What about nasty things you do choose to throw at your players?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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From here.

Please carry on!


First up...

... some answers so far!

...

Charlie Bell wrote:
What about nasty things you do choose to throw at your players? I'm a big fan of troops of incorporeal undead, personally. Also under-CR'd ghosts with the young template and corrupting gaze.
Hugo Rune wrote:
Very high CR encounters, very low CR encounters and level appropriate encounters. All in too high a number for the party to do them all. They quickly learn to scout and explore before picking their encounters.
Vanykrye wrote:
Shocker Lizards. Once per campaign. There is basically nothing else that amuses me quite as much as shocker lizards.
Matthew Downie wrote:
I like enemies that can swallow PCs whole, drag them underwater, engulf them, that kind of thing. Puts a PC in a bad position, but doesn't take them out of the battle entirely.

Carry on! :D


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Having run two games that both had gibberish mouthers in the adventure, I will definitely throw them in again next time. Evil little blobs.

Liberty's Edge

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I throw whatever I feel like at 'em, really.

The trick I'm infamous for among my players is giving armor to bestiary creatures who can wear it. As a corollary Mithral Chain Shirts can be worn by just about anyone and anything...and a single level of several PC classes gives proficiency in Plate.

In a similar vein, I'm not sure my players have ever fought a dragon with spell casting who lacked both shield and mage armor. Makes dragons a tad scarier, that's for sure.

I'm also a strong proponent of using all the PC-standard buffs and defensive spells on any enemy with access to such things. That can get ugly.

Also, pugwampies. Everybody loves pugwampies. :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Pits filled with swarms?

I'll have to review some old traps.

Actually, hopping pillars over fields of swarms--with warlocks plinking them with repelling eldritch blasts.


Swarms are always fun because there's always at least one or two characters that have no idea of how to deal with them.


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My cousin - my first GM - loved to use monsters that vomited on you. His campaigns (1st ed) were also almost Gygaxian in their lethality.

Needless to say, the Darkest Dungeon was very nostalgic for me.

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Giving Incorporeals Spring Attack and a rock to hide in. Ideally, with reach on Combat Reflexes too.

Customized Quicken Spell-like Abilities added on.


3rd party templates you can only get from pdfs, not online. No metagaming when you're fighting a troll, 'kill' it, then find out you were fighting a husk and the real troll is gone...

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Just adding tons of class levels can be mean.

Adding just a dip can be even meaner, since it might result in less XP.

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My current group mentions this set up almost every single session.

Their old, evil DM, once put them against 100 kobolds, each with a wand of magic missiles, each with only 1 charge.


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Sounds worse than the small group of Kobolds I've heard about with Adept levels and scrolls, surrounded by other kobolds so it wasn't easy to get to them. I think they were using Scorching Ray scrolls.

Throwing Class levels that aren't primary ones be nasty. Like Witch on a Medusa. Lots of levels before any significant change in CR. >.>

Unusual creatures. Like the were rate that turns into a swarm instead of one dire rat.


Will-o'-wisps that strike, turn invisible, then 5-foot step. Or don't 5-foot step, just to mix things up. Then spend a whole turn flying over, waiting, then setting up an attack with other Will-o'-wisps on casters/people with scent.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The most annoying trick I am wont to pull is re-skinning a troublesome monster. By switching a difficult encounter's type, special attack, etc., and ALWAYS its appearance, I get a second run that almost always sees players freaking out. Right after the LotR movie first came out, I just crafted my own 'spider goblins' to vex a party, then pulled the same evil with kobolds in the woods. too easy not to.


I'm planning on throwing a Harpy Bard at the party, she poses as an Opera singer and gets a whole theatre full of people captivated at once. The mess as commoners throw themselves off the upper tiers is quite something


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I like shadows and wraiths.

I once used a 3.5 monster that did charisma drain, however the party had come across enough incorporeal undead that it didn't last long.

I reskinned one of the good outsiders with cleric levels as an evil monster.

There is a 3.5 monster that can attack you with its tongue and drag you to it. I also converted it to Pathfinder. It was on the ceiling, and it would drag the player up, and then release them as a free action, causing them to take falling damage.

Feindish Dragons. A smiting dragon is a terrible thing to fight against.

Grand Lodge

Vorpal is my spirit animal. My players have a great fear of crystalline caterpillars.


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I'm a big fan of making intelligent, communal creatures behave in an intelligent and communal fashion. Creatures encountered that are part of a larger group will send members to alert the rest or raise the hue and cry rather than all standing around, fighting in silence until dead.

I mentioned in another thread, but Mimics that are in the form of random furniture that is NOT a chest, such as beds, dressers, wardrobes, couches, etc. usually where other such mundane furniture already rests.

White Dragon that has liberally seeded much of his lair and the surrounding area with Brown Mold to deal with opponents who feel that fire is the best thing to use against him.

wraithstrike wrote:
Feindish Dragons. A smiting dragon is a terrible thing to fight against.

I used a Red Dragon with Anti-Paladin levels, once....

Aura of Cowardice combining with the dragon's Frightful Presence...heh.


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SmiloDan wrote:

Just adding tons of class levels can be mean.

Adding just a dip can be even meaner, since it might result in less XP.

That's another one of my favorites. My players live in fear of shocker lizards, but when I say an ogre and 4 orcs...they just smile assuming a mop up job. And then they remember after someone has died and lives have been ruined that I will also throw class levels on just about any intelligent creature. They really weren't fans of the vampire monk triplets.

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wraithstrike wrote:

I like shadows and wraiths.

I once used a 3.5 monster that did charisma drain, however the party had come across enough incorporeal undead that it didn't last long.

I reskinned one of the good outsiders with cleric levels as an evil monster.

There is a 3.5 monster that can attack you with its tongue and drag you to it. I also converted it to Pathfinder. It was on the ceiling, and it would drag the player up, and then release them as a free action, causing them to take falling damage.

Feindish Dragons. A smiting dragon is a terrible thing to fight against.

Did the Charisma-drainer wipe its victims from existence if it killed them?

I did not have a kender rogue that did not use a spiked chain that did not get killed by one of those. ;-)

Was the tongue-lasher a Canoloth? They're awesome. Yugoloths have been a favorite of mine since Planescape.

I once made a half-celestial black dragon that had raven-black angel wings.

I once made a dracolich with a giant (humanoid) skull instead of a dragon's skull.


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Alien.

The moment my group found an open egg and a corpse with the chest exploded outward, they freaked out. Totally captured the fear from the first movie!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Thread title wrote:
What about nasty things you do choose to throw at your players?

Each others' PCs. Literally. >:D

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In RotRL:

We had to fight copies of ourselves--and had to run our evil twins against the other PCs.

And this was right after my cleric got rezzed by a balor-succubuss, so I had a bunch of nasty spells prepared because I was being all dark and emo.


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A hardcover copy of the CRB?

I wish.


I once threw a group of cairn wight zen archers (negative levels delivered via long range can be pretty nasty for them- but ooh so joyous for me!).

Or, even worse, CHOICES! I've never seen the players get so torn apart as they did arguing whether to get through a security check point using the legit but long way or using the illegal but quick way.

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Combining negative energy traps with undead are fun. The traps hurt the PCs and heal the undead!

Actually, any combination of hazards with monsters immune or resistant to those hazards can be fun.


A certain multiple-eyed critter that couldn't get ported over to pathfinder for legal reasons.

With the advanced template.


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Liars.

I love liars.

PCs can be remarkably trusting when someone is offering them gold and/or XP and/or apparent plot advancement. The game for me is planting just enough information that the lie becomes obvious in retrospect--by which time the deceptive magnificent bastards are already in the wind...


dragonhunterq wrote:

A certain multiple-eyed critter that couldn't get ported over to pathfinder for legal reasons.

With the advanced template.

I very much hope you check out tomb of horrors complete.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/aberrations/gibbering-orb -fgg

Well once you use them you can add the stalks if you want... but they are back baby ;)

Sovereign Court

I have used Shadows in the past, before I realised that they were character-killers.

Sovereign Court

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Also, I enjoy throwing the environment at the players. Particularly if Poltergeists are involved.

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We once dealt with a shadow while swimming through an underground lake. Strength damage + Swim checks = Difficult!!!

Liberty's Edge

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Leandro Garvel wrote:
I have used Shadows in the past, before I realised that they were character-killers.

My entire party has Str scores of 14 or lower. Lots of casters and finesse characters. I sent Greater Shadows after them. Not, y'know, too many, but I did it. And am inclined to do it again.

I may be a bad person.


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Trolls with rings of fire resistance are just nasty.

Green slime at the bottom of a pool of water


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I like traps, but if I am going to bother to put a trap in it is going to be a gauntlet that to even disable requires some leg work. Then again, my traps are pretty obvious - long empty hallways with stone carvings, or dried blood and a skeleton. I just like traps to be more like permanent deadly structures and less a series of minor traps on random doors.

I also like using haunts. They bring a lot of history to a place and for a game where being scared is nearly impossible, they are a good method to at least bring atmosphere and gravitas to areas with sordid pasts.


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Back in 3.5 there was a creature known as a War Troll. It wore armor, used weapons, and only acid could turn off its regeneration.

Then I applied the Half-Dragon(Green) template...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's not as evil as some things, but I get perverse pleasure from well-worded suggestions, especially when I can play off setting elements to make them even better. I may or may not have fed one of my characters poisoned human flesh in my current PbP game. *shifty eyes*


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I've given my players an encounter which went:

You peer into a featureless square room, a bottle of mercury is suspended from the ceiling.

Well over half an hour of game time was spent worrying over that before the archer eventually shot it and it broke.


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Another thing I do is write a 1-4 sentence short story for a random encounter, and have a stack of them ready to go if it is needed. If I'm running dry I just grab a generator and find the short story.

It's a lot more interesting if the group hits some fog on a cold night, finds a cabin, trying to rest there they find some bones and an old crossbow. Soon they are attacked by Drevics. After the fight they discover two shallow graves behind the house that are minorly disturbed, some children's bedding and clothes that had been partially burned in the fireplace, and if they really don't get it a small journal talking about a failed trip to get medicine from town before 2/6 children died in the harsh winter. It ended up being a scene with an impact that my players still remember (along with the 4-headed abomination who woke them up with a cone of fire breath after their espionage failed and they didn't know it had).


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I may or may not have a half-red dragon troll barbarian stated up that spent a lot of money on potions.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dragons with Barbarian levels. A Raging Red is a beautiful thing.

Monsters in general with class levels and Teamwork feats.

Architecture not designed for human-shaped air-breathing creatures- tiny little Kobold doorways a human or dwarf simply can't fit through, massive steps for Cloud giants, Strix towers without any stairs, flooded corridors between rooms inhabited by Lizardmen, completely flooded structures for Skum/Deep Ones/Sahuagin/Whatever, that sort of thing.

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I once ran an encounter with a bunch of ratfolk warriors with the Swap Places Teamwork feat. Their boss was an alchemist.

The warriors would get hit, Swap Places, then drink a potion of CLW. Rinse, repeat.

"They're drinking our treasure! They're drinking our treasure!" cried out the greedy PCs.


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I'm relatively new to gming, but so far I enjoy dangerous creatures that have change shape / alter self / veil and a decent bluff bonus.

I have a succubus that is going to be a recurring enemy and I plan to introduce a young woman with a limp in need of help to get back to her clan.... I mean a fungus queen, guiding them into a trap.


Let's see some favortes:

Invisible Rust Monsters
Shocker Lizards + Shambling Mounds
Aquatic Trolls encountered in an underwater tunnel. Yes do try to burn or pour acid on the regenerating remains while underwater :p
A Giant Mimic pretending to be a rowboat. Let the party get halfway across the underground lake prior to gluing them all to the "seats" and demanding treasure or they take a bath in the 'dark cold water'
An apparent 7 to 8 ft wide crevasse (i.e could be jumped), but actually 10ft across the remainder being Hallucinatory Terrain.
Mummies covered in Brown Mold.


An assassination mission which looked pretty easy. The PC planned to use a wand of invisibility and let the rogue cut the throat of the few guards.

Too bad they were monk with blindfight and telepatic link with the other guards so they spot them directly.

Grand Lodge

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Fast Zombie Raptors. They ended up being the most effective things I had thrown at them.


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SmiloDan wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I like shadows and wraiths.

I once used a 3.5 monster that did charisma drain, however the party had come across enough incorporeal undead that it didn't last long.

I reskinned one of the good outsiders with cleric levels as an evil monster.

There is a 3.5 monster that can attack you with its tongue and drag you to it. I also converted it to Pathfinder. It was on the ceiling, and it would drag the player up, and then release them as a free action, causing them to take falling damage.

Feindish Dragons. A smiting dragon is a terrible thing to fight against.

Did the Charisma-drainer wipe its victims from existence if it killed them?

I did not have a kender rogue that did not use a spiked chain that did not get killed by one of those. ;-)

Was the tongue-lasher a Canoloth? They're awesome. Yugoloths have been a favorite of mine since Planescape.

I once made a half-celestial black dragon that had raven-black angel wings.

I once made a dracolich with a giant (humanoid) skull instead of a dragon's skull.

No, I never used a Canoloth. It was a harpoon spider.

I can't find the charisma stealing monster.


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I keep a list of monster's home brewed from various mythologies or fictional series, my two favorites are:

carnivorous sheep; lightning resistant flammable sheep that have jagged teeth and a variant of the attach ability that causes bleed damage if forcefully removed (without a heal check)

Knight Hawks: Roc sized birds that live in rocky areas and hunting for anyone wearing shiny armor (full plate, breastplates and the like primarily) when they find their preferred prey, the fly down grapple their target, and carry it into the sky before dropping it on a convenient rock to break open the hard shell to get at the tasty insides (much like certain birds of prey do to tortoises.

Also, a room with a programmed image of a 60 stirges attacking mixed in with 5 real stirges

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