Spires of Xin-Shalast (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


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.

After a quick flipping through the book: No, there are no harridans posing as giants - only a human magelord posing as abominable snowman.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Whew... my brain wasn't shorting out then.

It's mean to mess with the Editor-in-Chief's head like that!


Charles Evans 25 wrote:
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...

Okay, I got a reply in the weekly Paizo chat to my wisdom drain/charm question which I thought I'd cross-post to here.

James Jacobs wrote:
Harridans were never supposed to have any sort of shapechanging. They also weren't intended to have wisdom drain or charm abilities; their big thing is that they're spellcasters. If you want a lamia that does that extra stuff, it's easy enought to advance a matriarch or a normal one.

Dark Archive

About what level should the PCs be when they battle Karzoug?


Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^


One of the big "eaters of space" that a lot of D&D adventures suffer from are stat blocks for creatures that really don't need stat blocks. I mean why have stats for Morgiv wasting precious space? Even Svevenka doesn't need stats since she's really not supposed to be a combat encounter. Leaving out unnecessary stat blocks would free up tons of room for more adventure. You don't have to include stats for every single creature.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shad0wdrag0n wrote:
One of the big "eaters of space" that a lot of D&D adventures suffer from are stat blocks for creatures that really don't need stat blocks. I mean why have stats for Morgiv wasting precious space? Even Svevenka doesn't need stats since she's really not supposed to be a combat encounter. Leaving out unnecessary stat blocks would free up tons of room for more adventure. You don't have to include stats for every single creature.

True... but not everyone plays a game the same way. One group's unneeded stat block can be another group's indespensible main bad guy. And also... stat blocks in adventures are, I think, one of the great unrealized resources of adventures. Even if you're not RUNNING an adventure, having it and a few others of equal level handy when you're running a game of that level gives you LOTS of handy statblocks to use in a pinch.

Part of my job as developer on these adventures is to make sure that the balance between story and stat blocks is the right balance, after all... just because a stat block is long doesn't mean it's replacing cut text. The amount of stuff we cut from adventures is USUALLY stuff that SHOULD be cut, after all.

Frog God Games

But not from SoXS, which was all solid-gold writing, of course. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
But not from SoXS, which was all solid-gold writing, of course. ;-)

Absolutely. That goes without saying. ;-)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
But not from SoXS, which was all solid-gold writing, of course. ;-)
Absolutely. That goes without saying. ;-)

In Xin-Shalast, I have no doubt that every example of Thassilonian writing found probibly is written in gold.

Frog God Games

Lord Fyre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
But not from SoXS, which was all solid-gold writing, of course. ;-)
Absolutely. That goes without saying. ;-)
In Xin-Shalast, I have no doubt that every example of Thassilonian writing found probibly is written in gold.

touche'


Blue_Hill wrote:

Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^

So, my players are 16th, but with 4 co-horts so a party of 8.

any advice for beefing up the Big K?


Plotty Fingers wrote:
Blue_Hill wrote:

Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^

So, my players are 16th, but with 4 co-horts so a party of 8.

any advice for beefing up the Big K?

to be clear:

4 16th level characters
4 14th level characters

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Plotty Fingers wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:
Blue_Hill wrote:

Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^

So, my players are 16th, but with 4 co-horts so a party of 8.

any advice for beefing up the Big K?

to be clear:

4 16th level characters
4 14th level characters

Karzoug's still going to be tough... but the problem is that the PCs outnumber him and thus simply have more actions. My suggestion: Add more bad guys to the final fight.


James Jacobs wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:
Blue_Hill wrote:

Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^

So, my players are 16th, but with 4 co-horts so a party of 8.

any advice for beefing up the Big K?

to be clear:

4 16th level characters
4 14th level characters
Karzoug's still going to be tough... but the problem is that the PCs outnumber him and thus simply have more actions. My suggestion: Add more bad guys to the final fight.

that should work nicely. Thinking Beefed up Leng Buddies.

Game is tonight. Will be posting post-battle/outcome and Pictures tomorrow, no matter how it goes.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
2) In the "Xin-Shalast at its Height" sidebar, Khalid, the apprentice of Karzoug, is listed as a cloud giant transmuter 14, as opposed to the human transmuter 16 that appears in the finished product. Presumably, the stat block was changed for length and CR reasons, and this is a mistake. I, however, like to think that Karzoug, in his pride, named all of his chief apprentices Khalid because he liked the name.

He's a human transmuter. In the original draft, Khalid was a cloud giant, but we changed that because Karzoug (or any self-respecting Thassilonian wizard, for that manner) would NEVER take on a member of the slave caste (to which ALL giants belonged) as an apprentice. Therefore, his apprentice had to be human (or, at least, humanoid, and again, since the Thassilonains were kind of bigots... human it is!).

The "Xin-Shalast at its Height" sidebar should have listed Khalid as a human, in other words.

As my players received the information on Xin-Shalast at it's height from the library and it's ever helpful librarian, some of it contradictory, as is the case for Khalid's race, I have come up with an in-game solution.

My solution is that Khalid likes to go into combat with giants while he is under the effects of giant form II as a cloud giant (he likes the scent ability). So, some accounts list him as a cloud giant, some as a human.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am curious as to why Khalid has dimension door and ethereal jaunt on his spell list. Does not the occulting field prevent their use?

As well, would the field also interfere with summoning spells?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mistwalker wrote:

I am curious as to why Khalid has dimension door and ethereal jaunt on his spell list. Does not the occulting field prevent their use?

As well, would the field also interfere with summoning spells?

A character wearing a Sidhedron ring or medallion ignores the effects of the occluding field (pg.45 under the Occluding Field section).

Khalib is wearing a Sidhedron ring (pg.55 under Other Gear)


Plotty Fingers wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:
Blue_Hill wrote:

Check this thread RotRL Level Up Points. Very useful advices.

My players are going to be 16 level when they meet Karzoug. Hopefully THE fight will be memorable. ^^

So, my players are 16th, but with 4 co-horts so a party of 8.

any advice for beefing up the Big K?

to be clear:

4 16th level characters
4 14th level characters
Karzoug's still going to be tough... but the problem is that the PCs outnumber him and thus simply have more actions. My suggestion: Add more bad guys to the final fight.

that should work nicely. Thinking Beefed up Leng Buddies.

Game is tonight. Will be posting post-battle/outcome and Pictures tomorrow, no matter how it goes.

This battle is rapidly approaching, and was curious how this went for everyone else... I want to make this memorable too, because the stakes are a bit higher than just "saving the world."


Now that my group is nearing the end of my Runelord campaign I have some questions regarding the finale. Hopefully people are still around to answer these questions:

1. If Khalib was "the man who was originally destined to waken a few years after Thassilon’s fall to rouse Karzoug" why didn't Karzoug just put himself into stasis and destine himself to waken after Thassilon’s fall? Why bother with the whole Plateau of Leng exile?

2. What did Mokmurian actually do to "waken" Karzoug? What was Khalib supposed to do waken Karzoug?

3. Karzougs plan seems to have a pretty big hole in it. His entire resurrection depends on Khalib doing what he is supposed to do (whatever that is, see above) but almost immediately after Karzoug enters his self imposed exile his only method of re-entry (Khalib) is incapacitated. Seems like a pretty big flaw for a 400+ year old god-like-king.

4. So what was the point of all the Lamashtu involvement? I'm not talking about Paizo introducing its own cosmology to the public I understand the need to do that. I'm talking from an in game point of view. Why make so many NPC and monster worshipers to Lamashtu? This really turns out to be a pretty big red herring throughout the whole AP. Was that the point?


cibet44 wrote:


4. So what was the point of all the Lamashtu involvement? I'm not talking about Paizo introducing its own cosmology to the public I understand the need to do that. I'm talking from an in game point of view. Why make so many NPC and monster worshipers to Lamashtu? This really turns out to be a pretty big red herring throughout the whole AP. Was that the point?

So whats wrong with Red Herrings?


cibet44 wrote:

Now that my group is nearing the end of my Runelord campaign I have some questions regarding the finale. Hopefully people are still around to answer these questions:

1. If Khalib was "the man who was originally destined to waken a few years after Thassilon’s fall to rouse Karzoug" why didn't Karzoug just put himself into stasis and destine himself to waken after Thassilon’s fall? Why bother with the whole Plateau of Leng exile?

2. What did Mokmurian actually do to "waken" Karzoug? What was Khalib supposed to do waken Karzoug?

3. Karzougs plan seems to have a pretty big hole in it. His entire resurrection depends on Khalib doing what he is supposed to do (whatever that is, see above) but almost immediately after Karzoug enters his self imposed exile his only method of re-entry (Khalib) is incapacitated. Seems like a pretty big flaw for a 400+ year old god-like-king.

4. So what was the point of all the Lamashtu involvement? I'm not talking about Paizo introducing its own cosmology to the public I understand the need to do that. I'm talking from an in game point of view. Why make so many NPC and monster worshipers to Lamashtu? This really turns out to be a pretty big red herring throughout the whole AP. Was that the point?

No one out there?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1. Likely, Karzoug didn't have the time to research a fully problem-proof method of survivng the fall, and needed somebody on the other side to snap him out of it.

2. IIRC Karzoug began to waken on his own, without Mokmurian's influence.

3. Sauron's plan had a pretty big hole as well :)

4. It's a very nice red herring that keeps the players away from guessing the Real Deal, isn't it ? :)


Gorbacz wrote:

1. Likely, Karzoug didn't have the time to research a fully problem-proof method of survivng the fall, and needed somebody on the other side to snap him out of it.

2. IIRC Karzoug began to waken on his own, without Mokmurian's influence.

3. Sauron's plan had a pretty big hole as well :)

4. It's a very nice red herring that keeps the players away from guessing the Real Deal, isn't it ? :)

Thanks for the reply!

1. I just don't see why he even needed to go to Leng. Khalib (and many other Thassalonians in the AP) survived the cataclysm well enough. He could have just stayed right in his spire in stasis like Khalib and been awakened from there.

2. According to the AP it was Mokmurian that started to awaken Karzoug (basically by accident) but it does not described what he did or what Khalib was supposed to do.

3. Actually Saurons plan was pretty good. He just couldn't find the ring. This was the final piece of the puzzle he had no control over. If he did he would have one easily. In fact his plan was so good he almost won without it, but I digress...

4. For a red herring a substantial amount of storytelling was devoted to it. With so much invested in Lamshtu in the beginning of the AP for it to just peter out to nothing at the end was a bit odd. I thought Karzoug would need the power of a deity to awaken so he forged an alliance with Lamashtu, turns out all he needed was a stone giant wizard to accidentally appear in his spire. I almost think the authors just forgot about Lamashtu. There must have been a greater plan at one point that got abandoned or lost.


The way I see it.

1. Xin Shalest was near to Leng already because Karzoug was using that as a means to protect (and obscure the location of) his precious city of wealth. I have described to my players the insane level to which Karzoug micromanaged the city, making sure that each underpaid groundskeeper was observed at all times to ensure they were not stealing gilded shingles and the like. The proximity to Leng was a feature that allowed Karzoug to control who entered his city, and who could never leave.

Runeforge is extraplanar, and therefor weathered the earthfall as you have described. When the moment of cataclysm came, Karzoug did exactly what you proposed — he found an extraplanar refuge and survived in the same manner as those at Runeforge did. The closest plane of refuge was Leng, which is unfortunately much less hospitable than the demiplane selected for Runeforge. If you know much about Leng itself, that explains the extraordinary measures Karzoug needed to take to keep himself safe from the very plane that would give him refuge.

4. Lamashtu is the demon goddess of monsters. It should come as no surprise that monsters worship her — certainly no more surprising than a ranger venerating Erastil or a paladin worshiping Iomedae. She is involved in the events of Runelords, but in a detached and remote way as many gods influence events.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

The way I see it.

Runeforge is extraplanar, and therefor weathered the earthfall as you have described. When the moment of cataclysm came, Karzoug did exactly what you proposed — he found an extraplanar refuge and survived in the same manner as those at Runeforge did. The closest plane of refuge was Leng, which is unfortunately much less hospitable than the demiplane selected for Runeforge. If you know much about Leng itself, that explains the extraordinary measures Karzoug needed to take to keep himself safe from the very plane that would give him refuge.

Except that the underling Karzoug tasked with returning him from Leng was Khalib who was put into stasis in Xin-Shalast, not Runeforge. What you say makes sense if Khalib was in Runeforge but he was not:

From PF#6:
"X8. Khalib’s Quarters (EL 16)

As with the rune giant cells, this room once served as a stasis
chamber for a man named Khalib—one of Karzoug’s most
powerful apprentices and, in theory, the man who was originally
destined to waken a few years after Thassilon’s fall to rouse
Karzoug."


Since these words came from (presumably) different writers, I'm happy to disregard the backstory in Khalib and just come up with a new reason for him to be in Runeforge.

My original post is just musing on how *I* plan to explain it, not an attempt at a coherent literal reading.

If you have somehow gotten to book 6 of runelords and everything is internally consistent despite your cleaving to the literal word of the authors, then I am awestruck. In my experience, campaigns are much more... subjective. And that's not the fault of the written materials, just the natural progression of RPGs.


My own take is that Lamashtu is actually a driving force in the adventure and is manipulating events to lead to Karzoug's downfall. It is the actions of so many of her agents that first put the heroes on the trail to defeating the Runelord, and her agents that give up the secrets of how to defeat him.

Without Lamashtu, the Runelord succeeds in his plan to return, after all.


1. Because a simple stasis wouldn't save him, or the other 6 Runelords, from the cataclysm. As a guess, probably because of the types of powers the Runelords associated with and used. They had to quickly design powerful complicated systems unique to their specialization/sin in order to protect themselves.

2. Probably a magic ritual to open the door to Karzoug's tomb and start to break his hibernation. Or something similar. The details aren't important to the story so you can make them up.

3. Based on X8. Khalib’s Quarters, while Khalib was originally planned to have the honor of awakening Karzoug, there is no indication that he was the only one with the knowledge to do so - probably all of his apprentices knew how to do so. I would guess Khalib was the "teacher's pet", totally loyal to Karzoug, so the other apprentices eliminated him first before they turned on each other. Runelord Haphrama (and Darth Plagueis) could testify that betrayal by apprentices can come as a surprise.

It should also be noted that the resurrection plans of the other Runelords also failed. We know Gluttony and Lust survived and we have hints as to how to revive them. The other 4 probably can be revived as well.

4. Partly red herring as the Karzoug is kept hidden from the PCs until the end of module 4. Partly as Evil Lincoln states - she is the goddess of monsters and her presence is commonly seen by adventuring parties all over Golarion. Partly to show she is one of the old gods who was around and active way back then.


Jason_Langlois wrote:

My own take is that Lamashtu is actually a driving force in the adventure and is manipulating events to lead to Karzoug's downfall. It is the actions of so many of her agents that first put the heroes on the trail to defeating the Runelord, and her agents that give up the secrets of how to defeat him.

Without Lamashtu, the Runelord succeeds in his plan to return, after all.

Entirely plausible.

Although Lamashtu probably doesn't know about Mhar's subversion of Kazoug's plans.


Mandor wrote:

1. Because a simple stasis wouldn't save him, or the other 6 Runelords, from the cataclysm. As a guess, probably because of the types of powers the Runelords associated with and used. They had to quickly design powerful complicated systems unique to their specialization/sin in order to protect themselves.

Thanks for the great and thoughtful replies.

Your suggestion makes some sense to me although I don't quite get why a simple stasis would not save a Runelord when it easily saved Karzougs favored and chosen apprentice (in line to be a Runelord himself).

However, in Sins of the Saviors it states that Ordikon (the mithril mage in Runeforge) was also supposed to revive Karzoug. Now this makes sense to me!! The Runelords could not enter Runeforge themselves so having a cohort in Runeforge be the one to awaken Karzoug is a much more plausible plan. Since Karzoug probably thought all of Golarian would be destroyed he put himself in Leng and his cohort tasked with bringing him back in Runeforge.

Runeforge and Leng are separate planes from Golarian so they are both safe from a Golarian cataclysm. Unfortunately for Karzoug the mithril mage screwed up with his experiments and was not able to complete his task so Karzoug was trapped until Mocky showed up.

The bit about Khalib being the one to waken Karzoug is clearly a mistake and a big enough one to render Karzougs whole plan (and thus the impetus of the AP) completely implausible. I'll just ignore it. Khalib will just be an underling that happened to survive the cataclysm.

I can deal with little inconsistencies in an AP and realize they happen all the time. Problems like this one however, that unravel an entire AP's backbone, need to be caught. I don't want my players to get the impression that a Paizo AP is so haphazardly put together that the plot can be unraveled so easily. We invest too much time in playing them to do that.

Thanks all.


cibet44 wrote:
Your suggestion makes some sense to me although I don't quite get why a simple stasis would not save a Runelord when it easily saved Karzougs favored and chosen apprentice (in line to be a Runelord himself).

Consider the cataclysm that brutalized the Forgotten Realms as part of the 4e conversion. Gods and powerful personages were killed. Stasis wasn't enough to save them. Maybe the Runelords saw something as bad as 4e coming to Golarion and didn't believe stasis would be enough for them to survive it.

Two thoughts on Khalib... First, there is no indication of him consorting with Leng or using spells/powers from Leng. That would be one possibility of why he could survive the cataclysm in stasis while Karzoug couldn't.

Second, it's possible the madness that infected the rest of the apprentices was a part of the cataclysm. If so, then Khalib's stasis failed to protect him from the cataclysm. He survived, sure, but Karzoug's hibernation was much more effective. Karzoug had multiple "outs", one of which eventually worked, while Khalib was stuck waiting for Karzoug to free him.


cibet44 wrote:
I can deal with little inconsistencies in an AP and realize they happen all the time. Problems like this one however, that unravel an entire AP's backbone, need to be caught.

Yup. Your players are lucky they have a GM who thinks things through.

Adventure Path's don't really save you prep-time or balancing effort, have you noticed that yet?

What they do provide is a buffer against creative burnout. I love them because creative burnout was my (once) biggest obstacle.

Good luck with the campaign!


Been running RotR and just about finished with the hidden beast encounter. But whats eluding me is that there seems to be no mention of how to reward the players for aiding the skulks. I was considering something like sneaking them past the giant encampment to reward them, and i suppose that acquiring one of the sihedron rings would seem like reward enough, but I don't really like the idea of them having chosen to go along with this little sidequest and having it contribute nothing aside from boost to their ego.


Sean Barnett 385 wrote:
Been running RotR and just about finished with the hidden beast encounter. But whats eluding me is that there seems to be no mention of how to reward the players for aiding the skulks. I was considering something like sneaking them past the giant encampment to reward them, and i suppose that acquiring one of the sihedron rings would seem like reward enough, but I don't really like the idea of them having chosen to go along with this little sidequest and having it contribute nothing aside from boost to their ego.

Here are the benefits of helping the skulks as I see it:

1. Telling the PCs why they need Sihedron rings and where to get them.
2. Telling the PCs about area "N. The Hidden Path".
3. Allowing the PCs to use (and guide them through) the tunnels throughout area I to move around the city.
4. Giving the PCs an area to rest undisturbed and hidden in the tunnels throughout area I.
5. Filling in the PCs about the history of Xin-Shalast over the last 10,000 years (the skulks are descended from the original human slaves of Xin-Shalast).


Didn't see this on here yet...

Ghlorofaex doesn't need Altitude Affinity, being a dragon.


Copy/paste fail that had me confused for a bit: The "Wardens of Thunder" and "Wardens of Wind" abbreviated stat blocks on page 56 mention "see page 120" and "see page 125" for their full stat blocks. Unless your issue of "Spires of Xin Shalast" has magically expanded, it only has 100 pages, so pages 120 and 125 don't exist.

Looking backward through the module, Wardens of Wind and Thunder are first listed back on page 48, where their abbreviated stat blocks correctly list "MM 120" and "MM 125" as the sources of the stat blocks. "Wardens of Runes" have abbreviated stat blocks that indicate to "see page 86" (the bestiary of the module), and I'm guessing for the page 56 hiccup, someone copied and pasted a "Warden of Runes" abbreviated block, and modified it into a Warden of Thunder/Wind block, but didn't change the "see page X" into "MM X", only changing the "X" from 86 to 120/125.

TL;DR: "Wardens of Thunder" are stock Storm Giants, "Wardens of Wind" are stock Cloud Giants; the abbreviated stat blocks on page 56 should read "MM 120" and "MM 125" rather than "see page 120" and "see page 125".

Liberty's Edge

My party is getting into Xin-Shalast this week. Im pretty comfortable with the majority of the module but I have 1 question.

What are the stats of Chellan? I have a scimitar wielding Cleric of Sarenrae which I know will pick up the weapon. If no formal stats are known, what would you suggest?


Fing Mandragoran wrote:

My party is getting into Xin-Shalast this week. Im pretty comfortable with the majority of the module but I have 1 question.

What are the stats of Chellan? I have a scimitar wielding Cleric of Sarenrae which I know will pick up the weapon. If no formal stats are known, what would you suggest?

Chellan's stats can be from page 52. There is a sidenote "Chellan, the sword of Greed". It's nice scimitar, my party didn't want to use cursed sword..

Liberty's Edge

Blue_Hill wrote:
Fing Mandragoran wrote:

My party is getting into Xin-Shalast this week. Im pretty comfortable with the majority of the module but I have 1 question.

What are the stats of Chellan? I have a scimitar wielding Cleric of Sarenrae which I know will pick up the weapon. If no formal stats are known, what would you suggest?

Chellan's stats can be from page 52. There is a sidenote "Chellan, the sword of Greed". It's nice scimitar, my party didn't want to use cursed sword..

Page 52 does not contain all of its stats as Chellan is supposed to be an intelligent sword. I think I will be creating my on intelligent sword stats.


A little question...

In one place the text state that the Vekker brothers came here 70 years ago (p.10)... And another place states that there are broadsheets from Koevosa and Janderhoff dated 12 years ago (area B11).

When did the Vekker brothers get here, and when did they meet their demise? Could someone help me with the timeline for the Vekker's venture into the Kodars?

Ultradan


Ultradan wrote:

A little question...

In one place the text state that the Vekker brothers came here 70 years ago (p.10)... And another place states that there are broadsheets from Koevosa and Janderhoff dated 12 years ago (area B11).

When did the Vekker brothers get here, and when did they meet their demise? Could someone help me with the timeline for the Vekker's venture into the Kodars?

Ultradan

Here is what I put together for my campaign:

Link

To me the broadsheet reference is an error. From what I recall the Vekkers were already dead. See my timeline above.


cibet44 wrote:
Ultradan wrote:

A little question...

In one place the text state that the Vekker brothers came here 70 years ago (p.10)... And another place states that there are broadsheets from Koevosa and Janderhoff dated 12 years ago (area B11).

When did the Vekker brothers get here, and when did they meet their demise? Could someone help me with the timeline for the Vekker's venture into the Kodars?

Ultradan

Here is what I put together for my campaign:

Link

To me the broadsheet reference is an error. From what I recall the Vekkers were already dead. See my timeline above.

Neat!

I'll use THAT!!

Thanks Cibet!

Ultradan


Russell Akred wrote:

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.

Just took a look at your work...

WOW! MORE!!!

lol

Did you happen do do more of this?

Ultradan


What are the rules behind Viorian's full attack iteration? +28/+25/+20/+15 is a 2/5/5/5 progression, rather than all fives.

Her heavy steel shield counts as a "one-handed weapon" for doing a shield bash with it, so with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat that means -4 to attack for both hands' attacks.

So, I get an attack of: 18 (BAB), +8 (Str), +5 (Chellan enhancement), +1 (Weapon Focus), +1 (Greater Weapon Focus), -4 (two-weapon fighting), -1 (Large size) = 28. And a damage roll of 2d6 (as large scimitar), +8 (Str), +5 (Chellan enhancement), +2 (Weapon Specialization), +2 (Greater Weapon Specialization) = 2d6+17.

So, I believe her full attack should be: Chellan +28/+23/+18/+13 (2d6+17/15-20) and shield bash +21 (1d56+4). The standard attack is correct (with 10 point Power Attack).


So did anyone run the final fight yet? And did the party defeat Karzoug? Sitting here studying his stats and spells, he seems like quite the handfull even for 4 lvl 16 characters decked out in gear.

If he survives the first round, I simply don't see the party defeating him. He can control the fight using his spells, and put out so much damage that I simply can't imagine the party defeating him.

The party is currently a Barbarian (good ac and insane damage output), a Paladin (VERY good ac, good saves (and he's a divine defender, and pretty good damage output), a Cleric (heals and control focused) and finally a sorceress that does what a sorceror does best (control and damage).

If Karzoug survives round 1, it's just quickened timestop, wish (to heal up if necessary), prismatic wall and forcecage.. Maybe some more stuff if time permit. He should now be alive for at least 3 rounds more. In this he could do quickened wail of the banshee and horrid wilting.. That should easily take care of the sorceress and the cleric. Next it's a quickened meteor swarm and finger of death. ANd final round he can buy some time with a quickened temporal stasis and just find his favourite no-save damaging spells and finish the paladin and barbs final hitpoints laughing as he goes.

Ofcourse, a bad init roll and he gets the pally and barb in his face, a lucky crit and into oblivion he goes..

So I pretty much only see this going either "was that it??" or completely destroying the party, leaving them with a "ehmmm, what just happened"..

I could ofcourse hold back just a wee bit, but he doesn't have THAT many hitpoints, and it's 1 vs. 4 fight. And this is the END fight, so it should be epic! It should end with a 2hp left Paladin making a lucky crit while the rest are dead or dying.


The party knows they are going to go up against a super-wizard at the end. They have known for many sessions. If they don't cast buff spells and make other preparations to handle the spells that implies, they deserve to die.
How about a limited wish to get a twenty on the next initiative roll and then counter-spelling? Karzoug will cast Time Stop and there's a good chance he'd fail.
Meteor Storm is fire based; who doesn't have fire resistance up? Besides, everyone should have bear's endurance or something similar up, so hp damage will have to be enormous before it matters.
Wail of the Banshee can be negated with a simple fort save; death ward gives +4, and SR applies. It's pretty easy to pass; or under 3.5 will render you immune to the spell.
Horrid Wilting is powerful, but again against hp; even if the save fails, it will not kill anyone on its own.

Remember this isn't just any encounter and the party knows it. It's the last chance they have to use one-shot items and the like; if they don't, they are willingly surrendering some of their power.

I'd in fact recommend you give him some kind of meat shield (shield guardian?) to ensure that the party can't kill him before he goes unless they have a very good plan and lots of dice luck.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My player devoted all the party spellcasters to counterspelling and spell interruption attempts. (Basically, various forms of Readying an action to disrupt Karzoug's spellcasting.) So, all he got off was his Quickened spell and a fireball from the staff, and then the fight was over.

It was a big party by that point due to NPC recruitment. A smaller one might have had more trouble. As it was, I had given Karzoug several allies (a Xanesha clone and the fighter with the Runesword) and it made no difference.

I personally have not seen challenging fights at these levels. One way or another they are over almost instantly. That's part of why I prefer to run and play with lower level caps. My player didn't seem too upset about Karzoug's sudden death, but neither was it a memorable climax encounter, and from my point of view it was a lot of prep for no payback.


My players are starting Spires in our next session...

We've always 'fast-forwarded', or narrated, wilderness travel to get to the neat story parts (since we only get to play like once a month). So for this book, I'll be trying to make it more about the epic journey than the actual final fight. I want them to get to the end cold, out of breath, and nearly out of ressources. And having them remembering the last book like an extra long wilderness search for the fabled city of Xin-Shalast.

I'll maybe even convince them, at one point, that this will most likely be a one-way trip.

Ultradan


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We just started this final book on Sunday. Our party consists of three 16th-level characters (Kyra, Merisiel, and a wizard) and three 10th-level characters from another adventure (dwarf crossbow master, human inquisitor, and dwarf fighter) who are there at the behest of a dragon playing the 'game' and hoping to win with the loot from Xin-Shalast (the culmination of another adventure we've been playing). Kyra and Merisiel are the only ones that have been with the party from the start.

Titus Scarnetti, indebted to Kyra for saving his family (and some incriminating documents) during "Fortress", agreed to bankroll the expedition in exchange for a 10% cut...and, with Titus, that *is* the 'friends and family' offer!

The group ported to a town in the foothills (I surmised there must be a 'last-chance' mining supply town) and spent 2 1/2 days hiking up the Kazaron to the Vekker's cabin. No encounters, though they did come across some Yeti footprints. Snow started lightly the first day and ramped up from there. That was the result of a pretty cool sequence of rolls on the random weather tables...by the time they got to the cabin they were thinking they might want to hole up there for a couple of days until the weather let up. They changed their minds when they learned more about the Vekkers history and how the same series of events led to the 'Vekker Party' incident played out by the haunts.

The group's Shoanti guide (oddly named "Aldo") stayed on watch in the downstairs watch room while the rest of the crew progressively tripped the haunts in the cabin. Unknown to them he went outside to look around and fell victim to the tree...and provided a great hook to the final big haunt (they thought it was him banging on the door). We finished up with Silas' plea to return his brother's body in exchange for information on how to reach Xin-Shalast.

Next week is the body recovery/wendigo seige. Some failed saves have them a tiny bit worried about madness and falling into the same trap as the Vekker party...so the reconciliation scene and wendigo attack should be pretty interesting. Hopefully we'll have enough time to do that and make it to the ice fens.

BTW, I've pre-rolled encounters for the trip. The first one I rolled was an adult white. Looking forward to rolling under 15% on the encounter dice so I can try to fit that in. May not result in combat but I maybe want it to do a high fly-over patrol sort of thing and scare them a little. Merisiel rolls crazy high stealth but some of the others are less fortunate so it'll make them scramble a bit...especially Kyra, who's flying on a rug with the only slow dwarf.
M

Edit: I'll add that Kyra and Merisiel were both granted title and land (the farms vacated by the ghoul plague in "Skinsaw") after the events in "Hook Mountain". Kyra has formed a cult...erm community...devoted to Sarenrae that is farming and taking in strays (including the goblin child rescued from Thistletop and the 'goldfish people' from the fountains in Runeforge). They're working on a book of the history of Thassilon, in conjunction with Quink. Meresiel has started a vinyard and general party site, devoted to all forms of gluttony and debauchery. Some day I anticipate the two towns will go to war...

Final Edit: One of the 'goldfish people' was actually a wizard's cat familiar that was baleful polymorphed...failed his fort save but not his will. Imagine being a cat in a goldfish's body for millennia, surrounded by real goldfish. Oh, the pain...

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