Dire Rat in Lost Star A10?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why is there a Dire Rat in Lost Star's A10 (Befouled Shrine)?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Because we changed "dire rats" to "giant rats" but did a kinda sloppy job extending that change into the adventure. Sorry about that.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Because we changed "dire rats" to "giant rats" but did a kinda sloppy job extending that change into the adventure. Sorry about that.

No, I mean why is there a Giant* Rat in that room? Is it Drakus' pet? Does he fight with Drakus? There's no text mentioning the Rat, there's just the Monster title block dropped in randomly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Kulak wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Because we changed "dire rats" to "giant rats" but did a kinda sloppy job extending that change into the adventure. Sorry about that.
No, I mean why is there a Giant* Rat in that room? Is it Drakus' pet? Does he fight with Drakus? There's no text mentioning the Rat, there's just the Monster title block dropped in randomly.

Not quite sure what you're referring to. I'll see if I remember to check the text on Monday to try to give more insight.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I noticed that too. Random dire rat. I didn't even notice it until after and just kinda threw it in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Kulak wrote:
Why is there a Dire Rat in Lost Star's A10 (Befouled Shrine)?

Not sure what the intended purpose was, but when I ran it I had the rat run up out of the tunnel leading to Darkus's lair. The party jumped on it non the wiser and split up with the paladin and monk going for the rat while the sorcerer held back. darkus took advantage of this and jumped on the sorcerer criting them with his massive to hit and 100-0 him then used his feed on blood ability to make his saves rougher. it made an otherwise straightforward fight a little higher stakes by putting on of the pcs and dying 3 on round 1. They on the fight no problem after that first surprise, but I think it was a good use of the rat.

TLDR: rat distracks while darkus ganks whoever isn't on the rat.


I am running a party of 5, so I am using the rat (dire or giant) as the upscale. I do not think they want to upscale Lost star since other parts tell you what to add for 5 and 6 players.

K-Ray

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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OK! I'm back at work and have my copy of Doomsday Dawn in hand...

And huh... what do you know... there IS a weirdo random dire rat in there.

Checking my original developed text for this chapter, dire rats never show up in the adventure at all (nor did it in Jason's original text for the adventure, pre-development). Encounter A10 was intended there to be just a fight against Drakus as a solo battle.

Which is why I was kinda confused about people talking about it.

My guess is that the dire rat ended up being a copy/paste error at the very last minute or something that slipped through. It shouldn't be in the encounter, but it's such a minor presence that if it IS it's not really going to affect the playtest.

Folks reading this should just ignore the dire rat entirely and run the encounter with Drakus alone.

Sorry about the confusion, folks!

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
It shouldn't be in the encounter, but it's such a minor presence that if it IS it's not really going to affect the playtest.

It actually had a pretty big effect on our run through the playtest. Drakus already had all of us but me low on HP and the rat (who has a whopping +6 to hit, the same as a lvl 1 fighter with 18 str) did about 3/4 of my hp and knocked me unconscious while Drakus mopped up everyone else.

I'll definitely pass along the word that it shouldn't be there though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It shouldn't be in the encounter, but it's such a minor presence that if it IS it's not really going to affect the playtest.

It actually had a pretty big effect on our run through the playtest. Drakus already had all of us but me low on HP and the rat (who has a whopping +6 to hit, the same as a lvl 1 fighter with 18 str) did about 3/4 of my hp and knocked me unconscious while Drakus mopped up everyone else.

I'll definitely pass along the word that it shouldn't be there though.

Huh... that's an important and interesting and VERY helpful observation, to be honest. I'd assumed that a single giant rat wouldn't make that much of a big deal, but forgot that this is a 1st level encounter and yeah, even a little thing like a giant rat can cause problems!

Again, sorry for the confusion! I really don't know how this happened, but it's something I'll be looking into so that we don't repeat a "mystery rat" error in the future, since again... it wasn't part of the original turnover or the developed text.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MYSTERY SOLVED!

TL;DR: The dire rat is not supposed to be there in the encounter; ignore it when you run "The Lost Star."

Looks like this dire rat got into the text at some point during the secondary development pass for the adventure. Click below if you wanna see what caused it. (In any case, while the pretty unique set of circumstances that allowed this error to happen will be in place for some of the adventures for 2nd edition we'll be working on over the next several months, it's now something I know to be on the lookout for and, once we're officially in the era of the new edition, probably won't be a big issue...)

Spoiler:
Developing Doomsday Dawn was tricky, and was done in 2 passes. My first, more extensive pass was to make sure the whole book held together plot-wise, that the adventure flowed, was fun to read, and all of that, but also to do as much syncing up with the playtest rules as possible, since when the adventures were written during a few months before my pass started, the playtest rules were still very much in active creation mode. At the same time this was going on, the document got its first significant editing pass.

Then, once I was done, the text went back to the design team for them to playtest the whole thing and to give the rules side of things a look over. Once that was done, the adventure entered a SECOND development phase where someone went through and incorporated all of the notes from the first edit pass and the playtest. It appears that it's at this stage that the dire rat made its appearance in the encounter—in the text turnover to layout at this point, the dire rat entry is even in a weirdly formatted font that doesn't match the rest of the text file; formatting that got normalized automatically as part of the importing of text into the final layout files to begin the last several rounds of editing.

So... short and bitter version, it is indeed a copy/paste error that ended up in print. Sorry about that, all!


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1. Please compile all of the errata in a single file!

2. Please make Schrodinger's Rat a meme.


Hmmm. I may wind up running this encounter with 5 or 6 PCs, and I was actually thinking I should add a SECOND dire rat to compensate, and only looked up this thread because I couldn't find the Dire Rat in the bestiary.

What's the best way to run Drakus against a larger than normal party?

Dark Archive

Captain Morgan wrote:

Hmmm. I may wind up running this encounter with 5 or 6 PCs, and I was actually thinking I should add a SECOND dire rat to compensate, and only looked up this thread because I couldn't find the Dire Rat in the bestiary.

What's the best way to run Drakus against a larger than normal party?

I ran it yesterday for 5 players and Drakus dropped and nearly killed the barbarian and ranger, they both had to use their hero points to stay alive.

That being said, i just raised his hit points from 40 to 50, which didn't even gave him another round of staying alive (round 7 was the last).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I missed that the giant rat was an error when a I ran Lost Star, and ironically, was probably the MVP of the dungeon. Due to some tactical blunders on the part of my PCs (not healing after the Pharsmin trap, and the wizard running in first while Drakus was hiding behind the altar and promptly getting smacked down by Drakus), the fight nearly turned into a TPK. The giant rat managed to crit the paladin and drop him while Drakus took down the melee cleric. Really, only two things saved my PCs--one was I had Talga accompany the party as a Goblin Bard to bring the initial PC count to 4 (we had a fourth player that arrived late and joined in for on the Goblin HQ fight, Pharasmin trap, and the Drakus fight). Two, I was pretty lax with the light rules, but the only light sources was in the room, so the Human Fighter (Archer) should have not been able to attack Drakus without Seeking and suffering miss chances. The giant rat kept the wizard, paladin, and cleric from recovering (despite burning through their hero points) and rejoining the fight while Drakus charged Talga in the hallway. He had her grappled and ready to drain her next round when the archer finally dropped him and then the rat. Had she not been there (to both take the hit as well as help with daze and inspire courage to boost her allies) and had I been stricter on the light rules), he probably would have dispatched the archer instead and resulted in a TPK.

Amazing how a single level 0 monster drastically affected that fight.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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That a single level 0 monster can have that big of an effect is great feedback. Especially in this context, since it means we need to be that much more attentive and focused on development of adventures to make sure things like this don't happen again (a monster accidentally showing up in an encounter due to a copy-paste error or the like).


Well, using that rat as my 5/6 player adjustment!

Grand Lodge

After reading all of this... I'm looking for the rules to make the Rat a PC class...lol

Call him "Boss Rat"!


Out of curiosity, how is Drakus supposed to use his sneak attack without the rat as a flanking buddy? The new stealth rules mean he will never have an opportunity to use this feature.

My assumption was that it was there so he could sneak attack.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

Out of curiosity, how is Drakus supposed to use his sneak attack without the rat as a flanking buddy? The new stealth rules mean he will never have an opportunity to use this feature.

My assumption was that it was there so he could sneak attack.

The Grab enhancement on his claw attack allows him to spend an action to automatically succeed on a grab attempt with his next action. A Grabbed character is flat-footed. So he could hit with the claw, grab, then sneak attack with his sword.

Edit, and a big question: The rogue sneak attack requires an agile or finesse weapon, the long sword is neither. The sneak attack description in his monster entry does not mention these limitations. The monster grab ability restricts that limb from being used to strike while grabbing, so he can't attack a grabbed enemy with a claw without dropping his sword.

Is he intended to be able to sneak attack with the longsword, an non-agile, non-finesse weapon?

Shadow Lodge

I am highly amused by Schrodinger's Rat, and also curious about how Drakus' Sneak Attack is supposed to work.


DM Livgin wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:

Out of curiosity, how is Drakus supposed to use his sneak attack without the rat as a flanking buddy? The new stealth rules mean he will never have an opportunity to use this feature.

My assumption was that it was there so he could sneak attack.

The Grab enhancement on his claw attack allows him to spend an action to automatically succeed on a grab attempt with his next action. A Grabbed character is flat-footed. So he could hit with the claw, grab, then sneak attack with his sword.

Edit, and a big question: The rogue sneak attack requires an agile or finesse weapon, the long sword is neither. The sneak attack description in his monster entry does not mention these limitations. The monster grab ability restricts that limb from being used to strike while grabbing, so he can't attack a grabbed enemy with a claw without dropping his sword.

Is he intended to be able to sneak attack with the longsword, an non-agile, non-finesse weapon?

Exactly. He doesn't have any way to sneak attack other than the claw.

With the errata, you can actually sneak attack from stealth, but that doesn't make a huge difference because he's unlikely to get more than one from stealth while engaged in melee with the party.


sherlock1701 wrote:
DM Livgin wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:

Out of curiosity, how is Drakus supposed to use his sneak attack without the rat as a flanking buddy? The new stealth rules mean he will never have an opportunity to use this feature.

My assumption was that it was there so he could sneak attack.

The Grab enhancement on his claw attack allows him to spend an action to automatically succeed on a grab attempt with his next action. A Grabbed character is flat-footed. So he could hit with the claw, grab, then sneak attack with his sword.

Edit, and a big question: The rogue sneak attack requires an agile or finesse weapon, the long sword is neither. The sneak attack description in his monster entry does not mention these limitations. The monster grab ability restricts that limb from being used to strike while grabbing, so he can't attack a grabbed enemy with a claw without dropping his sword.

Is he intended to be able to sneak attack with the longsword, an non-agile, non-finesse weapon?

Exactly. He doesn't have any way to sneak attack other than the claw.

With the errata, you can actually sneak attack from stealth, but that doesn't make a huge difference because he's unlikely to get more than one from stealth while engaged in melee with the party.

The fighter knockdown feat is different from the monster knockdown ability. So maybe it is intended that the monster sneak-attack is different from the rogue sneak attack?


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...So when should we tell them about the pet tarrasque in part two?


Evil rats on no star live.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
That a single level 0 monster can have that big of an effect is great feedback. Especially in this context, since it means we need to be that much more attentive and focused on development of adventures to make sure things like this don't happen again (a monster accidentally showing up in an encounter due to a copy-paste error or the like).

+6 attack on every level 0 creatures means that anything is a threat.

A lone goblin that have 50% chance to hit the Wizard and may even one shot him (elf Wizard with 8 Con has 10 hp) if he roll 6 on damage seems pretty big.

Especially if the goblin attack more than once and the group doesn't have a figther/Paladin to kill it with a reaction.

I Feel like monsters are a bit too similar in term of attack bonuses.
I would have made the goblin less likely to hit. Maybe reduce damage too. And I would have made them more annoying with some reaction like "Tumble accross opponent : The goblin can use one reaction to pass through an opponent square. Trigger : entering opponent square" or something like that.

Liberty's Edge

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One reason that the rat is such a big deal is that Drakus has Sneak Attack. Giving him a flanking buddy is huge.

Still, I had 5 PCs and didn't adjust otherwise, so including it was probably fine.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Is Drakus supposed to have

Spoiler:
two melee attacks per Strike?
His statblock is written weird.


GinoA wrote:
Is Drakus supposed to have
Spoiler:
two melee attacks per Strike?
His statblock is written weird.

A lot of monsters have two attacks listed in their melee entry, some have it listed seperately, it's inconsistent (like a lot of the monster rules -.-). I took it to mean he can choose which to do when he does a strike, as if they were seperate entries.

I ran this for a group of four and the rat was the only thing that made the fight last longer than a round. Drakus hid, got a sneak attack in, then died in one round of attacks from the most of the PCs (one went for the rat as it snuck up on him)


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

We managed to pull him out into the hallway. Standing alone against him with six Strikes per round was beyond brutal. With his to-hit modifier, he was critting ~30% of the time.


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This is my new favourite story from Paizo.

I kind of feel like we need a token dire rat in every adventure path going forward with second edition.


Turelus wrote:

This is my new favourite story from Paizo.

I kind of feel like we need a token dire rat in every adventure path going forward with second edition.

Dire Rat as core Ancestry for PF3 !

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