Lolth takes Rio de Janeiro (was: The drow pantheon)

I'm running part one of a two-shot tomorrow (maybe a one-shot if the players are crazy fast), wherein the PCs will be facing the drow pantheon. I'm working up three encounters, and I wanted to get your feedback on the first of the gods I've statted up, Vhaeraun, god of thieves and drow activity on the surface.

The fight will take place in a city that's started tearing itself apart in chaotic urban warfare, and the PCs will encounter Vhaeraun, his son Selvetarm (god of warriors), a pair of master swordsmen who serve as Selvetarm's lieutenants, and an archmage, plus a few minions, which will be huge 'swarms,' representing crowds of warriors who are caught up in the chaos and compelled to fight alongside the drow.

The party's 30th level. Without further ado, here's Vhaeraun.


  • Vhaeraun.doc
    38.5 KB · Views: 135
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

I'm A Banana

Battle Felon is pretty awesome. I can just see the look on the face of the player first subject to that. Left Holding the Cloak is also great flavor. And You Can Take It With You is a nice "HA! I am going to hurt you even in death!" effect that should work well, presuming your party doesn't just rest after the encounter (it basically means he can't be a "climax" himself -- you need to keep the fury coming, which is a really interesting cross-encounter impetus).

Battle Felon:
You might want to define "steal an item" for Battle Felon a little better, but not necessarily. You're the DM, you can make the call as to what items he can steal (I might recommend things that the character is holding in their hand -- weapons or implements -- and then let a character recover the item with a Thievery check, or recover an item by having him take damage and then spending a minor action in the square he was damaged in to pick it up, but that might hurt PC's too much...)

Unparalleled Thief:
This hurts a party pretty hardcore. Imagine if the Leader has their Minor actions stolen...and then playing the Leader who can't do anything other than move and heal for half the combat. I'd add a way for them to get their Minor actions back. Maybe hitting him, maybe a saving throw, maybe spending an Action Point...

Left Holding the Cloak:
This is going to ratchet up damage significantly in the latter half of the battle, after he's bloodied. I probably wouldn't have him doing it with every time he's damaged after being bloodied. A Recharge would probably be fine.

Those are the big things I noticed. Basically, you're going to want PC's to be able to recover from what you do to them, even if it's at a heavy cost, and boom-a-porting every hit after the halfway point is going to get painful and probably tedious. ;)


Wickett, you've put together one hell of a drow god here. I expect he'll be more exciting than Lolth herself, actually!

The Midget had some good suggestions though... I was going to mention the thieving myself. I think I'd prefer it be an item the player isn't holding... and then doesn't notice it's gone until they try to use it (or succeed on a perception check). Or perhaps, running with the theme of the encounter, they notice at the end of their next turn. :D

I may steal this, and the rest of your drow pantheon to pit against my players when they fight Lolth in my 30th level one shot. I'll be eager to hear just how things go down during your game.

Left Holding the Cloak:
This is going to ratchet up damage significantly in the latter half of the battle, after he's bloodied. I probably wouldn't have him doing it with every time he's damaged after being bloodied. A Recharge would probably be fine.

Those are the big things I noticed. Basically, you're going to want PC's to be able to recover from what you do to them, even if it's at a heavy cost, and boom-a-porting every hit after the halfway point is going to get painful and probably tedious. ;)

The cloak trick is an encounter power. I just worded its trigger that way so that he can wait to pull the trick when there are actually people around. If he got bloodied by a ranged attack and had to drop the cloak then, that kinda spoils his fun.

Working on others now. I'll post them later. I somehow doubt WotC is interested in publishing an adventure in Dungeon where the Dark Seldarine try to destroy Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro.

I'm A Banana

Ah, I see. As long as you know what's up, then, that's cool. Were I to try and expose this to more than just a table, I'd think of some more cautious wording, but as long as he's not boom-a-porting every round, that shouldn't even be a problem.

From the email invite I sent my players.

[sblock]With the group's approval, I'd like to convene an evening of cross-dimensional ass-kicking in Rio de Janeiro. The city is wracked with its own little war as once-rival drug gangs band together in a crime spree, ambushing drivers, detonating buses, blocking roads out of the city, and targeting government authorities, as retaliation against the military police's crack down in the slums. In 4 years we might have an awesome World Cup, but right now, it's pandemonium.

And into that chaos arrives a dark pantheon of deities, bent on conquering this world and messing the place up like a teenaged gamer with irresponsible parents, taking a joy ride through New Vegas with the cheat codes on. Yes, bored with trying to seize pansy-ass worlds like Toril and Oerth, Lolth, demon queen of the drow, has decided to aim for the brass ring. One planet knows how to really f*** things up, and that's Earth. You just don't get this quality of genocide and righteous war on planes where the gods actually show up and talk to people and there are spells to tell you, 'yes, the people with the red eyes actually are evil.' If you really want to get a nice murder tsunami going, check out the solar system, third rock from the melting-our-ice-caps-hope-you-enjoy-melanoma sun.

To blot out the aforementioned sun, the evil league of evil needs to destroy eight wonders of the world. And it's not just the drow trying to one-up Michael Bay in the realm of monument snuff film; half the evil gods in the multiverse are converging on Terra Firma to get their slice of cake. How do you know this? You've got f***ing gods telling you your s***; who cares that it doesn't make any sense!

You're not the only group of epic level heroes looking to pick a fight with the denizens of hell, but you're the ones who decided Rio's pretty nice this time of year; let's go defend that statue of Jesus up on the mountain. So pick your characters, select Brazil as your stage, and don't try any of that cheap Blanka stunlock s***, or I'll stick you into a tube of tires, murder your wife in front of you, and set you on fire, then light a joint on your corpse!

(Video not safe for work.)
YouTube - Tropa de Elite - Brasil

The fight took place in a Rio de Janeiro favela, with lots of buildings and steep ledges. I got a nice little ambush on the party's druid, and had fun with Vhaeraun stealing a PC's magic belt and dropping a grenade in his pocket, but the heroes rallied and slew the gods who were prompting all the urban warfare.

I learned that epic level is a little crazy, but I think I managed to balance stuff fairly well. I probably should have given folks a single attack that does big damage, instead of two attacks that do less damage. For one thing, rolling four attack and damage rolls was too slow. For another, it had weird interactions.

Like Ring of Circling Fangs, which deals 10 damage whenever they're bloodied and someone adjacent attacks them; or the revenant swordmage's combo that let him stay conscious and have resist 30 and insubstantial when he was at 0 hp or below. If I'd made one big attack, I could have hurt him, but since it was two smaller attacks they got completely negated.

The aura I gave Selvetarm got completely forgotten by mid-combat. By itself, it wasn't that complicated, but when in tandem with the Demonweb Dreadnoughts I designed, people's brains started to hurt. Man, they hated those guys.

I also had some fun with a pair of riot-shield phalanxes, which I statted as minion swarms, named Tropa de Elite after the action movie of the same name set in Rio. They were mind-controlled by Selvetarm and mostly acted as mobile annoyances.

It was only a level 31 encounter vs. a level 30 party, and they only used one daily attack and one daily utility. Plus a lot of healing surges.

Next fight is against Kiaransalee and Ghaunadar. Then Lolth herself, whom I fully intend to modify so she'll provide an interesting encounter for the PCs.


  • Lolth takes Rio.doc
    84.5 KB · Views: 96
Last edited:

Bump, and a link to the original thread - - because I'm trying to finish this much delayed one-shot's second part.

The plan for the final fight looks something like this:

Level Lolth down to 32. Add that poison strands can pull the target 8 squares. She has a minor action that hits Will and makes people kneel and be unable to stand. (Yay for groveling.)

Lolth's ire is an encounter power free action when an enemy first hits her, that enemy loses all poison resistance and cannot save against ongoing poison damage. The creature can transfer the effect to an ally by attacking that ally. (Yay for inter-party strife.)

When she's dazed or stunned, she calls forth one of the other gods in her pantheon for a single attack. (Need to make a list for these.)

Keep Distance Round. Web pull, scourge, teleport.

Close Distance Round. Teleport in, kiss, insidious poison.

Hardcore Round. Teleport, darkfire, scourge, action point, insidious poison.

The first part of the fight is just her trying to keep her distance and waylay PCs. Hide on the opposite side of Christ, on his shoulder, along the side of the platform, in the trees. Web pull to yank people so they fall. Then she teleports back to the main platform. She does her best to stay at least 15 squares from the party's swordmage at all times, or at least put 3 squares of unpleasantness between him and her. She doesn't want to be marked.

When Lolth's at 3/4 HP, she conjures 8 allied spider minions. They all climb over Cristo Redento, wrapping it in webs. They're attuned to the five PCs (and up to three pets or summoned creatures). Whenever one is attacked, use the defenses of the next PC who hasn't been hit yet as a spider. When one gets hit, make a note of what power was used and the damage dealt. Once all are dead (or if there aren't enough pets), Lolth returns and applauds them. When they look at the corpses of the slain spiders, they see themselves. Then they're affected by their own attacks.

When she's at 1/2 HP, the moon darkens, and she undergoes her transformation. At this point she has to go full bore against the party's seemingly immortal warlord. She'll have an encounter power curse that transforms him into a drider, so he's dazed and taking ongoing damage, and she munches on him while stabbing anything that comes close. After that she leaps upon the swordmage, lays her eggs upon him, then trusses him to the ground.

At 1/4 HP, her blood starts to crack the earth beneath her, and her swiping legs tear holes in the fabric of reality. Each attack she hits with rips open part of a portal to the Abyss. If she hits eight times, the portal is opened and elemental darkness erupts into the world. The whole mountain begins to break apart and drift through the air in vortices of liquid night, and when she dies the whole mess collapses. She screams, and her spider body explodes, leaving her upper torso heaving, gasping to death.

Now I just need to stat that out.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

An Advertisement