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Old 08-05-2014, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

That is a cool monster. I had something similar where an Elder Thing larva was in a dungeon and he slowly psionically dominated many of the monsters into serving it. The monsters would raid the country side for people to feed it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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Of course, I do have two glass cannons and two turtle tanks in the group, so the sigil would be more like turtles with glass cannons on them. Probably laser cannons ;)
Nice, I can picture it now! My group refer to themselves as the "Strays", or "Kaylees Strays" now (after an NPC they all hang out with), so their version would likely have cats instead of turtles.

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Omission, {snip} It doesn't breathe
Cool cool, I assumed as much.

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Those are underwater volcanic vents, anyone passing through them takes 3d burning damage. {snip} The characters are protected, and so is the boss, but I keep the hazards so they realize that the cash spent on the protection was worth it.
Ah, that wasn't noted anywhere. Not all groups are so well provisioned, especially when their GM refuses to acknowledge those amulets as cheap forms of immunity, making this a little more hazardous to them.

I assume the sea-elves don't have the faculties to swim around these regions either? Making clever positioning and herding an easier method to rid yourself of them before they become snack-food?

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Indeed, only corrosion heals. The DR is external, {snip} Getting explosive inside will be very effective
Very good, the multipliers for internal explosive injury was what I was betting on here.

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It's possible to enter. {snip}
Leaving them open will cause a tasty sea elf to wander out each turn, but that might end up being counterproductive as it will mean that Igghagh will grow much bigger. If it comes to it, I'll roll 6d10 for the number of sea elves. A much better strategy might be to seal them, either with control gate or with shape earth, to restrict Igghagh from healing.
Shiney, I'm pretty sure this would be the first thing asked about/attempted if I ran this. Glad to know they'd be even easier to slaughter as they don't put up a fight even in that pocket dimension.
As for opening the rift being counter-productive, perhaps not. It's HP has a cap, but I'm assuming it just keeps eating, meaning you can deplete its store of snacks before opening up with the big guns (rather than dividing firepower and/or fighting against the attrition of it healing). The fact that you know it wont have access to accelerated healing also means you can more easily plink away at it over time, even with resting/retreats.

The other option is to use the stream of sea-elves as a distraction or lure. Keeping it in once place whilst you rig the roof to blow, crushing it under tones of rock, say.

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I'm not complaining, though my players might ;) It helps me be better prepared for playing this on the table and not get blindsided by my crafty players.
Well they might not try such obtuse tactics, especially when half of these tactics are being asked because I can see the mechanics behind the scenes - so perhaps its not overly useful.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

My table-top group's first response to seeing an environmental hazard is to try to push an NPC into it. Ideally a monster, but they've had moments of moral weakness if there were no monsters handy. They'd be drawn to dragging Igghagh through those vents as if by a hook through their noses.

The infected-sea-elf-popcorn snacking reminds me of some MMO boss fights :)
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

Thanks, this is really great. What did you use to make the SVG?
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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Thanks, this is really great. What did you use to make the SVG?
Inkscape - he's really handy with it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:33 AM   #16
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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Inkscape - he's really handy with it.
Indeed it's done in inkscape. Quickly done in fact. Seriously, Inkscape is a wonderful program, but as a vector (ie point, line and shape) based program it requires a bit of a paradigm shift compared to raster (ie pixel) based programs.

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The infected-sea-elf-popcorn snacking reminds me of some MMO boss fights :)
Completely un... intentional, I tell you! (tries whistle innocently - and fails) ;)
Now seriously, it's there for the same reason as it's there in MMO boss fights, to add changing fight dynamics so it's not just "tank and spank" in MMO-parlance. The creature is again supposed to be a big ball of teeth and stupid, so I can't have that through clever tactics.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:36 AM   #17
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Now seriously, it's there for the same reason as it's there in MMO boss fights, to add changing fight dynamics so it's not just "tank and spank" in MMO-parlance. The creature is again supposed to be a big ball of teeth and stupid, so I can't have that through clever tactics.
So you add more stupid things moving in predictable ways at predetermined time periods? Clearly pulling chains with tongues in cheeks =P

However, there are other things that can be done. The Psychic Screams may have a physical component too, which in turn causes rocks/bricks to fall from the ceiling and act as bombardment in the room (or in just one area, allowing Igghagh to target a region nearby with something in it, but perhaps one that is out of the of its reach pseudopods).

The volcanic vents can flare up randomly, causing bubble screens that block line of sight. It would produce more heat, but you've already pointed out that this wont do anything to anyone. However it might cause additional fatigue, or even release more potent toxins into the water which would take time to dissipate and penalise the HT roll. This would make the fight an unpredictable race against time, or at least give Igghagh periods where it can heal up with greater ease as the PCs briefly flee, or give it greater advantages as they succumb to harsher conditions.

Igghagh may be able to cause more unstable dimensional fractures around the cavern as the fight goes on, especially if the scream is slightly more target-able (with a region of 'maximum potency', and an weaker but infinite AoE elsewhere, which can be logically coupled with the physical component). If any given region receives multiple screams (perhaps 2 or 3, so it actually happens) it will cause additional rifts to form, which in turn grant more sea-elves each scream - or open to other less stable locations, allowing other monstrous critters a chance to escape. These might be short lived, or only open if the same region is screamed at (so moving away from that area or forcing it to scream at another area will prevent the hole opening again). This gives more dynamic change and potentially new foes to deal with, and will force the group to keep moving around - especially if Igghagh chooses the target of the scream randomly, making it difficult to know where it land.

Not sure if you needed other evil ideas for this fight though, but if your PCs are doing too well, perhaps you can include a few. Or on the off chance someone with even higher pointed characters wanted to make the fight harder, they can now do so!
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:58 AM   #18
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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With my group, I've learnt that if I don't design the encounters to be almost assured total party kills, they end up being cakewalks.
Weirdly, I find this is just Best Practice for GURPS. Every time I throw ridiculously OP encounters at my party, those turn out to be the most legendary and exciting ones. I suspect this is just how GURPS works: You're either fine or you're dead, and because it has such a rich complexity and diversity of options, there's always something you didn't think of that the players can exploit, and because it's well-grounded rather than abstract, players can apply real-world problem-solving skills, rather than "How well do you know the system?" problem solving skills.

Though Exalted worked like this too. The best encounters were not "balanced," they were "impossible."
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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So you add more stupid things moving in predictable ways at predetermined time periods? Clearly pulling chains with tongues in cheeks =P
Remember, each sea elf that dies releases either a neuroid or an oddififier, and those are not stupid. They appear no matter if the elves are consumed or killed, and will try to swarm the PCs
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: The lair of Igghagh, an epic Dungeon Fantasy encounter

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Weirdly, I find this is just Best Practice for GURPS. Every time I throw ridiculously OP encounters at my party, those turn out to be the most legendary and exciting ones.
You have to have a reasonable tolerance for TPKs, however. This isn't unique to GURPS, it's pretty much fundamental to a challenging fight that it's one the PCs will occasionally lose, but GURPS combat is typically quite swingy (any system with low hit probabilities and low numbers of hits required to drop someone will have high randomness) so it's hard to design for a fight that reasonably consistently leaves the PCs bloodied but victorious.
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