Need NPC boggards to challenge a level 12 party


Advice


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Since I am lacking some inspiration at the moment I hope to get some from the PF community. I am preparing for the PCs that are planning to attack a boggard tribe's river isle homestead, I am having some trouble to create the boggards and other threats they might encounter.

A little background:

The PCs have divined the location of the tribe's isle, which is hidden in thick mists by a magical device/location, a stranded ship which allows an attuned caster to control the weather among other things.

There will be no divine casters, since that is currently impossible due to campaign story, witches will be functioning as the tribe's spiritual leaders, the tribe is currently ruled by a 'priest-king' which is a unique Half-Fiend, Giant Boggard witch level 13.
The priest-king is forced into an uneasy alliance with a powerful thanodaemon which uses the tribe to plan attacks on nearby villages and tribes to collect souls, he does this by means of having a large number of cacodaemons follow these small warbands, cloaked in invisibility and steal the souls of the dead which they deliver to him in the form of soulgems. The thanodaemon has taken the tribes tadpoles like young hostage to ensure the priest-kings continued cooperation, though he plans to use these to provide even more soulfuel, and has infact killed at least half of them already, when the tribe has served it's purpose, the priest-king suspects that the thanodaemon is not going to return the tribe's young but is unable to do anything about it at the moment, he is continually watched by the tanodaemons cohort a cruel piscodaemon sergeant and it's hydrodaemon/cacodaemon underlings.

I hope someone can help me to create some flavorful npc's and boggard 'units' to provide a bit of a challenge to the party. Some suggestions to enrich the story a bit more are welcome.

The Exchange

Some summoners


The priest-king could have a Troll as Bodyguard, or a couple of them as shock-troops. A guard of warriors 3+ with hide-armour, shields and morningstars and troops with tridents and javelins.

He´s gonna have a second-in-command, Lvl 9?, may-be with some acolytes, who has a spirit naga-guardian. A couple of ranger-scouts with animal-companions like giant-frogs/slugs/leeeches!!! Leeches! The village definetly need a pond with...make that dire-crocodiles and put the leeches in the river. There also could be a Hydra lurking, or a Black Dragon, if you nastily inclined.

See Bestiary: Monsters by terrain: for inspiration, swamp, as river only offers up Aboleth, which might be a bit much;).
On the other hand: those slimy buggers have their tentacles in every filth.

Also: The second-in-command could try to contact the PC´s, to try to set them up against the Thanodaemon and possibly his priest-king, in hope to lead the remaining troops against the PC`s to "avenge" the priest-king and take his place. Or just a "good" acolyte could tell them, who´s "siblings" are being held hostage, even on behest of the priest-king, seeking a way out of his dilemma.

The Daemon could of course also have a bodyguard or powerfull henchmen.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

A quartet of Will-o-wisps have moved in to feed off the tribes terror during the raids. CR 10

A murderous pair of Hydrodaemons are trying to undermine their superiors and jump up in the favor of the Thanodaemon's boss. CR 10

OH NO! Somebody let loose an Apocalypse Zombie in the Boggard area! Now there's dozens of Apocalypse Boggard Zombies nomming on the countryside! CR Varies


archmagi1 wrote:

A quartet of Will-o-wisps have moved in to feed off the tribes terror during the raids. CR 10

Definitely! Obviously ! i couldn´t come up for a reason for THEM to lurk around... nicely.


Some tactical advice for the boggards (and this is tactics for a large number of boggard mooks):

They should engage near the edge of water, as many of their advantages come from their mobility in swamp terrain and their semi-aquatic nature. Also, they would want to engage in an area with plenty of difficult terrain, as they can move through it freely as long as they're in the swamp.

They should really lead with Terrifying Croak, as that would be their normal mode of operation, though it should quickly become evident that such a weak power isn't gonna cut it in this case (altough given enough boggards croaking, even high Will save targets are gonna crack eventually).

If a caster strays too near to the water, some swimmers can use sticky tongue to keep him close to the edge as some others bull rush him into the water. Then the tongue ones can move farther away, keeping him inside the water, as others try to drown him. Sticky tongue can also help keep fighters away from casters or archers in the back. If a sticky tongue ambush is planned, remember that they can still do other things afterthe tongue hits. Give them ranged attacks to harass the one they're attached to, and to also make use of the -2 AC.

Keep in mind leap attack when playing with low-level warriors. They can leap past the fighter to the wizard and attack him, or get a free attack and disengage the fighter without an AoO. It is a very nifty tactical movement which can be employed to great advantage, especially when combined with difficult terrain (preventing the wizard from adjusting to get out of threatened squares, or keeping the fighter at arm's length).

As a closing statement, their Sticky Tongue, Leap Attack, and Swamp Stride make for a powerful amount of control over combat positioning, and even level 3 or 4 warriors could be a threat given the right tactics.


RedPorcupine wrote:

The priest-king could have a Troll as Bodyguard, or a couple of them as shock-troops. A guard of warriors 3+ with hide-armour, shields and morningstars and troops with tridents and javelins.

He´s gonna have a second-in-command, Lvl 9?, may-be with some acolytes, who has a spirit naga-guardian. A couple of ranger-scouts with animal-companions like giant-frogs/slugs/leeeches!!! Leeches! The village definetly need a pond with...make that dire-crocodiles and put the leeches in the river. There also could be a Hydra lurking, or a Black Dragon, if you nastily inclined.

See Bestiary: Monsters by terrain: for inspiration, swamp, as river only offers up Aboleth, which might be a bit much;).
On the other hand: those slimy buggers have their tentacles in every filth.

Also: The second-in-command could try to contact the PC´s, to try to set them up against the Thanodaemon and possibly his priest-king, in hope to lead the remaining troops against the PC`s to "avenge" the priest-king and take his place. Or just a "good" acolyte could tell them, who´s "siblings" are being held hostage, even on behest of the priest-king, seeking a way out of his dilemma.

The Daemon could of course also have a bodyguard or powerfull henchmen.

I will definately put a pair of dire crocodiles in the marshy pond where the ship/'throne room' of the priest king is stranded.

The leeches I will keep for the nearby lair of the thanodaemon, I am sure I can get a little creative with those

The priest-king seems to be 'well served' by having a few daemon bodyguards since the thanodaemon isn't the trusting sort, I'll use the second in command hook to approach the PCs after they dispatched the priest-king unless they will give the priest-king oppurtunity to barter for his life. (unlikely)

I think rangers with giant frog companions will do nicely, maybe guide archetype, giant frogs could be a significant pain with their grappling tongues if coupled with something that can hurt them.

I am staying away from (true)dragons at the moment, though I did put them up against some (advanced) fiendish wyvern riding boggards before.

Maybe I can squeeze in a hydra somewhere.. they are kinda fun.


archmagi1 wrote:

A quartet of Will-o-wisps have moved in to feed off the tribes terror during the raids. CR 10

A murderous pair of Hydrodaemons are trying to undermine their superiors and jump up in the favor of the Thanodaemon's boss. CR 10

OH NO! Somebody let loose an Apocalypse Zombie in the Boggard area! Now there's dozens of Apocalypse Boggard Zombies nomming on the countryside! CR Varies

hmmmm.. while will o' wisps are unlikely to strike any kind of deal with boggards, daemons are another matter.. nice I'll consider writing up some will o'wisps, might even give one some class levels.

lol on the apocalypse zombies, it is not unlike the thanodaemons to have some apocalyptic fun I guess and it is very capable of animating some undead even if they are uncontrolled they might still serve a purpose afterall...

I considered some flaming efrit skeletons as additional muscle at the thanodaemons hide out cave.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
RedPorcupine wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:

A quartet of Will-o-wisps have moved in to feed off the tribes terror during the raids. CR 10

Definitely! Obviously ! i couldn´t come up for a reason for THEM to lurk around... nicely.

If you want to be really nasty you could throw in some (possibly advanced/giant) shambling mounds with those, either servants of the priest king himself or simply following the wisps in turn due to their proclivities for finding prey and/or the mounds' addiction to the jolts of electricity from the wisps.

Other ideas, me thinks you'll need to have a boggard mage or two handy for calling up those daemons with planar binding spells or some such unless they were already on the material plane (planar binding and the like isn't a witch spell to my knowledge). Could also give you some artillery power- a sonic focused storm-born sorcerer could have many of his spells act like sonic croaks (shout, ear-piercing shriek, etc)

If you like playing with templates, having high level casters around like that witch might let you explain any creative combinations of templates you might want to make. For example, the Gigantean template from Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary could be applied to boggards or giant frogs to make them Colossal- these could act like APCs with their mouths opening up to let boggard mooks out.

Depending on your witch's patron (occult or plague comes to mind), undead servants may be an option. Animating the fallen soldiers, for example, could give incentive to the boggard rank and file to do their jobs or live a fate worse than death. The boggard tribe may need some kind of intimidation if they know these daemons are taking their tadpoles.

Sovereign Court

Don't forget about Marsh Giants, they are pretty powerful allies for Boggards to have.


Shane Gifford wrote:

Some tactical advice for the boggards (and this is tactics for a large number of boggard mooks):

They should engage near the edge of water, as many of their advantages come from their mobility in swamp terrain and their semi-aquatic nature. Also, they would want to engage in an area with plenty of difficult terrain, as they can move through it freely as long as they're in the swamp.

They should really lead with Terrifying Croak, as that would be their normal mode of operation, though it should quickly become evident that such a weak power isn't gonna cut it in this case (altough given enough boggards croaking, even high Will save targets are gonna crack eventually).

If a caster strays too near to the water, some swimmers can use sticky tongue to keep him close to the edge as some others bull rush him into the water. Then the tongue ones can move farther away, keeping him inside the water, as others try to drown him. Sticky tongue can also help keep fighters away from casters or archers in the back. If a sticky tongue ambush is planned, remember that they can still do other things afterthe tongue hits. Give them ranged attacks to harass the one they're attached to, and to also make use of the -2 AC.

Keep in mind leap attack when playing with low-level warriors. They can leap past the fighter to the wizard and attack him, or get a free attack and disengage the fighter without an AoO. It is a very nifty tactical movement which can be employed to great advantage, especially when combined with difficult terrain (preventing the wizard from adjusting to get out of threatened squares, or keeping the fighter at arm's length).

As a closing statement, their Sticky Tongue, Leap Attack, and Swamp Stride make for a powerful amount of control over combat positioning, and even level 3 or 4 warriors could be a threat given the right tactics.

well actually I used croaking to decent effect, at the very least it makes a good alarm system throughout the boggard community.

I put together some 6th level bards, dirge bard archetype to boost up and lead undead/boggard troops as well as being particulary scary 'croakers' granting a -2 penalty on fear effects and having a charisma of 16 with ability focus added in for a DC of 20. These will be thanodaemon loyalists.

A few boggard barbarians level 4 or so with the giant template added mixed in with the crowd as well armed with large two handed flails and a sticky tongue to keep the squishies from running, coupled with some croakers they might put in a few good hits.

There will be some witches that serve as healers and spiritualists, though boggards are not particulary well suited and unlikely to be high level, level 4 I think, they will keep a low profile and use hexes and spells to boost the boggards, the mist will limit vision enough to allow them to stay out of sight or at least try to stealth away under concealment when attacked at range.

Possibly I can use some ranger classed boggards, maybe guides to allow other boggards to get terrain advantages and up stealth for ambushes, there might be more suitable archetypes though. I feel uncomfortable applying racial FE, so guide seems a good choice for this reason.

I will stat out some general Boggard Elites as 2nd level warriors or the like, but many boggards will be there to make the Pcs feel powerful, after a few massed assaults the boggards will probably attempt to stay away from the PCs. I am thinking 3 waves will do with the boggards retreating if half their number is slain and rallying more powerful boggards every time, the 3rd assault will be led by the piscodaemon sergeant rallying the troops by snapping a few cowardly boggards in half.

Very much appreciate the tactical advice, there should be alot of low level and unclassed boggards around that need to do something despite being slaughtered in large numbers.


King of Vrock wrote:

Don't forget about Marsh Giants, they are pretty powerful allies for Boggards to have.

oh yes, though there is infact a tribe of marsh giants near I might put a few of them in the camp as the daemons are likely to forcefully recruit their assistance


Dreaming Psion wrote:
RedPorcupine wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:

A quartet of Will-o-wisps have moved in to feed off the tribes terror during the raids. CR 10

Definitely! Obviously ! i couldn´t come up for a reason for THEM to lurk around... nicely.

If you want to be really nasty you could throw in some (possibly advanced/giant) shambling mounds with those, either servants of the priest king himself or simply following the wisps in turn due to their proclivities for finding prey and/or the mounds' addiction to the jolts of electricity from the wisps.

Other ideas, me thinks you'll need to have a boggard mage or two handy for calling up those daemons with planar binding spells or some such unless they were already on the material plane (planar binding and the like isn't a witch spell to my knowledge). Could also give you some artillery power- a sonic focused storm-born sorcerer could have many of his spells act like sonic croaks (shout, ear-piercing shriek, etc)

If you like playing with templates, having high level casters around like that witch might let you explain any creative combinations of templates you might want to make. For example, the Gigantean template from Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary could be applied to boggards or giant frogs to make them Colossal- these could act like APCs with their mouths opening up to let boggard mooks out.

Depending on your witch's patron (occult or plague comes to mind), undead servants may be an option. Animating the fallen soldiers, for example, could give incentive to the boggard rank and file to do their jobs or live a fate worse than death. The boggard tribe may need some kind of intimidation if they know these daemons are taking their tadpoles.

The daemons are actually already on the plane, infact an immense demiplane, and are prohibited from leaving this backwater plane as are the PCs.. think something akin to ravenloft, though less gothic horror ish. The thanodaemon intends to use the power of souls to breach the planar barrier to escape.


Shane Gifford has the right idea in my opinion. That would put primary focus on the boggards, not their allies. But as there is already a thanodaemon, this shift things a bit.

My Thoughts
The thanodaemon can already summon 1d4 Hydrodaemons, so they are a shoe in,
The thanodaemon can use soul gems to fast heal, so it would make sense for him to have a cacodaemon or two around.
Giant frogs would match the flavor, and make good mounts for class leveled boggards. Giant frogs are medium, so would need the giant template, giant toads are large but ave poison instead of the tongue grab. Both have swallow whole. Which would you think is most fitting?

It sounds like you already have a the area well developed though.
Ill try a statblock or two if you're interested.


Also, Stingchucks are free thrown splash weapons, a skull filled with vermin. Its good on its own, but perfect for a large number of lowly boggards to carry. Then have a caster along to cast Giant Vermin.

Best of all, it only takes simple weapon proficiency to use a stingchuck.


Brambleman wrote:

Shane Gifford has the right idea in my opinion. That would put primary focus on the boggards, not their allies. But as there is already a thanodaemon, this shift things a bit.

My Thoughts
The thanodaemon can already summon 1d4 Hydrodaemons, so they are a shoe in,
The thanodaemon can use soul gems to fast heal, so it would make sense for him to have a cacodaemon or two around.
Giant frogs would match the flavor, and make good mounts for class leveled boggards. Giant frogs are medium, so would need the giant template, giant toads are large but ave poison instead of the tongue grab. Both have swallow whole. Which would you think is most fitting?

It sounds like you already have a the area well developed though.
Ill try a statblock or two if you're interested.

Yea I got the general area down well enough, I am struggling a bit with interesting NPCs and stat blocks to make the encounters a bit different would be a great help. Thanks :)


i may have time this weekend, so ill try some boggard troops and mooks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here's kinda a (compared to the priest king) minor blaster-caster NPC/elite mook to serve your BBEGs. I imagine this guy is a boggard who got so good at croaking it turned into a magical ability (hence the title- the croak being powerful enough to be like storm or thunder). The stormborn bloodline is from the Advanced Player's Guide

Boggard Thunderer CR 9
XP: 6400
boggard sorcerer 8 (stormborn bloodline)
CE Medium humanoid (boggard)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, blindsense 60 ft (against fog only); Perception +9

DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+4 mage armor, +3 natural, +1 Dex)
HP 108 (3d8+8d6+63)
Fort +13, Ref +6, Will +8
Defensive Abilities stormchild

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee mwk heavy mace +9/+4 (1d8+2), tongue +3 (sticky tongue) or tongue +8 (sticky tongue)
Ranged dart +7 (1d4+2)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Sticky Tongue, Terrifying Croak (DC 16), thunderstaff (4 rounds, 6/day)
Spells Known (CL 8th) 4th (3/day)-Shout (DC 20) 3rd (6/day)-Haste (DC 16), Tongues (DC 16), Lightning Bolt (DC 19) 2nd (7/day)-Eagle's Splendor (DC 15), Resist Energy (DC 15), Shatter (DC 18), Gust of Wind (DC 17) 1st (7/day)-Expeditious Retreat (DC ), Jump (DC 14), Mage Armor (DC 14; already cast), Shield (DC ), Shocking Grasp 0th-Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound (DC 13), Open/Close (DC 13), Prestidigitation (DC 13), Read Magic (DC ), Spark (DC 15)

TACTICS
Before Combat A boggard thunderer casts mage armor on himself everyday if active in wartime. When conflict seems immanent and time permittin, the thunderer casts eagle's splendor, shield, and expeditious retreat on itself. If word comes around that the enemy force uses a certain type of elemental damage, the thunderer casts resist energy on itself and any allies it particularly likes.
During Combat As the enemy closes in, a boggard thunderer blasts them with a shout spell. He follows this up with a haste spell on closeby allies. For the rest of the combat he rains down lightning bolts and shout spells to annoy and frustrate the enemy.
Morale A boggard thunderer is a proud exexmplar of his raace, and therefore is loathe to retreat when other boggards are on the battlefield. Nonetheless, if all of his unit falls or he is seperated and outnumbered, the thunderer flees via expeditious retreat.

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 25
Feats Arcane Strike, Defensive Combat Training, Eschew Materials, Great Fortitude, Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), Improved Initiative, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Spell Focus (Evocation), Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +12, Acrobatics (Jump) +24, Appraise +0, Bluff +3, Climb +2, Craft (Untrained) +0, Diplomacy +3, Disguise +3, Escape Artist +1, Fly +1, Heal -1, Intimidate +3, Knowledge (Arcana) +5, Perception +9, Perform (Untrained) +3, Ride +1, Sense Motive -1, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +4, Stealth (In swamps) +12, Survival -1, Swim +12 Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +8 Stealth in swamps, +8 swim
Languages Boggard
SQ hold breath, swamp stride, bloodline arcana, cantrips,
Gear Alchemical Grease (x2), Cloak of Resistance +2, Dart (x5), Masterwork Mace (Heavy/Cold Iron), Potion of Barkskin +3, Scroll (See Invisibility), Scroll (Shield) (x2),


Quote:
the mounds' addiction to the jolts of electricity from the wisps

The idea of a shambling mound with will-o-wisps orbiting around it offering bolstering shocks seems like a lot of fun. Maybe the wisps would kind of herd the mound around on a murder spree. I have a swamp adventure with a boggard necromancer coming up and might have to use this idea in it.

I'd post the boggard necromancer, but since he's a Cleric that wouldn't help the OP. I felt that it was a good idea to give him Augment and Superior Summoning so that there will be plenty of swampy animals like crocodiles and snakes for the PCs to fight (though I give XP for summoned monsters so that the players won't hate them so much). Marsh giants make pretty good zombies, especially as fast zombies.

If you want to be a little cruel to the less mobile PCs you might want to consider having water of varying depths so that the PCs can't be sure that they won't drop into deep water when they move (though of course you wouldn't point this out until after they do it). I wonder how Create Pit would work in water (if at all).


Boggard Ranger, CR:5, needs appropriate mount:
Boggard Ranger (Guide) 3
CE Medium humanoid (boggard)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
Defense
AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+2 armor, +1 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 48 (3d8+11)+(3d10+9)
Fort +5, Ref +0, Will +1
Offense
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee trident +5 (1d8+3), tongue –4 touch (sticky tongue)
Ranged stingchuck +3 (1d4+3 and splash)
trident +4 (1d8+3)
Special Attacks terrifying croak
Ranger Focus 1/day +2
Favored Terrain: Swamp
Statistics
Str 18, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 20
Feats Toughness, Weapon Focus (trident), Mounted Combat, Trick Riding
Skills Acrobatics +6 (+18 jumping), Stealth +7 (+17 in
swamps), Ride +6, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +16
Acrobatics when jumping, +4 Perception, +8
Stealth in swamps
Languages Boggard
SQ hold breath, swamp stride Mounted Combat Style
Treasure NPC gear (leather armor, trident,
other treasure)

Special Abilities
Hold Breath (Ex)
A boggard can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning or suffocating.
Sticky Tongue (Ex)
A creature hit by a boggard’s tongue attack cannot move more than 10 feet away from the boggard and takes a –2 penalty to AC as long as the tongue is attached (this penalty does not stack if multiple tongues are attached). The tongue can be removed by making an opposed Strength check as a standard action or by dealing 2 points of slashing damage to the tongue (AC 11, damage does not deplete the boggard’s actual hit points). The boggard cannot move more than 10 feet away from the target, but the boggard can release its tongue as a free action. Unlike a giant frog, a boggard cannot pull targets toward it with its tongue.
Swamp Stride (Ex)
A boggard can move through any sort of natural difficult terrain at its normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects a boggard normally.
Terrifying Croak (Su)
Once per hour, a boggard can, as a standard action, emit a loud and horrifying croak. Any nonboggard creature within 30 feet of the boggard must make a DC 13 Will save or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that succeed at this save cannot be affected again by the same boggard’s croak for 24 hours. Creatures that are already shaken become frightened for 1d4 rounds instead. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Devilkiller wrote:
Quote:
the mounds' addiction to the jolts of electricity from the wisps

The idea of a shambling mound with will-o-wisps orbiting around it offering bolstering shocks seems like a lot of fun. Maybe the wisps would kind of herd the mound around on a murder spree. I have a swamp adventure with a boggard necromancer coming up and might have to use this idea in it.

I'd post the boggard necromancer, but since he's a Cleric that wouldn't help the OP. I felt that it was a good idea to give him Augment and Superior Summoning so that there will be plenty of swampy animals like crocodiles and snakes for the PCs to fight (though I give XP for summoned monsters so that the players won't hate them so much). Marsh giants make pretty good zombies, especially as fast zombies.

If you want to be a little cruel to the less mobile PCs you might want to consider having water of varying depths so that the PCs can't be sure that they won't drop into deep water when they move (though of course you wouldn't point this out until after they do it). I wonder how Create Pit would work in water (if at all).

To be fair, the shambling mound/wisp idea came from dragon (which issue I cannot recall), an article that had tough creature encounter ideas. Another one I recall was red dragons and iron golems (the former getting the latter in their breath weapon to boost them up). Using the terrain is a good idea, also the mist/fog from the swamp for laying ambushes and concealment could be an option here too.

As for more boggard ideas, you might want to check out Pathfinder #34 (Kingmaker- Blood for blood). It has a section on boggard ecology and a few nifty ideas for how to spice up encounters (like how they milk giant dragonflies for their poison)

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