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SCS, Kangaxx, and Scrolls of Protection from Undead

I often forget that I'm playing an SCS modded game lately, but I was reminded last night when the party decided to tackle Kangaxx. Unlike in the past, where he would focus his attention on the party member closest to him, he now wanders around spreading destruction. Worse, he was casting PFMW about as fast as my sorcerer could drop it, and it became a race between them. Meanwhile, the party wasn't hitting him at all - even with weapons like Carsomyr, Firetooth +4, etc. Eventually, he would get off a successful imprison on a party member, and even with scrolls of Freedom, it was clear this was going nowhere.

So, I did a bit of research and had the party buy a set of Scrolls of Protection from Undead. I was warned that at least one party member needed to forgo protection or Kangaxx wouldn't be able to drop the dialog that indicates he is switching forms.

That went about as poorly - as soon as he saw one party member, he started attacking them all. They were certainly immune to physical attacks, drain, etc, but not to the variety of 8th and 9th level spells he was dropping - again, including imprison. Rather than focus on the one party member who was attacking him, he was ignoring Imoen and powerbombing the party members WITH protection. Imoen was literally chasing after him! It looked like he was making a beeline for Eilrie, the PC, so it's possible that she could have stood in a corner with spell protections and a death ward as bait, but that room is small enough that everyone was getting gassed.

One reload later, I had the whole party use the scrolls. This time, the encounter was a bit closer to cleaning up a pesky rat in the sewer. He just stood there while Sirene chopped him into golden cordwood with Carsomyr - the only input from Eilrie was the initial Pierce Shield. The whole battle was over in about 5 minutes. He DID address the party and change into his demilich form, so the party was able to get the ring, but the journal entry didn't get updated and still shows as pending.

The thing is, I'm not sure how any party could handle Kangaxx with SCS unless they were all mages, since you can't cast spell immunity on other characters. Death ward, sure, but that only partly helps - imprison is still a massive risk. Trying to keep him busy with summons didn't go so hot either, when his casting time is so short that he can insta-nuke all of your summons, even Mordekainan's swords. (I did have the party try peppering with spells to remove his protections and then sending a horde of swords his way)

All in all, a somewhat unsatisfying end to this quest. The first two liches were actually challenging without being insane. With buffs and protections, the party was able to tackle them. Kangaxx? It was either a complete wash or a walk in the park.

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,233
    SCS makes the encounter far harder as you say because of the potential need to protect all your party members (although, if you have access to freedom, then it doesn't matter so much if someone is imprisoned). The length of the combat is likely to be much greater as well, so berserker rage is not the protection it would be in vanilla.

    You might want to make use of the 2 PfM scrolls available - if you cast those from a simmy then you're not using them up. If you want to get more cheesy then using one of those on Kangaxx will greatly reduce the nasty things he can do to you.

    Traps are another possibility - potentially using the Ring of the Ram to push Kangaxx into those, but I think you need spike traps to make that likely to succeed.

    If your casters can dispel his protections then the Ring of Energy is a good way to do him damage and potentially make his own spells fail.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 755
    Actually, demilich imprisonment ("Trap the Soul") isn't quite as nasty as regular imprisonment. It allows a save, which makes it very beatable.

    It's not just mages that can defend themselves; priests can put up Shield of the Archons. And then, spellcasting demiliches are a lot less likely to use Trap the Soul anyway. I've had full parties go after him and win the fight without anybody getting imprisoned.

    Warriors can optimize their save vs. death, and Spell Turning is one of the options for the Book of Infinite Spells. Priests can cast Shield of the Archons. Mages can cast Spell Immunity and Spell Deflection. The protagonist doesn't need any protection against imprisonment, because they won't be targeted.
    Grond0 wrote: »
    You might want to make use of the 2 PfM scrolls available - if you cast those from a simmy then you're not using them up. If you want to get more cheesy then using one of those on Kangaxx will greatly reduce the nasty things he can do to you.

    Traps are another possibility - potentially using the Ring of the Ram to push Kangaxx into those, but I think you need spike traps to make that likely to succeed.

    Using illusory duplicate items is specifically forbidden in SCS. If you want to use those scrolls, it'll be the real ones.

    As for traps, I find that's an excellent way of disposing of the lich form. The demilich form is a bit harder to hit with traps because you have to control its movement, but one Spike Trap is lethal if you can counter any Protection from Magical Energy spells and then drive it there. The level 16-20 trap, with its 20 fire damage, would also work pretty well. (This uses a character's average level, so something like a level 17/22 mage/thief would still have that version)

    Any source of non-physical damage that isn't a spell and isn't subject to magic resistance is fantastic here. Sun Soul Monks can deal a ton of damage with Sun Soulray and Flaming Fists. Druids can crush him with fire elemental form. A warrior with Daystar can hit very hard. And, of course, he only has 52 HP. It just doesn't take that many good hits.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,233
    jmerry wrote: »
    Grond0 wrote: »
    You might want to make use of the 2 PfM scrolls available - if you cast those from a simmy then you're not using them up. If you want to get more cheesy then using one of those on Kangaxx will greatly reduce the nasty things he can do to you.

    Using illusory duplicate items is specifically forbidden in SCS. If you want to use those scrolls, it'll be the real ones.

    Like most components in SCS you have the choice whether to install that restriction.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 570
    Part of the problem here is that the area requires the whole party to enter, where other areas with liches allow fewer party members to battle. The lich in WK, for instance - I normally tackle that one with only the party's casters, pre-buffed with death ward. For my current party, this was a problem. However, I might try this battle again with different tactics. I wasn't terribly satisfied with the outcome, despite "winning".

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,182
    what about the upgraded mace of disruption? it strikes as a +5 weapon, and if kangaxx gets hit by it, he has to make a save vs death with a -4 penalty or else be instantly be defeated

    is the upgraded mace nerfed in SCS?

    iosfrustration
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 755
    Not at all - but you do have to get around all those PfMW castings. Also, Kangaxx saves on a 6 - more than half the time, even with that -4. The bonus damage vs. undead appears to be crushing, so that extra 1d6+1 damage runs into Kangaxx's resistance and drops to a flat 1.
    Kangaxx and other demiliches are immune to "slay" effects, but not to "kill target" which the mace of disruption uses.

    ilduderino
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 570
    That, and my party is still in chapter 2. They haven't gotten to the mace of disruption yet. Ironically, they have the illithium to upgrade it sitting in a crate at De'Arnise Keep.

    For giggles, the party went to WK and tackled the lich on the 4th level. Sirene went in by herself with PfU and that fight was hilarious. She had to literally chase the lich down and try to pin him in a corner. With boots of speed, it looked absurd, especially when the lich failed a morale check and went yellow.

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