Rappan Athuk - Creating a Character to Annihilate [Omitted]


Advice and Rules Questions


This thread is gonna have spoilers.

There's a pretty good chance I'm gonna be playing in Rappan Athuk pretty soon. I find rolling up new characters in chainsaw dungeon crawls tedious, so I'm looking for a build that is solid and scary from levels 1-20.

Honestly, I'd love to be able to solo Orcus.

Any suggestions for builds that'll do it?

I'm open to really anything, though I'm assuming a caster's the only thing that's gonna have the chops for that.

The Exchange

The big thing for living so long is about making sure you don't suddenly lose a roll to a save or die, especially in this setting.

Maybe a dual cursed (for rerolls) Life Oracle? Your channels should greatly aid you abilities to survive lots of undead etc. Take everything you can to get CHR to other stats and you should be fairly hard to kill and quite effective in the setting.


Hex Magus Vorpal and hope like Hell. That's how I got him.

Shadow Lodge

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If you want to annihilate S$!%, you don't have to wait until Orcus. There's a S@%% monster on the first level. You won't be able to annihilate it, though.


Yeah. We had to walk away from that for ever. Ugh.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

TBP, you've got a problem. RA is a classic that has a lot of material that is sort of... arbitrary. If you do X, Y happens to you, and Y may very well be "you're dead". Making a single character that can stand alone and deal with arbitrary... not going to happen.

Really, it sounds like the issue is that RA is not the game for you.

I'm sorry I don't have anything more helpful, but your stated goal and the reason for it just don't work together.

Shadow Lodge

TheBlackPlague wrote:
solo Orcus

:P


Yup. Not really interested in dealing solo with the entirety of RA. Mostly just Orcus.

Believe me, I know RA is arbitrary. I'm okay with that. That's why, while my stated goal (as Kthulhu so nicely restated) is to be ABLE to solo Orcus, all I need for the rest of RA is something solid that will be survivable. I'm not asking to walk roughshod over the entirety of the dungeon, but by the time I punch THROUGH all that arbitrariness, I want to wreck some demon lord face.

Also, the rest of my group is NOT optimizers and not that great of strategists, to be realistic, and this is their first chainsaw dungeon, so I'm gonna be carrying a lot of weight.


Have you looked at the stats of Orcus?

You need to get your saves up to deal with Fort saves of 40-43. Will saves at 44 (fear aura). And be able to hit either mid 50 AC (or touch of 35) while not getting hit by a +65 to +52 to hit.

Paladin would take care of saves and give you solid BAB, as well as allow you to smite to pass DR. Even then "soloing" it is a serious long shot.


Have you looked at the stats of Orcus?

You need to get your saves up to deal with Fort saves of 40-43. Will saves at 44 (fear aura). And be able to hit either mid 50 AC (or touch of 35) while not getting hit by a +65 to +52 to hit.

Paladin would take care of saves and give you solid BAB, as well as allow you to smite to pass DR. A divine caster (with the divine Protection feat for CHA to saves) like the Oracle might be a good option, but then you need to compete with SR of 46 and focus on Ref saves (lowest of the 3). Even then "soloing" it is a serious long shot unless your GM plays him like a complete and total moron.


No seriously I just rolled a 20. Vorpal. No saves needed.


I have looked at the stats of Orcus, actually. Hence my post - because dealing with something like that is pretty far above my current level of optimization.

Upon rereading my posts, I see that my usage of the phrase 'solo' wasn't presented as the hyperbole I intended it to be, and for my unclear wording I apologize. While I'd love to be able to take on Orcus single-highhandedly, as the boards tell me high level casters can do to Cthulhu, I'm not sure it's reasonable.

If it IS, though, I would like to know how. Barring that, I'd like I way to create a character that can at least do HALF the work necessary.


Ok then. Make a healing cleric with the subdomain that offers death effect immunity. That's a plus. Maybe a good domain too because between demons and undead you'll be well set. That'll cover your workload.


Cavall wrote:
No seriously I just rolled a 20. Vorpal. No saves needed.

Living to get close enough to make the attempt?

Like I said before, if your GM plays the opponent like a complete moron you can try that. Otherwise, if they play it like the challenge it is supposed to be, it takes a great deal more than making a simple attack.


He didn't get much of a choice, since I cast the spell to get a free attack along the way to rush right through to him. No AoO allowed.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/bladed-dash

Vorpal is as Vorpal does. Our dual cursed oracle did help me confirm it though.

Our GM wasn't a moron. He gave me a villain with a 5% chance of instant death. I made that happen.


TheBlackPlague wrote:

I have looked at the stats of Orcus, actually. Hence my post - because dealing with something like that is pretty far above my current level of optimization.

Upon rereading my posts, I see that my usage of the phrase 'solo' wasn't presented as the hyperbole I intended it to be, and for my unclear wording I apologize. While I'd love to be able to take on Orcus single-highhandedly, as the boards tell me high level casters can do to Cthulhu, I'm not sure it's reasonable.

If it IS, though, I would like to know how. Barring that, I'd like I way to create a character that can at least do HALF the work necessary.

The vast majority of the time when people say a class is capable of soloing a huge CR opponent, it tends to make use of very loose interpretations of the rules or loop holes of"RAW". Basically cheats. Things that most GMs wouldn't allow if they knew what it was going to add up to. So it is less "optimization" and more bending the rules to get to that character.

That all being said, you should define what "half the work" means to you. Objectively speaking playing a buffing caster who hands out immunity to the death and fear effects, spell turning or SR to lessen the impact of spells cast on them, etc. Did half the work of the encounter. It just wasn't the flashy half that most people are wanting to do. And also, it greatly depends on the GM and how they play a creature with SO many spell likes and spells.


Cavall wrote:

He didn't get much of a choice, since I cast the spell to get a free attack along the way to rush right through to him. No AoO allowed.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/bladed-dash

Vorpal is as Vorpal does. Our dual cursed oracle did help me confirm it though.

Our GM wasn't a moron. He gave me a villain with a 5% chance of instant death. I made that happen.

All things being said in a vacuum, he did play him like a moron if you one shot him with an attack like that (however lucky a 20 might have been).

Things like repulsion, deeper darkness and iron body are all long lasting spells that would have made such an attack irrelevant and ineffectual. At least one of them should have been up seeing as the shortest duration would be 15 rounds.


That's all well and good. You clearly haven't read the fight lately which has him sit there for a few rounds watching the players before joining the fight. We were shown after the fact. I got close and took my shot.

If you have an issue with that take it up with the person that wrote the whole book. Played like a moron or a genius doesn't save you from lacking a head. Don't hate my accomplishments. I earned that victory. I worked for it and karma paid for it.


It isn't an accomplishment. You just rolled a 20. It's lame. I would totally be pissed if a DM let me do that, it would feel like he doesn't want to play.


No. I didn't just "roll a 20." I leveled a character for 3 years, picked the one spell and one upgrade to give myself a chance, worked my way to the final fight, found the gap I needed and took my one chance. Then I confirmed the one die roll to give myself that chance.

Having a DM say "Oh sure it's Vorpal but I'd rather have him live" would have pissed me off a lot more as it would totally invalidate 3 years investment. For everyone, including him.

Dark Archive

Cavall wrote:

He didn't get much of a choice, since I cast the spell to get a free attack along the way to rush right through to him. No AoO allowed.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/bladed-dash

Vorpal is as Vorpal does. Our dual cursed oracle did help me confirm it though.

Our GM wasn't a moron. He gave me a villain with a 5% chance of instant death. I made that happen.

None of this makes sense. Each square on that map is 25 feet, if Orcus was in the back, or even near the throne that would put him at around 400 feet away from the entrance of the room.

Orcus also has two rounds to buff and prepare for the fight - I'm assuming your character used his vorpal sword several times before getting to this point? Orcus isn't an idiot and in fact has Iron Body on its spell list. If he has been watching the party's progress throughout RA he would have seen this and known it - just as he would prepare for any special weapons he and his minions would have to deal with (Holy Avenger, et al). If he was run right Iron Body would probably have been an early defensive spell cast.

-
Mechanical/Rules Problems and mistakes:

Bladed Dash is still just a form of move, it doesn't negate the fact that you still needed to make a DC 44 will save vs. Fear once you got close to Orcus. Bladed Dash doesn't negate aura's, it just gets you through the crowd.

Also your Dual Cursed oracle party member had to be within 30 feet to give you the Fortune benefit (assuming it ran like Misfortune, which it doesn't....)

Of course the biggest flaw to what happened in your game (or how your DM ran it):

Dual Cursed wrote:
Fortune (Ex): At 5th level, as an immediate action, you can reroll any one d20 roll that you have just made before the results of the roll are revealed. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll. You can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every six oracle levels beyond 5th.

These are for the Oracle's rolls, not for your Magus or any other ally. I think you assumed that since the Misfortune ability had an effect on other targets that the same would apply to Fortune - it doesn't.

I think your GM (and maybe the Oracle player) just didn't understand the abilities of the class very well. In addition to not checking the Demon Lords Fear aura before you were able to make the attack.

Not saying the GM was a moron - but he did run the encounter wrong, the most obvious being the more powerful use of the Dual Cursed Oracle's ability - plus a bunch of other smaller mistakes. This is why so many people are having problems with your story.

You may have rolled a 20, what got you there the ability to make the attack and even help with the confirmation seem false or flawed.

Shadow Lodge

I'm also not sure I would have a "mere" beheading actually kill one of the most powerful demi-god level entities in existence (at least in the Lost Lands).

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:
I'm also not sure I would have a "mere" beheading actually kill one of the most powerful demi-god level entities in existence (at least in the Lost Lands).

If you go by old school rules (1st and 2nd ed) yes, a vorpal weapon wouldn't do the trick - but this is PFRPG after all - RAW vs RAI edition of gaming.

The point of my post above though was to stress that even in a hyperRAW game, it wouldn't have worked the way it did or it did because the GM in question ran it wrong.


Vorpal clearly states if the creature can't function without a head it dies. It lost its head. It died. Nothing in his writeup even hints as to his ability to function without one.

As for the fear, we were immune to fear for the last 5 or so levels of the game, having tired of running around being hit by the effects.

I can't speak for the distances on the map, as it was well over a year ago. Nor can I remember which power he used as a level 9 caster to help me confirm as I wasn't that player and I can't remember that far back as to another players spell list or revelations. I don't believe it was the one you mentioned because of reasons you listed however. That being said although I had swung the sword in combat and he was watching, his was the only Vorpal confirmation, I don't think that's enough for him to know unless he actually sees the power go off.

We finished over 19 months ago. So I apologize if I can't lay the board down the way I remember it or I could help you more.

But long story short he died.

Dark Archive

Cavall wrote:
But long story short he died.

Because your GM ran it wrong - as I stated in my first post citing reasons.

None of which you disproved besides "we got tired of fear effects" and that the Oracle was a double curse Oracle - with the powers listed as the ones I cited.

Unless you specifically clarify otherwise, this sounds like another case of "ran it wrong" - pretty much from the ground up.


Well I would disagree. Having been there for it. But that's OK. I won't let it take away from my groups hard work over the years. It's not like I walked right into the room and did it, we had to get closer and work for it. But it's ok if you think it's not right. We know for our group it was.

Shadow Lodge

Auxmaulous wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
I'm also not sure I would have a "mere" beheading actually kill one of the most powerful demi-god level entities in existence (at least in the Lost Lands).
If you go by old school rules (1st and 2nd ed) yes, a vorpal weapon wouldn't do the trick - but this is PFRPG after all

Not in the real version of Rappan Athuk. :D


Allow me to inject something here. Here is the description of the final encounter of Rappan Athuk (Pathfinder Edition):

"It is the den and living quarters for the most foul presence of the Avatar of Orcus himself."

It was an avatar, not the Demon Lord himself, so they might have been able to eliminate it.


silverhair2008 wrote:

Allow me to inject something here. Here is the description of the final encounter of Rappan Athuk (Pathfinder Edition):

"It is the den and living quarters for the most foul presence of the Avatar of Orcus himself."

It was an avatar, not the Demon Lord himself, so they might have been able to eliminate it.

It isn't the fact that it happened. It is the fact that it happens in a remarkably ridiculously easy way, which should have been impossible to do if the GM played the opponent anywhere near what it should have been.

A spell in the monsters actual write up lasts 15 minutes and would have kept it from happening.

I'm not saying the party shouldn't win, but that the encounter was run poorly at best given the campaign.

Any level CR encounter can be defeated if run like the opponent is dumb. As the OP is asking about a build that would let him or her "solo" the encounter (later revised to "do half the work" of defeating Orcus), I'm not going to assume the GM is going to run Orcus like a moron when giving suggestions. Nor would I suggest anyone else do so.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I would say that Orcus is basically a god in the Lost Lands and not intended to be killed. And even if you defeated him I am sure you would only send him back to his home plane, but there are plenty of temples of Orcus in the lost lands. As Greg Vaughn said recently - Orcus is everywhere. I believe did defeat him then he would either ignore you, or hold a grudge. I think I do not want a Orcus to have a grudge with me...

Shadow Lodge

Shem wrote:
I would say that Orcus is basically a god in the Lost Lands and not intended to be killed. And even if you defeated him I am sure you would only send him back to his home plane, but there are plenty of temples of Orcus in the lost lands. As Greg Vaughn said recently - Orcus is everywhere. I believe did defeat him then he would either ignore you, or hold a grudge. I think I do not want a Orcus to have a grudge with me...

I think he's still technically supposed to be a demon lord / demigod-level entity, but it seems safe to say that he's one of the most powerful of that level that's active in The Lost Lands. And he is ESPECIALLY active in The Lost Lands.


I skipped over a ton of this thread once I saw final encounter spoilers (I'm a RA player), so I apologize if I repeat anything. tl;dr at the bottom. To the OP:

I put together an incredibly powerful team of characters for our new players to play for our RA campaign. Some, like the Master Summoner, are commonly banned in home games for just feeling nuts. I am a min/maxer and I tried very hard.

We have:
1.) A variant aasimar, archer, Oath of Vengance paladin. This is the guy who could do the primary killing of the website Orcus, who I do not know if is the same as the RA Orcus. You have to dip out of Paladin though, as the Paladin 20 ultimate literally ruins you. Of course, Orcus would kill him first, so:
2.) A Aasimar Master Summoner, who can drown the battlefield in bodies and spells. This is one of the characters that is hardest to stop, until he runs out of resources and then he dies. Also, he comes with a bonus super-thief. The Master Summoner is one of the reasons other characters live, because he can use npcs to trigger the RA cheaty-traps. Can't solo Orcus without breaking the game with wizard spells.
3.) A Drow Evangelist/Hangover Cleric. Can't solo Orcus, but is the deepest, most important PC for keeping everyone alive. Ruins many monsters instantly.
4.) A variant aasimar Menhir Savant Druid. Pair with the MS, this is half of our anti-death radar system. Can't kill Orcus, can make sure others get there and do.
5.) A Duergar barbarian with a DR build. Immunities plus massive threat. Might kill Orcus with correct support.

We have had 1 death (my precious master summoner). We have had 20 near deaths that came down to 1 roll.

The "don't die" goal in really to reach level 5ish. We can now afford to raise dead.

tl;dr--RA super character building advice
1.) Play a uncommon race. Duergar, Drow, Aasimar, Svirfneblin etc. You have to see in the dark, have powerful SLAs, etc.
2.) Immunities are godly, see Duergar.
3.) Resistances must be 200% higher than awesome. In 5 levels of play, +14 saves at level 5 were not nearly enough to guarantee a save. We faced several DC 20+ save or wipe situations.
4.) You need great depth. You have to be able to matter all day and all night.
5.) do what your character does really well, or make sure you can make others do so.
6.) you need to be able to retreat quickly.


Let us all take a breath and ease up up on internet fights please.

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