Author Topic: Need Help with Powerful PCs  (Read 11440 times)

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Nachofan99

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2011, 12:37:37 AM »
Kevin_Video,

I have always liked you and enjoyed reading your posts, so I will offer my help in this endeavor.

Let me go to the Leadership solution first.  A few ideas.

1) Give them the cohorts then, kill the cohorts.  This is a "message" to the group sent by the assassin's guild.  Then say that it is "open news" that the group has been marked for assassination and no one in their right mind would be caught serving with them, under them, or doing business with them either. Then give your players the option to replace Leadership with another feat.  Hopefully that makes the whining that much less.  I mean, it's not your fault that you had fewer people and it made sense - but it away just makes you look like the bad guy, regardless of the reality of the situation.

2) Kill the characters.  Same as above; it's a  "message" to the group via the assassin's guild.  It's hardline, but could be necessary.  It will allow the players to come in with entirely new characters (they said they need healing? they should play healbot clerics), and I would give them *A LITTLE* extra treasure or bonus feats or free LA or something to quell their anger.

3) Kill the players.  You must have a knife or a rock handy right?   I kid.


Ok, on to stuff to fuck the party up, with details.

What about Spring Attacking, Battle Jumping. Dungeoncrashing, Earth Gliding Earth Elementals falling from the ceiling catching the party flat-footed and surprised?  That should be good enough to down 2-3 members of the party before they ready actions and attack the Elementals as they fall.  Then, add lava.  How much lava you ask?  All of it.  1 or 2 of the Elementals could start bashing at a cavern wall and then sploosh, lava.  A few CR 5s (large, with Fighter Levels) or 7s (Huge) should do nicely in this regard for an EL 8/9/10.  As a seperate note, Bull-Rushing does not require an attack roll - just a strength check.  Get your Dungeoncrash ON!  Also, you can easily hit them if you just dictate where they get attacked.  Have them ambushed on uneven, rocky terrain with water making all the rocks slick - they are considered "Balancing" and are considered Flat-Footed while doing so. 

1 standard MM Aboleth could probably kill all of them if played optimally, right?  At the least it could fuck with their minds and make them a little less sure of themselves.  After they "win" I would do a Matrix on them; make them really uncertain of reality from that point on.  It always helps to fuck with the PC's minds whenever possible.

You can always do the old dopple "banger" shenanigans where there are TONS of party members and TONS of clones of party members.  Abuse Bluff and Sense Motive and make sure you make all the rolls in secret - but tell the party the truth of their results.  It's very likely half of the party will correctly identify some members but misidentify others.  To make this work, have all the players write out their actions on a piece of paper and submit them to you, then run them down in initiative order; of course you need to roll initiative as well to make them not sure exactly what the hell is going on.  Get in their heads man!

Quote
- Four of them can't be caught flat-footed due to uncanny dodge. There's a splat book that puts that in a ring, and two of them has that, while the other two have it from class abilities.

Are you sure they cannot be caught Flat-Footed - or that they simply have Uncanny Dodge and retain their Dexterity bonus to their AC?  They are not the same things at all.  Minotaurs cannot be caught Flat-Footed, Rogues merely retain their dexterity bonus to AC.

I have more to add but want a little feedback from you first.


Rejakor

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2011, 12:58:41 AM »
I like the realism argument.  'It was a gryphon.  Why would a gryphon have loot.  Feel free to loot the twigs from the nest it slept in, and the crushed/broken feathers/excrement..'  'The last gryphon had loot...' 'No, that was the corpse of an adventurer who died trying to kill the gryphon.  Feel free to search the area for corpses.'


Omar-Akheg, Challenger of Warriors
Size/Type:    Medium Undead [Augmented Humanoid]
Hit Dice:    22d12+44 (178)
Initiative:    +7
Speed:    30 ft. (6 squares), swim 60 ft.
Armor Class:    30 (+10 +2 black Full-Plate, +1 Dex, +4 natural, +2 deflection (Shield of Faith), +3 deflection (cloak of flame)), touch 16, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple:    +11/+17
Attack:    Bone Greatsword of Blood-Draining (single handed) +16 melee (2d6+6+1d6 fire and 1 negative level (DC 16 negates)) or bite +14 melee (1d8+3+1d6 fire) or throw flames +13 ranged (2d6+4 fire + DC 15 reflex or catch on fire)
Full Attack:    Bone Greatsword of Blood-Draining (single handed) +16/+11/+6 melee (2d6+6+1d6 fire and 1 negative level (DC 16 negates)) and bite +14 melee (1d8+3+1d6 fire) and snaking vertebrae +16 melee (1d4 dex damage (fort DC 17 negates)) and throw flames +13 ranged (2d6+4 fire + DC 15 reflex or catch on fire) (needs one free hand)
Space/Reach:    5 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks:    Blood frenzy, energy drain, throw flame, scream of blood, snaking vertebrae, danse macabre
Special Qualities:    Blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., light blindness, speak with sharks, reaving aura, aura of terror, subjective gravity, cloak of flames, bone blade, ignore the weak, turn resistance +4, SLAs, evasion, uncanny dodge, DR 10/Good and Silver, Fast Healing 5
Saves:    Fort +13, Ref +18, Will +17
Abilities:    Str 22, Dex 18, Con 0, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 21
Skills:    Balance +12*, Hide +21*, Listen +11*, Profession (hunter) +8*, Track +11*, Ride +17, Spot +11*, Survival +7*, Spellcraft +15, Intimidate +22, Sense Motive +15
Feats:    Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (Reaving Aura), Lifesense, Vatic Gaze, Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Sunder, Improved Bull-Rush, Combat Brute, Shock Trooper, Sweeping Advance, Bonecrafting, Willing Deformity, Extend Reach, Inhuman Reach, Disciple of Darkness, Hellbound Knight, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Bounding Assault, Whirlwind Attack, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Martial Study: [Iron Heart Surge], Martial Stance: [Absolute Steel Stance], Monkey Grip
Environment:    Everywhere
Organization:    Solitary, pair, team (5-8), patrol (11-20 plus 1 3rd-level lieutenant and 1-2 sharks), band (20-80 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level lieutenant and 1 4th-level chieftain per 20 adults plus 1-2 sharks), or tribe (70-160 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level lieutenant per 20 adults, 1 4th-level chieftain per 40 adults, 9 4th-level guards, 1-4 underpriestesses of 3rd-6th level, 1 7th-level priestess, and 1 baron of 6th-8th level plus 5-8 sharks)
Challenge Rating:    12
Treasure:    Gear and one major magical item located inside the chest cavity
Alignment:    Usually lawful evil
Advancement:    23-28 HD (Medium), 29-36 HD (Large), or by character class
Level Adjustment:    +10

This dark-armoured warrior wears the skin of his flayed face stretched across a rotting skull, flame leaps from where his eyes used to be, and darkness rushes up the passageway behind him as he screams a challenge at you, rushing forward far faster than his undead frame would suggest he could move.

Called the akwarazim, the Knights of Hell who served Orcus during the latter's ill-fortuned ascent to godhood universally channeled a fragment of a god's power and had it stripped from them, a process that drove them insane even as it turned them into insanely powerful undead.  Several attempts have been made by agents of the good gods to track them down and put an end to them, but their ability to shift between planes has made such attempts fruitless.

Blood Frenzy (Ex):  Every time the akwarazim is wounded or wounds another person, they or the akwarazim have a chance to enter a blood frenzy, a state in which the afflicted character gains +4 str and +4 constitution but strikes out blindly at the closest nearby creature (roll randomly if creatures are equally close) until they either make a save or are knocked out.  Bloody Frenzy is a mind-affecting effect.  DC 17 fort save to not enter the frenzy.

Energy Drain (Su):  The akwarazim has a chance of applying a negative level when he hits with his bite attack or his Bone greatsword.  The character struck can avoid this effect with a DC 16 Fortitude save(this save is Cha-based).  The akwarazim gains 5 temporary hp (that stack up to 100 thp) each time he delivers a negative level to an opponent.

Scream of Blood (Su):  Once every 1d4 rounds as a full-round action, the akwarazim can scream in torment, conjuring forth a torrent of blood in a 30' cone.  All characters in the cone must make a DC 17 reflex save or be swept 2d6 squares away from the akwarazim, knocked prone, and take 2d6 bludgeoning damage.  The affected squares are covered in a blood slick that makes movement difficult - they now and for the next 10 minutes count as difficult terrain and require a balance check to move across similar to the grease spell.

Snaking Vertebrae (Ex):  When the akwarazim performs a full attack, vertebrae extend from his wrists, dripping with poison, and strike his attackee.  If they hit, they do 1 pt of dmg and inject the attackee with poison, fort save DC 17, 1d4 dex/1d4 dex, cumulative poisonings of this poison stack.

Reaving Aura (Ex):  The akwarazim is surrounded by an aura of negative energy that rips life force from his foes.  Any time the akwarazim kills a foe, he heals 15 hitpoints of damage.  Also, any living creature within 30' of the akwarazim when the akwarazim's turn begins, takes 1 pt of negative energy damage, and the akwarazim heals 1 hitpoint.

Cloak of Flames (Su):  Any creature striking the akwarazim takes 2d6 points of fire damage.  Anything within 5' of the akwarazim, ditto.  Things burst into flame near the akwarazim, and water boils.  The akwarazim's attacks do an extra 1d6 fire damage.

Aura of Fear (Ex):  Any creature that meets the akwarazim's gaze must make an immediate DC 17 Will save or become Panicked for 1d4 rounds.  If you succeed on this save, you are still Shaken for 1d4 rounds.  Multiple uses of this Gaze attack stack, and you do not become immune to it after succeeding on a save.

Subjective Gravity (Su):  The akwarazim can decide which direction is 'down' for it at any time during it's action as a free action.  As falling is a free action, it can potentially get free movement out of this ability.  It also always lands on it's feet if it falls in a direction.  This ability counters and dispels any ability which would suspend the akwarazim in midair or forcefully change the way gravity affects it.

Bone Blade (Ex):  At any time the akwarazim may remove any of it's bones from inside it's rotting body, and use them as if they were a +1 Bone Greatsword of Blood Draining.  In all other hands, they remain regular bones.

Ignore the Weak (Su):  If an enemy has a strength score of less than 14, if they use a spell or ability or attack that in some way affects an akwarazim, the akwarazim may choose to attempt to ignore it.  There is a 50% chance that they successfully do so.

Danse Macabre (Ex):  As a full-round action, all corpses within 100' of the akwarazim animate as zombies.  They obey the akwarazim's orders to the best of their abilities, but de-animate relatively quickly (10 rounds).  As the akwarazim are insane, they usually don't stockpile awesome corpses to turn into zombies if they are attacked.  Also, the ability will not animate more than 88 HD of corpses.

SLAs:  at will/ darkness, unhallow, planeshift  3/day deeper darkness, desecrate, meld with stone  1/day  dimension door, tidal surge(comes with free compulsory random planeshift)




This is a single monster that would challenge and terrify your PC's.  I just came up with it in about ten minutes.  With a big encounter, with BFC, damage, blockers.. all that good shit.. you should have no trouble making stuff that challenges your PCs.  Even if they all have leadership.  Even if their feats and gear are way more optimised than their classes/races.


Also, by the way?  Spot gets a -1 for each ten feet away from the hidden thing.  And you don't get a cleave for popping a mirror image.  You didn't actually hit anything.  You whiffed air.

EDIT:  Also, saying yes to leadership once ! = saying yes to leadership forever.  'No, I liked bob's idea, it was really flavoursome, but now the party is bigger and you just want a second character to buff your fighter..so... no.'

As an example of the kind of big encounter i'm talking about, how about this;

Hobgoblin fighter 4's riding giant flyby attack eagles in a massive cavern covered in sinkhole/geysers that shoot steam on a random rotation (DC 25 int check to work it out and be able to tell what's going to go off next) with a strike team of tower shield/full plate wearing salamander nobility using molotov cocktails and flaming spears and iron nets to slow down the PCs, massed ranks of hobgoblin archers using ranged net volleys and catapults (reflex DC = artillery commander's profession: siege engineer check.. crank that motherfucker) firing rains of sulphur and caltrops and ball bearings... have batteries of volleying hobgoblin archers with marshals and bards buffing them, and then when they break through to the ranged have a couple of armoured elephants come bursting in through big doors and start trampling shit while guys on their backs hurl tanglefoot bags around.  For doubleplusfun, throw in a shaman with BFC spells and to make places difficult terrain.


Go for some old DnD classics like endless hordes of spawning undead, or deadly trap-rooms... hell, if you're feeling vindictive, get out grimtooth's...
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 01:08:13 AM by Rejakor »

kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2011, 12:59:33 AM »
The problem with killing the characters is that these are the dream characters that they've always wanted. However, they're not all stupid enough to think that they're invincible and will be able to play their characters until the end of the game. I'd like that to happen for the story, but even I can't promise that. True Resurrection scrolls might be a something that can be bought, and used. Maybe kill them off, then have some of their stuff sold to pay for the scrolls.

I'd rather just not give them cohorts than kill them off. See, the people that want them are the people who spend every single waking moment making sure their character is absolute perfection. The paladin has +13 to all of his saves because he has a Charisma of 24. It took him a bit to work out the numbers and get that kind of save for all of them. I don't even know if he does actual work at his job since joining the group.

The item says "The wearer of a ring of warning does not suffer any drawbacks when attacked by an invisible foe in melee (or when attacked by anyone while the ring’s wearer is blinded). The wearer does not lose his Dexterity bonus to AC against such attacks, and the attacker does not gain a +2 to attacks for being invisible." So that would probably mean only the warlock can't be caught flat-footed (can not be surprised and has +2 initiative).

Earth elementals are an idea. I was wracking my brain last night trying to think of something that could burrow like a tremors creature. Get them from underneath.

One thing that I might do, and it's something I'm stealing from my Friday DM, is get all the bad guys that have been taken on by the group band together and have all the survivors take them on. Granted they've already got an alliance going to resurrect what was originally thought to be a fallen god, but is actually a trapped god of evil (it was the very creator of evil itself). However, the party's been getting involved and stopping them, even accidentally.

To quote "The Light" from Young Justice and Goldfinger, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. But three times is enemy action."

EDIT: Who, or what the heck is that thing? Is that thing 100% homebrew?
And yes, Cleave does affect Mirror Image. I asked in Simple Questions, and got a Sage quote who said it does.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 01:02:37 AM by kevin_video »
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Rejakor

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2011, 01:10:48 AM »
Cleave attacks do effect mirror images.  Mirror images don't give cleave attacks.

You could houserule them to do so, but raw they don't.


EDIT:  And yes, that's homebrew.  That I just made.  In retrospect, probably a tad too strong for your party... I was taking you a your word that they were uber for their class/race/level, but in retrospect they're probably not uber by my standards.  And would probably get slaughtered, instead of just taking casualties and having to flee, which was the idea.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 01:12:54 AM by Rejakor »

kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2011, 01:14:41 AM »
Cleave attacks do effect mirror images.  Mirror images don't give cleave attacks.

You could houserule them to do so, but raw they don't.
Sorry, but Sage disagrees with that in Dragon 312.

Quote
For all intents and purposes, the figments from a foe's mirror image spell are your foes. You aim your spells and your attacks at the figments just as though they were real creatures. Any spell you can aim at a creature you can aim at an image. When you use a spell that allows you to select multiple creatures as targets, such as magic missile, you can choose multiple images as targets.
If you have the Cleave or Great Cleave feat, destroying an image with a melee attack triggers the feat (and your cleaving attack might well strike the spell user instead of another image). Likewise, you can use Whirlwind Attack to strike at any image you can reach. A Whirlwind Attack almost certainly will allow you to strike once at the spell user.
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Rejakor

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2011, 01:32:24 AM »
That is so people who get confused and go BUT YOUR MAGIC MISSILE CAN'T TARGET MIRROR IMAGES OMG THEY AREN'T PEOPLE AND IT TARGETS PEOPLE would have something simple and dumb to stick in their craw and be wrong about.

If someone makes an illusion of a hobgoblin with silent image and you shoot it with magic missiles, you don't to activate a prestige class ability that goes off when you kill something with a spell.  You shot an illusion.  That's it.  Exactly the same with mirror image.  They are figments.  They are not foes.  They are not creatures, even if you can't tell if they are or not.

Again, not the first time the sage has simplified, changed, or just plain gotten it wrong.  I prefer the version of the rules where a spade is a spade, you can shoot your magic missile at something that isn't a 'foe', and an illusion is an illusion, not some kind of pseudo-enemy.

kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2011, 01:34:56 AM »
The problem is that a mirror image has an AC. If it has an AC, cleave's supposed to work. Think of it as a minion with no power, and 1 hp. If you fail to hit the AC, you miss the image. A silent image has no AC at all. Unless you roll a nat 1, you can't miss hitting the image.
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veekie

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2011, 01:45:17 AM »
I doubt a high power single foe would do much other than randomly kill one or two of them before getting beaten to death.

You want an encounter comprised of about 10 or so CR 8s to give them a challenge, and 1/4 of those should be casters of various sorts. Just try that on for size.
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kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2011, 01:51:46 AM »
I doubt a high power single foe would do much other than randomly kill one or two of them before getting beaten to death.

You want an encounter comprised of about 10 or so CR 8s to give them a challenge, and 1/4 of those should be casters of various sorts. Just try that on for size.
The new updated council of wrath is going to be a CR 8, four CR 7s, and one CR 6. They all have PC wealth, and they make their own items so they can pack on more gear.
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Rejakor

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2011, 02:31:13 AM »
@ veekie ; The hellknight above is an example of a character designed to scare the ever-loving shit out of the party and make them run away without killing more than a few of them.  Given it's raw stats and options, how exactly would kevin-video's party kill it?  Especially if he did something nasty like have them stumble on it in the middle of a charnel house or something, so it can get some use out of danse macabre.

EDIT:  Mirror image and AC.  Mirror image doesn't have an AC.  The guy who cast mirror image has an AC.  If you don't hit his AC, your sword doesn't whiff through his mirror image, so you don't make it go pop.  It doesn't have HP.  It's not a separate creature.  It can't 'die' or be reduced to 0 or less hitpoints.  It is an illusion.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 02:32:58 AM by Rejakor »

kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2011, 02:59:12 AM »
EDIT:  Mirror image and AC.  Mirror image doesn't have an AC.  The guy who cast mirror image has an AC.  If you don't hit his AC, your sword doesn't whiff through his mirror image, so you don't make it go pop.  It doesn't have HP.  It's not a separate creature.  It can't 'die' or be reduced to 0 or less hitpoints.  It is an illusion.
Read the spell again. An image’s AC is 10 + your size modifier + your Dex modifier.

Regardless, I've accepted what the Sage says, the players know this. It was them who brought it up in the first place, so I asked, and it was this site that told me confirmed it.
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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2011, 05:25:01 AM »
Earth elementals are an idea. I was wracking my brain last night trying to think of something that could burrow like a tremors creature. Get them from underneath.
Badgers do. And they leave messy tunnels behind them (and can make stuff collapsing by digging since they leave holes instead of just swimming through).
Stack LOADS of templates, possibly something that doesn't change too much the apperance so they look like normal badgers, and advance them a bit, let's say to CR 7, and put 2 or 3 of them for each character.
Then as soon as they are in some sort of tunnel have them dig everywhere and collapse the exit behind them without attacking the characters or anything, just enough that they have utterly no clue where's the exit and noone of your characters has teleport it seems :P
Let them get lost in 5ft tall badger holes, crawling inside trying to find an exit (that doesn't exist), trapped inside with only (mildly poisonous) mushrooms to eat. And if they get separated or try to sleep attack them with the badgers! 
When they are done just open an exit somehow, for example a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE worm of some kind might start clearing the corpses ignoring the PC while there are still corpses. (no need really to stat him, just make him big enough that it scares players away... if they attack him they deserve to die, so grab the purple worm stats and use those) Following the hole the worm made could lead the characters outside or wherever you want them to go :P

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kevin_video

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2011, 05:30:24 AM »
The underground beast I chose for this upcoming game ended up being an advanced bulette. I've got the mini, and they've got very little healing left. The last fight drained them personally, but they still have wands and potions. There's going to be traps in the forest waiting for them, as well as two goblin mobs and the hobgoblin leader that'll come attack them at night.
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Tenebrus

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2011, 06:21:39 AM »
The others are far better at this than me, but my .02.

NEVER forget that you are the one who put this entertainment product together.  Mirror Image, Leadership, et al, are suggestions for the DM, and all rules live and die at the DM's sufferance.  You have 2 different readings on Mirror Image; you've done your due diligence, now pick the answer that serves your game.  I also agree that the Leadership thing is totally out and love the assassins' guild sending a message approach.  And I also agree that it's time to start trimming items.  Destroy, steal, rend, etc.  I see a Bebilith in their future.

From what you describe, you'd better make that an advanced bullette and maybe 4 more regular ones, all being controlled by a Druid or Archivist who can lob spells while his meatpiles attack.  If they go into the tunnels, then attack with Kobolds and listen to players explain how they use their greatsword or evasion in a 30 inch wide hole.  Another idea might be getting duplicates of them from the Shadow Plane to fight themselves or ye ol' trusty Mirror of Opposition. 

You can also announce that this campaign will end in X sessions, after they defeat the BBEG.  Then, lessons learned, the rebooted campaign might be more fun and challenging with a tighter hand on their powers and progression.  If you need to sell it to them, have 1 or more of them DM 1 shots so they can understand how insanely hard it is to build challenging adventurers for them.

Mooncrow

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2011, 07:09:35 AM »
From what you describe, you'd better make that an advanced bullette and maybe 4 more regular ones, all being controlled by a Druid or Archivist who can lob spells while his meatpiles attack.  If they go into the tunnels, then attack with Kobolds and listen to players explain how they use their greatsword or evasion in a 30 inch wide hole.  Another idea might be getting duplicates of them from the Shadow Plane to fight themselves or ye ol' trusty Mirror of Opposition. 


A druid using Aspect of the Earth HunterSpC to mix in with the bulettes for even more fun.  Have him take Rashemi Elemental Summoning and summon in some Thomil-templated earth elementals for more pop-up ambush strength. 

And I agree with several other posters; sunder the shit out of their gear.  I would normally never advocate that, but if the group really wants to live outside their WBL, then there must be a risk to losing items on a regular basis. 

veekie

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2011, 08:34:03 AM »
Earth elementals are an idea. I was wracking my brain last night trying to think of something that could burrow like a tremors creature. Get them from underneath.
Badgers do. And they leave messy tunnels behind them (and can make stuff collapsing by digging since they leave holes instead of just swimming through).
Stack LOADS of templates, possibly something that doesn't change too much the apperance so they look like normal badgers, and advance them a bit, let's say to CR 7, and put 2 or 3 of them for each character.
Then as soon as they are in some sort of tunnel have them dig everywhere and collapse the exit behind them without attacking the characters or anything, just enough that they have utterly no clue where's the exit and noone of your characters has teleport it seems :P
Let them get lost in 5ft tall badger holes, crawling inside trying to find an exit (that doesn't exist), trapped inside with only (mildly poisonous) mushrooms to eat. And if they get separated or try to sleep attack them with the badgers! 
When they are done just open an exit somehow, for example a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE worm of some kind might start clearing the corpses ignoring the PC while there are still corpses. (no need really to stat him, just make him big enough that it scares players away... if they attack him they deserve to die, so grab the purple worm stats and use those) Following the hole the worm made could lead the characters outside or wherever you want them to go :P


Project Doombadger could be a good thing. Especially if you have multiple of them acting on the same init and alternating their attack patterns(Fast Healing and Regeneration for example, plus say, two out of four spending every other round recovering health while a different pair  attacks).

Throw in a shockwave special ability(ref save vs trip) for the ones recovering to use and you have a really entertaining(and frustrating time)
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[/spoiler]

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2011, 09:28:21 AM »
A note on CR and EL: An encounter with EL 10 is only supposed to challenge them enough to use up 20% of their resources. DMG assumes you put four of those in a row without rest breaks. A troop of six Skullcrusher Ogres (with nice feat selection), followed by three Spectres (ambush scenario), followed by an adventuring band (Sorcerer, Cleric or Druid, Warblade and Crusader, all 6th level; well-prepared), followed by a Conjurer 5/Malconvoker 5 (pre-buffed, with a summons or two ready) - that's supposed to be a regular adventuring day, nothing too exciting.
If you really want to mix it up, EL 14 isn't out of their supposed league. A Rakshasa Sorcerer 3 (casts as a Sorc10), accompanied by two Bebiliths sounds like a nice bossfight to me. Or you can exchange the two Bebiliths for three Juvenile Blue Dragons and two Medusas, for a little bit of extra fun.
[side note: All in all, I think even low-save DC area effects are a nice thing to use against such a large group of PCs. Especially if it's a scary save-or-die like the Medusa's gaze attack. If enough saves need to be rolled, someone will fumble once in a while]

So even just using basic CR calculations results in some pretty scary fights. Now think about optimizing the crap out of NPC foes (ToB instead of core classes for melee helps; lots of casters helps; good feat selection etc. helps; a single level of an NPC class doesn't cost CR) and monster encounters (non-associated class levels for monsters help a lot; some templates like Mineral Warrior or Feral are ridiculously underpriced; a single piece of gear can make the difference, like a white dragon with a fire resistance item).
Finally, think about environments. Look to split up the group, look to make the terrain difficult for the PCs (hampering their mobility), but easy to navigate for the enemies. A long, narrow hallway in which you have to fight a bunch of Spectres coming out of the walls is much, much scarier than a big open arena - so why not make it even narrower, so it's a tight squeeze? A lava-filled cavern in which fire creatures lurk gives them a home turf advantage: they can just dodge inside the lava to heal or buff up, while the PCs waste resources on fire resistance. Etc.

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2011, 10:44:39 AM »
I'll have the random encounter (bulette, or scythe tree, or a living spell ooze, or whatever comes up on the list I just made) to weaken them a bit, and then I'm going to unleash a murder of crows swarm that I just found in a gaming magazine. It's only a CR 6, but that should be more than enough to take them on in their weakened condition. And even if it's not, there's still the two goblin mobs and their hobgoblin captain to contend with that night. This will give me three encounters for the first day, and four encounters for the second.

EDIT: Well I just got an interesting little e-mail. Three of them are buying amulets of huge monstrous vermin. Extra creatures to soak up damage when they're facing off against their BBEG. They're going to pay double for them so that they'll get extra times per day. Even if I don't allow it, they'll just buy extras. The scorpion and spider are the main ones they're getting. Guess I know what I'm giving my BBEG to compensate.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:00:44 AM by kevin_video »
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veekie

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2011, 12:04:38 PM »
Ranged attacks?
Don't go through, go around!
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

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PhaedrusXY

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Re: Need Help with Powerful PCs
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2011, 03:55:28 PM »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]