Well, my party is continuing to discover the the Champion's Belt is a nasty module. They are almost finished and I thought last night would do the trick to put that module to bed. All they had left was the Alkilith fight, the Froghemoth fight and the Finale; I didn't count on the Alkilith fight lasting over 5 hours of game time. Then they knocked the Froghemoth out in 1 hour in 5 rounds. Go figure.
What hurt them with the Alkilith was the DR. That and the stinking cloud. I remember that spell in 1st/2nd Edition as being an annoyance but nothing gamebreaking. Wow, in 3.x, that spell can lead to an easy TPK. Because you have to keep saving when you are in it; and once you have failed, even after you leave it, you are out of commission for 2-5 rounds. Of course, no one in the party had a good-aligned weapon (the healer has the dagger from the trophy room in HOHR, but it is in actuality it is a +1 unholy dagger!), so even the badass fighter couldn't touch it. His axe does 1d10+8 points of damage and you can't crit the Alkilith, so the best he could do was 3 points on a max damage hit. 10 rounds in and the Alkilith had only 3 points of damage on it. Finally, the cleric tried casting align weapon on her longsword and realized she could actually overcome the DR; but by then, healing was almost exhausted, and resources were scraping the bottom of the barrel. When the alkilith finally hit the threshold and teleported out to change to cloudkill form, the party booked out of there. So now they know the secret of how to kill it and the cleric will be stocking up on bless weapon and align weapon spells. Between herself, the tank and the ranger; they should be able to take the still-injured but partly healed demon out in a couple rounds (plus the wizzy will probably take a few dispel magics to get rid of any stinking clouds the demon throws up too!)
It's a hard lesson for groups to learn that you can't always defeat every foe in a single battle. Sometimes, you have to flee to return and fight another day (especially in Paizo modules).
Now, I have to worry about the party finding that secret door and insisting on exploring Raknian's mansion. No maps are provided, so I'll have to whip one up (because I guarantee that they won't be dissuaded from exploring it). I am probably going to fill it with members of the Waterdeep City Watch, who are unaware of Raknian's ulterior motives on their fair city. Maybe then the party will get the message that they are off course.
Only one more night of exploration (and they have pretty much already explored everything but the passages that lead off the map), and then finally, we get to the Finale!
|carborundum RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32|
Pray the two party wizards don't polymorph (3.0) into Umber Hulks and collapse the arena on top of the urgastast, smushing it without a fight :)
We'd hit the end of a 15 hour session, I couldn't think straight anymore and let them have their little victory.
My group had more trouble with the alkilith than any other fight too - what a great beastie! The cleric bad guy (forget the name) had an anti-life shield up, and one party member used an item to give himself the undead template. I quickly gave the cleric Heal and he got the shock of his (un)life. Didn't think it odd for a cleric to have memorised Heal, of course, so that was fun.
The Death trap at the top of the stairs killed one of the party and they all thought that kind of sucked.If your group don't like death effects you could have the trap create, say, an inverted anti-life shell or a Resilient Sphere round the victim and set off an alarm spell :)
I wouldn't be concerned of the long fight; they have learned it the hard way that high saves are of utmost importance (fortitude, especially), and that some defenses need special preparation. And won't forget it, either! So in the future, tough fights will last shorter, because they'll remember and adjust tactics accordingly.
IMC, the breaking point for some novice players was the encounter with the drow in HoHR; which lastet only 1 surprise round - thanks to the right mix of intelligence, planning and buffing.
- BTW, 1d10+8 is two-handed, I guess, but didn't he have Power Attack? With his Str bonus, he should. PA is the non-magic DR breaker.
- Tell your cleric to always keep a scroll of align weapon. You don't need it every day, but when you need it, you will happily pay for it's price.
Polymorph is fun in sessions, but a headache in campaigns.
I have my doubts that the party tank in my campaign will have much trouble with the DR, given that he's a goliath spiked-chain wielder. He's typically doing 2d6+16 or more, given a 26 STR, weapon specialization, melee weapon mastery, and a +1 spiked chain, doing somewhere between 20 and 30 points of damage per hit even with Combat Expertise granting him an AC of 30+.