- East (to Little Sellen River)
- Northeast (along Little Sellen River)
- East (along Little Sellen River)
As a change of pace, you’ll collect yourself on the eastern edge of this area’s map, with a stream running invitingly to the west. Follow it until you find a break in the rocks to the north, beyond which is a clearing where Torpor, the Great Nightmare dwells.
This beast is certainly tough for a 7th-level (or thereabouts) party, and you’d best come prepared to this fight. That means fully rested and with several key spell buffs prepared, including Haste, Glitterdust, Resist Energy, Communal, Protection from Energy, Communal. The typical slew of personal defensive spells (Armor of Faith, Blur, Shield, Mage Armor, Mirror Image, etc) are also recommended. When you’re ready and rested, buff your characters up, then engage with your tank.
This hellish horse isn’t the most potent melee combatant, although its Attack bonus is high and it gets multiple attacks per round. Sounds potent, sure, but its damage output per attack is mediocre, and while it’s not tank-proof, a good tank (one who can flirt with an Armor Class of 40+) won’t be suffering much from this foe. The downside is, this beast has an absurdly high Armor Class, mostly thanks to its +18 Natural Armor bonus. This will make it very difficult for your characters to hit, but there are ways around this:
- Buffs. Obviously. A character who walks into a fight with a +15 Attack bonus isn’t going to hit often. Give them Haste, Prayer, Bull’s Strength, Inspire Courage and other buffs, and that 19-20 to hit could drop to a much more manageable 13-20.
- Flanking: Plenty of bonuses from surrounding this critter, but even the generic +2 Attack bonus for flanking is a huge boon. Any sneak attack/precision damage will also help overcome Damage Reduction, and Outflank will further increase your flanking bonuses and provoke Attacks of Opportunity if you manage to score a critical hit.
- Volume. As tough as this horse can be, there’s only one of it, and many of you. The more attacks per round you get, the more luck will finally have to concede some damage to you. Haste obviously helps with this.
- Glitterdust: Might not seem like an offensive boon, but it’ll slow down Torpor’s offense. More importantly, if blinded, your foe treats the rest of your party as if they were invisible, negating their own Dexterity bonus to Armor Class. In Torpor’s case, this will shave off several points due to being effectively flat-footed, making it much, much easier to hit.
So, buff up, engage Torpor with your tank, then surround it, perhaps leaving one side of the beast unoccupied so you can safely clip it with Glitterdust attacks. It has Spell Resistance, but otherwise its Will Save isn’t terribly high, so there’s a fair chance you’ll actually pull this off. On turns where Torpor is blinded, you can rack up big damage. Even without that, however, a well-built, hasted, and fully-buffed party flanking Torpor should be able to cut it down.
There’s one more complication to this fight, however: Torpor’s breath weapon. As a Nightmare, it can breathe fire in a cone, and this attack hits hard (damage numbers above 50+ aren’t impossible!) Protect yourself with Resist Energy, Communal and Protection from Energy, Communal to lessen this damage.
Did You Know?: This used to be a much easier encounter, as the then generically-named “Greater Nightmare” had much lower Hit Points and Armor Class, and no Damage Reduction. Over the course of updates, however, this foe received some boosts, including an absurd Natural Armor +18 and a name.
Should you vanquish the infernal equine, investigate a crate behind it to find a Flaming Glaive +2, a suit of Full Plate Mail and some jewelry.