The Shackled Hut (GM Reference)


Reign of Winter

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I like that one, B_C. I kind of wish I'd gone with that. Now admittedly, what did happen was absolutely hilarious and I absolutely did not need another NPC to tag along... but I like what you did with Greta here.


One of my players, wearing the rimepelt, played such a convincing winter wolf (bluff check and excellent roleplaying) that Greta went for him right away. The irony is that his character is gay and does not want to go out with Greta at all, but the rest of the group is worried that she might turn against them and thinks it is better if he keeps dating Greta. This is planned for next session. It will be fun.


My players are in the forest facing the earth dawn piper. We had to end the session mid-battle, and we'll pick up next session with the elf rogue having just used his very high acrobatics roll to vault up onto the rock platform, prone at the foot of the dawn piper. Since the oracle used pilfering hands to take the piper's flute, he can't use his dissonance ability, so I plan to have the piper use his aura of terrible beauty to blind the elf and then try to bullrush him off the edge. However, the elf has the "lightbringer" trait and I'm not sure whether or not this would make him immune to being blinded. The trait is:
Lightbringer: Many elves revere the sun, moon, and stars, but some are literally infused with the radiant power of the heavens. Elves with this racial trait are immune to light-based blindness and dazzle effects, and are treated as one level higher when determining the effects of any light-based spell or effect they cast (including spell-like and supernatural abilities). Elves with Intelligence scores of 10 or higher may use light at will as a spell-like ability. This racial trait replaces the elven immunities and elven magic racial traits.
I feel like since it could be blinding or deafening effect, then the aura is more about power than light, but I don't want to make the player feel like I'm nerfing his cool trait. What do you think?

I'm also wondering whether it wouldn't just be better to take a five foot step back and cast "unadulterated loathing" instead since he's primarily a melee fighter? If I do use the terrible beauty it would also possibly effect the witch PC who is in range...

Any and all input would be appreciated. Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

He can't use the Terrible Aura because he lacks a musical instrument. It's in the write-up for the ability.


Tangent101 wrote:
He can't use the Terrible Aura because he lacks a musical instrument. It's in the write-up for the ability.

Wow, thanks for pointing that out - I can't believe I missed that!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I only realized because I read the ability to determine if it was light-based or not. When I saw the bit about the musical instrument and realized he didn't have one... I went "ah, moot point!" ^^;;

Don't sweat it though. Seriously... do you know how many times I've forgotten a monster's special ability or the like? Far too often. And I've been GMing for a couple decades. All that matters is if your players have fun. :) And it sounds like your players are.


And I thought I was the only one ... :-)
Luckily the players usually never notice.


Thanks, that makes me feel better. This is the first time I'm GMing a campaign and whenever I mess up (e.g. oh yeah, Teb Knotten had a feather step potion he was supposed to drink) I worry that I've made the encounter too much of a cake walk and therefore not fun - but you're right, the players are having fun regardless, which is the whole point after all. Besides which, I find the terror of what the NPCs might do, often makes much more of an impression on the players than what they actually did (or didn't) do.

Thanks again for all your posts and help. These boards are invaluable, and I appreciate all your contributions, everyone!


Yes, you are right. You can create tension that way. My players were so very frightened of the mirror men and the ice trolls. They took great pains to avoid them. They could have dealt with them easily.


Well, it turned out to be a moot point... the ranger's gravity-bow powered shot at the top of the round took him out before he had a chance to act again. They also took out the dawn piper at the tree pretty quickly, so here's hoping the water-focused piper who is still alive will prove more of a challenge.

I'm also considering adding the super-scary redcap from the bestiary in the back of the book into the battle with Nazhena. The sorcerer is a fire-damage dealing machine, combined with a winter witch pc and the ranger, I think the ice mephit and ice golem won't last very long and the fight will be a bit of an anti-climax otherwise. I know the redcap is also vulnerable to fire, but he would at least add one more combatant to deal with, and that picture is so great, it seems a shame to never have the PCs face him.


Redcaps are always nasty :-)
I have the same 'problem' with a sorcerer. Yep, a fire-damage dealing machine!


You can deal with the fire sorcerers by throwing them into the white pudding in book four. Sadly, you might come away with a paladin problem. :)


I need some quick advice on how to kill off a player, tonight. Long story, but he has no attachment to the character he's playing and we have already attached a new NPC that he rolled to the party, and he's going to start controlling him instead (found in the prison cells downstairs in the Clock Tower!)

My plan is for the Gobbler to kill off the doomed player character. Seems like a pretty epic way to finish someone off, and let's the new PC take part in the Logrivich battle later on.

It feels like the Gobbler's Swallow Whole would be a fun way to get rid of him, can anyone think of a way I can make it seem a bit more organic? I was thinking of keeping the Gobbler quiet for a bit while they explored the Kitchen and the Pantry, and then having Granny Nan come through the door, surprise them, and push the character standing nearest the Gobbler into his gaping maw.

The doomed PC is a pretty feeble caster, and while we agreed he shouldn't know his fate, I can signal him to let him know this is it and he shouldn't fight back too hard.

Thoughts?


Addendum: It should also be noted, none of the other players know that this PC is doomed to die.


If the other players don't know, then I wouldn't count on them permitting the Gobbler to kill the doomed PC.

Edit: You may want to fudge the Gobbler having fast swallow.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about dieing heroically during the fight with Logrivich? It's quite a long drop too...


I spoke with my aunt, who plays a lot of Pathfinder, and she says it always feels best when a PC dies by sacrificing themselves in someway. Can anyway think of a good way for that to fit in with the Logrivich fight?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ok. Logravich is holding the opera singer (sorry, can't recall her name) on the edge of the walkway outside the clock, a surrender or she drops type of thing. In saving her the character goes over instead.

Potential problem in that the other characters/players, not knowing that it was intentional, will find a way to save them. Players are awkward like that. :-)


That's a good idea! Unfortunately the doomed PC is a pretty wary caster who tends to stay at the back, it's going to be hard to sell him doing the heroic thing. I will ponder on it. I only have about 4 hours remaining til our session starts, hopefully I come up with a good idea! :)


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OH. How about when entering the kitchen with Gobbler, Granny Nan is pushing a child inside the oven. She wheels around (alerted by the attic whisperer thing) and targets our big heroic PC with something to keep him occupied, then our doomed PC charges in to save the child from the Gobbler, only to be munched on a few seconds later. The other two PCs will have their hands full with Granny Nan and the attic thing.

Thoughts?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Sounds good


So, my players are about to enter the hut and I was wondering how others dealt with the interior being an extradimensional space as regards spells like clairvoyance (a PC just got that and if she tries to use it on the hut before they enter I figure it won't work - right?) and items like handy haversack or bag of holding once they're inside the hut? RAW those things won't work, but I wondered if that made things too much of a pain for your PCs?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The Hut isn't an extradimensional space like a Portable Hole or the like. It is another plane of existence. Each and every one of the "rooms" are a separate prime material plane. Think of it as a layered version of that spell that lets you create your own dimension - while on it, you could open a Bag of Holding or the like (or at least I've not seen anything saying you can't).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Frozen Stars has a couple of mentions of things plane shifting in and out of the Hut.


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My group defeated Logrivich last night. It was a truly heroic fight. I especially liked the location, which both the dragon and the PCs put to good use. No dead PCs, though some PCs were severely wounded and the fire sorcerer got frustrated because the dragon kept succeeding at his reflex save against his fireballs. It was one of those nights where the dice rolled in favor of the GM.
Afterwards they shot the fire rocket into the air as a signal for the revolution. Subsequently, Vladimir the fire sorcerer invited Bella to the roof and asked her to sing a revolutionary song, which she did. He used illusion spells to create a lovely light and sound spectacle, and Aleksej the bard accompanied her on his musical instrument. It was a memorable performance.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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Luna eladrin wrote:


Afterwards they shot the fire rocket into the air as a signal for the revolution. Subsequently, Vladimir the fire sorcerer invited Bella to the roof and asked her to sing a revolutionary song, which she did. He used illusion spells to create a lovely light and sound spectacle, and Aleksej the bard accompanied her on his musical instrument. It was a memorable performance.

Oh, now that is awesome. You must be a fantastic GM blessed with the coolest players. Thanks for sharing!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I apparently mentioned this in a separate thread, but given that my players were decidedly "meh" on the "rescue a princess" aspect but got riled up when they heard "kids in danger!" I decided to change Bella. When the PCs gratefully rescued the children, I had the young lass with the marbles mention "the beautiful princess in the tower who sings... when she's not swearing her head off!"

When they find her, they'll find her pissed, with only underclothes and a winter blanket, and her clothes having been taken to stop her escape attempts. Further, the elderly witch and the Dragon have been using Inga as leverage - she sings for the Dragon... in exchange for the Dragon not eating Inga before her eyes.

I mean, when you look at the backstory for Bella, she TOLD our cleric revolutionary to flee Cheliax (I think it's Cheliax) because she'd attracted too much attention. She is not some weeping willow. She has the strength of character to tell someone she loves "you need to get out of town or you'll die" and then to search for her in a nation that makes Cheliax look kinder and gentler. I don't see her as the wilting flower type.

She's going to provide Bardic Song to enhance the group in their fight against Logrivich in fact, though she's going to sing from one floor down! (And that will happen because of Inga being freed, naturally enough.)

Seriously. I understand tropes and all... but the damsel in distress is perhaps overdone and sometimes you need to actively avert the trope. After all, it is twists in the faerie tales that make them so compelling. This is a twist well worth making. :)


Tangent101 wrote:


When they find her, they'll find her pissed, with only underclothes and a winter blanket, and her clothes having been taken to stop her escape attempts.

. . .

Seriously. I understand tropes and all... but the damsel in distress is perhaps overdone and sometimes you need to actively avert the trope. After all, it is twists in the faerie tales that make them so compelling. This is a twist well worth making. :)

I don't think changing her trope from damsel in distress to unclothed spitfire damsel in distress changes the trope all that much. Still a pretty female character needing to be rescued, only now she's in just titillating underwear instead of fully clothed. That emphasizes her humiliation, vulnerability, and sexuality.

If you want to avert the trope by having her being a profanity spewing powerhouse I'd suggest also have the trolls or Nanny Gran comment on how they'd rather face armed warriors any day than the singer's scalding tongue again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll include that in Nan's journal. Given she's been cooking kids, the PCs are going to kill her outright. They'd shove her into her own oven except that animated and ate the party leader (though seeing he had 5 points of fire resistance up, he was more bothered by the chewing than the fire).

The trope that's changed is "not a helpless pathetic lump that does nothing" to "active protagonist of her own tale who has tried to save herself and is now stuck where she is to save a child. The clothing thing was actually based off of a story I read once where the character's clothes were taken to try and keep that character from escaping. (Didn't work well.) I can easily drop that aspect though.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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If it troubles you much, by all means make her a male opera singer.

And bear in mind, she's not there to be won as a prize by male characters. Or female characters. She's in a committed relationship with an important NPC who cannot undertake the task herself—because too many other people would be endangered if she took a needless risk for personal reasons.

I appreciate the concern and it is noted. A writer has to make some choices sometimes and this was one of them. I'm not perfect, but I know I have great Editors like Judy Baur to help when I don't see my own biases.


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I had no issue with the opera singer as terrified civilian, mainly because she's a normal person who's having to sing every day to placate a dragon (who would cheerfully eat her alive if she let him down). I don't recall if she even knows there's children in the extremely noisy clocktower (and her bedroom/cell is right next to the gears!). Though I guess the children know of her somehow?

Logrovich is the real goal; saving the children or the singer are technically optional objectives.

Speaking of Logrovich:

Logrovich, the Queen's Champion

This dragon's white, ice-encrusted scales glitter like diamonds. He grins at you, a gesture that clearly isn't friendly. "I'd wondered if someone had come to rescue my little songbird. But you're actually here for me. That's not smart of you.. Yet..." The dragon sniffs the air, and cocks his head at you. "It seems you've been blessed, much like me. The Black Rider's work, it smells like. Very well then! I dedicate your blood to my mistress!"

Mythic Young White Dragon CR 9/MR 3 XP 9,600
BOSS CE Medium dragon (cold, mythic)
Init +11; Senses blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, snow vision; Perception +13

Defense
AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 23 (+4 Dex, +13 natural)
hp 298 (7d12+65)
Fort +13, Ref +12, Will +10
Defensive Abilities dragon blood (1d4 cold); DR 5/epic; Immune cold, dragon traits, paralysis, sleep
Weaknesses vulnerable to fire

Offense
Speed 60 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 150 ft. (average), swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d8+9), 2 claws +13 (1d6+6), 2 wings +8 (1d4+3)
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 6d4 cold damage, Reflex DC 18 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), dragon fury (1d4 cold), ice slick, mythic power (3/day, surge +1d6), power slide, trample (1d6+9, DC 19)

Statistics
Str 23, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 12
Base Atk +7; CMB +13; CMD 27 (31 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Improved InitiativeM, Power AttackM
Skills Diplomacy +11, Fly +14, Intimidate +11, Perception +13, Sense Motive +13, Stealth +16, Swim +24
Languages Draconic, Common, Skald
SQ ice shape, icewalking

Special Abilities

Ice Shape (Su) A young white dragon can shape ice and snow at will. This ability functions as stone shape, but only targets ice and snow, not stone. A white dragon's caster level for this effect is equal to its Hit Dice.

Ice Slick (Ex) Ice and slush persists from a mythic white dragon's breath weapon, coating all surfaces in the area and turning the area into difficult terrain for 1 minute per age category. The dragon can breathe at a location beyond its breath weapon range, coating it in ice and slush, instead of damaging creatures, in a radius equal to half its breath weapon range and at a range of 30 feet per age category (a 15-foot burst up to 90 feet for a mythic young white dragon).

Icewalking (Ex) This ability works like the spider climb spell, but the surfaces the dragon climbs must be icy. The dragon can move across icy surfaces without penalty and does not need to make Acrobatics checks to run or charge on ice.

Power Slide (Ex) If a mythic white dragon deals trample damage to one or more opponents on ice, snow, frozen tundra, or a similar slippery surface, it can expend one use of mythic power to attempt an awesome blow combat maneuver against each damaged target, as if it had the Awesome Blow monster feat (Bestiary 314).

Snow Vision (Ex) A very young white dragon learns to see perfectly well in snowy conditions. A white dragon does not take any penalties on Perception checks while in snow.

That was my write-up for my mythic game, fighting tier 1 heroes. He was the first true "boss" fight for the campaign, and I gave him an advanced mirror man (that Nazhena was actually Mirror Sighting at the moment) as back up.

(Boss template = advanced simple template & double max HP & +5 all saves; I give enemies with the template +2 CR).

Second edit: I always made it a point to call him Sir Logrovich, because this is the sort of land where the white dragons get noble titles, and the common folks are delegated to being food stuffs.


Jim Groves wrote:
Oh, now that is awesome. You must be a fantastic GM blessed with the coolest players. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, I'm flattered!

And yes, my players are awesome. They have all created really interesting and dramatic back stories for their characters and some of them are even doing voices (Russian accents). I sometimes do voices as a GM, but I am not really good at it, so I only do it if I am really sure of myself.
So far it has been a great campaign and the adventures are really very original and enjoyable.


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Tangent101 wrote:

I'll include that in Nan's journal. Given she's been cooking kids, the PCs are going to kill her outright. They'd shove her into her own oven except that animated and ate the party leader (though seeing he had 5 points of fire resistance up, he was more bothered by the chewing than the fire).

The trope that's changed is "not a helpless pathetic lump that does nothing" to "active protagonist of her own tale who has tried to save herself and is now stuck where she is to save a child. The clothing thing was actually based off of a story I read once where the character's clothes were taken to try and keep that character from escaping. (Didn't work well.) I can easily drop that aspect though.

I basically had Bella talk on and on and on (in an Italian accent) and hugging everyone because she was so glad to be freed. But I let her cry a little when she heard about what happened to the children. Then she was vey helpful in giving them information about Logrivich, and in the end singing a revolutionary song on the roof when one of the PCs asked if she would do this.

Bella will have to miss Solveig a little while longer, since one of the PCs convinced Solveig to become his cohort. He was so very convincing (both by roleplaying and with a diplomacy check) that she could not say no. They offered to take Bella along as well, but Solveig would not risk the life of her lover.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Luna eladrin wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
Oh, now that is awesome. You must be a fantastic GM blessed with the coolest players. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, I'm flattered!

And yes, my players are awesome. They have all created really interesting and dramatic back stories for their characters and some of them are even doing voices (Russian accents). I sometimes do voices as a GM, but I am not really good at it, so I only do it if I am really sure of myself.
So far it has been a great campaign and the adventures are really very original and enjoyable.

One of my players was able to do a good Russian accent, so I let her do the roleplaying for Nadya. When I realized that I had a surplus of NPCs and thinned the herd I talked to the player, and had her choose between her original PC and Nadya.

She ended up choosing Nadya for two reasons. First, her original PC was a "Fluttershy" type and it was growing quite difficult to do roleplaying with her. She was not that assertive, she was unnerved by one of the other characters and thus very standoffish around him (and that was run by her husband, whom she loves quite dearly! The standoffishness was roleplaying related but...) and second, Nadya has an excellent reason as to why to continue the campaign.

I created another excuse (family-related) for her old PC to stay behind and used Courageous Heart to transfer Baba Yaga's Geas to Nadya. So we get to continue with the excellent Russian accent!

(When it eventually hopefully comes to Rasputin's appearance, I'll probably turn to her husband and let him do the over-the-top Russian accent and thematics for his encounters with the group. No doubt he'll handle both Rasputin and his own Nicholas' dialogue quite well. ^^ I love my group! Just wish they could meet more often!)


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I am very lucky. We play once every 2 to 3 weeks.


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Jim Groves wrote:


I appreciate the concern and it is noted. A writer has to make some choices sometimes and this was one of them. I'm not perfect, but I know I have great Editors like Judy Baur to help when I don't see my own biases.

I like having her in there, her story is an interesting addition. Being a lesbian in an existing relationship already subverts the female prize trope. I changed her story slightly to make her more of a secret milanite revolutionary in Cheliax which tied into Solveig and the Heralds spy ring a little more, but the default gives a bunch to work with.

Reign of Winter is a Dark Fairy Tale theme and a pretty princess captured by a dragon in need of rescuing works well for that theme. Nobody is going to look at RoW or the Shackled Hut and come away with an impression that women are portrayed as nothing but damsels in distress. There are a ton of female villains, competent women, and brave female NPCs standing up to evil.

She is a first level bard in a dangerous setting between trolls and a dragon. I expect her to be scared as in a fight everything there is way above her weight class. I too had thought of her potentially inspiring courage in the Logrvich climax despite the text about her being too scared to help in a fight but since my party already had a bard it was not something that played out.


Same goes for me. One of the players plays a bard. I did not want her to steal the limelight. But the players' idea to let her perform on the roof (accompanied by said bard) more than made up for this.


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We're enjoying the Ap so far, with 6 players. Instead of doing a lot of rewriting on my end, what I did was start the players off with the young character rules and npc classes to represent untrained teenagers (and two took the young template and are playing as children). It gave it very much a Chronicles of Narnia/ Dark Fairy tale feel and play. After they got the mantle of the Black Rider they got to slowly swap out npc levels for class levels until now at 4th level they are all pc classes. I am still leaving them one level below the recommended pc level at each stage of the game so that the encounters continue to be appropriate, and it seems to be working well.

However, action economy does catch up even with weaker characters, so adding mobs or mooks with cc abilities helps.


That is a really fun idea, Ebonstone, and I think very appropriate for this campaign.


One of my players wants to use Charm Person to improve Greta's attitude towards him when he shows up... less than wolfy for their date. He's interested in pursuing a relationship with her, so he wants to break the truth to her early on.

My question is, when a creature is affected by Charm Person, how aware of that fact are they? Would they just suddenly be in a better mood, or would it be more like a delirious state of not being in full control of their actions? Since she lives in a nation of witches, it's plausible Greta would recognize her actions being manipulated.

I don't want to touch the morality of his plan here with a ten foot pole, to be honest. It fits the character and his alignment, but it makes me squeamish.


Greta's immune to charm person, since she's a winter wolf, and turning into a human doesn't change that she's really a winter wolf. Though charm monster will do the trick.

Greta be Friendly (as per the Diplomacy rules) to the caster (but not to the caster's friends!) while under the effects of Charm Monster. She may actually realize what happened and simply not care while the spell is up, since she'll be inclined to view the caster's actions in a good light.

She will stop being Friendly the moment the spell expires.

A violent reaction would be completely appropriate if the PC took advantage of the charm while it was going.

Though she might play it cool and wait before he goes to sleep before reverting into wolf form and biting his head off.

I recommend looking up the charm subschool in the Core Rulebook's Magic chapter, and then look at the rules for diplomacy. Essentially, all of the rules governing a charm spell are NOT listed under the charm spell itself, because they're explained in more detail in other chapters.


I introduced Greta as a contact of Nadya's uncle, so she was working for the resistance (but only so that she could make some money). I wrote a small side-quest so that their payment for getting through was helping her out, which allowed them all to work together. We're just starting book 6 and she's still with them (and willingly).


I am currently running this for two different groups. One group is just about to finish the pale tower and I am thinking about offering them an alternative route to travel to Whitethrone making use of some of the info in the Irrisen campaign book. Did anyone else do anything like this?

Also they convinced most of Waldsby to pack up and escape through the portal (including the shopkeeper). Would it be plausible to allow them to sell their plunders in either Ludovny (if they go the normal route) or Kizobran if they go the alternative route I'll offer. How on guard would the countess or baroness in each place be with regards to visiting foreign 'merchants'? Would Nazhena have contacted them do you think when the last she heard from Radosek was a desperate mirror sight message


I think this depends on what they sell. If the loot can be traced back to Waldsby, surely questions will be asked. If it is just generic loot, it would not be traceable.
If they sell lots of food, that would also raise suspicions.


My three PC, 25-point buy, optimized party (two rangers and a cleric) is not going to be challenged much by the adventures as written, so I'm upping the early encounters slightly.

For Little Boy Lost, four (not two) Boreal Wolves are being shadowed by two Fey Wolverines looking for opportunistic scavenging. The Wolverines will Charm Person the boy to lead him off into the ambush, then rage attack anyone who is weak.

Wood-wife's Plight, I will add a nest of two or three additional mindslaver molds in the cave, and turn the cave into a two room mini dungeon, with a pit trap and extra treasure.

Haunted Churchyard, I am adding the Negative Energy Charged template to both Huecuva. Really nasty. Upping the treasure accordingly.

For the Falconers and the White Wolf, I am thinking one of them gets another two levels of Ranger to get favored terrain bonuses and full HP for his bird.

They will be fifth level by Fishcamps. I'm hoping that I can talk them out of full battle readiness with an early patrol of ice trolls in the distance, and maybe a Wanted poster. That should help equalize.


Update: one mindslaver mold was enough to drive off the PCs. After they took out Finngarth, the mold attacked the melee ranger with dominate person, and he made his will save despite being reduced to 3 Wisdom from the mindslaver spores. They killed the mold and hauled the unconscious Finngarth away, and had no interest in pursuing the cave.

Dark Archive

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Been running my brother (the preacher) and his 4 kids through this AP. As a result, Bella had to change to Solveig's sister, but it still works well. One Rogue3/Bard3, a Summoner 6, a Paladin 6, a Hunter 6 with a White Tiger, and a Fighter 6.

The Logrivich battle was brutal and short; Two of the PCs beat his Init, and whacked him hard, then he Crti-Fumbled his first attack, which for us means his turn ends there - no movement, which also meant they whaled on Logrivich unopposed for a full round, and with 2 crits, he died before he could do anything. They had more trouble with the Whisperer that had come up to report to him. The rogue/bard convinced the others to take to time to let him skin the Dragon (and rolled a 20 on that!).

Then, they went out, escorting the kids and Bella, leaving the fighter at the top, so they could get away before lighting off the firework. As they exited, I had them all roll Perception, and, for the first time, they all failed. So, they didn't notice the 5 regular mirror men, and 2 Advanced ones (+2 to all rolls, Init, etc), waiting for them. Turns out killing your way through the city attracts attention!

Especially since I gave them a side quest to retrieve the belongings and bodies of the previous revolutionaries, who I based on the old D&D cartoon (Ranger with a magic bow, Thief with a Cloak of Invis, Cavalier with a Shield with ForceCage 1/d (but they haven't made the Spellcraft to figure that one out yet), a Wizard with a Magic Hat (Same problem with Spellcraft), a 12 inch pole that can grow to 6 or 10 feet, and a club that allows the wielder to use Barbarian Rage 1/d). This could have been done sneaky, but they decided to Kill the 5 Mirror Men guards; gained them lots of XP, but their faces were now known.

To up the fight, Witches could cast spells through the mirrors of the Mirror Men, at the cost of their attacks. Even with all this, it seemed a fair fight, as the group had purchased a Wand of CLW, and used it to heal up completely while skinning the Dragon.

The kids and summoner stayed in the base of the tower, while the fighter was on the top floor letting off the Fireworks. However, hearing the fight beneath him, he drank his featherfall potion, and jumped off. The MM had gotten a good Init, and worked together to flank and attack. The Summoner cast a Summon Pit spell that hampered both sides, but the MM more. As a result, they felt they were mostly winning, till I started hitting the Crits! Two of the MM were flanking the Paladin (who was the Anvil, AC 24), and of their 4 combined attacks, 3 critted! He double checked, then announced he would have to make a new character. He had been taken to -26HP!

This was followed not too long later with the Hunter getting it in the face from one of the advanced MM, killing her, then a round later, her tiger. Fortunately for the rest, the Fighter on one side, the Eidolon with Reach, and the Summoner using his last spell for a Summon Pit that dumped the last two MM in the pit, and the fighter jumping in after to wreck them (he was the hammer, with a base +12 to all his damage rolls, using a D12 weapon). The group agreed this was a much more fitting 'boss battle' than Logrivich had been.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Sounds like an epic battle Letomo. RPG are like that. A Boss Fight is often anticlimax, compared to some of the encounters before or after. Crafting encounters for your PCs, like you did with the Mirror Man often help out. Try doing the same for the next Boss Fight

One suggestion, if PCs are able to Talk / Sneak past an encounter, still give them the same experience. This will reward them for trying different options.

Dark Archive

I do - and that was part of what led to that battle. They had done enough that checkpoints were set up through the city, so they decided to charge right through, running, instead of fighting their way through. Which, eventually, lead to the MM tracking them to the Tower, and setting up the ambush.


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Logrovich's Clock Tower was another difficult fight for the party, and tons of fun. They effectively had to fight all three levels at once, due to tactical choices and some bad luck. Three of four characters were at negative HP at some point during the fight. I took the advice of this board to increase Logrovich to Juvenile, and he patiently used Fog Cloud to control the encounter. 8d4 dragon breath every round without retaliation is nasty, even with cold resistance.

  • Logrovich used his CMB +14 to pitch the main martial character off the tower after a successful grapple, maintain grapple plus pull, for 7d6 falling damage. He landed right in the middle of a pair of mirror men who were watching the fight impassively up to that point.
  • The Gobbler swallowed the archer whole. Had to be rescued by others just before he got cooked medium rare.
  • Logrovich took care of the spellcaster with dragon breath, not once but twice dropping her to negative.

Next step is the Market.

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