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Rise of the Runelord? NOT THIS DAY!


Rise of the Runelords

Dark Archive

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

After about four years of roughly biweekly play, the Saviors of Sandpoint have faced Karzoug the Claimer in the Eye of Avarice, and slain the terror that survived Earthfall and the passing of ten thousand years!

I won't bore people with a round-by-round discussion, but I'll bring up several salient points.

1. I didn't want Karzoug to get punked on initiative, and spend the rest of the combat catching up to where he should be, so I made sure that he actually prepared and used moment of prescience, adding the +20 bonus to his initiative check. Is that legal? Strictly by the book, it could go either way, but since this is the final battle, I'm inclined to give that to Special K. He ended up going on 40 something...3 counts higher than the inquisitor! So it ended up being useful.

2. I wanted to soften up the party, make their dominant weapon cushions softer than the 3/day. So I ended up using mass reduce person with the two remaining images that were in the Pinnacle. Only one player realized what I was doing, and he didn't spoil the surprise, so I absolutely recommend future GMs doing something like this.

3. My party brought Chellan into the final battle, so I had to try to have the Sword of Greed dominate the person holding it. Unfortunately, they holy aura'd up, so the elven fighter was never at a risk of turning on the party.

4. The party wizard had dropped a metric ton of gold to purchase a bunch of scrolls going into the final leg of this, including multiple 9th level spells, like mage's disjunction. I let him use a few of these in the Pinnacle, and even let him get a disjunction off on Karzoug before the Runelord of Avarice had had enough. He used a wish to destroy all of the wizard's scrolls, using a version of parchment swarm.

5. Maze is a terrible spell. Well, I mean, tactically, it's amazing. No save, and it lasts for one combat, or until the target makes a DC 20 Intelligence check. Cast it on the right target, and they're basically out of the fight. I did that on the party's archer warpriest, and yeah, she was out until Karzoug was dead. That's not fun. Then again, she ended up doing ~300 damage to the archmage, so it's not like she was taken out of the fight immediately.

6. One of the players had been playing a high level druid, but got dropped into the game about halfway through. As a result, he was never really sure how his character should work, and most of the time was just along to help where he could. He cast a spell, blood mist in the first round, in the hopes that it might cause the baddies to fight each other. It didn't, but it did force Karzoug to cast a greater dispel magic to get rid of it, delaying his horrid wilting. That might have actually gotten multiple people if he had cast it in round 2, but only hit two PCs when I did end up casting it later on.

But now, this is over. This hardback gets to retire to my shelf with the rest of the softbacks, and share stories of its glorious reputation with the other campaigns I've done over the years. For now, though, I'm prepping to start up Curse of the Crimson Throne for the same group in a few weeks, so I'm beginning to tear through that forum for ideas. I'd like to thank everyone who helped brainstorm with me on stuff, and if anyone has questions, I'll be happy to answer them!


Congratulations


Awesome! Sounds like fun!

My group ignored Karzoug completely, but that wasn't the plan. As they were making their way up to him (I put the whole place under a Dimensional Anchor linked to a Limited Wished Unhallow spell), the party bard poked at the Runewell with is Dominant Keen Dueling rapier +1. When that didn't work, he took a poke at the Soul Lens and did all of like 1 point of damage. But the look of abject terror on Karzoug's face and the fact that Karzoug killed him (and the wizard foolishly standing next to him) the next round sent up a big red flag. The dwarven ranger full attacked it with his Dominant Holy Adamantine Waraxe +1 and that was it.


Congratulations!

Karzoug was also stopped (again) albeit after only a 3 year campaign yesterday. I however am looking forward to playing for a while before I once again take up the GM mantle...

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Sounds like an awesome final fight. Congrats on finishing!

What's next?

-Skeld


Congratulations to you and your group!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Skeld: Curse of the Crimson Throne. There are several plot threads that happen there that I can't wait to reveal to these players - meeting Verik and finding out about the plague in particular!

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Misroi wrote:
Skeld: Curse of the Crimson Throne. There are several plot threads that happen there that I can't wait to reveal to these players - meeting Verik and finding out about the plague in particular!

Awesome. I just start CotCT with my group for those same reasons. :)

-Skeld

Shadow Lodge

Wait, they broke the Soul Lens? It's great that they won, but aren't they also stuck there forever?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

I'm AFB at the moment (and haven't run that section yet), but isn't it only Special K who gets trapped in there if that happens?


The Anniversary Edition doesn't say they are also trapped. I kinda had the dimensional overlay fade immediately after the release of the Runewell's energy, so everyone but Karzoug was back standing at the base of the Pinnacle. I made it clear that he was still alive, but only able to contact minions via the Sidhedron items, and it would be a loooooong time before someone could make another artifact to breach the dimensional barrier to his pocket realm and restart the soul harvesting process. The elven wizard in the party already stated his intention to stay in Xin Shalast for the rest of his considerable lifespan and make sure no progress towards that end is made in that time. He might have said something about "taking over" under his breath, but I didn't catch that clearly....


See these sentences (from AE p. 363) - "If the soul lens is destroyed, Karzoug roars in frustration and rage. In that case, he is trapped forever inside the Eye of Avarice, but as long as the PCs remain in here with him, he does his best to destroy them."

That suggests that destroying the soul lens leaves the pc's in the Eye along with one seriously p-offed Runelord. They are of course free to use plane shift or other methods of planar travel to escape and Karzoug cannot follow. Of course I think they are free to do that even if they haven't killed Karzoug or destroyed the soul lens.

Though I don't see anything wrong with TwoWolves interpretation - destroying the soul lens produces the same outcome as killing Karzoug.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Latrecis wrote:
destroying the soul lens produces the same outcome as killing Karzoug.

You don't get all the sweet loot that won't be able to be used. :)

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