The Summoning of Castarprax
Encounter Level 6 (1325 xp)
Recently on twitter Chris Sims and a few others were talking about using Solos in encoutners, in particular looking to generate advice about such encounters. This encounter is a result of my pondering that, and also thinking about movies. It is unabashadly inspred by the first Tomb Raider movie and the Cambodian Temple scene (see here). In setting this encounter up it is structured here as a single level 6 encounter, however I recomend turning it into essentially 2 fights one with 4 Clay Scouts and 16 minions (yes that is a lot) followed immediately by the fight with Castarprax. This will bring the pressure of the Solo to bear much more, especially when he starts stealing surges!
The Basic Encounter
Read or paraphrase the following:
Chanting echoes through the temple as you race to stop the ritual, growing louder and more intense until as you open the last doors and look out into the room it reaches its crescendo. You, and the other priests stare in horror as the head priest’s flesh peels away flowing form his form into the grooves on the floor and then someone turns and sees you.
“They’ve come to stop us!”
- For 4 Playes remove a Clay Scout
- For 6 Players add a Clay Scout and 2 of each minion.
- The yellow sections of the map are 10′ above the grey sections and only accessible via the corner stairs. They also run a full 10′ wide (so over the alcoves on the ground level), but this was a little hard to show in a 2D map.
Features of the Area:
Illumination: Brightly illuminated.
Necrotic Pits: The black area surrounding the center of the room is a pit of nectoric energy. Charactrs falling or being pushed into the pit take 1d10 necrotic damage each round they are in the pit. It is an athletics DC10 check to climb from the pit once in it.
Wood Bridges: These unstable bridges are difficult terrain. A character may choose to ignore the difficult terrain by making an Acrobatics check DC15 (or DC20 if running) to walk or shift across the bridge without hinderance. Failing the check results in the character being tipped into the necrotic pit.
Alcoves: Provide cover to small creatures that enter them. Medium or larger creatures cannot fit into an alcove.
Stairs: Are difficult terrain to ascend or descend. Characters higher on the stairs have cover from characters lower on the stairs due to their spiral design.
The Evil Ritualists, and Archer Cultists attack as best they can, while the Clay Scouts will try and focus their attacks on a single character. The Evil Cultists will try and bull rush any characters that cross the bridge into the pits.
Castarprax only appears after 2 rounds, or when all the minions or clay scouts are dead, whichever happens first. Once he has appeared he will engage characters on the central island first, but will also destroy the bridges to make it harder for them to follow him, or get help from other PCs. He takes full advantage of his fly (hover) to put himself in positions where PCs cannot easily reach him with more than one character at a time.
Ending the Encounter
The encounter ends once Castarprax is dead, and he fights to the death, or the PCs flee.