Into the Wormcrawl Fissure a Cinch for my players!

Age of Worms Adventure Path

I have four experienced characters and they just made it to the gates of the Tabernacle. They're at 20th level and they've taken very little damage.

They all have death wards cast on them and they've also cast spell resistance. They also have "fortunate fate" cast on them. Wail of the Banshee had no effect and Thessilar couldn't have known this. They took out one of the thesselhydra's with a flesh-to-stone spell. Zyrith knocked one of them out and into the green slime but he was immune to ability damage.

One of the characters, a cleric of Wee Jas, is good at turning and creating undead and has two devourers. One of the devourers "robbed" a thesselhyrda's soul and killed it. Another one did the same to Zyrith. I'm thinking it's just too powerful for him to have creatures with this kind of save or die effects, so that I'll have to lower the die roll. This character heals with negative energy or harm person spells, and will benefit from some of the area effects.

They've found out through Balakarde that the wormdrake has cold breath, so they'll probably be prepared for a number of breath attacks, the frost worms, and Mahuudril's spells.

I want to make them sweat without killing them. One thing to do is to raise the save for the insiders to -3, as the chapter says. I think I'll also add an Overworm to the wormdrake lair, and that I'll have to nerf the soul robbing abilities so that badguys get an easier save.

Also, they dispatched with Thessilar after four rounds with a "dismissal."

"Disjunction" trap just before they have to engage Dragotha or go into some other major fight. Bye, bye buffs; hello pain.

At the battle with Dragotha, the sorcerer's disjunction proved most valuable, allowing the minotaur to hit AC 53 instead of AC 58. Dragotha controlled one of the devourers, so the cleric had to put it down. Not long after, Dragotha slew the other devourer. The overworm - controlled by the cleric of Wee Jas - had a second success in grappling after your disjunction, only to discover Dragotha's freedom of movement unabated. In the final rounds of the battle, the cleric kept the minotaur from being caught in a force cage, the other cleric got the occasional bolt of glory through, and the sorcerer did his part with two disintegrations. Both passed spell resistance and the one time Dragotha failed his save, he took 40d6 damage!

Bolt of Glory is pretty broken, as are all the orb spells and such. I hope Dragotha put in a decent showing though. To have him be a cakewalk would be criminal.

P.H. Dungeon wrote:
Bolt of Glory is pretty broken, as are all the orb spells and such. I hope Dragotha put in a decent showing though. To have him be a cakewalk would be criminal.

Yeah, that battle took an hour and a half and just about every spell they had. No deaths other than the Devourers though.

Well at least it was a tough fight.

Well constructed 20th level characters are a b%$~$ to challenge. We're only 6th level in our Age of Worms campaign, but I remember when I ran Savage Tide that I had to spend a lot of time increasing the power of the enemies to give them a good fight, especially in the higher level adventures.

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Into the Wormcrawl fissure is a great adventure but it has two problems.

- Some of the monsters are either too low level or simply not challenging enough for a 19-20th level module. Thessalhydras and earthcancer centipedes are very cool but not up to the challenge. In my game I updated their stats to Pathfinder and added some additional abilities here and there to enhance them.

I changed the Kyuss chimeras so they had the abilities of legendary chimeras (I think it is appropriate, given how old they are). Also changed the favored spawn of Kyuss template a bit.

The avolakia clerics are CR 15 but only have a caster level of 10, wich is troublesome even to dispel basic buffs like death ward. I beefed up the base avolakia a bit by adding some hit dice and natural armor, so the CR matches the monster creation tables at the end of the Bestiary.

- The save DCs through the adventure are too low. A DC 20 at level 20? are you kidding? So even a low-level fighter can open a wormdoor inside Kyuss' home...? Not cool.
My advice would be to update al DCs by 5 so they all fall between 25-35 (25 is the standard at this level)

The wormdrake, on the other hand, is awesome. I made it gate two balors and later two frost worms. In that fight, every character died at some point (and was later revived in some way), even the druid's animal companion was turned into a favored spawn of kyuss courtesy of the wormdrake's breath weapon. The sorcerer died twice, once from a balor implosion and later from a failed reflex save when the same balor died and exploded. Of the five characters, two lost their heads to the vorpal swords (one of them was on the first attack roll in the combat).

We are just before the Dragotha battle. I have 5 players (monk, druid, sorcerer, barbarian, cleric) and one NPC (syranus, solar ranger 5 from the "gating the heavy hitters article"). I made two Dragotha statblocks, one using the 3.5 dracolich template and another with the ravener template (using the thassilonian magic variant). The base red dragon is a Great Red Wyrm so you can reach a CR 27 in Pathfinder. I will use the first one, as it is easier (the ravener is better for a group of powergamers and min-maxers as balakarde's buffs are less useful). It looks great and I think will be a challenge to the PCs, as he can cast wish 4 times to heal back to full or time stop to buff himself. They are a little bit scared so they gated an advanced marut inevitable called gantrenacht and the elysian titan barbarian called Barabog (another one pulled from the article in Dragon Magazine). They also recruited Zulshyn to help them. Dragotha will be accompanied by Venk a Zyrith.

Next Saturday we will play the combat. Finally, I can use my Colossal red dragon...

Man, the Dragotha fight is what gaming's all about. My group took well over 30 rounds and about 5 hours to get through him and his allies.

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