My party started RotRl in November of 2013, now we finally finished. Good god did this campaign drag, not just because the combats were slow as balls, but we had to cancel a good deal of game nights. Our previous campaign was 2x faster.
That said, did I enjoy RotRl? Yes...although I suffered significant arc fatigue at the end and barely remembered any of the campaign lore at the end due to frequent game night delays. I don't think that's the AP's fault I failed to really get into the world, as the first few books were certainly engaging.
It was less satisfying than my last campaign, but decently adequate. I would rate the first 4 books very highly and the last 2 poorly. As first of all the last 2 get into level 14+ where high level gameplay bogs things down, and everything was very mega-dungeoncrawly and our party does not do well with that.
Additionally, I felt that the general lack of...basically ANY NPC presence aside from highly forgettable enemy minions and the BBEG very disheartening. It would have been nice to see some reoccuring NPCs or at least interesting new ones. Paizo never seems to reuse NPCs for some reason. Why? In fact, if this shows me anything is that 2/2 paizo has delivered sloppy campaign finishers that felt empty. The tiny town of sandpoint felt far more alive and engaging than the spires of Xin Xhalast. Plus, Paizo seems to have a bad knack for making very passive BBEGs who don't ever try to thwart parties. I think that's a problem. If my character and allies have been consistently destroying your minions, you'd think we'd be labeled a threat and some kind of attempt to stop us be made.
I'll also say that RotRl's treasure rewards are stupid and need to be paced out way more. And again, don't freaking give players EVIL artifacts! "Oh look, we got a cool artifact we can use!...oh it's evil and mind controls you, just lake the last 3." Stop jerking players around with that crap.
But, it was still pretty fun nonetheless, there were many memorable moments. Good god, the inbred hill giants. Or the time our party nearly got wiped by an optional boss, ran from him, locked him away, then spent the rest of the campaign taunting him after he became too easy to be bothered fighting again. The verity of enemies was cool, and I certainly loved having my constant dwarf bonus vs giants.
So, Karzoug. His defeat was rather hilarious and quite poetic. For reasons that become slightly more obvious when you see our party comp.
Rook: Dwarf Cleric of Sarenrae (battle focused)
Bishop: Aasimar Inquisitor/Cleric of Ragathiel
Pawn: Goblin Monk/Rogue
Dorian: Human Fighter/Ranger
Ephya: Elf Witch/Rogue
So, the fight. I'll preface this by saying we had no clue how to get to Karzoug, so we ended up arriving in staggered initiative (and thank god buffs from the fight right before were still all up thanks to us going in half cocked). I got in first, followed by Pawn, Bishop, Ephya, then Dorian.
Round 1: Rook enters the fight. I have Elemental Body IV, Holy Aura, Heroism Greater, Blessing of Fervor, Aura of Doom, Archon's Aura, Resist Energy Fire Communal, Ironskin, Weapon of Awe, Bless Weapon, Shield of Faith, and Divine Favor cast on myself.
Immediately Karzoug tells me I'm going to die, oh look no party nearby. Luckily I win initiative and cast Gate to call too Ghaele Azata's to aid me. They cast shield of faith on themselves. Karzoug and cohort immediately begin peppering us with spells and ranged attacks. Meteor storm almost drops the Azatas but does no damage to me.
Round 2: Azatas go incorporeal and cast Heal on themselves. I teleport directly at Kazoug with Dimensional Hop (travel domain). I fail to save vs his repulsion spell, and elect to cast Firestorm on all the enemies. Pawn arrives, he uses abundant step to sneak behind Karzoug with a teleport.
Karzoug attempts to Greater Dispel Rook. This autofails as Rook's Compassionate weapon negates one dispel per day. Minions attempt to attack Rook and Azatas, either do no or minimal damage. (I should add Rook is a reach Cleric with a reach of 30ft thanks to being huge with a reach weapon and has been AoOing lots of stuff).
Round 3: Now that all the baddies are focused on Rook, Bishop arrives and begins setting up his archer buffs. Rook attempts to dispel Karzoug and his stupid mirror images, it fails after being reflected by Spell Turning. (Luckily I rolled bad and only stripped Holy Aura and Heroism greater off myself). Deciding Karzoug needs to be isolated, I cast Dimension Anchor (quickened) on Karzoug and instruct the Azatas to construct 2 walls of force pinning Karzoug in his alcove.
Karzoug elects to use 1 disintegrate spell to destroy the first wall. Right after, Pawn surprises Karzoug with a flurry of blows, and ALMOST manages to insta him with a quivering palm (Karzoug saves with a nat. 1) but is still stunned by stunning fist. Karzoug's flunkies by now are rather ineffectually trying to wail on Rook who's AC is 58 or the azatas who take half damage.
Round 4: Ephya arrives. (I don't actually remember what spell she casts) but whatever she does, giants start trying to attack her. Azatas use light rays to strip the dragon of his images so Rook and Bishop can go to town killing the dragon. Pawn continues kicking Karzoug's ass. Karzoug still stunned.
Round 5: Dorian arrives. Bishop kills the dragon with his bow. Rook and azatas kill one giant after a whopping huge crit from Rook. Other giants are now trying to kill the party mage who is healing herself. Pawn continues wailing on Karzoug. Karzoug himself, trapped, attempts to Finger of Death Pawn...and fails his SR check.
At this point, Karzoug is stunned that this lowly GOBLIN is kicking his ass. And this by the way, after Pawn had previously trapped his apprentice in an alcove and done the exact same thing to that guy, blinding him and beating him up till he teleported away in terror. Karzoug attempts to sway Pawn with promises of riches.
Round 6: Nothing else matters as Pawn delivers the death knell to Karzoug, totally goring him as blood splashes across the wall of force. The last giants surrender.