Fixed GARAGGAKAL (Spoilers, End of Dead Suns book 1)


Dead Suns

Scarab Sages

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So, everyone who has played Dead Suns part 1 knows that the final boss is WAY more powerful than any CR 5 should be. There have been two groups in our area that have run it, and BOTH groups only managed to kill it by running to the Sunrise Maiden and opening up with ship weapons (which is technically not supposed to be allowed).

Well, looking through the creature's stats . . . it just doesn't make sense. It is WAY more powerful than a CR5 should be. As a result I have re-statted the creature using the guide from the Alien Archive. I tried to keep as much of it intact flavor-wise as I could, but in the end this creature has few hp, reduced abilities, and less AC. Tell me what you guys think.

GARAGGAKAL CR5
XP 1600
CE, (Spellcaster) Medium Outsider (Extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses; Darkvision 60 Perception +11
DEFENSE HP 60
--------------------------------------------------------------------
EAC 16; KAC 17
Fort +4; Ref +6; Will +8
Defensive Abilities No Breath
Immunities Radiation
OFFENSE
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed 30ft (60 ft fly, Perfect)
Melee +11 (d4+8)
Space 5 ft
Offensive Abilities Leach Life 1/day (See below)
Spell Like abilities:
1/day, Mind Thrust II (DC 15)
3/day each: Mystic Cure I, Fear (DC 15), Mind Thrust I (DC 15)

STATISTICS
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Str +3; Dex +2;Con +0; Int -2; Wis +5 ;Cha -2
Skills Acrobatics +16, Athletics +16, Stealth +11
Languages Garaggakal (can’t speak); telepathy 100 ft
ECOLOGY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Environment Drift
Organization Solitary
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Leech Life (Su) As a standard action, a garaggakal can, 1/day, leech health from one target within 30 feet. This deals 5d6 damage (Fortitude DC 15 half), and the garaggakal gains temporary Hit Points equal to the amount of damage dealt.

No Breath (Ex) Garaggakals don’t breathe and are immune to effects that require breathing.

Vulnerable to Electricity (Ex) A garaggakal takes half again as much damage (+50%) from electricity, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed or whether the save result is a success or failure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

you got rid of it phasing through walls.

Scarab Sages

Yakman wrote:
you got rid of it phasing through walls.

I did. A level 5 creature (Spellcaster) is supposed to have 2 “special abilities.” Flight is one of them, so is no breath and immunity to radiation and phasing. Adding in a weakness (like electricity vulnerability) gives you one additional ability. So I had to leave one ability behind. It needs no breath and immunity to radiation to survive in space for an extended period of time, so it was either get rid of flight or phasing, and I felt that phasing was the least important of the two.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

The garaggakal's ability to phase through walls is pretty crucial to its role in the adventure RE: the fate of the Sunrise Maiden's previous owner. I think it should probably keep it.

You can give it no breath or radiation immunity (which, honestly, probably shouldn't affect it's CR) for free, as per the sidebar on page 127:

Everything Is Optional wrote:
When creating an NPC, you are free to enact whatever changes you need to in order to make your creation work the way you intend. For example, an array might tell you to select two special abilities, but you know you need four—or only one. Go ahead and make the change! If you want your combatant NPC to have a really high AC but not many Hit Points, you can increase its AC by 1 and use the expert array’s HP. This doesn’t make the statistics wrong; rather, it helps the statistics match your concept. Creating NPCs is fundamentally a creative process, so while these steps are useful to keep the NPC’s capabilities from going too far astray for its CR, don’t treat them as hard restrictions.

Also, Mind Thrust II, even once a day, is going to be really nasty in that fight. It's got a not-insignificant chance of one-shotting a squishier character.

Switching to a spellcaster role also means the garaggakal can spend the fight airborne, keeping it out of reach of any melee heavy hitter characters and prolonging the fight.

Scarab Sages

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

The garaggakal's ability to phase through walls is pretty crucial to its role in the adventure RE: the fate of the Sunrise Maiden's previous owner. I think it should probably keep it.

You can give it no breath or radiation immunity (which, honestly, probably shouldn't affect it's CR) for free, as per the sidebar on page 127:

Everything Is Optional wrote:
When creating an NPC, you are free to enact whatever changes you need to in order to make your creation work the way you intend. For example, an array might tell you to select two special abilities, but you know you need four—or only one. Go ahead and make the change! If you want your combatant NPC to have a really high AC but not many Hit Points, you can increase its AC by 1 and use the expert array’s HP. This doesn’t make the statistics wrong; rather, it helps the statistics match your concept. Creating NPCs is fundamentally a creative process, so while these steps are useful to keep the NPC’s capabilities from going too far astray for its CR, don’t treat them as hard restrictions.

Also, Mind Thrust II, even once a day, is going to be really nasty in that fight. It's got a not-insignificant chance of one-shotting a squishier character.

Switching to a spellcaster role also means the garaggakal can spend the fight airborne, keeping it out of reach of any melee heavy hitter characters and prolonging the fight.

More difficult than 20d6 and regaining that Much HP over the course of the fight? The base creature can just stay 30 feet up and life drain whenever his temp HP runs low, which is, coincidentally, what he did when our group ran it. And he gets 4 of those a day.

If you think mind thrust II is too powerful, you can replace it with inflict pain, but that might make him too easy as he has a fairly lackluster melee damage and not a lot of ranged options.

I’ll look into updating him to give him some sort of phasing ability, but I feel his base phasing ability is too strong.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
VampByDay wrote:

So, everyone who has played Dead Suns part 1 knows that the final boss is WAY more powerful than any CR 5 should be. There have been two groups in our area that have run it, and BOTH groups only managed to kill it by running to the Sunrise Maiden and opening up with ship weapons (which is technically not supposed to be allowed).

Well, looking through the creature's stats . . . it just doesn't make sense. It is WAY more powerful than a CR5 should be. As a result I have re-statted the creature using the guide from the Alien Archive. I tried to keep as much of it intact flavor-wise as I could, but in the end this creature has few hp, reduced abilities, and less AC. Tell me what you guys think.

GARAGGAKAL CR5
XP 1600
CE, (Spellcaster) Medium Outsider (Extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses; Darkvision 60 Perception +11
DEFENSE HP 60
--------------------------------------------------------------------
EAC 16; KAC 17
Fort +4; Ref +6; Will +8
Defensive Abilities No Breath
Immunities Radiation
OFFENSE
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed 30ft (60 ft fly, Perfect)
Melee +11 (d4+8)
Space 5 ft
Offensive Abilities Leach Life 1/day (See below)
Spell Like abilities:
1/day, Mind Thrust II (DC 15)
3/day each: Mystic Cure I, Fear (DC 15), Mind Thrust I (DC 15)

STATISTICS
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Str +3; Dex +2;Con +0; Int -2; Wis +5 ;Cha -2
Skills Acrobatics +16, Athletics +16, Stealth +11
Languages Garaggakal (can’t speak); telepathy 100 ft
ECOLOGY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Environment Drift
Organization Solitary
SPECIAL ABILITIES
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Leech Life (Su) As a standard action, a garaggakal can, 1/day, leech health from one target within 30 feet. This deals 5d6 damage (Fortitude DC 15 half), and the garaggakal gains temporary Hit Points equal to the amount of damage dealt.

No Breath (Ex) Garaggakals don’t...

both of the parties i ran against it at level 3 won, but it was a hard fight , though i did not have it use its slide through walls ability once the fight started


I believe the ship map is there for the party to run into, and the garaggakal to phase through and catch them.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

jimthegray wrote:
both of the parties i ran against it at level 3 won, but it was a hard fight , though i did not have it use its slide through walls ability once the fight started

I sent my players in at Level 2, but gave them a chance to rest before the fight, so they had all their spells and resolve back.

It was a hard fight, but they won.


I buffed him (free phasing instead of spending resolve), against a party of 4 level 2. I also made him fight to death, instead of flee at certain HP. Tough fight, almost tpk, but it would be totally doable with just following the "flee at X hp" stuff.

Dataphiles

I didn't tweak him, ran as written. All characters survived.

I suppose it did help them, that it calls out that it focuses on non-humans, and the only non-human in the party happened to be the solider who takes the total-defense action when it starts getting rough.

It moved away to use the leech-life, and but with that the mystic and techonmancer who had been holding back on slot-spell unleashed and it never even got the chance to do the flee at x-HP.


I think most GMs miss this part, since it's separated from the stat block:

Page 36

Quote:

Morale If reduced to fewer than 25 Hit Points, the garaggakal

attempts to flee, phasing through walls if necessary.

So, the Garaggakal only has 51 HP, and should save at least 1 RP for the emergency escape.

Scarab Sages

The Ragi wrote:

I think most GMs miss this part, since it's separated from the stat block:

Page 36

Quote:

Morale If reduced to fewer than 25 Hit Points, the garaggakal

attempts to flee, phasing through walls if necessary.
So, the Garaggakal only has 51 HP, and should save at least 1 RP for the emergency escape.

Still, that's 15d6 damage AND 'healing' it gets and it has really high AC for a party of 2nd or 3rd level characters. I don't think our team ever got it into actual hipoints. It just soul sucked us first thing, and then whenever it's hitpoints were almost gone, BAM 5d6 damage and now it has a boatload of temp HP again. Time to continue full attacking!


I used that skill 4 times (gave him free phasing) and they still managed to drop him to the flee breakpoint without PCs falling. I almost killed them because I forgot to make him flee, and he got lucky with those last hp. We had 5 players tho. Edit: no wait. The Solarian did not play that day, and dropped the game shortly after. 4 players. They did not full attack, tho. Vs that high AC, - 4 is not worth it at low level.

A couple of good electricity shots change this encounter a lot. Passing monster knowledge matters a lot


VampByDay wrote:
Still, that's 15d6 damage AND 'healing' it gets and it has really high AC for a party of 2nd or 3rd level characters. I don't think our team ever got it into actual hipoints. It just soul sucked us first thing, and then whenever it's hitpoints were almost gone, BAM 5d6 damage and now it has a boatload of temp HP again. Time to continue full attacking!

Don't forget the (easy) Fortitude 13 DC for half damage, which also gives him only half temp HP.

And he should use it early on, but only when actually hurt, not piling on THP.

Quote:

The garaggakal initially attacks its foes in

melee combat with its lamprey-like bite to get a “taste”
of its prey, but if reduced to fewer than 60 Hit Points,
it keeps its distance and uses its life leech ability to
bolster itself.

If the party runs around a lot, they should get rid of those RP fast...

Quote:

If its victims try to run away, the garaggakal

pursues them throughout the Drift Rock, using its
phase through ability as needed to catch them or cut
them off.

It's a much tougher fight if the GM doesn't follow the recipe in the book.


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Starfinder Superscriber

I found an error between the AP and the Alien Archive 2 book. This may have already been mentioned, but I want to make sure it was pointed out. The error is in the damage for leech life. In the AP it states 5d6 damage; however the alien archive States 3d6 damage on page 54. This should help the characters' survival. I also found a means of helping the characters level up before the final fight with the Garaggakal; let me know if you're interested in hearing about it.


No need to fix the Garaggakal. My 4 3rd level players all survived. A hard fight, but they all loved it...


Tazera wrote:
No need to fix the Garaggakal. My 4 3rd level players all survived. A hard fight, but they all loved it...

I believe running book 1 as written, PCs are only supposed to be level 2 when they fight it.

Still, just use the AA2 garaggakal stats, they lowered the special attack damage dice, that's all it needed.


I had it appear during the Kreel debacle in the spaceport. The game was over so much faster that way.


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We ran this encounter something like two weeks ago, and wrecked the sh*t out of it. Seriously, we found it way easier than the Drift Dead that kept harassing us and the security drone just before, purely because we bothered to get intel on it.
The fight lasted 6 turns, during which our Mystic blasted the hell out of it using spells for over half the Garaggakal's HP, while we provided support and hindered it to keep it from using full attacks and staying in melee range. (Shock and Adhesive 'nades). More than half of the group was Fatigued due to Kazathas infection (Mystic got us rid of the second sickening effect that I can't remember).
The fight isn't that hard, it requires planning and a little bit of organisation, but that's really doable. (Oh, and we were only level 2 at the time)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Garretmander wrote:
Tazera wrote:
No need to fix the Garaggakal. My 4 3rd level players all survived. A hard fight, but they all loved it...
I believe running book 1 as written, PCs are only supposed to be level 2 when they fight it.

this.

the power jump from 2-3 is pretty substantial. you'll notice that in the plethora of podcasts running dead suns, the DMs have uniformly leveled up their parties to 3 prior to running the boss fight.

Quote:
Still, just use the AA2 garaggakal stats, they lowered the special attack damage dice, that's all it needed.

agreed. there are some other problems with unbalanced monsters [book 4!] in Dead Suns, and before running a volume, a DM should review these forums and use the monsters in the Alien Archives rather than those in the published volumes.


Yesterday we played this Fight with 4 Lvl.2-Chars and if I hadn't "adjust" the behavior of the Garagg, maybe the whole group would now be six feet under! I only used Leech Life 1 time, but I rolled nearly a perfect roll (6,6,5,5,2) and the fortitude-save failed.
I had to say, my players had no luck at all during this fight (the biohacker-player rolled really the first rolls (d20, in the same order): 1,1,3,3,4 - and the rest of the group wasn't better roller ;)

I don't know how a group of lvl2-Chars should manage the fight: the most weapons on this level are small arms like azimuth-laser with 1d4(!) and as the chars level outside absolom station (e.g. on acreon or the drift-asteroid itself) they hadn't the possibility to buy better weapons.

AC of the best char (soldier) is at 14 - so nearly every attack of the Garagg is a direct hit (2d6+9 = 16 avg. dmg) and Leech Life would do the rest...

Sorry for my English, I am no native Speaker.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WarFred wrote:

Yesterday we played this Fight with 4 Lvl.2-Chars and if I hadn't "adjust" the behavior of the Garagg, maybe the whole group would now be six feet under! I only used Leech Life 1 time, but I rolled nearly a perfect roll (6,6,5,5,2) and the fortitude-save failed.

I had to say, my players had no luck at all during this fight (the biohacker-player rolled really the first rolls (d20, in the same order): 1,1,3,3,4 - and the rest of the group wasn't better roller ;)

I don't know how a group of lvl2-Chars should manage the fight: the most weapons on this level are small arms like azimuth-laser with 1d4(!) and as the chars level outside absolom station (e.g. on acreon or the drift-asteroid itself) they hadn't the possibility to buy better weapons.

AC of the best char (soldier) is at 14 - so nearly every attack of the Garagg is a direct hit (2d6+9 = 16 avg. dmg) and Leech Life would do the rest...

Sorry for my English, I am no native Speaker.

it's a rough fight.

as a GM, you can run it as written, and you'll probably kill your party.

you can use the weakened one in Alien Archive, and you MIGHT kill your party.

or you can have the monster - which is described to do this - run away after it takes a certain amount of damage. the beast isn't dumb, and the PCs are tough.


First time I played DS#1 in Society, he murdered two level 1 characters (can't level up when playing straight society instead of campaign mode).

Second time, we rolled in with highly optimized level 2 murderhobos and ganked him, but it was a tough fight despite knowing what we were in for. My Envoy had used Inspiring Boost on I think every single other PC by the end, and many hits would've been misses without Clever Feint.

Gary doesn't play.

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