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How to kill the king.


Advice


For the next part of my storyline the Bad Guys need to kill a really high level character (the king). This character is old, but still powerful, and he some trusts the people who are going to kill him. It will happen in or near a small town.
I am stuck on how to do this. The BG's can't be so strong that they could easely overwhelm the party. I've been thinking about poison, but i'm looking for something more creative, and there is always that save..
How would you kill the king?


If I was the bad guy? The attractive common girl he decides to bed would slit his throat after he falls asleep.


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For added Evils make the commoner girl an innocent victim of a dominate person spell. Or have her a cunning assassin if you want her to be a reoccurring antagonist.


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For political intrigue have her months later claim to be pregnant with the king's Heir.

hmm I like this idea.

Silver Crusade

BBEG's pet assassin sneaks into the king's room at night at delivers a coup de grace.

Typically killing someone in their sleep is the be all, end all. You are subject to the coup de grace rules and take a -10 on perception checks.


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Well, is the king always standing at-the-ready with a +3 Flaming Sword of Justice and Hurting in his hand? Is he always wearing the magical armor, and surrounded by the cohorts and men and fellow adventurers that got him to level-whatever?

If it's part of your story, then set it up as a "do it right, and it goes easy, do it wrong, and it goes hard" sort of scene. They need to poison him under just the right circumstances. They need to figure out exactly who to bribe (by doing something for the thieves' guild, and paying off a certain cabal of politicians, perhaps) to push the old king down some stairs. They need to make sure he's slightly drunk, and away from most of his bodyguards, and nowhere NEAR his magic armor and weapons, and then they can take him down as a CR+3, BUT...they have to do it in <4 rounds, or the alarm will be raised.

And don't worry about the king's saving throw. Let the players worry about it.


A magical ritual that triggers keyed to the king when he comes to a specific point or touches a specific object in the town he would touch. After the no save 'kill' cast a instant summons to get he gem.(Trap the Soul comes to mind, if bbegs can't cast ot they might get a scroll or item made just for this purpose by paying large sums of money. Benefit of trap the soul is the king can't just get ressurected either.)

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/t/trap-the-soul

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/i/instant-summons


Going for something a little creative.
If the small town has a wall I would get my henchmen to take over the gate where the king will ride in and then have them collapse it on top of him. Not only would that take out the king but his closest guards and or advisors as well. It would lock down the entourage while they dig out the remains and I've made a mark on the maps. No way that little town wont be called Kingsfall from now on.

If he somewhat trusts my to-be-kingslayers a meeting atop some nearby cliffs might be in order. No saves for fall damage and if I care about the men who commit the deed I might give them featherfall rings or some other means of escape.

Should stealth be a concern I think poison isn't a bad idea but it's not very stealthy once it takes effect. If on the other hand the whole town starts suffering from the same symptoms it will look more like an outbreak of some cruel plague and the king is just unlucky enough to there. A plan thats even easier if it happens to be a port or trade town.


Is the king a PC? Are the assassins PCs? If not, I see no reason why this must involve rules decisions such as saving throws. It's a plot point. It just happens.

If the party then is more in awe of the assassins for killing somebody they thought a high level character, all the better.


Use the following spell for hilarious results.

Shrink Item.

Use it on Anvils, Caltrops, Razors, or whatever else you want.

Place them in Wine. Give Wine to the King. Follow it up by a Greater Dispel. Watch as the King literally explodes.


While dangerous for the caster you could do that on his necklace or the collar of his shirt, without Dispel of course.


You could just have them poison the king, that's pretty traditional. Have them put something in his food, a good CON poison, and then just rule that he failed his saving throws and it killed him. (Anything that reduces CON to zero=death).

If you want to get a little fancier, you could have them use a "charm person" or a "suggestion" or something on the chef to get him to poison the king.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wish spell.


Just remember; no matter how the bad guys kill the king, you should have them raise him as some kind of undead afterwards to totally freak the players out. ;)


I'm surprised Dimension Door wasn't suggested.

Have someone DD into the king's chambers and CDG him, then DD out. Or, if you want to torture him first, DD out with the king to wherever the bad guys are waiting for them both. Or, for added hilarity, DD off a cliff, and then DD to safety while the king continues to fall to his death.

If all else fails, get a Wild-Shaped druid to fly up over him and Summon Nature's Ally an elephant over his head. Or a whale.


The bigger problem is going to be how to keep him dead. If he is the king then the resources of the kingdom are at his disposal and even a small kingdom should be able to afford a raise dead. By the book it costs about 5,450 GP for raise dead.


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  • Create a (number of) Simulacrum of the King.
  • Have it seduce the spouses of his knights and courtiers.
  • Wait for a jealous husband (or wife) to do your dirty work for you.

Silver Crusade

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The bigger problem is going to be how to keep him dead. If he is the king then the resources of the kingdom are at his disposal and even a small kingdom should be able to afford a raise dead. By the book it costs about 5,450 GP for raise dead.

How to counter Raise Dead? Simple.

"While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life."

>Behead the king while he's sleeping (coup de grace). Or other variations.

and

"A creature who has been turned into an undead creature or killed by a death effect can't be raised by this spell."

>1a Death Knell
>1b 'Animate Dead' his corpse into a skeleton after killing him. 1 standard action.

Countering Ressurection might prove very tricky tho.


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True with a little thought it should not prove that difficult to prevent the king from being brought back, but you still have to keep it in mind. It will limit the ways he can be killed because the charmed servant is not going to be casting animate dead on the kings corpse.

If the adventure is supposed to be any kind of a mystery then divination spells like speak with dead also need to be factored in. In a world where magic is real things change quite a bit especially at the upper end of the economic scale.

The spell detect poison is also a 0 level spell so the classic poisoned wine at dinner is going to be hard to pull off. In the real world royalty had food tasters to detect poison, but in the game this would probably be assigned to a low level caster. It could be an acolyte from the temple or the court wizard's apprentice.

Like I said killing him is easy keeping him dead is going to be harder. You may need to make sure that people who can bring him back are not around or are delayed enough that they can't help him.

Rest Eternal can be used to prevent him from being brought back or contacted but it can be overcome with a caster level check.

Another way would be to age him prematurely. The only thing that can overcome that is a Reincarnate, which would probably require a druid.


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Already suggested Trap the Soul...or any of the other spells that create a soul gem essentially. A particularly shrewd evil spell caster could trap his soul in a soul gem then use Soul transfer(7th lvl wiz/sor) to force the soul into a new living body. Ideally a body on the verge of death from old age, which resurrection would have no power to bring back.

Or the soul was a bargain chip to the devil/outsider that granted them the power to pull this off. The soul of a good king no doubt is good barter. (Keeps the villians weak as you like, they just had backing.)

Edit: Alternatively DM create a ultra rare poison(magical) that ages the king 10 years frequency 1/rnd over however long you need. Watch the chaos unfold as the king turns old and dies in a minute. Or just DM Fiat however the king dies there is an effect preventing resurrection.


Do people even want him back? Who will be making a grab for the crown when he is gone. It may not be a case so much of the King can be brought back but rather will someone bring him back. If there is a prince waiting in line for the crown for instance, then he may halt the resurrection of the king.


I had thought about this: A wizard scries on the king, ports to him while he is asleep, then uses suggestion to make him really horny, and summons a succubus to Energy Drain him to death.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

True with a little thought it should not prove that difficult to prevent the king from being brought back, but you still have to keep it in mind. It will limit the ways he can be killed because the charmed servant is not going to be casting animate dead on the kings corpse.

If the adventure is supposed to be any kind of a mystery then divination spells like speak with dead also need to be factored in. In a world where magic is real things change quite a bit especially at the upper end of the economic scale.

The spell detect poison is also a 0 level spell so the classic poisoned wine at dinner is going to be hard to pull off. In the real world royalty had food tasters to detect poison, but in the game this would probably be assigned to a low level caster. It could be an acolyte from the temple or the court wizard's apprentice.

Like I said killing him is easy keeping him dead is going to be harder. You may need to make sure that people who can bring him back are not around or are delayed enough that they can't help him.

Rest Eternal can be used to prevent him from being brought back or contacted but it can be overcome with a caster level check.

Another way would be to age him prematurely. The only thing that can overcome that is a Reincarnate, which would probably require a druid.

Depends on your worlds Laws of Succession. In mine death by natural causes (old age, heart attack), duels and accident aren't going to result in resurrection of some type. Assassination, magical causes and war will result in resurrection. Can't keep the heirs waiting forever you know :) Hence any good assassination has to result from a duel or look like natural causes or an accident. In short if someone is trying to kill you (and you don't have a choice as in accepting a duel or making a challenge), they ressurect. If not, your heirs are in luck. Otherwise, short of extreme old age (and magic can beat that) no one would ever inherit.

These are the standard rules of succession in the feudal areas of my campaign. Optionally, individuals have been ressurected (it's in their wills), but had to give up the throne. Which can make life interesting. Once upon a time a group of my PCs had an NPC adventurer friend who was a former king. Still had friends in high places and wasn't too put out to be free to have a life...


Scry
Die
Feed body to barghest


Replace his royal pillow, bedsheets and sir Huggs-a-lot, the royal bear of teddyness, with animated objects. Then use Misdirection and remove the object that took now detect from the room.
The "poor servant" who when discovers the dead king can easily replace the culprits with normal household varieties and toss the evidence into the fireplace or out the window to an accomplice.


1. dimension door + silence + acid pit = dissolved king
2. necklace of fire fireballs + alchemist's fire = king of ashes
3. create water + sealed room = drowned king


Avenger wrote:


"While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life."

Probably the funniest old-school way I ever saw someone be killed to make sure they would never be rasied from the dead was:

Flesh to Stone
Stone to Mud
Water to Dust (destroying all the water in the mud, leaving just a pile of dry dirt and dust)
Gust of Wind (blowing the pile of dirt and dust away)

Try to find all the body now for a raise dead. There's no kill like overkill. ;)

Unfortunately, it looks like "water to dust" isn't a spell anymore for some reason, so you'd have to use something else for the same effect now.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Need to hide a body?

Shrink Item is your spell.


Or, if you want to make sure someone can't be resurrected, you could do something other then killing him. Baleful Polymorph him into a mouse, put him in a Temporal Stasis and stash him somewhere, ect (or both, lol). Can't resurrect someone who's not dead.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Just Shrink Item, and feed it to a dog.


How old is this king? Would a natural death suffice? You could have some courtiers pushing an "assasination by super clever means" theory that would still point the PCs at the bad guys.


Sereinái wrote:

Replace his royal pillow, bedsheets and sir Huggs-a-lot, the royal bear of teddyness, with animated objects. Then use Misdirection and remove the object that took now detect from the room.

The "poor servant" who when discovers the dead king can easily replace the culprits with normal household varieties and toss the evidence into the fireplace or out the window to an accomplice.

animated obhjects, they can toss THEMSELVES in the fireplace.


Suicide, under circumstances suspicious enough that people suspect foul play. The king’s soul either refuses resurrection or returns to life as noncorporeal undead that slips away to seek revenge on those that made his life unbearable.


Munched by a cacodeamon


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The Baleful Polymorph is a great idea. Turn him into a mouse and then have someone else take him to a distant location. This would also cover those pesky divinations spells. Speak with dead does not work because he is not dead. Locate Creature is fooled by polymorph spells. Detect Lies will not work because you did not kill the king. Also since he is not dead the asking who killed the king does not work.

Even more powerful divination spells are only going to get hints of where the king is. About the only thing I have found that would easily counter this is a Wish.


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"You come at the king, you'd best not miss."


Thank you all for you're idea's! It's been so much fun to read!
In my new plan a doppelganger is going to pose as the king after the kill him.
This is my plan:

One of the doppelgangers kills a servant some time before the killing and takes its shape.
A pretty common girl was assigned to bring the King a necklace as a thanks for coming to the town, this will happen at the end of the day.
But, she was dominated/charmed to bring the king a different necklace, that looked precisely like the other.
That necklace was enchanted with a steal sole spell and a spell that made the body of the king go upstairs and in to his chambers. Where the doppelganger is waiting to take its place.
The soul was a bargain chip to the devil/outsider that granted them the power to pull this off. (Loved this, thank you Warsor)
The body of the king is turned into an undead because they like the sound of that, and it is so much fun to have the characters first kill him and then realize it was the king.

The advantages are that the king can't be raised, the villains can be as strong as I want them to be and there are some clues to be found. (The dead servant, and the common girl.)


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I actually took the basic Idea I proposed and it inspired to build a campaign around that. Though its now just one act of many. So thanks for the great thread Little Skylark

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