End Boss of Incident at Absalom Station is pretty brutal *obvious spoilers*


Dead Suns

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Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If all else fails the party came across an electric trap in the previous room....
How would you convince Gargleblaster to trigger it? :D

Just put some fancy raw meat on it, that's sure to leave an electrifying taste :D


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Calybos1 wrote:
He's incorporeal, immune to flame/laser/plasma weapons, and can drain life. That's pretty nasty for level 2 characters. It was sheer luck that one of our party had happened to buy a shock pistol and that we had a technomancer to cast Magic Missile at him. Everybody else was helpless.

Sounds like your GM combined him with the akata and the drift dead.

Maybe the garaggakal consumed them and gained their powers? He's got a big mouth and all.


The boss is only incorporeal SOMETIMES

Mind you, with 60 feet of flying speed and the ability to tumble past the party on a roll of a -3 it doesn't really matter, he can just zip around you freely.


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Algarik wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If all else fails the party came across an electric trap in the previous room....
How would you convince Gargleblaster to trigger it? :D
Just put some fancy raw meat on it, that's sure to leave an electrifying taste :D

Wait till he grabs the android then attach left and right wires to android to complete the circuit...


There's no atmosphere at all on the Drift Rock, so it shouldn't be able to fly with its wings. At least that was my understanding. Similarly the Barathu in my game can't fly on the Drift Rock either and had to use the leg mutation in order to move once there was gravity.

Also, I just GM'd the fight with the Garaggakal yesterday. If I played it exactly as written, my party would have 100% wiped. No Technomancer in my group and only two characters had electric weapons on them at the time, and one didn't use his as they barely managed to even figure out what the creature was, so they didn't know its weakness. The other character with an electric weapon kept missing and went down with one bite from the creature (Barathu Envoy).

The whole encounter simply just did not feel good to run. I was being lenient in light of this and they still almost died.

The only reason they managed to survive was the soldier could outrun it and kited it around while also shooting it.

So yeah, personally I was not a fan of this fight at all.


We had the fun of Meeting it yesterday night. We did one in between rest after we realised that all the Crew were dead, so we were not completely wiped out of Stamina and Rresolve, but we took some hits from Mr. Robot.
By the way, we were quite annoyed that even with a Xenoseeker envoy and a robotics specialist we were completely unable to get any Kind of communication going with the Robot. That felt very dissatisfying.

I also don't know if we missed it, but we had no info about the Kind of Monster waiting for us or the way the forcefield was used. I expected to get some hints from the Captains Diary, but for us it didn't even mention a hint of what was killing her. That's a missed opportunity to give People hints about some of the specialties of Garry.

When we met him, we miffed our mysticism role so had no idea what it was. Our GM pretty heavily hinted at it's electric vulnerability anyway, but our soldier was somehwow reluctant to use the Arc Rifle the Adventure provided.

It dropped our Solarian and Envoy both in one hit. We got the Solarian back up with Healing Serums. Due to Placement, the Shock Grenades were a no go. After it heal-killed the Android NPC I internally said goodbye to our Party.

The GM let him go without using the rest of his resolve, but it would have annihilated us.

I still think we could have taken it if the rest of the Group had picked up on it's electrical vulnerability and had been happy to act on it, but it would have been damn Close.


I'm almost convinced this fight is supposed to be a chase through the Drift Rock.


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The Ragi wrote:
I'm almost convinced this fight is supposed to be a chase through the Drift Rock.

Seems like that would mesh with Gargamel's ability to jump through walls. Really emphasize the horror of the situation by having Gargleblaster use hit and run tactics to "taste" each of the PCs, then skedaddle to attack again at the worst possible moment (say, when they're fighting zombies or drift dead). Have it run away the round after it takes damage, until the PCs get to the Maiden, at which point it fights to the death.

That's how I would run that fight. Just having it wait around next to the Sunrise Maiden ignores the abilities and character of Gargantia on the Verderous Rock.


That makes sense and sounds way more interesting. Also would have turned the straight on dungeon crawl into a nice "Alien" homage.
"It's in the walls!"
Like we played it, it felt completely random and had no Impact beyond "Damn that Thing hits hard!"


Starfinder Superscriber

That's a fantastic idea. It's in the walls, in deed.


My group played this yesterday and it ran off after four rounds of combat. It ate two mindthrusts, a solarian explosion, 2 overcharged mechanic shots, a crit solarian hit, and a shot from my Envoy (4 dmg! Wooo!). Only thing he managed to pull off was that 5d6 attack to the Solarian, which my Envoy all but negated next turn with an Inspiring Boost.


I ran it with my group last night. It was a TPK. You can make all the arguments you want, but the plain fact of the matter is, the PCs are likely to be at level 2 when they encounter it, and it’s listed as a CR 5. OP is correct, with the attack bonus it has, it very rarely misses with its bite and the bite does massive damage. Sure there are some arc weapons laying around but when they do a piddly d4 damage, that +50% vulnerability doesn’t count for much. And, in any case, if an encounter designed for level 2 players depends on one highly specific solution or else deal with a creature three CRs higher than the group, it is unbalanced. But, again, a weapon doing d4 damage, even with vulnerability, is a joke against that thing. CR5!


SevenZark wrote:
I ran it with my group last night. It was a TPK.

Entertain us with more details, please.

What was the party composition?
Did Clara and the goblins join the party?
What tactics were used?
Were they rested before the fight?

And what will happen now, new group going straight for the garaggakal, start at book 2, or wait for the next AP?


So my group of players defeated the Garagakal - they made it retreat and it hid inside the Sunrise Maiden. It later snuck down and killed one of the players and then went on to hunt the group aboard the ship - retreating to its hiding spot in the upper part of the ship -

They eventually cornered it up in the vents and it had used all of its points and was trapped - They killed it - 2 characters were slain.

It was a hard fought encounter and lots of fun.


I had to seriously fudge things with the Garglnazgul to avoid a tpk. My players were lucky in that I gave them their own ship at the start of the adventure instead of using a loaner that flies off, so they were able to result after the acreon.

Even so, a few things about the adventure design conspired to make the fight incredibly one sided. They had thought that the security robot WAS the big boss fight, so they expended their best abilities on it. In addition (and I am unsure if I missed a reading about a timer on the electrical trap just before the gargledict gakkalbatch room) but after getting shocked by the console... they tried to hack it two more times, getting repeatedly shocked just before the boss room.

They got the big monster down to just over half health - before it used its life drain for the first time, on the last conscious member of the party.

Luckily she survived - I had to fudge it so that the android Clara they had fought earlier (who they had captured alive and left in manacles at the ship) had escaped her bonds and brought the ship around - the surviving player managed to open the hangar doors and Clara drove it off with the ships weapons.

The party surviving was an awkward deus ex machina - the party couldn't realistically run from it because it has a 60 feet fly speed and can fly through walls (and is adapted for travel through vacuum as far as I can remember), while they would have had to go back through all the twists and turns of the rock at reduced speed due to the zero g.

Still, we branched off into my own content after that, and the party later got vengeance on the gargamelkhaaan at level 5, which was satisfying for them.


Without the goblins and Clara around as fodder, the fight is much deadlier.

But the chase through walls, although a great moment when he first does it and scares the players half to death, is a limited resource, due to his resolve points.

And they don't need all to outrun the garaggakal - only to outrun the slowest character...


The Ragi wrote:
I'm almost convinced this fight is supposed to be a chase through the Drift Rock.

It has a flight speed of sixty and an acrobatics check of "HAHAHAH puny pcs!*" Not that fighting isn't deadly but runnings going to go even worse.


My favorite part of this thread is all the retypings of the monster's name.


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Starfinder Superscriber

I just call him Gary.


Gargleblaster


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Starfinder Superscriber

He's pan-galactic.


"The Gargles, they do nothink!"


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Here are some bonus names;

GaryGygaxal
Garyfromaccountingkal
Gokugotswol
Garramyman!
*murloc noises*

Shadow Lodge

We got to fight it last night. We had previously run from the driftdead, rested, and came back for it, then did the security robot before finding the dead lady, which pushed us up to level 3 (a bit early according to the GM). But there's 5 of us with good stat rolls, so she was also putting advanced or semi-advanced templates on things.

We got to the thing, and tried to back into the hallway to bottlekneck it. We managed to unload a ton of damage on it while backing out (and taking a ton of damage too). And then we watched as it moved into a wall and ran away.

This pissed off a lot of players and characters, who wanted to kill the thing. But we went onto the ship, and ran the ship scanners all over the place until we found it. Moving around a lot is all we've been told so far. The GM seemed to expect us to fly off before finishing the thing off, but our pilot is unwilling to risk this thing getting to civilization, and my mystic is being strangely spiteful. So we're camping out in the Maiden and setting traps and electric barricades while the GM comes up with stuff for next session.


thistledown wrote:
This pissed off a lot of players and characters, who wanted to kill the thing. But we went onto the ship, and ran the ship scanners all over the place until we found it. Moving around a lot is all we've been told so far. The GM seemed to expect us to fly off before finishing the thing off, but our pilot is unwilling to risk this thing getting to civilization, and my mystic is being strangely spiteful. So we're camping out in the Maiden and setting traps and electric barricades while the GM comes up with stuff for next session.

Seems reasonable, except that sensors don't work on the drift rock.

And there was one better resolution to that fight suggested in the AP, but it seems the GM didn't take it:

Spoiler:
The garaggakal could have hidden inside the ship, and waited there until the first time the party enters the drift - which would be in the second book, fully rested and hopefully with much better gear.

I would have made the garaggakal cross that wall and attack your party from behind, destroying your strategy. Your GM is too nice!

Shadow Lodge

The Ragi wrote:
thistledown wrote:
This pissed off a lot of players and characters, who wanted to kill the thing. But we went onto the ship, and ran the ship scanners all over the place until we found it. Moving around a lot is all we've been told so far. The GM seemed to expect us to fly off before finishing the thing off, but our pilot is unwilling to risk this thing getting to civilization, and my mystic is being strangely spiteful. So we're camping out in the Maiden and setting traps and electric barricades while the GM comes up with stuff for next session.

Seems reasonable, except that sensors don't work on the drift rock.

And there was one better resolution to that fight suggested in the AP, but it seems the GM didn't take it:

** spoiler omitted **

I would have made the garaggakal cross that wall and attack your party from behind, destroying your strategy. Your GM is too nice!

We had plenty of readied actions for it to come through the wall after us, but it stowed away on the ship instead.

The sensors weren't scanning the rock - they were scanning the interior of the ship. Any we put up the ship's forcefield so now it's trapped in with us.


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thistledown wrote:
Any we put up the ship's forcefield so now it's trapped in with us.

"I'm not trapped in here with you... you're all trapped in here with ME!"


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Dracomicron wrote:
thistledown wrote:
Any we put up the ship's forcefield so now it's trapped in with us.
"I'm not trapped in here with you... you're all trapped in here with ME!"

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Hmm well my group finally hit this fight and it was a bit of a disappointment. Despite me advancing the beast, due to me having a larger than average party, my party handled it with little issue really. Granted the Dice were with them and not so much the beast but I was hoping for a bit more of a nail biter ending.

its interesting to see how wildly the experience can vary from party to party.


Vexies wrote:
its interesting to see how wildly the experience can vary from party to party.

I waited until the party was inside the hangar examining the corpses to make the garaggakal come out of the floor amidst them.

It was quite a scare and allowed me to land a nice AoO on the caster, while she moved away.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
The Ragi wrote:
Vexies wrote:
its interesting to see how wildly the experience can vary from party to party.

I waited until the party was inside the hangar examining the corpses to make the garaggakal come out of the floor amidst them.

It was quite a scare and allowed me to land a nice AoO on the caster, while she moved away.

Nice!, my party was smart enough to not bunch up but I was able to drop in on one PC who had strayed a bit from the party. Unfortunately the beast rolled a nat one.. and then the party preceded to unload on it lol. It was still good for shock value.


pithica42 wrote:
I just call him Gary.

*sigh*


Mustachioed wrote:

I'm wondering if groups are getting TPK'ed here.

The Garaggakal never really misses with a +12 bite and at level 2 a KAC of 12-15 would be the normal for players. The first bite he took hit my solider for max damage (just bad luck) for 20, that took out his full stamina and a chunk of his HP, and the next hit took him down to 0.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party is doing 1-10ish damage per hit, slowly lowering his HP from 75, but the Garaggakal is able to do a damage/self heal 4 times in the battle that averages 15 damage (7.5 if people make a fortitude save).

Boss is tough, really tough. I think it seems possible given good dice rolls but for a first module, this is no introduction. I can very well see a complete party wipe here.

The only way we made it though is because one player had bought the electricity based dragon gland and then spent all resolve points to use it over and over again. That player could have easily picked a different variety dragon gland which would have reduced the damage dealt by a lot. (Garaggakal is vulnerable to electric).

I am starting this Campaign as GM this weekend, and people die end of chapter boss seems to a thing, i GMed the Pathfinder adventure, Jade Regent, and before Each chapter boss, i had the party go on a side adventure, just to give them more EXP and loot. so the boss didn't kill them, and even with that, they almost TPK on two of the end of book bosses... Over power end bosses seems to a Paizo thing


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I cannot stress this enough. I know it's not for everybody, but *my* game experience has become so much better since I adopted this rule.

If you play AP, drop the XP. Forget about them. Give the players a full level whenever they reach the point the AP supposes they level up (it's said in the first few pages).

That way you don't miss XP for not going a certain zone before, and players do not feel forced to do every single room of every single floor of every single dungeon just so they don't miss XP and end being a few hundred XP short of the proper level in a boss fight.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Gustavo is right. Our groups tracked XP for the longest time (and still do in home games), but we soon realized that we didn't really need to when running the adventure paths. Things go so much more quickly now, and everyone is more focused on the story rather than the combats.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Selendra wrote:
Mustachioed wrote:

I'm wondering if groups are getting TPK'ed here.

The Garaggakal never really misses with a +12 bite and at level 2 a KAC of 12-15 would be the normal for players. The first bite he took hit my solider for max damage (just bad luck) for 20, that took out his full stamina and a chunk of his HP, and the next hit took him down to 0.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party is doing 1-10ish damage per hit, slowly lowering his HP from 75, but the Garaggakal is able to do a damage/self heal 4 times in the battle that averages 15 damage (7.5 if people make a fortitude save).

Boss is tough, really tough. I think it seems possible given good dice rolls but for a first module, this is no introduction. I can very well see a complete party wipe here.

The only way we made it though is because one player had bought the electricity based dragon gland and then spent all resolve points to use it over and over again. That player could have easily picked a different variety dragon gland which would have reduced the damage dealt by a lot. (Garaggakal is vulnerable to electric).

I am starting this Campaign as GM this weekend, and people die end of chapter boss seems to a thing, i GMed the Pathfinder adventure, Jade Regent, and before Each chapter boss, i had the party go on a side adventure, just to give them more EXP and loot. so the boss didn't kill them, and even with that, they almost TPK on two of the end of book bosses... Over power end bosses seems to a Paizo thing

alternatively, someone built a 'by the book' garragackal somewhere here on the forums. they used the system in the alien archive.

you could just use that. it's still dangerous, but it's not the tpk-machine that the original beast is.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

For my 6-man group of level 2s, this thing was scary, but not overwhelming. I made sure to remind the players a few times earlier that they could retreat to the Acreon to rest, and they made liberal use of that option (such that they were at full resources going into the garaggakal fight). If I were to run it for a normal sized 4-man group, I agree that you'd either want everyone at 3rd level or you'd want to tone Big G down a bit.

Either way, this thing can be far more dangerous depending on tactics or how you have it encounter your party. For my team, I had it ambush them while they were starting to explore the interior of the Sunrise Maiden. The tighter quarters meant that its fly speed wasn't too relevant and the players were able to flank it briefly. While the close quarters did mean that it could have phased through the walls when close to death, it never got a chance to (lots of damage piled in at once to finish it off).


Just keep in mind, it is supposed to flee at 50% hitpoints!


MasterZelgadis wrote:
Just keep in mind, it is supposed to flee at 50% hitpoints!

Indeed. To counter-signal a bit, our group (5 level 2s) had a blast with the boss. It's one of only two times in Dead Suns we had multiple characters go down (other was at the end of chapter 1, book 3), felt frantic and thrilling. When it began to flee, we had an incredibly difficult time chasing it down to kill it, were it not for operative speed and a lucky crit it would have escaped. Keeping calm and shooting it, I think most groups do fine; it's when players panic that this will eat parties.

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