TPK potential?


Abomination Vaults


So after getting all the character sheets of my players and seeing that two of them are spellcasters I am really afraid of the Voidglutton encounter in Chapter 4.

It is a level 8 creature, has a AC of 30 and is immune to magic (with some execptions). Just to see, I leveled the rogue up to level 5 and even then he would have to roll a 17+ to even hit the Voidglutton. My players aren't really min-maxing to the fullest and while I really enjoy high stakes and the occasional PC death, I have found TPKs to kind of demotivate the whole group. Our Plaguestone group really dove after having a total of 7 characters die in a four player game.

Is anyone else frightend? Or am I overreacting? I want to run the AP as written but can't help thinking of nerfing the encounter...


Poboy wrote:

So after getting all the character sheets of my players and seeing that two of them are spellcasters I am really afraid of the Voidglutton encounter in Chapter 4.

It is a level 8 creature, has a AC of 30 and is immune to magic (with some execptions). Just to see, I leveled the rogue up to level 5 and even then he would have to roll a 17+ to even hit the Voidglutton. My players aren't really min-maxing to the fullest and while I really enjoy high stakes and the occasional PC death, I have found TPKs to kind of demotivate the whole group. Our Plaguestone group really dove after having a total of 7 characters die in a four player game.

Is anyone else frightend? Or am I overreacting? I want to run the AP as written but can't help thinking of nerfing the encounter...

It has 90 hps, which is even under the minimum for a level 8 creature. And it deals low damage also. It should be ok as long as your martials manage to land a few hits.

So, extreme AC and extreme abilities but low damage and extremely low hit points, it seems balanced to me. Still, it's a boss monster and should be scary.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, magic missile is a spell pretty much designed for this encounter. If you are worried that the encounter will be too much, "plant" a scroll or two of magic missile in the dungeon AND nudge the players to remember that many monsters have particular weaknesses that can be exploited and that making recall knowledge checks isn't just about the monster you are fighting now, but about future monsters you might encounter.

There are numerous wisp encounters prior to the void glutton where the party could learn that wisps are typically immune to magic, difficult to hit, but low HP creatures that are susceptible to magic missile. If they can work that knowledge out in advance, then your casters have the opportunity to go from feeling useless and frustrated in that encounter, to being the stars of the show, especially if your martials struggle to hit it.

Also, remember that it doesn't pursue enemies outside of its territory of rooms. Also, it doesn't actually want to kill the whole party right away. It wants to keep someone alive to terrorize for the next several months. It is an intelligent predator in an environment sparse on food.

I really think it is the perfect example of a level +3 monster to serve as a campaign boss because it has about a 50/50% of winning against the PCs, but not actively TPKing the party and giving the party incentive to retreat, rest and come back.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
If they can work that knowledge out in advance

Recall Knowledge about creatures is also a thing that should be encouraged.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
If they can work that knowledge out in advance
Recall Knowledge about creatures is also a thing that should be encouraged.

For sure. It is just a good idea for a GM to be aware that a player recalling knowledge on a Flickerwisp, for example, could also be building up a library of knowledge that will be useful against other wisps, if the GM makes it clear that it is a trait of wisps to often be resistant to magic, except for certain spells, such as magic missile.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Related - does the evoker Focus Power force bolt count as a magic missile for the purposes of getting past a wisp's magic immunity? By a strict RAW reading, the answer is no, as a wisp is only vulnerable to magic missile. I'm leaning towards yes, since the difference between the two spells is so small as to be insignificant, but it's a strange corner case that should probably be take into consideration.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Misroi wrote:
Related - does the evoker Focus Power force bolt count as a magic missile for the purposes of getting past a wisp's magic immunity? By a strict RAW reading, the answer is no, as a wisp is only vulnerable to magic missile. I'm leaning towards yes, since the difference between the two spells is so small as to be insignificant, but it's a strange corner case that should probably be take into consideration.

I would agree, RAW says no, but I'd let it happen.


My players encountered the Voidglutton and it hasn't been an issue at all. Due to the configuration of the rooms, they just moved to the next room and closed the door, with the paladin holding it closed. With the +0 in Athletics of the Voidglutton, it hasn't been able to open it while the party was recovering. So, it took a lot of time, but there was no real danger.


The adventure notes say that this monster can be negotiated with in certain ways; for example it might only take people hostage if it wins, allowing a rescue.

SuperBidi wrote:
My players encountered the Voidglutton and it hasn't been an issue at all. Due to the configuration of the rooms, they just moved to the next room and closed the door, with the paladin holding it closed. With the +0 in Athletics of the Voidglutton, it hasn't been able to open it while the party was recovering. So, it took a lot of time, but there was no real danger.

It could attack the door. But obviously what you've done seems to have been the right thing for your players :-)

EDIT: Checking the adventure I see the doors on this level are iron-banded wood, which I assume is "reinforced door" so hardness 10, 40 hit points.


Dr A Gon wrote:

The adventure notes say that this monster can be negotiated with in certain ways; for example it might only take people hostage if it wins, allowing a rescue.

SuperBidi wrote:
My players encountered the Voidglutton and it hasn't been an issue at all. Due to the configuration of the rooms, they just moved to the next room and closed the door, with the paladin holding it closed. With the +0 in Athletics of the Voidglutton, it hasn't been able to open it while the party was recovering. So, it took a lot of time, but there was no real danger.

It could attack the door. But obviously what you've done seems to have been the right thing for your players :-)

EDIT: Checking the adventure I see the doors on this level are iron-banded wood, which I assume is "reinforced door" so hardness 10, 40 hit points.

Ultimately, it started attacking the doors. But I never know how to apply Hardness when you do multiple types of damage. I always hesitate between applying it once or applying it for each type of damage like Resistances.

Anyway, whatever the way you apply it, it takes more than a round for the Glutton to get a door down, which is not negligeable (and there are 5 of them).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, those are pretty much its doors. It has a job to do and smashing up its own home isn't really a part of the job description. If a bunch of fools want to trap themselves in a room only to die later, that is fine with the creature, at least until the party is capable of really demonstrating its capacity to be real threat.


In a situation like this you can probably also use your unarmed attack bonus as your athletics score. I was recently reminded of the fact that rule existed in another post. I wouldn't allow that for high jumping bu charging down a door seems OK. Anyway I'm not criticsing the GM's actions (they obviously did the right thing for their group), just discussing the issue in general.

The writer of this module clearly knew this creature could be problematic, hence the paragraph in the adventure on specifically how to prevent this one monster from TPKing.


Dr A Gon wrote:

In a situation like this you can probably also use your unarmed attack bonus as your athletics score. I was recently reminded of the fact that rule existed in another post. I wouldn't allow that for high jumping bu charging down a door seems OK. Anyway I'm not criticsing the GM's actions (they obviously did the right thing for their group), just discussing the issue in general.

The writer of this module clearly knew this creature could be problematic, hence the paragraph in the adventure on specifically how to prevent this one monster from TPKing.

That's only for Escape. Otherwise, you have to use your Athletics score.

And my goal is not to houserule a way to go through my players' strategy when it's a good one.

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