An Encounter: the Wycked and the Whallop


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


A band of rag-tag adventurers, wandering the long and forgotten roads into Faerie. Over fields of glass flowers and corpse lights. Along channels of swift, dark water beneath an eternal twilight of unfamiliar stars.
A labyrinth of rock and bramble. Twisted, painful trees and broken wells. Here dwell two creatures, both with the bodies of powerful men and the heads of horned beasts. One, goat-headed and cruel, has great wings and a serpent's tongue. The other, a hideous amalgam of man and bull, little more than a mountainous hulk of muscle and bone.

--the smaller one flies around, breathing fire-lighting and cursing the heroes. He has three ways to curse you, all of which end when you or an ally spend a turn and make a save or skill check (like: your eyes grow wings and fly out of your head, blinding you until someone nabs them with Acrobatics).
The big one is slow and stupid and does tons of damage, but only gets one action a turn.
I'm thinking it'll be cool if the labyrinth is shifting and moving as the fight goes on, but I'm not too keen on re-drawing the map every d3 rounds or whatever. Currently, I'm thinking I'll use tokens for some of the walls and other terrain features and move them around the grid, but it's not something I put into practice before. Has anyone found a method to simulate this sort of thing that is mechanically satisfying without disrupting the narrative too much? And of course, if anyone has any ideas on how to make the encounter more engaging and memorable, I'm always up for that.


Quixote wrote:
I'm thinking it'll be cool if the labyrinth is shifting and moving as the fight goes on, but I'm not too keen on re-drawing the map every d3 rounds or whatever.

If your labyrinth is made of tile sections, then you can move the sections around, no drawing required. You just need to not drop them.

Quixote wrote:

The big one is slow and stupid and does tons of damage, but only gets one action a turn.

I ran an encounter a bit like this recently - 4PCs vs a Minotaur and Summoner.
One potential problem is that a big slow critter can get stuck out of melee and do nothing, which is fine if the PCs did something clever, but a lot less fine if it just used up one spell slot or something. Another problem is that if it does its thing in melee, then once melee is joined the fight becomes static and stodgy.


Lucy_Valentine wrote:
If your labyrinth is made of tile sections, then you can move the sections around, no drawing required. You just need to not drop them.

Hm...I see. Cut out some index cards and rearrange them, sort of like "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Seems like it could be a bit fiddly, but I think that may well be the best approach.

Lucy_Valentine wrote:

I ran an encounter a bit like this recently - 4PCs vs a Minotaur and Summoner.

One potential problem is that a big slow critter can get stuck out of melee and do nothing, which is fine if the PCs did something clever, but a lot less fine if it just used up one spell slot or something. Another problem is that if it does its thing in melee, then once melee is joined the fight becomes static and stodgy.

I'm not worried about this so much. The characters have no real means of removing an opponent from combat for an extended period outside of damage, and the big one does enough damage that even the barbarian will want to avoid getting clobbered more than once (on average, it'll be 42-55% of his hp when raging, and the other PC's aren't nearly as durable as that). They'll want to use almost exclusively ranged attacks to deal with him. I think it'll be fair when the alchemist sets him on fire to waive even the attempt to put out the flames. He'll just blunder around until the fire consumes him.


Quixote wrote:
Lucy_Valentine wrote:
If your labyrinth is made of tile sections, then you can move the sections around, no drawing required. You just need to not drop them.
Hm...I see. Cut out some index cards and rearrange them, sort of like "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Seems like it could be a bit fiddly, but I think that may well be the best approach.

I was thinking dungeon tiles, like from Warhammer Quest, or these:

https://ttcombat.com/collections/fantasy-realms/products/dungeon-tiles-set- b

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