(Spoilers for SFS 1-26 Truth of the Seeker) is there an Errata? I have some questions.


GM Discussion

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

Firstly, the In Defense of Honor encounter for tier 5-6 has listed for tactics of the enemies

Quote:
Use the tactics for subtier 5-6.

I assume it means tier 3-4?

I also have a lot of questions concerning the Void Hantu boss fight.

Quote:
During Combat The void Hantu attacks the nearest target with it's tendrils and uses it's gravitic pull attack to pull targets closer so it can make attacks of opportunity with it's tendrils.

And gravitic pull says this:

Quote:
Gravitic Pull (Su) As a standard action, a void Hantu can alter the gravity between itself and a target. The void Hantu selects a target within 40 feet; that target must succeed at a reflex save (DC 17) or be pulled 20 feet closer to the void Hantu. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity.

So to me this suggests the goal is to attack with tentacles, and use Gravitic pull to yank people through it's reach to provoke attacks of opportunity. But I'm seeing a few issues with that.

For one, I see nothing in the creature's statblock in either subtier stating it's tentacles have reach. If I were to try to act on these tactics using the statblock as written, no attacks of opportunity would be provoked with Gravitic pull. There's is also the issue of the fact that as written a tendrils attack and Gravitic pull are both standard actions, so it can't do both like the tactics seem to indicate. So I find myself wondering if the lack of reach is a mistake in need of errata, and if it's Gravitic pull is supposed to be a move action.

I also have some concerns of the difficulty of this fight as the void Hantu has a perfect fly speed of 30 feet, in a room with a 50 foot cieling. Even with a five reach this seems like a tpk machine, because the Hantu can fly to be 20 feet above a party members and do Gravitic pull. It's a DC 17 even at low tier, which is a challenge for anyone in tier. If they fail, they now get yanked 20 feet into the air to be adjacent to the Hantu, then start to fall. Now they are leaving a threatened space and the core rulebook book says any movement out of a threatened space that is not a guarded step provokes an attack of opportunity. So now it gets it's tendrils attack, which with a +18 to +22 in low and high tier respectively is almost guaranteed to hit. This does either 1d8+11 or 2d6+13, and now they have to make either a DC 17 or 19 will save to halve mental score damage. And then even after all that, they're taking 2d6 additional damage from the 20 foot fall. His tactics say to prioritize casters, and that much damage could drop a caster in just 1 to 2 rounds. Now maybe as a solo boss the party can focus it down, except it's also incorporeal, which means in all likelihood the party is doing half damage, and it's a big bag of hit points at 124 and 174 respectively. By comparison I'm running dead sun's book 5 and my level 9-10 is struggling hard against incorporeal enemies with 105hp. And we're expecting a party Of 3-6 to handle this?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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He had 10 foot reach when the author turned it in. Our beneficent multi eyed overlords tuned it back down to 5 but the tactic remained unchanged.

One mode you'll see that a starfinder party has at their disposal is resolve tanking. Just because you're at zero HP doesn't mean you're out of the fight. You spend one resolve not to die and then the next round you hop back in the fight. Without an AOE it takes a LOT of actions to completely take out a starfinder party.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

I've seen resolve tanking, and I've not seen a party that enjoys having to use that tactic to survive a fight. And I'm not confident in this case it's even viable. In the two rounds it takes for that person to rejoin the fight the Hantu can drop another party member. Rejoining a fight also costs a resolve, so at most your typical adventurer is only going to be able to do that twice. And they still have to effectively wittle through 250 HP. It's AC is nothing to scoff at either, so while it's practically guaranteed to hit the party even martial classes with peak ability scores have like a 50% chance to strike back.

What I'm hearing then is with his reach changed but his tactics unchanged, everything is as intended, and what I described is pretty much the only legitimate way to run that fight? I'm running this this Saturday and I'm trying to be sure I fully understand how this creature works, because much of the scenario flavors itself as a social adventure, but then this guy comes out of nowhere and would have given my Dead Sun's 9th level party trouble. I don't want to tpk my party, especially since most of our local players are newer and the 3rd level characters they are bringing are not only their highest level characters, but for some of them it's their only one.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Quote:
What I'm hearing then is with his reach changed but his tactics unchanged, everything is as intended

I don't think anyone noticed that the change in reach kinda sorta invalidated his tactics. Not every dm thinks to have it fight from the ceiling. (even khan showed evidence of 2 dimensional thinking...) Also more classes have good will saves these days, so if it's 30 feet up and the party is on the ground its doing a LOT of damage when it hauls people up but it's doing no damage when it doesn't.

If it's doing that effectively (because the dice hate you or your will save has "yes master" written instead of a number) the party may want to move to a smaller room.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Flagged for removal to the GM Discussion Forum; there's already a thread over there discussing this scenario.

But I'd like to address something you mentioned:

Sean Castor wrote:
I don't want to tpk my party, especially since most of our local players are newer and the 3rd level characters they are bringing are not only their highest level characters, but for some of them it's their only one.

If you don't want to TPK new players, then don't.

You as the GM have the ability to gauge your party's capabilities and adjust the flow of the fight. Just because you have a single killer move doesn't mean you spam it every round. Throw out the occasional Intimidate. Show it's confident by provoking some AoOs. Have it use its incorporeality to leave for a round. Spread the damage out. Leave them an escape route in case its really going bad.

"Run as written" doesn't mean "this and only this". Tactics are a guideline, and the game doesn't happen in a vacuum. The players might blame the scenario, but a TPK is usually just as often a GM choice.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

With how big the save DCs are, the party would have, at best, a 50% chance to succeed at them. The Building also has 50 foot ceilings across the board, so it doesn't matter which room they lure it into, it can stay in the air and do nasty tricks.

Nefreet wrote:


You as the GM have the ability to gauge your party's capabilities and adjust the flow of the fight. Just because you have a single killer move doesn't mean you spam it every round. Throw out the occasional Intimidate. Show it's confident by provoking some AoOs. Have it use its incorporeality to leave for a round. Spread the damage out. Leave them an escape route in case its really going bad.

"Run as written" doesn't mean "this and only this". Tactics are a guideline, and the game doesn't happen in a vacuum. The players might blame the scenario, but a TPK is usually just as often a GM choice.

He has no intimidate bonus and would be a guaranteed fail, the creature is smart enough to not bother. I spoke with my players beforehand to gauge their capabilities and the one person who would be able to take an AoO does not have magic weapons. so it wouldn't matter. Leaving for a round makes no tactical sense, he has no recovery options and all that would do is afford the party some time to maybe escape. The creature's morale is fight to the death. He shouldn't bail from the fight for any reason. Run as written may not be "this and only this" but it does tend to mean "You can't do this, and in the case of X you must try to do Y unless Y is just a really bad idea for that enemy." In this case, why would he not drop them from 20 feet in the air over and over again, getting a free nibble at them every time they float up to him? The only way I would see him NOT doing that, is if the party starts saving a whole lot, whether by good rolls or higher than average saves. Then it might fly down into melee, but arguably that's even worse because now he can full attack. Even if I don't full attack in that other thread you linked people have run the boss fight with the boss never leaving the ground and the party still had to bail. In a way the fact it says "Go after casters first" is the one slight mercy it provides. Casters typically aren't the big damage dealers, which means the couple of rounds it takes the Hantu to drop the caster, is more rounds the big DPS character have to try to kill this thing before it turns on them.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Perhaps I should have bolded my text, but my emphasis was on *new* players. New players usually don't have the tactical acumen to handle regular encounters efficiently, let alone difficult ones. They aren't aware OOC that fleeing is an option. They don't come to fights with an assortment of weapons. They don't bring consumables or healing options. Their characters are more flavorly-built.

What experience do you want to leave them with? A TPK on their first characters, with you using overpowered tactics repeatedly? Or fleeing from a tough encounter where reduced rewards will leave them with a mental note to better prepare for higher level fights?

Pogiforce wrote:
The Building also has 50 foot ceilings across the board, so it doesn't matter which room they lure it into, it can stay in the air and do nasty tricks.

That, again, would be *your* choice to employ. Not the creature's.

Pogiforce wrote:
Leaving for a round makes no tactical sense, he has no recovery options and all that would do is afford the party some time to maybe escape.

Incorporeal creatures can go inside walls and emerge elsewhere. Spending a round moving around unseen is an incredible tactical advantage in its mind, and it gives the players a round to discuss tactics and their characters to reposition or use what little consumables and healing they have.

Pogiforce wrote:
The creature's morale is fight to the death. He shouldn't bail from the fight for any reason.

That doesn't mean pursue them outside the building, though.

Pogiforce wrote:
In this case, why would he not drop them from 20 feet in the air over and over again, getting a free nibble at them every time they float up to him?

Because you are the GM, and you have an obligation to take everything into account and give your players an enjoyable game. Spamming killer moves is not fun in any game system. Anywhere.

That doesn't mean "avoid TPK at all costs". If your players are stubbornly swinging away and dropping like flies and refuse to flee after you've given them multiple suggestions and outs, then by all means, continue having it drop them.

But you don't need to escalate it by having it repeat cheesy tactics that you created.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Sean Castor wrote:


With how big the save DCs are, the party would have, at best, a 50% chance to succeed at them.

The Building also has 50 foot ceilings across the board, so it doesn't matter which room they lure it into, it can stay in the air and do nasty tricks.

The temple’s

ceiling is 50 feet from ground level. A PC who succeeds at a DC 22 Perception check (DC 26 in Subtier 5–6) notes that the
structure’s ceiling contains a crystalline dome atop the area C6.
This dome is composed of six inches of transparent aluminum

So it's a dome. The entire thing can't be 50 feet high (unless that black hole is doing REALLY weird things to the architecture...) and the smaller 10 by 10 rooms having a 50 foot ceiling would be really, really weird.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

It is a very hard encounter (too hard in my opinion), and you can TPK a party using even minimal tactics.

My GM just had it settle at ground level and FA every round, and we barely made it through (based on what you've posted, I think he used the higher tier HP). So, as Nefreet says, using killer tactics when you already have a killer beast using the simplest of tactics is a choice.

...but it is still very, very hard.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Portsmouth aka Pogiforce

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sean Castor wrote:


With how big the save DCs are, the party would have, at best, a 50% chance to succeed at them.

The Building also has 50 foot ceilings across the board, so it doesn't matter which room they lure it into, it can stay in the air and do nasty tricks.

The temple’s

ceiling is 50 feet from ground level. A PC who succeeds at a DC 22 Perception check (DC 26 in Subtier 5–6) notes that the
structure’s ceiling contains a crystalline dome atop the area C6.
This dome is composed of six inches of transparent aluminum

So it's a dome. The entire thing can't be 50 feet high (unless that black hole is doing REALLY weird things to the architecture...) and the smaller 10 by 10 rooms having a 50 foot ceiling would be really, really weird.

Only the back room is described to have a dome, but it still describes the entire structure as having 50 foot cielings. Yes that sounds wierd, but it was a skygazer Temple of Ibra do who knows.

I ended up running the encounter with the tactics as I understood them. The low gravity worked in the party's favor.
it went after the operative in the first round since he was closest but the operative passed the Ford save. Dim the mystic and the technomancer did their things. So the next round the Hantu went after the mystic since he did the most damage and was a spellcaster. The mystic failed both saves every time and got hit every time. But because he had an 18 wisdom the damage that I was doing wasn't enough. He lost eight wisdom by the end of the fight and was down to one hit from unconscious but between the technomancer in the mystic this was an easy one. Everyone else did a little something with their weapons hitting about 50 to 60% of the time except the blitz soldier who had no ranged options and forgot about the called tactical knife that they had found in the temple.

we had no misunderstandings though that the mystic in the technomancer or the reason why they won this fight. Given that in another room of the Temple there is a ghost armor upgrade, a spell gem of magic missile Ouran high tier a spell gem of mind thrust, I think this encounter was written with the specific intention that technomancers and mystics are supposed to make this easy. I think the tactics actually make this creature easier than it looks on paper since with the technomancers grabbing its agro and the mystics grabbing its aggro both of which have much higher mental ability scores than say a soldier or maybe a operativethey can take more hits before the ability damage puts them unconscious. and while the hontu's damage is certainly not little, it still takes a few hits to put people down. and with this strategy of pulling people into the air hitting them with an attack of opportunity and letting them fall the Hantu is only getting one attack around.

I don't like that you need a mystic pretty much to make this fight manageable. But I mystic really does get the job done provided they have mind thrust.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The called knife is useless anyways, since it takes 24 hours to attune to you.

But it's at least magical if nobody had any magic weapons.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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