Replacing Giant Encounters in Ashpeak (Book 5 Spoilers)


Giantslayer

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So the fifth book of the AP is most criticized (and not wrongly) as being a massive dungeon crawl full of giants sandwiched between two massive dungeon crawls (admittedly with a better variety of foes). But assuming we keep the general shape of the adventure the same and replace many (but not all) of the giant encounters with a better variety of monsters, I'm trying to think what would work both mechanically and narratively. The simplest answer why there aren't a lot of giants guarding Ashpeak is they're out leading the giant war thus substitutes were needed.

Another simple but effective solution is to swap out feats, weapons, armor, and change tactics of existing encounters. I've found Giant + Composite Longbow + Archery feats = Very Challenging Encounter. Particularly with a level or ranger or fighter tacked on.

-Animals and Magical Beasts: I'd like to see more use from the steam hog in general. Fire Giants are known to take their pets and armor them up.

-Undead: Since this adventure immediately follows the tomb of the Ice Queen, you don't want to go too crazy here, but with a high level cleric involved there's no reason not to pull in some unusual undead.

-Outsiders: Fire/Magma Elementals come to mind, but they're pretty boring after the first few and have the same shtick as the average fire giant. I'm not sure if Zuuvatar would approve, but bound fiends (especially devils) are thematic and provide a distinct change from the average giant bruiser. Plus we have a high level cleric to bind them. There's probably some uncommon but fun outsiders that aren't as political as devils. I assume that the giants would prefer large sized outsiders. I know there are some Salamanders in one encounter.

Constructs: I remember an Iron Golem, but why not show off the Fire Giants' skill as crafters? Downside is that most constructs are big mindless bruisers. Fiend infused golems could be fun.

Fey: Probably go light on this, but there are some interesting fire based fey. Not sure why they'd be allied with the giants though.

Mostly I'm thinking intelligent undead and outsiders at this point. But I'd be glad to hear suggestions. Especially weird, uncommon stuff. Not super interested in homebrew or 3pp that isn't the kind of stuff Paizo would put in their publications. Don't bother with telling me that "the book is broken beyond repair.". You're probably right, and that's not what this thread is about.


Note: I'm keeping the CR of all encounters the same.

-A1 The Lava Flow: CR14
The entrance to Ashpeak is surprisingly poorly designed and disadvantageous for the fire giants who guard it. I'm adding an additional floor directly above and the same shape as the space between the portcullises. Stone stairs outside the second portcullis lead up to this second floor. Giant sized murderholes on the second floor give coverage to the entire first floor. Medium and smaller creatures could potentially squeeze up through if they could reach them. The portcullises are operated solely from the second floor. The first portcullis is left open (but will come crashing down on anyone who steps on its space unless locked in place) and the second is left closed and locked. Piles of rocks are stacked on the second floor to drop on intruders. Arrow slits on the second floor looking out into the entrance cavern are cleverly disguised in the cave wall (DC35 perception). They give a +8 cover bonus to AC and reflex to defenders. Also, the floor is littered with the bones of failed invaders, giant and otherwise. If intruders appear to pose a serious threat the fire giant is sent to get reinforcements immediately.

Creatures:

-Stone Giant Inquisitor of Zursvaater 5 (CR11). Wields +1 composite longbow (+9 STR), mwk greatsword, wears +2 halfplate. On second floor watching through arrow slits, buffs up before attacking. 35% chance of being asleep, rests in spartan quarters in back of second floor. Casts alarm in front of 1st portcullis before sleeping.
-Fire Giant (CR10, wields mwk longspear and heavy crossbow). On second floor, fires through arrow slits, then stabs through murderholes or portcullises with spear. Guard changes routinely.
-Nessian Hellhound (CR9) x2. In alcoves on either side of first floor between portcullises. Alcoves have murderholes as well. At least one is always awake.
-Steam Hog (CR7). Patrols in main cavern but sleeps inside the portcullises.

Same CR, but the defenders are much better positioned. They're still very vulnerable to high level magic but against brute force are far more likely to survive until reinforcements arrive.


-A2 The Fungus Farms: CR13

With the war in full swing, the Fire Giants can't spare their soldiers on something as trivial as watching slaves. Instead, the slaves are driven ruthlessly by a pair of nixudaemons under the eye of their fire giant summoner, If attacked, the nixudaemons compel the slaves to attack the intruders. But unarmed, unarmored, and exhausted they don't pose any meaningful threat. They surrender immediately after their masters fall.

Creatures-
Variant Old Fire Giant Summoner (Pyroclast) 7 (CR12). Wields +1 shocking scorpion whip, no armor- casts mage armor and shield.
Eidolon (CR-)
Nixudaemon (CR7) x2.
Slaves (CR-). No XP


-A3 The Fallow Farm (CR13)

Pretty much as written, except-

Creatures:

-A giant dire boar (CR5) pulls the corpse cart. Breaks free once combat starts.
-Single fire giant.
-Pair of ogre mancatchers, armed with +1 ranseurs.


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Hey now...I really dig this! Thanks for sharing this!


Erpa wrote:
Hey now...I really dig this! Thanks for sharing this!

Thanks! If you have any ideas feel free to share them.

Some stuff I've thought about but haven't placed yet:

Giant Fext
Obsidian Golem (pairs well with aoe fire damage)
Were-Dire Boar Hill Giants
Lycanthrope Giant?
Ice or Bone Devil
Elder Fire/Magma/Earth Elemental
Mongrel Giants (bastard child of the monarchs?)
Incorporeal Creatures


Alright, back to business.

-A4 Slave Pen (CR14)

Again, with the majority of the fire giant force engaged in conquest Ashpeak has resorted to lesser giants to keep their farms going.

The setup is much the same, with below changes to the creatures:

-single fire giant (CR10), wields a heavy flail instead of greatsword. Stays at range and throws rocks while the others engage in melee.
-Bonegrinder Brothers: Were-Dire Boar Hill Giant Barbarian 2 (CR10) x2. Wield +1 earthbreakers and wear +2 hide shirts. Take the form of Dire Boars until combat breaks out, then take hybrid form.
-Pair of ogre mancatchers, use mancatchers (exotic wpn) on slaves but drop in favor of ogre hooks in melee.

-A5 Giant Goatherds

Pretty much as written, but I lied about changing CR of encounters. Tactics remain the same.

-Stone Giants remain the same (CR8) x4. Wield crooks. Attempt to trip PCs.
-Led by a Stone Giant Oracle 3 (ancestors mystery). Wields +1 merciful longspear. Probably has a cool magic item or two.


I continue to break my word on CR. But as the PCs may easily skip many encounters why bother with boring ones? Plus Ashpeak is built up as this scary giant stronghold but pales in comparison to a certain tomb... that immediately proceeds it.

-A6 Haunted Goat Pens (CR13)

Keep it pretty much as written, including the excellent haunt.

Creature:

-LE size large Geist cleric of Zursvaater 5 (CR11). Was a cleric of Zursvaater sent to exorcise the haunt but arrogantly assumed they could control it. Was killed for their hubris but returned as a Geist. Managed to do in undeath what they failed in life. Not fully aware they are undead, won't attack other fire giants. Has an incorporeal greatsword but is actually part of their form. Dead body rots in center of room.

-A7 Ettin Boar-Keepers (CR13)

Setup is a written.

Creatures:

-Mongrel Cave Giant Ettins (CR7) x4. Wield a battle axe in each hand. Too stupid to retreat.
-Third Bonegrinder brother (CR10). In dire boar form, shifts to hybrid as soon as the fight starts.
-Advanced Dire Boars (CR5) x2. Unlike the other boars, they attack at the lycanthrope's urging.

-A8 Makeshift Shrine (CR13)

No changes. Maybe some gross ogre stuff.

-A9 Tunnel Guardian (CR13)

As written. No changes. Golem is shaped to resemble a fire giant sculpture.

-A10 Rock Troll Miners (CR13)

The Trolls, while not intelligent, hardly need supervision by fire giant soldiers. Otherwise as written.

Creatures:

-Advanced Rock Trolls (CR7) x5. Use tactics described.
-Magnetite Golem (CR10). Stays away from mining operation, used to locate ore deposits and test rocks. Several metal tools and ferrous rocks stuck to its body.

-A11 Waste Disposal (CR13)

As written. Dropped CR by 1. Bite me.

Otoyughs aren't considered combatants really. Bathroom sentries aren't something Ashpeak worries about on the lower level. All giants are distracted by personal business.

Creatures:

-Otoyughs (CR4) x3. Only attack if attacked.
-Ogre Glutton (CR11). Wields a +1 butchering axe.
-Fire Giant (CR10). Wields greatsword and heavy crossbow, throws rocks after first shot.
-Either Mongrel Ettin or Rock Troll (50% chance).


And that's the first level done. I want to take a moment to say that I think that the writers of this AP and book actually did a really good job, and I have no delusion that my silly ramblings hardly compare to their excellent work.

-A12 The Checkpoint (CR14)

Again, the Fire Giants have done themselves a real diservice here. We'll start by adding heavy portcullises to the two entry tunnels. These remain open unless the giants are on alert. Secondly the gate is guarded by only a single fire giant and his dominated dragon pet. Two bound belkers summoned from Zursvaater's realm of Hyrrfellhame patrol the lower area or rest inside a pair of smouldering braziers. Hidden under the carpet of smog is an unpleasant surprise as well.

Creatures:
Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR12). As written, but has a bag of heavy metal balls to throw (treat as rocks one size larger). About a dozen.
Young Red Dragon (CR10). Can see through the smoke. On a leash to the Lieutenant, who swiftly releases it on combat.
Advanced Fiendish Belkers (CR8) x2.

Hazards:
-The lower floor area was once a pool of molten lava, but has hardened into razor sharp obsidian glass. With the exception of the direct path from the entrances, treat the area as covered in vicious caltrops that do slashing damage and 1d4 bleed.
-The lower area is covered in a dense smoke coming from a score of magical braziers which cannot be extinguished by mundane means. They shed dim light. Large and larger creatures can stand high enough to not inhale the smoke, and it provides concealment.

-A12 Optional: Giant reinforcements (CR12)

As recommended in the book, reinforcements might join the defenders at the checkpoint. if so, you may use these instead of the generic patrol:

Creatures:

-Devil Bound (Bearded) Fire Giant (CR11). Wields a glaive.
-Hellcat (CR7) x2.


-B The Barracks (CR13)

Seems kinda silly (or suicidal) that the giants would only have one entrance to their main barracks. Instead we'll have cavernous chambers be almost eerily empty (as the giants are all of smooshing the small folk elsewhere). Collapsing the ceiling in A12 gives access to the next level but doesn't necessarily block off the barracks.

Inside the barracks sleep three fire giants, with weapons close at hand but no armor on. The sound of the tunnel collapsing wakes the sleepers but they take 10 minutes to don their armor.

Creatures:

-Young Fire Giants (CR9) x2. Wield Greatsword and Greataxe respectively.
-Old Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR11). Wields +1 light flail and heavy steel shield.


On to the Grinder! Even though the majority of the giants are at war, a steady stream of recruits pass through Ashpeak. Now is probably a good time to say that in this sloppy hack of The Anvil of Fire, the camps outside the mountain are deserted. No need to repeat that part of book 4, or even imply it. Plus it makes a nice contrast and shows to the PCs that things have kicked off in earnest. Of course, there are a few patrols outside the mountain but they're few and far between.

-C1 Guardpost (CR13)

Oops I just bumped up the CR. Encounter plays out as written. I like the floor spikes. Giant Cereberi are on side of spikes nearest the entrance, meant to slow intruders. On chains but can reach the entire room. Technically can't cross the spikes without difficulty. Fire Giants attack at range, then with polearms across spikes.

Creatures:
Giant Cereberus (CR7). On chains which don't allow them to pursue enemies far out of the room, but the fire giants can release their chains as a standard action.
Fire Giant (CR10). Wield ranseurs. Each has 1d3 explosive grenades to throw, then switch to rocks.

-C2 Kennel

As written, no changes.

-C3 Castle Walls

So as written the collapsing wall trap isn't super likely to actually play into the encounter. The giants have to retreat to the south and then bait a PC into following them, probably getting buried themselves buried and the PC making their save. So... I'm moving the lieutenant onto the castle walls to the south and giving him a nasty ranged weapon. I'll probably keep the other two closer. The XP in this encounter is 9600 too high for CR15, so I'm making the Lieutenant old and the fire giant young.

Creatures:

-Old Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR11). Wields a +1 composite longbow (+9 STR) with 6 human bane arrows. Drop STR by 6 and increase DEX by 6 before applying old. Switch feats for archery.
-Young Fire Giant (CR9). Wields warhammer.
-Frost Giant (CR9). Wields longspear. Brings out a heavy pick if forced into close range.


Deeper and deeper we go into the mountain. I'm keeping more fire giants here because just makes sense. I've also thought of swapping out the slaves depending on level. Dwarves for the forges, and humans for the living areas (they seem more competent than orcs). After all, the Giants of Ashpeak definitely had slaves before the Storm Tyrant allied with the orcs of Belkzen.

-C4 Dining Hall (CR13).

I love the idea but there's too many darn fire giants. Throwing the cauldrons on the other hand is great and I love it.

-Tophet (CR10). The largest cauldron is actually a magically animated tophet. It seeks out any foes, swallows them, and returns to the fire to boil them alive. Many an escaped slave has been retrieved to a terrible end this way.
-Fire Giant (CR10). The "head cook" of this galley does very little cooking. 25% chance of being drunk (treat as sickened and enraged), 25% chance of napping.
-Mongrel (Fire) Ice Giant (CR10). An unusual and unfortunate coupling resulted in a giant with no vulnerabilities and resist 20 fire and cold. Wields a mwk falcion, wears a +1 breastplate. Has improved critical.

-C4a and C4b Sleeping Chambers (CR14)

Pretty much as written with changes to the actual giants to reflect that these aren't the front line soldiers. The dire bears are favored pets and protectors. The giants lack their armor unless they're on alert or given 10 minutes to prepare.

Creatures:

-Young Fire Giant (CR9) x3. Wield halberd, greatsword, ranseur.
-Fire Giant (CR10). Wields morningstar.
-Advanced Dire Bear (CR8) x2.


-C5 Combat Training (CR15)

This room is basically exactly as written. Minor changes to the inhabitants.

Creatures:

-Fire Giants (CR10) x2. Wield a mwk glaive and mwk greataxe. Carry a half dozen iron balls each (treat as mwk rocks 1 size category larger).
-Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR12). Wields +1 trident and mwk light spiked steel shield.
-Frost Giants (CR9) x2. Wield mwk ranseur and mwk greatsword, both have 2 spears for throwing each.
-Frost Giant Magus 3 (CR10). Wields +1 longsword of magically frozen ice. Keens weapon and spellstrikes with shocking grasp.

C6 Storming the Castle (CR16)

Once again, pretty much as written here. Changing up the giants but that's about it. I actually really like the training facilities.

-Wounded Fire Giants (CR9) x2. 100/142 hp and fatigued. Wield mwk longswords and heavy steel shields. Outside castle.
-Wounded Frost Giants (CR8) x2. 90/133 hp and fatigued. Wield mwk battleaxes and heavy wooden shields.
-Fire Giant (CR10). Wields +2 heavy crossbow and mwk halberd. In castle.
-Fire Giant Skald 5 (CR12). Wields a +1 thundering warhammer, heavy steel shield, +2 heavy crossbow. In castle.
-Noble Efreeti (Malik) Aristocrat 7 (CR13). Wields +1 keen falcata. Mwk composite shortbow. Summoned to run training.


-C7 Chamber of Traps (CR14)

Keeping the traps as written, but this seems exactly like the kind of room that the fire giants wouldn't bother posting their own in as sentries. But they can't leave it unguarded either, thus the task falls to an outsider summoned from Hyrrfellhame by the Queen.

Creature-

LE variant size large Valkyrie (CR12). Wields a +2 seeking composite longbow and mwk greatsword. Attempts to pass for a normal fire giant until they need to unfurl their wings and fly.

-C8 The Great Stair

More or less as written, including reinforcements if the mountain is on alert. However, instead of pulling reinforcements from hammerspace, draw from existing encounters.

Creatures:

-Fire Giant Captain (CR14). As written. Has iron balls to throw (mwk rocks one size larger).
-Iron Rhinoceros Mount (CR11). As written.
-LE Variant Valkyrie (CR12). Wields +1 flaming burst greatsword, 3 mwk spears for throwing. Improved crit.
-Giant Cereberus (CR7) x2. Flank either side of the entrance.


We've made it to the Upper Levels! You've braved typos, inconsistent capitalization and punctuation, poorly worded description text, and vaguely defined variant creatures. But we're gonna make it through this dungeon crawl. I believe in us.

-D1 The Forge (CR15)

Pretty much as written. I like the environmental effects. Only changes are to the creatures as usual. With the giants on the march, they brought about half their blacksmiths with them to supply and repair their force's gear. The huge fire elementals power the forges, join the fight if it breaks out. Consider bumping up the damage that the forges do.

Creatures:

-Fire Giant (CR10). Blacksmiths, wield mwk sledgehammers (earthbreakers), hurl tools and raw materials. Mwk halfplate.
-Slag Giants (CR7) x4. Mwk warhammers, mwk studded leather. Also hurl junk.
-Huge Fire Elementals (CR7) x6. Power furnaces, but furnaces keep burning without them.

-D2 Smeltworks (CR16)

Once again, I like this encounter. Connecting fire giants to the plane of fire is awesome. Some adjustments to creatures and again consider upping the damage on the furnaces to make it worth using them in combat. CR12 if salamanders don't fight.

Creatures:

-Master Kayyad Noble Salamander Magus 7 (CR13). Wields +1 frost shocking longspear (bonded object).
-Salamanders (CR6) x6. Wield mwk flails.
-One-armed old fire giant transmuter 9 (CR12). Wields +2 defending warhammer, +1 breastplate. Uses arcane armor training.


-D3 Storage Room.

As written.

-D4 Officer's Quarters (CR16)

I know I promised less giants, but here we are. Alas. Encounter plays out as written. Giants have a 50% chance of being awake and armored unless the mountain is on alert.

Creatures:

-Old Fire Giant Captain (CR13). Wields +2 boar spear. Throwing balls.
-Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR12). Wields +1 Longsword, +1 heavy steel shield. Throwing balls.
-Mongrel (Mountain) Fire Giant Lieutenant (CR13). Wields +1 dwarf-bane Butchering Axe. Mwk war razor. Mwk Brutal bolas (2).
-Nessian Warhound(CR9). Rests in center room, but never sleeps.


And now for the rookery. Because all that giantslaying gets tiresome so let's kill some baby dragons! Hurray!

-E1 West Rookery (CR15)

Who guards dragons anyway? Can't they guard themselves? Bumping the CR up to 15. Deal.

Creatures:

-Young Red Dragons (CR10) x3. As written.
-Elder Magma Elemental (CR11). Bound to protect the rookery, earthglides through the walls and blocks off the passage back into the mountain.
-Old Fire Giant Oracle 3 (CR10). Wields an adamantine heavy mace. Caretaker of rookery.

-E2 East Rookery (CR13)

As written. I like bones part, might add that to the A1 area. Instead of adding yet more dragons, I've rolled them into one big one.

Creatures:

-Young adult red dragon (CR13).

-E3 Tesharat's Lair

As written save for creatures. Tesharat gets more backup and I get to fill out the encounter XP.

Creatures:

-Tesherat Old Magma Dragon (CR15).
-Advanced Pyropiscis (CR9) x2.
-Slag Giant Sorcerer 1/Dragon Discipline 8 (CR11). Uses +1 glaive and bite.


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The final stretch! Not sure if anyone has read this, but it's sure been fun.

-F1 Narthex (CR16)

Pretty much the same here. Like the hologram of Zursvaater's helm. Big changes to the creatures obviously. CR is listed wrong or I'm bad at math. All of the temple is treated as a under a planar infusion of hell.

Creatures:

-Temple Guards Fire Giant Bloodrager 2 (CR12) x2. Wield +1 adamantine faulchards and wear +1 adamantine fullplate with armor spikes.
-Burning Skeleton Champion Fire Giants (CR9) x4. Wield +1 ransuers (2) and +1 longsword and shield (2).

-F2 Sanctuary (CR15)

Pretty much as written. Under the planar effects of hell. Trap is significantly less forgiving.

Creature:

-Hell Gigas (CR15). I'm super excited about the Gigas encounter. Since the temple counts as hell the Gigas can use it's SLAs but won't use earthquake unless commanded by the Queen to collapse the entire chamber.

Trap:

-Planeshift Trap (CR10). On a failed save, sends to target to Hyrrfellhame (Hell).

-F3 Priest Residences (CR16)

Half of the priests have been sent to help the war effort. Instead we meet Tyrian's second born child (the mountain giant mongrel was the first, a unrecognized bastard). The third is the half fiend. And yeah the CR in the book should be 15, and I bumped it up one more.

-Giant Fext Antipaladin 4 (CR15). Wields a +1 conductive flaming falcion.
-Fire Giant Cleric of Zursvaater 5 (CR12). Wields +1 unholy greatsword.

-F4 Queen's Chambers (CR16)

As written. Spent missing XP

Creatures:

-Queen Quivixia (CR14). Wields the Fang of
Zursvaater. Wears a version of the lover's locket, Tyrian has the other- is an adamantine wedding band.
-Fire Giant Cleric of Zursvaater 5 (CR12). Wields +1 unholy greatsword.
-Obsidian Golem (CR12). Shaped like Zursvaater.


E5 Princess's Quarters (CR15)

As written with some added kitties.

Creatures:

-Half Fiend Fire Giant (CR13).
-Fire Giant Cleric of Zursvaater 5 (CR12). Wields +1 unholy greatsword.
-Hellcat (CR7) x2. Visible in the darkness.

F6 Hill Giant Ambassador (CR14)

So at some point the cleric gave up on converting Rek Scruggs. Btw I love her name. Instead she's managed to persuade Tyrian to permit her beloved (and massive) dire wolf and her two hulking children to stay with her, in addition to two incompetent ogre servants.

-Rek Advanced Hill Giant Fighter (Polearm master) 5 (CR13).
-Hill Giant Barbarian 1 (CR8). Wields a lucerne hammer like their mother.
-Advanced Giant Dire Wolf (CR5).
-Ogre (CR3) x2. Wield longspears.


Okay, correction to the above: Rek Scruggs is an Advanced Hill Giant Skald (Fated Champion) 11. Same otherwise.


-F7 Frost Giant Nobles (CR15)

As written, but the frost giants have a third member of their party as well as two ursine pets.

-Frost Giant Witch 6 (CR12). Wields +1 heavy mace.
-Frost Giant Fighter (Viking) 2 (CR11). Wields +1 battle axe and +2 heavy steel shield.
-Frost Giant Inquisitor of Thremyr 5 (CR11). Wields +1 Greataxe, mwk composite longbow.

-F8 Fire Giant Nobles (CR15)

Straightforward, though I don't know if the Stokkrin nobles are necessarily willing to fight to the death. If they catch the PCs and aren't immediately attacked, they question them on why they're opposing the Storm Tyrant. Invariably things will come to blows under most circumstances. Attended by their efreeti bodyguard and butler.

-Old Fire Giant Bard 7 (CR12). Wields +1 keen glaive-guisarm. Wears +1 mithral chainmail.
-Fire Giant Magus (Armored Battle Mage) 7 (CR13). Wields +1 impact heavy flail, wears +1 adamantine fullplate.
-Advanced Efreeti (CR9). Wields scimitar.


Oh, I'VE been reading; great exercise in design!

Unfortunately for you, in curiosity, I"m back in the end of Book 1...and I'm merging elements of Giantslayer together with Irongfang Invasion...so...it'll be A LONG time until I hit this part! LOL


Erpa wrote:

Oh, I'VE been reading; great exercise in design!

Unfortunately for you, in curiosity, I"m back in the end of Book 1...and I'm merging elements of Giantslayer together with Irongfang Invasion...so...it'll be A LONG time until I hit this part! LOL

You're too kind. My poorly formatted ramblings are probably enough to do wisdom drain to a publisher, but I'm glad that you've enjoyed all the same.

I'd like to hear how you're combining the two- what you're cutting and what you're keeping.


Folks we've made it to the finale. All two, maybe three of us. It's been a grueling, claustrophobic uphill fight (not to mention full of giant stink) but we are almost there!

A note on claustrophobia:

Since we're pretty high up the mountain, areas F4, F5, F6, F9, F10, and F11 all have large open windows to the outside of the mountain, though they can be closed by locking metal doors covered in stone (DC40 to notice when closed). Though they are technically just below the ferocious storm most of these windows are kept shut, except by Rek Scruggs who is feeling badly cooped in. The mostly encampments below are visible from here and they make a decent entry point if discovered. Due to their proximity to the storm however, flying is extremely perilous and they cannot be located unless the observer is at the same elevation. Though it is possible the PCs could skip to the end of the dungeon this way, it's very unlikely.

-A9 Azer Ambassadors (CR15).

Increased the CR. You know the drill. I'm keeping this encounter as written, but adding a contract devil who was summoned to name sure the negotiations were properly conducted. The mephits are used by the Azers as servants, spies, and messengers. In combat they're more a nuisance than a threat.

Creatures:

-Zaleen Azer Summoner 11 (CR13). Might swap out some spells but that's it.
-Azer Fighter 6 (CR8) x3. As written, but +1 longhammers. They're basically fiery dwarves right?
-Fire Mephit (CR3).
-Smoke Mephit (CR3).

-F10

King's Chamber (CR15).

I can't see king Tyrian leaving his quarters unprotected. The first defense is a nasty trap, and the second is a pair of bound outsiders. They keep a constant vigil whether their liege dwells in his chambers or not, but do not interfere with intruders unless ordered otherwise.

Creatures:

-LE giant variant valkyrie (CR12) x2. Wield +1 wounding adamantine spiked chains.

Trap:

-Mountain King's Judgment: (CR11). Activated by true seeing, casts greater bestow curse (-8 CON) and then flesh to stone immediately after.

-F11 Throne Room (CR varies, standard 17)

Assuming it's just Tyrian and his bodyguards, this is a CR15 fight. I plan to make major changes to Tyrian so I'll keep his guards close to as written. The XP is a little over CR17 so I dropped a bodyguard and added

-Royal Bodyguard Fire Giant Bloodrager (Steelblood) 2 (CR12). Wields +1 adamantine faulchard, wears +1 adamantine fullplate with armor spikes.
-Tyrannosaurus (CR9). Wears Adamantine halfplate with armor spikes.
-King Tyrian Advanced Old Fire Giant Bloodrager 1 (Steelblood)/Oracle (Battle) 11 (CR16). Wields an adamantine +1 impact butchering axe.


Royal/Temple Guards have the infernal bloodline, Tyrian has the destined bloodline.

I'm also thinking I'll arm the mongrel (mountain) fire giant with a tower shield and a +1 wounding cestus.

"Assuming it's just Tyrian and his bodyguards, this is a CR15 fight." Should read CR17, but my phone autocorrected it like an idiot.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hi Artofregicide! I think you're definitely on the right track with these changes. I did a skim through of the encounters as written in the AP and compared them to what you're roughly suggesting here, and I think you've done a solid job of making them A LOT more interesting.

However, I think even with these changes, the book still isn't a particularly good 13th to 15th level adventure. It would probably be a great 7-10th level adventure if the encounters were tuned down numerically, but it just doesn't bring the right kinds of challenges to engage a higher level party.

----
Fundamentally, one of the major problems is that it uses Fire Giants. Fire Giants are lame as a high level enemy because they:

  • Are easily defeated by 2nd to 4th level magic, such as deeper darkness, greater invisibility etc. They lack any special vision beyond low-light and lack any special senses.
  • Have no special abilities to control the pace of combat or even the playing field.
  • Even if they pick up a ranged weapon, their DEX is so low as to not be a threat with it.
  • Their only viable combat strategy is to engage in melee. By 13th level, most PCs have found ways to render this kind of strategy impotent, be that with flight, optimizing AC, mirror image, etc. This is especially true in Giantslayer, where PCs have been facing enemies that are very dangerous in melee for the past four books, and have likely refined their purchases and strategy.
  • Their Will and Reflex saves are very bad for their CR, rendering them sitting ducks to control magic and cold-damage evocations.

    Slapping class levels on a fire giant helps to mitigate some of these issues, but you're really just patching holes that shouldn't exist in the first place, and it costs you encounter CR to do so.

    I know you said no homebrew in your opening post, but this is a place where homebrew would shine to make the baseline fire giant an appropriate threat for their CR. Give them blindsense 120ft - maybe their affinity for fire lets them sense bodyheat? Give them better base DEX to get that Reflex out of the gutter. Give them some fun supernatural abilities or SLAs to use instead of full attacking - maybe 3/day fireball, 1/day wall of fire, a fatiguing gaze, the ability to reforge their metal weapons into new forms as a move action, 1/day fabricate, 1/day wall of iron, etc etc. Or maybe even each clan of Fire Giants has their own unique spell like abilities passed through the bloodline.

    This adventure intends for Fire Giants to be the stars, so I'd rather make them awesome than replace them with other creatures.
    ----

    The second fundamental problem is that Ashpeak doesn't have the right kinds of defenses to challenge a high level party. Stone walls and portcullises have stopped being real obstacles many levels ago for most parties.

    This adventure should have really been set in a highly magical trans-dimensional fortress on your choice of the plane or fire or one of the evil fiery planes. A fortress where every wall, floor and ceiling is filled with a core of continuously flowing molten lead. A fortress where streams of lava forge and disgorge semi-sentient weapons that pursue intruders. A fortress where Resist Fire 30 is the absolute minimum to even consider raiding it, where the very air is continuously trying to light you on fire.

    Y'know... Actually make it cool, rather than just a bunch of drab rooms with fire giants hanging around.
    ----

    I know I'm just spitballing here (and have not done even a fraction of the amount of work you have), but I think there's a lot more that could be done to really make this Book sing.


  • Cellion wrote:

    Hi Artofregicide! I think you're definitely on the right track with these changes. I did a skim through of the encounters as written in the AP and compared them to what you're roughly suggesting here, and I think you've done a solid job of making them A LOT more interesting.

    However, I think even with these changes, the book still isn't a particularly good 13th to 15th level adventure. It would probably be a great 7-10th level adventure if the encounters were tuned down numerically, but it just doesn't bring the right kinds of challenges to engage a higher level party.

    ----
    Fundamentally, one of the major problems is that it uses Fire Giants. Fire Giants are lame as a high level enemy because they:

  • Are easily defeated by 2nd to 4th level magic, such as deeper darkness, greater invisibility etc. They lack any special vision beyond low-light and lack any special senses.
  • Have no special abilities to control the pace of combat or even the playing field.
  • Even if they pick up a ranged weapon, their DEX is so low as to not be a threat with it.
  • Their only viable combat strategy is to engage in melee. By 13th level, most PCs have found ways to render this kind of strategy impotent, be that with flight, optimizing AC, mirror image, etc. This is especially true in Giantslayer, where PCs have been facing enemies that are very dangerous in melee for the past four books, and have likely refined their purchases and strategy.
  • Their Will and Reflex saves are very bad for their CR, rendering them sitting ducks to control magic and cold-damage evocations.

    Slapping class levels on a fire giant helps to mitigate some of these issues, but you're really just patching holes that shouldn't exist in the first place, and it costs you encounter CR to do so.

    I know you said no homebrew in your opening post, but this is a place where homebrew would shine to make the baseline fire giant an appropriate threat for their CR. Give them blindsense 120ft - maybe their affinity for fire lets them...

  • I'm 100% in agreement here. I really intended to add more unique encounters but and defenses but got a little carried away.

    The big problem is that fire giants are high CR so it's hard to find ways to add templates and class levels to them with a limited XP budget. In regards to limiting homebrew I was really more talking about weird subsystems or classes. There's actually a ton of templates that are handy to add those kinds of abilities.

    I definitely forgot fire giants don't have darkvision, such is actually kind of weird considering they're basically giant evil dwarves.

    I think adding more traps, wards, and planar infusions would be cool. Honestly I feel like I promised less giants but ended up with about the same number.

    While a jaunt to the elemental plane of fire would be a more level appropriate challenge, I do have the caveat that I'm working with what the AP gave me. But that doesn't mean that we can't bring the elemental plane of fire to the mountain.


    Also it's called the Anvil of Fire and I don't remember any such anvil. Like the forges I guess?

    Okay, so what if we take the mountain as written but put place it in Hyrrfellhame? I mean we'd need to figure out how it connects to the next book but that would be pretty cool?


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

    For the fire giants, I wouldn't add templates or anything, especially any that would mess with their melee capabilities or AC. Their numbers in a straight up melee fight are totally solid. But I'd just manually adjust their base stat block to make them more well rounded and appropriate for their CR.

    Here's an example incorporating some of the things I suggested above. Nothing I've done in this example really shifts its stats in a way that makes it a higher CR. But it does improve some of its basic capabilities so it isn't so easily made a laughing stock by low to mid level magic.

    Fire Giant --- CR 10:
    Fire Giant CR 10

    XP 9,600
    LE Large humanoid (fire, giant)
    Init +6; Senses low-light vision, blindsense 120ft (sense heat); Perception +14

    DEFENSE

    AC 24, touch 11, flat-footed 22 (+8 armor, +2 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)
    hp 142 (15d8+75)
    Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +9
    Defensive Abilities rock catching; Immune fire
    Weaknesses vulnerability to cold

    OFFENSE

    Speed 40 ft. (30 ft. in armor)
    Melee greatsword +21/+16/+11 (3d6+15) or 2 slams +20 (1d8+10)
    Ranged rock +16 (1d8+18 plus 5d6 fire)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks superheated touch, rock throwing (120 ft.), reforge weapon
    Spell Like Abilities (CL 10th)

    1/day - Fireball (DC 15), Wall of Fire (DC 16)
    1/week - Fabricate (metal only)

    STATISTICS

    Str 31, Dex 14, Con 21, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14
    Base Atk +11; CMB +22; CMD 34
    Feats Blind Fight, Vital Strike, Improved Overrun, Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword)
    Skills Climb +14, Craft (any one) +8, Intimidate +13, Perception +14
    Languages Common, Giant

    SPECIAL ABILITIES

    Weaponsmith's Proficiency (Ex)
    A Fire Giant is proficient with all weapons primarily made of metal.

    Superheated Touch (Su)
    Fire Giants transfer the heat from their bodies into their thrown rocks, turning them into molten missiles. Rocks a fire giant throws are treated as +3 weapons and deal an additional 5d6 fire damage. Furthermore a fire giant can reach out and touch a metal or stone object as a standard action to attempt to melt it into slag. This immediately destroys a large or smaller non-magical metal or stone object, and deals 10d6 fire damage to a magical object. This requires a touch attack, and if the object is attended, its bearer also receives a Reflex save DC17 to negate.

    Sense Heat (Su)
    A fire giant can sense areas of heat, including body heat given off by living creatures. This grants the fire giant blindsense 120ft against such sources of heat.

    Reforge Weapon (Su)
    Up to three times per day as a move action, a fire giant can radiate heat into a held melee weapon as a move action to instantly reforge it into another melee weapon of the same size category. The weapon must primarily be made out of metal in both its initial and final state. If the weapon was masterwork, its new form is also masterwork.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

    And yes, Book 5 has a hilariously excessive number of combats that are essentially in unremarkable oval-shaped caves with one to two terrain features. That's the hardest part to deal with directly because changing the maps and overall layout starts requiring a serious overhaul.

    One thing that may be easy and fun is to add areas of high heat, lava rivers, and similar features that the fire giants are immune to. These can be easy to digitally paint onto the existing maps without changing too much else.

    Putting the mountain in Hyrrfellhame would work just fine. Make it so that in the material plane, the Storm Tyrant's cloud castle is surrounded by a constant super-duper firestorm that is bonded to King Tytarian and will only stop with his death. Fearing that other giant leaders might want to take that honor for themselves, King Tytarian made a pact with some devils to planar shift his entire mountain fortress and all its inhabitants to Hyrrfellhame.


    I actually really like your variant fire giants, though at this point the PCs will probably be going around with fire resist 30 and protection from energy all the time. So fire based SLA's will be pretty pointless. I'm actually in favor of giving them SLA's that reflect their connection to metals, like wall of iron.

    Perhaps when the giants superheat the large metal throwing balls they'd have an additional entangling effect? Or target touch AC?

    Probably my favorite abilities are the weaponsmith's proficiency and reforge weapon. They're not all that powerful but very thematic. Perhaps these giants have gained their god's blessing by being in his realm?

    Adding lava, molten metal and such would be natural hazards but you could also use add hellish dangers that wouldn't necessarily be fire based.

    I kind of like the idea that Tyrian pulled Ashpeak into Hyrrfellhame and is using temporary hellgates to portal his troops back onto the material plane. He's also made the Storm Tyrant all but inaccessible until Ashpeak is returned to the material plane.

    My thought is that Ashpeak exists like a fiery shadow on the material plane but can't be accessed from it.


    Artofregicide wrote:
    Erpa wrote:


    Unfortunately for you, in curiosity, I"m back in the end of Book 1...and I'm merging elements of Giantslayer together with Irongfang Invasion...so...it'll be A LONG time until I hit this part! LOL
    I'd like to hear how you're combining the two- what you're cutting and what you're keeping.

    In the Starting Giantslayer today Thread ,I detailed most of my ramblings through the first 2 books.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Artofregicide wrote:
    I actually really like your variant fire giants, though at this point the PCs will probably be going around with fire resist 30 and protection from energy all the time. So fire based SLA's will be pretty pointless. I'm actually in favor of giving them SLA's that reflect their connection to metals, like wall of iron.

    The fact that PCs will likely have Resist fire 30 has not skipped my mind. I think including these fire based SLAs is critical - it feels good as a player to have thought ahead and countered some dangerous ability! It also introduces the possibility of enemy spellcasters dispelling the resist energy mid-combat, ties up lower level spell slots ("do we skip putting resist energy on the animal companion so we can have another invisibility spell?", for example), and is generally highly thematic without changing drastically how challenging the encounters are.

    I do agree that mixing things up and making stuff not all about fire is a good idea. I bet you could think of a lot of "hellish" dangers, both magical and not, that'd be a perfect fit.


    Cellion wrote:
    Artofregicide wrote:
    I actually really like your variant fire giants, though at this point the PCs will probably be going around with fire resist 30 and protection from energy all the time. So fire based SLA's will be pretty pointless. I'm actually in favor of giving them SLA's that reflect their connection to metals, like wall of iron.

    The fact that PCs will likely have Resist fire 30 has not skipped my mind. I think including these fire based SLAs is critical - it feels good as a player to have thought ahead and countered some dangerous ability! It also introduces the possibility of enemy spellcasters dispelling the resist energy mid-combat, ties up lower level spell slots ("do we skip putting resist energy on the animal companion so we can have another invisibility spell?", for example), and is generally highly thematic without changing drastically how challenging the encounters are.

    I do agree that mixing things up and making stuff not all about fire is a good idea. I bet you could think of a lot of "hellish" dangers, both magical and not, that'd be a perfect fit.

    Normally I'd agree, but if the environment does constant fire damage (which isn't necessarily true) then the PCs won't have a choice but to constantly have resist energy up. Actually they might opt for life bubble instead. But you bring up a good point of forcing the party to make hard decisions and spend resources.


    I've always thought it was kind of weird that a CN dragon was working with LE giants. Maybe it would make sense to make Tesherat an infernal dragon?


    Also thinking about changing the Queen's class, warpriest maybe?


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Artofregicide wrote:
    Also thinking about changing the Queen's class, warpriest maybe?

    There's a heck of a lot of martial-y sorts in this book, so I'd actually go the other way - slap some more cleric levels on her and make her a dedicated full caster that is also able to tangle in melee in a pinch. Normally, this would push her CR into the stratosphere, but I'm going to play fast and loose with the monster building rules by scaling back the contribution of her Fire Giant hit dice (from contributing 15 HD to only contributing 10). The end goal is to get stats that are appropriate to her CR. Doing a bit of house-ruling and fudging to make a fair and engaging opponent is OK in my book.

    Queen Quivixia CR14; using my earlier Fire Giant chassis as a base:
    Queen Quivixia CR 14
    Female Fire Giant Cleric of Zursvaater 11
    LE Large humanoid (fire, giant)
    Init +7; Senses low-light vision, blindsense 120ft (sense heat); Perception +24

    DEFENSE

    AC 29, touch 15, flat-footed 26 (+10 armor, +3 Deflection, +3 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)
    hp 219 (10d8+11d8+121)
    Fort +19, Ref +11, Will +18
    Defensive Abilities rock catching; Immune fire
    Weaknesses vulnerability to cold

    OFFENSE

    Speed 40 ft. (30 ft. in armor)
    Melee +1 spell storing greatsword +25/+20/+15 (3d6+14/19-20) or 2 slams +23 (1d8+9)
    Ranged rock +20 (1d8+16 plus 5d6 fire)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks superheated touch, rock throwing (120 ft.), reforge weapon, channel negative energy 7/day (DC19, 6d6)
    Spell Like Abilities (CL 11th)

    1/day - Fireball (DC 17), Wall of Fire (DC 18), Wall of Iron
    1/week - Fabricate (metal only)

    Divine Spells (CL 14th; Concentration +22)
    6th - blade barrier (DC23) (2), greater dispel magic
    5th - flame strike (DC22), true seeing, greater command, fickle winds
    4th - divine power, freedom of movement, spell immunity (2), blessing of fervor
    3rd - magic vestment, dispel magic, communal resist energy (2), prayer, invisibility purge
    2nd - spiritual weapon, silence, -, -, -, -
    1st - magic weapon, command, cure light wounds (2), protection from good, shield of faith, -

    STATISTICS

    Str 29, Dex 16, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 24, Cha 18
    Base Atk +15; CMB +26; CMD 38
    Feats Blind Fight, Vital Strike, Selective Channeling, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scroll, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), -, -
    Skills ?
    Languages Common, Giant

    Equipment: +1 large full plate, ring of protection +3, +1 spell-storing large greatsword, headband of wisdom +4, assorted consumable scrolls, treasure appropriate for her CR.

    SPECIAL ABILITIES

    Weaponsmith's Proficiency (Ex)
    A Fire Giant is proficient with all weapons primarily made of metal.

    Superheated Touch (Su)
    Fire Giants transfer the heat from their bodies into their thrown rocks, turning them into molten missiles. Rocks a fire giant throws are treated as +3 weapons and deal an additional 5d6 fire damage. Furthermore a fire giant can reach out and touch a metal or stone object as a standard action to attempt to melt it into slag. This immediately destroys a large or smaller non-magical metal or stone object, and deals 10d6 fire damage to a magical object. This requires a touch attack, and if the object is attended, its bearer also receives a Reflex save DC21 to negate.

    Sense Heat (Su)
    A fire giant can sense areas of heat, including body heat given off by living creatures. This grants the fire giant blindsense 120ft against such sources of heat.

    Reforge Weapon (Su)
    Up to three times per day as a move action, a fire giant can radiate heat into a held melee weapon as a move action to instantly reforge it into another melee weapon of the same size category. The weapon must primarily be made out of metal in both its initial and final state. If the weapon was masterwork, its new form is also masterwork.

    Zursvaater's Providence (Su)
    While wielding a greatsword, the holy weapon of her god Zursvaater, Queen Quivixia gains a +3 bonus to her Caster Level when casting cleric spells, and gains the benefits of the Combat Casting feat.
    ----

    TACTICS:
    Before Combat: Casts Magic Vestment, True Seeing, Communal Resist Energy (cold), Freedom of Movement, Protection from Good, and Spell Immunity. None of the effects of these spells are included in her stats above. If the party has any primarily ranged attackers, she casts fickle winds on herself and two of her giant allies.
    In Combat: Divides PCs with her Wall of Iron spell-like before using greater dispel magic and blade barriers to strip away Resist Energy castings or other buffs and force PCs into melee. Her spell storing greatsword holds inflict serious wounds (DC21), though she uses it only when cornered or if a vulnerable PC is in her range for a full attack. Otherwise, she relies on supporting her allies with blessing of fervor and controlling enemy options.


    Cellion wrote:
    Artofregicide wrote:
    Also thinking about changing the Queen's class, warpriest maybe?

    There's a heck of a lot of martial-y sorts in this book, so I'd actually go the other way - slap some more cleric levels on her and make her a dedicated full caster that is also able to tangle in melee in a pinch. Normally, this would push her CR into the stratosphere, but I'm going to play fast and loose with the monster building rules by scaling back the contribution of her Fire Giant hit dice (from contributing 15 HD to only contributing 10). The end goal is to get stats that are appropriate to her CR. Doing a bit of house-ruling and fudging to make a fair and engaging opponent is OK in my book.

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    You have a really good point here. I also really like the statblock. I'm wondering if there's a non-cheesy way of pushing her casting higher?

    While I still want Tyrian to be a beast in melee, I want him to have some strong casting especially to buff himself and his allies. As written he has a suicidal strategy (from his prestige class). I picked Oracle for mechanical reasons not narrative ones, I'd be open to hearing other options.

    PS: Channel Smite might be a good feat to round off your build. Otherwise the queen won't be getting much mileage out of her channels.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    This is a great thread I have some ideas that I am entering into hero labs but I’m on my phone so I’ll post more later


    Joey Virtue wrote:
    This is a great thread I have some ideas that I am entering into hero labs but I’m on my phone so I’ll post more later

    Excited to hear them!


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    So just thinking I’m going to use some jotenblood Fire elemental infused trolls and some Slag Giant spell casters. I’m going to add a gate to the Elemental plane of fire, that the slag giants are summoning fire elemental that they are binding to the tribe of jotenblooded trolls. That was one thing I was going to add.


    Joey Virtue wrote:
    So just thinking I’m going to use some jotenblood Fire elemental infused trolls and some Slag Giant spell casters. I’m going to add a gate to the Elemental plane of fire, that the slag giants are summoning fire elemental that they are binding to the tribe of jotenblooded trolls. That was one thing I was going to add.

    I like the idea is fire infused jotunblood trolls, though they still end up being big nasty brutes with a fire theme.


    So if we put Ashleak in Hyrrfellhame, how do we get the PCs there? I mean, they may not have easy access to planeshift, but more importantly they need to know where they're going. Sure, you can adjust Skirkatla's Very Convenient Letter(TM), but how do they know specifically to get to Zursvaater's and not get stumped?

    It might be easy enough to solve both by having a hellgate open somewhere near the PCs and have them defeat the invaders and slip through, but that might make the Fire Giants look sloppy...

    Any thoughts?


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Artofregicide wrote:
    Joey Virtue wrote:
    So just thinking I’m going to use some jotenblood Fire elemental infused trolls and some Slag Giant spell casters. I’m going to add a gate to the Elemental plane of fire, that the slag giants are summoning fire elemental that they are binding to the tribe of jotenblooded trolls. That was one thing I was going to add.
    I like the idea is fire infused jotunblood trolls, though they still end up being big nasty brutes with a fire theme.

    But they aren’t Fire Giants and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.


    Joey Virtue wrote:
    But they aren’t Fire Giants and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

    Sure, but with the exception of a few special abilities they have all the same strengths and weaknesses as fire giants in combat.

    If your players aren't bored of fighting big beefy bois then no worries.

    I guess they do have the advantage of negating the create pit line of spells by being size huge at the very least.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Artofregicide wrote:
    Joey Virtue wrote:
    But they aren’t Fire Giants and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

    Sure, but with the exception of a few special abilities they have all the same strengths and weaknesses as fire giants in combat.

    If your players aren't bored of fighting big beefy bois then no worries.

    I like how jotunblooded and fire-infused add some neat abilities and defenses, but otherwise I agree. Too many big beefy bois already :)

    Giantslayer has this weird issue where there's a decent amount of monster variety... but much of that variety are just different flavors of bruisers with the giant subtype. So the moment you have a ranged PC with a giant bane weapon, the adventure just folds over and dies. Switching half the encounters out for more mechanically varied monsters and situations seems like the right way to go.
    ----

    On a related note, this thread has inspired me to pick back up a project I started a while ago to rewrite the Giantslayer adventure path. My ambitious goal was to rewrite portions of Book 1 and 2, then create new Books 3, 4 and 5 to replace the existing story with one that's a bit more exciting and dynamic (but reuse locations, art assets, and encounters where it makes sense to), then culminate with a somewhat rewritten book 6.


    Cellion wrote:
    Artofregicide wrote:
    Joey Virtue wrote:
    But they aren’t Fire Giants and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

    Sure, but with the exception of a few special abilities they have all the same strengths and weaknesses as fire giants in combat.

    If your players aren't bored of fighting big beefy bois then no worries.

    I like how jotunblooded and fire-infused add some neat abilities and defenses, but otherwise I agree. Too many big beefy bois already :)

    Giantslayer has this weird issue where there's a decent amount of monster variety... but much of that variety are just different flavors of bruisers with the giant subtype. So the moment you have a ranged PC with a giant bane weapon, the adventure just folds over and dies. Switching half the encounters out for more mechanically varied monsters and situations seems like the right way to go.
    ----

    On a related note, this thread has inspired me to pick back up a project I started a while ago to rewrite the Giantslayer adventure path. My ambitious goal was to rewrite portions of Book 1 and 2, then create new Books 3, 4 and 5 to replace the existing story with one that's a bit more exciting and dynamic (but reuse locations, art assets, and encounters where it makes sense to), then culminate with a somewhat rewritten book 6.

    I'd be extremely interested in this.


    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    It is Giant Slayer so most enemies should be giants and giant types just make them a little different than all the same giants.

    I like adding spell casting to these encounters. I think the encounters as written in this book are some what trash.

    Just way to easy, I have a rule about encounters that they all need to be at least CR +2 for any type or real combat encounters. And a lot of their base encounters suck.


    Joey Virtue wrote:

    It is Giant Slayer so most enemies should be giants and giant types just make them a little different than all the same giants.

    I like adding spell casting to these encounters. I think the encounters as written in this book are some what trash.

    Just way to easy, I have a rule about encounters that they all need to be at least CR +2 for any type or real combat encounters. And a lot of their base encounters suck.

    I absolutely agree that most of the encounters will fold against even a semi-optimized party at this level. They've got all the tools they need to control and wipe out anything of the giant subtype.

    That said, the AP is written for a non-optimized PB15 party of 4 PCs, and I want to stick to those guidelines as much as possible with the allowance that GMs can increase the CR by adding encounters.

    Again you're completely correct in pointing out that the encounters have a terrible lack of spellcasting. When I post my second draft I'll try to amend that.

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