Party TPK'd twice in book 1 (Spoilers)


Giantslayer


1st one: random assassins come to kill you in the night, and the book seems to just to assume that A: the party is sleeping together in the same location and B: someone is on watch (IN THE MIDDLE OF A HEAVILY GUARDED WELL PATROLLED CITY), because otherwise you need to roll a DC 25 perception check to not get your throat cut and die immediately.

I don't know who designed that encounter, but, da heeeelll?

2nd one: orks orks orks orks orks! tower full of like, 6 orcs and an orc skald all making them rage, basically they hit any one of us and we immediately drop, except the party tank, and they crit him, then me, and the others got knocked out quickly after.

holy crap I've never had this much of a problem with an adventure. So far every enemy we've faced past the plague house drops you if it connects even once.

I mean, I get to torment my DM by rerolling a new PC now, so that's a plus, but DAYUMN.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I ran Giantslayer for a group and I'll be honest the part you guys are currently on is a bit insane.

The best suggestion I can give without spoilers is to draw individual groups into ambush situations. Also remain mobile. Once they drop into ferocity they only get a standard or move action.

Doing so will cause them to make partial charges and lower their AC every turn.

Spells that require will saves and crowd control (sleep, entangle, etc) are also really effective.

Things get a lot less intense later in the path.

Not that you asked for suggestions. I feel your pain though.

Well... my players did.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Go read the Battle of Bloodmarch Hill thread. Nobody runs the assassins as is unless the party decided to place a watch.

My party of 4 dwarves plus a gnome sorc didn't have a problem with the skald (I increased the CR, too).

Where they really ran into problems was the end of the waves, completely spent.

Dark Archive

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My Half Elf Ranger and our Dwarven Warpriest stood between the barricades and the Orc hordes while the Rogue, Sorcerer and Witch attacked with ranged weapons/spells from behind it and we built a fort of Orc corpses. It was GLORIOUS.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Entangle plus 5 light crossbows. It was boring, but they had used everything up by then. I had to let them rest.


2 TPK's in the first book would lead most of my gaming group to declare the path is too good for them, what's next week?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree. If run strictly by the book with the heavily implied timing mechanics, as in no time to rest, I'm not sure how any party is supposed to succeed.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The suggestion I used was in the Battle of Bloodmarch Hill thread, modified for my own preferences and what my parties would find believable.

Grand Lodge

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Perhaps you might want to be a little soft handed with these encounters? You know your party and what they're capable of...

+ Take an orc (or whatever) out of the encounter.
+ Remove an opponents special ability or spell for the encounter.
+ Drop a damage die down one level.

There are tons of subtle ways you can even out encounters, keep your players alive and keep the AP rolling.

Good Luck & Happy Gaming!

-GrumpyGM

Scarab Sages

taks wrote:
Nobody runs the assassins as is unless the party decided to place a watch.

Yeah, even I'm planning on running it differently. I'll probably have a friendly npc unable to sleep due to indigestion who'll have time to shout a warning just before getting done in (thus allowing others to scramble out of bed all bleary eyed to avenge their fallen companion).


Spoilers, but nothing not stated already in the thread.

The assassin encounter is the poorest designed encounter I have ever seen. Makes no sense, is not fun, and goes beyond unfair into downright cheating. Do not run it as written.

The endless orc waves are hugely problematic as written as well. There is nothing stopping the players from simply walking away from the combat when they are spent. They might even think that it is part of the story that Trunau must fall. Add the fact that some very powerful NPCs does precisely nothing, and you have to stretch suspension of disbelief to the limit.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Which NPCs do nothing? I had Omast blasting away with his crossbow. Our druid dropped an entangle which effectively ended the battle, too.

The sentiment about the assassins, however, as well as a few others, is spot on.


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The first module of Giantslayer summarized.

Shadow Lodge

When I ran it, all four members of the party were in different rooms. (One was even outside the town entirely, being Truneau's resident Dwarven Druid).

The encounter could be much worse. The assassins COULD just do what they should do and coup de grace them in their sleep. The group made it out of that encounter just fine by causing a ruckus.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My advice is to stop killing all the PCs at every opportunity. Only kill them at every other opportunity.

That's good GMing, right there.

-Skeld


so just to clarify, I'm a player in this campaign, my DM is just running it right out of the book. To update, we've been TPK'd a 3rd time by the giant skeleton in the cave at the end of book 1, lol.


rkotitan wrote:

I ran Giantslayer for a group and I'll be honest the part you guys are currently on is a bit insane.

The best suggestion I can give without spoilers is to draw individual groups into ambush situations. Also remain mobile. Once they drop into ferocity they only get a standard or move action.

Doing so will cause them to make partial charges and lower their AC every turn.

Spells that require will saves and crowd control (sleep, entangle, etc) are also really effective.

Things get a lot less intense later in the path.

Not that you asked for suggestions. I feel your pain though.

Well... my players did.

Glitterdust is my favorite thing to throw at them.


Frogsplosion wrote:
so just to clarify, I'm a player in this campaign, my DM is just running it right out of the book. To update, we've been TPK'd a 3rd time by the giant skeleton in the cave at the end of book 1, lol.

My GM implemented a rule to reduce the near TPKs even with cautious players like me and his wife being his primary casters. Crits are on dice rather than full total. It doesn't matter early on as much, but when you think about the word "Giant" you have to understand reach (10-15ft+), large movement and insane pluses to damage.


We're all new players with a GM who is running his first game (he's played before). The assassins were fine, since they didn't Coup de Grace us in our sleep, even though the characters were all in different rooms (and one was with Omast).

Yes, we had one character die b/c wandering off in the Plague House. Two character died by the foot of the aptly named Crusher (my character learned that it is one thing to be able to hit first; it's another to survive getting hit second). One more died inside the cave by the Guardian. Characters replaced as they go. With the treasure split *and* wealth by level for the new characters, we're doing better now.


What I did was, every time the PC's leveled up, I fully restored them as if they had rested for a day. It seemed to do the trick. Also, they played smartly for the most part, save for this one incident....


AAAAND TPK NUMBER FOUR!

(Spoilers)

.

.

.

we beat a river drake senseless and captured it, causing bloodtusk to get caught in a lie, so two of us broke into the belowdecks and ran into dark bilge (80 or so feet of difficult terrain) with three snares and a level 7 ranger and her grapple snake animal companion. we done died. the following morning the remaining 3 party members got royally stomped on by the girallon.

so, seriously, how did the people designing this game not think that night 1 the super inquisitive rogue character wasn't going to break into the only locked area in the ship? and in order to get there unseen you're probably leaving your fighter and casters behind, so two level 4 characters with F all for gear are going up a level 7 ranger in her "best case scenario" most favorable fighting conditions... yeahhh...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I suspect that is why folks don't split up the party. My PCs went down there as a group after handling the girallion. It's not like anyone keeps watch down there, stealth really isn't required.

Or there's little sympathy for killing someone after doing some breaking and entering. That said, she can be a tough fight. Nothing compared to part 1 though.

Shadow Lodge

Yikes. Is your GM just reading directly from the book as you go? Perhaps you could point the GM to Giantslayer threads.
(Is "frogsplosion" because you had a grippli character get crushed?)


AT this point, you probably are best just putting 'Larry the Fighter the 3rd' on your sheet instead of making something completely new

Scarab Sages

Piccolo wrote:
What I did was, every time the PC's leveled up, I fully restored them as if they had rested for a day. It seemed to do the trick. Also, they played smartly for the most part, save for this one incident....

This appears to be the way the author likes to play. He also seems to assume that all of the rest do it precisely that way (otherwise the adventure is almost unplayable as written). Almost.


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I don't know why, but lots of players with stealthy characters (even experienced ones) think there is a lot to be gained by sneaking around solo when there seldom is. And if you get seen by yourself, you're usually hosed.

What's a bigger advantage once a fight starts? Four move and standard actions per round or one move OR standard action in a surprise round?

THOU SHALT NOT SPLIT THE PARTY!


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

By book 3, the insta-kill encounters are all but gone. There are "we did something stupid and got ourselves killed" areas, for sure, but my group has not had much of a struggle since the boat in book 2. My guys instinctively know that splitting the party is bad, bad, bad, for whatever reason - maybe it's because they are so new the option simply hasn't occurred to them? The one buddy of mine that is playing (the others are my son and his friends), however, knows this as a rule to live by (he was always my GM).


Seannoss wrote:

I suspect that is why folks don't split up the party. My PCs went down there as a group after handling the girallion. It's not like anyone keeps watch down there, stealth really isn't required.

if we had any reason to suspect that we were heading into combat, like say signs of habitation in the hidden compartment below the "armory", we probably would've backed off, but we had no reason to believe we needed to fight anything we just assumed the captain was hiding illegal goods, not a level 7 stowaway just beyond a deathtrap hallway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds as if your GM was trying to make a point. The snares are easy to spot and remove and the snake can possibly be one shotted by a martial.


Seannoss wrote:
Sounds as if your GM was trying to make a point. The snares are easy to spot and remove and the snake can possibly be one shotted by a martial.

the snares are buried in 2 feet of bilge water and I only deal 1d4+6 with my claw attack (DM allowed me to roll up a Ghast Paladin, still wasn't good enough). I managed to drop the snake for 3 rounds after two hits due to a failed fort save. I took a round to coup de grace it but also threw in two attacks that both missed.

After that she cast invisibility, but we had her flanked so she couldn't go anywhere. At this point we were both at about half HP from arrow shots, she un-stealthed and I managed to hit her four times but she succeeded every fort save vs paralysis, crit the rogue and dropped him and then picked me apart before I could leave.

He literally read her tactics and followed them step by step, this had nothing to do with him making a point. The only times I hit her I rolled 18+ other than that I was rolling 13s or lower. my friend was hitting her but she hit him harder.

Also, paizo statted that snake wrong, unless that ranger multiclassed it should be 4th druid level effectively which would make it large.

Liberty's Edge

Our group rogue died in the first book to the shadowrats, we blamed it on the orcs army with their giant. It became our PC hook for wanting revenge on the enemy and digging up our home for treasures.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Frogsplosion wrote:
Seannoss wrote:
Sounds as if your GM was trying to make a point. The snares are easy to spot and remove and the snake can possibly be one shotted by a martial.

the snares are buried in 2 feet of bilge water and I only deal 1d4+6 with my claw attack (DM allowed me to roll up a Ghast Paladin, still wasn't good enough). I managed to drop the snake for 3 rounds after two hits due to a failed fort save. I took a round to coup de grace it but also threw in two attacks that both missed.

After that she cast invisibility, but we had her flanked so she couldn't go anywhere. At this point we were both at about half HP from arrow shots, she un-stealthed and I managed to hit her four times but she succeeded every fort save vs paralysis, crit the rogue and dropped him and then picked me apart before I could leave.

He literally read her tactics and followed them step by step, this had nothing to do with him making a point. The only times I hit her I rolled 18+ other than that I was rolling 13s or lower. my friend was hitting her but she hit him harder.

Also, paizo statted that snake wrong, unless that ranger multiclassed it should be 4th druid level effectively which would make it large.

I think Seannoss' point is that the DC is only 13, which isn't that difficult for a trapfinder at 4th level.

Also, Melira is ranger 6/sorceror 1, so her snake is 3rd level, and medium.


taks wrote:
Frogsplosion wrote:
Seannoss wrote:
Sounds as if your GM was trying to make a point. The snares are easy to spot and remove and the snake can possibly be one shotted by a martial.

the snares are buried in 2 feet of bilge water and I only deal 1d4+6 with my claw attack (DM allowed me to roll up a Ghast Paladin, still wasn't good enough). I managed to drop the snake for 3 rounds after two hits due to a failed fort save. I took a round to coup de grace it but also threw in two attacks that both missed.

After that she cast invisibility, but we had her flanked so she couldn't go anywhere. At this point we were both at about half HP from arrow shots, she un-stealthed and I managed to hit her four times but she succeeded every fort save vs paralysis, crit the rogue and dropped him and then picked me apart before I could leave.

He literally read her tactics and followed them step by step, this had nothing to do with him making a point. The only times I hit her I rolled 18+ other than that I was rolling 13s or lower. my friend was hitting her but she hit him harder.

Also, paizo statted that snake wrong, unless that ranger multiclassed it should be 4th druid level effectively which would make it large.

I think Seannoss' point is that the DC is only 13, which isn't that difficult for a trapfinder at 4th level.

Also, Melira is ranger 6/sorceror 1, so her snake is 3rd level, and medium.

the alarm sounded and I got caught in the first one as I literally ran down the hallway (this was due to a misunderstanding, we thought the alarm was alerting the ship's crew) because I had no reason to suspect it was trapped, it's a bloody bilge.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hehe, I can't argue your unfortunate circumstances - ouch! My guys went down in search mode, so it was much easier for them.

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