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20th Level Pathfinder

   
20th Level Pathfinder

I am soon to be running a 20th level campaign for the Pathfinder RPG system.
I believe I am using 20point build and normal starting wealth for the characters.

The players are well rounded, have covered most of the bases with the roles etc.

However, what I am considering is a demon Abyss and Hell crawl with the intention of sealing the World Wound.

The question really comes down to how to make encounters still challenging without having this idea of throwing a balor lord at them with every encounter. After all, yes there might be a hell of a lot of Balors, but surely they wouldn't be around every single corner.

I am also going to be requiring the crafting feats to a degree to travel from one level to another, because of the idea given to me from Abhorsen and its predecessors about how bells when used in sequence can provide magic (assuming the bells are magical in nature.

Basically I need a little help on this one, because despite knowing where I wish to run this, I am running out of ideas how to maintain interest beyond abut session 2 when they see their 3000th demon.

Cheers in advance,

Jestem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jestem View Post
I am soon to be running a 20th level campaign for the Pathfinder RPG system.
I believe I am using 20point build and normal starting wealth for the characters.

The players are well rounded, have covered most of the bases with the roles etc.

However, what I am considering is a demon Abyss and Hell crawl with the intention of sealing the World Wound.

The question really comes down to how to make encounters still challenging without having this idea of throwing a balor lord at them with every encounter. After all, yes there might be a hell of a lot of Balors, but surely they wouldn't be around every single corner.

I am also going to be requiring the crafting feats to a degree to travel from one level to another, because of the idea given to me from Abhorsen and its predecessors about how bells when used in sequence can provide magic (assuming the bells are magical in nature.

Basically I need a little help on this one, because despite knowing where I wish to run this, I am running out of ideas how to maintain interest beyond abut session 2 when they see their 3000th demon.

Cheers in advance,

Jestem
Hmm ... You might want to grab Elder Evils and throw them through the Zargon adventure. Since it's a 3.5 D&D supplement, it should be easy enough to convert for Pathfinder, plus it might be easy enough to convert the story to have Zargon seal the world wound.

Personally? I'd suggest taking the time to create a few different stat blocks for various demons with character levels added. This allows you to throw regular demons at the party, not just Balor's, and have them be challenged. These enhanced demons are just the nobility of hell, not true Lords, but still a cut above. Just make sure you have them written down, so it's not a heap of work every time you want to send in another monster.

Oh, and don't be afraid to throw a few Solars and their ilk at them; Fallen Angels make great mid-bosses, and can really catch players off guard.

there is a lot of information on the abyss and nine hells in 3.5 edition. i would suggest doing some research there and i personally back the idea of modified demons and devils as lesser lords. They can come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of special abilities just like the Lords of the Nine. They're weaker of course but still pack a punch. I have been in and ran devil campaigns before so i've done a fair amount of tweaking to devils to make them interesting. Unfortunately i lost all my info in a computer crash or i'd just straight share it with you. Good luck with it.

I would suggest looking into these books from 3.5 which all should convert well to pathfinder; The book of challenges (Thrice Damned in particular); Book of vile darkness pretty much anything from this book is guaranteed to make good players squirm in torment or evil cackle with joy; Elder Evils as I think was mentioned Zargon; Fiendish Codex I and II you might want to focus on II as it concerns more of the 9 Hells and contains lots of information and lots of different monsters from the hells; Manual of the Planes p.111-123 contains good details about the Gehenna (the world that borders close to the 9 Hells and the 9 Hells); Epic Level Handbook if you are needing to still give your players a challenge; DM Guide I and II also contain a bounty of information about how to set up challenging encounters for lvl 20 characters and how the 9 Hells work; fore more devils to throw at players fiendish codex, MMII p.67-69, and MM V p,30-32

Also remember it doesn't just have to be one monster a group of 5 CR15 monsters can sometimes be just as if not more challenging then one superpowerful Balor

I'm having almost the same issue. I am thinking of starting a new ongoing game based on the Test of the Starstone, and I need encounters, riddles, puzzles etc that would be geared towards a single player.

Anyone have any useful tips for me?

Thanks
Koral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphiel1 View Post
I would suggest looking into these books from 3.5 which all should convert well to pathfinder; The book of challenges (Thrice Damned in particular); Book of vile darkness pretty much anything from this book is guaranteed to make good players squirm in torment or evil cackle with joy; Elder Evils as I think was mentioned Zargon; Fiendish Codex I and II you might want to focus on II as it concerns more of the 9 Hells and contains lots of information and lots of different monsters from the hells; Manual of the Planes p.111-123 contains good details about the Gehenna (the world that borders close to the 9 Hells and the 9 Hells); Epic Level Handbook if you are needing to still give your players a challenge; DM Guide I and II also contain a bounty of information about how to set up challenging encounters for lvl 20 characters and how the 9 Hells work; fore more devils to throw at players fiendish codex, MMII p.67-69, and MM V p,30-32

Also remember it doesn't just have to be one monster a group of 5 CR15 monsters can sometimes be just as if not more challenging then one superpowerful Balor
Group of Vrock lead by a Vrock Ranger with things like favored enemy (humanoid) or something similar. Marilith with levels in Wizard or Archmage. Have a Rogue Devil with levels in Monk. Coloxus with levels in Rogue or Assassin. All sorts of ways to make things interesting.

templates my friend templates, have a necromancer deamon with a s**t ton of strange undead coming at them with templates and maybe even class lvls

Instead of just having them fight things, put them through some weirder scenarios. Would demons necessarily attack them on sight? Maybe. But presumably these creatures do have some sort of social structure or they'd all be dead by now. Why not have them happen upon, I don't know, a demonic marketplace? Or a... tavern? Something with a semblance of normality... only everything's fiendish. These things might be ready to start a fight on a hair trigger, but maybe they want to outdo the party for their own ends. Quasits and things aren't going to attack them, but they might try and trick them or pick-pocket them, for example.

Also, how about something not a demon? Other things could have travelled or ended up there somehow. Maybe they even want to escape? A banished monster which would normally be considered evil (like some kind of cool aberration or something) might want to team up with them to try and get back to its home plane. Now, do they bargain with something unsavoury, or are they happy to have even a single ally in this gods-forsaken place?

etc. etc.

I'd approach such high level combat encounters in Pathfinder (or 3.5) with a "well, it works if it works" attitude. Thing is, the system math can be a little wonky past the early teen levels, so you might end up with encounters that end in round 1, or encounters where a PC dies in round 1. A lot of it depends on how optimized the party is and what classes they have.

I'd personally run a pretty low number of fights for a game like that. Like TheFred said, I'd try feature other types of encounters -- social stuff, important decisions with wide-ranging effects, strange and weird locales, etc.

Also, if the party has characters capable of casting high-level utility and traveling spells, remember that obstacles that hinder lower level characters are nothing to level 20 folk. They can be almost anywhere they want in the blink of an eye. They can know almost anything. They might be able to create almost anything. In those cases, you might be tempted to rule that "it doesn't work because of a special defense" or something along those lines, but I would try to minimize that as much as I could so that the PCs' abilities wouldn't feel useless.




 

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