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Great Wyrm Blue Dragon Encounter


Advice


I wanted to get some feedback for an encounter I'm planning for some PCs (about APL 18). They're going to get bushwacked by a Blue Great Wyrm (BGW) whilst they're searching some desert ruins. My tentative plans are outlined below - can anyone offer some suggestions or point out mistakes I might be making? Party composition is:

*Cleric 18 of Callistria (Trickery/Luck Domains, spellcasting focus)
*Cleric's Cohort, a Drow Fighter 16 (sword and board)
*Cleric 16/Ranger 2 (Travel/Liberation Domains, archery focus)
*Rogue 18 (high acrobatics, dagger-whip wielder; uses offensive defense to pump AC to the low 50s)
*Illusionist 18 (Conjuration/Evocation opposed schools)
*Rogue 2/Bard 16

The Plan:

1) GBW has simulacrum of itself at the site of the ruins; this simulacrum will interact with PCs and occupy their attention.
2) GBW buffs while simulacrum interacts with PCs
3) Simulacrum engages PCs if necessary to keep them in place; GBW uses Sandstorm ability and hits the area
4) GBW and simulacrum use blindsense to isolate and disable major spellcasters (power word stun, suffocate)
5) GBW uses breath weapon as necessary to blast enemies; dismisses sandstorm if necessary to locate them

Thoughts?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Don't forget that Reverse Gravity - which offers no saving throw - is a tremendous way to deal with melee types who don't have flying abilities.

Persistent Image is another way to get the PC's to expend resources and to give the dragon an idea of what their tactics and capabilities might be. Definitely want to maximize the Wyrm's ability with illusions and remember that he's been doing this for hundreds if not thousands of years. Their having an illusionist member of the group should help them tremendously with that, so he might actually be the first member of the party the dragon targets.

Finally, I find that Burrow is an under-used ability - no reason the Dragon couldn't be watching them from beneath the sand like a Crocodile beneath the water...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'd be interested in seeing the build that gets a Rogue's AC in the low 50's... At 18th level the most benefit he'd get from Offensive Defense would be +8, which means he's starting out in the mid 40's, right?

Osirion

Truestike -> flyby -> Grapple.

Go have a private disscussion with the characters one at a time several hundred feet straight up.


Artanthos wrote:

Truestike -> flyby -> Grapple.

Go have a private disscussion with the characters one at a time several hundred feet straight up.

I was unsure if this works in the action economy given the way Grapple seems to be written. Don't you have to spend a standard action to initiate the grapple and THEN win a subsequent check before you can move the target with you?


Wiggz wrote:
I'd be interested in seeing the build that gets a Rogue's AC in the low 50's... At 18th level the most benefit he'd get from Offensive Defense would be +8, which means he's starting out in the mid 40's, right?

If I recall correctly it's something to the tune of:

+5 Mithral Shirt (total +9)
+6 Dex
+1 Dodge
+5 buckler (total +6)
Am Natural AC +5
Ring of Protection +5
Offensive Defense +8

9+6+1+5+5+5+8 = 39

Base 10 + 39 = 49

Sometimes he fights defensively, and sometimes the party has some additional AC buffs up.


Wiggz wrote:

Don't forget that Reverse Gravity - which offers no saving throw - is a tremendous way to deal with melee types who don't have flying abilities.

Persistent Image is another way to get the PC's to expend resources and to give the dragon an idea of what their tactics and capabilities might be. Definitely want to maximize the Wyrm's ability with illusions and remember that he's been doing this for hundreds if not thousands of years. Their having an illusionist member of the group should help them tremendously with that, so he might actually be the first member of the party the dragon targets.

Finally, I find that Burrow is an under-used ability - no reason the Dragon couldn't be watching them from beneath the sand like a Crocodile beneath the water...

Almost everyone in the party has access to flying magic, so I'm a little unsure about how effective Reverse Gravity would be - but I had COMPLETELY forgotten about burrow. That's a great idea.

About persistent image: one or more of the clerics tends to have True Seeing up and running at any given moment - do you think it's still worth throwing up the illusions in that case, or would a different tactic be better?

Osirion

Flyby allows a standard action in the middle of a move.

Flyby wrote:

Benefit: When flying, the creature can take a move action and another standard action at any point during the move. The creature cannot take a second move action during a round when it makes a flyby attack.

Normal: Without this feat, the creature takes a standard action either before or after its move

While the party may be able to fly, they won't have the visibility or the speed to effectively fight a blue dragon inside a sandstorm. They'll have to rely on readied actions to catch him when he returns for a second victim.

Shadow Lodge

princeimrahil wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

Truestike -> flyby -> Grapple.

Go have a private disscussion with the characters one at a time several hundred feet straight up.

I was unsure if this works in the action economy given the way Grapple seems to be written. Don't you have to spend a standard action to initiate the grapple and THEN win a subsequent check before you can move the target with you?

Not if you swap out a feat for Snatch. Gives them a Grab attack. Plus if it Snatches with its mouth, it can use its breath weapon and the victim doesn't get a save. Not bad for grab, blast, and drop.

Osirion

Quote:
Not if you swap out a feat for Snatch. Gives them a Grab attack. Plus if it Snatches with its mouth, it can use its breath weapon and the victim doesn't get a save. Not bad for grab, blast, and drop.

If I was going to swap out feats, I would go for dimensional dervish.

Teleport in, full round attack, teleport out. Sandstorm obscures vision, preventing them from seeing where I teleport from/to.

The important part is action economy. The dragon needs to limit the players advantage in actions my ensuring only a single player can interact with it at any given time.


Okay, I just want to make certain I've got an ironclad rules understanding here. One of the players (the wizard, actually) frequently tries to rules-lawyer his way out of tricky combat situations (he once argued that his barbarian shouldn't have fallen out of rage after being put to sleep by a fey's spell-like ability on the basis that the rage rules says "unconscious" and not "asleep"). Since as the squishy caster, he's likely to get targeted, I don't want the thing to get derailed into a rules argument.

So if I'm reading this right:

1) Flyby Attack gives you a Standard Action in the middle of a move.
2) Snatch lets you make a free action grapple check after a successful hit.

So: move action, standard action to attack, and then a free action grapple... don't I still need an additional standard action to move the target?

I mean, the INTENT of these feats seems pretty clear to me, I'd just like to have incontrovertible rules on my side.


Artanthos wrote:
Quote:
Not if you swap out a feat for Snatch. Gives them a Grab attack. Plus if it Snatches with its mouth, it can use its breath weapon and the victim doesn't get a save. Not bad for grab, blast, and drop.

If I was going to swap out feats, I would go for dimensional dervish.

Teleport in, full round attack, teleport out. Sandstorm obscures vision, preventing them from seeing where I teleport from/to.

The important part is action economy. The dragon needs to limit the players advantage in actions my ensuring only a single player can interact with it at any given time.

Oooo... now THIS I like a lot. I never considered it, but it seems pretty potent.


So what about this tactic - you grab the PC in jaws, and then (at some point), burrow under the sand? Would suffocation rules come into play here?

Also, does anyone know the current status of the casting while grappled rules? I heard there was some errata, so I figure I should consult the all-wise boards.

Osirion

The concentration check to cast is DC(10+CMB+spell level).

With true strike, that is DC(67+spell level), or almost certainly an auto fail.

Shadow Lodge

Artanthos wrote:
Quote:
Not if you swap out a feat for Snatch. Gives them a Grab attack. Plus if it Snatches with its mouth, it can use its breath weapon and the victim doesn't get a save. Not bad for grab, blast, and drop.

If I was going to swap out feats, I would go for dimensional dervish.

Teleport in, full round attack, teleport out. Sandstorm obscures vision, preventing them from seeing where I teleport from/to.

The important part is action economy. The dragon needs to limit the players advantage in actions my ensuring only a single player can interact with it at any given time.

Linkified. Note that it has two prereq feats in addition.

No reason it can't have all four, personally speaking =)

Qadira

Give him leadership, and a rider with snatch arrows, and the feats mounted combat, trick riding, indomitable mount

Rider cancels a couple of arrows with deflect arrows, and a couple of more with trick riding. Uses his ride skill - around +56 for one save a round for his mount. Umd's as necessary.

If they target the rider he drops for cover.
Give him a want of Cure X Wounds.

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