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Deadliest Bestiary Creatures (Monsters you hate seeing across the table)


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Rakshaka wrote:

I'm curious as far as PF system goes, what monsters do you consider overpowered for their CR? For instance, what creatures are likely to cause a TPK if they're encountered by either an unprepared party, a strange party build, or are encountered at a CR 2 levels higher than the APL? I've noticed a trend with certain APs that sometimes the monsters pulled from the Bestiary give the players more fits than the written up ones, so I'm wondering what people think are some of the deadliest monsters in the Bestiaries?

For my own part, I mainly am concerned with monsters of CRs of 10 or below. since these monsters are more likely to be encountered by players. (Though if there's any standouts in the upper levels, list them!)

Well...

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Bestiary 1

1)Will o' Wisp: A 6th level party better be prepared for magic immunity, natural invisiblity, an unbeatable flight speed, and an abnormally high AC and touch attack. Oh, and a Fast Healing ability. Elemental resistance is all that will save you, better hope you have enough packed for every PC.

A potion of resist energy is 50 gp. The same cost as an antitoxin. Lasts plenty of time. By the time you should be expected to encounter a Will o' Whisp and not run in the other direction, it's trivial to carry a few of these potions around. With resist electric 10 (lowest resist energy), which is fairly trivial. Killing them is just about being patient enough to whittle them down through their AC. Aid another can allow your main warrior to hit them, or everyone can dual-wield despite penalties and roll for 20s. Just an annoying monster for its CR.

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2)Shadow: The only thing that makes fights with shadows fair is that Death Ward provides immunity to them. The problem is that they are a low enough CR for a party facing them to not have access to such magic. Combine near auto-stealth and the ability to outright kill a number of PCs with a lucky critical hit (with no save) make fighting these things a nightmare, especially in multiples. A single one can TPK a whole party if it can spawn off those it kills, quite likely with a surprise round and a high initiative check.

Magic weapon is a 1st level spell, and an oil of it is just 50 gp (the same as an antitoxin or tanglefoot bag). Any adventurer between 1st and 3rd level is a fool to not carry at least one oil of it on them, for the odd chance they come across a shadow, grick, or 3rd level mage using protection from arrows. With only 19 HP, even at 1/2 damage, you can generally take one of them apart in a few rounds (2d6+5 divided by 2 is 6 damage, which means it's most likely fleeing in 3 rounds).

Shadows are nasty indeed, but unless you've got a party of halflings who tanked strength, they are also hurt by their main strength. Strength damage ignores Hp, which is great at high levels, but at low levels it ignores Hp, which means the shadow is limited in how fast it can kill something in most situations. They are the absolute worst vs 1st level PCs, when they are APL+2 encounters, but even a 1st level party can kill one with only minor preparation and less than 1 orc's worth of treasure investment.

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3) Erinyes: An 8th level party has a lot to contend with here, and one of lower level could certainly get wiped. A decently mobile, flying artillery piece packing True Seeing, a very reliable ranged attack, and two extremely debilitating at-will SLAs (Fear and Unholy Blight) make the Erinyes deadly. Combining that with all the immunites, resistances, and abilities that Devils have (DR, SR, teleporting, summoning) and you have a creature that's pretty hard to take down unless you know you're up against one. Unholy Blight at will is the main threat here, as nothing but being Evil or a 12th level Inquisitor can stop the repeated auto-damage the Erinyes can deliver over and over. No other Demon or Devil in the Bestiary of a CR less than 10 can do this.

Legitimately tough monster. Stronger if they are wearing some leather armor (brings AC to 25 instead of 23). Their archery is strong, but they can be taken apart with ranged attacks; and dropping a smoke stick (cheap alchemical item) or casting obscuring mist or similar can make shooting the party a pain in the butt (true seeing does nothing for smoke/fog based concealment).

Tanglefoot bags ignores their natural AC and screws up their attack routine and AC pretty bad (-2 to attacks and -4 Dex, which drops their ranged attacks by -4 and AC by 2). It also has a small chance per bag of grounding them where they cannot fly. It also forces a Concentration check to cast their spell-like abilities (DC 15 + spell level, so DC 22 to greater teleport).

Their damage reduction is trivial (another 50 gp oil bypasses it, likely for the encounter). They have to get too close for comfort to use their ropes, as going into melee is generally a bad idea for them. Their 1d8+8 longsword routine is pretty nice, but not against a party that is even semi-capable of handling CR 8 encounters.

Their best bet is just spamming Unholy Blight. Spamming fear is good if they're being support for someone else, but it's limited to 1 target, which is bad when the Erinyes is the main threat. Unholy Blight is a gamble, as it has anywhere between 0-100% effectiveness against the party, depending on alignment. It deals an average of 27 damage with save for half against good creatures, half that vs neutral, and no effect on evil party members. Absolute worst case scenario, everyone in the party is Good without actually packing Good offensive capabilities.

Compare to a 9th level wizard who flies around invisible, dropping bearded devils, kytons, and xill onto the field via summon monster V. Xill are especially nasty since they have a DC 16 save vs paralysis as part of their normal attack routine, and can drag helpless creatures to the ethereal plane with no easy way to return. Alternatively, the same wizard could be dropping cloudkill spells throughout the battlefield while using undead or summoned demons to tank the party.

Incidentally, the erinyes is vulnerable to a 7th level cleric or 9th level wizard's dismissal spell, which is a DC 16 or 17 minimum will save or the battle is over. She only has a +7 Will save unbuffed, which means she might get bounced easily enough.

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5)Mummy : Everytime I've seen someone fight one of these things, something bad happens. Sometimes, its watching the fire-tossing sorcerer get paralyzed and coup-de graced. Other times, its watching as the monk realizes he can't hurt the monster with its DR. Oftentimes, its watching the thing automatically hit any 5th level PC with its +14 attack and inflicting the worst thing about it: Mummy Rot. If you're not packing a 5th level Cleric or don't have spell-casting services nearby (like in a dungeon), you may be kissing your character goodbye, simply because they got hit once... kind of like shadows.
Thoughts?

Hide from undead is a no-save 1st level spell that affects 1 party member per level. Basically allows you to ignore them. Costs 50 gp for a potion of the stuff, and lasts 10 minutes minimum. It's invisibility on the 'roids because it's not an illusion spell and also foils all senses (including blindsense, scent, etc). You can just ignore the mummy with a 50 gp potion.

The mummy's touch-AC is weaksauce. It can be taken apart by a 1st level party. With a 20 ft. land speed, difficult terrain makes it trivially easy to kite. You can tear one apart with some alchemist fire. A 4 person party that chucks 8 alchemist fires will outright kill it (4d6 * 1.5 on the 1st round, 4d6 * 1.5 burning on 2nd round, 4d6 * 1.5 on the 2nd round, 4d6 * 1.5 burning on the 3rd round).

The thing that makes mummies pretty scary is their aura combined with fair Stealth modifiers and mummy rot. The save DC is dangerous at this level, but it's also fear-based, which means spells like remove fear solve this problem in short order. Incidentally, a potion or oil of remove fear is again only 50 gp and lasts 10 minutes. Paladins make encounters with mummies jokes, as they are immune to both their fear and their disease, and provide a +4 to the save against fear.

By 5th level, clerics have access to animate dead, and a group of 20 humanoid skeletons or 6 auroch skeletons can easily tank a mummy while the party tears them apart with spells, splash weapons, and reach weapons.

Their reflex saves are bad, and their speed is worse. Any pit spell from the Advanced Player's Guide will basically end an encounter with a mummy. When they fall into said pit, even if they can use their +10 Strength modifier to climb, you can only climb at a fraction of your base speed; which basically means they're really slow at it.

Grease tears them up too. Entangle can render them useless, and many tombs will have some sort of vegetation in them (such as fungus). Etcetera, etcetera. :P


Drejk wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Hydras... a pain to kill, a pain to deal with due to its regrowing heads, a pain to deal with when it's a cryo or pyro version due evermultiplying breath weapons and a MASSIVE pain when a hydra which has double its original heads pounces... LOTS of dice to roll.

I have never seen anyone bothering with cutting off hydra heads. Killing its body is simpler and less problematic.

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EDIT: Oh yeah, one more thing, unless I read it wrong, a player cannot sever more than one head per round, even if he has multiple attacks, like 3 attacks with a greatsword that could deal above the hydra's HD in damage.
Sunder has unclear wording different than trip or disarm "You can attempt to sunder an item held or worn by your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack." but I think its just a fluke and should work with full attack action as well.

Ok, in that case, then the best strategy would be to just chop the heads using full attacks, because if 4 PCs strike the body, they expose themselves to a lot of teeth and possibly breath weapons. However, by chopping their heads, you reduce that number of bites and breath weapons AND can still kill the hydra by beheading it completely.


I
Don't
Like
Fey

Any and all fey must die. The pure variety of them at all CRs means that it is easy to mistake one for another, you always need anti-magic handy, the bulk of them have the ability to negate the magical abilities of PCs appropriate to their level.
And they all seem to fly.
In fact, aside from their 'innocent nature' (even the evil ones can be portrayed that way) they have no redeeming qualities.
Unless I'm using them against the party.


Alex Smith 908 wrote:
DJEternalDarkness wrote:
I have a few players that scream and throw things at me if an Ogre Magi shows up. I'm not sure why, it's not like I've really killed anyone with one, but they just hate the monster that seems to be able to do a little of everything.
That's ironic because Ogre Magi are actually usually very over-CRed and weak for their level. Particularly in 3.5 when they had laughably bad Hit Dice for CR. I tend to swap around their SLA quite a bit to give more of either a brutal warlord feel or mystical oni feel, depending on how I am using them.

I think it is because the gaseous form, and getaway ability. Nobody likes the bad guy that doesn't have the decency to die when you beat him.

One of the most oft-remembered fights I ran had the party boarding a pirate ship, that seemed to be helmed by an Ogre Mage. Between the invisibility, flying to whatever part of the ship he wanted to and forcing the party to actually deal with the "chaff" of the on deck enemies before he would 'stand and fight' made them hate him...
... when he went gaseous and fled below decks they hated him more...
... when they opened the 'captains chamber' and got a face full of cone of cold spells, half the party dropped, which was unfortunate because the 'officers' were all in this room. The enemies on the deck were an under-powered group of chumps that just wore the party down some.

They all hate reminiscing about that fight.


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Ashiel wrote:
A lot of good arguments

A couple of things:

1) Resist energy potions are 300 gp and have to be cued to the specific energy when they are purchased/made. Since fire is far more common than electricty, i've found it very unlikely in my experience that every PC is going to be carrying one, at least before 6th level. The Wisp is also extremely intelligent, enough to realize who seems to be taking more damage from its attacks, who can hurt it, and who can even see it. It is also mobile and stealthy enough to simply move away and outwait any spells protecting against its attacks, or worse, wait for an opportunity to join in a fight against something else, feeding off the dying.

2) A shadow is capable of one-shotting a character of any level with a lucky critical hit. Sure, they can be easy to take down, especially with channeling, magic weapons, and force effects. The sheer potential of a couple lucky rolls escalating an encounter into a TPK is what makes me take pause any time I see one, and in multiples, this chance escalates.

3) Something I missed is that Spell Immunity is a handy way to stop Unholy Blight and the other alignment based spells of that nature. Her will save does indeed suck, but if you encounter one before you have access to such spells (like at 6th level or below), yor party might be in big trouble.

4) Everyone agrees here. Shadow Demons suck.

5) This is mainly my personal experience that makes me afraid of mummies, but its also because I've seen them present in enough 3rd-5th level dungeons, and as you've suggested, their stealth coupled with the Fear aura is the killer here, and a round of bad saves vs. Despair can mean lots of deaths.

To be fair, I've lost more PCs to Trolls than any other monster, yet I personally don't think they're that scary of a creature. For some reason (in four seperate instances), the DM who was running the Troll's dice exploded...

Grand Lodge

Okay I know it's not Pathfinder but I felt like bringing up the Shadow of the Void and the Shape of Fire from the Epic Level Handbook. Even for their CR these things are terrifying.

As far as the actual Bestiary go I seem to have bad luck with rakshasa, they're actually statistically not that string but they're just so darn sneaky!


The Rusalka (CR 12, in Bestiary 3) can be pretty mean. It has two special abilities, each with a DC 27 save (one is Will, the other is Fortitude). Its hair can take up to four characters out of the fight. Furthermore, it's Aquatic, is under a constant Blur effect, and has invisibility at will (plus some other spell-like abilities).

Fey in general get the most hit dice bang for the CR buck, so the Rusalka with its 20 HD has saves in the mid-to-high teens. Add: SR 23, immunity to fire (but _not_ Fire subtype), and DR 15/cold iron.

If the party has no cold iron weapons (we use the 3.5 rules for special material-based DR), the main blaster is fire-focused, and characters without water-breathing get lured into the deep water ... *shakes head*


Rakshaka wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
A lot of good arguments

A couple of things:

1) Resist energy potions are 300 gp and have to be cued to the specific energy when they are purchased/made.

Incorrect. The minimum spell and caster level for resist energy are both 1st. The price for magic items such as potions, scrolls, etc, is based on lowest possible caster level. That makes resist energy AND delay poison 50 gp potions/oils. You may thank your friendly neighborhood Ranger for having it on their spell list as a 1st level spell. Also Paladins for the 50 gp lesser restorations.

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Since fire is far more common than electricty, i've found it very unlikely in my experience that every PC is going to be carrying one, at least before 6th level. The Wisp is also extremely intelligent, enough to realize who seems to be taking more damage from its attacks, who can hurt it, and who can even see it. It is also mobile and stealthy enough to simply move away and outwait any spells protecting against its attacks, or worse, wait for an opportunity to join in a fight against something else, feeding off the dying.

A simple but annoying feature of many monsters. Goblins are notorious for this sort of thing. Pepper the party with some ranged attacks, move through cover or concealment while making a Stealth check, and poof, gone. Making the monster run away or ignore you is the same as winning. It makes them no more deadly than any other enemy who simply flees with the combat isn't going for them. Incidentally, resist energy lasts 10 minutes minimum, which might give you enough time to simply do whatever you need to.

Alternatively, spam magic missile. :P

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2) A shadow is capable of one-shotting a character of any level with a lucky critical hit. Sure, they can be easy to take down, especially with channeling, magic weapons, and force effects. The sheer potential of a couple lucky rolls escalating an encounter into a TPK is what makes me take pause any time I see one, and in multiples, this chance escalates.

One could say the same thing for any creature with a strong critical opportunity. A 1st level orc with a scythe will utterly destroy stuff on a critical hit. Incidentally, you can get about about 6 orcs to every 1 shadow. You fight them differently, but they're easily just as threatening. Doubly so for a 1st level party, since their base melee damage can one-shot a PC at 1st level, and they win action economy (not counting their ability to pop a potion of enlarge person, or throw alchemist fire all over heavily armored PCs).

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3) Something I missed is that Spell Immunity is a handy way to stop Unholy Blight and the other alignment based spells of that nature. Her will save does indeed suck, but if you encounter one before you have access to such spells (like at 6th level or below), yor party might be in big trouble.

If you're encountering a CR 8 monster at 6th level and you're not in serious danger, then something is really wrong. APL=CR can result in PC death if the enemies aren't slamming their faces against the heroes' swords for fun; so it seems natural that anything in the +2 to +3 range would be exceedingly dangerous. Honestly, something would be wrong if your party wasn't in "big trouble".

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4) Everyone agrees here. Shadow Demons suck.

I didn't bother commenting on Shadow demons because I've never used them or fought them before. Just basing off their statistics, I'd pull out my heightened continual flame object (doesn't really matter what item it is; but I generally keep a heightened continual flame item around for dealing with darkness spammers). 430 gp can get CL 7th, 4th level continual flame cast on an item. Duration is permanent and it basically tears darkness spammers up, because it penetrates all darkness spells of 3rd level or lower; which includes virtually all darkness and deeper darkness spell-like abilities.

Damage reduction is mostly overcomed by simply carrying a cold iron weapon and an oil of magic weapon. That lets you hurt the thing with weapons; since even by 5th level, cold iron weapons are cheap-sauce. The magic jar effect is avoidable either via a protection from evil effect added to your armor via Item Creation rules, or a potion of the same.

However, looking it over, the Shadow demon is just poorly written and a bad monster. It only has 7 HD but casts at CL 10, is incorporeal (and all that entails), has at-will Telekinesis (a very, very strong spell, which also trivializes its inability to affect corporeal things), and so forth. It is definitely a bad one. :\

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5) This is mainly my personal experience that makes me afraid of mummies, but its also because I've seen them present in enough 3rd-5th level dungeons, and as you've suggested, their stealth coupled with the Fear aura is the killer here, and a round of bad saves vs. Despair can mean lots of deaths.

I can understand that. :)

To be fair, I've lost more PCs to Trolls than any other monster, yet I personally don't think they're that scary of a creature. For some reason (in four seperate instances), the DM who was running the Troll's dice exploded...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rakshaka wrote:


A couple of things:
1) Resist energy potions are 300 gp and have to be cued to the specific energy when they are purchased/made.

Ashiel is quite right. You can get them made by a ranger at caster level 1st, level 1st. A wizard or cleric might be more commonly available (and 300gp). YMMV depending on the DM. Mine isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Rakshaka wrote:


A couple of things:
1) Resist energy potions are 300 gp and have to be cued to the specific energy when they are purchased/made.
Ashiel is quite right. You can get them made by a ranger at caster level 1st, level 1st. A wizard or cleric might be more commonly available (and 300gp). YMMV depending on the DM. Mine isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form.
PRD wrote:
Since different classes get access to certain spells at different levels, the prices for two characters to make the same item might actually be different. An item is only worth two times what the caster of the lowest possible level can make it for.

I'm sorry your GM isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form. How much does he mark up the standard prices for armor? 20, 30%? Does he generally assume wizards are supplying the animate dead wands, even though clerics get them as 3rd level spells instead of 4th?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
I'm sorry your GM isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form. How much does he mark up the standard prices for armor? 20, 30%? Does he generally assume wizards are supplying the animate dead wands, even though clerics get them as 3rd level spells instead of 4th?

It would largely depend on where you were getting them form. If buying from the mage's guild they'd probably default to wizard prices. If from the church then the cleric's. On the whole he's not a big fan of the idea that you can just walk into a town and buy whatever you'd like at the out of book price - which I sort of like. It can be frustrating when trying to gain access to a given resource, but on the whole it adds a degree of depth to the world. Because of the format we play over - MIRC + message board - we've got more time to do book keeping.

None of this goes against what your original statement was - namely that out of the book you can absolutely get 1st level caster level 1 resist energy potions for 50gp.

Honestly some of your tactics here have given me a great deal to think of for future characters. I'd be interested in a general thread on purchases you think are viable or needed at various levels, along with various tricks. A heightened continual flame hadn't even occurred to me, for instance.

My party could use some more asymmetrical means of combating such problems, as right now our tendency is to bully through them using brute force (usually taking tons of damage and expending tons of resources in the process). We're coming up on a long period though were we'll be able to resupply and reequip. :)


Peter Stewart wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
I'm sorry your GM isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form. How much does he mark up the standard prices for armor? 20, 30%? Does he generally assume wizards are supplying the animate dead wands, even though clerics get them as 3rd level spells instead of 4th?

It would largely depend on where you were getting them form. If buying from the mage's guild they'd probably default to wizard prices. If from the church then the cleric's. On the whole he's not a big fan of the idea that you can just walk into a town and buy whatever you'd like at the out of book price - which I sort of like. It can be frustrating when trying to gain access to a given resource, but on the whole it adds a degree of depth to the world. Because of the format we play over - MIRC + message board - we've got more time to do book keeping.

None of this goes against what your original statement was - namely that out of the book you can absolutely get 1st level caster level 1 resist energy potions for 50gp.

Honestly some of your tactics here have given me a great deal to think of for future characters. I'd be interested in a general thread on purchases you think are viable or needed at various levels, along with various tricks. A heightened continual flame hadn't even occurred to me, for instance.

My party could use some more asymmetrical means of combating such problems, as right now our tendency is to bully through them using brute force (usually taking tons of damage and expending tons of resources in the process). We're coming up on a long period though were we'll be able to resupply and reequip. :)

I'll begin a thread for it tomorrow then. I'm glad that you found my posts amusing. ^-^


Ashiel wrote:


Their damage reduction is trivial (another 50 gp oil bypasses it, likely for the encounter). They have to get too close for comfort to use their ropes, as going into melee is generally a bad idea for them. Their 1d8+8 longsword routine is pretty nice, but not against a party that is even semi-capable of handling CR 8 encounters.

Compare to a 9th level wizard who flies around invisible, dropping bearded devils, kytons, and xill onto the field via summon monster V. Xill are especially nasty since they have a DC 16 save vs paralysis as part of their normal attack routine, and can drag helpless creatures to the ethereal plane with no easy way to return. Alternatively, the same wizard could be dropping cloudkill spells throughout the battlefield while using undead or summoned demons to tank the party.

Hi.

1) aling weapon is a second level spell, so 300 gp for the oil.

2) Dont forget stealth +15. Greater teleport + stealth + entangle + fly away with a entangled victim = somebody could die.

3) Your tactics for the erinyes and the others are good, but a little scrodinger-like. For example glitterdust (or dispel magic) + full attack from an archer = yor 9th level wizard probably is dead.
Of course is the party just not have glitterdut the situation is much worse.


Also a lot of monster can be much more stronger with a simple change of feats.

Dragons, T-rex, solar, and erinyes comes to my mind.


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CR6 Seugathi

starts the fight with mind fog, potentially lowering the PC's will save by 10, then it has a confusion aura DC 20, then it just sits there throwing a magic missile once in a while and watching the party destroy itself.

The thing is made to ruin good times.


Ashiel wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
Rakshaka wrote:


A couple of things:
1) Resist energy potions are 300 gp and have to be cued to the specific energy when they are purchased/made.
Ashiel is quite right. You can get them made by a ranger at caster level 1st, level 1st. A wizard or cleric might be more commonly available (and 300gp). YMMV depending on the DM. Mine isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form.
PRD wrote:
Since different classes get access to certain spells at different levels, the prices for two characters to make the same item might actually be different. An item is only worth two times what the caster of the lowest possible level can make it for.
I'm sorry your GM isn't inclined to have everything available in its cheapest form. How much does he mark up the standard prices for armor? 20, 30%? Does he generally assume wizards are supplying the animate dead wands, even though clerics get them as 3rd level spells instead of 4th?

Personally, I have never planned in or ran a game that had potions and scrolls available at a reduced cost by either what was printed in the DMG or as of now, the Game Mastery Guide. It is possible for a paladin or ranger to brew these potions or scribe these scrolls and sell them at the cost you mentioned, but I've always used the GMG as of late to determine what items populate the magic item market. That is, these items might exist, but the're a rarity, not the standard.

That, and I don't know of a single PC or NPC ranger or paladin that took Brew Potion or scribe scroll as a feat. At least in my experience.


Ashiel wrote:

One could say the same thing for any creature with a strong critical opportunity. A 1st level orc with a scythe will utterly destroy stuff on a critical hit. Incidentally, you can get about about 6 orcs to every 1 shadow. You fight them differently, but they're easily just as threatening. Doubly so for a 1st level party, since their base melee damage can one-shot a PC at 1st level, and they win action economy (not counting their ability to pop a potion of enlarge person, or throw alchemist fire all over heavily armored PCs).

There's a few big differences here:

-Touch attacks will always hit, especially at lower levels when armor is the main defense against being hit.
-Every hit makes it that much harder to swing back. If a critical hit from an orc still leaves you standing, you're still at 100% capacity for fighting. When a lucky shadow hits you for 10 strength, you're not doing much of anything, especially when you're weighted down by your own possessions.
-Every person killed adds an instant new foe just as terrible as the last.

I'll take 6 orcs over 1 shadow anyday.


Nicos wrote:
1) aling weapon is a second level spell, so 300 gp for the oil.

Yes, I forgot it was 2nd level. My mistake. I was thinking I saw it on the cleric list at 1st.

Quote:
2) Dont forget stealth +15. Greater teleport + stealth + entangle + fly away with a entangled victim = somebody could die.

Perhaps if the erinyes had cover or concealment, but I don't see many ways she's going to greater teleport into range and get concealment. Also, her rope only entangles people. It doesn't allow her to fly off with them.

Quote:

3) Your tactics for the erinyes and the others are good, but a little scrodinger-like. For example glitterdust (or dispel magic) + full attack from an archer = yor 9th level wizard probably is dead.

Of course is the party just not have glitterdut the situation is much worse.

Suggesting that the party use cheap non-class based consumables is scrodinger like? Incidentally, said wizard can easily take advantage of terrain. Since it has summoning spells, it can invisibly set up the location it wishes to attack from, potentially behind total cover such as a 5 ft. tree, around a corner, on top of a hill, or any other potentially convenient location for it, and then enjoy the benefits of opening with a start-full-round-action casting of summon monster, causing the first to pop at the beginning of his next turn, followed by another summon monster V on his first turn. That puts the party in a situation where they may be dealing with 1-2 Xill, Bearded Devils, or Babau in the first round of combat without even knowing where the Wizard is or having line of effect to him.

The erinyes is dangerous, but I don't think it's beyond CR 8 dangerous.

Rakshaka wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

One could say the same thing for any creature with a strong critical opportunity. A 1st level orc with a scythe will utterly destroy stuff on a critical hit. Incidentally, you can get about about 6 orcs to every 1 shadow. You fight them differently, but they're easily just as threatening. Doubly so for a 1st level party, since their base melee damage can one-shot a PC at 1st level, and they win action economy (not counting their ability to pop a potion of enlarge person, or throw alchemist fire all over heavily armored PCs).

There's a few big differences here:

-Touch attacks will always hit, especially at lower levels when armor is the main defense against being hit.
-Every hit makes it that much harder to swing back. If a critical hit from an orc still leaves you standing, you're still at 100% capacity for fighting. When a lucky shadow hits you for 10 strength, you're not doing much of anything, especially when you're weighted down by your own possessions.
-Every person killed adds an instant new foe just as terrible as the last.

I'll take 6 orcs over 1 shadow anyday.

My point was that the danger is similar. It's just different. Six enemies taking around 20 points of damage to put down (counting Ferocity), who can 1 shot you on a successful hit, not crit, hit, who can also sport a solidly good AC (splint mail is within 1st level non-heroic NPC gear value, as is banded mail, which means a utility-lite orc can instead sport an AC between 17-18 easily).

It's not that the encounter is necessarily more or less deadly, but how you adapt to it is very different. Incidentally, touch attacks do not always hit. Especially when you count situational modifiers like cover. The difference is whole party vs 1 really bad trickster vs whole party vs 6 really bad brutes.

The biggest problem with fighting shadows is they often do the whole slinking in solid objects thing, which gives them cover (+4 to their AC) in return for a 50% miss chance for the shadow. Basically pushes the shadow's AC to 19 in exchange for a 50% miss chance. Fighting defensively also isn't a bad deal for the shadow.

Also, I had a first level party encounter a shadow in one of my recent online games. It was actually a minion of a shadow sorcerer BBEG, minion to the campaign's BBEG (aren't pyramids great?). He actually missed the party's main fighter-type once or twice, and the party escaped with no casualties.

If your party has a lot of trouble with incorporeal opponents, I recommend pooling your money a bit as you gain levels and purchase a +1 ghost touch net. Makes ghost busting tons easier. It can capture and entangle incorporeal creatures, provides a barrier to prevent them from slinking through objects, and they have no Strength score so they automatically fail any attempt to pull away from you and simply cannot break it. It also inflicts a -2 to attacks and -4 to Dex and cuts speed in half, which generally equates to -4 to hit for incorporeal creatures and -2 AC. If you one something a bit more high-end, a +1 holy ghost touch net isn't bad if your GM is like me and rules that the damage continues as long as the creature is caught in the net (since it merely says the weapon deals an extra 2d6 damage, but doesn't specify that it requires attack rolls; so it seems fair enough that entrapping an evil ghost in a holy ghost touch net should continue to "hit" it; but it's GM adjudication territory).

While such options are beyond a 1st level party, a shadow is APL+2 at 1st level parties. Like I said before. If they aren't at risk for a TPK at that CR, or their tactical opportunities don't include "flee for the love of God, flee!", then there's probably something wrong here. :P


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


When a lucky shadow hits you for 10 strength, you're not doing much of anything, especially when you're weighted down by your own possessions.

I could have 18 strength and 17 strength damage and I would still be able to prance about in full plate without penalty.

Remember that ability damage and ability penalties are wholly different than in previous editions. First, it counts up, not down. In this regard it very much resembles nonlethal damage. Second, you only accumulate penalties for every two points of ability damage/penalty. If I have 12 Strength and only 1 point of Strength damage, I am effectively taking no penalties. Third, the penalties you DO suffer from damage/penalties are specifically called out in the rules in complete lists. If its not on those lists, you do not suffer it. I have provided the lists and relevant rules from the glossary here, for your convenience.

What does ability bonuses/damage/drain do to me exactly?:

Ability Score Bonuses

Some spells and abilities increase your ability scores. Ability score increases with a duration of 1 day or less give only temporary bonuses. For every two points of increase to a single ability, apply a +1 bonus to the skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

Strength: Temporary increases to your Strength score give you a bonus on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The bonus also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Dexterity: Temporary increases to your Dexterity score give you a bonus on Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The bonus also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Constitution: Temporary increases to your Constitution score give you a bonus on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this bonus and add that amount to your current and total hit points. When the bonus ends, remove this total from your current and total hit points.

Intelligence: Temporary increases to your Intelligence score give you a bonus on Intelligence-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence.

Wisdom: Temporary increases to your Wisdom score give you a bonus on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom.

Charisma: Temporary increases to your Charisma score give you a bonus on Charisma-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Charisma and the DC to resist your channeled energy.

Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.

Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells, such as lesser restoration.

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

Strength: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Dexterity: Damage to your Dexterity score causes you to take penalties on Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The penalty also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

Constitution: Damage to your Constitution score causes you to take penalties on your Fortitude saving throws. In addition, multiply your total Hit Dice by this penalty and subtract that amount from your current and total hit points. Lost hit points are restored when the damage to your Constitution is healed.

Intelligence: Damage to your Intelligence score causes you to take penalties on Intelligence-based skill checks. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence.

Wisdom: Damage to your Wisdom score causes you to take penalties on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom.

Charisma: Damage to your Charisma score causes you to take penalties on Charisma-based skill checks. This penalty also applies to any spell DCs based off Charisma and the DC to resist your channeled energy.

Ability Drain: Ability drain actually reduces the relevant ability score. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to lose skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. Ability drain can be healed through the use of spells such as restoration.

Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense. As you can see, encumbrance is not effected at all. You need Strength drain for that.


Ashiel wrote:


Quote:

3) Your tactics for the erinyes and the others are good, but a little scrodinger-like. For example glitterdust (or dispel magic) + full attack from an archer = yor 9th level wizard probably is dead.

Of course is the party just not have glitterdut the situation is much worse.

Suggesting that the party use cheap non-class based consumables is scrodinger like? Incidentally, said wizard can easily take advantage of terrain. Since it has summoning spells, it can invisibly set up the location it wishes to attack from, potentially behind total cover such as a 5 ft. tree, around a corner, on top of a hill, or any other potentially convenient location for it, and then enjoy the benefits of opening with a start-full-round-action casting of summon monster, causing the first to pop at the beginning of his next turn, followed by another summon monster V on his first turn. That puts the party in a situation where they may be dealing with 1-2 Xill, Bearded Devils, or Babau in the first round of combat without even knowing where the Wizard is or having line of effect to him.

As in the case of the erinyes in the right circumtances the wizard can be a pain. Also as in te case of the Erinyes with the right items and spells the wizard can die in one turn.

Osirion

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Beholders (Thank GOD they are not in PF)

ghouls (paralyze/coup d'grace)
shadows/greater shadows
shadow demons (magic jar)
Anything with deeper darkness as a spell-like ability.
Medusa usually terrifies players

And, of course, anything that is more than 2-3 CR of the average party level usually scares the crap out of players, for good reason.

[Edit] And, of course, a Terrasque is really just a way for a gm to say F*** Y*** to a party.


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"Ravingdork wrote:
Something I didn't know which makes a big difference in the module I'm playing in and the module I'm getting ready to run

This was in fact a change I didn't realize was made in PF, but that makes it way easier to keep track of. Thanks for the clarification.

I'm still of the opinion that shadows are deadly. Unlike every other creature in the game (at least at low to mid-level) there is no save against their ability damage and unlike every other case of being reduced to 0 in a score not killing you (except Con), this one does.


Deidre Tiriel wrote:

Beholders (Thank GOD they are not in PF)

ghouls (paralyze/coup d'grace)
shadows/greater shadows
shadow demons (magic jar)
Anything with deeper darkness as a spell-like ability.
Medusa usually terrifies players

And, of course, anything that is more than 2-3 CR of the average party level usually scares the crap out of players, for good reason.

[Edit] And, of course, a Terrasque is really just a way for a gm to say F*** Y*** to a party.

Hahaha. The tarrasque is a joke. It's been a joke since 3E. It was still a joke in 3.5 It's just a running joke in Pathfinder. It's flat out ignorable by a party of half its CR, and a pathetic joke to a CR 20 party.

Nicos wrote:
As in the case of the erinyes in the right circumtances the wizard can be a pain. Also as in te case of the Erinyes with the right items and spells the wizard can die in one turn.

What's your point? That it's a reasonable CR 8, exactly as I noted?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Hahaha. The tarrasque is a joke. It's been a joke since 3E. It was still a joke in 3.5 It's just a running joke in Pathfinder. It's flat out ignorable by a party of half its CR, and a pathetic joke to a CR 20 party.

It's only a joke if the GM doesn't know how to use it properly (like pretty much all high CR encounters).

Sure, a party of heroic PCs half its CR can just fly away and outright ignore it, but then the kingdom it happens to be ravaging will begin to wonder why their heroes have fled.

Just because the PCs can ignore it doesn't mean the rest of the world can. Not every encounter is about "killing the beast," they have the potential to be far more interesting than that.


Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Hahaha. The tarrasque is a joke. It's been a joke since 3E. It was still a joke in 3.5 It's just a running joke in Pathfinder. It's flat out ignorable by a party of half its CR, and a pathetic joke to a CR 20 party.

It's only a joke if the GM doesn't know how to use it properly (like pretty much all high CR encounters).

Sure, a party of heroic PCs half its CR can just fly away and outright ignore it, but then the kingdom it happens to be ravaging will begin to wonder why their heroes have fled.

Just because the PCs can ignore it doesn't mean the rest of the world can. Not every encounter is about "killing the beast," they have the potential to be far more interesting than that.

If we want to use that line of reasoning, there are tons and tons and tons of CR < 10 enemies that should therefor be CR 20+ because of how ungodly miserable that they can make the lives of the PCs out of combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
If we want to use that line of reasoning, there are tons and tons and tons of CR < 10 enemies that should therefor be CR 20+ because of how ungodly miserable that they can make the lives of the PCs out of combat.

Good point.


Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If we want to use that line of reasoning, there are tons and tons and tons of CR < 10 enemies that should therefor be CR 20+ because of how ungodly miserable that they can make the lives of the PCs out of combat.
Good point.

In fact, the CR 7 succubus is crazy good for that sort of thing. I have a recurring succubus villain who has yet to be slain in my campaign. She delights in toying with the PCs. She never bothers to face them directly, and instead toys with NPCs and circumstances around them. With her Charisma score and charms, it's incredibly easy for her to get NPCs to do things for her without even realizing what is going on.

Sometimes she interacts with the PCs in disguise, just for poops and giggles, and stalks them from the ethereal plane quite frequently. In many ways, she creates misfortune whenever it amuses her. She is chaotic as much as she is evil, after all. She's smart enough to quaff a 50 gp potion of undetectable alignment before interacting with the party and their Paladin of course. Ironically, the party's Paladin has a crush on her (or one of her aliases) at the moment, methinks.


Ashiel wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If we want to use that line of reasoning, there are tons and tons and tons of CR < 10 enemies that should therefor be CR 20+ because of how ungodly miserable that they can make the lives of the PCs out of combat.
Good point.

In fact, the CR 7 succubus is crazy good for that sort of thing. I have a recurring succubus villain who has yet to be slain in my campaign. She delights in toying with the PCs. She never bothers to face them directly, and instead toys with NPCs and circumstances around them. With her Charisma score and charms, it's incredibly easy for her to get NPCs to do things for her without even realizing what is going on.

Sometimes she interacts with the PCs in disguise, just for poops and giggles, and stalks them from the ethereal plane quite frequently. In many ways, she creates misfortune whenever it amuses her. She is chaotic as much as she is evil, after all. She's smart enough to quaff a 50 gp potion of undetectable alignment before interacting with the party and their Paladin of course. Ironically, the party's Paladin has a crush on her (or one of her aliases) at the moment, methinks.

Aww... his poor widdle paladin heart is just going to be crushed when he finds out the truth. Man, but I'm sadistic.


Selgard wrote:

Imps.

CR 2

DR 5/good or silver
Flying
Invisible
Poison
Fast healing

The only thing not making it a total nightmare is the d4 damage, which is more than made up for by the poison. (the +8 to attacks means that its going to hit a good deal except vs the tank at that level and the Tank (if you have one) is the guy most likely to save anyway).

Give the bugger a bow and smoething to hide behind and he's just terrible.

Not to mention Beast Shape I at will.

-S

I hate them and I love them.

I love to hate them.


SquirmWyrm wrote:
Aww... his poor widdle paladin heart is just going to be crushed when he finds out the truth. Man, but I'm sadistic.

Who knows. Maybe he will cast himself into darkness for the one he loves.

Shadow Lodge

Gluttony wrote:

Crystal Dragon Raveners.

A breath weapon that causes negative levels is nasty. A sonic breath weapon that does it is nasty, and harder to get resistance/immunity to than the other four energy types.

I'll see your Crystal Ravener, and raise you an Umbral Ravener. PCs can't resist negative energy.


Dire Corbys are CR 1 with Pounce, Rend and Ferocity - every bit as bad as orcs if not worse.


I can't believe no one has mentioned anything with constrict. In my group it seems like we've had more PC deaths and near PC deaths due to that ability than every other cause combined.


Danny Kessler wrote:
I can't believe no one has mentioned anything with constrict. In my group it seems like we've had more PC deaths and near PC deaths due to that ability than every other cause combined.

That depends on the monster(s) you're referring to, because a simple-constricting snake is easier to deal with than a multiple-constricting plant.

Qadira

In my party, the GM absolutely loves shadows for some reason. We run into them nearly every session.

God, I hate those incorporeal, strength sapping, touch attacking bastards. As the person who ends up having to clean up all the ability score damage once they're done, I find them especially grating.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Gluttony wrote:

Crystal Dragon Raveners.

A breath weapon that causes negative levels is nasty. A sonic breath weapon that does it is nasty, and harder to get resistance/immunity to than the other four energy types.

I'll see your Crystal Ravener, and raise you an Umbral Ravener. PCs can't resist negative energy.

Dhampirs/other ARG undead/half-undead/negative-energy-affinity PCs laugh in the face of your dragon. :P


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was about to point out that Umbral Dragon breath weapons don't heal undead... but I guess technically speaking Dhampir and Wayangs and such aren't undead.

As a GM I totally wouldn't let Dhampir get away with that that though, considering they're supposed to be half-undead ;)


N'wah wrote:

That fight SUCKED. I was the only 2nd-level guy in the party, and half of the 1st-levelers were brand-new characters, without even the benefit of some cure potions. There were five of us in total, and after the first try almost wiped out the party, I blew some 500 gold on potions and buff scrolls. The second try wasn't much better, with my character acid splashing the damn thing while the halfling cavalier's mount bit at it.

By far the deadliest PFS scenario I'd been part of. If I hadn't called retreat the first time, it woulda been a second-encounter-of-the-scenario TPK.

It didn't get much better with the tentacles in the basement, either.

EDIT: The only reason I'm talking about my character so much is because everyone else was on the floor bleeding out most of the time. :P

Oh, I was in that fight last PaizoCon. Afraid I died, too--lost my beloved half-orc bard on his second scenario. Walked up to the statue without knowing what it was, it won initiative, dead in the first round. Guess that'll teach me to not insist on de-leveling the game for my sake. ;D


This isn't a Pathfinder monster, but after seeing this topic I need to rant about this creature.

Back in his rookie days, my DM created something he called duplicators. Most of their attributes were fairly standard. They had something like six or seven hit dice, natural attacks which weren't overly devastating, AC that wasn't that high, and so on.

This is what made them so hateful. Say you met one that had 40 hit points, and you hit it for five damage. You now had two duplicators, one with 35 hit points and one with five hit points, each with all the attributes of the original. Each of those would also split when hit, until you finally killed each individual duplicator with one hit point.

A fight with one of these would take at least an hour. If you met three or more, you knew the DM had nothing planned for that session, and you were in for a tedious afternoon or evening.


just about anything with the young and advanced templates!!!
Benefits
+8 dex, +4 all mental ability scores
downside
size decrease?
-2 con (if not undead or construct)
all for the lovely price of a CR +-0
only truly sadistic GMs would even think about this, and if you threw in zombie it's CR would DECREASE


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All fine suggestions but pound for pound few creatures can compare to the mighty Boggard in terms of toughness, intellectual capacity, and raw sex appeal.

Cheliax

The young/advanced templates would be fun on an undead swarm.

But what we really need is a fine swarm of animated adamantine objects.


Illithids, fat beholders, ogres when you are really low level.


My players have had serious trouble with ghouls in our current Pathfinder campaign.

They've also had serious trouble with "vampire-festrogs" but those aren't technically statted in a book. Hungry are the Dead (Paizo OGL 3.5e module where festrogs first appear) says they're variant festrogs that feed on blood and are often kept by true vampires. Ones that are fed a regular diet of vampire blood gain fast healing and turn resistance like their vampire masters. So I took a cue from the ghoul/ghast rules and made a vampire-festrog by applying the Advanced template to a regular festrog and also gave it Turn Resistance and Fast Healing equivalent to a vampire spawn (Fast Healing 2) "free" the same way a ghast gets its stench ability tacked onto the Advanced template. So they're STILL 2 HD (same as a regular festrog) but have +4 to all abilities, +2 natural armor, some turn resistance, and fast healing 2, and they're CR 2 instead of CR 1.

My players got two of their party members reduced to negative hitpoints fighting one of them when they were level 2. The v-festrog could have easily finished at least one of them off if it had wanted. When it fled, it had the same amount of hit-points as when they entered combat.

The second time the party encountered them, they fought two at level 3 and, while the fight was still close, they killed both of them.

Festrogs are one of my favorite new monsters to come out of Paizo in the GameMastery/Pathfinder era so I hope my party gets used to lots of close encounters with them.

I just statted up an advanced Menadoran Festrog at CR 5. (I'm not sure if I've got the CR right, but the section on advancing racial hitdice and size in the Bestiary frustrates me.) I'm tempted to make it a vampire-festrog too (by giving it turn resistance and fast healing 2).

Aside from ghouls, pretty much anything with paralysis is going to cause problems. Upcoming in my campaign the party will also be facing a berbalang with its paralysis claws.


Rictras Shard wrote:

This isn't a Pathfinder monster, but after seeing this topic I need to rant about this creature.

Back in his rookie days, my DM created something he called duplicators. Most of their attributes were fairly standard. They had something like six or seven hit dice, natural attacks which weren't overly devastating, AC that wasn't that high, and so on.

This is what made them so hateful. Say you met one that had 40 hit points, and you hit it for five damage. You now had two duplicators, one with 35 hit points and one with five hit points, each with all the attributes of the original. Each of those would also split when hit, until you finally killed each individual duplicator with one hit point.

A fight with one of these would take at least an hour. If you met three or more, you knew the DM had nothing planned for that session, and you were in for a tedious afternoon or evening.

I could see Cleave being very popular in that game. Or anything to give you extra attacks, really. If you want to make it go "faster" you'd actually want to lower your damage output so you could just save off one hitpoint monsters one-at-a-time.

Pathfinder has the Multiplying Skeleton variant, but it produces smaller skeletons each time.


Fighter/barb chars will have few problems with ghouls, but others certainly can.


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brreitz wrote:

Phase spiders. Super-deadly poison, ability to phase in, attack, and phase out in a single round. I've had players very upset at me for using these in a swamp, where their mobility was limited.

It was great.

These guys are TERRIFYING. They single handedly stopped me from getting any further than the cloakwood in Baldur's Gate.


Lantern Archon - It's a CR 2. So at the level you are fighting it you don't have ranged attacks that can overcome it's DR 10 / Evil (it's flying so no melee). And while it's flying around and greater teleporting at will it's blasting you with its two ranged touch attacks. That was enough to put it at the top of the CR 2 pack back in 3.5 when it had just 4 HP and a magic missile might be enough to kill it. But now it has 13 HP so wizards might not even have enough spells per day to kill it at that level. Oh and it also has Aura of Menace, Continual Flame, Aid, Detect Evil, darkvision, and a number of bonuses and immunity against varies things.

If you'd like to super size it can also go all holy voltron and a bunch of them can combine to make a super lantern archon for a little while. Oddly however this actually weakens them because it reduces the number of attacks they can make each round, but whatever.

Luckily they are on team good.


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Odraude wrote:
Pugwampis... the creature that killed a campaign. We were playing Legacy of Fire and ran into them. After three boring hours of the same combat, we all just up and left to play Rockband and the campaign died.

+1000 to that one.

freaking pugwampis.
Want to make people pray for death? Set them against a Pugwampi with class levels that has a high AC for its level.


Luz wrote:
Anything with the ghost template always gives my group a very hard time. Incorporeal with a touch attack that deals vicious damage (at any level) not nerfed by death ward, and potential gaze and fear moans. All this plus whatever other abilities it had in life and rejuvenation make this sucker one of the toughest to put down permanently.

gods help me I took the base CR 7 one right out of the bestiary and put it on the table last night. My thoughts were "they've got magic weapons, some decent spells, and a Ghostbane Dirge spell. They might have a shot". It turns out they didn't have as much a shot as I thought. 5 characters (4 PCs and one GM NPC); they roll up on it, most of the party makes their fear save, and the battle commences. It was like watching a train wreck - I wanted to save them, to spare them the horror, but I couldn't look away...

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