Im looking for possible PC Killer encounters most APs have one or two that are an extreme challenge how they are set up and have a good possibility of a TPK.
I have read the first three books and none jumped out at me but I have missed things before.
So far, none of my PCs have died, so no foes were proven deadly.
Hetuath, the four-armed kasatha juju zombie fighter in Fires of Creation, did leave one unconscious and dying on the floor, but he was healed in time.
Kulgara, the chainsaw-wielding orc barbarian in Lords of Rust satisfyingly sent the overconfident fighter in the party running, after carving away most of his hit points in one round. The gunslinger and bloodrager teamed up in full battlefield control mode to take her down and they finished with just a few hp left themselves.
My party was unprepared for the Cloudkill spells of Furkas Xoud, the human ghost wizard technomancer in The Choking Tower. It would have taken out their NPC hireling except by sheer luck he was a few steps behind the party. The second time, one PC hid underwater in the bathtub in room F24, Ornate Bath Chamber, to avoid it.
The damaged annihilator robot in Valley of the Brain Collectors was a dangerous and memorable challenge, but the party had prepared for it.
My party avoided the worst challenges of the last two modules, until the battle against Unity's Avatar in the Godmind. They had come to the Godmind at 15th level by a non-canon path, and Unity manifested as a non-advanced solar angel augmented by Unity's own spell list. Combat lasted about 25 rounds, with the gunslinger keeping Unity confused via her Targeting deed, endlessly repeatable due to Signature Deed, while the rest of the party took down Unity's minions. They still have not yet faced the Overlord Robot.
The fight with Unity's robot body in the last module killed half the party, and nearly killed three quarters of it. They shut down the other robots in the room, had a good plan to keep control of the battle...and then the Unity got a nat 20 with his vorpal weapon in the first round, and the bloodrager's head was gone.
The party was like "well that's not good, but we can still pull out of this..." and then the vigilante got vorpal-ed two rounds later. With the party down to half their members, they were going to grab the bodies and retreat so they could get their friends resurrected (which I was going to let them do, since Unity seemed like the type to just gloat at them as they fled)...but then they realized that Unity was actually pretty hurt. The psychic told the ranger to leave with the bodies and he'd be right behind him.
He was not.
He was, however, dropping the remainder of their cylex at his own feet, arcing a bit of lightning between himself and Unity, and staring Unity right in the robot eyes as everything blew up. Unity took a ton of damage, and the psychic survived with single-digit hp.
Upon hearing the explosion, the ranger booked it back into the room and managed to help finish Unity off.
And that's the second half of the reason I am no longer allowed to use vorpal weapons while playing Pathfinder. :-)
The Blindheim early in book 1 can be nasty. As written it appears you need to save every round to avoid going blind for an hour. Poorly written monster.
Hethuath can be problematic because the juju zombie template adds so many different defenses. Doable for 2H warriors but horrible for many other builds. And if he respawns when the party is retreating from a hard day of exploring further down in the dungeon, it can be nasty.
Hellion is pretty angry, especially if the party doesn't bring adamantine weapons. I advise not letting his two turns bump into each other. Even if the party does stupid things like delay/ready in such a way that his initiatives end up next to each other. Taking two full turns in a row enables him to run around the party and then full attack squishies before anyone can do anything.
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