Damn it, that game did not go as I hoped. And in retrospect there are some fundamental things that I did wrong. And there were some things I could have pointed out to them and failed to do so. Fortunately I threw in a rescue into my plan, so it didn’t really matter in the long run.
The thing is I designed this scenario long ago, before I thought of trying out Pathfinder. And I just basically converted it straight into Pathfinder. But there were some things that I just didn’t account for in that conversion. And they made a real difference.
The power of the Pathfinder Undead was far stronger that they are in 5E. Really it boils down to the Touch attack mechanism in Pathfinder. allowing the Shadows and Wights to just wail on the party. In a way this is really broken. Although the party took good advantage of it for themselves with some ranged touch attacks. So it didn’t completely work against them.
But, there was a simple precaution they could have taken, or at least some of them. Basic Undead fighting 101: Protection from Evil, 1st level, will last the duration of Combat, and no incorporeal touch attacks. That is a case of my failing the new players, heck these would have been just as helpful in 5E. BUt that doesn’t excuse me for not mentioning it to them. So Mea Culpa, and I will have to make a list of some basics before next time. Good thing I didn’t do any irreparable damage.
And on my side, I failed to realize just how deadly the melee monsters were now. It wasn’t until the fighter twice pulled a circle, using Great Cleave to just kill every monster surrounding him. And I also have the power of the Sorcerer to contend with, who twice pretty much vaporized big clumps of bad guys with fireballs. This is a pretty powerful group. But when the group is that powerful it is hard to figure out how tough the bad guys need to be. And as I am new to running Pathfinder, the power of the monsters is still new to me.
For next time I am going to take the time to create a cheat sheet of certain spells and actions that the boys have access to. And make it big and legible, and hand it out before the game, so they can double check it. Make sure they are using the right spells, making use of their resources. I am not giving up, I would like to have them go one more session at least. It would be a more traditional session as far as a journey, with 3 encounters along the way. So it should be a different, and hopefully more satisfactory, experience for them.