Sound of a Thousand Screams (GM Reference)


Kingmaker

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Grand Lodge

FoxAdriftAtSea wrote:

Looking over module 6 I see Nyrissa is missing something

** spoiler omitted **

So with that in mind I was thinking of this
** spoiler omitted **

Wow! I didn't catch that. Nah I don't think so, she is the BBBG at the end of the whole Adventure Path.


My group encountered Nyrissa today, they were lvl 15. (They defeated one bloom, and one glade before they entered Nyrissa's house...so a bit behind on xp.) Ended in a draw.

Spoiler:

After 20+ rounds of combat (mazes on both sides and a flesh to stone from prismatic spray delayed it a bit), one dead Drelev who'd been the victim of magic jar for weeks, and lots of damage all around it ended up with everyone in the party permanently blinded, and Nyrissa temporary blinded by a powerword while they fled.

It was a fun and hard battle, but eventually they had to back out of the room and teleported to the gate before Nyrissa got her vision back.

I'm curious if and when they want to return as we're about to start Carrion Crown next, but if they do it'll definitely be different, and not inside a 20x20 circular room with two squeezed characters and no space to move with everyone present.

Good job on the adventure! Maybe my other group won't evade 90% of the encounters. ;)


Question: How did your parties deal with Nyrissa's blinding beauty?
The DC is rather high, the effect is permanent once failed, and if you save you still have to save again every round.

My group which ended in a draw (see post above) are planning a return to fight her, but that particular ability is making their efforts feel rather effortless. Drinking remove blindness/deafness potions every round isn't the most exciting tactic.

Are there any hidden methods in the adventure I haven't discovered?

Grand Lodge

Leonal wrote:

Question: How did your parties deal with Nyrissa's blinding beauty?

The DC is rather high, the effect is permanent once failed, and if you save you still have to save again every round.

My group which ended in a draw (see post above) are planning a return to fight her, but that particular ability is making their efforts feel rather effortless. Drinking remove blindness/deafness potions every round isn't the most exciting tactic.

Are there any hidden methods in the adventure I haven't discovered?

I missed that part that they have to save every round. That sounds kinda heavy handed. How has everyone else handled this?


PJ wrote:
Leonal wrote:

Question: How did your parties deal with Nyrissa's blinding beauty?

The DC is rather high, the effect is permanent once failed, and if you save you still have to save again every round.

My group which ended in a draw (see post above) are planning a return to fight her, but that particular ability is making their efforts feel rather effortless. Drinking remove blindness/deafness potions every round isn't the most exciting tactic.

Are there any hidden methods in the adventure I haven't discovered?

I missed that part that they have to save every round. That sounds kinda heavy handed. How has everyone else handled this?

Since the ability doesn't have any "immune for 24 hours" I assumed they'd have to save every round.


Nyrissa's blindness is rough. Luckily for our party our party healer is an aasimar,so she doesn't have to save. Our party bard is also aasimar, so that helps some. But overall I think this will be a very tough fight especially considering I put Phomandala with Nyrissa.

I wonder how some groups deal easily with the blindness.

Silver Crusade

Maddigan wrote:

Nyrissa's blindness is rough. Luckily for our party our party healer is an aasimar,so she doesn't have to save. Our party bard is also aasimar, so that helps some. But overall I think this will be a very tough fight especially considering I put Phomandala with Nyrissa.

I wonder how some groups deal easily with the blindness.

I forgot about it. :)


That aura is the only possibility she has to not become a smear on the ground in round 1 as I read it. I like teaming her up with "P". *yoinked!*

Makes a mental note to find a way to add something nasty to the ladies...

Grand Lodge

I'm gearing up to run Kingmaker for some friends. Here's my take on healing Nyrissa's madness: Briar is composed of her positive emotions, which has caused her madness and lack of empathy. If the wielder of Briar ignores the obvious vorpal clue to behead her and instead plunges Briar into her heart, she falls to her knees, looking up at her killer with confused and pained eyes. Her distorted form starts reverting to its original state, and her body and Briar merge in a consuming flame. She burns completely in a beautiful blaze that automatically blinds the party for a few rounds, and left behind after the fire is a token of her esteem for the wielder of Briar. She dies, but as per the campaign suggestions about fey having many lives and destinies she is reborn and troubles the material plane no more.

Still have to hammer out the details of this, and since we haven't started the AP at all I have awhile. Does this sound good? I'm new to DMing and suggestions would be appreciated.


Red Ramage wrote:


Still have to hammer out the details of this, and since we haven't started the AP at all I have awhile. Does this sound good? I'm new to DMing and suggestions would be appreciated.

I kinda like it, actually. Maybe, if they get the beheading roll, you can ask if they'd like to behead or plunge into the heart. If you drop hints as to the nature of Briar, you can have it be their decision. By this time, she's ticked 'em off enough that they may decide she's gotta go the old fashioned way, but the chance for a different resolution is always nice.

May have to lift this idea. Knowing my players, if they knew about the history of Briar they'd *want* to "give it back" to her. :)


In area L1 of the House at the Edge of Time, the Barbtongued Wyverns' stat block contains no information about the strength of their poison. Didn't see it in this thread either. Any ideas?


Krathanos wrote:
In area L1 of the House at the Edge of Time, the Barbtongued Wyverns' stat block contains no information about the strength of their poison. Didn't see it in this thread either. Any ideas?

Monster ability save DCs are 10 + 1/2 HD + ability modifier. Poisons normally use the CON-modifier (as is the case for the Wyvern, which the Barbtongued Wyvern is based on).

So, the Barbtongued Wyvern's poison save DC would be 26.


Maddigan wrote:

Nyrissa's blindness is rough. Luckily for our party our party healer is an aasimar,so she doesn't have to save. Our party bard is also aasimar, so that helps some. But overall I think this will be a very tough fight especially considering I put Phomandala with Nyrissa.

I wonder how some groups deal easily with the blindness.

Our party was level 16 and consists of: Summoner, Ranger, Fighter, Witch, Inquisitor, Bard (cohort), Life oracle (cohort)

We dealt with the the blindness with lots of heals. Our fight went: Ranger blinded, Neyrissa puts fighter into a maze, summoner blinded, oracle blinded, witch puts Neyrissa into a maze. Heals are handed out like candy by the oracle. Three rounds later, Neyrissa pops back in. Everyone has averted gaze by this time (it's not a gaze attack, and you have to look directly at her by the text, so our DM ruled that averted gaze was enough to completely avoid the blindness attack).

Witch drops an irresistible dance, ranger dumps 300+ damage into her, then inquisitor finishes her off with about 150 more. Fighter with Briar pops back 10 minutes later and goes "wait, I missed all the fun?", then beheads her corpse.

Oh, I forgot. The summoner got two greater dispel magics off, one before he went blind and one after she came back from the maze, which dropped Neyrissa's AC by quite a lot.


I just wanted to throw out to people that although I like the fact that Nyrissa is as tough as nails, I think it is unfair for a GM to gift characters with only the XP of a CR 20 monster for defeating her. I don't know WHAT the mentality of the DEVs were on calling her a CR 20 opponent... perhaps clinging to the idea that an epic enemy should not be more than 4 CR higher than the party level... but my math says otherwise:

Base CR for Nymph -- 7
Additional complimentary character levels -- 16
Advanced (Don't tell me that her stats don't qualify her as advanced!) -- 1
PC equipment (Refer to Hannis Drelev and Irrovetti for this) -- 1
Setting (only if the Thousand Voices hasn't merged with Material Plane) -- 1

So by my reckoning, she should be a CR 26 Encounter! That makes her worth about 2.5 million XP! I can't see ANYTHING in her make up that would qualify her for less... it's not like she has any real weaknesses! The only weakness she would have is if the GM played her like a tool.

The way I see it, it would be a matter of her saying, "Hi! You're dead, now you're dead, now you're dead! Buh-bye!"

One might argue that her character levels are NOT complimentary... which is of course a crock. If she had 6 levels of Barbarian or 6 levels of Monk... yeah, that would not be complimentary. But she is a caster, and her Charisma is crazy high. Looks complimentary to me.


The sorcerer-levels are non-associated, since Nymphs don't have innate sorcerer spellcasting. The mystic theurge levels would be associated, since they directly enhance her druid spellcasting.

So: Base 7 + 3 (6 sorcerer levels) + 10 (10 mystic theurge levels) = 20. I doubt the three additional features you mention would add up to +3 CR. She's certainly not anywhere near CR 26.


RAW, the Sor levels are NOT complimentary since they don't advance her casting, (the MT levels are).

Base CR for Nymph -- 7
Additional non-complimentary character levels -- 6
Additional complimentary character levels -- 10
PC equipment -- 1

Monsters with PC levels get +4 +4 +2 +2 +0 -2 to their stats. Plus an additional 4 for extra HD, +6 to every stat from items, and two tomes put her stats exactly right.

Not uprooting Thousand Breaths gives Nyrissa no significant boost in abilities. All it does is give everyone more room to maneuver in the final battle.

So, by my reckoning this is a CR 21, unless the PCs have the Briar or uprooted Thousand Breaths, then it's a CR 20. CR 19 if they did both.

Actually, by uprooting Thousand Breaths, Nyrissa will be stuck in a 20-ft room, filled with PCs, Animal Companions, and Eidolons. Without enough room to 5-ft to avoid AoOs while casting, this encounter is probably 2-3 CRs lower still, making the final CR about a 16.

Giving the PCs experience for a CR 20 encounter is truly a generous gift.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

She's the last encounter of the campaign. Does the XP value matter all that much?


Are wrote:

The sorcerer-levels are non-associated, since Nymphs don't have innate sorcerer spellcasting. The mystic theurge levels would be associated, since they directly enhance her druid spellcasting.

So: Base 7 + 3 (6 sorcerer levels) + 10 (10 mystic theurge levels) = 20. I doubt the three additional features you mention would add up to +3 CR. She's certainly not anywhere near CR 26.

This is for Quantum Steve as well:

You MUST be Joking... she's what you would call a CR 20 monster?

Let's compare her to my FAVORITE CR 20 monster, a Pit Fiend

AC: Nyrissa 51; Pit Fiend 38
Saves: Nyrissa F32, R35, W41; Pit Fiend F24, R21, W18
HP: Nyrissa 378 (but she can cast Heal for 170 twice and cure critical up to 13 times using Combined Spells); Pit Fiend 350 (and he regenerates 5)

Attacks: Nyrissa -- the combined spell power of a level 18 Druid and a level 17 (which you say only entitles her to +3 CR) Sorcerer which she can cast simultaneously once a day... not to mention the fact that if you even look at her you go BLIND
Pit Fiend -- Spell like abilities, good HTH, Poison and Disease.

Magic Items: Nyrissa -- a boat load of high end Magic Items that complement her every move as well as precast spells -- Contingency heal if brought below 0... Protection from Decapitation? What the Heck?; Pit Fiend -- spells and magic items are for pussies!

I think you must be of a mind that it is your duty to skimp for every XP you give your characters if you think these two creatures are the same. If they survive Nyrissa WITHOUT GM intervention they ought to get "PAID" for it!

She's AC 51 so she can only be hit MAYBE once a round by fighters, and she's almost a shoe-in to make every save rendering spells only significant if they have a decent effect against those who make their saves... exactly how BADLY do you have to play Nyrissa to make her the equivalent of a CR 20 monster?


Space Titanium wrote:


fighter BAB=16, strength mod=7(minimum), weapon(+3), weapon focus 1, greater weapon focus 1, weapon training 3. This is before buffs or debuffs and just off the top of my head. If I knew your party's composition I could be more specific.
Quote:


Currently we're not playing Kingmaker, but I've been hoping to run it at some point. I was just looking at the level 15 iconics and realized that as they are written down they cannot hit Nyrissa (AC 51). The fighter build you've put down gives an attack of roughly +31, which still isn't enough to actually hit her without a natural 20.

Coming late to this, but:

Charging +2
Flanking +2
Haste +1
Mass Bull's Strength +2
Bard instilling courage +3 or +4

A fighter would probably have a lot more buffs up than this, but let's be conservative. That's +10 or +11, so he now has a better than even chance to hit on his first attack. Next round he's no longer charging but he gets a FRA -- that's five chances to hit. Even if the last three rolls need 20s, it's still pretty respectable... and note that any hit with Briar will immediately peel -2 from Nyrissa's AC.

Doug M.


Enthallo wrote:
Are wrote:

The sorcerer-levels are non-associated, since Nymphs don't have innate sorcerer spellcasting. The mystic theurge levels would be associated, since they directly enhance her druid spellcasting.

So: Base 7 + 3 (6 sorcerer levels) + 10 (10 mystic theurge levels) = 20. I doubt the three additional features you mention would add up to +3 CR. She's certainly not anywhere near CR 26.

This is for Quantum Steve as well:

You MUST be Joking... she's what you would call a CR 20 monster?

No, she's what I call a CR 21 monster.

First, your favorite CR 20 has no equipment, Nyrissa has PC equipment (hence the CR boost.)
You say equipment is for pussies? I say that makes your Pit Fiend a CR 19 (now two whole CRs behind Nyrissa.)

If you equipped a Pit Fiend with PC equipment, he would have stats comparable to Nyrissa's (and be a CR 21.)

On a side note, Nyrissa does NOT have the combined power of a 18th level Druid and a 17th level Sorcerer. A Druid and Sorcerer would have twice the actions as Nyrissa. (That's 4 spells per round with Quicken). They also have twice the HP and all the class abilities of both, not just casting. And a +3 to CR is a LOT.

Also, keep in mind that if the PCs complete the adventure as planned, Nyrissa will be: Shaken, Fatigued, Confused, and Staggered for most of the combat.

Instead, compare Nyrissa to a CR 21 monster, who actually has and uses its equipment.


Quantum Steve wrote:

No, she's what I call a CR 21 monster.

First, your favorite CR 20 has no equipment, Nyrissa has PC equipment (hence the CR boost.)
You say equipment is for pussies? I say that makes your Pit Fiend a CR 19 (now two whole CRs behind Nyrissa.)

If you equipped a Pit Fiend with PC equipment, he would have stats comparable to Nyrissa's (and be a CR 21.)

On a side note, Nyrissa does NOT have the combined power of a 18th level Druid and a 17th level Sorcerer. A Druid and Sorcerer would have twice the actions as Nyrissa. (That's 4 spells per round with Quicken). They also have twice the HP and all the class abilities of both, not just casting. And a +3 to CR is a LOT.

Also, keep in mind that if the PCs complete the adventure as planned, Nyrissa will be: Shaken, Fatigued, Confused, and Staggered for most of the combat.

Instead, compare Nyrissa to a CR 21 monster, who actually has and uses its equipment.

One facet at a time:

First -- A pit fiend with no equipment is CR 20 -- they've been that way since the game has come out. If you "feel" that they should be CR 19, that's your call but it's not the standard by which CR 20 is judged.

Second -- A 18th level Druid and a 17th level Sorcerer would have their butts handed to them on the first round against Nyrissa (under normal conditions). Her saves would be almost automatic, whilst they would be facing saves of 26 to 30. Most 17th level sorcerers could handle Will saves like this, but not Fort or Reflex. Druids Will and Fort -- but she can chain lightning til her face turns blue. And you're dreaming if they have twice the HP -- Druid with a high Con, maybe... but What 17th level sorcerer has 378 HP?

Third -- You have a point about the tweaks she gets for Uprooting the house. But they are not as substantial as you might say. Shaken will give her a -2 to her saves... and that's about it. Fatigued gives her -2 to Strength and Dex -- lowering her Reflex save and her AC both by a meager one point... NO BIG DEAL!
Confusion every 1d4 rds is the real kicker, but if you consider launching a spell as an ATTACK (as it is described in the invisibility spell -- but this is subjective to the GM)then she pretty much acts normally 50% even when she IS confused.

As far as Staggered goes -- first you have to actually HIT her, and then she gets a Fort Save of 40, but even if her House is uprooted her Fort is +30 -- that's a 55% chance of save. And all staggered means is that she can't run AND cast spells... Ah! but let's not forget her Quickened Spells! I guess the real penalty is that she can't run and cast TWO spells in a round.

The real way to kill her is simply by having her stand still in Melee with the fighter wielding Briar while he keeps swinging until he rolls a natural 20... twice.


Enthallo wrote:
The real way to kill her is simply by having her stand still in Melee with the fighter wielding Briar while he keeps swinging until he rolls a natural 20... twice.

Greater Dispel Magic. It is your friend in high level combats. The PCs know going in that she's a spellcaster and that she knows they're coming. Any party who knows those two things is going to know that the way you deal with buffed spellcasters is take away their buffs. She's only caster level 18 or 17, and the PCs should be at least 15, which gives them a really good shot at getting a bunch of buffs right away.

Her ridiculous AC goes down to merely high. She loses her contingency heal. She loses fickle winds. She loses flame blade. I'm sure she has other buffs going (I played, didn't run, so I don't know what is 'canon' and what was our DM throwing in new spells), but the point is you can debuff her down a lot.


Melissa Litwin wrote:
Greater Dispel Magic.

I concede to this. You have a good shot of doing some significant trouble with Greater Dispel Magic.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

The AC in Nyrissa's stat block has +13 Deflection. A nymph is +7, where does the other +6 come from?

-- david
Papa.DRB


Papa-DRB wrote:
The AC in Nyrissa's stat block has +13 Deflection. A nymph is +7, where does the other +6 come from?

Unearthly Grace, like any nymph. She just has a high charisma.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Ah, missed that in the nymph description, thanks you!

-- david
Papa.DRB

Starfury wrote:
Papa-DRB wrote:
The AC in Nyrissa's stat block has +13 Deflection. A nymph is +7, where does the other +6 come from?
Unearthly Grace, like any nymph. She just has a high charisma.


Enthallo wrote:
First -- A pit fiend with no equipment is CR 20 -- they've been that way since the game has come out. If you "feel" that they should be CR 19, that's your call but it's not the standard by which CR 20 is judged.

So, are you saying that a Pit Fiend has no treasure, and that players should not receive any for defeating him? Or perhaps he just chooses not to use his equipment. In any case, if not having any gear doesn't lower CR, then having extra gear shouldn't raise it. So a Pit Fiend with PC gear is only a CR 20. Weird.

Anyway, gearless Nyrissa;
AC: Nyrissa 33; Pit Fiend 38
Saves: Nyrissa F23, R28, W32; Pit Fiend F24, R21, W18
HP: Nyrissa 258 (but she can cast Heal for 150 maybe once and cure critical up to 10 times using Combined Spells); Pit Fiend 350 (and he regenerates 5)

Attacks: Nyrissa -- the combined spell power of a level 17 Druid and a level 16 Sorcerer which she can cast simultaneously once a day... not to mention the fact that if you even look at her you go BLIND (save DC 24), melee +19/+14/+9 1d8+8
Pit Fiend -- Spell like abilities, 6 att @ +30 or better for 115 avg dam, Poison and Disease, at will save or die DC 26, at will no save just lose (if 150hp or less), at will multi-target save or lose DC 27.

Defenses: Nyrissa -- good saves, DR 10
Pit Fiend -- DR 15, SR 31, Immuntities and Resists, also flight.

Nyrissa - crappy damage, great spells. Pit Fiend - Awesome Damage, who needs spells when I have all the at will spell-likes I could want in combat?

Pit Fiend CR - 20 Nyrissa CR - 26+, you say? Wait, no PC gear, so CR 25.


Quantum Steve wrote:


Pit Fiend CR - 20 Nyrissa CR - 26+, you say? Wait, no PC gear, so CR 25.

If your point is to say that I am undervaluing the gear and spells that Nyrissa has by allocating it ONLY a +1 to her CR, then OK, I concede your point. It's worth FAR more than that!

But if you are saying that the CR 20 for Pit Fiends includes a ton of valuable magic items that make it invicible but are not included in the stats, then I would encourage your players to rise up in revolt against you, because that's not the way it is supposed to be. In fact, I've read the Pit Fiend description at least a half dozen times, and all I can find in the description about magical equipment is that for treasure it says DOUBLE.

Well, double means double the standard encounter amount for the characters who face him. If the characters are level 17, then that translates into 64,000 gp worth of gear -- which would be 1 random major, 2 random medium, and 4 random minor gear. And that's RANDOM. If you wanted something specific, that would probably be just one item as most Major Items are over 64k in value.

But lets take a look at a combat between Mr. Pit Fiend and Nyrissa:
The ATT for his AWESOME Melee abilities is either +30 or +32, which means that he needs either a natural 20 or a 19 & 20 to even hit her. Her Fort save is +32, so even if he did her odds are that she wouldn't be poisoned or diseased or otherwise.

What Mr. Pit fiend has going for him is his constrict, his greater dispel, and his crazy high SR... He's no slouch, but unless he went into battle with the "How to Defeat Nyrissa Playbook" in hand, he's not going to have much of a chance of stopping her. But that doesn't mean that all of a sudden he has ceased to be a CR 20 creature, which is what this whole discussion is about!

If you really wanted a good pairing though, flip the pages of Kingmaker 6 of 6 to page 59, and put her up against Choral the Conqueror. THAT would be a good fight, but he's CR 25 (NO MAGIC ITEMS EITHER). If she got a Quickened Resist Fire (30 pts) up she might durn well put a hurtin on him (she would take an average of 33 pts of damage for every breath weapon). His High SR would give the edge to the Dragon -- even with her heal spells to help her out... but it would be a closer fight than against the Pit Fiend.

So I will concede that she would PROBABLY be somewhere IN BETWEEN Choral the Conqueror and a Pitfiend. Maybe CR 23 or 24.


We found the Black Dragon (Ilthuliak) and The Wriggling Man to be more of a challenge than Nyrissa, and for the same reason - Antimagic Field. In an AMF the dragon is still a dragon and TWM is surprisingly annoying while Nyrissa is just a nymph. Ok, not JUST a nymph, she was surprisingly tough and capable But still, she was no real match for fighter types with Stand Still and Step-up feat chains. We are going to be fighting, Choral the Conquerer next and he is probably going to give us fits. Dragons+AMF=BAD NEWS!!


Yeah... AMF would probably poke a big ol fat hole in Nyrissa's game. Especially if she is getting pimped by the house being dropped into the Material Plane.

AMF would probably come straight from the "How to defeat Nyrissa Playbook"


Valandil Ancalime wrote:
We found the Black Dragon (Ilthuliak) and The Wriggling Man to be more of a challenge than Nyrissa, and for the same reason - Antimagic Field. In an AMF the dragon is still a dragon and TWM is surprisingly annoying while Nyrissa is just a nymph. Ok, not JUST a nymph, she was surprisingly tough and capable But still, she was no real match for fighter types with Stand Still and Step-up feat chains. We are going to be fighting, Choral the Conquerer next and he is probably going to give us fits. Dragons+AMF=BAD NEWS!!

Arrows, swords, meet AMF. AMF, meet arrows and swords.

Our Ickelthack wasn't actually in an AMF. He was just buffed up like crazy instead. We couldn't really hit him, so our witch wound up blasting the crap out of him (yay for lucky SR rolls!). He lasted waaaay longer that way than just being in an AMF would have allowed. We're actually "physical damage" heavy and "magic damage" light, so our GM made the right call on tactics for that fight.

TWM also didn't go that route for us. He was g-invis casting spells, but again the witch saved the day. See invisibility + glitterdust. AMF wouldn't have helped him though- he becomes a non-spellcaster with caster armor and HP against a very capable melee line (fighter, inquisitor, eidolon, battle herald) + archer.


My group is about to start Sound of a Thousand Screams.

Any advice? They've generally had life pretty easy so far, with a few exceptions (notably Vordaki and Irovetti's throne room, both of which I adjusted up a bit.)

All level 14 (they'll be 15 after they finish tying up a few threads), most with Leadership (though I only allow six characters on the map at once as otherwise my brain explodes)

King Pavo, sorceror/malconvoker (lotsa summons)
Periklu, Taldan cavalier/bard/battle herald
Calidrel, elven fighter/wizard/arcane archer
Merlo, kobold rogue (who has Briar) (and unknown to him is a wererat after eating Gaetan's heart back at Whiterose Abbey)
Irelia, hellknight (and the Knurly Witch's daughter)

They tend to be direct rather than subtle players. Rush-right-in types. There are occasional exceptions, and some of them are very good at building characters. The two melee types are fairly new to this and not as experienced as the malconvoker.

I would like to make this a rousing climax to the campaign, and I was wondering if anyone had anything to suggest, particularly people who've played through the higher stuff.


Pacing :)

They're inclined to blitzkrieg - I recommend taking advantage of that tendency. Make them "stretch" until they're sore, bleeding and grasping at straws. *Then* give them a reprieve.

The Stolen Lands are not going to be large enough to slow them down during the opening events - and they're very likely to be able to teleport all over several times. Make them use that capacity to the nth degree. I suggest that the opening Act strikes simultaneously after they receive portents of a great [something] attempting to devour their kingdom alive. Have this take place over the course of hours instead of days with the "big J" cropping up at the end as the logical conclusion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What Turin said.
And waves. Make them come in waves. Nothing warms my heart more than PCs blasting away like there's no tomorrow and next thing I'm describing how 3 more [MONSTAAARS] approach.

I'm not in book 6 yet, but a lot of people describe it as the moment, where the gloves come off. This is the all-out-attempt to get at their kingdom - their baby! They should feel the ferocity and desperation of N, make them cry.

Ruyan.

Grand Lodge

RuyanVe wrote:

What Turin said.

And waves. Make them come in waves. Nothing warms my heart more than PCs blasting away like there's no tomorrow and next thing I'm describing how 3 more [MONSTAAARS] approach.

I'm not in book 6 yet, but a lot of people describe it as the moment, where the gloves come off. This is the all-out-attempt to get at their kingdom - their baby! They should feel the ferocity and desperation of N, make them cry.

Ruyan.

Make them cry!! I can't wait to to see what my pcs do.


Thanks, all!

Any advice for specific encounters that might be too nasty or too overpowered? Things you weren't expecting? I'd like to avoid TPKs (or at least only have them happen if the players deserve it.)


tonyz wrote:

Thanks, all!

Any advice for specific encounters that might be too nasty or too overpowered? Things you weren't expecting? I'd like to avoid TPKs (or at least only have them happen if the players deserve it.)

They're 15th level PCs - they can take a LOT of punishment if they're working half-way decently with each other.

Just pay attention to what they're saying about their condition after each fight and adjust accordingly. Eyeball their damage totals if you must [get fresh hp at the start, track what you do to them as you go and what healing up they do]. Only if absolutely necessary give them the minimum break time that they need to rest and recharge. If they wade through the entire first part easily, spring the Big J on them without any break.

If they're getting their lunch handed to them, wait. Pacing includes cutting them a bit of slack.

After all, you want this to stand out as something that is remembered and talked about years later. Strive to attain that result and I bet you hit a home run. Maybe bag a few bodies too.

In KM, unless they have utterly failed to invest in item creation feats, they should be WELL prepared with clones and a decent set of back up gear in case of a total party wipe. Stashed somewhere safe where they can rest a couple of days.


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I'm not terribly experienced with running multiple encounter crawls, especially not high level.. Are players expected to be able to handle her entire realm in one go? From the start, all the way up to Nyrissa? How to handle resting, should they teleport out and try again?

also, some changes I made to Nyrissa's backstory:
I'm thinking to change Nyrissa's background a little, to make her appear more Fey. I thought her motives for stealing the Stolen Lands was far too mortal, for a powerful Fey being should be anything but mortal in their desires and plots. The Eldest took away her capacity to Love and made it into a sword, but they also took away her Ambition, and scattered it into the land that would became The Stolen Lands, binding it to the rocks, the rivers and the trees. So powerful was her ambition that the region would forever be a highly sought price, but so wild and difficult to master. So many have tried before and failed, but now someone has finally succeeded - and see how powerful they have become in such a short time, in the land strengthened by Ambition.

And Nyrissa has finally managed to gather enough allies and power to perform the ritual required to steal the Stolen Lands, and reclaim her Ambition. She has tried again and again to return Love to her, but has ultimately abandoned it. And when the sword Briar realises that, it will gradually try to help the players stop her, and ultimately out of its love of what Nyrissa once was, it will help them slay her. Should she succeed to recover her Ambition, she will become much more powerful, and the Stolen Lands will be no more.

I've also diminished the Neriad's role in all this, I want the players to find out more about Nyrissa through other sources as they try to figure out how to stop the Blooming, with a sense of urgency on them. Old songs that sings of her sad tale, so strong was the effect of her love and its separation, that musicians all over the world has unwittingly created songs inspired by that tale. Dusty tomes in libraries across the world, of various research on the First World and its mysterious inhabitants. Or if all else fail, Briar finally revealing some to them, as it grows steadily in conciousness.

Shadow Lodge

Oh, I like that. I may borrow that.


well after 54 sessions, incl tonights, we start this mod next week
kinda sad but getting to the point where uber levels is getting hard work and unfun


done the first bloom

ok, starting to read the later parts

it does seem by using a lot of quickens she is giving up 8th and 9th level spells

wouldnt she be better with some repel wood/metal and a storm giant chum?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm. I guess the idea was to help her with the action economy. Then again, the storm giant can fill that role as well. Kinda. I don't know how long it will last against an APL of 15+, though. Personally, I'd go for an elder air elemental, dr10/- and the whirlwind should be quite nice. How big was the Fable again?
Repel wood/metal or stone is certainly a good idea, but it's only a 60-ft-line so the effect will be quite low in a circular room.

Ruyan.


Stage "N" elsewhere in the House, somwherw that her defenses can be wholly brought to bear for good effect. The scripted chamber is a 1-round wonder (for her).

Shadow Lodge

So I was reading through So1kS the other day, and honestly I find myself heavily underwhelmed by the Ghostly Guards. Everything else has this amazing fey flavor once you get into Thousandbreaths, but these guys really just don't jive with the rest of it to me.

Since I'm only just now nearing the Stag Lord encounter in my game, it wasn't a pressing issue to tackle how to reflavor or replace them... except I saw Snow White and the Huntsman today, and was extremely pleased by the existence of the Glass Soldiers. Their flavor, IMO, is far more fitting to Thousandbreaths, and I can always have them hidden as the windows in a room only to have them shatter, reform, and attack when the PCs enter.

I'll be back with specific stats later, but here are my ideas as of now:

> DR/Adamantine, but Fey-crafted so you can get through half their DR with Cold Iron (and possibly have another effect to make it worthwhile?)
> Reflective nature: touch spells have a % chance (50?) to reflect back at the caster; ditto or possibly higher % on [Light] spells
> Vulnerability to Sonic (they're glass!)
> Reform if destroyed (needs limitations of some sort)

Open to suggestions. >=)

Liberty's Edge

Orthos wrote:

So I was reading through So1kS the other day, and honestly I find myself heavily underwhelmed by the Ghostly Guards. Everything else has this amazing fey flavor once you get into Thousandbreaths, but these guys really just don't jive with the rest of it to me.

Since I'm only just now nearing the Stag Lord encounter in my game, it wasn't a pressing issue to tackle how to reflavor or replace them... except I saw Snow White and the Huntsman today, and was extremely pleased by the existence of the Glass Soldiers. Their flavor, IMO, is far more fitting to Thousandbreaths, and I can always have them hidden as the windows in a room only to have them shatter, reform, and attack when the PCs enter.

I'll be back with specific stats later, but here are my ideas as of now:

> DR/Adamantine, but Fey-crafted so you can get through half their DR with Cold Iron (and possibly have another effect to make it worthwhile?)
> Reflective nature: touch spells have a % chance (50?) to reflect back at the caster; ditto or possibly higher % on [Light] spells
> Vulnerability to Sonic (they're glass!)
> Reform if destroyed (needs limitations of some sort)

Open to suggestions. >=)

Oh man, I like that! I thought the art for the ghostly guards was cool, but didn't think it was an exact fit either. Was probably going to make them more clearly echoes of a bygone time than true ghosts. But I like your idea better. :3 That movie wasn't like genre-redefining or anything magnificent, but it did have some stunning visuals (Chris Hemsworth most definitely included. ;) ) that would be at home in this AP.

Questions about these glass guys:

- How does their reflective nature interact with a touch attack like an alchemist's bomb?

- How do force effects, uh, affect them?

I'm already imagining my party facing off against these dudes, Sound Bursting left and right, blasting chunks off the architecture to drop on them, maybe even using Dirty Trick to blind them with their own reflective surfaces... I'm still in the third module with my group, but I want to do First World stuff sooo baaaad...

Shadow Lodge

Hence why I specified touch spells, alchemy and splash weapons would act normally. While I can see them bouncing magic back due to their nature, thrown bottles of liquid not so much. (Though, giving them a liquid-resistant sheen might be interesting.... Maybe an option for +1 CR there? Though I'm not 100% sure at this level that's worth the difference: non-alchemist characters likely aren't going to be lobbing too much alchemist's fire and acid flasks at these guys and they have swords so they can just hack away at the tanglefoot bags players like to use at all levels. That seems to me like it'd be either useless to parties without an Alchemist or a big Screw You to those that do. Thoughts?)

I'd say that they've got just as much reason to have Force vulnerability as Sonic. Besides you NEVER see Force vulnerability. I like the idea of it being there.

Shadow Lodge

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Alpha test version is go. It's late so I'm pretty sure I've forgotten something, other than the obvious stuff where there's still question marks.

GLASS KNIGHT
CR ??: XP ???? each

N Medium Construct
Init +4 Senses Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft., Low-Light Vision

DEFENSE
AC 26 (+10 Armor, +4 Dex, +2 Nat) Touch 14 Flat-Footed 22
HP 80 (12d10+20)
Fort +4 Ref +8 Will +4
Defensive Abilities Construct traits, Mindless, Reconstruction, Reflection
DR 20/Adamantine, Feyforged
Weaknesses Feyforged, Force and Sonic Vulnerability

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft
Melee +1 glassteel ??? bastard sword +18/+13/+8 (1d10+7) and slam +12 (1d4+3 plus 1d8 piercing) or +1 glassteel ??? bastard sword +18/+13/+8 (1d10+10)

STATISTICS
STR 24 DEX 18 CON -- INT -- WIS 10 CHA 10
Base Atk +12 CMB +19 CMD 23
Feats None
Skills None
Languages Aklo, Sylvan (cannot speak)
Special Attacks Death throes, Shards
SQ Glass body
Gear +1 glassteel ??? bastard sword, +2 glassteel full plate

Death Throes (Ex) When a Glass Knight is reduced to 0 hit points, it comes apart in a furious explosion of glass shrapnel. All creatures within a thirty-foot radius from the Glass Knight must make a Reflex save (DC 20) or take 12d6 points of piercing damage; success reduces this damage by half. This damage is considered adamantine for the purposes of damage reduction.

Feyforged (Su) Though their DR is pierced by adamantine, the nature of the Glass Knight's construction in the First World makes them partially vulnerable to Cold Iron. A Cold Iron weapon bypasses the first 10 points of their Damage Reduction; if an attack with a cold iron deals at least one point of damage to a Glass Knight (after being reduced by the other 10 DR that can only be beaten with adamantine), the Glass Knight must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to the damage dealt) or be staggered for one round as the cold iron disrupts the magic holding it together, revealing the myriad cracks between the tiny shards of glass that compose its body.

Force and Sonic Vulnerability (Ex) A Glass Knight's body is fragile and takes 50% extra damage from Force and Sonic effects.

Glass Body (Ex) Glass Knights, being made of glass, are extremely lightweight. All of their equipment is glassteel, but is just as much a part of their body as they are; when destroyed their equipment is destroyed with them. A Glass Knight's slam attack deals an extra 1d8 piercing damage due to the jutting shards of glass protruding from its fists.

Glass Knights are proficient with their armor, and ignore all Dexterity and Speed limits regardless of the type of armor they wear. They are proficient with their bastard swords both as martial and exotic weapons, allowing them to wield them one-handed (and thus use their slam attack with their free hand) or two-handed.

A Glass Knight uses its Dexterity modifier in place of its Constitution for determining the DCs of its abilities.

Mindless (Ex) Glass Knights are controlled entirely by Nyrissa's magic and have no intelligence of their own. They are immune to all mind-effecting affects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).

Reconstruction (Su) When a Glass Knight is destroyed, the remnants of its body remain as shattered glass scattered about. Much of this remains functional and still possesses the Fey magic that animates the constructs, however; on average, about half of the glass used to make an individual Glass Knight still has enough magic in it to be reused, and Nyrissa does so as much as she is able. 1d6 rounds after being destroyed, a Glass Knight attempts to reconstruct itself as a full-round action. If a second Glass Knight has been destroyed within 30 feet, the still-animate shards of glass will combine to create a new Knight at full hit points, which will immediately resume fighting on the following turn. Alternatively, a single Glass Knight with no others near enough to combine can reconstruct itself as a smaller variant of itself; in this case, apply the Young simple template to the Glass Knight to create this smaller version. Small Glass Knights will focus primarily on getting close enough to others of their size or recently-destroyed full-sized Knights, at which point they can still combine and resume full size as a full-round action; if destroyed while still Small, the remaining totality of their components are ruined beyond use. Small Glass Knights have the damage on their Shards and Death Throes abilities reduced by half.

Reflection (Su) The reflective surface of a Glass Knight is enchanted to rebound spells that strike it. Any spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that requires a touch attack or ranged touch attack and is not a splash weapon that strikes the Glass Knight has a 50% chance to reflect back at its original user, using their own attack and damage bonuses and DCs; in such cases, the spell has no effect on the Glass Knight at all. Spells that have the [Light] descriptor but do not require touch attacks or ranged touch attacks have a 75% chance to reflect back at the caster (or, if an Area of Effect spell, to an area centered around the Caster; this effect only happens once per spell, regardless of how many Glass Knights were originally within the spell's intended area). Spells that both require a touch or ranged touch attack AND have the [Light] descriptor have a 100% chance of reflection.

Shards (Su) As a standard action, a Glass Knight can collapse into its component shards of glass and ram through opponents as a mobile torrent of glass. Treat this as a line attack with a range of 60 feet that deals 12d6 points of piercing damage; characters in the line can attempt a Reflex save (DC 20) for half damage. This damage is considered adamantine for the purposes of damage reduction. The Glass Knight reforms at the end of the line; it can choose to shorten the length of the line if it so wishes at no cost, or lengthen it to 120 feet by taking a full-round action instead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks great! I really like the idea behind them (though I haven't been to the movies, yet).
The Shards (Su) and Reconstruction (Su) abilities give me a Terminator feeling!
I like the glasssteel as material - it remindes me of the material laen from the Rolemaster/Shadow World setting which was pretty bad-ass.

The question is, whether they've too much going for themselves, ending up at a too high CR to send many against the PCs in one go (a tactics I prefer to balance action economy).

Minor nitpick: Why are they light-weight? I mean, it's all magic and everything is fine, but glass's density is around 2500kg/m^3 while a human body has around 1100kg/m^3 (due to mostly being composed of water) in RL - is that one of their qualities stemming from the movie?

Ruyan.

Shadow Lodge

I was more comparing them to glassteel equipment, which is lighter than metal equipment, than to a human. They'd certainly be heavier than probably the vast majority of PCs. But compared to a metal construct of the same size and design, they're lighter and quicker. Hence why their speed is still 30, whereas if I was wanting to make them lighter than a PC I'd need to up their speed beyond that. I'm pretty sure glassteel, like mithral, doesn't reduce movement speed, but it's been a while since I looked it up so I could be wrong.

I have to admit I'm not great at balancing CR, hence why that specific slot is still blank. The Ghostly Guards were CR 9, I was shooting for something in that general vicinity. Can always trim down their HD and the damage on their abilities to bring their CR down as needed, if it's too high.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, my mistake than - I'm unfamiliar with glasssteel and didn't fully grasp your intention.

Hm, CR9 is not too bad - I was somehow fixed on CR6...
In addition, if your PCs fare badly against them in the first encounter you can always adjust the number of these guys they encounter in the other rooms.

By reading your statblock once more, I just noticed that the Shard SU let's the construct attack and reposition itself, which is quite strong. I'd add something similar to a dimension door effect after the repositioning, like: After using ability, you/it can't take any other actions until your/its next turn.

Be warned: I might steal (if not all) of that stuff!

Ruyan.

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