View Full Version : [4E] - Kythons

2008-06-23, 02:52 PM
I've just started running a new 4th Ed game for my regular group, and I want to pull out something a little different from normal. A few of my players are rather notorious for metagame knowledge, even if they do it without really thinking about it - so I'm looking to convert an old favourite of mine to the new edition (to use until some official alternative is released, of course) so that none of my players inadvertantly start studying statblocks.

The Kythons were a nasty breed of creatures from 3.X's BoVD, and I've been wanting to use them in a game for ages. Now I have several rather nasty plot twists in store for my players in the future, but I'm intending on matching them up against an infestation of these evil critters to keep them occupied whilst the world quite literally 'goes to hell' around them.

I'm looking for any input, suggestions and the like to help me balance these out. This being the first homebrew material I've come up with for 4E so far, it'd be nice to hear what the playgrounders have to think about the new-and-improved monster creation rules from the DMG. My interpretation has been very much liberal in some places (though I've done my best to compare to existing creatures from the MM to get a feel for the balance).

The Slaughterking, Impalers and Slaymaster are still in the works, but it'll be a while before I throw any of those at my group anyway.

Any thoughts and suggestions welcome. I'm looking to balance them over a range of levels to keep my group interested (and challenged) for a while.


Broodlings, Level 3 minion (38xp)
Small Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +4
Senses: Perception +3, Blindsight 12 (60ft), Blind
HP: 1, a missed attack never deals damage
AC: 17
Fort: 14, Ref: 14, Will: 14
Speed: 6 (30ft)

Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Attack (Bite) (Standard, At-will) *poison
- +6 vs Fort, 4 damage and ongoing 2 poison damage (save ends)

Str 13 (+1), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 7 (-2), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 8 (-1)

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal (Understand only)

Juvenile, Level 4 soldier (160xp)
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +6
Senses: Perception +3, Blindsight 12, Blind
HP: 54 Bloodied: 27
AC: 20
Fort: 16, Ref: 16, Will: 15
Speed: 6

Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and electricity

Attack (Claw) (Standard, at-will) *poison
- +11 vs AC, 1d8+2 damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends)

Frenzy (standard, at-will) *poison
- The Juvenile Kython makes two claw attacks. If both attacks hit, it makes a secondary attack with its bite (+9) vs fortitude against the same target. A target hit by the secondary attack is weakened and slowed (save ends both)

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal

Str 15 (+4), Dex 15 (+4), Con 14 (+4), Int 10 (+2), Wis 13 (+3), Cha 9 (+1)

Adult (Soldier), Level 8 soldier (350xp)
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +8
Senses: Perception +4, Blindsight 15, Blind
HP: 88 Bloodied: 44
AC: 24
Fort: 21, Reflex: 20, Will: 20
Speed: 6
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Attack (Claw) (Standard, at-will) *poison
- +13 vs AC, 2d6+3 damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends)

Frenzy (standard, at-will) *poison
- The Adult Kython makes two claw attacks. If both attacks hit, it makes a secondary attack with its bite (+11) vs fortitude against the same target. A target hit by the secondary attack is stunned (save ends)


Acid Spitter (standard, recharge 6) *Acid
- Close Burst 5, 1 Target in affected area, +12 vs reflex, 3d10+5 acid, half damage on a miss

Boneshard Crossbow (standard, at-will) *Poison
- Ranged 20, +13 vs AC, 1d8+5. On hit, secondary attack (+11 vs fort) affected target is stunned (save ends)

Extra Armour
- Fort and AC defences increased by 3

Mouth Launcher (standard, recharge 5-6) *Poison
- +13 vs AC, 1d8+5, ongoing 5 damage and the target is restrained (save ends both). While the target is restrained, the Adult cannot gain the benefit of its secondary bite attack.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal

Str 17 (+7), Dex 15 (+6), Con 16 (+7), Int 10 (+4), Wis 14 (+6), Cha 11 (+4)

Adult (Brute), Level 8 Elite Brute (700xp)
Large Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +6
Senses: Perception +3, Blindsight 15, Blind
HP: 240 Bloodied: 120
AC: 22
Fort: 25, Reflex: 21, Will: 20
Speed: 6
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Claw) (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- +12 vs AC, 2d8+5, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends)

Ground Pound (Standard, Encounter)
- +Close burst 3, +9 vs reflex, Hit: 3d6+5 damage and the target is stunned and knocked prone (Save ends stun). Miss: Half damage only.

Kython Fury (When first bloodied in encounter)
- The Kython's Ground Pound power recharges and may be used immediately

Piercing Fangs (Minor, At-will)
- +12 vs AC, 2d8+5. On hit, secondary attack (+9 vs Fort) that Dazes and Slows the target on a hit (Save ends both). Can only be used once per round.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal

Str 25 (+11), Dex 13 (+5), Con 20 (+9), Int 10 (+4), Wis 14 (+6), Cha 11 (+4)

Much appreciated,

2008-06-23, 11:36 PM
I'm a long time lurker and rare poster on these forums, but I for one greatly appreciate someone statting out Kython's for 4e. I've been planning on using them for my next campaign as the main villains and so was going to do it myself sometime in the near future. I've only looked at you Minion so far but it seems good, it's on par with the Hobgoblin Grunt, another Level 3 Minon; trading the Hobgoblins's special abilities for the Blindsight and poison continual damage. You may however want to add the Blind keyword to all of the Kython's. If I recall the fact none of them could sense other than their Blindsight was an important characteristic, which to appear to be following. I'll go over the other's tomorrow but at a glance the do appear to keep with the Kython ideas. Additionally, I would be interested in hearing how you plan to use them in your game as well as sharing my plans for them, if you would be so inclined. In any case I'm glad to see someone else planning dastardly uses for Kythons and look forward to any more you care to share.

2008-06-24, 03:59 AM
Ah, yes, you're right. I missed that one out - I'll update the blocks with the blind keyword.

Otherwise, I'm glad you liked them. I did indeed balance the minion against the hobgoblin. The larger versions are the ones I'm a little less sure about with respect to balance - but, again, any feedback is great. Once I have the rest of them more-or-less set in stone I'll get on with the Impalers, Slaughterking and Slaymaster.

As for the campaign itself...

My group (Led by a zealous Cleric of Bahamut) have taken root in a medium size town (think similar to Fallcrest, from the back of the DMG) and taken on a few minor jobs to help rid the countryside and farmlands around the town of its resident pest problems. Being only level 2 at the moment, they have yet to come up against anything much worse than bandits and kobolds - but I have some more devious plans in mind.

Unbeknownst to them, the BBEG's big-bad-evil plan is already well underway. In a part from normal fantasy games, the players will have little chance to actually stop the completion of this plan - so in that sense they'll have a lot of vaguely-apocalyptic themes to deal with at higher level (and attempt to try and restore the world to its rightful self).

More importantly, though - Mr BBEG's plan is being carried out deep in the bowels of the earth. Due to the infernal nature of his plot, the energies have riled up some of the locals - some preserved Kython eggs that have been in a sort of stasis under the earth for a long time.

Whilst all of this is going on in the background - it'll soon become apparent to the PCs that something is rather seriously wrong. For example, they might be hunting down a group of bandits, and find the unfortunates horribly slaughtered at their campsite - with no indication of who, or what, could have done such a thing. As time goes on, occurances of someone 'beating them to the scene of the crime' become more common - and eventually they'll be hit closer to home. People in the town start to go missing, and the PCs, as local heroes, are called in to investigate.

It'll turn out eventually that the Kython's new 'Nest' is right beneath the town. I'm not yet sure exactly how the PCs will try to deal with them - but the Kythons will be more interested in self preservation than war (and might be pursuaded, carefully, to go elsewhere). There's definitely the possibility for a sort of siege from underground against the walled city (making the walls into a trap for the populace, rather than protection).

But, when its all over, I'm hoping that the PCs will be able to say 'so what riled them up in the first place?', especially if they managed to communicate and learned about the Kythons. If anything, they might even find that the Kythons are quite willing to move on, because the beasts know what is coming - Investigation of the nest will eventually lead them deep into the earth, and into first contact with the BBEG (just in time to witness the fruition of his plan, and the beginnings of hell on earth - as he opens gates to the abyss and calls about an apocalypse). They won't be strong enough to stop him at the time, but I'm hoping to stir up a little compassion for the preservation of man/dwarf/elf-kind in the face of overwhelming odds. They will grow strong enough to reverse the process eventually, but not before the BBEG pretty much takes over.

2008-06-24, 01:22 PM
Here's another addition to join the ranks:

Impaler, Level 10 Lurker (500xp)
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +9
Senses: Perception +8, Blindsight 15, Blind
HP: 83 Bloodied: 41
AC: 24
Fort: 22, Reflex: 24, Will: 22
Speed: 8
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Attack (Claw) (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- +15 vs AC, 3d6+5, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends)

Ambush (Standard, at-will, requires Combat Advantage) *Poison
- Requires Combat Advantage, +15 vs AC, 4d8+5, and target is dazed (save ends)

Abyssal Assassin (Minor Once/round, At-will)
- The Kython Impaler immediately shifts up to 2 squares.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills: Stealth +15, Athletics +14

Str 18 (+9), Dex 20 (+10), Con 17 (+8), Int 12 (+6), Wis 15 (+7), Cha 15 (+7)

2008-06-24, 09:35 PM
Ok, looking at the Juvenile it seems largely ok. I'm comparing it against the Visejaw crocodile. It's powerful claws and follow up bite give it good damage and an ability to hold enemies near it, which is good for a soldier. However the to hit on the claws and the damage dice were bigger than and of the other level 4 Soldiers in the book. I would think about lowering the damage die and increasing the poison. This will still allow them to do substantial damage but drag it out, giving the PC's a chance to save or heal.

Again the adult soldier seems to have a higher to hit and damage than any other level 8 soldier. Two of them, the Angle of Valor and the Shadar-Kai Warrior both make two attacks, and the Kython deals a lot more damage and has +3 higher to hit. I think those attacks are far to good. The other stats seem fine, and I still like the frenzy and bite system.

I really like the weapons. I would lower the on the Acid Spitter and make it Close instead of Ranged. It won't provoke attacks of opportunity then, but it's use is also more limited. In order to make a Close attack attack a single target you need to list it as Close Burst 5, Attack one target in burst, so it's essentially Rang5 without the Opportunity Attack. I also might bump it to a 6 recharge or just Encounter, it does a lot of damage.

I missed it earlier, but the resistances these guys have are very dangerous. Thunder, Psychic, Necrotic, and Radiant still do full damage to them, unless I'm mistaken, but their resistances will severely cripple Wizards; most of whose damage is elemental. That may be too powerful, you might cut some of those down or out entirely.

That only gets worse for the Elite Brute Adult, who as 28 more HP and 5 more Fort than the Owlbear I'm comparing it to. The Kython's damage dice are higher and it has poison, but it only gets one attack for the Owlbear's two. I like the Ground Pound and that it recharges. However, it's got bigger range and additionally knocks down and does damage over the Owlbear's Screetch, which seems a tad much. The bite seems pretty good, but the secondary attack is only at +9 vs Fort, so it is powerful but will hit less often. I understand I'm hewing really close to the sample monster's I'm choosing, but I don't know what else to compare them to.

If I compare the Impailer to the Dark Stalker I'd say your trading damage with normal attacks for initiative and escape ability. But I can't see giving the Impailer darkness or invisibility powers, so I think this is good. A brute forces assassin, the first hit needs to do it. I would also make the Impailer trained in Athletics, for climbing. If not giving it a climb speed.

Otherwise I think these are really good, very flavorful and in keeping with the Kythons for what I can see.

Now I'll return the favor and explain what I've got in store for them. When I found them I immediately decided that they would be my big bad. The Slaymasters and Slaughterkings are genius intellects, so they could be justified in harboring schemes of world or planar domination. I thought maybe they would want to take over the Abyss, where their progenitors are from. Then I though that they were really poorly equipped to do this. None of them could see more than 120", so it would be impossible for them to occupy a city, they didn't have anything but front line troops and assassins. They needed cavalry, flight, aquatic troops, magic users, and more damage types to truly be a viable world attacking force. I thought I would have to scrap them. Then I thought what if the Slaughterkings knew all of this, that their species was not yet equipped for world domination. Well then they would start playing with Kython evolution I thought, trying to make what they don't have. They would seek out Scholars and Alchemists, magical locations and resources; tons of great material for adventures. In other words the campaign would not be to stop the world conquering force it would be to nip it in the bud, halt the Kython's rise to power. So the PCs get to race the Kythons to various locations and people, encounter the new types of Kython and thwarting their endeavors. Eventually they head to the source, attacking the Kython stronghold, or some location the Kython's have occupied, I haven't decided. The big bad then is the Slaughterking Council, which I just thought sounded cool. Throw in a little mutation to each of the Council members so they don't all fight the same, might be a pretty good fight. I also decided if I needed another Kython above Slaughterking I would use Deathemperor. That's the concept as it stands. Thanks again for statting out the Kythons, it's great work. When I homebrew my mutant Kythons to I'll be sure to post them.

2008-06-25, 02:53 AM
Pretty sweet ideas, I have to admit - got me rethinking a little about my campaign with a mind to make the Kythons witting allies of the BBEG; rather than just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The mutation idea seems brilliant if you really want to catch your players unawares.

I'm glad you like the creatures as is, but thanks for the feedback. I agree with you on most counts, especially around adjusting attack damage here and there and sorting out attack bonuses. I think I got my wires crossed a little when I was statting them out, and ended up increasing their attack bonuses/non-AC defences a little extra if they had above-average ability scores. You're right though, that little extra boost isn't really necessary, so I'll rectify that and bring down some of the damages with an eye to have more ongoing/less immediate damage (I'm not trying to murder my PCs... much :smallamused:)

Oh, and the acid spitter seems better as you recommended. I was considering reworking the Mouth Launcher to be more like the restraining effect of the... er... Mezzoloth (?) trident-impaling ability. That way they sort of use it to pin PCs down.

Only thing I wasn't sure about was your comment on resistances. Browsing through the MM (I'm AFB at the moment), it did seem to me that a lot of the crazy immunities and high resistances that had become almost common in 3.5 had been mostly done away with. I went back and looked at the Kython Traits in BoVD, and they were pretty harsh on wizards before (IIRC Immunity to Fire and Acid, and resistance 30 against Ice and Electricity... or something along those lines).

I'll probably knock all the resistances down a step for each incarnation, and see how they fare in-play. I don't want to make any one player completely redundant - but at the same time these guys are supposed to be pretty DAMN nasty!

Again, thanks for the help. Loving the Kython council idea (and can't wait to see what you have in mind for Mutants and the Deathemperor)

2008-06-25, 08:12 AM
On thing I've just realized is that 4e has a really good way to make them mutate mid battle, using Bloodied. It looks and fights like a normal Kython adult until you make it bloodied when it sprouts two more arms and lights on fire. An Elite monster, but they can't tell until they've really made it mad. I can't wait to pull that.

"Oh, we can't theses guys. I do 23 damage to that one."

"Ok, your sword catches his arm at the chitinous plate, ripping it off with a loud tearing noise."


"From the hole sprout two more gore covered arms, pristine vicious claws at the end of each. The gore starts to bubble and smoke on contact with the air, before bursting into flames. The Kython makes a loud screech and swipes at you with it's new appendages."


2008-06-25, 09:13 AM
Now that one is too good to pass up! I think I'll probably take a branch of the adults (elite soldier variety, instead of normal soldier) and go down that route... but I'll have a think myself about mutations that might be a good idea there.

I was just in a meeting and scribbled down a few thoughts about the Slaughterking - so I thought I might as well check the waters with a fellow gamer. I'm currently thinking level 18 Solo Controller (Leader) for the Slaughterking; the sort of guy that you really don't take lightly, and rarely see.

I'm thinking making them pretty melee capable, but turning that aura they got in 3.5 into something that boosts Kythons rather than hampers enemies. There was an aura I noticed in the MM (can't remember off the top of my head what it was from - but it would, when reworded with 'Kython', give all allied Kythons in the aura double damage on normal melee attacks.

In addition, a couple of controlling abilities along the lines of a close blast (or burst) attack that weakens and slows targets, or (and?) an attack power along the lines of the Hooked Horror's Fling ability (The idea of the Slaughterking flinging unworthy enemies into the waiting jaws of its mutant guards is just too cool to ignore).

This is, of course, in addition to making it huge size and giving it threatening reach.

When I get a chance, I'll see if I can stat him out to see what you think.

2008-06-25, 12:45 PM
Here's the big man himself. I liked your take on them as masterminds (and their old mental stats reflected that) so I gave them a couple of skills to support that, and made him a Controller.

I was considering giving him Threatening Reach too, but I don't think he'll need it. For reference, I was comparing mostly to the Dracolich and Elder Green Dragon here (along with a few bits and pieces, namely the fling ability from the Hook Horror).


Slaughterking, Level 18 Solo Controller (10,000xp)
Huge Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +14
Senses: Perception +14, Blindsight 20, Blind
Might of the Kythons: Aura 3; Any bloodied Kythons that start their turn in the Slaughterking's aura are healed for 30 hit points.
HP: 860 Bloodied: 430
AC: 34
Fort: 32, Reflex: 30, Will: 32
Speed: 6, Climb 4
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 10 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Action Points: 2
Saving Throws: +5

Rend (Bite) (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- Reach 3, +23 vs AC, 2d8+7 and target is dazed and slowed (save ends).

Claw-hammer (Claw)(Standard, at-will) *Poison
- Reach 3, +23 vs AC, 2d10+7, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends). Target is shifted 1 square on a hit.

Disrupting Field (immediate interrupt, when an enemy makes a melee attack vs the Slaughterking, at-will)
- Close blast 3, +22 vs will; the Target is stunned until the end of the Slaughterking's next turn. Miss: The target takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls against the Slaughterking (save ends). Using this power does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Dissolving Spittle (standard, recharge 5-6) *Acid
- The Slaughterking belches an acidic cloud from a mucous pod on either side of its throat. Close Blast 8, 22 vs reflex; 2d8+8 acid damage, and the target is stunned (save ends). Miss: Half damage only. Aftereffect: The target is blinded and weakened (save ends both).

Fling (standard, at-will) *Poison
- +22 vs Fortitude; 2d8+4 damage, and 5 ongoing poison damage (save ends), and target slides 3 squares and is knocked prone.

Bloodied Rage (Free, when first bloodied in encounter)
- The Slaughterking's Dissolving Spittle attack recharges and may be used immediately.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills:: Intimidate +19, Insight +18, Arcana +19, Stealth +18

Str 28 (+18), Dex 18 (+13), Con 20 (+14), Int 20 (+14), Wis 19 (+13), Cha 21 (+14)

2008-06-25, 11:13 PM
Here we go, lots of comments and some contributions of my own.

I think changing mouth launcher to the Mezzodemon ability is a good idea, but make it disable the bite follow up while target is restrained.

I originally was going to say that I would make the Slaughterking an Elite not a Solo. This is because I wanted my PC's to fight them in two scenarios: surrounded by lesser Kythons or a group of mutated Slaughterkings, the Council, as the capstone combat. Solo isn't conductive to that. An 18 solo is between a 22/23 Elite if you consider XP equivalent(It's not really because more actions is more powerful than higher to hit and damage). Though maybe this is a way to move my campaign up into Epic, originally I thought I would have to end it at Paragon, I only really considered 20 for the Deathemperor. I think this was a hold over from 3, when Slaughterkings were a measly CR 13! The Deathemperor is definitely a Solo though, only one ever comes into being if the PCs are on their game. I might even let them witness it's birth. Awe, cute!

I think I noticed toned down resistances, I like it. Obviously I'll switch them up for acid, cold, etc. based mutants. I also thought about using the Variable resistances for the leader types like Slaughterking or Deathemperor? Or possible SuperElemental mutant that has such variability as it's mutation. So many ideas. One thing I've realized is that I have far to many mutation possibilities to make my PC's do all of them. So I figure this, the PCs will get leads for multiple at any given time and will have to make strategic decisions. Do they want to go to the Volcano Lair of the Fire Giants and deny the Kython's fire mutations or do they want to stop them from besieging an Oracle in the Feywild and gaining better sight? Then whichever one they don't stop shows up as enemies in latter fights. This has the added benefit of giving a sense of accomplishment(We denied them more of the guys who's blood lights on fire) and upping the ante(Shoot, now they can see for miles) as the campaign progresses.

Before I get to my two postings for tonight I want to link this: http://www.asmor.com/scripts/4eMonsterMathCruncher/. If you didn't know about this, I think it can be a great help. The other programs and stuff on the guy's website is kinda interesting, but this saves a lot of math. It's also made me notice somethings. For instance, you might have forgotten the Impaler gets +4 Initiative for being a lurker. It's also a good place to check damage against. It produces kinda boring statlines, but you can fiddle with them inline and it will recalculate.

Broodling Swarm, Level 11 Brute
Medium Abberant Magical Beast(Swarm)
Initiative: 9
Senses: Perception +9, Blindsight 12, Blind
Swarm Attack: aura 1; swarm makes free basic attack against each enemy in aura when they begin their turn
HP: 138; Bloodied: 69
AC: 23 Fortitude: 24 Reflex: 23 Will: 21
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist:5 Cold, Fire, Electricity, Swarmstuff
Vuln: Swarmstuff
Speed: 6
Attack(Bitting Swarm) (Standard, At-Will) *poison
+14 vs AC, 2d6+5 Damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage
Str: 21 (+10) Dex: 18 (+9) Wis: 14 (+7)
Con: 18 (+9) Int: 10 (+5) Cha: 8 (+4)
Compare to Stirge Swarm, LVL 12 Brute. I figured a swarm of broodlings would be good to have for when PCs enter a Kython breeding/engineering pit.

Shadowborn Impaler(Prototype) Level 13 Elite Lurker
Medium Abberant Magical Beast
Senses: Perception +15, Blindsight 15, Blind
Initiative: 16
HP: 206; Bloodied: 103
AC: 29 Fortitude: 25 Reflex: 28 Will: 27
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist:5 Cold, Fire, Electricity, 10 Necrotic
Vuln: 10 Radiant
Speed: 8
Saving Throws:+2
Action points: 1
Attack(Stiletto Claw)(Standard, At-Will)*Poison
+18 vs AC, 3d6+6, and 10 ongoing Necrotic Damage
Dual Strike(Standard, At-Will)
The Shadowborn Impaler can make two Stiletto Claw Attacks
Ambush(Standard, At-Will, must have combat advantage
+18 vs AC, 4d8+6 and target is Daze(Save ends)
Shadow Run(Move, Recharge 4,5,6)
The SI moves up to 12 squares and becomes invisible until it attacks or the end of it's next turn.
Better Part of Valor When first bloodied, recharge Shadow Run and may use it immediately.
Action points: 1
Skills: Stealth +17, Athletics + 16
Str: 20 (+11) Dex: 22 (+12) Wis: 19 (+10)
Con: 19 (+10) Int: 15 (+8) Cha: 19 (+10)
There is a LVL 13 Elite Lurker in the Balenoth, but the comparison isn't great. I stole the Shadow Run from the Blinding Speed of one of the Qucklings. This guy came directly from the fact that I said you couldn't give the Impaler shadow or invisibility powers. If I can't do it it's likely exactly what they would want to do! As I stated in the statblock I'm not sure if I should give in another encounter power, most likely darkness related. But I couldn't come up with a good one off the top of my head. Also, I listed it as Prototype following the logic that I would make Elites that were labeled as Prototype that would be the first the PCs would encounter. Then if the PCs did not successfully deny the Kython that mutation I'd make standard variations a few levels higher, to be encountered more often and in larger amounts.

EDIT: I gave him an Ambush ability and bloodied recharge, as well as the saves. He might be a little powerful for his level, but I figure he's going to leave when he gets Bloodied, so It's ok.

Finally, here is a tentative list of names, themes and roles for the mutants I have ideas for. The hope is that they can span the 8 to 18 area that it would take my PCs go get from your Adults to your Slaughterking.
Corroder, Acid, Soldier or Artillery
Crystalhide, Cold, Soldier
Fireblood, Fire, Solder or Skirmisher
Ironmaw, Metal/Earth, Brute
Ravager, Cavalry/Speed, Skirmisher
Avatrix, Flight, Skirmisher
NoName, ImprovedSight, possible Feywild connection, Controller Leader
Deathemperor, BBEG, Soldier Leader, Kick PCs and Take Names

I considered making an aquatic variation, but decided that would be better suited to a bio-equipment piece like the weapons, for standard Adults. So that covers most of the elemental cliches, and Shadowfel and Feywild. Any comments you have on my mutant candidates or the two Kythons I've built would be greatly appreciated. It may make me unqualified to judge your works but they are the first two monsters I've homebrewed for 4e, so please take them to task.

P.S. I'll look at your Slaughterking in depth tomorrow. I wanted to contribute something before I criticized your's any more.

2008-06-26, 12:01 PM
Ok, first change then: Mouth Launcher is now functionally similar to the Mezzodemon's tines.

Second, you've got a valid point about the non-solo nature of the Slaughterking. There is nothing to stop him from being solo and still having backup (in fact, several of the suggested encounters give Solo monsters some other help) - but there is nothing to stop me from simply altering this version slightly and making an Elite version too - to which you can add any mutations you want.

Seems to me like the first time you come up against one, perhaps its on its own (Solo). As the game progresses, and the PCs are more of a threat, the Slaughterkings will be Elite so that you can build more challenging and varied encounters (stocking up with other 'Kings or cohorts).

Seem alright?

I went with 18 for the Slaughterking because I'd initially planned to make the Slaymaster a 14 Elite (its on a scrap of paper at the moment, but I'll get it posted up in a bit). I had personally planned on using Kythons for quite a while, so I don't see any harm in making something like the Deathemperor and epic tier monster. My intention with this campaign (as my first 4th ed campaign) was to run the entire gamut of levels (or as many as possible) so that my players get a feel for it and can make their preferences over what tiers they prefer for future games.

Third, I've knocked resistances down a step. The King and Slaymaster have a slightly higher version, but I think if I gave them an equivalent energy resistance from 3.5 they would be a little too overwhelming (especially whilst the Wizard as written sort of depends on a lot of elemental powers).

I definitely like the idea about shifting resistances and elemental-formed Kythons. They seem a fairly mutable race, so pretty much anything goes at the moment! Filling that gap between Adult and Slaymaster/Slaughterking is key though, for sure.

The math cruncher is essentially an online version of the tables I've been using on creature creation from the DMG - hence why some of my initial damage/attack/defence values were a bit skewed (as its based on an 'average' thing). They're quite nice, but I think I'm happy now with how the Kythons are shaping up. I'm still referring to the tables, but also taking reference to the MM in equal measure to keep things measured up nicely.

You beat me to the swarm. I was going to come up with something along those lines too (Was originally thinking something smaller than broodlings, but they work just fine - and I like the whole 'overwhelming numbers' thing). The statblock looks pretty solid and measures up quite nicely against similar swarms.

The Shadowborn Impaler is nice, but I have a couple of suggestions:
- Elites get +2 to saving throws which you appear to have missed off the block.
- The DMG recommends 2 'encounter or daily' powers for a paragon tier creature. The Shadow Run is cool, but he could probably do with one other power.... Maybe some way of immobilising/pinning foes. I'd probably recommend giving him some variation of the Ambush ability I gave to the original, so that he benefits properly from the combat advantage his invisibility will grant him
- Recharge when first blooded... I'd give this to him for sure (perhaps even in addition to ambush). Let his Shadow Run recharge when first bloodied, and he uses it immediately (to escape, usually).

Otherwise, he looks good. I like the suggested other prototypes too, I'm definitely keen to see what else you come up with (and I'll get that Slaymaster up, and perhaps have a crack at a couple of mutations of my own a bit later).

--------------- EDIT ------------------

As promised:

Slaymaster, Level 14 Elite Soldier (2000xp)
Large Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +12
Senses: Perception +12, Blindsight 20, Blind
HP: 312 Bloodied: 156
AC: 32
Fort: 28, Reflex: 26, Will: 28
Speed: 8, Climb 4
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 10 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Bite) (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- Reach 2, +21 vs AC, 2d6+5 and 5 ongoing poison damage (save ends).

Disrupting Field (immediate interrupt, when an enemy makes a melee attack vs the Slaymaster, at-will)
- Close blast 2, +19 vs will; the Target is dazed until the end of the Slaymaster's next turn. Miss: The target takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls against the Slaymaster (save ends). Using this power does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Tail Slap (Standard, at-will)
- +21 vs AC, 1d10+6 damage. Hit; Make a secondary attack, +19 vs Reflex. Target is grabbed on a successful attack (until escape). The Slaymaster can only grab one creature at a time.

Constrict (Standard, at-will)
- Grabbed target only, +21 vs AC, 2d8+6

Tail Sweep (Standard, Recharge 6)
- Close burst 2, +19 vs Reflex, 2d8+5 and target is shifted 1 square and knocked prone.

Thrash (free, when first bloodied in encounter)
- When the Slaymaster is first bloodied in an encounter, it's Tail Sweep attack recharges and may be used immediately.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills:: Intimidate +16, Stealth +15 , Arcana +16

Str 25 (+14), Dex 17 (+10), Con 18 (+11), Int 18 (+11), Wis 19 (+11), Cha 19 (+11)

2008-06-28, 11:25 AM
Oh, I really like where you've put the Slaughterking and Slaymaster, I think their at the right level of power. I was just saying what I originally thought, not recommending it. I think your approach to their makes it more interesting. And I think that the Solo then Elite variations is also a good plan for the Slaughterking.

Yea, I mentioned the math cruncher not to say you should redo the stats but rather so that when you make more you don't have to do as much math.

I really like the Slaymaster. Between the grab and constrict and the field he can do some serious damage and keep the PC's on him. I did not however that it is possible, if the PC starts his turn adjacent to the Slaymaster and his first action is to attack it and the Disruption Field hits him then he is more likely to hit the Slaymaster than if the field misses him. It's just a quirk of the way it's set up, but I think it's fine the way it is. I would consider upping his speed a little. By this level most PCs have some form of special movement, so our enemies need some way to fight it. Looking at the Yuan-ti Abomination which has a similar physical build I might give him a climb speed too.

I think the Slaughterking is good as well. I now also see where you got the Disruption Field abilities from, the Dracolich. Definitly a good thing to steal. I like the variety of attack actions the King can perform. I was originally worried about whether he'd get enough actions to make them useful, but with the Field stopping close combat PCs from hitting so often and his two action points I can see him doing some fun things like pounding one guy and tossing another in one turn. I would be most worried about Warlock's and Bow Rangers with him, he doesn't have anything to stop ranged strikers except his spittle. I guess this is why he brings friends.

So good so far. I really like what you've done with the Kythons. Depending on if I go into work this afternoon I may draw up a mutant or two later.

P.S. I'm about to go make some changes as you recommend to the Shadownborn Impaler.

2008-06-30, 04:35 AM
I'm glad you like them both. I've been playing around with the Kythons a little - keeping the original flavour from BoVD but changing them just enough to pose a real threat in 4th Ed.

As per your suggestion, I've granted both the Slaymaster and Slaughterking a climb speed (and bumped the Slaymaster's ground speed up to give him some more mobility). I expect this'll be more of a contingency escape thing than anything else - though having the Slaughterking cling to a pillar or roof with his four arms whilst blasting at people with his spittle seems rather nasty.

I really like how they've shaped up so far, and I can't wait to see some more of your mutants. In the meantime, I have been thinking about the Deathemperor - and what his statblock might look like. Have you had many thoughts so far? I know you were thinking Soldier (Leader), iirc, but I did have a thought the other day to make him more interesting, since he's going to most likely be the final BBEG of a campaign (yours, and quite possibly mine too).

I don't know if you've seen the 4E Boss Compendium that is floating around the Homebrew forums. I was having a glance through the other day, and the concept of a multi-stage boss seems pretty perfect for him.

Initial thoughts:
- Deathemperor battle consists of two stages that occur back-to-back. Once his initial form is dropped to 0 HP, he automatically transforms (or rather, his true power is revealed and the battle starts anew - quite likely changing the battlefield in the process)
- Starts out relatively unassuming. I'm thinking 20-24 Solo (Depending on where the PCs are at the time, probably party-level +2 or 3) - In appearance, he will be something along the lines of a Slaughterking, but human-sized. He'll have an at-will power that allows him to assume a humanoid form of some kind. That way when the PCs first encounter him, he might appear human (though with some strange physical traits, like no eyes... or the like). Thinking Solo Controller (Leader) with some mook-types at the moment. He will be able to fly and generally throw about some nasty magical-type attacks. When bloodied, his diguise fails and he appears more as a Kython.
- Once he's dropped to 0, He loses his temper. I'm thinking at this point he actually has a new statblock - maybe Solo 25 Brute or Soldier (Party level +3 or 4). Since its probable that his mooks are dead by now, he'll engage the PCs personally. Not sure yet whether he should lose his flight, or have it simply change how it manifests (huge, insectile wings seems pretty cool). He'll almost certainly have to be gargantuan in this form; favouring melee and attacks that disrupt the party from counterattacking.
- Say the PCs are battling him in some sort of Kython throne-room, his transformation is so violent that it all but destroys the room - throwing up new hazards and pitfalls to keep the battle interesting. Perhaps if he's too hard to take on toe-to-toe, the PCs should have some sort of skill-challenge or terrain-related options to deal more damage to him/weaken him ("Hmm, that pillar looks unstable, perhaps we could collapse it on him and bring the whole damn roof down!")

If the PCs can handle two high level Solo challenges back-to-back (it might be fair to re-award them with the benefits of a short rest during his transformation, since its likely they'll be pretty burned out by then), then they deserve to win! (and save the world, blah blah blah... :smallwink:)

EDIT: I've been sitting around thinking about some of those mutant suggestions you made a few posts back - so I'll have a crack at putting together working blocks for the Avatrix, Fireblood, Crystalhide and Corroder later on when I have my books (its all just ideas at the moment, but I have some interesting powers in mind).

2008-06-30, 12:34 PM
Crystalhide, Level 12 Elite Brute (Prototype)
This monstrous beast is ponderously slow and moves on all four of its powerful limbs. Its body is hard and chitinous, and its back is covered in knobbled, crystalline growths that look like ice crystals. As it moves, an unnaturally chill wind blows, blurring the creature's outline in a hail of snow and sleet.
Large Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +7
Senses: Perception +8, Blindsight 15, Blind
Heart of Ice (Only when not bloodied): Aura 2; all enemies treat the area as difficult terrain. In addition, the crystal hide has concealment against all ranged attacks.
HP: 356 Bloodied: 178
AC: 26
Fort: 26, Reflex: 24, Will: 26
Speed: 4, Ice Walk 4
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 15 Cold, 5 Electricity
Vulnerability: Fire 5

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Bite) (Standard, at-will) *Cold
- Reach 2, +15 vs AC, 2d8+5 damage + 1d8 cold damage.

Howl of Winter (Standard, Encounter)
- Close Burst 5, +13 vs Will. Hit; Target is stunned until the end of the Crystalhide's next turn. Aftereffect; Target is slowed (save ends). Miss; Targets are slowed (save ends)

Snatch (Minor, 1/round, At-will)
- Reach 2, +13 vs Reflex. On a hit, target is grabbed (until escape). Whilst using snatch, the Crystalhide cannot bite.

Death of Cold (Standard; Grabbed enemy only)
- +13 vs Fortitude, 4d8+5 damage and target is dazed until the end of the Crystal hide's next turn.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills: Athletics +19

Str 26 (+14), Dex 13 (+7), Con 24 (+13), Int 13 (+7), Wis 15 (+8), Cha 15 (+8)


Fireblood, Level 10 Elite Skirmisher (Prototype)
As this Kython approaches, its body and each of its four clawed arms are wreathed in a flickering corona of flame. Rivulets of flaming ooze drip from its sloped chitinous armour to land with a hiss in a trail where it passes.
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +12
Senses: Perception +8, Blindsight 15, Blind
Wreath of Flame: Aura 1; Any creature that enters or starts its turn in the Fireblood's aura takes 5 fire damage.
HP: 248 Bloodied: 124
AC: 26
Fort: 24, Reflex: 24, Will: 22
Speed: 8
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 15 Fire, 5 Electricity
Vulnerability: Cold 5

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Claw) (Standard, at-will) *Fire
- +15 vs AC, 2d6+5 damage and 5 ongoing fire damage.

Gout of Flame (Standard, recharge 5-6) *Fire
- Burst 1 within 10 squares, +13 vs Reflex, Hit; 1d8+5 fire damage and 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends). Miss; Half damage only and no ongoing damage.

Fan the Flames (Free, when first bloodied in encounter) *Fire
- When the Fireblood is first bloodied in an encounter, its Gout of Flame recharges and may be used immediately.

Immolation (Free, when reduced to 0hp) *Fire
- When the Fireblood drops to 0hp or less, it immediately explodes. Close burst 3, +13 vs reflex, 3d8+5 fire and acid damage, and five ongoing fire damage. Miss; Half damage only and no ongoing fire damage. Whether it hits or misses its targets, Immolation destroys the Fireblood completely.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills: Intimidate +12

Str 20 (+10), Dex 20 (+10), Con 18 (+9), Int 14 (+7), Wis 16 (+8), Cha 16 (+8)


Corroder, Level 14 Elite Artillery (Prototype)
This Kython breed is unusual, with a long, rigid body, four heavy-set, flexible limbs for support and an unusually large gullet and jaw that can open wide enough to swallow small animals whole. Its tough body is slick and oily, and appears to be covered in boil-like sacs full of liquid.
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +14
Senses: Perception +10, Blindsight 25, Blind
HP: 268 Bloodied: 134
AC: 28
Fort: 28, Reflex: 26, Will: 28
Speed: 4, Climb 4
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Bite) (Standard, at-will) *Acid
- +20 vs AC, 2d8+6 damage and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends)

Acid Strike (Standard, at-will) *Acid
- Ranged 20, +21 vs AC, 2d6+5 Acid and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends)

Acidic Blood (Immediate, when struck in melee, at-will) *Acid
- Close blast 2 (at least one target must be the attacker that triggered the Acidic Blood), +18 vs Reflex, Hit; 2d6+5 Acid damage and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends). Miss; Half damage only and no ongoing damage.

Acid Burst (Standard, Recharge 5-6) *Acid
- Burst 2 within 10 squares, +17 vs Reflex. Hit; 1d10+4 Acid damage and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends). Miss; Half damage only and no ongoing damage.

Corrode (Standard, Encounter) *Acid
- Close Blast 5. +17 vs Reflex. Hit; 1d10+6 Acid damage and target immobilised (save ends). Miss; Half damage only and no immobilisation. In addition, all squares in the blast become difficult terrain until the end of the encounter.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills: Stealth +19

Str 18 (+11), Dex 24 (+14), Con 22 (+13), Int 15 (+9), Wis 17 (+10), Cha 15 (+9)


Avatrix, Level 11 Elite Skirmisher (Prototype)
This breed of Kython looks much like an intermediate between the bladed Impalers and the clawed Adults. Whats makes them all the more dangerous is the set of large, insectile wings the buzz intermittantly against its hard carapace.
Medium Aberrant Magical Beast
Initiative: +14
Senses: Perception +12, Blindsight 20, Blind
HP: 260 Bloodied: 130
AC: 27
Fort: 23, Reflex: 27, Will: 23
Speed: 6, Flight 8 (hover), Overland Flight 10
Immune: Fear, Acid
Resist: 5 Cold, Fire and Electricity

Action Points: 1
Saving Throws: +2

Attack (Bite) (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- +16 vs AC, 2d6+5 damage. Hit; Secondary attack, +14 vs Fort, target is dazed (save ends).

Boneshard Crossbow (Standard, at-will) *Poison
- Ranged 20, +16 vs AC, 1d8+5. On hit, secondary attack (+14 vs fort) affected target is stunned (save ends)

Impale (Standard, at-will)
- +16 vs AC, 2d6+3 and the target is grabbed (Until escape). The Avatrix cannot use its Boneshard Crossbow whilst grabbing an enemy with Impale.

The Avatrix will impale an enemy, then fly straight up with them and drop them from a height. Usually they favour lighter or weaker-looking targets.

Flyby Attack (Standard, at-will)
- The Avatrix flies up to 8 squares and makes one melee basic attack (bite) at any point along the movement. The Avatrix doesn't provoke opportunity attacks during that movement. The Avatrix doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when moving away from the target of the attack.

Alignment: Evil
Languages: Abyssal
Skills: Stealth +17, Athletics +16

Str 22 (+11), Dex 24 (+12), Con 18 (+9), Int 13 (+6), Wis 15 (+7), Cha 15 (+7)


p.s. I am currently compiling a document with all the statblocks on, in proper MM format (well, similar enough, thanks to a template from the Gleemax forums).


scrap that thought... Word just had one of this extremely annoying 'I'm going to commit suicide now' moments... and crashed, deleting the file in the process....

2008-07-05, 01:36 PM
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. You're a lot more prolific in your monster creations and I am indebted to you for all the work you've done on the Kythons. These latest ones look really good. I do like the idea of the Death Emperor being one of those boss fights, but I think I would leave it to up to see how the campaign progresses for writing that out. In that vein I'm currently moving back from Kython monsters to the plot that I'm going to use for my campaign. You already know the gist of it but if you care to know more I can give it to you. I'd also like to know anything more about your plans as they develop if you are willing to share. Again thanks for statting up so many Kythons and getting me to start planning my campaign. Best of luck in your campaign.

2008-07-07, 06:03 AM
Not a problem, I've quite enjoyed the chance to homebrew some stuff up in the new system. Its so much more streamlined and easy than 3.5 (Plus its given me a great chance to get the hang of it for future projects).

I'd like to hear anything you have to share, as your ideas have been great so far.

As for mine... my players aren't far from their first run-in with the Kythons now (well, they won't actually SEE anything the first time, but a string of attacks in the area should draw them in to investigate). I initially started them off (from level 1) by running the DMG pre-made module to get used to the rules. From there I decided to homebrew up my own setting, so I uprooted Fallcrest (from the DMG) and made it, and the land as far as Kobold Hall into part of my own world.

They managed to slay the young white dragon that had taken up nest in the ruins, and took its head as trophy to deliver to the Marshall of Fallcrest. They found the note speaking of an alliance with a Goblin Warlord, but decided against immediate investigation (forcing me to reshuffle a few things and throw something else at them in the meantime). Now level 3, they have just finished clearing out a section of the sewers that had been overrun by mutated rats, following an outbreak of filth fever in the low-town. I'm now hoping that they will (maybe with a small reminder) go and check out what threat the Goblins pose.

The only problem will be that by the time they reach the goblin encampment, they are too late. Someone, or something, beat them to it, and there isn't much left besides 'bits' of bodies and discarded weapons. They might bug out at the sight of this and just leave - but if they go and investigate further then I'll likely have them encounter the entrance to a strange warren that looks as if it opened up in the ground slap-bang in the middle of the goblin encampment.

I'm still pulling together the threads in my head at the moment - but thats the story as planned. Some scouting of the warren will probably turn up little more than a maze (I don't want them to see the Kythons until its the right moment). I'm probably going to point them in the direction of home to report back, and thats when rumours start going about of people going missing in Fallcrest. I just liked the idea of hunting through the streets at night, trying to find the killer only to realise they are the ones being stalked.

I'll probably throw some sort of solo-ised version of a Juvenile at them in the dark (maybe splitting the party with a battlefield hazard). When wounded they drive it off and it flees, leading the PCs in a chase through the town before vanishing into a dark hole in the side of the cliff.

Long term - it'll eventually transpire that the Kythons have taken root under Fallcrest. During a foray into the nest, the PCs will stumble on the reason why the Kythons have chosen this place for their nest: A vast, yawning underground chasm into the earth over which is suspended a platform by eight huge chains. A bridge leads to the platform, and on the platform are carved runes in a hundred dead languages. The PCs will eventually translate some of the information and find out that this chasm is known as the Maw of Chaos; a sealed gateway to the depths of the Abyss. Opening, essentially, would mean hell on earth.

The Kythons are trying to open the Maw, and with each released chain (by means of recovering 8 separate artifacts) more and more elements of the Abyss leak out into the Material Plane. It is basically a race against the Kythons to reach each artifact and safeguard it from the Kythons sent to recover it. I'm currently planning on having three chains already released (though the flatform floats as if by levitation, even when unsupported), and the Kythons have been able to harness some of the released chaos to 'force' evolution and mutation in their ranks in preparation for the opening of the gate and the end of the world as we know it.

Another important concept in the World is that the PCs, and most people in civilised lands are largely unaware of the wider world. The land area, roughly approximating a kingdom (think quite small scale) is entirely encompassed by a vast wall - older than history itself and taller and deeper than any mountain range inside.

Several of the artifacts are within the wall (three of them already found, with 1 remaining to be guarded), the rest are beyond it. The Kythons have already started on their way, but as far as the PCs are concerned, they will have no idea where to start when it comes to crossing the wall (noone has ever scaled it, or navigated the passages through its 8-mile depth). Outside, I pretty much have a playpit to throw whatever I want at the players. Once outside of the transient safety of their home kingdom and its titantic wall, they will be thrown into a land where everything is at war. The Great War between the peoples beyond the wall has been raging for centuries.

The wider quest remains (and it is my intention to 'fast-forward' periods such that by the time they return, years may have passed and Fallcrest as they knew it is now sundered by the leaking Maw of Chaos). It is my intention to make the site where Fallcrest was into the Kython stronghold when the fledgeling PCs return (likely pushing level 20 by this point) as great heroes.

I don't want to make everything about the Kythons, as it might stale a bit - but once outside the Wall, I aim to shatter all expectations about how the World really is with the concept of a World War. I am thinking of having the PCs actually be the driving force towards ending the Great War outside of the wall - but the insidious threat of the Kythons will linger (and if the PCs get distracted too long, I will remind them of the Maw by having small rifts and portals open up in seemingly random locations - from which spill the horrors of the Abyss.

Its still rather general at the moment, but thats what I'm thinking of at the moment. My aim is to take the PCs all the way to level 30 eventually (and likely the final battle will be against the 'Boss-Battle' Deathemperor to finally put a stop to his plan and close the Maw before it is too late) over the course of years, in a world where their actions have a visible impact (their success or failure to guard the artifacts will slow down the Kythons, or make the abyssal attacks worse). They get the chance to not only put a stop to a centuries-long war, but they get to save the world from the Kythons and probably build a legend for themselves at the same time.

Can't wait :D

2008-07-09, 10:23 AM
Nice plan. It looks like you've got a solid plan of where you want this thing to go. Right now all I've got it the general Kython thread as you've already heard and some other adventures. You're definitely right about making a campaign all Kythons all the time might get old fast, so I'm leaving a lot open to see what my players are interested in at low levels and build from there.

I would make just one suggestion about your proposed plot. Right now you have them track the Goblins down and find them massacred and then explore the warren, but it's empty. This leads to a lot of time spent in game, navigating the warren particularly, where there are no big rewards. No XP, loot, or sense of accomplishment. The whole episode raises more questions than it answers, and that's not always a bad thing, but if they get nothing out of it and when the get back to town it's been attacked it's extremely dissatisfying. I understand pulling the "Scouring of the Shire" on them but without them accomplishing anything while away it just feels like you just got them out of the way so you could move the plot forward. If you don't want them to see the Kythons on that trip out I might just throw in another random adventure on the trip back. So the PCs end up concluding "We didn't stop the goblins, or even find out what happened to them. But we did stop that Cult of Bane and find that really neat sword." I'm not trying to say the PCs need to win all the time, defeat can be a lot of fun too. But as someone who has engineered defeats that were definitely not fun for my players, something I regret in hindsight, I strongly advise against putting in defeats that the players can do nothing about, which seems to be the case with your goblins and abandoned Kython warren.