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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    yuk Help. Making the party the hunted

    So, i just had my players enter a old dungeon/tomb complex on a surprise session. Despite it being kinda unexpected i was able to entertain them with some nice premade puzzles and onthespot encounters. However they have been trapped in the complex and now they have stopped for a rest just outside the entrance to the lower level. Which is where i need the help.
    I had the idea of having the second level of the dungeon having only a single encounter taking part in a small maze of corridors and rooms. What i need is a monster, preferably something very large that could in no way be stopped with conventional methods of a party of five 4th level PCs(barbarian, dragonshaman, wizard, cleric, bard). What i have in mind involves them running in sheer terror in the dungeon all the while trying to figure a way to kill the thing that hunts them. I would like to "fill" up the rooms and corridors with various tools or items that maybe they could use to stop it(say a barrel of lamp oil, maybe a large pit, lots of sturdy, heaby wooden poles, nothing magical in nature) so they have to think of something REALLY clever to escape unscathed. If someone could offer some ideas in what monster i could use and some ideas on what items to populate the dungeon with i would be really grateful.
    Also, ideas on scary music to play while they run with their pants crapped on would be nice too

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    The first thing that comes into mind, is a horde of carnivore insects.
    It's a bit of a cliche, but hey, most good things are cliched for a reason!

    The point in this kind of enemy, is that they can easily be killed, but never really defeated. No matter how many they kill, some more will crawl out of somewhere.

    Any tool that can create some kind of a blockade is good.
    Oil is good since you can build a wall of fire that will last as long as you have some material left to burn.
    Water moats will delay the insects fr a few minutes until they simply create a bridge of dead insects to pass it.
    Any physical barrier can be passed after a few minutes when the insects will find alternative routes (through the ceiling?)

    You can also add a "safe room" that can be used to rest. it can also be used to add some skeletons and warning against the insects for decoration, and maybe even a map of the dungeon, or a possible hint of how to get out.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    I like the insect idea. (Crawling by Linkin Park ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvmhB-X89BM ) could fit for that). I was also thinking of a homebrew monster with a large amount of Fast Healing which can only be overcome with a particular chemical (my idea is for there to be chemicals lying around with there being instructions on how to make the DR-wreching liquid in the dungeon). Musicwise, The Bitter End by Placebo ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl3oxPw8Qxk ) could work well, and The Crawl by Placebo ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1-KD2g55zo )could work for both scenarios.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    oooh, that sounds kinda nice! Having a swarm didn't even pass my mind and it sounds more plausible than a single large monster surviving down there for who knows how long. I had thought about the map thingy myself but now i wonder if i could incorprate it as a puzzle too (Haha! you are hunted by a swarm looking to feast upon your sweet, succulent flesh and now you have to solve this too! Bwahahahha). I like it.
    Last edited by Rasagal; 2009-08-11 at 12:46 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Tempest Fennac's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    I thought of something else for the monster I suggested; they could have been created by a curse from a powerful Wizard or diety with the intention of using them as a guardian for the tomb (the instructions for how to kill it could be there in case the creator thought there was a chance of the creature escaping). If you did this, there could be a possibility of a PC getting infected with whatever changed the monster into its current form with the rest of the party having to find a cure before the victim transforms.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    or you could have a guy who knows a secret tunnel layout and wants to **** with their heads


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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Wow, this sounds like a really epic idea. If my campaign hadn't just ended, i'd ask to borrow it from you .

    The bug swarm sounds like your best option right now, but if your pcs are anything like mine, they'll still become very nit-picky when you unleash a colossal swarm of bugs on them, and instead of making the game go smoothly, they'll simply complain about how the bugs wouldn't be able to survive down there.

    I have, however, a remedy. If presented with a very well set up situation like this, i would have ancient carvings all over the walls, depicting the casting of sacrificial offerings into the lower levels, and how the swarm would awake from many years of slumber to feast upon the flesh of their offerings. That was, as they proceed through the maze, you can have more carvings, either to spook them further and show the sheer horror of the swarm (such as, say, the kill you then turn your flesh into more of themselves, and if you're really lucky, in that order, and not the other way round) then eventually it shows carvings of a way out, or some way to pacify the swarm.

    For a situation like i just stated, it would be best not to make the swarm killable. Sedatable, certainly, but make it very clear that it cannot be killed, and don't give it stats. This is all gathered from what i've seen my pcs do. One of them has a moto: "if it has stats, we can kill it" and "if we can hurt it, we can kill it" and while we're at it "if it feels pain or remorse, we can beat it". So, make sure it does none of those, and it is simply a giant meat grinder made of millions of little insects.

    oooooh! better idea. after a long time in the maze, with the swarm slowly gaining on them, and that ever present buzz slowly growing louder, have them enter a Massive chamber, covered in ancient pictures and carvings, then have the swarm form up into some hideous being depicted on the walls at the very beginning of the encounter. After that is completely your choice .

    Hope i helped.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Make the monster a sucker for gifts then give them a chest(or box) full of napalm with fire trap on it...hehe..

    and if its a maze why not go for the classical minotaur.
    Last edited by Origomar; 2009-08-11 at 01:34 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    I'm not so sure they'd appreciate a minotaur, and i also have a nasty feeling that it would ruin the mood. sorry to sound critical, but i'm not sure that having the beast accept any gift but the various funnily shaped vital organs in the player's bodies would go well in a horror themed this. other than that, even I'M smart enough to figure out the napalm thing wasn't serious .
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Swarm is a great template. As others said use it, but use it in a way that fits. What about a swarm of Zombies? Slow moving but relentless. Might have a good feel. I think there is a zombie rat swarm pre made in one of the monster manuals.
    Last edited by Forbiddenwar; 2009-08-11 at 02:10 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Something the party would be afraid of?

    Dire Half-Dragon Rust Monster?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Quote Originally Posted by Elm11 View Post
    Wow, this sounds like a really epic idea. If my campaign hadn't just ended, i'd ask to borrow it from you .

    The bug swarm sounds like your best option right now, but if your pcs are anything like mine, they'll still become very nit-picky when you unleash a colossal swarm of bugs on them, and instead of making the game go smoothly, they'll simply complain about how the bugs wouldn't be able to survive down there.
    The best way to solve this problem, is to think of some way (either magical or otherwise) that the insects can survive, just so you'll have a idea, but not share it with the players.
    If they ask, you can simply say "yes, there is an explanation, but right now I think your characters have bigger problems than a scientific research on the matter".
    Of course, you can also lie and not have any explanation at all


    Quote Originally Posted by Elm11 View Post
    For a situation like i just stated, it would be best not to make the swarm killable. Sedatable, certainly, but make it very clear that it cannot be killed, and don't give it stats. This is all gathered from what i've seen my pcs do. One of them has a moto: "if it has stats, we can kill it" and "if we can hurt it, we can kill it" and while we're at it "if it feels pain or remorse, we can beat it". So, make sure it does none of those, and it is simply a giant meat grinder made of millions of little insects.
    Like I mentioned before, the best thing about a swarm of insects is that they CAN be killed.
    You can easily crush one with your foot, you can run around and kill ten, certain spells can kill an entire room of insects, but you simply can't kill all of them if they keep coming out of holes regardless of how many you kill.
    Eventually, the group will be out of resources, and forced to retreat or die.

    A few hp of damage here and there combined with the sight of a swarm that can't be stopped will add a lot to the mood. The frustration from the knowledge that the insects CAN be killed in small groups will make things even better.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    now the whole idea of them walking around in a dark cave, it being completely quiet and dark except for a few feet of illumination from a torch, and then suddnely...they hear what sounds like crawling, and they turn around and see that the floor, walls, and celeing are covered in bugs as far as they can see. That would be the coolest thing ever.
    So yes I support the bug idea

    anyway, for items, my advice would be to play some video games and see what kinda interesting devices you have to use in those. Like for one thing maybe the bugs hate light (they do after all live underground) but all your group has is a lantern (or a torch). What you could do is give them a pint of oil, now the first thought might be to light the oil and throw it at the bugs, but you could have a large pile of twigs and dead leaves randomly in the cave (possibly a nest for weaker monster) and they could use the oil to light that on fire and scare away the bugs temporaily.


    Another idea could be to give them something like a crowbar and then have them come to a door that can only be opened by a lever, which is broken. Instead of using the crowbar to pry open the door (and it could be a big stone door to make that idea impossible) they could instead place the crowbar as a make-shift lever. And you could also give them a long rope, which they could tie to the crowbar/lever and yank it back so the bugs will stop the bugs (untill they find a small crawl space that takes time to go through).
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Amiria's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    An undead is creepy ... a Vampire ...

    Vampire Warlock ... or Vampire Wizard with the "Fiery Burst" Reserve Feat (Complete Mage). He can harrass them all day with Eldritch Blast or Fiery Burst ... and his Dominate ability is nasty too. If the ceiling height is high enough, his Spider Climb ability should keep him out of melee if someone is brave enough for that. He can always retreat for a while to fast heal and come back if he gets hurt too much.

    The Wizard is more versatile with his spells, but eventually he'll have used them up. The Warlock is less versatile but can use his powers all day. Stuff like "Baleful Utterance" to shatter weapons, armor, spell component pouches, holy symbols, etc.

    Depending on his HD, you might want to give him an item that boosts Turn Resistance a bit more.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Elm11's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    I think that the desired effect is probably best suited to a non-sapient foe. That said, the vampire idea seems a good one
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    potatocubed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Quote Originally Posted by Forbiddenwar View Post
    Swarm is a great template. As others said use it, but use it in a way that fits. What about a swarm of Zombies? Slow moving but relentless. Might have a good feel. I think there is a zombie rat swarm pre made in one of the monster manuals.
    Swarm of minotaurs? I bet they'd run away from that.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Another idea is to let them fight something that isn't a monster at all.

    An earthquake reveals an ancient crypt.
    While the characters are inside, another earthquake drops them to a lower floor.
    Unfortunately, the second earthquake also starts to fill the lower parts of the crypt with sand...

    This is a simple "race against time" dungeon. They can find all sort of things to delay the flow of sand, but they can't stop it, and can't spend time to rest and recharge spells.

    Add minor undead monsters, and consider that some spells they use might also have a side effect of damaging the fragile construction, making the flow of sand FASTER (fireball in a collapsing building? not smart).

    Also, since their objective was to find goodies in the crypt (sounds better than "grave robbing"), it is not just a race against time to get out alive, but a race to get out alive with as much treasure as they can.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    If you've got a copy of Meteos, then play the Planet Meteo theme - the first segment when the bug horde is approaching, the second when they start pouring out of the walls, and finally, the third one if they decide to stand and fight and the insects start swarming them.

    When they escape, the music stops again, and they have a breather. Depending on how many rooms they fled, give them a break with no music for a certain amount of time, then have it start up again. If they just ran a short way, it might remain at first or even second phase.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Loss's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Whenever I see these scenarios all I think is:

    OTYUGH OTYUGH OTYUGH OTYUGH

    Add some templates, advance it's HD a bit, etc. The main point here is bringing it's HD up 2 CR. It should be huge, but for the purposes of this encounter, you should ignore that. Or go with it, depending. So How bout a 14 HD, Half-Fiend Otyugh?
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Try one of these on for size:

    Creeper
    Huge/Magical Beast
    HD 6d10+5 (120+30)
    Speed 60 ft. (12 squares)
    Init: -1
    AC 20; touch 20; flat-footed 19
    (12 AC, 8 NA)
    BAB +7; Grp +16
    Attack Claw (Bludgeoning) +7 [Melee]
    (2d4, 19-20/x2)
    Full-Attack Full attack +7/+2 (2d4, 19-20/x2)
    Space 15 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Slam
    Special Qualities Thick skin
    Saves Fort +33 Ref +29 Will -1
    Abilities Str 25, Dex 8, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 6, Cha 3
    Skills Tumble
    Feats Power Attack, Cleave
    Environment Ruins
    Organization Solitary, Pair 2, Troupe 6-10
    Challenge Rating 9
    Treasure 1200 gold
    Alignment Always N
    Advancement by HD
    Level Adjustment +4

    A huge, vaguely insectoid monster, six legs, and two huge claws keep it moving and dangerous, while a thick skin and heavy metal plates grafted on keep it well protected.

    Slam (Ex): As part of a full attack a Creeper may throw itself against a target for 2d6 damage. A creeper may use it's Slam attack to initiate a Grapple.

    Thick Skin (Su): The outer hide of a creeper is sufficiently thick so as to prevent arrows from doing damage, except with critical hits, and completely negates slings.

    That should keep them from being too aggressive, because it will smash their heads in if they try to face it head on. Some of them might even recognize it.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    I think I'd go for something with regeneration. If you could find something incorporeal or able to hide well, and crawling fast on the roof, then you'd have a true horror
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Amiria's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Loss View Post
    So How bout a 14 HD, Half-Fiend Otyugh?
    14 HD Half-Fiend Otyugh has Blasphemy as an SLA. Instant TPK against a party of 4th level adventurers.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    You could go with a Greater Barghest. It's Large-sized, actually has tracking abilities, and could harass them and then Dimension door away. It has Invisibility Sphere and Blink at will, which makes it difficult to pin down.
    Not to mention it could buff itself with Mass Bull's Strength for that extra oomph. It's technically not unkillable and works well against a party of that level without being too overpowering. They just have to figure out how to kill it. It can harass them endlessly, and they'll always sleep in fear.

    A Balhannoth would be horrifying (CR 10), but that might be going too far.

    Also, since you asked for music:
    Some suggestions.
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    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-08-11 at 06:48 AM.


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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    ever played gears of war? we've run an encounter with a berserker like creature.

    narrow tunnels, indestrucable creature that can kill you in one go. got to try and lure them to a pit of some sort. was absolutely terrfiying for my low level, low hitpoint bard.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Loss's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Not if you add the template before you advance it?

    Or, you could use the Half-Dragon template, and give it the Dark template as an added bonus...

    Or just give the Otyugh +16HD....

    Also I second the Barghest, if you don't use the Otyugh...
    Last edited by Lord Loss; 2009-08-11 at 07:56 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    One of the challenges you'll have is the first encounter where the party discovers that there's no way to kill it- you could have a TPK right there; by the time the party figures it out it's too late to run away. The bug swarm has some good options for this- the party defeats the vanguard but then hears the big swarm coming from beyond the lantern light...

    If you're going to go with one of the individual monsters, or just for fun with the swarm, feed them some NPCs. The party's first encounter could be with something friendly. Just make sure that the something friendly is then in between the party and the nasty and meets a suitably futile and grisly end.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Try Lurker in the swarm.
    Take a caster, choose the level you need, apply an undead template, and you have a scary BBEG caster (a Mummy?) controlling the tomb, and his undead swarms...
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Alright, i am gonna go with the bug swarm idea after all. The whole crunching noise and coming through the walls thing sounds much more efficient into breaking them down. I made a nice multilayered maze and put the map onto almost all of the carvings that are on the wall as part of the decoration. The map though is 2d and top view, so what they may think as a straight line to a safe room is actually more like "go down this corridor, climb up through these hatches, pass this giant pit somehow and then find the secret door". All the more better way to f*** my players up.
    And my "masterpiece" of the whole design? The "key" out of this dungeon is located on one side of the area. The door out is at the opposite area, so they will have to move through the whole thing twice. But my favorite twist is this:
    I have not thought AT ALL about how the swarm can be stopped. I honestly got no idea if they could even realistically delay it in this setup i have worked up. Let's hope they can think of something cause otherwise...
    Man, i love being a DM!!!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    If there's a big enough chamber involved, you could always take the 'You've found a Dragon's Hoarde of Gold!' option. Vast mountain of glittering golden disks.

    Only, they aren't all they seem;

    http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.p...&postcount=561

    No idea if it already exists back in 3.5, but it should be simple enough to re-fluff an already nasty swarm.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Help. Making the party the hunted

    Quote Originally Posted by riddles View Post
    ever played gears of war? we've run an encounter with a berserker like creature.

    narrow tunnels, indestrucable creature that can kill you in one go. got to try and lure them to a pit of some sort. was absolutely terrfiying for my low level, low hitpoint bard.
    I was thinking of something like that, only with a fiendish tyrannosaurus gone blind from being trapped under ground for years. Give the dungeon lot's of smaller side rooms that link into clusters, but the only real way to navigate the level is through the main hall where it's waiting

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