Book 5: How much will the Scribbler adapt, if the PCs attack, leave, and return?

Rise of the Runelords

The PCs fought the Scribber, the glabrezu, and 2 summoned demons. The PCs trounced the monsters hard and the Scribbler teleported away. So here is what the Scribbler knows about the PCs:

  • ⚫ The bloodrager PC hit him about 10x with reach & AOOs and the Scribbler almost died from this. Meanwhile, when the Scribber hit the bloodrager, it was mostly irrelevant. Somehow (unknown to the Scribbler) the bloodrager is having damage siphoned off. (The bloodrager has a familiar with the protector archetype, so the Scribbler will need to inflict about 284 HP damage before the bloodrager will go down.)
  • ⚫ The druid's animal companion has a nearly impossible-to-hit AC (about AC 36) and his 2 demons wasted their lives trying to hit it.
  • ⚫ The arcanist was blasting the yeth hounds with maximized fireballs.
  • ⚫ The bard shut off any fear effects.

Knowing this, and knowing that the Scribbler has VERY limited mobility and options, what do you think he could do in a rematch? I've tried to limit the party's power by holding them back to level 11 (at this point, they should be level 13). Still, they are game veterans and their builds are so good that I think the Scribbler should see this upcoming fight as essentially suicide. He's lost the glabrezu. He's gonna have to solo this, or have some lame babau demons running interference for a single round before they die.

What can he change/adapt to be better against this party that he KNOWS is coming to kill him?

Oh, and he'll only have 1 day to prepare. The party left, rested overnight, and came back. So he's got 1 night to heal up and do whatever he could to survive.

Grand Lodge

The Scribbler doesn't have much room to adapt given that he has no opportunities to escape or gather additional resources. Furthermore, once the PCs have a way in, it's basically over for him no matter what, but if you want him to try and be as scary as he can be before he dies...

1) Make use of the fog effect from guards and wards to the degree possible to neuter reach attacks and archery.

2) Pick up specific abjurations, like protection from energy to counter spells that the party likes to use (you mentioned maximized fireball, so I'm guessing protection from fire is a good place to start.

3) The bloodrager sounds very scary. How scary are they after they've raged and been nailed with a calm emotions and become fatigued (and lose their bloodline rage?)

4) The Scribbler's confusion and aura of madness makes for a pretty good opener, and may be able to deal with the animal companion for a few rounds.

Now, personally, I re-built the Scribbler as a Herald Caller with the dimensional agility feat line in order to make ganging up on him as difficult as possible (1d3+1 augmented baubu isn't amazing, but it equals out the action economy for a round or two!). Especially when you drop Divine Favor, Bull's strength, Righteous Might, Divine Power, and Greater Magic Weapon before going in, the Scribbler can chew through a PC who becomes vulnerable for a round.

Otherwise, make sure the Scribbler has things to do with his swift actions, like casting Quickened spells or swift-action spells, such as forceful strike. Once the fight has started, he's only got precious seconds to try and down an enemy, so he's got to push damage as much as possible before getting surrounded.

Askar, thanks!

All my players have around +12 to +18 to will saves, so I'll probably skip things like Calm Emotions, as it's very low odds for them to fail their saves. (For example, the yeth hounds have a howl attack with a DC 16 will save -- I made every player roll 6 saves, one per yeth hound, and only the animal companion failed. I watched the rolls, they legit failed only 1 out of 30 rolls, because basically anything except a 1 or 2 was a success for most of them.)

Your item #4 is I think from your own house rules. Your item #2 is really good, and you'll see below I've gone nuts with it.

Revised Scribbler

I didn't want to rebuild into a new character sheet, as the players have already encountered him and I want them to feel that they are indeed still fighting the same dude. However, the Scribbler is a plain old cleric, and that means all new spells on a new day. So I've revised the spell list under what I'd call a desperate last-ditch effort to not die. This involves LOTS of buffs -- half the list will be pre-cast -- and lots of summoned allies.

Normally I wouldn't do this, as I don't think the Scribbler is what I'd call a "boss fight." However, they attacked him and then left him unattended, alone, for 24 hours. Now they're back, have triggered his alarms, and are taking time searching rooms. The Scribbler has TONS of time to get this right, and he should be motivated! So, here is the list, and I'll explain it afterwards:

6th: animate objects, heal, planar ally, stoneskin (D).

5th: caustic blood, flame strike, greater magic weapon (extended), righteous might (D), spell resistance.

4th: freedom of movement, spell immunity (vs. scrying, fireball, magic missile) (D), summon monster IV x3 (1d4+1 earth elementals), tongues.

3rd: blindness/deafness x2 (DC 21), dispel magic, magic vestment (D), protection from energy, stone shape x2.

2nd: bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, grace, invisibility (D), resist energy x3.

1st: cure light wounds, disguise self (DC 19) (D), obscuring mist, protection from good, sanctuary (DC 19), shield of faith x2.

0th: bleed (DC 18), guidance, light, read magic.

EXTRA: Trickery domain, Master’s Illusion (Sp): Cast veil, DC 24!

The letter D in parenthesis is denoting the domain spells. Anything with strikethrough lines is pre-cast before the fight even happens.

Pre-combat explained

He's sacrificing some of his original spells -- for example, there is no extended magic vestment -- he needs the 5th level slot, so he's got a normal magic vestment in the 3rd level slot now. It sucks for him if he's caught unawares and the spells are not cast or have run out, but he's gotta rely on his alarm spells to help keep him aware & ready. Desperate times, desperate measures.

SO. Some thinking about these pre-buffs. Planar ally will get him a hezrou demon by: promising riches from Lamashtu, AND agreeing that the demon can ditch the fight when it's down to about 20% of its max HP. Demon can only last 2 rounds against the bloodrager, but that's the best help I can find.

Animate objects will couple with stone shape because Scribbler really has no materials to work with, so we'll have him stone shape a golem-looking monster from the cave walls. The volume of material is normally too great for Stone Shape, but we'll be using stone shape just to separate a golem-shaped outline away from the walls -- essentially using a couple of stone shapes as a cut-out, to keep the volume of stone manipulated low enough for the spell. If I animate 1 huge block of stone, and if I accept some flaws/vulnerabilities in the construct (such as vulnerability to fire or positive energy) I can get enough construction points to give it an adamantine-like shell so that it has DR 20. The bloodrager will still cut this down in about 3 rounds, maybe 2. But again, better than nothing.

Caustic blood doles out 12d6 damage every time the Scribbler is hit -- assuming the bloodrager saves every time it'll only be about 6d6 damage, but since the bloodrager gets 3 or 4 hits per round, that'll be maybe 18d6 damage total, or about 63 points of damage per round. The bloodrager can ignore that damage for about 3 to 5 rounds before needing healing.

We'll give the Scribbler resist energy vs. cold, electricity, and acid. We'll skip fire because we also have spell immunity to fireball.

LASTLY, the part that is wimpy but fun. I'll couple tongues with summon monster IV so that he can summon TONS of small-sized earth elementals while in hiding, and use terran to speak with the elementals, telling them to move through the ground to surprise the PCs and get flanks on as many as possible. These elementals are just cannon fodder. They die in 1 hit from most of the PCs. However, with earth mastery and power attack and flank, I can get them to have a decent attack & damage roll. Maybe a few attacks will even succeed -- the idea is just to harry the party and distract them long enough for the Scribbler to get some hits in. With maybe a dozen elementals, even if they just survive 2 rounds, it's good enough and makes for a chaotic scene as they punch out from the walls and floor and so on.

This Scribbler should be difficult to kill, has decent allies even after losing the glabrezu, and should be interesting because he challenges the bloodrager who is over-powered while giving the lower-powered PCs some more effective options. (For example, the bloodrager will struggle a LOT with the DR of the animated object, but any other players who have healing or fire will be able to beat the crap out of it, so it sorta evens the playing field for the PCs, makes 'em feel like they all get a chance to be effective.)

Also, the fact that the elementals move through the stone/earth means they won't get confused by the mist & guards/wards. If the Scribbler tells them to head in a certain direction and tremorsense the PCs, they won't get turned around. So it even plays well with the story of the dungeon.

If anyone wants to steal any of this, or build upon it, please do. Thanks so much for the help!

Grand Lodge

Wow, your PCs sound awful tough! And those are some crazy saves - Will saves are brutal against my party, and I've been pretty sparing in using them for that reason.

That spell list you posted is extremely solid - I don't have any experience with caustic blood, but the rest of those all dumped on anyone I know can really slow a party down. While my party hasn't run away from many fights, they have a tendency to give detailed reports on their abilities to enemies ahead of time one way or another (Lucretia, Xanesha, Ironbriar, and Aldern all got this treatment, although Ironbriar was the only one who could really put it to use). As such, having altered tactics to deal with the specific party composition has been key to bosses not getting absolutely destroyed. Enemies should be smart, after all - the party stomping them anyway is part of the fun.

Hezrou Demon, Large Animated Object, 3d4+3 small earth elementals - that's a good spread, and puts the Scribbler way ahead on action economy. His chances are still nil, but making it anything but a cakewalk should be rewarding for your party.

Best of luck on the Scribbler's last stand!

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / Book 5: How much will the Scribbler adapt, if the PCs attack, leave, and return? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rise of the Runelords