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Deadliest AP encounters (spoilers)


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


For our group it seems that the eryines at the begining of book four of COT was just mean.

Shadow Lodge

Savage Tide:

Spoiler:
First two deaths in my party were to the Lotus Dragons disguised as combat dummies. Got one player as she was examining the throne, got the second after only half the group unveiled themselves and the party thought the fight was over.

Crystal Ooze and Mother of All in Sea Wyvern's Wake got a player apiece.

Olangru in Here There Be Monsters nearly got another.

Kingmaker:

Spoiler:
Rolling a shambling mound or will-o-wisp on the random chart in Chapter One.
Still playing KM so will add to this once I encounter another near- or truly deadly situation.

Silver Crusade

Carrion crown has quite a few:

Spoiler:
Pretty much all of Harrowstone was deadly.
The air elemental and eryines in schlos caromarc were awful.
The elder god at the end of wake of the watcher dropped a PC to 0 sanity instantly.
The banshee in [abbey at beginning of book 6] killed half the party.

I can't remember anything in Kingmaker being that bad.
EDIT: The group was pretty OP though. Rolled 3 black dragons in part 3 on random encounters and killed them all without a death.


Nice list so far lets keep them going. The demilich in COTCT was a tpk for us.


Orthos wrote:

Savage Tide:** spoiler omitted **

Kingmaker:** spoiler omitted **Still playing KM so will add to this once I encounter another near- or truly deadly situation.

I rolled a Will-o-Wisp in chapter one too.

The players were blessed with a miracle and rolled insane Stealth checks, while the monster rolled a 1 on Perception.

Shadow Lodge

Icyshadow wrote:
Orthos wrote:

Savage Tide:** spoiler omitted **

Kingmaker:** spoiler omitted **Still playing KM so will add to this once I encounter another near- or truly deadly situation.

I rolled a Will-o-Wisp in chapter one too.

The players were blessed with a miracle and rolled insane Stealth checks, while the monster rolled a 1 on Perception.

My Oracle managed a crit with her eldritch bolt ([Su] and ranged touch attack, thus the only thing that could hit it and not have to deal with SR), and drew suggestion from the crit deck.

Spoiler:
They sent it to fight the Shambler they'd run into earlier. Then several sessions later ran into said Shambler with said Wisp living in it. They only just killed them both two sessions ago, after doubling their party size and gaining two levels. Every encounter prior they just ran.


For my groups, they'll one shot encounters +2 CRs higher, and then die on -2 CR encounters.

Example Random encounter in a RotR game was a dragon, they downed the dragon with no issues, next encounter was a group of stirges that were -3 CR to the party and it nearly wiped them.

My players have amazing BBEG tactics and then just try and zerg the "easy" fights.


Anybody else have one, I know there been more butts kicked then this in paizos aps.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Pre-Anniversary Xanesha. So many grown men crying.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

That would be RotRL, the buffed up lamia noble, right?
IF you bother to dispel her, not quite so bad.

==Aelryinth


In my personal experience:

Kingmaker:

Spoiler:
That friggin' shambling mound attacked our level 2 party in the middle of the night. About half the party died before it lost interest and left.

Age of Worms:

Spoiler:
Our battle against the mind flayer sorcerer and his octopins in Hall of Harsh Reflections was touch and go. If my PC hadn't rolled a natural 20 to save vs. being stunned, it could easily have turned into a TPK.

Legacy of Fire:

Spoiler:
Our level 3 (?) party encountered a schir demon that managed to summon 2 additional schir demons. By the time we figured out how tough they were, we were almost dead. The GM had pity on us and let us run away, even though the demons could easily move faster than us.


RotRL

Spoiler:
Jaagrath Kreeg put a beating on my PCs. The Xanesha fight was long and drawn out for them but they made it through with no deaths. I think they were just well suited to deal with spell casters. 7th level raging ogre barbarians, not so much. I think he killed three out of five of them.

CotCT

Spoiler:
If you don't have a paladin in your group, all of Castle Scarwall is pretty brutal.

Edit: Added spoiler tag.


Maybe not the deadliest, but still very deadly encounters:

RotRL

Spoiler:
Xanesha pre-AE has been mentioned. I'll add Mokmurian to the list. Possibly Karzoug too, but he's meant to be a "blaze of glory death" battle.

CoT

Spoiler:
The Shadowy Triceratops skeleton in "What Lies in Dust". Deadly beast compared to the PCs' level at that time. My players also took a serious beating by my custom Master Summoner Manthritor Thrax.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Carrion Crown does have a bunch of them. Of particular note:

Spoiler:
The caster at the end of book 3-cloudkill with grapple minions, plus circle of death is a pretty nasty one two punch.

The witches at the end of book 5 are super annoying, in the way that witches can be. They can be deadly if one party member hits the nearby panic trap and manages to run through three more encounters and end up in the witch room.

Serpent's Skull

Spoiler:
The shadow demon in book 2. Not even a boss encounter, but incorporeal plus DR can be super tough on an unprepared (level 5-6)party expecting to fight an ape.

Legacy of Fire

Spoiler:
the sepid div is pretty rough - 15d6 bludgeoning damage in a huge area 3/day is tough even for 14th level characters

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Slumbering Tsar. We almost got TPKd the first session. Lost 3/5ths the other two ran for it


Lithrac wrote:

Maybe not the deadliest, but still very deadly encounters:

RotRL
** spoiler omitted **

CoT
** spoiler omitted **

What do you mean by "meant to be a blaze of glory", exactly?

Does the text say you need to TPK the party in that fight, or something similar? Because that'd just be stupid.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Oh, we're including Slumbering Tsar?

Spoiler:
How about the Dweller in the Well? Lots of hit points, incorporeal, and 8 touch attacks that each drain 1-6 Wisdom.
Yeah. Stay away from wells in Frog God modules.

==Aelryinth

Andoran

Orthos wrote:

Savage Tide:** spoiler omitted **

Kingmaker:** spoiler omitted **Still playing KM so will add to this once I encounter another near- or truly deadly situation.

Truth to the SM in Kingmaker, although our DM was flexible. He rolled the SM as our random encounter when we were camping. Most of us heard the crashing towards our campsite, and we were in shock when the thing lumbered into view. Doing a quick knowledge check, my cleric of Erastil yelled for the fire to be put out. We won initiative and the first thing we did was "Create Water"/stomp on the fire. With the 'threat' gone, the SM lumbered off into the woods again as we collectively held our breath and then let it out with a whoosh once it was gone.

Carrion Crown:

spoiler:
As DM for this one, the air elemental and eryines summon traps in Book 2 were absolutely deadly. Combined for 3 PC deaths, 1 fall and 2 arrow pincushions. The final abomination was also quite deadly, killing 2 PCs.


Kingmaker

Spoiler:
They made the fey mad and got wiped out... I laughed at them.

Sczarni

Carrion Crown:

Spoiler:
The whole Schloss is crazy. Oh, yes, especially that Erinyes. I had to hold that one back so hard to keep from obliterating my players.

Nobody has mentioned the trolls in the gate house yet. I let them solve that one with diplomacy, because they wouldn't have stood a chance.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Pre-Anniversary Xanesha. So many grown men crying.

:)


Gorbacz wrote:
Pre-Anniversary Xanesha. So many grown men crying.

That was going to be my first mention.

Harrowstone in Carrion Crown had more than one.

The tougher random encounter in Kingmaker.

The chapter 2 boss combo in AoW.

The Spire of Longshadow undead solder in AoW. I can't remember their names.

The chapter 4 boss in AoW.

Shadow Lodge

I wish I'd gotten past Chapter One of AoW, everything I've heard about it sounds awesome. My poor Paladin never got to see past

Spoiler:
Filge
... not due to death but campaign ended a week or two after that, during the investigation part of Chapter 2.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

In Kingmaker a party unwilling to run away from a random encounter I'm book 1 or 2 can be quite deadly.

In Skull and Shackles book 1

Spoiler:
the island at the end of the book.


The boss in City of Broken Idols (STAP). My group took three attempts to bring him down and that seemed pretty average from other messageboard posts. (But they were fun battles to run!)

Scarwall in CoCT and not just the

Spoiler:
demilich
. Any of the named NPC villains there were pretty bad-ass.


*Spoilers*

In the sandbox AP of Skull and Shackles (City of Seven Spears) our party went directly to Olujimi by accident who summoned 4 Dire Apes, Akkituk (a high lvl cleric) and, the nail in our coffin, Grugonoth- the half-fiend advanced dire ape.

With our healer dominated, blasphemy in the area and the massive about of dmg these bosses put out it didn't take more than 5 rounds to close our books and start coming up with new character ideas. TPK.


In Savage Tide :

Spoiler:
Yeah Olangru and his minions were a really tough fight. But it was expected by our group and we were well prepared.

Some encounters we didn't expect were far more scary : in the Sea Wyvern's Wake, the hydra attack while the group was bathing was very close to kill some of us. And the hungry T-Rex when the party wakes up on the Isle of Dread without some of his stuff.

In RotRL :

Spoiler:
We didn't fight Xanesha but the other lamia matriarch and it was a really tough fight. She managed to escape after dropping our fighter & paladin wisdow to zero.

In Kingmaker :

Spoiler:
Oour most difficult fights were in the troll caves and against the lich. Some random encounters were really difficult too (1D4 trolls vs a level 4 party => die rolls 4 !!)


wraithstrike wrote:
The chapter 2 boss combo in AoW.

The deadly part of chapter 2 for us was...

Spoiler:
the temple of Hextor. My character was instantly killed by a critical from the dire boar (used a hero point to reduce it to a regular hit). And then our party was almost killed by the clerics (one PC was killed and the rest were almost dead), although that was partly due to the fact that the clerics were converted to Pathfinder and were channeling negative energy.


Icyshadow wrote:

What do you mean by "meant to be a blaze of glory", exactly?

Does the text say you need to TPK the party in that fight, or something similar? Because that'd just be stupid.

I merely implied that since he's the final battle, it doesn't matter as much if all the PCs live or not. Of course, I'd prefer that my players didn't wipe against him, but a final heroic death could be meaningful.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Rise of the Runelords is the one I have the most experience with, so here are the toughest encounters I've seen in it, in order of when they are encountered.

Spoiler:
1. Original Xanesha. Oh God, does she hurt. Then you realize that her stat block doesn't even include the haste spell that she'll probably have active. She killed the majority of the first party to get to her when I DMed... they only managed to take her out when the survivors recruited some help, and ambushed her when she wasn't expecting trouble.

2. Fort Rannick. Ogre hooks have a x4 critical modifier, and I think all of the ogres with said hooks have power attack at their disposal. Maybe on average, the encounters aren't that deadly, but if any of your PCs are having an off day, then watch out.

3. Original Mokmurian. Not sure where 3 of his wizard levels went in the Anniversary edition, because they really make a difference for this encounter's difficulty. Solid Fog and Reverse Gravity makes it tough to reach him, while he can shoot disintigrate at any of your softies, or maybe a Flesh to Stone. He isn't even squishy like most wizards, thanks to his stone giant base.

4. Morphic Mist. This trap resulted in a near TPK both times I've run the adventure. That's just bad luck though - the real kicker is that if you don't have any method to dispel this (or the person who can was polymorphed), you can't go back to any city to restore it. Yeah...

5. Anniversary Karzoug. I think this actually rivals Xanesha in the original. Not only did Karzoug get a nice buff to his stats and abilities (he's now a Thassilonian specialist and has Azlanti stats), but he's encountered with a blue dragon, rune giant, and two storm giants. Karzoug's absurdly high intelligence lets him cast a crap load of spells (also thanks to his artifact spellbook), and they have monster DCs to save against. He has significant HP, DR, fast healing, and a weapon that casts healing spells on him. He also gets to cast wish to restore his hp and his minions' hp to full. Thankfully, you have the potential to have both a planetar and Viorian helping you out for this fight, and he's not able to chase you outside of his domain.

Honorable mentions go to Malfeshnakor, Black Magga (didn't include her since you don't really have to kill her), Delvahine (that dominate...), the Disjunction Trap in the original, and Viorian.

Qadira

Oh yeah, shambling mounds in Kingmaker...
Fun times! No one died, but they were not happy!

But the deadliest was when my party of level one adventurers, freshly arrived in the Stolen Lands, took great personal offense at the treatment of Oleg and Svetlana and immediately rode out to take down the Stag Lord. At level 1. Yeah, the only reason that wasn't a TPK was because people spent Hero Points to cheat death...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Singer wrote:

*Spoilers*

In the sandbox AP of Skull and Shackles (City of Seven Spears) our party went directly to Olujimi by accident who summoned 4 Dire Apes, Akkituk (a high lvl cleric) and, the nail in our coffin, Grugonoth- the half-fiend advanced dire ape.

With our healer dominated, blasphemy in the area and the massive about of dmg these bosses put out it didn't take more than 5 rounds to close our books and start coming up with new character ideas. TPK.

Spoiler:
In my campaign, the PC's ran up against Akkituk who used silence to sideline the Sorcerer and Grugonoth who used Blasphemy to sideline the Inquisitor's dire lion from the combat and with smite good, he took out the Inquisitor with 109 points of damage. He was working on the Barbarian when the other PC's decided to run like their fantasy lives depended on it (Which it did!)

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Second Darkness:

Spoiler:
The Shadow Demon in that cave in Children of the Void
The mad Ghost in the side adventure in The Armageddon Echo

Carrion Crown:

Spoiler:
As mentioned, the Erinyes and Air Elemental in Schloss Caromarc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Skulls & Shackles:

Spoiler:
The Reefclaws in Pt I of The Wormwood Mutiny. They downed two party members and nearly caused them to drown before it was over.

Every time the botfly swarms turned up on Bonewrack Isle in Pt II. I ended up having to nerf those things something chronic, since none of the players had grabbed any alchemists fire or the like, and had no AoE spells or abilities.

Not exactly a deadly encounter here, but an amusing one. Also in Pt II of The Wormwood Mutiny. The fighter decided to climb the large tree outside the fortified hut on top of the bluffs on his own... and promptly fell prey to the Vine Chokers living at the top... when he realised that he had no hope of defeating them on his own since the only weapon he was carrying was his falchion, and he was stuck up a bloody tree unable to use both hands for it, he took what he considered to be the only suitable action... he grappled one of those suckers and let himself fall, surviving about 2 points from actual death, and only living past that because the cleric was standing two feet from where he landed. Based on some random rolls on my part, and a little bit of a desire to throw the guy a bone for doing something so hilariously reckless, I ruled that the vine choker was caught between the fighter and the ground and ended up flatter than a pancake.

Good times...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Shackled City

Spoiler:
Both Vhalantru and Hookface were pretty tough.

Age of Worms

Spoiler:
Some horrifying stuff here. The Swords of Kyuss with their Negative Energy Fireballs were pretty hardcore. Worst of them all was the unnamed Oculus Demon at the end of chapter six. My players had to retreat THREE times. Dragotha kicked ass. Oh, and Kyuss was a tough cookie, but that's on par for him, being a BBEG god and all.

Savage Tide

Spoiler:
Khala the Two-Headed sent my players running twice. Third time was the charm. The battle at the pirate fortress in chapter 8 wasn't particularly hard, but took three gaming sessions to finish.

Legacy of Fire

Spoiler:
My players breezed right through this one. The final battle was memorable, though.

Kingmaker

Spoiler:
Nyrissa was nearly unstoppable for my players.

Jade Regent

Spoiler:
Finished Forest of Spirits this sunday. No awfully tough battles so far. It's noteworthy that my playrs dropped Munasukaru in three rounds without breaking a sweat, due to her horrible Will Save.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm running Carrion Crown so:

Spoiler:

The trolls at the gate in Schloss Caromarc killed 2 and forced one retirement. They went back and still lost one more person and had another on negatives. It was a slaughter.

Agreed with everyone else about the air elemental and the Erinyes


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Legacy of Fire:
Obherak and the shaitan genies nearly wiped out the whole group. The combination of superior movement in their lair and Stone Curse made this really tough. Then in Xotanni’s Grave, the PCs relied heavily on Greater Invisibility. Since Javhul was scrying them, he made sure that his eirynes harem was with him since they could see invisiblilty at will. The demons were almost as effective as he was. Only two PCs survived. The others fell into the lava lake as they died.

Council of Thieves:
I’m playing in this one. The Asmodean Knot was catastrophe, especially with the shadows. Then one PC was cursed to be killed by a *&$#! bone devil because we didn’t have Linguistics as a skill.

Rise of the Runelords:
The raid on Sandpoint was almost a TPK. The ogres came close to a TPK as well, but only because the whole fort became alerted to the PCs presence, and the PCs decided to make a last stand in a hallway.


Savage Tide

Spoiler:
Demogorgon was by far the toughest fight for the party. There were several other tough fights- khala, Olangru, T-Rex, and many others

Age of Worms

Spoiler:

We're just starting this one- wind warriors in the whispering cairn, Theldrick in the three faces of evil, the Faceless One in the three faces of evil.


Lopke wrote:

Carrion Crown:

Spoiler:
As DM for this one, the air elemental and eryines summon traps in Book 2 were absolutely deadly. Combined for 3 PC deaths, 1 fall and 2 arrow pincushions.

We just had our first death in Carrion Crown from the latter

Spoiler:
(the word "pincushion" was explicitly used)
and we survived the former through a combination of GM softballing and extreme player caution
Spoiler:
(since one of the PCs had already fallen 180 ft off the bridge -- and he survived!).
Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Carrion Crown:
The 3 witchfires in book five were vicious. Lost a party member there, almost more.

Shadow Lodge

One more for Kingmaker:

Spoiler:
The Ruined Keep. Low-perception (or poor rolling) party can get eviscerated by Rigg Gargadilly. Low-will party can get eaten alive by the Dancing Lady.

Very luck-of-the-rolls here.


Another Kingmaker:

Spoiler:
For us one of the hardest fights in Kingmaker was the stag lord. He took out the dex magus in one round by making him flatfooted with his magic helm and then criting him to death. The rest of us only barely defeated enemies because we convinced one goon not to fight us.


Adding to the Kingmaker list:

Spoiler:
The two-headed troll (forgot his name) in RRR.

His AC was too high for the players, he knocked both the Monk and Ranger to low HP and killed off the party Cleric.

Considering they had stomped all the previous encounters to the curb with ease, I can see why it became a memorable moment for them.


Skulls and Shackles
only "testplayed" this with our normal 10th level chars characters since the GM had decided to rebuild the entire fourth part of the AP

Spoiler:

Cyclops fortress

Gargantuan Trapper. Going for a "rearrangement retreat" from the cyclopses in the guard chamber the group proceeded backwards into this area , the Trapper "ate" our witch (hello, dear AoO), then having munched her out on the second round - average damage of 35 points by "pass-me-by-constrict" - ate our Oracle, then ate the invisible bard (Combat Reflexes, Blindsight... hmm tasty ) . Everybody else choose the path of lesser resistance and fled.... reach 15', Perception +27 CMB +31... right. Classic "first few rooms" encounter

the Evil Eye itself....
yeah, Enervation anyone... random loss of positive modifiers. Nevermind the two Gholdakos with their "permanent blind" effect.. or the Slow (helped very well by the constant and irredeemably hitting "Enervation").... or the "Trap the Soul" for anyone stupid enough to actually touch the gem, which of course you are expected to do....

TPK

other group : lost 5 chars to Mosquito swarms on Bonewrack. TPK

Good thing, we only did this as "random sport" instead of in the campaign.

Savage Tides

Spoiler:

Baboon swarm in first temple on isle, munch, chomp, almost instant death
Demons with "random death drop from the air"... but strangely enough, not for them... different gravity, I assume.


Crimson Throne

Spoiler:

The Carrion Golem in AP#1. Infected three characters with typhoid and much else. Noone much bothered for heal checks - the cleric was very prissy - infected half the town by visiting brothels and the bathhouses in celebration afterwards and actually lost two characters from disease crossover. Leprosy, Cholera and Typhoid, if I recall correctly.

Nasty... but in a way, well deserved. Also pre-ordained part two^^

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