Spires of Xin-Shalast (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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I have a question about Svevenka:
She has resist fire 30 and yet is vulnerable to fire. Does this not seem odd to anyone else?

BTW great job with RotRL. I'm looking forward to running it next time I'm up for DM duties.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Vaellen wrote:

I have a question about Svevenka:

She has resist fire 30 and yet is vulnerable to fire. Does this not seem odd to anyone else?

BTW great job with RotRL. I'm looking forward to running it next time I'm up for DM duties.

Being able to resist fire's a pretty handy thing when you're vulnerable to fire, actually! She still takes 150% normal fire damage, but subtracts 30 points from the damage before it hurts her. (Unless I'm misremembering, she gets the fire resistance itself from a spell she casts...)

Frog God Games

JoelF847 wrote:
I've got a small question about the Wendigo. In the morale section in the adventure text, it mentions that it assumes snow form and flees. However, in the creature stat block and description, I'm not seeing an ability to turn into snow. I'm assuming that this is a minor variation on the standard wind walk power, which for the Wendigo manifests as turning into a cloud of swirling snow instead of a cloud of vapor.

Snow form was an ability the wendigo had before the final edit. As for your comment on wind walk, I'd translate it as just that. When he wind walks he's swirling snow instead of vapor.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Most High Ceoptra is supposed to be a lamia harridan. But she is listed as Large (harridans are Huge) and the art...well, I suppose that could be a harridan, but it looks nothing like the one in the Monster section. However, the rest of her stats suggest a harridan more than a plain lamia. I suppose the size is a typo.

It must really stink to be a lamia harridan, born with an overwhelming drive to dominate and control others, but with essentially no access to charm magic except for the little bit that clerics get. In contrast, regular lamias and matriarchs have powerful charm abilities. No wonder harridans are bad tempered.

Mary

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mary Yamato wrote:

Most High Ceoptra is supposed to be a lamia harridan. But she is listed as Large (harridans are Huge) and the art...well, I suppose that could be a harridan, but it looks nothing like the one in the Monster section. However, the rest of her stats suggest a harridan more than a plain lamia. I suppose the size is a typo.

It must really stink to be a lamia harridan, born with an overwhelming drive to dominate and control others, but with essentially no access to charm magic except for the little bit that clerics get. In contrast, regular lamias and matriarchs have powerful charm abilities. No wonder harridans are bad tempered.

Mary

She should indeed be a Huge harridan, and as for the art... that's just an example of how two different artists can interpret the same type of creature very differently.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I finally got around to reading this today, and wanted to comment about the organization of this adventure, which seemed sort of haphazard. The section on Xin-Shalast starts with an overview of the various neighborhoods, but buried in that section is the adventure hook with the skulks. Why wasn't this just included in Area I? Why have an overview of each neighborhood separate from the more in-depth descriptions under the individual headings?

With that out of the way, I really liked this adventure a lot. The first part with the dwarves was extremely creepy, and I was happy to see haunts back yet again. I also liked the safe harbor offered by the nymph. I was very surprised at how many pages were devoted to those portions and yet the city itself did not feel rushed or skimpy. Very high quality work.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
I was very surprised at how many pages were devoted to those portions and yet the city itself did not feel rushed or skimpy. Very high quality work.

I am finding the Lower City difficult to run. I'd kill for a good summary of the creatures present in the city. It's given in a few places (500 giants in the giant encampment) but the number of Rune Giants, which is absolutely critical, apparently has to be deduced by counting the stasis cells in the Spires. (For the record, I think there are 34. But a few may be out of town.) The numbers of harridans and matriarchs would also be really helpful, especially after Gyukak tells the PCs (falsely) that they need to fight lamias in order to get the rings!

Practically everything I turn out to need is "beyond the scope of this adventure." A map of the Hypogeum, for example, even a very broad overview map. The House of Divine Consumption. There are places where the module is really coy with the GM: the Lamashtu temple in particular. Also there are apparently dragons in the city besides Ghlorofaex, but where? How many?

It's meant for the players to cut through it, do the set pieces, and get out. Mine...aren't doing that. It's a rich game but an unholy amount of work.

I think that cutting the numbers by a factor of 5-10, so that it's really a lost city with few inhabitants, might have been better. As it is there are over 1000 people (well, creatures) in Lower Xin-Shalast. (This becomes a little more plausible if the lamia priests are casting Create Food constantly, and that in turn helps explain how they can retain their position....)

I eventually asked my player to pitch in, and he did up the plant creatures of the Tangle. A word of warning: if you advance the listed plants to their Monster Manual maximum HD, you get some frightful plants. The PCs charmed a couple of big tendriculoses and shambling mounds, and they are nearly unstoppable. They are much more powerful than same-nominal-CR plant monsters such as battlebriars.

Mary


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Khalib's saves don't take into account the +3 resistance bonus from his Sihedron ring.

Khalib is supposed to be visiting the Abominable Dome weekly, disguised as the yeti leader. But he can't cast illusions, doesn't own a Hat of Disguise, and does not have Alter Self or Polymorph on his memorized list. He could Enlarge himself and memorize Alter, or memorize Poly, but then he's got only 1 minute/level before he...shrinks! The yeti won't like that.

(I had him use Poly, with the result that the PCs think they killed a yeti, and he'll get Raised shortly. Karzoug is not going to be pleased with him. "You had some treasure that was on loan from Me. I suggest you go out and retrieve it.")

Mary


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Denizen of Leng's saves don't take account of its 10 outsider HD; they are just its stat bonuses.

In the encounter which features this creature, it is supposed to flank and then alternately attack and "harry the PCs with its spell-like abilities." It has no suitable spell-likes except hypnotic pattern, which is a very poor choice for this tactic as it is broken by attacking.

(We had fun with this creature, though. One of then showed up at a huge PCs-versus-giants fight and quietly watched, walking through the fight to get better vantage points. It had such an air of self-assurance that the PCs left it completely alone. Now they are wondering what it was.)

Mary


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The lamia harridan's flat-footed AC is wrong; it should be 2 points lower than her regular AC, due to her Dex bonus.

Also, the lamia harridans in the Pinnacle of Avarice should have sihedron rings, and should be +3 to all saves and +3 AC as a result.

The rundown of every creature in the Pinnacle and what it does on an alert is *great*. I'd love to see more of those. However, the description says that creatures are triggered by hearing combat: this shouldn't be necessary in most cases. Karzoug has projected images all over the place; Viorian has a mindlink with Karzoug; the rune giants have mindlinks with their slaves (and yay! we actually know how many giants each rune giant has enslaved! but the GM will need to work out exactly which ones are which). I figure if anyone is alerted almost everyone will react, except for the sleeping harridans. They are, oddly, far from anywhere they'd be of use. I guess they are not very biddable creatures compared to giants.

Finally, if other GMs are as bothered by the projected images as I am (Karzoug can't cast illusions, so these are *not* projected images, but they don't behave like Karzoug being partially there) I think a nice alternative is to have statues of Karzoug which he can transform into partial copies of himself. My PCs have become paranoid about statues and are likely to waste many round and spells destroying innocent ones (and some guilty ones, too).

I think we may be done in two more sessions. I've never successfully finished an AP before, and I'm psyched.

mary

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Can't wait to see how your party fares with Karzoug, Mary!!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mactaka wrote:
Can't wait to see how your party fares with Karzoug, Mary!!

It's funny. The player wasn't that eager to do the high-end wizard fight, so I carefully designed an out--a way to seal Karzoug off without having to fight him. But the PCs flatly won't do it, so I think they're going to fight Karzoug anyway.

I *finally* had an NPC successfully lie to a PC--a Denizen of Leng masquerading as the ghost of the dead Runelord Haphrama--and so the PCs have some bad information about what is going on up above. It'll be interesting. They know they don't trust their informant, but they don't know exactly which piece of information is wrong....

Mary


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The more I look at this module, the more convinced I am that lamia harridans were supposed to have charm abilities. Regular lamias and lamia matriarchs do; the hungerer, which is clearly a corrupted harridan, does; and there are repeated references in the text to the harridan's use of magic to mind-control lesser breeds. The spells they are actually given just don't support the way they're described. (And I'm finding it very hard to keep the matriarchs from running the show, as harridans aren't immune to mind control either.)

I recommend giving them the same spell-like charm abilities that the hungerer gets. Unfortunately it's too late for my game; the PCs took a prisoner right away and asked a lot of questions, so I had established that harridans don't charm before I found out that they probably should.

Was this removed to keep the creature's CR down, or for space, or what? It seems clear that the module author thought of the creature as having charm abilities.

(Incidentally, for GMs whose PCs explore the Temple of the Beast, it's a good place to put the hungerers.)

Mary

Frog God Games

You are correct, Mary. The harridans were originally created with the traditional charm abilities and Wisdom drain of a lamia. As to why they were removed, I can't say for sure, but a CR leveling issue (more of an art than a science) is often the culprit.


Not trying to be dense - tried a paizo.com search and a google search with no good info, so here goes...

In the stat block for the Denizens of Leng, their gear is listed as +1 dagger and 10 doses of shadow essence. What exactly is shadow essence and where is it detailed?

If this has been answered elsewhere, I am sorry, but my searches turned up nothing.

As a side note, this kind of leans on my main issue with Rise of the Runelords - I find myself constantly paging back and forth between all 6 books and the Player's Guide to try and find things. Pretty much, "I know I read about this somewhere... was it this book?" and keep flipping around until I hit the sidebar I am searching for. Was doing this with the calendar the other night - ended up just finding the calendars people made on the messageobard and stealing the Excel files. Actually getting all of the download links out of the Blogs and into a place for Rise of the Runelords would be great too. I just happened to find out about the magic item web enhancement by reading a related posting. I don't really have time to read all the Blogs and have been missing out on things I thought would have been collated together by now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Shadow essence is a type of poison (DMG page 297).

I have to say, while reading through the Vekker cabin, I was groaning the whole time. Not because I didn't like it (quite the contrary), but because I knew every page dedicated to the cabin was a page lost for Xin-Shalast. But it did help make the Kodar Mountains that much more foreboding. Plus, I love the new take on wendigos - I've always felt a little jipped by the Fiend Folio version.

And personally, I think I'm gonna have a blast expanding on the City of Greed with sidequests and such. Heck, if I really decide to go all out, I'll turn Xin-Shalast into a mini campaign all its own before the Karzoug finale.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jaimsley Cooper wrote:
As a side note, this kind of leans on my main issue with Rise of the Runelords - I find myself constantly paging back and forth between all 6 books and the Player's Guide to try and find things. Pretty much, "I know I read about this somewhere... was it this book?" and keep flipping around until I hit the sidebar I am searching for. Was doing this with the calendar the other night - ended up just finding the calendars people made on the messageobard and stealing the Excel files. Actually getting all of the download links out of the Blogs and into a place for Rise of the Runelords would be great too. I just happened to find out about the magic item web enhancement by reading a related posting. I don't really have time to read all the Blogs and have been missing out on things I thought would have been collated together by now.

As a general rule, if you see something mentioned in Pathfinder with no explanation attached (such as the case with shadow essence), it's 98% likely that the thing mentioned is in the SRD. My favorite place to go for SRD info is d20srd.org; you can type in the phrase there and search the core rules in a heartbeat.

The other 2% of the time, it's something from some other sourcebook that we just forgot to give a reference for; that's something we'll be trying to keep from happening.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Curse of the Crimsom Throne links have changed, so I'm updating these as well.

Chapter 1: Burnt Offerings
Chapter 2: The Skinsaw Murders
Chapter 3: The Hook Mountain Massacre
Chapter 4: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Chapter 5: Sins of the Saviors
Chapter 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast


Sebastian wrote:

I finally got around to reading this today, and wanted to comment about the organization of this adventure, which seemed sort of haphazard. The section on Xin-Shalast starts with an overview of the various neighborhoods, but buried in that section is the adventure hook with the skulks. Why wasn't this just included in Area I? Why have an overview of each neighborhood separate from the more in-depth descriptions under the individual headings?

I really found this as well. I liked the first and last parts of this adventure and I feel the middle has potential but its so confusing that I can't really figure out what supposed to be going on.

This is actually a problem I've noticed in many of the adventures. We need an adventure synopsis section for these adventures. One that explains whats expected to happen and why the PCs should be motivated to follow the adventures plot line.


6/8/08 we finished the AP. Pathfinder filled the niche of fun in our lives perfectly.

As far as the layout, I enjoyed the open-endedness of the last installment, which mirrored that of the very first one. I think it was a great way to linger in the world before finally having to say "goodbye" to it and start over in another AP.

As far as errata go, I assumed Ceoptra memorized and cast Death Ward instead of Death Knell from all of the context, but I was primarily put aback in that she's the "Most High" of the lamia-kin of Xin-Shalast and all of the potentially new empire of greed, but she only has a "+1" for her unholy dagger.

There were a bunch of other bits where I thought the loot was a bit too tame, and/ or underpowered for the achievement, but I just go ahead and modify treasure when I see such things, so bring this up just for those that might feel the same way but would hesitate to change anything.


As I will play it soon thanks guys for the invaluable ideas around here.

C.


These GM Reference pages are invaulable

Question on the Sulk Vamps what is the save for there Energy Drain?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joey Virtue wrote:

These GM Reference pages are invaulable

Question on the Sulk Vamps what is the save for there Energy Drain?

Energy drain generally doesn't allow a save. You get the negative level automatically, and then 24 hours later you make your saving throw to shrug it off.


James Jacobs wrote:
Joey Virtue wrote:

These GM Reference pages are invaulable

Question on the Sulk Vamps what is the save for there Energy Drain?

Energy drain generally doesn't allow a save. You get the negative level automatically, and then 24 hours later you make your saving throw to shrug it off.

Sorry thats what i ment what is the save its not listed on the character

And has anyone statted up The Root of the Tangle an unusually intelligent yellow musk creeper—this plant has an Intelligence of 20, 26 Hit Dice, and is Colossal in size


With all the giants in the city I have done a few extra things with them so far

Im using some non SRD giants and having them around the city and later hunting the PCs

Im using Eldrich and Death Giants from i believe MMIII and then im going to use a Shadow Giant Assassin from MMII

For the teams of giants wandering around and gaurding areas i have found these two feats great from Monte Cook's Experimental Might

Full Opportunity [General]
Your attacks of opportunity come fast and furious.
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, base attack bonus +6
Benefit: Whenever you make an attack of opportunity, you can use
the full attack action to make all of your attacks. You may use this ability
only once per round, regardless of how many attacks of opportunity
you are allowed to make (thanks to Combat Reflexes, for example).

and

Large Bruiser [General]
You use your large size and great reach against smaller foes.
Prerequisites: Size Large or larger, Strength 15, base attack
bonus +8
Benefit: When fighting foes smaller than you, once per round
you get to make an attack of opportunity when they take a 5-foot
step in your threatened area. This counts against your total number
of attacks of opportunity each round.

Come in close and get crushed LOL


Is there any set encounter with the Hungerer I cant find one and I really like these creatures

Frog God Games

Joey Virtue wrote:
Is there any set encounter with the Hungerer I cant find one and I really like these creatures

Spoiler:
In the original manuscript, a hungerer flopped its way through the Leng Device in area X6. This was later replaced by The Thing From Beyond Time (an advanced Hound of Tindalos). That was the only encounter that tacitly included a hungerer, however, there are sure to be one or two encased in glacial ice somewhere near the valley that just happen to be awoken and released by a timely tremor.

On a side note, though he was not credited for it, I must add that the hungerer was the brain-child of Richard Pett who had a cool monster idea, and I had one more space to fill in the bestiary. About 90% of the writing on the beastie is his as well, so I can really take no credit for the horrific, disgusting creation it is (pure Pett as it were). Anyway, it's a great monster, and I hope you have an awesomne time with it.


The Monster from beyond time is really cool too if you want to check out i added alot of encounters to the spire if you check out my thread about making RORL for 6 players

I dont know how to do proper links

Frog God Games

I'll check it out. I had to leave out a lot of stuff I wanted to do due to space constraints, so I look forward to seeing what you did with it. Thanks.


Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
I'll check it out. I had to leave out a lot of stuff I wanted to do due to space constraints, so I look forward to seeing what you did with it. Thanks.

Let me know if there were some other encounters that you had that you really liked I would love to add the stuff in

Frog God Games

Joey Virtue wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
I'll check it out. I had to leave out a lot of stuff I wanted to do due to space constraints, so I look forward to seeing what you did with it. Thanks.
Let me know if there were some other encounters that you had that you really liked I would love to add the stuff in

It wasn't so much a case of leaving encounters out that I had written; it was rather that I just couldn't develop areas that I wanted to. But I'll check back through my notes and see if there was anything in particular.

The Exchange

One addition I am pondering for "Spires" is adding a safe zone within the lower city. This would give the PC's a relatively safe base of operations, allow for some culture clash roleplay, and when the zone untimately falls to a rune-giant assault give the PC's something to protect.

The explanation involves some spoilers for Hook Mountain, so tread carefully...

Spoiler:

For this "safe" culture I like the Maftet from PF #15. During Hook Mountain the PC's are going to encounter a group of Maftet as they hunt a Lamia Matriarch. The PC's will get to further interact with them later as they enter the creature's territory in order to open up the sluice gates under Skull's Crossing. This should set up the creatures as potential allies but not necessarily as friends.

I think that this could add to the general feel of "Spires." Native cultures that are not instantly hostile (or mind controlled, or undead, etc). What do you all think? Would this disturb the exploration feel of the lower city?

Ryn, who'd like to explore where monster cultures interact

Frog God Games

I think that would work fine.

Spoiler:
Also, there are some potential safe zones if I recall. Without looking through it again, the skulks are a potential safe zone, the Heptaric Locus could serve as such once Gamigin has been dealt with since the harridans are loath to disturb the place. Even the giant encampment could serve if the PCs were to get in good with Gyukak and have him hide them for a while. But I also like your maftet idea. I think that creature is perfect for the Xin-Shalast environs.

Liberty's Edge

I have a question about the location of the Spires. The text says it is in the 'death zone', and it is also mentioned that within the various buildings, air is maintained. How do the inhabitants get from building to building? I realize that isn't much of an issue NOW, but it would have been in the past. How does anyone get from the lower city to the Spires without serious problems? There's also a reference to dragons in the past with Necklaces of Adaptation, but none of the NPC's I checked have one, nor an equivalent item.

Also, how am I supposed to get my players (qualified or not) to take the Altitude Affinity feat, which appears to be nearly mandatory to complete the mod? Most don't qualify for it, and even if they did, how do they know they'll need it? At this rate, they'll climb to the lower city, then be stuck because they all come down with altitude sickness. There's no useful items in Runeforge or Jorgenfist, that I recall, if there are, please correct me.

Frog God Games

James Laubacker wrote:

I have a question about the location of the Spires. The text says it is in the 'death zone', and it is also mentioned that within the various buildings, air is maintained. How do the inhabitants get from building to building? I realize that isn't much of an issue NOW, but it would have been in the past. How does anyone get from the lower city to the Spires without serious problems? There's also a reference to dragons in the past with Necklaces of Adaptation, but none of the NPC's I checked have one, nor an equivalent item.

Also, how am I supposed to get my players (qualified or not) to take the Altitude Affinity feat, which appears to be nearly mandatory to complete the mod? Most don't qualify for it, and even if they did, how do they know they'll need it? At this rate, they'll climb to the lower city, then be stuck because they all come down with altitude sickness. There's no useful items in Runeforge or Jorgenfist, that I recall, if there are, please correct me.

I don't remember what all magic items I sprinkled through the adventure to help with this, but I imagine some of them were changed or dropped through the editing process. You can always add a few suitable magic items to a treasure hoard here and there if needed.

The Altitude Affinity is more for the benefit of the monsters who live there than the PCs, though if one had a high-mountains miner background or something, they might take it.

I was thinking a typical party would have to rely more on magic than anything. Page 68 provides a number of examples that could work. I think there are a few elixirs of the peaks in the adventure and such. At 14th+ levels, it's not that difficult for PCs to travel back to Magnimar or Janderhoff and try to find some suitable magic to prepare for the challenges they see that they'll face. Part of the time, they may need to simply rely on their Fort saves and use rope tricks and magnificent mansions as hidey holes to recover. 14th-level PCs can do a lot of things and should have to tax some of their resources to survive in such deadly environs.

As for folks traveling between buildings back in the day--they would either have to rely on underground connecting passages or just live with the knowledge that if they didn't have Altitude Affinity and Karzoug had not seen fit to provide them with the necessary magic, they just pretty much would not be traveling freely about.

Liberty's Edge

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:


I don't remember what all magic items I sprinkled through the adventure to help with this, but I imagine some of them were changed or dropped through the editing process. You can always add a few suitable magic items to a treasure hoard here and there if needed.

The Altitude Affinity is more for the benefit of the monsters who live there than the PCs, though if one had a high-mountains miner background or something, they might take it.

I was thinking a typical party would have to rely more on magic than anything. Page 68 provides a number of examples that could work. I think there are a few elixirs of the peaks in the adventure and such. At 14th+ levels, it's not that difficult for PCs to travel back to Magnimar or Janderhoff and try to find some suitable magic to prepare for the challenges they see that they'll face. Part of the time, they may need to simply rely on their Fort saves and use rope tricks and magnificent mansions as hidey holes to recover. 14th-level PCs can do a lot of things...

Thank you Greg, glad to hear your thoughts on it. I think what I'm going to do is introduce the altitude problems in Sins of the Saviors, (the trip to and including Rimeskull) so they get the idea they will need to buy items for the later expedition, rather than having to teleport out of Xin Shalast. I can try, at least, sometimes hints just pass on by.

I checked, and the items you mentioned are NOT included in Sins, so I was considering a cache of those too, which should be significant to the players. Maybe a handy haversack with a couple of necklaces of adaptation will make them wonder about what's coming in the future.

Frog God Games

That sounds like it would work well, James. I did locate some of my notes on the original placement of treasures in the adventure, and I'll include them below in case they may be of some use to you:

-Vekkers' Cabin - elixir of the peaks (still at area B1)

-E Krak Nuathra - bottle of air

-An encounter in the spires - included a suit of +2 altitude resistance full plate (a new armor special quality that I developed but that did not make the cut)

-Another spires encounter (can't remember with what) - +3 altitude resistance adamantine full plate and an elixir of the peaks

-Another encounter with giants - 4 +1 altitude resistance chain shirts

-one of the major lamias - +1 altitude resistance studded leather barding

-Karzoug - iridescent spindle ioun stone

The Concordance RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Looking through the notes for Xin-Shalast and the effects of Altitude (not attitude!) i see that outsiders are immune to the effects of having little air. What about native outsiders, such as tieflings, aasimars, etc.? Now, my answer is they are not immune to it, but that is my opinion. So....

1) Can anyone cite a rule where is explicitly says this.

2) Can James et al go a head and grant a ruling just so we have it in print and can use that to point the rule lawyers to... <grin>

Thanks!

The Concordance RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I noted that the Horror Tree's AC is off by 1 last night when I ran the adventure. It is a gargantuan creature so it's AC should get a -3 for size, not -2.

Pardon if some one has mentioned this already, i scanned the thread and didn't see it but that just means i didn't see it, not that it isn't there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

catdragon wrote:

Looking through the notes for Xin-Shalast and the effects of Altitude (not attitude!) i see that outsiders are immune to the effects of having little air. What about native outsiders, such as tieflings, aasimars, etc.? Now, my answer is they are not immune to it, but that is my opinion. So....

1) Can anyone cite a rule where is explicitly says this.

2) Can James et al go a head and grant a ruling just so we have it in print and can use that to point the rule lawyers to... <grin>

Thanks!

My preference: Native outsiders should not gain the immunity.

Liberty's Edge

I'd really like to run this adventure with as much risk for the PC's as I think it was intended. So far, while they've had to work hard to kill Mokmurian and Kazaven, my players have not been as challenged as they should be. Any recommendations on how to make this adventure as challenging as it should be? I'm not saying it isn't challenging, mostly I'm looking for DM advice on how to fully take advantage of what's in the adventure. Maybe I'm being too easy on them or my tactics suck!


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Here's the Wendigo standee cutout for Spires of Xin-Shalast.

Liberty's Edge

I saw in one of Mary's previous posts that she estimated the number of Rune Giants at 34, based on the number of stasis chambers in the upper city. Has everyone been using that number? It seems reasonable, though a bit on the high side. There's 500 giants in the encampment, along with some unspecified numbers of other giants in Jotunberg and the Shalaria - but what are they all doing?

I'm trying to make the city feel both epic and deserted, and haven't quite hit on the right combination yet. I can't decide if it is more like 'Escape from New York' or 'I Am Legend' - or something I haven't hit on yet.

A couple things I've decided is that there must be some kind of market. Even if all that's being traded there is the contents of whatever some giants had in their bags, plus possibly things brought by the denizens of Leng, there should be some bartering and trading going on. There should also be a commissary somewhere, but I haven't figured out yet where the food is coming from.... feeding 500 or 600 giants is no easy task, so someone is producing a LOT of food, somehow. The remoteness of Xin-Shalast really works against it in terms of trade, which makes you wonder how it ever functioned as a city.


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I wanted to have some handout material for the directions to Xin-Shalast. So far I have this, a page telling about the dwarves discovery of the city.

Vekker's Notes page 3

I'm not sure if I'll do the other pages.

Sovereign Court

That looks really cool!


I have a bit of a dilemma, I have a character in my group soon to start the spires of Xin-Shalast who is exalted with the vow of poverty. There for cannot use any of the items that will avoid the effects of the Occluding Field. I am of two minds:
1:I leave as is, the character has to reconcile his vow with the need to stop the Big Evil.
2: Introduce a spell through the various books and resources in the runeforge to circumvent the problem.

Problem with #1
Do you venture forth draining the party's resources potentially becoming an anchor for the party.
Do you forfeit your vow ruining the concept of the character and wasting a feat. And now you need lots of Items but have given all your money away how are you going to get them?

Problem with #2
If a spell is introduced to block the Occluding Field its purpose as an obstacle becomes lessened. Protection from the field no-longer requires an item slot.
The player misses an interesting role-playing, character developing challenge.

Any suggestions


James Jacobs:
Do regular lamia harridans have access to any kind of alter self/polymorph self/shapechange abilities, or do they have to rely on cleric spells/domain powers or magic items if they want to try to simulate these effects?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

James Jacobs:

Do regular lamia harridans have access to any kind of alter self/polymorph self/shapechange abilities, or do they have to rely on cleric spells/domain powers or magic items if they want to try to simulate these effects?

Lamia matriarchs are supposed to be the ones with the tricksy shapechanging powers. Harridans don't have this ability unless they can cast similar spells or own magic items that let them do so.

That said... it's been nearly 20 months since I've had the luxury to reminisce about Spires of Xin-Shalast, and I can't remember if there are harridans posing as giants if not in the text of the adventure... I don't THINK there were... If there were, then that's something that if/when we do a revision to the Runelords story we'll fix.


James Jacobs wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

James Jacobs:

Do regular lamia harridans have access to any kind of alter self/polymorph self/shapechange abilities, or do they have to rely on cleric spells/domain powers or magic items if they want to try to simulate these effects?

Lamia matriarchs are supposed to be the ones with the tricksy shapechanging powers. Harridans don't have this ability unless they can cast similar spells or own magic items that let them do so.

That said... it's been nearly 20 months since I've had the luxury to reminisce about Spires of Xin-Shalast, and I can't remember if there are harridans posing as giants if not in the text of the adventure... I don't THINK there were... If there were, then that's something that if/when we do a revision to the Runelords story we'll fix.

(edited)

Thanks for the answer. I'm not sure if there were harridans masquerading as giants either, as it's been a while since I looked at the adventure too, and I'm checking up about lamia harridans now for something else which I'm preparing...
Ought lamia harridans to also possess the a wisdom drain attack and/or charm abilities such as other members of the lamia family exhibit?
I see that lamia harridans aren't often going to be in infiltration situations, though...

Sovereign Court

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
I'm not sure if there were harridans masquerading as giants either (...)

There weren't.

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