Keldoclock wrote:Use incorporeal creatures on low-level parties. They are very frequently much more powerful than their CR, and you should use them against parties that do not have the appropriate spells or magic items to damage them.
Ohai fix'd that for you. Real GM's are unfair and they know it.
The use of incorporeal being against unprepared chars has nothing to do with unfairness. It's only unfair if there is no warning that they might get in over their head AND if there is no way of escape. If the lvl. 1-chars want to explore a dragon's lair or the Haunted Forest or the Deep Caverns of DOOM! or the Cave of the Red Bull under King Hagard's fortress, well, they only get what they deserve.
If you were the evil mastermind or necromancer you wouldn't send minions after the party that have no chance of success. Even more so if the PCs possess something of value, may it be an important NPC, a powerfull item or crucial information.
If the Evil One did his job right, he would exploit their weaknesses. If that happens to be incorporeal creatures, so be it.
Now it is your job as a GM to present clues how to escape certain death at the hands of such a superior opponent. Give warnings even before the first encounter and offer escape routes. Later on, when the PCs have done some research and preparation, they can begin to fight back, but for now it's retreat. The joy they feel when he is finally dead for good will be worth it.
Just think of it: What would LotR be without the Nazgûl?
What would happen to all the epicness if Aragorn defeated them singlehandedly in the first book?
With a torch.
And they stayed dead.
Now that I think of it, the Nazgûl have an "aura of terror". Make use of the character's emotions. If your party encounters said bad guy, don't only describe how powerfull he is, but mention the bad feeling they have in their stomach, the cold shiver that runs down their spine or the sheer terror they feel when looking at him. Have them roll for willpower, if the players don't get the clue.