4e Extreme – Multiple Epic Solos
Last night was the last session of my reign as DM for the Scales of War adventure path. We’re rotating every module, which let’s everyone play and not succumb to DM burnout. Epic DMing is certainly a challenge as PCs are so powerful it can be difficult to even threaten them, let alone get close to killing them.
We were approaching the final battle of my module. The four PCs were 26th level and were galavanting all over Bahamut’s temple, clearing out the infestation of devils and trying to find a way to resurrect the slain god. Fairly epic stuff. The party steam-rolled several encounters, but made the mistake of not taking a short rest before they stumbled upon Dispater, one of the Arch-Devils of the nine hells. They cleverly sealed him back in Bahamut’s Vault, but he warned them he would be back.
The party proceeded to the bridge of Al-Sihal, where the the Archangel Zachariel was guarding the entrance to heaven from the mithral dragon Dakranad who wanted to assume Bahamut’s old throne and end the struggle with Tiamat. The PCs were guarding Amyria, a deva who was essentially Bahamut’s horcrux. They needed to defeat the dragon and take the lifespark Dakranad took from Moradin’s forge, and send Amyria into the great beyond with lifespark in hand. OK! Now we’re epic!
The battle was going pretty well for the PCs, as epic party’s tend to ruin solos without much trouble, when guess who showed up to snatch Amyria and take the divine throne for himself? Dispater! Bookending the party between two solos (three really, but Zachariel was neutral as long as you stayed away from him) on a bridge made for an awesome encounter. Had I pressed the issue and had Zachariel jump in, the party would have been in real trouble, but as it was the encounter was awesome enough. Not only that, the party used Zachariel as they slid their enemies close enough that he attacked them. At one point he banished Dispater to a pocket dimension of an acid rain-soaked island. Awesome stuff!
In the end, the party was victorious, and Bahamut was resurrected. Now I get to put my PC hat back on, and try a 27th level warlord! He’s healing two PCs per inspiring word at healing surge + 6d6! The next DM in rotation advised us that we’re going to need it!
If you’re looking to challenge an Epic party, throw the XP budget out the window. See what they *can’t* survive. I haven’t found anything yet. Two solos makes for a fun night!