Shadowdancer ruining Realm of the Fellnight Queen module


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Two weeks ago I started hosting the Realm of the Fellnight Queen module (SPOILERS AHEAD!) and after last weekend (about half way through the module) everyone leveled up to level 8. Among other things, this meant that the party rogue 5/shadowdancer 3 finally got his shadow companion.

Well, the damn shadow has since started dominating absolutely every encounter all on its own. Tenzikil's bee swarms were wholly unable to hurt it and it simply glided into the pool at Dead Man's Drop and made short work of the water elementals who were similarly unable to hurt it. Being incorporeal and being able to deal lethal strength damage with a touch attack makes the shadow companion completely broken.

In Tenzikil's final stand, it was struck over and over again with 3d10 called lightning bolts (doing 2 or 3 damage at a time), before the gnome attempted to flee. Unfortunately for Tenzikil, the shadow could easily outfly the gnome's air walking abilities. The gnome was drained into nothing more than a dessicated husk within a few rounds, which then fell 50 feet to the ground.

Now the players are asking me to host again this weekend in hopes of finishing off the module. They are about to raid the Queen's fortress and, after looking at the challenges ahead, I don't see how the shadow companion can be stopped. The players will simply send it ahead of them and it will kill everything in the castle, quite possibly without even sounding much of an alarm (as it kills quickly, has pretty good stealth, and can go through walls).

How do I keep the shadow from creating a dreadfully anti-climatic ending to an otherwise exciting adventure? The only thing I can think of is have the Queen, being a practitioner of shadow herself, try and get the shadowdancer PC to defect.


Well, it's still undead, so even though it gets bonuses against positive/negative energy effects it can still be affected by them. Incorporeality reduces damage it takes by 1/2, so it could still be overwhelmed by creatures that can deal out significant damage, such as your larger elementals, giants, raging barbarians, etc. Some enemies who have ghost touch/disruption/undead bane weapons would be obnoxious too. As for the Strength damage, that's harder to stop, but you could always throw some undead at it.

Mind you, I haven't read that module in a while, so I don't know how to fit all this in there. Maybe certain trees in the realm have natural ghost touch properties they pass on to any items made from them (e.g. clubs, arrows, treants, etc.).

Edit: Oh, and remember Strength damage is never lethal. It's the drubbing you take afterward when you're at 0 Strength and helpless that kills you.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Ravingdork wrote:

Two weeks ago I started hosting the Realm of the Fellnight Queen module (SPOILERS AHEAD!) and after last weekend (about half way through the module) everyone leveled up to level 8. Among other things, this meant that the party rogue 5/shadowdancer 3 finally got his shadow companion.

Well, the damn shadow has since started dominating absolutely every encounter all on its own. Tenzikil's bee swarms were wholly unable to hurt it and it simply glided into the pool at Dead Man's Drop and made short work of the water elementals who were similarly unable to hurt it. Being incorporeal and being able to deal lethal strength damage with a touch attack makes the shadow companion completely broken.

In Tenzikil's final stand, it was struck over and over again with 3d10 called lightning bolts (doing 2 or 3 damage at a time), before the gnome attempted to flee. Unfortunately for Tenzikil, the shadow could easily outfly the gnome's air walking abilities. The gnome was drained into nothing more than a dessicated husk within a few rounds, which then fell 50 feet to the ground.

Now the players are asking me to host again this weekend in hopes of finishing off the module. They are about to raid the Queen's fortress and, after looking at the challenges ahead, I don't see how the shadow companion can be stopped. The players will simply send it ahead of them and it will kill everything in the castle, quite possibly without even sounding much of an alarm (as it kills quickly, has pretty good stealth, and can go through walls).

How do I keep the shadow from creating a dreadfully anti-climatic ending to an otherwise exciting adventure? The only thing I can think of is have the Queen, being a practitioner of shadow herself, try and get the shadowdancer PC to defect.

Incorporeal (Ex) ... Force spells and effects, such as from a MAGIC MISSILE, affect an incorporeal creature normally.

Bolded and capitalized for emphasis, give a couple mobs either the ability to cast magic missile or a wand or something and the shadow can be run off at least, healing it is probably a big problem for the shadowdancer.

Sovereign Court

I don't have the module but doesn't any creature in it have magic weapons? You can mess up even incorporeal creatures with a good full attack even after half damage! It's only got half the Shadowdancers hit points and an AC of 15.

A death ward or high touch AC will help stave off the strength damage for boss or lieutenant monsters. Use Force! Magic missile, Spiritual weapon, & mage armor are all 1st level spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
King of Vrock wrote:

I don't have the module but doesn't any creature in it have magic weapons? You can mess up even incorporeal creatures with a good full attack even after half damage! It's only got half the Shadowdancers hit points and an AC of 15.

A death ward or high touch AC will help stave off the strength damage for boss or lieutenant monsters. Use Force! Magic missile, Spiritual weapon, & mage armor are all 1st level spells.

Of the dozens of minions guarding the castle, none of them have magic weapons that I am aware of. Only the boss of the entire module wields anything of that nature and she would run out of strength (Str 6) long before she could defeat the shadow in melee (to say nothing of the other heroes ganging up on her).

The only positive in the whole mess is that the evil queen has been scrying on the heroes for some time, so she knows there is a shadow coming. She also has shadow evocation which I guess I can use to duplicate maximized magic missiles or a resilient sphere.

Still, the companion creature just nullified everything but the boss fight.

EDIT: Perhaps a Tiny Hut spell cast on key areas can serve to keep the shadow out? Would that work?

The Exchange

huh, I was about to play a shadowdancer in this module. Good to know it would have been a good choice ;P

But anyways, I agree with the sentiment of Magic Missile. If the rogue doesn't have a lot of hit points (as rogues tend to be a bit fragile) then the shadow can take half as much damage... And it can't heal that effectively unless the party has some source of negative energy. So, after a few magic missiles the shadow will be forced to stick with the party and out of harms way.


The last campaign i ran(expedidtion to the demon web pit, using pathfinder rules) one of my players started as a rogue/shadowdancer. His shadow was killed pretty early. Its low hp and armor basicly meant it folded fast, regardless of the half damage effect from incorporeality.

As it takes a month before you can get a new one, he figured his character was nerfed enough to roll up a fighter to replace it.

Grand Lodge

If the adventure is written with no magical weapons (WTF for a level 8 adventure)...then you need too add some in or the shadow will just walk through everything. Give the bad guys oils of magic weapon.

Sovereign Court

Do any of the creatures have DR magic?

--Count Vrockula


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
King of Vrock wrote:

Do any of the creatures have DR magic?

--Count Vrockula

They don't appear to, no.


King of Vrock wrote:

Do any of the creatures have DR magic?

--Count Vrockula

DR does not reduce Ability score damage, only hit point damage

Sovereign Court

No duh Jimmy, but a creature with DR magic attacks as a magic weapon...

--SherVrock Holmes


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
King of Vrock wrote:

No duh Jimmy, but a creature with DR magic attacks as a magic weapon...

--SherVrock Holmes

Where is that stated? I thought a creature only treated its natural attacks as magical weapons when it specifically said so, not when they had DR/magic.

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:
King of Vrock wrote:

No duh Jimmy, but a creature with DR magic attacks as a magic weapon...

--SherVrock Holmes

Where is that stated? I thought a creature only treated its natural attacks as magical weapons when it specifically said so, not when they had DR/magic.

Universal Monster Rulles It in the Damage Reduction entry.


Here's the thing.

You can almost NEVER take a pre-gen module off the gamestore shelf and run it, as-is, unchanged, for whatever group of PCs your players decide to throw into it. If you think you can, then disabuse yourself of this notion immediately; it will only bring you grief.

No pre-gen adventure will think of everything, nor will they ever cover every possibilty that could possibly happen. It's important to realize this fact.

That said, your post here is a perfect example. One of your PCs has a class ability that has no counter in the pre-gen.

So, now that you've shed yourself of the idea that the pre-gen was supposed to handle this problem, that only leaves us with responsible party left who can solve your dilemma: the DM. (that's you, by the way).

:)

OK, now that we've settled that, the solutions are simple and manifold.

1. Add a whole new encounter to the adventure that wasn't there before. A band of mercenary adventurers who have just the right tools to destroy that shadow.
2. Give a critical item to one or more of the existing encounters. Magic fang comes to mind, either in potion form, or an amulet, or a wand or scroll if suitable enemies abound.
3. Modify some of the enemies so that the shadow can't hurt them (it doesn't have magic weapons either, right?).
4. Have that bad guy who has been watching all along show up with a Dismissal spell, or a mace of disruption, right in the middle of another encounter, to specifically target the offending shadow and then run away (teleport?) to safety.
5. Just live with it. This player came up with a cool idea and taking it away from him defeats a major concept of his character class. It would be like taking Smite away from a paladin.

The Exchange

Isn't this like the 5th time you've complained of something being completely broke?


cp wrote:
Isn't this like the 5th time you've complained of something being completely broke?

That's not fair. Liches aren't broken.


This is the thread. Take my advice from the other thread and make a cleric.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Now that I've made it past my knee-jerk reaction, I don't think I will change too much.

Though the shadow can cake walk the castle, the PCs themselves can't. If they go in together, the shadow auto-killing an enemy ever two or three rounds won't change much of anything. The PCs will still be attacked and threatened themselves. If they all die and the shadow lives, its still game over.

The real problem comes in if the PCs decide to send the shadow ahead of them. If that happens, I think I might just have one of the castle guard straight up meet with them at the gate, saying something to the effect of "The queen has been expecting you and requests an audience. Please follow me."

They will then be lead into the ballroom with the illusory dance party and the pixie. Through one of the illusions, the queen will manifest herself and tempt the shadowdancer to her side, speaking about her admiration for his talent with shadow and offering to make him a general of her fellnight armies as they dance. The character is CN and may well take her up on the offer. If he does, he will be asked to turn on his companions (who themselves have little to no defense against the shadow). Perhaps she will even lay the blame on Tenzikil ("he's far too overzealous and violent, and never did know how to follow orders"), swear to spare the PC's hometown provided the inhabitants swear fealty to her, etc. If he/they do not agree, they will already be inside the castle surrounded by a great number of enemies who have now had ample time to prepare for them and their shadow. Though the pixie won't be able to hurt the shadow, the distinct lack of spellcasters in the party means the PCs themselves will be easily susceptible to his charm and memory loss arrows.

Should they make it to the queen's lair she can use shadow evocation to trap the shadow in a resilient sphere for the duration of the encounter.

What do you guys think?


Ravingdork wrote:

Now that I've made it past my knee-jerk reaction, I don't think I will change too much.

Though the shadow can cake walk the castle, the PCs themselves can't. If they go in together, the shadow auto-killing an enemy ever two or three rounds won't change much of anything. The PCs will still be attacked and threatened themselves. If they all die and the shadow lives, its still game over.

The real problem comes in if the PCs decide to send the shadow ahead of them. If that happens, I think I might just have one of the castle guard straight up meet with them at the gate, saying something to the effect of "The queen has been expecting you and requests an audience. Please follow me."

They will then be lead into the ballroom with the illusory dance party and the pixie. Through one of the illusions, the queen will manifest herself and tempt the shadowdancer to her side, speaking about her admiration for his talent with shadow and offering to make him a general of her fellnight armies as they dance. The character is CN and may well take her up on the offer. If he does, he will be asked to turn on his companions (who themselves have little to no defense against the shadow). Perhaps she will even lay the blame on Tenzikil ("he's far too overzealous and violent, and never did know how to follow orders"), swear to spare the PC's hometown provided the inhabitants swear fealty to her, etc. If he/they do not agree, they will already be inside the castle surrounded by a great number of enemies who have now had ample time to prepare for them and their shadow. Though the pixie won't be able to hurt the shadow, the distinct lack of spellcasters in the party means the PCs themselves will be easily susceptible to his charm and memory loss arrows.

Should they make it to the queen's lair she can use shadow evocation to trap the shadow in a resilient sphere for the duration of the encounter.

What do you guys think?

Personally, I think that's a fine example of creative problem solving!

Nicely done! :)

Liberty's Edge

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
King of Vrock wrote:

No duh Jimmy, but a creature with DR magic attacks as a magic weapon...

--SherVrock Holmes

Where is that stated? I thought a creature only treated its natural attacks as magical weapons when it specifically said so, not when they had DR/magic.
Universal Monster Rulles It in the Damage Reduction entry.

Interesting. However, such a creature's natural attacks only appear to be cosidered magic when they themselves are trying to overcome DR so this would not have any effect on the issue being commented on - the shadow's incoporreal nature etc

The Exchange

Ravingdork wrote:

Now that I've made it past my knee-jerk reaction, I don't think I will change too much.

Though the shadow can cake walk the castle, the PCs themselves can't. If they go in together, the shadow auto-killing an enemy ever two or three rounds won't change much of anything. The PCs will still be attacked and threatened themselves. If they all die and the shadow lives, its still game over.

The real problem comes in if the PCs decide to send the shadow ahead of them. If that happens, I think I might just have one of the castle guard straight up meet with them at the gate, saying something to the effect of "The queen has been expecting you and requests an audience. Please follow me."

They will then be lead into the ballroom with the illusory dance party and the pixie. Through one of the illusions, the queen will manifest herself and tempt the shadowdancer to her side, speaking about her admiration for his talent with shadow and offering to make him a general of her fellnight armies as they dance. The character is CN and may well take her up on the offer. If he does, he will be asked to turn on his companions (who themselves have little to no defense against the shadow). Perhaps she will even lay the blame on Tenzikil ("he's far too overzealous and violent, and never did know how to follow orders"), swear to spare the PC's hometown provided the inhabitants swear fealty to her, etc. If he/they do not agree, they will already be inside the castle surrounded by a great number of enemies who have now had ample time to prepare for them and their shadow. Though the pixie won't be able to hurt the shadow, the distinct lack of spellcasters in the party means the PCs themselves will be easily susceptible to his charm and memory loss arrows.

Should they make it to the queen's lair she can use shadow evocation to trap the shadow in a resilient sphere for the duration of the encounter.

What do you guys think?

Look, you say the queen is already scrying them. She has a strike force assembled. They send the shadow out to scout, she either sends the strike force to kill the shadow (what I would do) or she sends the strike force to kill the party sans shadow.


Level 8 module with no magic weapons.

...What.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:

Level 8 module with no magic weapons.

...What.

I don't really get it either. More than half of the enemies in the module can't even hit the heroes but with a natural 20.

It's a 7th-level module, but that doesn't change the fact that the bad guys still need a 20 to hit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My players and I have just concluded the module.

They fought their way through the lower levels of the castle, setting off the shriekers, fighting the earth elemental, and gaining the treasure near the assassin vines (which they also defeated).

Once they went through the double doors that lead up into the castle itself they were greeted by a spriggan man-servent who told them that they had been expected and that the queen awaited them.

They were taken through the hall of the punished and into the ball room with the pixies and illusory party-goers.

The party dwarf danced with a beautiful gnome while the party tengu stood in a corner and ignored the requests of a beautiful white fey bird-lady.

The party shadow-dancer sat in a corner and chatted up the illusion of Queen Rhoswen. Queen Rhoswen, fearing what the heroes were capable of, spent her time making promises of power (making him a general of her armies) if he would but slay his companions to prove his loyalty.

He refused to do so and sought a compromise instead. He had come to protect his town and his companions and that was what he was going to do. In the end, an agreement was made. Queen Rhoswen would be granted tactical knowledge of the goodly fey army currently residing in her realm (their position, numbers, capabilities, etc.), the PCs would allow her to escape her prison (even going so far as to remove the wardstones themselves) allowing her to get revenge on all the fey creatures who had imprisoned her. In return she and her minions were to leave the PCs and their hometown alone forevermore.

In the end Rhoswen surrounded and annihilated the goodly fey army that opposed her, marched upon the world, and opened peaceful trade with the town of Bellis (which was spared her wrath as promised). The elf shadowdancer was made high general of her armies (and later became a king at her side). The dwarf fighter returned to Bellis to resume his duties as sheriff, where he was praised as a hero who saved the town and where he took a beautiful gnome wife. The tengu ranger, disgusted that he had allowed such evil to march across the world (for he felt he had little choice, being surrounded by Rhoswen's minions at the time of the negotiation), moved from Bellis and traveled the world's cities to gather his fellow tengu and organize a resistance against the dark fey invasion.

I thank all of you for your help


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My players and I have just concluded the module.

They fought their way through the lower levels of the castle, setting off the shriekers, fighting the earth elemental, and gaining the treasure near the assassin vines (which they also defeated).

Once they went through the double doors that lead up into the castle itself they were greeted by a spriggan man-servent who told them that they had been expected and that the queen awaited them.

They were taken through the hall of the punished and into the ball room with the pixies and illusory party-goers.

The party dwarf danced with a beautiful gnome while the party tengu stood in a corner and ignored the requests of a beautiful white fey bird-lady.

The party shadow-dancer sat in a corner and chatted up the illusion of Queen Rhoswen. Queen Rhoswen, fearing what the heroes were capable of, spent her time making promises of power (making him a general of her armies) if he would but slay his companions to prove his loyalty.

He refused to do so and sought a compromise instead. He had come to protect his town and his companions and that was what he was going to do. In the end, an agreement was made. Queen Rhoswen would be granted tactical knowledge of the goodly fey army currently residing in her realm (their position, numbers, capabilities, etc.), the PCs would allow her to escape her prison (even going so far as to remove the wardstones themselves) allowing her to get revenge on all the fey creatures who had imprisoned her. In return she and her minions were to leave the PCs and their hometown alone forevermore.

In the end Rhoswen surrounded and annihilated the goodly fey army that opposed her, marched upon the world, and opened peaceful trade with the town of Bellis (which was spared her wrath as promised). The elf shadowdancer was made high general of her armies (and later became a king at her side). The dwarf fighter returned to Bellis to resume his duties as sheriff, where he was praised as a hero who saved the town and where he took a beautiful gnome wife. The tengu ranger, disgusted that he had allowed such evil to march across the world (for he felt he had little choice, being surrounded by Rhoswen's minions at the time of the negotiation), moved from Bellis and traveled the world's cities to gather his fellow tengu and organize a resistance against the dark fey invasion.


Ravingdork wrote:

I don't really get it either. More than half of the enemies in the module can't even hit the heroes but with a natural 20.

It's a 7th-level module, but that doesn't change the fact that the bad guys still need a 20 to hit.

Then why be upset that a shadow could come and destroy them all when it sounds like any of the party could have done so as well?

A pet shadow is a very strong ability, but one he pays for.. as a pure rogue he would have had higher skills, better BAB, better sneak attack, and wouldn't have needed to get those pre-reqs.

So in combat he spring attacks in and gets one less than par sneak attack, meanwhile a real combat rogue TWFs and full attacks making mincemeat of the poor flanked sucker.

-James


Damn, I know it is too late, but I thought of something that may have stopped the shadow. Being that it is a summoned creature with the alignment of the Shadowdancer, an appropriate Protection from XXX (in this instance Chaos) would have made Queen Roswyn immune to the summoned shadow and if it failed its Will save, the shadow would be forced to recoil.

In the end, it sounds like you were satisfied with the result, so well done for coming up with your own solution.


May I suggest the PCs encounter a 'tame Shadow' to counter the Shadow Dancer's own? Or perhaps a Ghost? It's immune to the Shadow's own abilities and can give the PCs a run for their money in turn.

Turn about is fair play, and what's good for the Goose is good for the Gander.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

An old thread for sure, but I'm still hoping for some more advice on how to deal with shadow dancers and their incorporeal companion creatures at low levels.

I also wanted to share my story with new forumites. :D

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