Which means that the setpiece is no longer a setpiece, she is going to react (int 16 is not stupid), and she's going to scout out the party before all her buffs wear out.
As people have mentioned, flying out invisible would do, and, unless your party is hidden, she is going to see them. Her best bet would be to fly off to the other side of the tower so they can't locate her too fast, recast haste and any lost buff spells, cast silence near the party, and start her new assult.


No door? Okay, you're right. I did create a wrong battle map, sorry about that.

As for timing, I tried to be fair; not perfect for her, but not so far ahead that most spells were already down. She's supposed to buff up blind and use four spells and a item charge before going into melee - having still rounds remaining on an eight round spell would be too perfect from where I stand. It would make more sense to have her cast a silences haste once she sees the party, but the description is different.
As for X going a hunting; the description makes it pretty clear that she does not hunt and is content to wait and let the party run away if they want. So I don't think she'd force combat, but that's just me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Old Drake wrote:

No door? Okay, you're right. I did create a wrong battle map, sorry about that.

As for timing, I tried to be fair; not perfect for her, but not so far ahead that most spells were already down. She's supposed to buff up blind and use four spells and a item charge before going into melee - having still rounds remaining on an eight round spell would be too perfect from where I stand. It would make more sense to have her cast a silences haste once she sees the party, but the description is different.
As for X going a hunting; the description makes it pretty clear that she does not hunt and is content to wait and let the party run away if they want. So I don't think she'd force combat, but that's just me.

Yes, she will not hunt the party down..., But I doubt she will let them sit unmolested for 10 minutes either.

Let's face it, your party knows she knows that they are here, the bell trap insures it.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is Xanesha still the #1 TPK Boss of all the APs?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And is Xanesha still as badass in the Anniversary Edition?


I understand they made a few changes.

:
I guess they swapped 2 levels of sorcerer for 1 level of rogue. No more flying. Seems drastic to me.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Grimmy wrote:

I understand they made a few changes.

** spoiler omitted **

They also changed the tactics section so that she is no longer going to bullrush anyone she petrifies off the tower and smash them into teeny pieces.

I think they are good changes. She is still a very strong opponent at that level, especially considering the context in which she is faced.

Andoran

Grimmy wrote:

I understand they made a few changes.

** spoiler omitted **

My copy is at home, but the did tone her down. Which was needed given she was fighting a wounded party (they had just fought the golem, a major trap, and bunch of stalkers on the way) in absolutely ideal conditions for her.

When I ran it back in the day for my group I swapped her and her sister and it worked pretty well. When I looked at that block I couldn't figure out what they were thinking given the party level.

TPK machine.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

I think there should be an annual GenCon challenge - face 3.5 Xanesha with a party made of Swashbuckler, Samurai, Truenamer and Healer. All classes of the 3.5 variety.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group will soon encounter Xanesha. Do you think I should use the first or the second edition "TPKBoss" ?

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Dritzz wrote:
My group will soon encounter Xanesha. Do you think I should use the first or the second edition "TPKBoss" ?

Would you like to kill them in a frustratingly difficult battle? Or would you like a cool encounter?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dritzz wrote:
My group will soon encounter Xanesha. Do you think I should use the first or the second edition "TPKBoss" ?

Use the original version.

Kill them all.

Sit back,point and laugh.

Let the good times roll.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dritzz wrote:
My group will soon encounter Xanesha. Do you think I should use the first or the second edition "TPKBoss" ?

3.5 Xanesha will be the more memorable. But you risk a TPK. I threw in that the tower was beginning to crumble and collapse before Xanesha killed off everyone. In the end, one party member died, and one almost died, when everyone including Xanesha escaped from the top of the Clock Tower. Awesome fun though! She is now seen as one of the great BBEGs of all time. So to answer your question, it is up to you to make a choice if you want a tough encounter or a near impossible encounter.

Good luck!

Mazra


Dritzz wrote:
My group will soon encounter Xanesha. Do you think I should use the first or the second edition "TPKBoss" ?

I guess it could all depend on what your group usually enjoys and how their expectations are calibrated. For example I saw a thread where a DM described an encounter from Slumbering Tsar, and people were outraged about how unfair it was. But that adventure is very popular among people who enjoy a certain style.

I haven't run or played in the encounter with Xanesha, but I have run some adventures by the same author, published in non Paizo stuff. I remember a 1st level adventure he wrote that had a CR 5 scythe wielding wood golem that needed to be dealt with. Obviously that could have been a TPK but I've run it three times with only one PC death occurring. The reason that adventure worked was because it did a good job of setting the mood and conveying that this was something that couldn't be overcome without doing something clever to get the upper hand.
Maybe if you really paint a picture in the PC's mind of how deadly Xanesha is they can come up with a way to tip the scales in their favor?
Other then that I would say only you know your group. Would a TPK be a campaign stopper or would there be some way to roll up a new party and continue on with the AP?
Personally, when I run Runelords I will use the changes in the anniversary edition, because they're probably there for a good reason. I think the tone of the AP up to that point probably sets a certain expectation. I'm not saying Richard Pett wrote the original badly, just that maybe it's not what you sign up for when you play a Paizo AP.


If you want to pass on a hint, have them meet a NPC who is the only survivor of a previous attempt. Pas son some simple hitns about how touch she is

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think I will probably take the original version. Even if my group isn't optimized group.

Most of the encounters are in favor of the PC so this time it will not be the case...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dritzz wrote:

I think I will probably take the original version. Even if my group isn't optimized group.

Most of the encounters are in favor of the PC so this time it will not be the case...

If the party is 7th level, they will have a little better chance.

Let us know, how it works out.


Dritzz wrote:

I think I will probably take the original version. Even if my group isn't optimized group.

Most of the encounters are in favor of the PC so this time it will not be the case...

Here's my 2 cents. I GM'd this a few weeks ago and I used the updated version. I have a group of five; 6th level and nearing 7th. We've been gaming for a long time. My players are very experienced but with only two optimizers among them. Still, they're all very tactically experienced. The battle was epic and everyone had tons of fun. While no one died thanks to good tactics, three of them came very close multiple times. At one point I was actually sweating from worry about a TPK (something I usually never have to do with our games). They all pulled through but it was a close call. This was with the updated Rogue version.

If you think your group can handle the older version, well, more power to ya. I hope it's a blast. From my own experience, plus what I've read over the years on these forums from others, I've noticed it's not always about optimization with this encounter. Party composition, tactics, and preparation all play huge parts. Some uber-optimized groups still get run over by Xanesha just based on party strengths and weaknesses. So my best recommendation to you would be to measure her carefully against your group to see which fits best.

Cheers,
Tony

Osirion

The scariest part of this encounter is the fact that the version of Xanesha that was put in the original version was already nerfed slightly according to the writer's account. I recall reading that :

left off Xanesha:
the original version also had a secondary attack of a poisonous stinger on her tail. Like she needed any extra help!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After looking at the old Xanesha and the new, I thought I saw what had happened. After checking, sure enough, it looks like they took people's advice and swapped Lucrecia (Xanesha's sister) in, and put Xanesha in Lucrecia's place (all while keeping their gear almost the same).

Andoran

Grimmy wrote:
I haven't run or played in the encounter with Xanesha, but I have run some adventures by the same author, published in non Paizo stuff. I remember a 1st level adventure he wrote that had a CR 5 scythe wielding wood golem that needed to be dealt with. Obviously that could have been a TPK but I've run it three times with only one PC death occurring. The reason that adventure worked was because it did a good job of setting the mood and conveying that this was something that couldn't be overcome without doing something clever to get the upper hand.

Ooh, I playtested that. And, yes, the fighter did get dropped, and yes, we did have to use methods other than 'run up and hit it'.


Dangleberry Tagnut wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
I haven't run or played in the encounter with Xanesha, but I have run some adventures by the same author, published in non Paizo stuff. I remember a 1st level adventure he wrote that had a CR 5 scythe wielding wood golem that needed to be dealt with. Obviously that could have been a TPK but I've run it three times with only one PC death occurring. The reason that adventure worked was because it did a good job of setting the mood and conveying that this was something that couldn't be overcome without doing something clever to get the upper hand.
Ooh, I playtested that. And, yes, the fighter did get dropped, and yes, we did have to use methods other than 'run up and hit it'.

Yeah, Pett's pretty notorious for how lethal his modules can get. He is a man to be feared and respected when it comes to his writing. Definitely one of my favorites.


I'm running the sawmill on Monday (3 days from now) but the PCs may get all the way to Xanesha.

Party: Samurai 6 (20 STR), Alchemist 1/Wizard 5 (22 Int), Ranger (trapper) 3/Fighter (lore warden) 2/Rogue 1 (20 Dex), Oracle 1/Cleric 5

They may reach level 7 before here too.

Here's how I think its going to go down:
She has already cast: Mirror Image, Invisible, false life and Major Image
Samurai will challenge and will always power attack unless she misses alot (+11/+6 without any buffs but Challenge, for d8+21 crit 19+ x2)
Cleric will dispel and then cast pro vs evil and then heal.
Wizard will cast Chains of Perdition repeatedly, its the only 3rd level spell he memorizes (tries to blind)
Ranger will use deadly aim and if he misses alot he'll go melee and flank and gain a +4 to hit with his 2 weapons (+2 flanking, +2 from order of the dragon challenge) plus d6 sneak attack.

She can kill our Samurai in about 3 rounds (2 if their unlucky, 4 if their lucky) after that she can just mop up everyone else.

I've ran it a couple times. If the cleric's dispel magic can dispel her mirror image the party does better. If the Wizard can beat her SR once with chains of perdition the fight is a given.

She may be able to KO the wizard the first round she's invisible and if she does thats a different fight.

The party might be able to win if luck is with them.

As for the scarecrow he shouldn't last more than 2-3 rounds (except if they are very unlucky).

I am a bit worried about the bell hitting 2 characters, the wizard only has 1 feather fall spell memorized.


My group consisted of a dwarf cavalier (Order of the Bro ;)), a human inquisitor, a halfling gunslinger, a dwarf cleric of Angradd, and a human rogue. While it was a damn tough battle, none of them died. Xanesha ended up trying to retreat after getting knocked below the morale level of hp.

The dwarf cleric leapt off the tower onto her; attacking with height advantage. Battleaxe crit (killing Xanesha), and then a long ride down to the base of the tower. Thankfully (for the PC) the falling damage wasn't enough to seal the deal on the cleric, and the whole table was whooping at the awesome kill.

Now some of it was damn lucky saves on the PCs part; and any of those could have broken the momentum just enough to make the difference.

EDIT: Ahh. I see. I'm running the Anniversary Edtion version; I'm presuming from the comments the original (3.5) version was rather tougher then?


Craig Mercer wrote:

After looking at the old Xanesha and the new, I thought I saw what had happened. After checking, sure enough, it looks like they took people's advice and swapped Lucrecia (Xanesha's sister) in, and put Xanesha in Lucrecia's place (all while keeping their gear almost the same).

While Lucrecia is now Sorcerer 2 (instead of Rogue 2), Xanesha is now just Rogue 1 (instead of Sorcerer 2), so it wasn't a full switch. When my players' characters get that far, I might up the AE Xanesha to Rogue 2.

Also, it appears that lamia matriarchs got nerfed between 3.5 and PF: their touch attack used to deal 2d4 Wisdom drain, but now does only 1d4 Wisdom drain. ... Maybe that's a good thing?


They didn't get that far last time we play but will get there this week (they spent alot of time in town asking questions and..... shopping). But no one got away from the sawmill to warn Xanesha.

I think Xanesha will start with a nice Vital Strike + Power attack while she's invisible against our main fighter. +14 to hit for 2d8+17+d6+1 possible wisdom damage will give the fighter pause (avg damage would be 30). With her +7 initiative she'll beat the fighter again (30% chance) and power attack for all 3 attacks +14/+9/+4 last one shouldn't hit but the first two might (flat footed figher's AC is 18). If they do thats 60 more damage on average, for a total of 90. Fighters dead. (90 HP is a 6th level fighter w/20 CON who has max Hp)

With the fighter dead I don't see the rest of the part being able to stop her.


They actually beat her!
First she didn't win initiative after her sneak attack and that helped.
Most of the party just did a little damage and annoyed her, but the fighter did a enough to earn Xanesha's attention. So Xanesha cut her down and moved onto the wizard. The Cleric & the Oracle (new character) ran over and healed her (the fighter). So Xanesha cut her down again.
The wizard then made an illusion with the wand they got from the Thistletop throne room and Xanesha wasted an attack cutting the illusion down. The Cleric & Oracle healed the fighter again.
Before the fighter got up the wizard used the wand again but this time made it look like she was still unconscious on the ground.
I rolled a perception check to see if Xanesha would notice that the fighter was actually getting up this time and not just another illusion.

--At this point I am thinking that I am going to kill a PC, that Xanesha was going to knock her down again and then spend another attack killing her (just normal power attack).--

But I rolled a 2 on her perception check and she thinks the wizard is trying to distract her again and doesn't notice the switch.

--In that one square is now a illusion of the party's fighter, an illusion of the party's fighter laying on the ground and an the actual fighter standing and getting ready to attack.--

So the fighter stood back up and power attacked her, and crited. The fighter did like 52 damage with the crit. Xanesha went down.

At the end the fighter had like 10hp, the wizard was out of spells and injured, the cleric was out of spell & positive channels and the oracle was out of spells and very injured.

I can't believe they won.

Best move that didn't work: The cleric cast stone shape on the stone statue in the center of the top level of the clock tower, used engineering to try to make it fall and trap her. Something like a Falling block trap that would also pin/entangle her. The cleric rolled like 12 damage on 6d6 and she made her reflex save to not be pinned. So didn't really help the fight. But it was a great idea.
--His other idea was to run down stairs and use soften earth and stone on one side of the tower to make the top of the tower fall off (and hopefully her), but soften earth and stone doesn't work on worked stone so he didn't do it. Luckly for the rest of the party, because they all would have died from the fall (wizard has used his feather fall and his bonded arcane object power already).

101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / My group faced Xanesha last night - Lots of spoilers - for GM eyes only. 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.