Playful Darkness is an optional boss in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. In many ways, it might be the toughest opponent that you’ll face in the game, considering when you stumble upon it during the campaign. Still, you’ve got a shot at taking out this ferocious foe. Here’s our Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous guide to help you beat Playful Darkness in the Midnight Fane in Act 3.
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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – How to beat Playful Darkness
You can find Playful Darkness in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous once you’ve reached the Midnight Fane. Considering that entering the dungeon is the point of no return in Act 3, you probably want to complete most of the time-sensitive sidequests first. In any case, the area is divided into two sections: the dungeon proper and the underground caverns.
Playful Darkness is in the caverns below, specifically in the northeast portion that’s reachable only after you’ve gone through most of the upper levels. Since it’s an optional encounter, you’re not required to battle it at all. In fact, if you’re having trouble in Act 3, you can still return to the Midnight Fane anytime in Act 4 once you’ve leveled up a bit.
So, what exactly makes Playful Darkness annoying? Well, apart from your team being at a lower level at this stage in Act 3, your opponent has high AC and Concealment, which means almost all attacks will miss. Likewise, the creature hits like a truck, and spawns a bunch of Ravenous Greater Shadows. As such, the key facet here is to ensure that you can debuff the boss, while also preventing your characters from getting hit.
It’s also worth noting that the enemy won’t aggro until you enter its small cavern, so you have a lot of time to pre-buff, summon, and create a backup save. Moreover, you’ll want to switch to turn-based combat for this bout, so as to make the right choices each round.
Ideal setups include:
- Tank – If you’re using one character to tank, they should have buffs like Blur, Displacement, Mirror Image, Barkskin, etc. The Last Stand feat also helps here.
- Damage and spell buffs:
- Archers/casters should stay further behind, peppering the target with arrows and spells. Also, while it may seem tempting, don’t bother using Midnight Bolts despite their damage, as the type of ammunition is required for the game’s secret ending.
- Mark of Justice -> Smite Evil for improved DPS in case you have a Paladin (i.e., Seelah).
- Chain Lightning and/or Hellfire Ray.
- Blade Barrier on the narrow passageway.
- The usual buffs like Enlarge Person, Haste, and Bless.
- There are several debuffs that you’ll want to apply as well:
- Dispel Magic Greater
- Evil Eye + Cackle
- Summons – You can practically clog the entire passageway using summons from various classes/Mythic Paths. The goal is to prevent Playful Darkness from even getting near your teammates, all while ranged DPS continue to shoot or cast spells:
- Creeping Doom
- Lich undead / Animate Dead
- Azata treants
- Summon X Creature scrolls
So, what exactly do you get if you manage to beat Playful Darkness in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous? Well, you’ll receive a ton of XP for your troubles. Moreover, there’s some nifty loot that you can pick up:
- Helmet of Weakening Torture – When you hit a target, it must pass a DC 25 Fortitude saving throw or suffer bleed damage equal to your STR for 1d4 rounds; stacks with bleed effects from other sources.
- Manual of Quickness of Action – When used, the character permanently gains +2 DEX.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is available via Steam.