Just finished tonights session and it went exceptionally well, so I thought I would share it with you.
I was motivated to run some sort of nontypical boss fight/encounter. I found inspiration in Mr. X/Nemesis from resident evil, and old school horror monster Jason from the Friday the 13th movies.
Quick set up. The players enter an area that is a simple maze (they don’t know it’s maze-like at the start). All they see is a long-ish hallway with a couple side paths off and at the end of the hallway is very large armored figure with a massive (I mean massive) sword. In my game I described this creature as a 8ft tall human like figured fully covered in plate armor, with a sword as long as he was tall and at least 2ft wide, and this armored creature was leaning on the sword and loudly snoring, I called him “The Knight”.
If the players don’t attempt to keep quiet The Knight would awake, if they do attempt to keep quiet and succeed it will get harder and harder the more and more they move around and explore/do most any action.
The first thing the players hear when The Knight first awakes is the sound of a large sword being sharped echo through the halls of the dungeon. On every turn for The Knight I would have the players roll to determine its target, sometimes I used the lowest roll, sometimes the highest. As long as The Knight was out of line of sight of the players I moved it around the map as needed and put it in the way of the players forcing them to backtrack and run around. The reason this worked is because earlier in the dungeon they were warned about this area and creature from an NPC - basically “You can’t beat this thing! run!” it was made clear that this creature’s attacks are 1 hit, 1 death. I made the numbers for The Knights chance to hit favor the players, with the in world explanation that you can see The Knight wind up it’s attack as it swings this massive sword. Even though throughout the 2 hour encounter The Knight only had the chance to attack a player 4 times, every time was tension filled.
I filled the dungeon with some of the best treasure the group has come across to date in this year long campaign, which encouraged them to fully explore the area even though character death was clearly at stake.
When The Knight would move “around” the map the players could hear his sword scraping on the stone floor, this gave the target a little notice that he/she was targeted. Louder the noise, chances are The Knight is close.
There was a room in the maze with a lever that when pushed into the right position reset The Knight to his original position and asleep.
If the players attempted to slow down The Knight I would say “The Knight is occupied this round because of action xyz and you don’t hear the sword scraping sound”.
I probably missing some stuff, hope you can get even a little inspiration from my post.