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[Spoilers] End of Feldrau and 3 player deaths


Carrion Crown


This is going to be full of spoilers. Be warned.

So I had mentioned last time that we lost a PC to the encounter with the demon wolf pack lord. Let's move on from there.

My PCs took on Vrood last night. Rather than trying to get through the door they decided to use a rope of climbing and an invisible gnome bard to get in there and see what was going on. Once he landed in the foyer I had Vrood's alarm spell go off. Vrood then walked in and tossed glitterdust in front of himself - sadly, the bard was standing right there and was lit up.

The other PCs, not knowing what was going on, did nothing. Vrood then cast eyebite and the bard panicked, used jester's jaunt to get out of there and then spent the next 4 rounds running at max speed (he had already cast expeditious retreat) - so as you can imagine, he was pretty far away during this combat.

The other PCs heard the spell being cast and teleported in (we have a teleportation specialization psion). Vrood then immediately Circle of Deathed the cleric of Desna and the trip-specialist fighter. Both failed their forts and immediately died. +2 character deaths.

Vrood started taking high damage from the ranger firing xbow bolts into him in rapid succession. He would have easily TPKed the party had the psion not summoned a construct, large, that easily grappled Vrood and then pinned him to the ground. With all the somatic component requirements of necromancy spells, Vrood literally could do nothing - he never could get loose and just sat there taking stabs from the inquisitor/rogue and bolts from the ranger.

While he seemed ineffective at that part, he had already killed 2 PCs so I let it go.

Some thoughts afterwards:
Eyebite is brutal - I only used it once but after it was cast I could have been using it each round as a swift action, even while pinned. I can't imagine the party could have survived if they were all running and sickened.

COD is deadly but that's no surprise. Be careful not to let your PCs get to level 9 before Vrood or this spell is useless. That being said, he can easily take out 2-3 level 8 PCs with this. For a normal party of 4 PCs this is surely a TPK.

He's got cloudkill and confined spaces. I also didn't feel like being a bad guy and using this - but it's at your disposal.

If he wasn't pinned, he would have been using his wand of animate dead on those dead players = awesome. If I'm not mistaken, you cannot resurrect a PC that has been animated? I think that's true.

He has stoneskin = 10 * caster level, so that's, what, 110 hps of stoneskin? Ugh! Unless the PCs are packing adamantine (our ranger had adamantine bolts and the story has provided them if I recall) or bane weapons (our inquisitor has an ability to bane her weapons to whatever she wants) this guy is going to be brutal.

He also has fly. I should have had him try and fly while grappled since it's already cast before combat.

In summary, for my party it was effective - it was scary and killed two people. But all that being said, I could have easily killed more. I also didn't even use the skeletal archers or the "hands" Vrood had summoned. My Vrood also never got to use his lich touch supernatural ability because the construct he was grappled with had his hands pinned (and also is itself immune to necromatic energy).

How did you guys handle Vrood? Was he deadly? Did you scale him back?

Silver Crusade

Ullapool wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, you cannot resurrect a PC that has been animated? I think that's true.

They cannot be resurrected until the undead is destroyed. Interesting side effect, a creature cannot be made undead more than once, so that PC is now immune to being turned into an undead ever again.

I honestly can't remember our Vrood fight. I imagine I paladin smite-charged with fearless aura, the gunslinger shot him full of bullets, and then next round he couldn't withstand the eidolon's full attack. I think we were level 9, however. I can't even remember where he was or what the situation surrounding him was TBH.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We're not there yet, but I don't plan on giving Vrood Circle of Death, which, as I recall from another thread, he couldn't have based on his level -- it was an author's mistake or something. I'm actually pretty happy with that, because I'm not a fan of "instant death" spells.


Vrood's caster level doesn't correctly account for his prestige class (which doesn't provide a caster level jump at level 1). So he should be one level lower for spells, thus no Circle of Death.

Of course, I believe he still has cloudkill, so that's always an option. I'm not sure you can fly while being grappled since it prevents movement and fly is just a form of movement.


I uh... gave him an extra level in his prestige class, a black robe of the archmage, the simple advanced template, double maximum hit points, a constantly refreshing pool of temp HP (1d4 times 5 per round), and a swift action 60 ft cone negative energy blast that dealt 6d6 damage (save for half).

But my PCs are strong, and I'd made it a point to give them advanced warning about the circle of death (in Vesorianna's account, Vrood killed the professor with what she described as a whirlpool of black light) . Which resulted in the PCs manipulating the Demon Wolves into leading the charge against Vrood. The Demon Wolves (who were hasted by the sorceress) tore through the mass grave area, ripped down Vrood's front door, and started beating the crap out of the giant crawling hands before Vrood killed them all.

The sorcerer had a pretty lucky streak of dispels, so she zapped Cloudkill, Eyebite, and Fly all in a row. By that time the alchemist had a bead on Vrood and was always readied to bomb him for 25 or so damage, which meant Vrood never got a spell off after a point. So he engaged in quite a bit of dickery, but most of his dickery was swiftly countered, and he was ultimately stabbed to death.

The party beat him without any deaths, but I made them work and plan for it.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I upped Auren Vrood to be able to cast the spells necessary. My PCs hit rather hard between the smiting paladin and the undead bloodline sorc. I had to give him more HP to make it a good fight. I think we went about 10 rounds or so. The sorc passed his save for eyebite and vampiric touch, and both the paladin and witch passed saves on the Cloudkill, so that was helpful. However, the witch died with the circle of death (which she wasn't an actual PC so other than tramatizing the party, I had no real PC deaths in that fight). The circle of death was Auren Vrood's last hurrah before dieing shortly thereafter. I think he was sitting with 4 hp on that turn.


Must be nice... my players can hit hard and aren't stupid, but they lack group tactics and the capability to plan. So they killed the Promethean in 3 rounds but they did it by rushing into the tower and not stopping, then using a swarm of lantern archons. Conversely, they have run out of restoration potions after the giant spider... and the two melee types still have lingering strength damage, sigh.

And they sold all their silversheen and such. Siiiiiigh. After I warned them... heck, I flat out told them book 2 = werewolves.

So I worry about Vrood; either he'll kill everyone in a round or two, or they'll bulldoze him and I'm not too sure how to ensure that it is an interesting fight and not a TPK.


The Wand of Animate Dead. Obviously using it is an evil act. My PCs are already talking about selling it. Any opinions on whether the SALE of the wand is an evil act? They were saying they might try and sell it to a goodly church saying "We can sell this to you here, or to those guys over in the marketplace" under the assumption that the church would dispose of it.

That seems like extortion to me and, again, bordering or maybe outright evil.

I'd like to think about what I can do for the PCs if they go down this line. Any clever ideas?

Andoran

Ullapool wrote:

The Wand of Animate Dead. Obviously using it is an evil act. My PCs are already talking about selling it. Any opinions on whether the SALE of the wand is an evil act? They were saying they might try and sell it to a goodly church saying "We can sell this to you here, or to those guys over in the marketplace" under the assumption that the church would dispose of it.

That seems like extortion to me and, again, bordering or maybe outright evil.

I'd like to think about what I can do for the PCs if they go down this line. Any clever ideas?

I would say that a lot of good churches and especially the church of Pharasma would be vey interested in disposing of that thing. They wouldn't so much say they were buying it, more like paying a bounty on it. Probably the same result on the wallet, though. And the players wouldn't even have to resort to extortion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
EtsuElfRanger wrote:
I would say that a lot of good churches and especially the church of Pharasma would be vey interested in disposing of that thing. They wouldn't so much say they were buying it, more like paying a bounty on it. Probably the same result on the wallet, though. And the players wouldn't even have to resort to extortion.

I agree, but only so far. If the players try to get the same they would get on the open market (50% of listed value), that looks a lot more like extortion. If they sell it for considerably less, then it seems more like a bounty. Of course, the church of Pharasma should be sympathetic that the PCs are taking on the WW, so I'd probably give them a break in terms of the $$ they get and further consequences as long as they don't come on too strong. They are, after all, serving the goddess's purposes.

Grand Lodge

Perhaps a trade of services for wand?

Gold value of the sale in magical services? Some spells like cure etc cost nothing so the Church may come out ahead or breakeven at worst.


" A fine morning in a marketplace in Ustalav :
PC : "Hello Mr , I have some magic items to sell or exchange "
Merchant : " Welcome and thanks for shopping with us . What have you got ?"
PC: "Some potions , a +& dagger and a wand of animate dead '
Merchant " A wand of what ??? Constable ! Constable '

some time later , after the guard is convinced that the characters are just ignorant foreigners , he will explain that such item are illegal
that the use of this would be a long term in prison if not a death sentence and that the wilfull possession of this would be a severe fine

Since he is convinced that the PCs did not know better, he and his buddies will just escort then to the nearest church of Pharasma for a swift destruction of the wand ... "

Remember that in Ustalav , Pharasma is the official religion. That would mean that the law take this into account and that many necromantic items would be illegal and given the history of Ustalav with undead , the wand would certainly be on the proscribed list .


Robin, I like the way you think. Thanks for the suggestion and inspiration.

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