Now that we’ve talked about general guidelines, we’ll put together some encounters.
Cracking open the pathfinder Bestiary, the first thing I look for is Skeletons, since I already know I wanted to use skeletons with guns. Right away I see the Skeletal Champion, which will be perfect for Necrothis.
Now, I don’t know how many players I’ll have, but I know I can set a level to ask them to play at. I’ll go ahead and say that if there are five+ players, they’ll be level one-two depending on the group, three-four players, level two, two, level three, and level four if there’s only one player.
To make sure Necrothis is an effective boss no matter how many players, I’ll multiply his hit points based on the number of players. If there’s three strong players, or more players, I’ll give him an extra standard action each turn. Then I’ll add two basic skeletons per player as support. Since I’m looking to have some skeletons have guns, I’ll give Necrothis a gun, and have it be his second attack if there are enough players. The other skeletons will have guns too. Finally, for every player beyond one, I’ll add two to either one of his saves or his AC.
Side note: the rules for the guns can be found online:
We’ll just be assuming everything is early pistols here, so they deal 1d8 damage and have to spend a standard action to reload between shots. This’ll be convenient because it doesn’t make them that much deadlier than normal skeletons, unless they get a critical hit.
Now we have a basic boss fight. We’ll add an extra element to give the encounter some spice. As I think about how this fight might come about, it occurs to me that the skeletons would probably use the sewers to get around, so I’ll have this fight occur in the sewer, so some squares will be slippery, there will be a ladder to the surface that an enterprising player might perch on and fire from, and there will be a waterway with pathways on either side with a bridge across the two. It’ll look something like this:
It can go further on in either direction as necessary.
With the boss fight done, I need some basic encounters for kicking off sessions. I imagine this adventure will take 1-3 sessions, depending on the players’ actions and the length of the sessions.
For basic encounters, we have normal skeletons with guns. We can just use 1-3 skeletons per player depending on how challenging the fight should be. We can also mix it up and have some skeletons not use guns.
To mix it up, we’ll have watchers—special town guardsmen with brass-knuckle-like claws and poisons, bundled up in dark, gray clothes, scarves covering most of their face, and beanies. We’ll just use the Ghoul statistics for these. These shadowy figures are the underground servants of Cashton, the ruler of the city.
Primarily, the skeletons will emerge at night and ambush innocents. The players don’t necessarily have to fight them every time, but the skeleton go after easy targets and the players not intervening will usually result in the death of innocents.
The watchers are going to be more dangerous, with their ability to paralyze foes. We’ll keep to one of them per two players. These guys will primarily attack the players at random when the players are in the sewers or in places they shouldn’t be. They will kill themselves rather than talk if captured, due to the charm magic placed on them. If the players take one of them to Leonarraza, if they’ve met her, she has a thirty percent chance of being able to dispel the magic on them. They’ll need to bring the watcher to her unconscious so they don’t kill themselves, however.
That should be enough for an adventure of this length.
Next time, revision and polish.
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