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Into the Maw, Vanthus


Savage Tide Adventure Path


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I find that Vanthus is fairly "weak" for a CR 20. His AC is pretty good, but Hp, SR and saves bonuses are so low that I can't imagine him to be up and fight for more than 2 rounds.
In Serpents of Scuttlecove, when the party heard about Vanthus kinadpping Lavinia, a player who has a druid character immediately looked at the sunbeam spell. We're still in Scuttlecove but by the start of Into the Maw, the party and the druid should be 16 or 17th level.
This give about 66% to pass SR, Vanthus will have about 50% to make his save against the 16-17 dice of damage each round (the druid should be able to launch 5 beams at this time). Even if he still has his unholy aura, it won't help him much, and his 97 hp won't last long. Same for the shadow demons... And add to that that Lavinia can "weaken" him, giving him some penalty to attacks, saves...

Do you have done something to Vanthus to make this combat more memorable ?
Has anyone run into the same problem ?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
selios wrote:

I find that Vanthus is fairly "weak" for a CR 20. His AC is pretty good, but Hp, SR and saves bonuses are so low that I can't imagine him to be up and fight for more than 2 rounds.

In Serpents of Scuttlecove, when the party heard about Vanthus kinadpping Lavinia, a player who has a druid character immediately looked at the sunbeam spell. We're still in Scuttlecove but by the start of Into the Maw, the party and the druid should be 16 or 17th level.
This give about 66% to pass SR, Vanthus will have about 50% to make his save against the 16-17 dice of damage each round (the druid should be able to launch 5 beams at this time). Even if he still has his unholy aura, it won't help him much, and his 97 hp won't last long. Same for the shadow demons... And add to that that Lavinia can "weaken" him, giving him some penalty to attacks, saves...

Do you have done something to Vanthus to make this combat more memorable ?
Has anyone run into the same problem ?

Easy things can be done to toughen him up, it's just a matter of what you wish to see happen. Socobenoth is trying to tempt him, so you can have him bestow a dark blessing on him when the battle is begun, a Dark Aura of Shadows perhaps. Just apply a Profane bonus (i suggest +5) to his AC, Saves, SR, Attack rolls, or anything else you want. Heck, all of the above and even stats(1, 2, or all 6) if you want. You want it memorable, make sure it is! ;) Also, if he doesn't have it, give him Unholy Toughness (CHA bonus to Hit Die) which is basically an alternate con score for undead.

Those are a couple ideas off the top of my head.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rathendar wrote:

Easy things can be done to toughen him up, it's just a matter of what you wish to see happen. Socobenoth is trying to tempt him, so you can have him bestow a dark blessing on him when the battle is begun, a Dark Aura of Shadows perhaps. Just apply a Profane bonus (i suggest +5) to his AC, Saves, SR, Attack rolls, or anything else you want. Heck, all of the above and even stats(1, 2, or all 6) if you want. You want it memorable, make sure it is! ;) Also, if he doesn't have it, give him Unholy Toughness (CHA bonus to Hit Die) which is basically an alternate con score for undead.

Those are a couple ideas off the top of my head.

Hey, thanks for this quick answer !!

That's some nice ideas. I was already tempted to give him Cha bonus to hp, but some of the other boosts you suggest are good too.
Since he has evasion, he could escape a lot of sunbeams if his ref save was better. Same for Fort and disintegrate. A boost of SR seems also necessary.

If anyone has other suggestions, I would be glad

Thanks again Rathendar !


selios wrote:
Rathendar wrote:

Easy things can be done to toughen him up, it's just a matter of what you wish to see happen. Socobenoth is trying to tempt him, so you can have him bestow a dark blessing on him when the battle is begun, a Dark Aura of Shadows perhaps. Just apply a Profane bonus (i suggest +5) to his AC, Saves, SR, Attack rolls, or anything else you want. Heck, all of the above and even stats(1, 2, or all 6) if you want. You want it memorable, make sure it is! ;) Also, if he doesn't have it, give him Unholy Toughness (CHA bonus to Hit Die) which is basically an alternate con score for undead.

Those are a couple ideas off the top of my head.

Hey, thanks for this quick answer !!

That's some nice ideas. I was already tempted to give him Cha bonus to hp, but some of the other boosts you suggest are good too.
Since he has evasion, he could escape a lot of sunbeams if his ref save was better. Same for Fort and disintegrate. A boost of SR seems also necessary.

If anyone has other suggestions, I would be glad

Thanks again Rathendar !

First thing I did was replace his wimpy NPC level with real classes, depending on how much work you want to put into this. Add a level or levels of Mountebank (Dragon Compendium), Blackguard, Assassin, or something that gives him class skills quickly

Search this forum for the "Augmented Antagonist" template, Turin the Mad's answer to giving players a memorable encounter.

I definitly concur with the addition of the Unholy Toughness feat. All undead Bosses NEED this feat. If you have access to BoVD, it might have some more ideas.

Or for simplicity, give 9 or 10 HP per die rather than Average.

I added a Henchman Bard to buff the crap out of Vanthus before (and during) the Farshore Battle. Kept VV alive for a couple of extra rounds. :)


selios wrote:

I find that Vanthus is fairly "weak" for a CR 20.

He is, but IMC the party encountered him while they were fighting the shadows of Socobenoth. Those shadows were doing a number on the party, causing at least one death and threatening a TPK. Vile touch attacks can *really* add up.

By the time Vanthus showed up the party was in terrible shape and ready to run. It was entertaining to see (wimpy) Vanthus chase them throughout the entire prison. Had they known how easy he was...

Regardless, Vanthus should probably remain at a distance (on his nightmare mount if possible), using spell-like abilities and keeping his distance until he can isolate a target that pursues him.

Also, he and the shadows should probably start in an unhollowed area with (say) dispel magic tied to it.


Anyone have stats for a tougher alternat Vanthus? Anyone care to take a crack at some? I too agree his is probably going to get pwned by my 5-player party. I want the fight to be Memorable.


Par-a-dox wrote:
Anyone have stats for a tougher alternat Vanthus? Anyone care to take a crack at some? I too agree his is probably going to get pwned by my 5-player party. I want the fight to be Memorable.

Don't remember which thread this was in, but we essentially restat the crap out of him a few different ways in another thread. I changed him around heavily for my first go making him a vampire lord or some such, its been awhile but I dont rememeber what I did. But if you search the works been done (including Turins awesome antagonist template).


Stewart Perkins wrote:
Par-a-dox wrote:
Anyone have stats for a tougher alternat Vanthus? Anyone care to take a crack at some? I too agree his is probably going to get pwned by my 5-player party. I want the fight to be Memorable.
Don't remember which thread this was in, but we essentially restat the crap out of him a few different ways in another thread. I changed him around heavily for my first go making him a vampire lord or some such, its been awhile but I dont rememeber what I did. But if you search the works been done (including Turins awesome antagonist template).

Ooooh, I'll have to see if I can dig that stat block up ... one sec ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One easy solution that I did was simply to keep on adding HPs on Vanthus during the battle to keep things intersteing. Of course, the Pcs did not know how many hp he has. I would keep adding hp to the boss until a pc is near death so that created alot of tension as well as great exuberance when I "let" Vanthus die.

I've resorted to this method several times on bosses but be very careful not to let your pcs know about it.

Taldor

Yeah if the Dread Wraiths and Shadow fiends haven't softened up the party you're doing something wrong. Against my party if it wasn't for a Miracled Ghost Trap spell it could have been a TPK. The shadow demons Vile damage really, really adds up. Adn incorporeal touch attacks blew through the incredible high AC of the PC's.

Once Vanthus came out I had given him Chr to hp's as well as giving him the Black Stone major srtifact from the BOVD. Basically makes him a sorcerer of his HD with all the necromancy spells. So a couple Avascular mass spells, a horrid wilting, and then some sword work took vanthus through about 4 rounds of combat before the Scout took him out with his Deathstrike bracers and the Nimbus Bow.

--Vrocking the House!


Stewart Perkins wrote:
Par-a-dox wrote:
Anyone have stats for a tougher alternat Vanthus? Anyone care to take a crack at some? I too agree his is probably going to get pwned by my 5-player party. I want the fight to be Memorable.
Don't remember which thread this was in, but we essentially restat the crap out of him a few different ways in another thread. I changed him around heavily for my first go making him a vampire lord or some such, its been awhile but I dont rememeber what I did. But if you search the works been done (including Turins awesome antagonist template).

Ooooh, I'll have to see if I can dig that stat block up ... one sec ...

WARNING: This was written in late 3.5 for a large group of 7 or 8 seriously tricked out player characters!

* For awarding XP, award two CR 20 experience rewards.

Vanthus Vanderboren as a CE Medium Death Knight
Initiative +16
Senses: Darkvision 60 ft. see in darkness, see invisibility, Spot +31, Listen +31
Defenses: DR 10/cold iron and magic or good and magic; Resist Fire 10; Immune to acid, cold, electricity, mind-affecting effects & spells, polymorph, poisons, exhaustion & fatigue, ability score damage & drain and the debilitating effects of pain; undead traits; turn immunity
AC: 64 + Dodge (10 +16 natural armor +4 armor +12 Dex +1 haste +3 +8 deflection +10 defending)
Flat-footed AC = 51 with defending, 38 otherwise
Touch AC: 44 + Dodge
Flat-footed Touch AC = 31 with defending, 18 otherwise
Hit Points: 204 +85 temporary hp (1/2 hour remaining duration on the temporary hp); Fast Healing 5; 17 total HD (1 Aristocrat NPC level, Fighter 5, Tempest 5, 6 succubus racial HD)
SR 30; Fort +16, Reflex +23, Will +30

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect) improves to 60 ft., fly 80 ft. (perfect)

Base Attack: 16/11/6/1 = Grapple +29
Attacks: +5 defending unholy glass-adamantine Large scimitar +52/+47/+42/+37/+52 melee (1d8+20 Slashing [15-20, auto-confirmed critical] plus 2d6 profane plus 2d6 foebane) and +5 defending unholy glass-adamantine Large kukri +52/+47 melee (1d6+14 Slashing [15-20, auto-confirmed critical] plus 2d6 profane plus 2d6 foebane) and poison sting +52 melee (1d6+12 Piercing plus 2d6 foebane AND poison [DC 22 Fortitude vs. 1d6 Wis/1d6 Wis])
or
3 claws +52 melee – haste adds a 3rd claw attack – (1d4+18 slashing/piercing plus 2d6 foebane) and poison sting +52 melee (1d6+12 Piercing plus 2d6 foebane AND poison [DC 22 Fort vs. 1d6 Wis/1d6 Wis])
or
Hasted melee negative energy touch +45/+40/+35/+30/+45 (1d8+18 plus 1 CON; DC 40 Fortitude negates the point of CON damage and halves the negative energy damage)
ranged touch attack bonus +46
Special Attacks: Smite Good 1x/day (+20 melee damage bonus with 1 declared attack); Abyssal Blast (Su) 1x/day (range of 1,000 ft.; 20 ft. radius spread; 17d6 damage [half fire, half profane], Reflex DC 40 half)
Special Ability: Summon Mount (this version of Vanthus is not exactly concerned about flapping about on a puny nightmare…)
Ability Scores: 36 STR (+13), 34 DEX (+12), -- CON, 26 INT (+8), 28 WIS (+9), 46 CHA (+18)
Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic (automatic); Aboleth, Aquan, Elven, Infernal, Olman, Sylvan, Undercommon and Yuan-Ti

Feats (including bonus and trained feats): Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, Improved Initiative, Multiattack/Improved Multiattack, Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Improved Flight x2; Dodge, Mobility, Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Spring Attack, Force of Personality, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (scimitar), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Specialization (scimitar) and Improved Critical (scimitar); Endurance, Die Hard
Skills: Balance +33, Bluff +27, Climb +25, Concentration +28, Craft (alchemy and poisonmaking) +17, Craft (weaponsmithing) +16, Disguise +26, Escape Artist +31, Hide +21, Intimidate +31, Jump +27, Knowledge (the planes) +19, Listen +31, Move Silently +21, Profession (sailor and siege engineer) +17, Ride +21, Search +17, Spot +31, Tumble +33 and Use Magic Device +31

Special Qualities:

  • +17 insight attack bonus
  • Use Oversized Weapon (ex)
  • Telepathy 100 ft. (Su)
  • Tongues (Su) [CL 17 equivalent, otherwise identical to that of a succubus]
  • Alternate Form (Su) [at will; any Small or Medium humanoid form]
  • Energy Drain (Su) [DC 30; 1 negative level bestowed; at will (attack)]
  • Unholy Grace (Su) [receives half of his Charisma bonus as a deflection bonus to AC]
  • 6 succubus racial HD
  • Lemorian half-fiend template
  • Monster of Legend template
  • Augmented Antagonist template
  • +5 inherent bonus to all ability scores
  • +5 enhancement bonus to both claws and his poison sting
  • Major Titan bloodline
  • Ambidexterity (no attack penalties for wielding a scimitar and a kukri)
  • Tempest Defense (+3 bonus to AC when wielding two weapons)
  • Two-Weapon Versatility (applies weapon focus, weapon specialization and improved critical to both the scimitar and the kukri)
  • Two-Weapon Spring Attack (he can attack once each with both weapons during a Spring Attack)
  • Superior Foebane – applying to natural and wielded weapons – (against non-demons, his natural and wielded weapons act as +5 weapons and deal an extra 2d6 damage per hit. Note that this bonus permits him to use “full defending” without loss of this ability’s enhancement bonus to attack and damage with his defending weapons)
  • Stalwart Pact (once reduced to half or fewer of his maximum hit points, he gains 35 temporary hit points and a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws for 20 rounds)
  • Death Pact (once destroyed as a death knight, he immediately benefits from a true resurrection).
  • Renewal Pact (once the death pact has been triggered = 1 round after he is affected by a triggering condition [Spell Compendium page 173], he receives a Panacea, curing 28 hit points in the process.)

Spell-like Abilities: (Caster Level 17th; Save DC 31 + equivalent spell level)
At Will: charm monster (DC 35), clairaudience/clairvoyance, darkness, desecrate, detect good, detect thoughts, doom (DC 32), ethereal jaunt (self +50 lbs’), suggestion (DC 34) and teleport – greater (self +50 lbs’)
1x/day each: blasphemy, contagion (DC 35; blinding sickness is generally preferred), deeper darkness, destruction (DC 38), horrid wilting (DC 39), levitate, summon monster IX (fiendish CE creatures only), unhallow and unholy blight (DC 35)
3x/day each: poison (DC 39 vs. 1d10 Con/1d10 Con), unholy aura (DC 39 – this ability is generally pre-cast when possible – the benefits of this ability are not factored into his stat block above)
Gear

  • adaptation-sustenance freedom of movement bracers of armor +4 of moderate fortification, made of glass-adamantine
  • flesh ring of scorn (non-slotted item secured to his chest via flesh piercing) (against non-outsiders he automatically confirms all threatened critical hits) <strong, evil>
  • rhapsody of pain (minor evil artifact, non-slotted item = pair of earrings) (Vanthus continually benefits from both the Masochism and Sadism spells, gaining a +1 bonus to attacks, saving throws and skill checks for every 10 points of damage he is both dealt and deals out during a round on his following turn; he is also immune to the debilitating effects of pain)
  • flesh ring of denial (strong evil non-slotted item worn pierced through the flesh of his chest) (Vanthus continually benefits from sheltered vitality, gaining immunity to ability damage and drain – regardless of source – as well as both exhaustion and fatigue; the item also grants him the continual benefits of both the Endurance and Die Hard feats.)
  • boots of speed (enhanced versions granting the wearer 20 rounds of personal haste per day)
  • 2 rings of greater counterspelling – each “loaded” with greater dispelling – this ring is detailed in the Magic Item Compendium
  • lenses of socothbenoth (He can see in darkness and sees invisibility while these lenses are worn)
  • Deathstone (major evil artifact – he “wears” the deathstone secured via flesh piercing in his chest) (Vanthus has access to Necromancy Sorcerer/Wizard spells as a Sorcerer of his total HD without requirement of non-costly material components nor any Somatic components to cast any spells; the bearer is immune to any of his own spells’ effects – whether intentional, circumstantial or otherwise; thrice per day the stone can quicken any 3 spells that its bearer is capable of casting from the foul knowledge imparted by the stone.)

Contingent Spells: (CL 20th = dispel DC 35 as a magic item per each such contingent spell)
Alter Fortune x4 (immediate action re-rolls)
The following are dormant until triggered by his death pact (above)
  • heal x4 (triggered at each successive instance at which an attack reduces him to 0 or fewer hp – each cures 162 hit points when so triggered)
  • energy immunity x3 (to cold, fire and sonic energies for 24 hours from when the pact is triggered)
  • persistent zeal (He can move through enemies as if they were allies as long as he finishes his movement closer to his chosen foe than when he began his movement.)
  • extended ironguard (this is the reason why is ‘metal’ gear is a “glass” version of adamantine) (lasts 4 minutes – note that this benefits both his natural weapons as well as his glass-adamantine weapons)
  • extended delay death (4 minute duration)
  • ray deflection (lasts 20 minutes)
  • extended greater spell immunity (for 400 minutes he is warded against holy aura, holy word, horrid wilting, destruction and rain of embers)

Necromantic Sorcerer Spellcasting saving throw DC 31 + spell level, set off his living CHA
Cantrips (6 per day) disrupt undead, touch of fatigue and preserve organ
1st Level Spells (DC 32) (11 per day) cause fear, chill touch, ray of enfeeblement, death grimace, backbiter, spirit worm
2nd Level Spells (DC 33) (10 per day) blindness/deafness, command undead, false life, ghoul touch, scare, spectral hand, dance of ruin, shriveling, slow consumption, wither limb, bonefiddle (F), curse of impending blades, death armor (F), dessicating bubble, ghoul glyph, ray of sickness, ray of weakness, shroud of undeath, stolen breath, wracking touch
3rd Level Spells (DC 34) (10 per day) gentle repose, halt undead, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch, corrupt – red fester, curse of impending blades – mass, disrupt undead – greater, incorporeal enhancement, junglerazer, mind poison, skull watch, spider poison, undead lieutenant, undead torch
4th Level Spells (DC 35) (10 per day) animate dead (M), bestow curse, contagion, enervation, fear, corrupt – absorb strength, grim revenge, liquid pain, burning blood
5th Level Spells (DC 36) (10 per day) blight, magic jar (F), symbol of pain (M), waves of fatigue, corrupt – power leech, soul shackles, stop heart, death throes, greymantle, miasma of entropy, night’s caress, spiritwall, wrack
6th Level Spells (DC 37) (9 per day, 7 remaining) circle of death (M), create undead (M), eyebite, symbol of fear (M), undeath to death (M), ectoplasmic enhancement, aura of terror, contagion – mass, fleshshiver, ghoul gauntlet, imperious glare, incorporeal nova, ray of entropy, revive undead (M), spectral touch
7th Level Spells (DC 38) (8 per day) control undead, finger of death, symbol of weakness (M), waves of exhaustion, arrow of bone (M), avasculate, awaken undead (xp), barghest’s feast (xp), energy ebb, evil glare, kiss of the vampire (M), sword of darkness
8th Level Spells (DC 39) (8 per day) clone (M, F), create greater undead (M), horrid wilting, symbol of death (M), gutwrench, steal life, avascular mass, bestow curse – greater, blackfire, heart of stone (F, xp), skeletal guard (M), veil of undeath

Vanthus Vanderboren, as returned once more to the living due to his death pact!
The stats here are what is different from his death knight statistics, above
CE Medium Outsider (Augmented Humanoid (Human), Chaotic, Evil, Native)
Hit Points: 363
Ability Scores: 32 STR (+11), CON 32 (+11), 26 WIS (+8), 44 CHA (+17)
Fortitude +27, Will +29
Grapple +27
Bluff +26, Climb +23, Concentration +22, Disguise +25, Intimidate +30, Jump +15, Listen +30, Spot +30, Use Magic Device +30
(Loses the negative energy melee touch attacks as well as access to the Abyssal Blast special attack, undead traits, turn immunity and the ability to summon mount; loses immunity to cold and polymorph, gains resist cold 10 [but see the contingent spells listed under his gear, above])
Attacks:

  • Natural Weapons = 3 claw attacks +50 (1d4+16 plus 2d6 foebane) and poison sting +50 (1d6+10 plus 2d6 foebane & DC 33 Fortitude vs. poison [1d6 Wis/1d6 Wis])
  • scimitar +51/+46/+41/+36/+51 (1d8+18 [15-20, auto confirm] plus 2d6 profane plus 2d6 foebane) and kukri +51/+46 (1d6+12 [15-20, auto confirm] plus 2d6 profane plus 2d6 foebane) and poison sting +51 (1d6+10 plus 2d6 foebane & DC 33 poison [1d6 Wis/1d6 Wis])

Look up the campaign journal "A Madman GMs the Savage Tide" (in the campaign journal section) for details on the rest of the baddies.


Quote:

6 succubus racial HD

Lemorian half-fiend template
Monster of Legend template
Augmented Antagonist template
Major Titan bloodline

and so on..

O_O

now i understand better the battle described in your campaign..
it's too strong for 5 pcs.


Dark Roland wrote:
Quote:

6 succubus racial HD

Lemorian half-fiend template
Monster of Legend template
Augmented Antagonist template
Major Titan bloodline

and so on..

O_O

now i understand better the battle described in your campaign..
it's too strong for 5 pcs.

Yes - but I had quite a few more, with tons of skill tricks, the not-well-done "faith" stuff from Complete Champion, seriously ramped-up ability scores, the full array of splatbook materials - although I "only" limited that to the "official" materials, it was gawdsawful - and a small mountain of nearly-undispellable buffs. They also had a "custom" Titan on call via a scroll of gate. I more or less knew the firepower the group had at its disposal - and, I didn't stat up pretty much anything after Divided's Ire either. This made the following chapters pretty much a cake walk - although I made it plain that Iggwilv would stomp them flat in about two or three rounds. I got a few good licks with "as written" materials, but not even Demogorgon stood against them for very long...


Wow... that version of Vanthus could probably kill my PC's TWICE!


Par-a-dox wrote:
Wow... that version of Vanthus could probably kill my PC's TWICE!

And yet he still failed to secure any character deaths at all for my group (as I recall) - which should give at least a hint as to just how beastly those characters were ... :)


Turin the Mad wrote:
Par-a-dox wrote:
Wow... that version of Vanthus could probably kill my PC's TWICE!
And yet he still failed to secure any character deaths at all for my group (as I recall) - which should give at least a hint as to just how beastly those characters were ... :)

eheh, i remember you nerfed the AC a little bit.. so to speak..

you are a killer gm, but you have also a great heart :P


Dark Roland wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Par-a-dox wrote:
Wow... that version of Vanthus could probably kill my PC's TWICE!
And yet he still failed to secure any character deaths at all for my group (as I recall) - which should give at least a hint as to just how beastly those characters were ... :)

eheh, i remember you nerfed the AC a little bit.. so to speak..

you are a killer gm, but you have also a great heart :P

Oh, yep - you're right, I did nerf his AC a bit to give the sluggers a shot at whack-a-moling him.

I like to think of the above Vanthus as "Lavinia spent a whole lotta spare XP - after Shadow Pearl-ing Sasserine". I changed the name for posting purposes. :)


So, any of you 3.5 experts want to take a crack at re-stating Vanthus to make him more of a challenge? If I use him in the fight, I'll give you all the credit for the TPK! :P


Turin the Mad wrote:
Dark Roland wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Par-a-dox wrote:
Wow... that version of Vanthus could probably kill my PC's TWICE!
And yet he still failed to secure any character deaths at all for my group (as I recall) - which should give at least a hint as to just how beastly those characters were ... :)

eheh, i remember you nerfed the AC a little bit.. so to speak..

you are a killer gm, but you have also a great heart :P

Oh, yep - you're right, I did nerf his AC a bit to give the sluggers a shot at whack-a-moling him.

I like to think of the above Vanthus as "Lavinia spent a whole lotta spare XP - after Shadow Pearl-ing Sasserine". I changed the name for posting purposes. :)

Late Edit: I just re-read my campaign journal. With all the buffs at 15th or 16th level available to them and in operation, my player characters' barbarian, fighter and "almost-full-BAB sacred fist dude" were packing a +55 best attack bonus before deducting any 3.5 Power Attack penalties when they got to Vanthus.

I uh, really should have left his AC alone at the time ... *sighs*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This Vanthus build looks insane ! He has a better AC than Demogorgon !
Well, I'm not into this kind of high powered game, it must be that.
I think I will go to the unholy toughness route, +5 profane bonus on most stats (including SR), and +4 inherent bonus on abilities. That should suffice for my players.
I will perhaps use an Utterdark spell from BovD.

As for the Shadow Demons, their stats blocks look a little wrong.
They don't have any racial bonus in CON, and they ended up with a score of 24. Base damage is 1d6, how this has been augmented to 2d6 ?
They are more than elite and advanced to 15HD. I think I will rebuild them more in line with the rules, I think they are too powerful for their CR.


Where's Unholy toughness described?


Erevis Cale wrote:
Where's Unholy toughness described?

unholy toughness is an ex ability described for the first time in MM3.

look at the boneclaw (page 17).

also, for future reference, look at this link

https://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20060630a.


selios wrote:

This Vanthus build looks insane ! He has a better AC than Demogorgon !

Well, I'm not into this kind of high powered game, it must be that.
I think I will go to the unholy toughness route, +5 profane bonus on most stats (including SR), and +4 inherent bonus on abilities. That should suffice for my players.
I will perhaps use an Utterdark spell from BovD.

As for the Shadow Demons, their stats blocks look a little wrong.
They don't have any racial bonus in CON, and they ended up with a score of 24. Base damage is 1d6, how this has been augmented to 2d6 ?
They are more than elite and advanced to 15HD. I think I will rebuild them more in line with the rules, I think they are too powerful for their CR.

Selios: by all means, do what you feel is right for your group - I think the Vanthus above is about as "extreme" as it can go.

The Shadow Demons I put up are perhaps more in line with what you would like?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Turin the Mad wrote:

Selios: by all means, do what you feel is right for your group - I think the Vanthus above is about as "extreme" as it can go.

The Shadow Demons I put up are perhaps more in line with what you would like?

You're absolutely right !

My goal is to make Vanthus challenging and memorable for my group.

Sorry, I have missed your shadow demons. Where did you post them ?

Also, I can't find the antagonist template with the search function...


selios wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

Selios: by all means, do what you feel is right for your group - I think the Vanthus above is about as "extreme" as it can go.

The Shadow Demons I put up are perhaps more in line with what you would like?

You're absolutely right !

My goal is to make Vanthus challenging and memorable for my group.

Sorry, I have missed your shadow demons. Where did you post them ?

Also, I can't find the antagonist template with the search function...

I posted the homebrewed stat blocks in my campaign thread here.

The bulk of the stat blocks are on the last 2 or 3 pages I believe, whereas the Augmented Antagonist is somewhere closer to the front.

Look for "augmented antagonist"+"ogre" I think to get a better ping on it perhaps?


selios wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

Selios: by all means, do what you feel is right for your group - I think the Vanthus above is about as "extreme" as it can go.

The Shadow Demons I put up are perhaps more in line with what you would like?

You're absolutely right !

My goal is to make Vanthus challenging and memorable for my group.

if you ask for a "lesser vanthus" above it's simple.

Delete these archetypes:
Monster of Legend
Major Titan bloodline

Delete these objects
adaptation-sustenance freedom of movement bracers of armor +4 of moderate fortification, made of glass-adamantine
flesh ring of scorn
rhapsody of pain
flesh ring of denial

Modify the contingent Spells:
from "x4" to "x1"

Modify these Object
lenses of socothbenoth (He can see in darkness and sees invisibility while these lenses are worn) - "CE and for adepts of Socothbenoth"

+5 defending unholy glass-adamantine Large scimitar - "medium"

Reflect on these objects, because of your party strengths':
2 rings of greater counterspelling – each “loaded” with greater dispelling – this ring is detailed in the Magic Item Compendium

Reflect on these spells, because of your party strengths'.
Stalwart Pact (once reduced to half or fewer of his maximum hit points, he gains 35 temporary hit points and a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws for 20 rounds)
Death Pact (once destroyed as a death knight, he immediately benefits from a true resurrection).
Renewal Pact (once the death pact has been triggered = 1 round after he is affected by a triggering condition [Spell Compendium page 173], he receives a Panacea, curing 28 hit points in the process.)

change blasphemy, if you consider it too cheap.
give vanthus wraithstrike x3 if your players have gnammygodswafulhigh armor classes and now this vanthus has low attack bonus.

-----------------------
vanthus is done.

now check your vanthus.. and modify if he's too strong or...
a chicken.

the TtM Shadows' are strong, let's modifly slightly, deleting some hit dices. (if i remember well)


Great work Dark Roland. :)


Turin the Mad wrote:
Great work Dark Roland. :)

uh, thanks, but it's your vanthus. thanks to you, Turin.

i'll use your stone artefact idea, in fact :)
in my humble opinion, i prefer vanthus as a dervish plus some tempest level. (and some shaswbuckler levels.. maybe)

regardin' the buffs.. i will surely use the scintillating scales spell and a Contingent Harm in the death knight status.
Plus Death Pact but without the Contingent Heal.
I would use a Contingent Polimorph any Object or Draconic Polimorph into.. uh.. some demon thingy monster... from Fiendish Codex, perhaps.
oh well.. i'll have time to think about this build.
we must yet end CoTbI!


Dark Roland wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Great work Dark Roland. :)

uh, thanks, but it's your vanthus. thanks to you, Turin.

i'll use your stone artefact idea, in fact :)
in my humble opinion, i prefer vanthus as a dervish plus some tempest level. (and some shaswbuckler levels.. maybe)

regardin' the buffs.. i will surely use the scintillating scales spell and a Contingent Harm in the death knight status.
Plus Death Pact but without the Contingent Heal.
I would use a Contingent Polimorph any Object or Draconic Polimorph into.. uh.. some demon thingy monster... from Fiendish Codex, perhaps.
oh well.. i'll have time to think about this build.
we must yet end CoTbI!

The artifact thingie type of item for a BBEG can give them some unique and unexepected goodies.

I was going to go with a Conjuration version of that bad boy - but that probably would have been too much combined with the Shadows of Socobenthoth, dread wraiths and the magma drake.

Re-statting him but tacking on, say, "shadowcaster demons" (tossing off shadow-themed spells such as Greater Shadow Conjuration / Evocation) that fire off such spells as additional actions independant of Vanthus would also be a nice touch to use - say, one such "shadowcaster" per player character in addition to Vanthus himself. The magic would be technically weaker, but having several shadow spells per round going off (albiet ones permitting SR and saves) providing 'screen' and flanking creatures for Vanthus to buddy up with (and get Aid bonuses from) in addition to various damaging effects and shadowy walls of fire, ice and so on and so forth.

It also fits well thematically - and can be a variation on the scripted boon of the shadow demons. Rather than having foes to hack down - and let us say you tack on those demons' hp to his own as temporary hp would nicely solve the annoying problems of most of the contingent spells which are really high end - they have to deal with tons of shadowy things.

The dread wraiths could be cashiered instead to provide the shadowcasting - or, if you want to get really nasty, make Vanthus a incorporeal death knight dread wraith hybrid (since he has no CON score anyway). Combining incorporeality, innate flight, the tempest/dervish wielding ghost touch weapons (that channel his dread wraith CON drain) and a fistful of shadowcasters can make Vanthus a truly memorable foe!

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