BBEG / Evoker-friendly minions?


Advice


Pretty much what it says on the tin - I have a climactic battle approaching, where the PCs finally meet the EVIL WIZARD who has been causing them grief. Said wizard is an evoker characterized by heinously high-damage spells and effects (Empowered Cone of Cold, Caustic Eruption, Black Tentacles everywhere).

The Evoker is 14th level, and the PCs are mostly 10th-11th level, but there are a lot of them, plus NPC allies (it's a 'gather allies for the climax' sort of thing), and ten or twelve to one action economy strikes me as a recipe for disaster.

So, here is my question. What are some good minions in the CR 10 to 12 range that:

  • Even out the action economy / Keep the PCs from hyper-focusing on the Evoker
  • Will not melt into a puddle when accidentally caught in a blast
  • Are at least moderately interesting on their own
  • Preferably not too big -- the climax is taking place in an enclosed area. Huge is the absolute maximum, Large or Medium would be better

I'm willing to repaint monsters as necessary, I'm just looking for interesting 'chassis'. Templates also welcome.


Medium Elements immune to his most common damage types. Give them kinetic blast for their element and suddenly just ignoring the things that can't hit you isn't an option, because touch attacks.

If he can stand them, a few Pugwampis make everyone within so many feet without a luck bonus roll the d20 twice and take the lower result every time they roll a d20.


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Alright. I've got a list of potentially fun little things to throw in.

- Colour Out of Space. If you want it smaller, just throw the Young template on it. Though do be warned that the Young template makes it quite a bit nastier.

- Lead Golem. Golems in general, really. That way you can throw all the evocaion spells you want on top of them, and laugh as they don't melt under the force of your magical fury.

- Trench Mist While technically too big, the flavor fits wonderfully with an evoker, and provides Juju zombie minions to help out as well.


Get an evil cleric to help him. The cleric can use spell immunity on himself and/or important minions to ignore the favorite spells of the BBEG. He could also turn any fallen minions into zombies or skeletons to give the party additional expendable minions to fight through.

As for minions, one or two medium/large dragons are powerful allies for any BBEG (and they are still dangerous as skeletons).


Some very nice suggestions!

Mourge40k wrote:
Lead Golem

This is probably my favorite idea. Immune to everything, excellent synergy (the wizard uses acid spells and is immune to poison), and the divination screen is a neat trick.

Only downside is that earlier in the campaign there was a slightly embarrassing incident where the PCs wiped out a clay golem using a single Create Pit, so I'd need to make this thing non-pit-able. Funnily enough, sticking the Giant Template might be the way to go, or a Shield Guardian + Dimension Door. Decisions, decisions...

Or just have four of the things. Also a possibility.

Azten wrote:
Elementals with Blasts

Hm. A thought. I ignored elementals earlier since anything of sufficient CR is too big (I am going to say that a pet peeve of mine with Pathfinder is that it is surprisingly hard to find interesting monsters that aren't kaiju)

Azten wrote:
Pugwampi

I don't hate my players that much.

Mourge40k wrote:
Trench Mist

The Trench Mist looks badass, for sure. Though this does raise the question of how one would control it (would be a shame to repaint something so appropriate)

Mourge40k wrote:
Colour Out of Space

Interesting, though I'm not sure it has the offensive heft? At its best, it's dealing 20 damage a round or so, or a few points of Con and Cha damage, both with a save.

Blave wrote:
Evil Cleric + Zombies

Team Evil has a cleric around, but they're not an undead one. Not a bad idea, though for plot reasons might not be ideal.

Blave wrote:
Dragons

There's a thought. What's a good CR 10 dragon... *will have to go look*


Skald and summons. Give the skald a Linnorm Death Curse rage power corresponding to your evoker's preferred element, summons act as meatshields that inflict vulnerability when they go down.


Note that all sorts of regular minions could be protected by, say, communal resist elements.

Salamanders are immune to fire and moderately good combatants in their own right. (Flaming longspears and grappling.)

A couple of baby dragons with the right elemental immunities could work well, plus flying is cool.


If you decide to use Undead, why not make them Burning Skeletons?

For Elementals being too big, you could customize them a little and just size them down (adjusting ability scores as necessary). That'd actually make their kineticist blasts better. You could fluff it as them being a different kind of elemental, one that focuses its energy outward rather than making itself grander and more powerful.


Demons immune to electricity

Devils immune to fire

Little bit of homebrew on bloody skeletons might be interesting

How are you going to keep the wizard alive? Even with minions I find the main boss gets focused down and murdered first. Giving him some minions with in harms way is usually a pretty good idea. Maybe a bodyguard familiar


There are a lot of good minion ideas being given by others - I'd say the cleric and dragon options are a great start. I'm going to give some non-minion challenge options.

You want to consider that they're coming into his home turf. If he knows they're coming, arcane traps and symbol spells (unless they're part of his barred schools) could be highly useful. In particular, Symbol of Mirroring to affect all minions as well, and Symbol of Slowing to negate their haste spell. Explosive runes set up at strategic points during the melee could act as little bomb traps, especially since they won't be able to properly take the time to disarm them during combat.

Plus, the majority of the Wall spells are evocation, so once battle starts, he can control the battlefield by separating players into groups.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dreikaiserbund wrote:


Mourge40k wrote:
Trench Mist

The Trench Mist looks badass, for sure. Though this does raise the question of how one would control it (would be a shame to repaint something so appropriate)

Trench Mists aren't immune to mind-affecting spells so it's entirely possible to cast Charm Monster on one. You'd think they'd be an ooze, but they're actually an aberration believe it or not.


Lots of good suggestions above.

If your plot can handle it, an apprentice Wizard also comes to mind, as they could be dropping battlefield control type spells while your BBEG blows up the joint.

I'd also consider shenanigans like magic jar if you think your overly large group will bum rush the BBEG and ruin the battlefield.

In terms of other ways to even out the action economy, even a lesser quicken metamagic rod can be useful. And while not direct blasts, Evocation spells like Forcecage can also help quite a bit. 6v8 is very different from 6v12.

Finally, your BBEG could potentially have some bound planar servants -- I'd expect any powerful evil mages to have something like a few Ceutstodaemons or Erinyes if they know a major fight's coming. And Erinyes at least tend to attack from a distance, so they'd likely be out of the range of your BBEvocation spells.


Elementals, fiends, and dragons are all solid ideas. Ideally, I'd find something that's immune to more than one element -- the evoker is canny enough to vary his elements, since otherwise one Reaching Communal Resist Energy chops his damage output in half, which is just embarrassing.

Dasrak wrote:
Charm Monster

Huh. I confess I totally expected it to be some mindless, mind-affecting-immune thing (it's a fog), that I didn't even look. Whups. Well then, that is certainly an option.

Phntm888 wrote:
Traps and Walls

His barred schools are enchantment and illusion, so that is a definite idea, though the battle doesn't take place on the wizard's home turf (roughly speaking, both the Evoker and the PCs are attacking a third location, and the Evoker gets there first). Still, some defenses seem reasonable -- Stone Shape to manipulate the battlefield at the very least. The Symbol spells are a bit pricy by and large, but Symbol of Mirroring looks intriguing even if it is a prohibited school -- by this point the Evoker isn't really spending his 2nd level spell slots on much.

Dastis wrote:
How are you going to keep the wizard alive? Even with minions I find the main boss gets focused down and murdered first. Giving him some minions with in harms way is usually a pretty good idea. Maybe a bodyguard familiar

Lots of buff spells (Resist everything), some disabler spells early on, and he's got a template that gives him very high DR and Fast Healing. He's pretty damn durable, though bodyguard minions are never, ever a bad idea.

I confess I am looking at Shield Guardian Lead Golems and going 'hmm'.

Tonyz wrote:
Using spells

Communal ___ is indeed a backup plan, though by this point it would have to be Communal Protection from Energy, and there's a finite number of 4th level spell slots at hand.


Ninjed!

Cheburn wrote:

Lots of good suggestions above.

If your plot can handle it, an apprentice Wizard also comes to mind, as they could be dropping battlefield control type spells while your BBEG blows up the joint.

I could certainly include an apprentice or two.

Cheburn wrote:
I'd also consider shenanigans like magic jar if you think your overly large group will bum rush the BBEG and ruin the battlefield.

I'm not super concerned about that. I love my players, but organized they are not.

Cheburn wrote:
In terms of other ways to even out the action economy, even a lesser quicken metamagic rod can be useful. And while not direct blasts, Evocation spells like Forcecage can also help quite a bit. 6v8 is very different from 6v12.

Evoker is using lots of Quickened Spells, and there are a fair number of battlefield control spells in his repertoire, yes -- Black Tentacles, Cloudkill, etc.

Cheburn wrote:
Finally, your BBEG could potentially have some bound planar servants -- I'd expect any powerful evil mages to have something like a few Ceutstodaemons or Erinyes if they know a major fight's coming. And Erinyes at least tend to attack from a distance, so they'd likely be out of the range of your BBEvocation spells.

Conjuration is the BBEG's second-favorite school, so diabolic monstrosities are totally fair game. Ranged attacker minions is an idea I hadn't considered, but has some potential. Though they might not be as effective at the 'draw aggro' job as a melee brute.


Dreikaiserbund wrote:
Communal ___ is indeed a backup plan, though by this point it would have to be Communal Protection from Energy, and there's a finite number of 4th level spell slots at hand.

A high level BBEG wizard attacking some location can (and probably will) prepare scrolls beforehand. It's perfectly reasonable to give his minions more buffs than he has spell slots for the day, especially if it's essential to his core strategy (blowing up stuff). Alternatively, get a wand of resist energy with a decent caster level.

Come to think of it, a few intelligent low-CR minions with a couple of points in UMD could use wands for various effects like extra damage, extra battlefield control, buffs for the stronger minions and so on. Could be fun to give one of them a particualarly strong wand (like a high caster level blast or enervation) but a low UMD score. Adds an additional layer of unpredictability to the combat, which is always nice to make combat more fun and memorable.

Also, if you don't find minions that suit your needs, build some of your own. How about an Imp with 5 levels of bard, flying invisible above the battlefield, singing a happy song about the slaughter of mortals that boosts the morale of the bad guys (inspire courage). Or give him two more levels and Jester's Jaunt while you're at it. The party will be VERY confused when one of the dragons is suddenly teleported behind their lines to start a full attack on the back row.


Dasrak wrote:
Dreikaiserbund wrote:


Mourge40k wrote:
Trench Mist

The Trench Mist looks badass, for sure. Though this does raise the question of how one would control it (would be a shame to repaint something so appropriate)

Trench Mists aren't immune to mind-affecting spells so it's entirely possible to cast Charm Monster on one. You'd think they'd be an ooze, but they're actually an aberration believe it or not.

Trench Mists, why Trench Mists? I've fought them, and they are scary as hell. They give cover to the trench zombies inside but they can still see, that makes them so dangerous.

As an alternative, you don't have to control them, you can strike a deal with them as they are intelligent and might negotiate.
They can be created spontaneusly by any kind of massive gas attack, so you could give your BBEG the Cloudkill spell and set that he created them by abusing it.

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