The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 39: Mild Annoyances From Above!
Updated: Jul 20
Allow me to take this moment to gripe about the challenge rating system in pathfinder. First, I've seen monsters that would kill parties even though they had CR: boring fight. Secondly it does a lousy job of scaling up for larger amounts of enemies. Here's what I mean.
At our stopping point last week the group had just managed to roll an encounter with a group of Irlgaunts (read: In Real Life Gaunts). Now if you don't know what these things are, then count your blessings. They are literally made from nightmares.
Seriously, don't google an image of them. You'll regret it.
What did I just say? Well, I warned you. Enjoy the nightmares. (Okay yes, I knew you'd google it. Think I'm going to be the only one?)
Now where was I? Ah yes, the fight. When determining just how many of the nightmarish bastards the group would have to fight they rolled a grand total of 11. Eleven scuttling horrors. Now according to the Gamemastering section on the Paizo website that would be an added 7 to their CR of 13. That's a total of 20 for those of you suffering from Common Core. The group is down to 4 characters, with an average party level of 15. By my own rules I then added 1 to their APL because they were using hero points. I added another point because they were using the gestalt multiclassing system. Oh, and technically Thibbledorf counts as one so we'll add a third point to their APL for having a large party. That's a total of APL 18 (mostly from my own modifiers) against a CR 20 fight.
According to Paizo that should be a hard fight. Think evacuating Hoth vs fighting your way out of a trap on Endor. But was it?
Hell no. I had those crab things scuttle at the group along the walls, ceiling, and floor. They surrounded the group. And . . . that's about all that can be said for them. They almost never hit their targets. A couple of times they did hit each other. The best that could be said was that their gastrolith splash damage hit. Too bad most of the crew either have resistance or are just flat out immune to acid.
And of course, the first thing the gnome did was cast fly and rain pointy bludgeoning death from above. I even had two gaunts scuttle across the ceiling and drop on him. The fucker made the reflex save. Both times. And I set it at DC 25! But, on the plus he was hovering over an ally both times, meaning they got landed on by . . . well, that.
And that's about all that happened. One of the gaunts escaped. The rest were . . . you know what; I don't want to talk about it anymore.
They did find a train station complete with one whole repairable part. Yippee!
They also came across a tribe of Lava Childs (Children? Childrens?). The group made their knowledge checks by a healthy margin and discovered that no matter how unsettling these things were they weren't much of a threat. Then they took a look at the their immunities and began cursing me. Well, in their heads anyways.
How do I know that? I'm a DM; it sets off our danger sense when our players wish us harm.
Recognizing this as an insanely long fight the group decided that diplomacy was the better part of valor. Paladin, front and center! It went something like this:
Zornesk: May we pass. Tribe: (shrugs) yeah sure.
Damn his diplomacy checks anyways.