Help with a BBEG wizard.


Advice


Basic build is outlined below.

STATs:
Str 10
Dex 14
Con 12
Int 28
wis 12
Cha 9

Race elf:
Alternate racial trait Arcane Focus.

Class Wizard 20
archtype spell sage

Trait
Signature Spell Black Tentacles
Magical linage Black Tentacles

Feats
1: Combat Casting
3: Spell Focus Conjuration
5: Spell Focus Divination
Wizard: Heighten Spell
7: Spell Specialization Black Tentacles
9: Mages Tattoo (Conjuration)
Wizard: something?)
11: Steward of the great beyond (arcane discovery)
13: Spell perfection Black Tentacles (via retraining after 20)
15: Arithmancy
Wizard: Widen Spell
17: Augment Summoning
19: True Name
Wizard: Quicken Spell

He would have several instances of Quickened widened Black tentacles prepared, which would be level 7 spells with spell perfection and magical linage.

Equipment
+5 Adamantine Haramaki of spell Dodging (total effective bonus of 7)
Ring of Freedom of Movement
Belt of stoneskin
Headband of vast intellect + 6
Otherworldly Kimono
+5 Mithril buckler of spell turning
Ring of Protection +5
Amulet of Natural Armor + 5
orange prism ioun stone

His opening move of combat is to cast a quickened widened black tentacles on himself, cast time stop, cast spellbane (antimagic field, disjunction, greater dispel magic, freedom of movement) and spell bane (dimensional anchor, dimensional lock, disintegrate, and shield)

If he gets more than two rounds out of timestop he casts other buff spells on himself. On his next turn he uses his otherworldly Kimono on the most heavily armored target in the group, then spams spells starting with his lowest level attack spells until he either dies, kills the enemy, or survives getting to 40 hp (in which case his contingency'd teleport goes off).

The key portion of his build is maximizing the caster level of black tentacles. Do to spell specialization, mages tattoo and arithmancy, he is getting a + 4 to the caster level from these feats, which would be doubled to eight from spell perfection, he can add +4 from the archtype ability, the ioun stone adds one, and his trait signature spell also adds one, bringing his caster level for the spell to 34, which gives black tentacles a + 39 on its CMB checks to grapple. Since he disabled freedom of movement via spellbane, unless the party have rings of freedom of movement, or a freedom domain cleric, this should be able to grapple all but the full BAB martial characters.

The easiest way for him to be shut down is for the party to cast their own spellbane which would include spellbane as one of the forbidden spells, this could even be done from a scroll.

The party will have some advance knowledge of the wizards tactics, though how much will depend on them.

Do you have any suggestions or perhaps any ways to further boost black tentacles via magic items?


Any allies for the Wizard?

Don't care how powerful you are or what's prepped, if you're a solo boss you'll almost always fail due to "action economy". Needs at least one or two good body guards/

Think Black Tentacles have a major flaw in that Freedom of Movement (almost a must have in those high levels) make them almost worthless.


A conjurer could build a nice set of allies simply through conjuration. The problem is wading through the widened black tentacles. I would make sure you have additional tactics for fliers, teleporter, the very strong, and the very dexterous. I am not certain why spell focus (divination)? I assume you intend to use true name to summon something special for the final battle; what will it be?

I also don't know how useful spell sage would be in this circumstance. Why not a conjurer. As a level 20 power you'll automatically already have on summon monster IX creature hanging with you. What is the composition of the party this wizard will be facing?


Matt2VK wrote:

Any allies for the Wizard?

Don't care how powerful you are or what's prepped, if you're a solo boss you'll almost always fail due to "action economy". Needs at least one or two good body guards/

Think Black Tentacles have a major flaw in that Freedom of Movement (almost a must have in those high levels) make them almost worthless.

Thats why he was using spellbane to prevent anyone from benefiting from the spell.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why start by casting the lower level attack spells.
The fight will be over fast, so open with the most powerful attack spells and then use the weaker ones later. Nothing more embarrassing than ending up in hell with your death spells still ready.

The next tactic is to kill the PC spell casters while they are messing with the black tentacles before they can intefere with his spells

Does he know the pc's tactics and powers if so he should have a spell list customised to deal with them.

Also he should have a viable plan in case his black tentacles do not work. Ideally he would want to be able to retreat but the plot may mean he is committed to this battle


Spellbane is a 10ft emanation. If you are expecting the party to be using Freedom of Movement, why are you using a widened Black Tentacles? And what if they are flying?

Any 20th level wizard worthy of his level should be astrally projecting and have a clone or 3 ready.

Having a contingency up is a good idea. Having an escape option that still works even when dimensionally anchored or similar is better.

Prismatic Sphere is a staple. And why would he need to spend his timestop rounds to buff? Isn't he already aware of the party's approach?

And never underestimate how effective dispelling or otherwise removing the party's buff spells can be.

A sequence of delayed blast fireballs (cast them from scrolls) will blow through Protection from Fire and kill wizards and many clerics if you use them during the timestop.


How about some incorporal assistants (ghosts, greater wraiths). They would ignore the black tantacles.

Also I think that a high level high intelligence wizard should have some back-up plans / other attack Options ready. If he has only one trick there is basically only two options how the final fight will go:

a) The Party has prepared well and the fight is boring.

b) The Party has not prepared well and resulzts in a TPK or total flight.

Both results are suboptimal for good game play.


Why is his intelligence so high, but none of his physical stats are boosted, and why isn't his wisdom higher?

Also avoid black tentacles. It is not likely to work.

What are the party's usual tactics?


Avadriel wrote:
Thats why he was using spellbane to prevent anyone from benefiting from the spell.

It also prevents him from benefitting from it, well done you have just killed yourself with your own tentacles. Spellbane acts like AMF, AMF will suppress magical items and therefore his own freedom of movement goes away.

Even if it didn't anyone seriously considering fighting level 20 spellcasters will have the Ring. They are also very likely to all be flying making Tentacles pretty useless.

If you want to make a dangerous conjuration caster try spell perfecting caustic eruption. Add empower for free with spell perfection and give him a staff of the master necromancer to add dazing or quicken to it. Empowered its doing 30d6 round 1, then 15d6 on rounds 2 and 3. If it is also dazing then it may also be preventing people from acting.

Give him some planar bound Angels as minions, they are immune to acid damage so he can freely blow things up.

If you want him to engage in summoning at all then he needs Acadamae Graduate. 1 round cast time spells are pretty much pointless for combat, dropping summons to a standard action is necessary.


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What level is the party when they meet this guy? Why is he a Spell sage? The creature whos true name he knows is present i assume? What is it? He need buffs on con and possibly dex.
As he is now he will loose to most level 12+groups i have seen. Unless he is in ambush because his saves will be terrible.

Grand Lodge

Give him 2 allies.

Throw down CC first round. While they are reeling from the first round and trying to recover use EFS to bubble then magic jar and take control of the person not sporting protection from evil. Use ally to kill the most vulnerable player with your two allies....should only take a round. Then suicide who your controlling and go back to your own body and continue to clean up.

Typically the party will TPK unless their caster is very good and well prepared.


Dotting, will post after work.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Give him 2 allies.

Throw down CC first round. While they are reeling from the first round and trying to recover use EFS to bubble then magic jar and take control of the person not sporting protection from evil. Use ally to kill the most vulnerable player with your two allies....should only take a round. Then suicide who your controlling and go back to your own body and continue to clean up.

Typically the party will TPK unless their caster is very good and well prepared.

You need line of effect from the Jar to your victims. So the Jar cannot be inside the EFS, therefore it is vulnerable to their actions. And, while you don't need line of effect to the jar from your own body, you might need it to return from the jar at the end.

So, if you want to use this, precast it on a well-hidden jar so the party can't recognise the spell and start looking for your jar.

I still prefer Astral Projection.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The best way to make wizards and spellcasters BBEG in general, you customize their spell list to fight your party. If they use a spell or a tactic, just have spells or contingency against their usual tactics. It will be a memorable fight and your players will think outside the box for a little bit.


Eltacolibre wrote:
The best way to make wizards and spellcasters BBEG in general, you customize their spell list to fight your party. If they use a spell or a tactic, just have spells or contingency against their usual tactics. It will be a memorable fight and your players will think outside the box for a little bit.

I disagree with this unless the BBEG is spying on the party. I have a DM who loves to do this so I have always have to hide my best tactics, even though I am constantly protecting myself from spying. It is not just unfair, but boring, to invalidate a character's best tactics due to metagame knowledge. Instead just try to have diversity of spells ready that target every save; summon creatures, kill sightlines, take advantage of terrain. There's no need to metagame a party to beat them.


Thank you to everyone who has or will contribute an insight, based on your comments I will be revamping and possibly redesigning the encounter over the next couple of days and I will post back with the revised version of the encounter.

Once again, thank you for your insights.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Consider that in this situation someone with an Int of 30+ is really good at working out what the characters can do and coming up with really clever plans , much better than the gm. I know I am not a supernaturally intelligent genius.
Also the big boss normally has at least some idea of what you did to his minions particularly with access to a lot of divination magic, I would be embarrassed if I defeated a 20th level wizard and discovered he had some random generic preparation such a foe should be within the limits of his available resources fully ready to face the pc's . Who no doubt will (should) have been gathering information and preparing for this specific foe.

I find that the pc's normally win anyway as there are more of them with more actions and more minds to come up with cunning plans and less distracted by the other things the gm has to be tracking

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:
The best way to make wizards and spellcasters BBEG in general, you customize their spell list to fight your party. If they use a spell or a tactic, just have spells or contingency against their usual tactics. It will be a memorable fight and your players will think outside the box for a little bit.
I disagree with this unless the BBEG is spying on the party. I have a DM who loves to do this so I have always have to hide my best tactics, even though I am constantly protecting myself from spying. It is not just unfair, but boring, to invalidate a character's best tactics due to metagame knowledge. Instead just try to have diversity of spells ready that target every save; summon creatures, kill sightlines, take advantage of terrain. There's no need to metagame a party to beat them.

Not every spellcaster is going to be prepared all the time vs a specific a party but usually when I hear BBEG, it is someone who has been a torn in the side of the pcs for awhile. Random Evil Wizard in a tower, will just have his regular spell list.

BBEG who has been an enemy of the party since they started their adventuring days? Especially a wizard or a cleric (high int or high wis), why wouldn't they prepare their spells to be ready for such enemies?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To OP, sorry need some context.

Other than a BBEG what is his role in your story? How do the PCs know of him? Why are they fighting him? What is the BBEG motivation? How much does the BBEG know about the PCs? Did his spies/minions regularly report on the PCs as a growing threat?

Assuming he has a modicrum of wit, barring arrogance or special circumstances it is unlikely he will face the PCs alone. 1 vs. party is a recipe for defeat. Subterfuge, deception, maybe the BBEG has several doubles/clones, etc...or maybe he just sends assassins courtesy of Planar Binding. Or maybe everyone thinks the BBEG is a Hero of the Realm, and the PCs are home invading murder hobos?

I mean technically he could open with a Wish the party into the sun. With a few tweaks, he will go first, through his intel network and divination knows everything about the PCs and attack before they find him...but I would advise against an encounter like that.

Cheers! (and good luck whatever you decide.)

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