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

RPG Superstar 2015

Approaching endgame


Shackled City Adventure Path


Hi all,

I am about to let my players face Adimarchus. The are already on Carceri and will learn the location of Skullrot tonight. After a (possible) detour to the rock (Byakala), they will enter the asylum in about two weeks. Any last minute recommendations, someone wants to give ?

Reason is: I've never played high-level PCs, let alone high-level bad-boys and I feel, they may end up having a way too easy time defeating a demon prince, if I'm not prepared.

They've been showing pretty good tactics, Extended Hero's feast every other day is standard. Death ward by Nidrama on everyone as well. Together with a circle of protection evil, they are pretty much immune to all the really dangerous attacks by the run-of-the-mill antagonist.

For example, they didn't flinch much, when Orbius made a second appearance in his highly inflated form, let alone lose a member.

So, how do I best put them to a real test. I'd like to challenge their strategy, but I fear that even the very good armor class and SR of our prince won't be more than a speed bump to them, if I can't somehow slow their team tactics down.

Cheers,
Nib


Yo!

I've not actually run this particular encounter, although I'm chomping at the bit to do so. But I can speak from my experiences running other high-level battles in 2nd and 3rd edition. I guess I have two things to say.

#1 You've answered your own question, here:

nib wrote:
if I can't somehow slow their team tactics down.

if your group are working like a team, then well done to them - they should be rewarded for doing so. But also, they shouldn't fall back on the same routines and get complacent. You know what they usually do, and if it doesn't smack too much of meta-gaming, then disrupt their regular formation and tactics. It'll be a wake up call and make the whole thing more of a challenge.

#2 Know what the bad guys can do. Simple preparation is the key, here. Read and reread Adi's stat block. Know both his forms inside and out.

Final thought - if you're worried about them finding it too easy, then don't be afraid to beef up the final encounter. More HP for the bad guy is the easiest way, having them summon help and giving them extra dispels are the other common "easy boosts" to apply to the BBEGs.

Good luck!

Peace,

tfad

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You want to scare the party? Use Addy's Word of Chaos/Blasphemy abilities. They're CL 30. Anyone not of the right alignment dies. Hope you're playing Pathfinder rules.


One thing folks have suggested: allow each of Adimarchus's forms a full round of actions each round.


Many thanks for the suggestions, I must have overlooked (or disgregarded immediately) the devastating Blasphemy and Word of Chaos abilities. With those alone, he would be able to destroy the party in 2 rounds, except the Smoking Eye character, who is actually chaotic good (and evil). The rest: LN, CG, NG, CN, NG, LN.

So, actually, Word of Chaos kills 4 of 7 and Blasphemy takes 2 more, leaving the Smoking Eye behind.

Although that would actually be exactly what Adimarchus is supposed to do, when running him by the book, I still don't see how this can be the intended outcome, as it would be pretty much inevitable from the start. Actually, I'm not going to do that, as it would end the game right there with a bad taste to boot.

The question I'm posing myself is now, whether I should decrease the caster level of the abilities and still scare the hell out of them by paralyzing half the party, maybe even to start a chat with the remaining Smoking Eye, whether I should just keep those abilities for a last ditch resort, if the battle goes too well for the party, or whether I should I just drop them for the sake of survivability.

What will offer the best value for money and still be in flavor ?

I also wonder, whether Death Ward protects from being killed anyway ?

Many thanks,
Nib

[edit]
PS: What do you think about killing them off ruthlessly and then adding a mini-adventure starring Nerull (as god of death) who is pissed off that Embril in the end succeeded in freeing Adimarchus anyway, and hence returns the party to live with the task to finish Adimarchus off. This would also circumvent the problem, that, in principle, the party needs to fight A. twice, once on Carceri, and then again on his home plane...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd look at your groups save bonuses and weigh that against their ability to bring back fallen members. A Revivify or two could bring them back into the fight and cause a delay in their teamwork. If nothing else it would be an excellent story. And remember that they have to kill both halves. If they're unlucky and Addy never switches forms, they're going to finish the one only to have to fight the fully fresh second. You might even play it that way on purpose. It sounds like your group is one that doesn't need to be handled with kid gloves. Bring the hammer down. :)

Edit: No, Death Ward will not, as both abilities are Evocations. >:) I do agree with the paralyze them and have a chat with the Smoking Eye character. However, if they have debuff removal, that may not play out as well as you like.

Hell, combine the two SLAs into one Sit-Down-Non-Chaotic-Evil ability and THEN have a talk with the heritor character. Have Addy alternate between suggesting a father-son-rule-the-galaxy idea and trying to rip the characters face off as he switches forms. Make a tense few rounds of one-on-one before the others get to do anything. Depends on how the other six players will feel being forced out of the action. Maybe give them the ability to speak while paralyzed.

Edit Edit: I love discussing these things on the forum. Gives me new ideas for my next running. X3


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'd look at your groups save bonuses and weigh that against their ability to bring back fallen members. A Revivify or two could bring them back

I'm actually running 3.5 core only and revivify is not available. I could bring it in via Nidrama but that would be a bit lame.

I will think about the father-son side-kick at SW :-) love it.

Not 100% convinced about the death ward capabilities. It doesn't actually specify necromancy or death magic, it just says death effects, which the Blasphemy thing qualifies for (in my book)

Nib

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's how I rule it, as Death Ward protects against death effects. Death effects defined as abilities with the [Death] keyword. Blasphemy lacks that tag.

But I think I would go more with making a unique SLA that affects anyone not of the Smoking Eye. Then there's no problem.


nib wrote:

Many thanks for the suggestions, I must have overlooked (or disgregarded immediately) the devastating Blasphemy and Word of Chaos abilities. With those alone, he would be able to destroy the party in 2 rounds, except the Smoking Eye character, who is actually chaotic good (and evil). The rest: LN, CG, NG, CN, NG, LN.

So, actually, Word of Chaos kills 4 of 7 and Blasphemy takes 2 more, leaving the Smoking Eye behind.

Although that would actually be exactly what Adimarchus is supposed to do, when running him by the book, I still don't see how this can be the intended outcome, as it would be pretty much inevitable from the start. Actually, I'm not going to do that, as it would end the game right there with a bad taste to boot.

The question I'm posing myself is now, whether I should decrease the caster level of the abilities and still scare the hell out of them by paralyzing half the party, maybe even to start a chat with the remaining Smoking Eye, whether I should just keep those abilities for a last ditch resort, if the battle goes too well for the party, or whether I should I just drop them for the sake of survivability.

What will offer the best value for money and still be in flavor ?

I also wonder, whether Death Ward protects from being killed anyway ?

Many thanks,
Nib

My group (average level 20) happens to be in the final fight against Adimarchus (we use 3.5 core rules only). The CL30 is a mistake in the magazine, which unfortunately was not corrected in the hard-cover. If you search the database you will find James' reply [url=http://paizo.com/dungeon/messageboards/shackledCity/archives/quickAdventurePathErattaSpoiler[/url] on this matter. It should be CL20, similar to other demon-lords like Graz'zt. And what would be the point in killing the party outright?

On the other hand, deathward (Nidrama can cast that spell, which she did in on all group members) might protect the characters from instant death depending on your own ruling. As far as I understand it this spell protects against all death effects and not only those with the death descriptor (immune to all death spells, magical death effects, etc.). That leaves only the paralyzation :-).
Anyhow, after 8 rounds the party has done 470 hp of damage against his angelic form and 270 against the demon form. Currently the monk with the smoking eye is at -7hp, the wizard without functional spells, the rogue searching for his cold iron arrows that missed and Nidrama paralyzed. Everything depends now on the priest (one miracle left) and the fighter (hurt but not dead yet).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Whew, glad it was a typo. When I first saw it, I tried puzzling it out myself. Caster level tied to HD, 30 HD, CL 30. Good to know I can change it for if I ever get a group to that fight!

Liberty's Edge

I thought the magazine said CR27?


Our DM played this well using the CR30 Blaspheme. He used it to kill off the entire party except the Smoking Eye character (myself actually). Then through another plot device he gave me the opportunity to make use of a wish spell to "turn back one recent event". In essence, he left he party's fate up to me.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Older Products / Dungeon Magazine / Shackled City Adventure Path / Approaching endgame All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Shackled City Adventure Path

©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.