Tutorials Archive | 7/29/2009
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Elder Evils
4th Edition Conversion
By Creighton Broadhurst

If you want to add the material from Elder of Evil into your 4th Edition campaign, this conversion should help you do that. Everything that has been converted shows up in the order in which it was covered in the original book.

Revised stat blocks are included in a separate PDF document.

Chapter 2: Atropus

Chapter 2 presents the following NPCs that do not appear in one of the subsequent tactical encounters: Aspect of Atropus, Caira Xasten, Gorguth, Skyshadow.

Encounter 2-1: Bone Field

Encounter Level 30 (98,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter: Replace the 2-4 red dragon skeletons with 4 dread bonespitters.

Tactics

The dread boneyard hangs back, allowing the dread bonespitters to position themselves into a defensive boundary.

In the first round of battle, two of the dread bonespitters use their bone shard ability while the other two let loose with their bone storm. They use both powers and their flight to play a frustrating game of keep away from their enemies.

The boneyard uses field of bones as soon as enemies are in range -- it is unlikely that this will damage the bonespitters. It uses engulf to grab a PC getting past the bonespitters and then moves away from the melee to deal with the trapped creature on its own.

Encounter 2-2: Deep Crater

Encounter Level 29 (78,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the evolved atropal scion with an atropal (see Monster Manual page 11).
  • Replace the 2 famine spirits with 4 howling famine spirits.

Tactics

In battle, the atropal strides forward with the line of howling famine spirits. The group works in close concert to create a line of pulling thunder and necrotic damage and undead regeneration.

Encounter 2-3: Angels of Atropus

Encounter Level 29 (75,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter: Replace the 6 angels of decay with 6 dread rot harbingers.

Tactics

The angels of decay mob the PCs, fighting to the death.

Chapter 3: Father Llymic

Chapter 3 introduces the brood spawn template.

Brood Spawn

Retaining only a vague resemblance to their original forms, brood spawn are terrible creatures to behold. Made entirely of pale blue crystal, brood spawn are covered in sharp spikes and ridged plates.

Mentally, all brood spawn are extensions of Father Llymic’s thoughts. They carry out his desires automatically, without any need for direction.

3-1 Giant Brood

Encounter Level 23 (28,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter: Use the replacement stat blocks for the brood swarm worgs and the brood swarm frost giants.

Tactics

The brood spawn worgs charge into combat while the giants hang back and hurl their javelins at spellcasters and archers. The worgs use their freezing breath as soon as they are in range.

As soon as a worg is slain, a frost giant steps forward into the fray, positioning himself so that he can use his chill strike attack. The next round, the other giants join him, blasting their enemies with freezing breath.

3-2 Ice Wyrm

Encounter Level 24 (30,250 XP)

Make the following replacement for this encounter: use the replacement stat block for the brood swarm white dragon.

Tactics

The brood swarm ancient white dragon catches as many opponents in its aura of winter each round as it can, and in the first round of combat uses its breath weapon on the largest concentration of foes. It uses dragon’s fury to dispatch an opponent, spending an action point to repeat the attack.

In subsequent rounds it uses icy tomb to neutralize a troublesome archer or spellcaster.

3-3 Father Llymic

Encounter Level 30 (101,300 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter: use the replacement stat blocks for Father Llymic and the brood swarm barbarians.

Tactics

Father Llymic allows his barbarian allies to charge into combat, using them as a screen to protect him from opponents. He uses soul chill to strike archers and spellcasters, spending an action point to use it twice in the first round that he uses it.

The brood swarm barbarians charge into battle, taking any risk to protect their master. They use freezing breath as soon as possible thereafter, alternating between indomitable strike and supreme strike.

Chapter 4: The Hulks of Zoretha

Chapter 4 presents the following individuals that do not appear in any of the associated tactical encounters: Soelma Nilaenish, Janwulf the Soulbiter.

4-1 Into the Temple

Encounter Level 26 (45,350 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the 3 war trolls with 4 fell trolls (see Monster Manual page 255)
  • Use the replacement ogre tempests stat block. Increase the number to 6, placing the new ogres on each of the paths.
  • Use the replacement whitespawn berserker stat block.

Tactics

The ogre tempests surge forward, each trio ganging up on a single opponent. At the same time, the berserkers attempt to flank the characters and keep the advantage of positioning using swift step.

Once the characters are engaged, the war trolls move down to exploit any gap in the characters' defenses.

4-2 Stop the Ritual

Encounter Level 25 (42,791 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the cave troll with a pair of fell trolls (see Monster Manual page 255)
  • Use the replacement stat blocks for the skindancers and greathorn minotaurs.

Tactics

The skindancer minions and the greathorn minotaurs rush into battle. The skindancers try to set up flanks with the minotaurs. The greathorn minotaurs initially use their goring charge followed in the subsequent round by crippling swing when it is available.

The trolls initially force their way into the middle of the invaders to wreak as much carnage as possible.

4-3 The Hulks Awaken

Encounter Level 30 (90,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement stat blocks for Hulk of Zoretha (female) and Hulk of Zoretha (male).

Tactics

Once the hulks awake, the four females move toward their enemies and use their breath weapon as soon as they are in range. Subsequently, they use waking nightmare before closing to melee. If it is in a position to do so, a female hulk uses many slam as often as possible.

The male hulk hangs back from combat, using its poisoned spikes to damage spellcasters and archers. It uses combination strike against the first opponent engaging it in melee and hypnotic gaze to stun an opponent prior to moving away.

Chapter 5: The Leviathan

Chapter 5 presents the following individuals that do not appear in any of the associated tactical encounters.

  • Marcus Hape

5-1 Upper Temple

Encounter Level 31 (113,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement stat blocks for waterveiled assassin, Axihualt, and cultist.

Tactics

As soon as the characters appear, most of the cultists charge into battle trying to surround the intruders. Four, however, hang back and pepper the intruders with arrow fire. If a PC breaks through their fellows to attack Axihuatl, these cultists immediately go to their master’s assistance.

The waterveiled assassin attempts to reach a position from which it can strike at a lone or vulnerable character. It uses sudden deluge to push its target away from his companions and follows this up with watery embrace. It uses liquid form to escape if the battle goes badly.

Axihuatl first uses his ranged attacks, attempting to stay away from the intruders. He uses dominating gaze and darkburst against archers and spellcasters. He uses blood drain whenever possible and mist form to escape if things take a turn for the worse.

5-2 Runic Zones

Encounter Level 28 (60,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement aspects of leviathan stat blocks.
  • Use the replacement effects for the area’s features.

Tactics

The two Leviathans attack to split up the party. They use chaos surge to split the group and then each attack a different set of targets. When faced with multiple opponents, they use slam flurry and spend an action point to use crushing bite on the most injured-looking opponent, before swallowing that creature whole.

Features of the Area

As in the original adventure, the battlefield includes a number of areas affected by the swirling random energy of the level. These share most of the same traits listed in the original adventure, with the following exceptions.

Creatures: Each time a creature other than the aspects of the leviathan enters one of these squares, it is targeted with the following attack: +33 vs. Reflex; the target is slowed and blinded until the end of its next turn.

Turbulence: The first time on its turn that a creature other than the aspects of the leviathan enters one of these squares, it is targeted with the following attack: +33 vs. Fortitude; the target is pushed 5+3d6 squares in a random direction, using the area square as the origin square.

Thick Zone: Each time a creature other than the aspects of the leviathan enters one of these squares, it is targeted with the following attack: +33 vs. Reflex; the target is restrained until escape (DC 42).

Chaos Effects: Each time a creature other than the aspects of the leviathan enters one of these squares, it is targeted with the following attack

D20 Effect
1-4 The creature takes ongoing 5 damage (save ends) of a random type -- roll d6:
1 = cold;
2 = fire;
3 = force;
4 = lightning;
5 = necrotic;
6 = thunder
5-7 The creature is immobilized (save ends)
8-10 The creature takes ongoing 10 damage (save ends) of a random type -- roll d6:
1 = cold;
2 = fire;
3 = force;
4 = lightning;
5 = necrotic;
6 = thunder
11-15 The creatures is dazed (save ends)
16-19 The creature takes ongoing 15 damage (save ends) of a random type -- roll d6:
1 = cold;
2 = fire;
3 = force;
4 = lightning;
5 = necrotic;
6 = thunder)
20 The creature regains a spent encounter power.

5-3 The Pit

Encounter Level 30 (95,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement greater aspects of leviathan stat block.
  • Replace the kraken with the following giant squid stat block.

Tactics

The giant squids launch into melee using flurry of strikes as soon as possible. In the subsequent round, they use biting grasp to immobilize their prey. They use ink cloud to limit line of sight to the Leviathan.

The Leviathan makes for the character carrying the Abyssal Shard, focusing its attacks on that individual. In the first round, it uses a slam flurry. As soon as its target is bloodied, it uses crushing bite and immediately spends an action point to use swallow whole.

Chapter 6: Pandorym

6-1 Guard Room

Encounter Level 29 (76,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the grisgol with the terrifying iron golem, below.
  • Use the replacement deathshrieker stat block.

Tactics

The terrifying iron golem uses breath weapon as often as possible, and wades into battle, its devastating longsword hewing.

The deathshrieker tries to work its way round the back of the party and then unleashes screams of the damned. It then darts about the chamber, using scream of doom. When reduced to less than 100 hit points, it enters melee to cause maximum damage with its death rattle.

6-2 The Shattered Hall

Encounter Level 29 (82,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the advanced caryatid columns with the animated columns, below.
  • Use the replacement Lucather Majii stat block.

Tactics

As soon as battle begins, the animated columns attack. They use smash back to split up the party and then paralyzing strike to keep an opponent nearby. They save terror smash for last.

Lucather Majii keeps away from the PCs using chain lightning to strike her enemies. When several of her guards have been slain, she unleashes her meteor swarm. If a hero closes in to melee range with her, she uses black fire.

6-3 Crystalline Prison

Encounter Level 29 (92,500 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Replace the dread wraiths with the dread wraith minions, below.
  • Use the replacement Obligatum VII and mind shard of Pandorym stat blocks.
  • See encounter 2 for the Lucather Majii stat block.

Tactics

The dread wraiths focus on physically weak opponents, using their dread blade to weaken them.

Once Obligatum has released the mind shard of Pandorym, it defends it ruthlessly using vampiric strike to heal damage and curse of death to stop an opponent from reaching the Mind Shard.

The mind shard of Pandorym starts the battle by targeting a heavily armored foe with its dominating ego whip, then moving on to pesky strikers and controllers when needed.

For Lucather’s general tactics, refer to encounter 2.

Chapter 7: Ragnorra

7-1 Skin Crawl

Encounter Level 27 (57,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement blistered soul stat block.

Tactics

The blistered souls burst into combat using whirlwind of claws to shred their enemies. They position themselves to flank enemies where possible. Two of the blistered souls concentrate on the party’s front rank while the other works its way around to get at the physically weaker enemies.

7-2 Vane Engagement

Encounter Level 28 (65,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Irthicax Vane stat block.

Tactics

Irthicax uses his teleportation and evasive moves to keep opponents off balance. He uses immobilizing flurry and shifting strike to keep foes off of him, and teleports in to use stunning strike on pesky controllers and ranged attackers.

7-3 Vile Home

Encounter Level 33 (171,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement blistered soul and Ragnorra stat blocks.

Tactics

The blistered soul protects Ragnorra using whirlwind of claws to rip apart the nearest enemy. It tries to catch as many enemies as possible in its abominable form aura.

Ragnorra starts with corrupting bolt, hoping that her reflect power ability will give one of her enemies a nasty surprise. If her enemies bunch up, she uses trample. When bloodied, her Reflex defense drops to 30 and her movement becomes 0, but she gains true mother chord, which she uses against those within range of the burst.

Chapter 8: Sertrous

8-1 Grand Temple of Sertrous

Encounter Level 30 (97,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Seghulerak and vanguard assassin stat blocks.
  • Note that the summoned babau and fiendish anaconda are not present in this replacement encounter.

Tactics

The vanguard assassins enter combat using sudden strike followed by viper strike to cause confusion in the enemy’s ranks. When bloodied, a vanguard assassin uses slither away to move toward and attack the most injured-looking enemy.

Seghulerkak uses soothing words on an enemy fighting one or more vanguard assassins and positions itself so that the aversion aura affects as many allies as possible. It uses grasping coils against an enemy trying to move away so that they remain in its aversion aura.

8-2 Pits of the Forsaken

Encounter Level 30 (98,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Zuvexus and viper swarm stat blocks.

Tactics

Zuvexus enters battle by trying to set up flanks with one or more viper swarms. She normally concentrates her attacks on one enemy, moving on when that one falls. She uses hacking blades against enemies missing her with a melee attack and weapon dance to devastate a single opponent. In other rounds, she uses shroud of steel to protect herself from her enemies’ attacks.

The viper swarms attack the nearest opponents, moving to the next nearest if they manage to kill an enemy.

8-3 Inmost Vault

Encounter Level 33 (166,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Avamerin and Aspect of Sertrous stat blocks.
  • Replace the 4 golothomas with 2 of the replacement golothomas. The replacement stat blocks are below.

Tactics

The golothomas charge into battle. Any golothomas temporarily without a nearby target use dimensional reach to attack a ranged combatant, preferably in conjunction with claw storm.

Avamerin is fearless in combat, seeking out the most physically imposing enemy. Whenever possible, he uses double strike and positions himself to get maximum effect from his battle lord tactics and inspiring assault. He uses sign of vengeance against an archer or other ranged combatant.

As soon as Avamerin is slain, Sertrous appears. He strides into combat using poison breath against a large concentration of enemies and awesome bite to stop enemies fleeing from his form of madness aura. He uses his action points to defeat an obvious warrior quickly so that he can then savage the weaker members of the party.

Chapter 9: The Worm That Walks

Chapter 9 references the following creatures that do not appear in any of the associated tactical encounters.

  • Herald of Kyuss
  • Century Worm
  • Hideous Leechwalkers

The villains in this chapter can be used in conjunction with those found in Chapter 3 of Exemplars of Evil.

9-1 Ruins

Encounter Level 29 (94,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement blessed spawn of Kyuss and gravecrawler stat blocks.

Tactics

The blessed spawn immediately move into combat, where they use their dread smash to knock down their enemies before delivering the “blessing” of their touch of Kyuss.

The gravecrawler uses spring attack to attack a vulnerable-looking target before moving on to its next victim.

9-2 Tar Pit

Encounter Level 33 (166,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement scion of Kyuss and forest giant skeleton stat blocks.

Tactics

The forest giant skeletons fearlessly strike at the PCs using their vicious greataxe attacks.

The scion of Kyuss uses its breath of Kyuss on any remaining bunch of enemies after the skeletons have attacked. As soon as a foe is bloodied, the scion uses its bite to grab that enemy and then immediately spends an action point to swallow the unfortunate foe.

9-3 The Obelisk

Encounter Level 32 (134,000 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Edwin Tolstoff stat block.
  • See Open Grave, page 206, for the Kyuss (The Worm that Walks) stat block.

Tactics

Edwin releases the Worm That Walks by destroying its prison with a meteor swarm. He also tries to catch as many PCs as possible in the blast. He then tries to stay away from the PCs, letting the Worm That Walks soak up their attacks while he concentrates on the weaker members of the party while using his powers at range. He uses blink escape to keep away from his enemies.

Once the Worm That Walks emerges, it uses its squirming assault on as many enemies as possible. In subsequent rounds, it spends an action point to double that attack or to unleash Kyuss’s fearful hold.

Chapter 10: Zargon

Chapter 10 references a gargoyle sneak that does not appear in any of the associated tactical encounters. Replace the gargoyle sneak with the nabassu gargoyle (Monster Manual page 115).

10-1 Hall of Whelps

Encounter Level 22 (20,750 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Dorn and whelps of Zargon stat blocks.
  • The black pudding and the ochre jelly do not appear in this replacement encounter.

Tactics

The whelps move forward to attack, each making for a different opponent. They use noxious slime and then flail away until destroyed.

Dorn keeps back from combat, using acid spew on an unengaged target. Once an opening appears in his enemies’ ranks, he darts in using swift strike. He uses acid spew again as soon as he is bloodied, preferably targeting the enemy that injured him last.

10-2 Den of Excess

Encounter Level 25 (35,700 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Vanessa, cult guard, thralls of Juiblex, and cultist of Zargon stat blocks.

Tactics

As soon as they see the enemy, the cult guards shout a warning and move to attack, hoping to keep the PCs out of their room. They use knockdown strike to slow down the PCs, and each designates a different target for combat cunning.

The thralls of Juiblex join the fray as soon as they hear the sounds of battle. They use punishing strike to push enemies back.

In the meantime, the cultist of Zargon opens the door connecting Vanessa’s room to the others and waits to one side, preparing to pounce on those who come too near.

Vanessa stays away from the PCs while using her various guards as cover. She uses her ranged powers to damage and kill.

10-3 Chapel of Zargon

Encounter Level 25 (44,600 XP)

Make the following replacements for this encounter:

  • Use the replacement Zargon, corruptures, and whelps of Zargon stat blocks.

Tactics

Zargon gets into combat as quickly as possible. The whelps back him up, getting into position to grant combat advantage where possible. The three corruptures hang back, ready to pounce on any enemy winning past Zargon and his allies.

As soon as he can, Zargon uses grab and crush before moving back into the chapel. A corrupture immediately darts into the position he left, effectively trapping the PC in the chapel with Zargon. As soon as he is assailed by multiple targets, Zargon uses writhing mass.