That Barghest though


Age of Ashes

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That thing just about TPKed the whole group.

Large 4th Level group
Barbarian, Champion, Cleric, Sorcerer, Bard, Monk, Alchemist

My sorcerer is bleeding out on the floor after enlarging both the champion and the Barbarian I stupidly closed in for a shocking grasp. That did not go well. Fading in and out of consciousness I see the Barbarian screaming in rage even as she is hammered to the floor poison and blood running from her.
Monk was doing virtually nothing due to some protective magic. The thing just laughed at her as her blows land with no effect. It looked down at her then deliberately stepped past ignoring her feeble blows.
The cleric of Calistra is swearing in some language I don't know. She is a "reformed" champion of Asmodeus but I am not sure I buy it. I realize at the last that she is trying to heal me but the creature doesn't like that. The priest is wearing some type of plate armor that covers nothing and yet somehow protects her anyway. Calistra's doing no doubt. It doesn't work in this case and the priest and her sexy armor both hit the ground, dying.
The goblin alchemist is as far as she can get from the Demonic thing. Seeing her former tribe reduced to skeletons that have been placed in bizarre worshipful poses might have broken her. She has been throwing colorful flasks of gods know what at it but missing with most of them. She did get lucky and land something green (acid?) on it and it has been burning away on the skin of the beast. I have no way of knowing if it is even feeling it.
The beast moves to finish me off. I am already done for but it is impatient. The monster's claws slashes down and the last thing I see is the champion's great sword thrust through the back of its head.

Thank the gods for Natural 20s.

Super fun fight but DAMN!!!!!!!!


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Yeah, that is a tough, tough encounter at APL + 3. I haven't run it yet myself, my campaign is only getting there in 1-2 sessions, but I have read a lot of reports like yours...


Zaister wrote:
Yeah, that is a tough, tough encounter at APL + 3. I haven't run it yet myself, my campaign is only getting there in 1-2 sessions, but I have read a lot of reports like yours...

We are not a min/max group really but we have multiple experienced roleplayers. I think many groups are in for a rough go of it. The goblin alchemist was given information about the encounter by the DM. In game she was a member of the tribe that had been sent forth to steal human children for it. In stead she found us. So we went in fully rested and freshly minted 4th level heroes. Just about died. Literally saved by an early lucky hit with an acid flask that just wouldn't go out and the champion getting a nat 20 with a striking great sword and doing basically max damage.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Moved to Pathfinder General Discussion


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That is so, so awesome! Goodness what an incredible encounter, desperate fights with a final, heroic last stand are so good.

Your table will probably fear Barghests for a long time to come, did everyone survive in the end?


Henro wrote:
Your table will probably fear Barghests for a long time to come

Ah, yes. Music to my ears!

Sounds like a fun encounter. What a finish; timely crits can make for exciting finales and crescendos. My interest in this AP has been piqued. ^^


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Sam Phelan wrote:
Moved to Pathfinder General Discussion

I think this should be in the Age of Ashes subforum, Sam.


Henro wrote:

That is so, so awesome! Goodness what an incredible encounter, desperate fights with a final, heroic last stand are so good.

Your table will probably fear Barghests for a long time to come, did everyone survive in the end?

Our table of avid wargamers will remember that fight too. We will always remember it as the fight that everybody and his dog could already tell that we would never be able to win unless the GM played with one hand tied behind is back by the end of round one. Fun times with the PF2E level system.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Renali joining the fight and distracting him for a round is literally the only thing that saved my group from a TPK.


MaxAstro wrote:
Renali joining the fight and distracting him for a round is literally the only thing that saved my group from a TPK.

Same here and it even was for two rounds.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I had Renali "summon" a giant spider to provide illusory creature flanking and it helped quite a bit, but yeah, tough fight for my group too


Reckless wrote:
I had Renali "summon" a giant spider to provide illusory creature flanking and it helped quite a bit, but yeah, tough fight for my group too

My sorcerer is your typical charisma boy rogue failed bard. He talked Renali into helping us. Also a vital factor. I left her out of my narrative because we promised to keep her secret from others until we could get her home and I was avoiding spoilers......sort of. :)


Henro wrote:

That is so, so awesome! Goodness what an incredible encounter, desperate fights with a final, heroic last stand are so good.

Your table will probably fear Barghests for a long time to come, did everyone survive in the end?

We all survived in the end. Laid the goblin tribe to rest. And I still haven't had a good night's sleep since that fight. :)


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Also our GM.....my wife actually rolls everything but secrect rolls in front of the group so I know she didnt fudge the victory for us. Other than the roleplaying reason of letting us go on prepared. We took down time to move striking and armor runes around. I did some research in town and got the vital info not to bring fire to the fight.


Oh yeah and full disclosure. I have the ranged meta magic feet so closing in to hit him with a shocking grasp......yeah that was dumb on a couple levels. :)


Sam Phelan wrote:
Moved to Pathfinder General Discussion

Thank you. I thought that was where I had posted this.


Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:
Also our GM.....my wife actually rolls everything but secrect rolls in front of the group so I know she didnt fudge the victory for us. Other than the roleplaying reason of letting us go on prepared. We took down time to move striking and armor runes around. I did some research in town and got the vital info not to bring fire to the fight.

Interesting.

Apart from the fact that our GM had us rest and level up directly in front of the encounter we had absolutely no info that we are about to fight or what to expect. Also we did not have a single day of downtime since the AP started as events seemed to be unfolding at a rapid pace.

So our encounter started with a "spring attack" boss monster right in our faces, no place to maneuver, no additional knowledge apart from what we tried to find out in battle and somewhat underequipped (we used the rune weapons as we found them, i.e. our Dwarf fighter used a Rapier instead of his Battleaxe).


Ubertron_X wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:
Also our GM.....my wife actually rolls everything but secrect rolls in front of the group so I know she didnt fudge the victory for us. Other than the roleplaying reason of letting us go on prepared. We took down time to move striking and armor runes around. I did some research in town and got the vital info not to bring fire to the fight.

Interesting.

Apart from the fact that our GM had us rest and level up directly in front of the encounter we had absolutely no info that we are about to fight or what to expect. Also we did not have a single day of downtime since the AP started as events seemed to be unfolding at a rapid pace.

So our encounter started with a "spring attack" boss monster right in our faces, no place to maneuver, no additional knowledge apart from what we tried to find out in battle and somewhat underequipped (we used the rune weapons as we found them, i.e. our Dwarf fighter used a Rapier instead of his Battleaxe).

Wow, that fact that you are sitting here telling us your story is all more impressive. If we had gone that way the only way I'm talking to you is as a ghost. :)


Ubertron_X wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:
Also our GM.....my wife actually rolls everything but secrect rolls in front of the group so I know she didnt fudge the victory for us. Other than the roleplaying reason of letting us go on prepared. We took down time to move striking and armor runes around. I did some research in town and got the vital info not to bring fire to the fight.

Interesting.

Apart from the fact that our GM had us rest and level up directly in front of the encounter we had absolutely no info that we are about to fight or what to expect. Also we did not have a single day of downtime since the AP started as events seemed to be unfolding at a rapid pace.

So our encounter started with a "spring attack" boss monster right in our faces, no place to maneuver, no additional knowledge apart from what we tried to find out in battle and somewhat underequipped (we used the rune weapons as we found them, i.e. our Dwarf fighter used a Rapier instead of his Battleaxe).

As in the barghest was hostile from the get go? Weird way to run the encounter on your GMs part.

Dark Archive

We had a bard, cleric, rogue, and barbarian with Renali's help, and it was a cake walk. Bard inspired courage and remained in the back (on the ledge towards one of the entrances) while using non-cantrip spells (for the first time in the game) and telekinetic projectile to attack or provide emergency healing. The cleric healed and cast harm beside the bard. The rogue and barbarian flanked, dealing damage and taking damage. And Renali didn't really do much, not taking a single hit. I think it would have gone a lot worse if we had all run up into melee to attack though.

We did party wipe at the beginning of the next session though.


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I've been thinking about fights like this.

I like fights against creatures that are a bit too powerful with a caveat. They should have behaviours that make them waste or misuse actions.

Every foe doesn't have to become a perfect tactical death-dealing robot (unless they ARE one! ;) ), and I think that's the way to handle fights like this if they start going badly.

I've missed one thing from PF1e Adventure paths, and that's more obvious suggestions for how foes should play their actions out. Now some encounters have instructions, like the Voz fight has some guidelines, but the Barghest fight tells you how he acts before the fight, when he flees to another room, and where he fights to the death.

The justification for this should come from movies and books and stories that inspire us first if posssible, narrative tropes and logic are always good ways for players to understand what is happening, while letting you change encounters without altering dice. PF2 gives you a better oppurtunity to play a villain who has untold power, but literally wastes an action gloating, or chooses not to use their full power until they get significantly damaged because they are arrogant and underestimate the PCS, or are wild and insane and don't play effectively. I'm going to play up Ralldar as the latter.

He will not start the combat with his spells up, he assumes the PCs will worship and fear him, as mortals have for ages. He will often take turns using demoralize rather attacks, sometimes he'll demoralize foes he has already demoralized again because he can't fathom people lasting in his presence who he has demoralized, etc. He'll spend combat turns casting stuff like blink and enlarge on himself in the middle of the fight, because he isn't afraid. When he first casts blink, he'll actually immediately sustain it for the sheer enjoyment of hopping around and using his mighty power for the first time in centuries, etc, etc.

I'll try to make this obvious to my PCs too, they should know that this old god doesn't think much of them, and is a little unhinged. Ralldar will laugh maniacally and enjoy the spray of blood, but not be tactical genius. That should up the creep factor and fear, while letting me be a bit flexible with how hard the fight actually is.

Then even if Ralldar defeats them, or they defeat him, Ralldar was a character, not a difficult encounter.

Note: I may fudge numbers and give him -2 AC but 20 extra hp, basically elite hp, but weak Armor class. Mostly because missing is not fun, in every rpg I've played really high AC foes in desperate fights feel almost as bad as profound save-or-sucks. With blink and a big hp pool I want the PCs to feel like they are hacking away at an ancient oak with a sharpened spoon. That Ralldar barely feels it, and that further justifies his actions by how play feels, hopefully doing a show don't tell. I also swapped "Fangs" for "Toxic Breath" so I could spread damage around on the party, which feels like a boss battle kind of thing.


My scratch notes routine, which I'd love some tips or hints on, I haven't played the encounter yet, and PF2 is still new enough and will always be complex enough that there are different ways to think about tactics of action use.

Note: Ralldar is not a robot, but this gives me an idea of what I think he would do in combat, so I can make decisions quickly while the game plays out. This is not a straitjacket algorithm for all of the character's behavior.

Ralldar - Routine
If PCs trigger combat:
R1: > Change Shape | >> enlarge
If Ralldar triggers combat by using change shape
R1: >> enlarge | > demoralize character he was talking to, or closest

R2: >> blink | > sustain (make it clear that Ralldar enjoys this, insane laughter, barely pays attention to the PCs for a moment)

If toxic breath available
R3+: > stride to get many people | >> toxic breath
Else If Ralldar is frustrated with a particular foe who has engaged him
R3+: >strike | >> confusion
Else If Party are Struggling and Fight Feels Hopeless
R3+: Mixture of demoralizes, casting non-combat focus spells to taunt or unnerve the PCs, like
> change shapes into innocent people | > claim this is a soul he ate (Demoralise/Lie) | > change shape back (make it clear Ralldar is playing with his food by his actions)
Else:
R3+: mixture of > stride and > strike

Repeat


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Per Hellknight Hill, Ralldar

Spoiler:
has fangs, not toxic breath.


Fumarole wrote:
Per Hellknight Hill, Ralldar ** spoiler omitted **

Hellknight Hill:
My two posts are a lot of text, so you probably missed where I said this is deliberate.

I say in the first post that I'm swapping fangs for toxic breath, and why. I also swapped -2 AC for +20 Hp.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
As in the barghest was hostile from the get go? Weird way to run the encounter on your GMs part.

Spoiler:
No he was not hostile from the get go. However as there was absolutely no forshadowing - the story of the goblin wars and goblin god was told but there was no relation to what was to follow - so we roleplayed most of the scene in front of the fight. And what danger should come from an obviously insane lone Goblin rambling around an old throne of bones? As we climbed down the northern ledge to investigate we were caught by the cineastics of Ralldar morphing to his true form. However by this time the complete party was within AoO reach with our backs literally against the wall/ledge.

.
Our sword and board fighter/tank went down twice (and is still unconsious), our wizard went down once (and would be one hit for most of the fight), our ranger did not went down but was down to single digit HP and my warpriest, while mostly unharmed, was out of any healing spells or battle medicines. And this was all while Renali distracted the boss for more or less two rounds and Ralldar neither being especially good at his target selection going for the tank mostly nor using any of his special abilities/spells.


Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

That thing just about TPKed the whole group.

Large 4th Level group
Barbarian, Champion, Cleric, Sorcerer, Bard, Monk, Alchemist

What was the Bard doing?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joana wrote:
Sam Phelan wrote:
Moved to Pathfinder General Discussion
I think this should be in the Age of Ashes subforum, Sam.

Thanks for the spoilers, Sam. >8(


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


As in the barghest was hostile from the get go? Weird way to run the encounter on your GMs part.

That is what happened to us. Only now do I understand this is not the way it is supposed to happen.

Spoiler:
Level 4 Warpriest, Champion, Druid, and alchemist. This was our third fight of the day, so we had already used some of our resources. We were climbing down into the room, and our Druid fell and went prone. Out jumps the Bargest, immediately on the attack.

It went mostly like this. The Warpriest and Champion kept the monster engaged and flanked, trying to protect the other two. The Druid struggled to get up, given the Barghest's AOO. She went unconcious once, but was healed by the Warpriest. Eventually the Druid's animal companion managed to drag her out of the immediate fight. The alchemist healed as many for as much as she could before resorting to throwing her bombs.

The first big moment for the party came when the Champion cast True Strike on his weapon (which already had Magic Weapon cast on it), used his Divine Ally shifting rune to turn it into a greatpick, and spent his last hero point to get a crit, doing 54 points of damage.

Still, it was a very near thing. At the end of the fight, the druid was in single digits and was Wounded 2. The Champion was Wounded 1 and unconscious. The Warpriest was only still standing because damage reduction from the Champion left him at 5 hp.

When the Bahgrest turned to flee with just a few HP left, the Warpriest used his last 2 actions to grab and throw a javelin, bringing it down. Then we had to contend with two poisoned characters, which very nearly killed both. This fight was close enough that any math errors we made may have determined the final result.

I guess it was not supposed to go down this way. I like our GM and the campaign, and I am always grateful for the time GM's put into the games, but sometimes he doesn't read very carefully. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unfortunately, in the group I'm GM'ing for, my Barghest ended up being the Wet Bandit of Barghests.

All level 4, consisting of a Paladin, a Druid, a Sorcerer, and a Rogue, and Alak tagging along, as they Super Friended him. As the GM, I knew that this was going to be a possibly very tough encounter, even with Alak's help.

Negotiations went south VERY quickly because Paladin was Paladin'ing, and initiative was rolled. Aaaand Ralldar rolled a one. He was going last. Eh, he'll still be tough.

The Rogue rolled a natural 20 on his first attack. In our group, in addition to the normal crit, we roll to confirm, and, if you confirm, you can draw one of the official Paizo crit cards as well. He confirmed. He drew a really good card, and Stunned 2 Ralldar.

Crap.

Ralldar, on his turn, was fortunately within range of the Rogue, and managed to get one good hit in. Yay! Which triggered the Paladin, who did his retributive strike thing. Natural 20, confirmed, card drawn. He knocked Ralldar prone.

Next round, PC's beat him up more, and Alak rolled a natural 20 on a power attack. Did not confirm, but still did massive damage (3d12+8, rolled 12, 11, and 8).

Ralldar, bleeding out of all his orifices now, clambors to his feet, which triggers an AoO from Alak, who, again, even though it was not a critical, still hits like a truck. Ralldar, who is now surrounded and only has single digit health, desperately bites and swings. Misses both attacks.

Sorcerer kills him with a Ray of Frost.

Hindsight being 20/20, looking back on the battle, I probably should've had him Dimension Door out on his last turn. Other then that, it really wouldn't have changed the outcome much.

But seriously... Three freaking natural 20's in two rounds?!


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The Ronyon wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

That thing just about TPKed the whole group.

Large 4th Level group
Barbarian, Champion, Cleric, Sorcerer, Bard, Monk, Alchemist

What was the Bard doing?

“Interesting question.

Let me tell you something about “the bard”. So as i mentioned I am a failed bard. About century ago I have all the talent in the world and get accepted into a prestigious college. With my gift i can be the next Meric Songspinner or so I am told. I get to school things are going as planned. Early on I meet Vrett a gnome and his girlfriend a spunky little gnome named Amethyst. We call her Amy for short. Vrett is a good friend and doesn't really have my gifts but is a solid performer and has been at the school a few years so he takes me under his wing and shows me the ropes of campus life/ Amy, now Amy is another level. Better than me, beautiful, magnetic, eleteric. The three of us work closely together and I fall hard for her almost immediately. Being friends with Vrett I keep it all to myself. Or so I thought. I channel my pent up feelings into my art and push myself I am one of the only students to give Amy a real run for top performers.
Then one day Amy comes to me crying saying how Vrett has been cheating on her and dumped her for someone else. I comfort her which quickly turns to her pushing for more and soon enough I follow my heart and give in. We make passionate, mind blowing love. When of course right at the crescendo Vrett comes in. Nothing she said was true. Massive fight follows. Vrett hates me. My love for Amy is now rage, hurt and betrayal. Vrett leaves school.
I can't live with the guilt and leave to follow him. Fail to find him and become a wandering minstrel. AMy stays on at the school. Her only really competition gone graduates the top of her class.
Skip forward a century. I end up performing in the inns in Breechhil just killing time until there famed “Heroes for Hire day”. Amy shows up and does me the courtesy of not performing because she would get hired everywhere instead of me. Sadly this is just straight up fact but feels like a huge insult coming from her. “Don't condescend to me Woman!”

So in short what ever she was doing during the fight it was most likely screwing me over some how.”

Now to the Bargast fight. She (illegally cause we were too low. Thank god for mistakes in the players favor) used both the song of defense and Inspire confident. Healed several times and shot crossbow bolts at the fiend.

She DID NOT save our asses with her music. No matter what the others say. It was fine
I DID NOT run into combat to give that shocking grasp at touch range to impress her with my manliness.


Weird it wont let me edit my own reply. Sorry meant to put the drunken role playing rant under a spoiler tag to save a wall of text.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Weird it wont let me edit my own reply. Sorry meant to put the drunken role playing rant under a spoiler tag to save a wall of text.

The Paizo forums have a 1 hour window in which you can edit posts. After that they get locked, and you need moderator intervention to change them.


Ravingdork wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Weird it wont let me edit my own reply. Sorry meant to put the drunken role playing rant under a spoiler tag to save a wall of text.

The Paizo forums have a 1 hour window in which you can edit posts. After that they get locked, and you need moderator intervention to change them.

I see. I did not know that. Thank you.


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Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Weird it wont let me edit my own reply. Sorry meant to put the drunken role playing rant under a spoiler tag to save a wall of text.

The Paizo forums have a 1 hour window in which you can edit posts. After that they get locked, and you need moderator intervention to change them.
I see. I did not know that. Thank you.

If you're not too concerned about where it appears in the thread, I think you can still delete and recreate the post if you need to, as a roundabout way of applying an edit.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Weird it wont let me edit my own reply. Sorry meant to put the drunken role playing rant under a spoiler tag to save a wall of text.

The Paizo forums have a 1 hour window in which you can edit posts. After that they get locked, and you need moderator intervention to change them.
I see. I did not know that. Thank you.
If you're not too concerned about where it appears in the thread, I think you can still delete and recreate the post if you need to, as a roundabout way of applying an edit.

No, you can't. Posts can't be edited or deleted after the edit window closes. After an hour, the only way to have them removed is for Paizo staff to do it.

Look at your own list of posts. You don't have a Delete option on any of them older than 1 hour.


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Yeah. I realized that pretty quickly after making my post, but not within the first hour, so I couldn't delete it. XD


The dice gods were with my party and had him running on the 3rd round of combat. Our fighter had a power attack crit with a striking waraxe which started out by knocking off 40 damage on the first hit. It was a crit storm from the party after that. I've actually had harder times from weaker encounters so far. I'm sure that will swing the other way soon enough though.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

Why is this not in the hellknight hill forum?

Anyways the halfling druid in goblin form went with the snow goblin bard to attempt to give a shiny, but then the BBEG said it was not good enough. Problem is goblin form does not give you goblin language* so the BBEG saw thru the form and immediately went for an intimidate by going huge which gives reach and more damage. The rest of the team stepped out into the tunnels all of them landed their debuffs so the mountain stance monk can go in and hit it. Of course the monk trips on the steps (fumble deck) and is now laying prone and slowed, so best option is take shield cover. I think having to force it to squeeze into the tunnels is only option to force it back down into goblin form, but that monk is gonna be dead....because the party knew from the spider lady that something scary was ahead but failed recall knowledge so nobody has any idea what it can do.

* Not sure about goblin form not giving language, it says no special abilities but should that include native language? Not that it would matter BBEG is going to rage anyways.

Sovereign Court

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Sam Phelan wrote:
Moved to Pathfinder General Discussion

This should be in the Age of Ashes forum.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Moved to Age of Ashes

Thanks for letting me know where it goes guys. I also haven't played the adventure and admittedly had no idea what adventure we were talking about, but I had to move it out of where it was originally posted.


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My players will meet him either at the end of next session, of the session after... I will come back to report. They usually are very friendly with NPCs, so they will surely have Renali help, and they’ll probably have their two Kobold squires with them. But I have big fear of the two squishiest squishies in my group... Cavern Elf universalist Spell swapping Wizard with minimal CON investment, Whisper Elf Diabolic Sorcerer with no CON investment, Sensate Gnome Maestro Bard, and Versatile Human Paladin.


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Our champion of Calistria closed in and the party realized he was going to be a tough fight when she missed her attack on a high-ish number. Her next action was to stride away to the edge of the pit and use Deception to feign that she was terribly injured from the single strike the Barghest landed on her. He ran up and kicked her into the pit, and she made the check to Grab an Edge! Then, since he was right next to the ledge, our sorcerer and bard both used telekinetic maneuver back-to-back to shove him 5 feet so he went over. Since our champion was holding the edge, there was no edge for him to grab, and down he went!

Of course, for me, I really disliked that the charau-ka with a climb speed were somehow trapped in a hole. I increased the distance of the drop by a significant amount (from 20 feet to 80). Ralldar just ate the damage to the face. The worst part is there was a platform he could catch 40 feet down, so he rolled and critically failed his Reflex, so he took an extra 20!

The PCs were very self congratulatory and looked very pleased until he dimension doored back up to the top! They quickly dealt with him after that, but it was definitely a much different experience than intended thanks to my absent-minded aesthetics-centric deepening of a pit.


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I feel like I've posted about this somewhere in the AoA forums before, but this encounter was where my players started to understand the design of PF2.

When I prepped the fight before hand, I really fell in love with Ralldar's artwork and was ready to show it off triumphantly when he shifted out of his goblin form. But then I saw his halberd/rod thing and a new plan started to form. I was concerned that I had a player with a goblin giant instinct barbarian who was excited to sort of collect more wondrous magic weapons as he progressed. He was planning on using horsechoppers and I began to wonder about the strangeness of Large-sized horsechoppers littering the AP. I explained to him about runes and being able to keep one weapon the entire game, and he seemed sort of deflated. He wanted a cool magic weapon. Well, that was just the thing.

The party met Renali peacefully, but she warned that, "whatever is in the cave ahead, it terrifies me." My players took the threat seriously, even after seeing that it was "just a small goblin traipsing around in an oversized cloak." But then the barbarian saw the strange staff (which I tinkered with the image of) and he jumped for joy. He swiped the potion of invisibility leapt down the ledge into Ralldar's cave and snuck over to the weapon. Unfortunately, Stealth was not a strong skill of his, and that started the combat off. The barbarian immediately took a crit followed by a hit, which shaved his health down immediately.

The table exploded at this point with players asking me if I was reading the stat block correctly. One person was making sure that I hadn't switched books or something. Only one player seemed to take it in stride.

The rest of the party is on the backfoot, all standing up on the ledges overlooking the cavern. The cleric, a negative-energy cloistered cleric, leaps down and starts firing off harm spells... directly at his highest save, of course. The alchemist follows suit, just throwing alchemist's fire and getting nothing through the resistances. That's when the sorcerer player calls a little time out and explains what's happening.

He starts talking about the uneven trades in action economy that they were likely to get. How they needed to debuff him in any way, or use attacks that couldn't miss. The cleric chimes in with a, "I literally only prepared harm in every slot." The alchemist adds that he only ever makes alchemist fire "because they're the best damage." However, he has enough reagents left to whip up some other bombs. The sorcerer is telling the barbarian to just get away from Ralldar, but the barbarian is having none of it. Things look grim immediately, but the party is getting a wake up call.

The sorcerer just stands on the ledge and 3-action magic missiles for the rest of the fight, knowing that the rest of his spell list was currently populated with every fire or damaging spell he could get his hands on. Not looking likely now. Renali joins in and tanks a hit for the barbarian, who has flown into a rage, and has begun Striking with every free action. The alchemist is even hazarding his way into melee range to force potions down the barbarian's throat. The cleric, with no other options, is hurling mostly ineffective harm spells and complaining that the divine spell list doesn't have enough damaging spells.

After Ralldar enlarges, everyone decides that there's no escape and just gives it everything. The barbarian is crit-fishing with 3 action Strikes, magic missiles are flying, ineffectual harms, and piddling splash damage from the alchemist. Finally, however, he goes down with both the barbarian and the alchemist clinging to life. The kill actually came from the splash damage of a frost bomb. Very anti-climactic.

After this, my players have a group meeting to talk about their characters and tactics. The sorcerer asks me for a rebuild of his spells and the cleric starts looking at the divine spell list. The alchemist falls in love with bottled lightning and frost bombs and the barbarian now tries to Intimidate before Striking. Combat has gone so much smoother since then and I owe it all to this big, stupid barghest.


My party was ready for the Barghest, due to meeting Denali and becoming allies with her, but even so it was a hard right, Rogue went down twice and the fighter only did not went down due to some Shield Other from the cleric, that went down due to that!
They are still learning to deal with bosses fights.


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Ice Titan wrote:


Of course, for me, I really disliked that the charau-ka with a climb speed were somehow trapped in a hole.

It is a DC35 athletics check that requires the charau-ka to climb "an inverted smooth surface".

Legitimately not in their wheel house, even with a +4 their maximum roll is a 30, Malarunk is only able to get to a with a natural 20.

Now of course natural 20s increase success rate, but I wanted to point it out just how difficult it would appear to the creatures. And I doubt there would have been many attempts after the first few failures doing 10 damage a pop and hitting the hard stone.

They are monkey folk, not cave dwelling spiders.

(sorry, just seen the author of the book lambasted for this in a few threads now and when I got around to reading it I realised they had taken it into consideration)


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:


Of course, for me, I really disliked that the charau-ka with a climb speed were somehow trapped in a hole.

It is a DC35 athletics check that requires the charau-ka to climb "an inverted smooth surface".

Legitimately not in their wheel house, even with a +4 their maximum roll is a 30, Malarunk is only able to get to a with a natural 20.

Now of course natural 20s increase success rate, but I wanted to point it out just how difficult it would appear to the creatures. And I doubt there would have been many attempts after the first few failures doing 10 damage a pop and hitting the hard stone.

They are monkey folk, not cave dwelling spiders.

(sorry, just seen the author of the book lambasted for this in a few threads now and when I got around to reading it I realised they had taken it into consideration)

That's super fair, I didn't know that Climb speeds interacted with difficult to climb surfaces in PF2 like that. Still haven't had time to chew on the entire core rulebook so a lot of these small cases from PF1 still edge in on PF2 every now and then.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
It is a DC35 athletics check that requires the charau-ka to climb "an inverted smooth surface".

I'm trying to reconstruct that, where do you gt the "inverted smooth surface" DC from?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

From the adventure.

Hellknight Hill spoiler:
The pit to the south drops 20 feet down into area D6. The anadi Renali was able to escape up into this cave from below by climbing in her spider form, but Malarunk and his minions haven’t yet figured out how to reach this hole from below. Plenty of stalagmites nearby could serve as anchors for ropes dropped down into the hole, and of course brave PCs can simply leap down the 20-foot drop and endure the falling damage, but from below, it’s very difficult to climb up out of the pit. It requires a DC 35 Athletics check to climb unless the creature is capable of easily navigating a smooth inverted surface (such as a spider).


Fumarole wrote:

From the adventure.

** spoiler omitted **

Strangely there actually nothing different rules wise between any given creatures Climb speeds. A Charau-ka can climb just as well as a spider.

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