Spires of Xin-Shalast (GM Reference)

Rise of the Runelords

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I think he would only get +3 to Int, Wis, Cha for age.


Oops, I forgot to put the bonus from wishes as well. It's +4 Inherent from wishes and +3 untyped from aging for Wis and Cha.

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My group isn't very good about staying on the rails, so I thought I'd share how I filled out the Xin-Shalast sandbox areas:

- The Tangle: I never had to use this, as they correctly were able to determine that they didn't want to waste time there, but I placed 2 fiendish zomoks (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/plants/zomok) at Vomarck's Circus to act as a deterrent from making me actually detail the Tangle any further.

- ruined temple of Lissala: An immortal ichor as a remnant of Lissala (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/oozes/immortal-ichor) with several of the skulk vampires from the Hidden Beast encounter as distractions/filler (they were attracted by the divine blood.) This one worked out really well, I think, as it let me fill out some missing lore on Thassilon for them on top of being an interesting encounter.

- Shahlaria (the giant fortress): I felt like this adventure had a shortage of fire giants, all things considered, so I filled out the interior with a big fire giant forging operation to make weapons/armor for the giant army. Leader was a fire giant antipaladin who I also gave a Sihedron ring as my party has familiars and animal companions complicating the ring situation. The rest of the place was full of fire giants, fire elementals, half-babau nessian warhounds (I recommend these, they are pretty good for their CR even against level 16 characters, so they make the encounter more interesting without flooding things with XP), and a giant-template mythic fire giant. The exterior of the fortress was as described with cloud and storm giants; I also put a non-Warden, non-ring-bearing rune giant there to give them their first taste of a rune giant. He came in while the others started blowing horns to attract the dragon, and after dealing with him, the group wisely decided to retreat rather than fight the dragon + a few dozen giants at once.

- The lamia compound: I actually just cut this, as it was going to be too much time and too much extra XP. I did add some lamias to the dragon's lair encounter.

- The cremation buildings near the arena: rather than fill out the area with lesser spectral undead, etc., as suggested by the module, I just put a single charnel colossus (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/charnel-colossus) in one of the cremation buildings, concealed under the piles of ash and bone, and gave it some fire resistance to reflect that it was composed of burned zombies rather than regular ones. I think I got some pucker factor going for everyone with the 100' radius DC 34 hold monster, although ultimately it didn't kill anyone, and the zombies trying to suck the intellect out of grappled targets was appropriately creepy. The necromantic energy that would have otherwise created more undead was all tied up in that thing, and after they killed it they were able to determine that they needed to do something about the area further if they wanted to stop subsequent undead generation, so they'll probably be back to hallow it or the like after the campaign is wrapped up.

Those are interesting additions/changes. My group is still in Book 3 but I'm already thinking I'm going to need some fleshing out of Xin Shalast. Especially if I need to provide them with another ring...

Grand Lodge

My group is nearing Xin Shalast and I wasn't able to find clarification in the books so I thought I would ask here.

If you cast create lesser demiplane inside the zone that the group has to fast to enter and then try and exit the demiplane would it be the same dc 30 caster level check to not be shunted back out of the region?

I guess given the thin boundaries between xin Shalast and 'other' places it might be easier to make the transition.

What would you, my fellow DM's, rule on this. They are postulating using create lesser demiplane rather than multiple castings of life bubble and communal endure elements to try and avoid environmental effects and random encounters.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The 2 hour casting time looks like a major problem to using it for anything. Then you need to use plane shift if you want to move backwards and forwards . Looks like a bad idea.
I would treat planar transit into and out of the area the same as teleportation. Karzoug set up his defenses to keep out wizards and extra planar creatures .
Magnificent mansion is probably better as a shelter and I don't see how either avoid needing to cast Life bubble or similar

Shadow Lodge

Has anyone had their PCs sleep in the pinnacle of avarice? My guys are basically sleeping near The Reliquary with Ceoptra in the next room over. The Battle Herald is standing watch all night with the intent to have the paladin remove his fatigue via mercy. They essentially just need to recharge their cleric and arcane trickster. Should I interrupt them somehow? Everyone but Ceo is dead, and they haven't entered the room with the anima focus yet. I want them to have a fighting chance against special K but at the same time the party is very strong and I'd be surprised if they had issues even with the cleric so low on spells.

If my guys are reading this, know that I will stomp you if you are!

My group is about to enter the Lower City of Xin-Shalast, and I was wondering what everyone was using for combat encounter maps for the enormous buildings and lairs to be found there. Are there any custom maps floating around, or good ideas for flip-mats or map packs to make encounters in the city look better?

Silver Crusade

Running low on time, as I'm prepping for a session in 5 hours. My group is still in book 4, technically, having just killed Mokmurian, driven off the giant army by showing them his head, and then doing a ton of research in the library. They're interested in Xin-Shalast already, for obvious reasons, though hopefully, they'll be smart enough to go to Runeforge for weapons first.

So between their research in the library, asking Brodert Quink, and the oracle spamming the Divination spell, they're likely to touch on the subject of finding Xin-Shalast, which is why I'm trying to prep for this section a little bit, just so I know what hints to give them.

The adventure (anniversary edition) talks about various ways they can find out about the dwarf brothers, but I'm unclear on how they're supposed to find the exact location of their cabin. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Liberty's Edge

Two quick questions regarding the last battles in the AP!!!
I'll be running this tomorrow - so if you can chime in now - I'd be very grateful!

Page References below are from the Anniversary edition


1) On page 397 re: the Anima focus the text points out that vertigo effects PCs atop the Anima focus and "...This disorientation lasts as long as the character remains atop the Anima focus, and for 1 minute after he vacates the area..."

My question: does this disorientation continue for the PCs if they go through the anima focus and into the eye of avarice? If so - they'd be suffering from the disorientation for 10 rounds while facing Karzoug.

2) The map of page 362 of the Eye of Avarice says the scale is 1 square = 5 feet. BUT the description of the Runewell on page 425 says it is 10 feet in diameter.

So - either the map is not the right scale OR the text on page 425 is incorrect. I'm leaning toward the map being the wrong scale (since the giants have a 15 foot base and {if the scale is 1=5} then they'd be standing on a 10 foot platform).

Insight is appreciated! Sooner is better.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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1) The disorientation will likely last into the Eye of Avarice, since you have to be under its effect to use fire to enter. Just keep counting duration. If they strike it with a dominant weapon, though, they can get around this.

(I'm more concerned that it doesn't list a duration for the stun effect caused by the journey.)

2) The map may be off. I'm not sure I'd be too quick to switch it to 10-foot squares, though - it might affect Karzoug's ability to drop a bunch of spells among the party (as written in his tactics). I'd make adjustments in a few places (for the giants and such) but otherwise keep it roughly equivalent.

Hope this helps. ^_^

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1) I'd say the disorientation would go away once you get into the Eye of Avarice. I don't really have an exact reason why, but it makes sense to me that since the disorientation effect is because the character is seeing a bleed through of the Eye of Avarice, once they are fully in the Eye, it would go away.

2) I agree about being careful changing the scale of the final battle. Personally, I'm not changing it because I want to build it with my 3D dungeon building stuff. It might make sense to change it though considering the massive scale of everything up to this point. Could go either way.

As for the Runewell, usually the text description takes precedence over the map cartography. Even that being said, the Runewell in the map spills over that central square by a good amount. They may even have intended for that to be 10' wide in the map too.

I'd be really interested to hear how the final battle goes. My group probably only has one more session between them and the final showdown! Personally, I'm a little conflicted about it... I don't think my group has a chance against Karzoug if I play him appropriately. The party make-up is weak against casters and flyers, Karzoug knows all their weaknesses and strategies by this point, and their system mastery isn't really the best =/

I don't want to cheapen the fight because Karzoug should be a total badass, but I also don't want them to feel completely run over and hopeless. It's a fine line I suppose. Still not sure exactly what to do, but I'm leaning towards just running the encounter exactly as written (unusual for me) and leaving it up to fate.

Anyway, let us know how it goes!

I think the map is wrong. You have size Huge creatures on ledges that are only 10' wide. If the map is 1 square = 5' then they will be squeezed. Pretty much the same for every other non-medium challenge.

Not sure this will be in time to help the OP...

I'd say the disorientation goes away when you get to the Eye. My reasoning is not crisp but I give a few reasons: 1) a 50% miss chance for the first 10 rounds of the fight with Karzoug seems harsh. I'm as much of a <rhymes with trick> DM as the next guy but come on... 2) "for 1 minute after he vacates the area" seems more directed those that go to the top of the Anima and then go back down rather than traversing to the Eye. Definitely an interpretation but the fact flames are crisply recognized (to signal the path to the Eye) supports this view (in my mind.) 3) There is a penalty for travel to the Eye explicitly described - DC 20 Fort save or be stunned. In a non-helpful way, the text does not provide the duration of this stun (1-4 rounds is my guess, though 1 round is also valid.)

Continuing the AP's non-helpful style, the pc's can avoid this trouble by striking the Anima Focus with a dominant weapon. (Of course why this should even occur to them is left as an exercise for the interested reader.) This "tears a hole in reality before the statue." Statue? What statue? The one of Karzoug in the Reliquary? Why does it appear there?

As for the map scale - I'd ignore the map key and go with 10' per square. It gives Karzoug and his minions more room to maneuver. It prevents rules lawyer players from arguing the Huge creatures in the room should take squeezing penalties. It jibes with the description of the Runewell of Greed. The throne seems a bit out-sized but if you look at the cover of the Game Mastery Guide (which I assume depicts it) you could argue it fills a 10' square.

Liberty's Edge

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It was an epic battle. I made one tactical mistake that really cost me. That said...


The PCs surprised me. They entered the Anima Focus 1 by 1. In fact, one player went into the Eye of Avarice on his own for 1 round before the other PCs figured out he wasn't dead (by casting a divination spell).

While that PC was solo in in the Eye of Avarice, he took damage from call lightning spells.

Karzoug knew the others were likely to come, so he held off for a round but did cast a single defensive spell: Stone Skin.

NOTE: all the PCs succeed in their saving throws and were not stunned.

When the PCs came in, regular initiative was underway.

Karzoug cast quickened timestop, had four rounds to prep:
Prismatic wall, repulsion, globe of invulnerability...

The PCs saw the prismatic wall and decided to polymorphy any object to dig under the wall. The melee fighter had doubled moved the turn before, so he lept down to fight 1-on-1 with Karzoug...yes, the fighter did get through his repulsion spell.

He whacked Karzoug good.

The Ranger had arrows of dragon slaying and critted...the dragon was dead. On the battle went.

Karzoug used quicked time stop again, teleported, cast wish to resurect the dragon, and ended up hiding behind one of the storm giants.

Karzoug's glave was about to target the first PC who entered (and was now at 30 hit points!) the PC (a bard) used a Hero Point as a readied action to cast extended dimenion door (I think that was it) brought the entire party (except the ranger) up to the same floor as the Rune Lord. The ranger full attacked the dragon, the rune giant moved toward the party and used his 30 foot cone, the glave reaimed its fireball and hit the party (bring a PC to 2 hitpoints).

Karzog (just prior to all the PCs teleporting to his side made a tactical error...and I could have kicked myself! He cast "Wail of the Banshee) instead of Wish (which would have healed him and anyone other injured BBEGs). Alas...I got "greedy" with the Wail of the Banshee...dumb move. It hurt but didn't slay the targeted PC.

This oversight ended up giving the PCs a chance to dog-pile Karzoug (even with the giants doing (a) a full attack and (b) arrows (having already used chain lightning a bit earlier).

In short: the battle was nearly two hours long. How many rounds? I'm not sure. About 8 rounds or so...

Crazy. We all had to really look up spells, make sure the spells did what we thought they did, avoid conflicts etc etc.

BUT the PCs felt very satisfied after such a long, complex and scary battle.

Thanks again to all of YOU for your advice. I took it seriously and it really helped my finale.

Cheers! Good luck with your final encounters.

If you have any questions, or wish for some advice/reflections on my errors, let me know.

Scarab Sages

So, I'm about to start book 6, but I have a serious problem. The way book 5 developed, and the way the party took a BUNCH of downtime after clearing out the Scribbler's lair (116 days), I felt I couldn't just have Karzoug sit and wait. So, on day 100 of the downtime, I decided that the giant army was going to go on the march.

The party has heard some rumors of heavy giant activity far to the north east, but has yet to truly investigate it. They also took their time getting into Runeforge, and dealing with all of the branches, plus they created their dominate weapons early on, so Karzoug was made aware of them well before they would move on Xin-Shalast. Sins of the Saviors took 138 days of campaign time (including a long stint into the Astral Plane to craft magical items).

My issue is, with the giant army on the march, Karzoug fully aware of the PC's and scrying on them like mad (using the poor Will save guys as his target), he's well aware of them and their abilities. The whole "cabin in the snow" scenario is out the window, since the giant's have moved down into Varisia. So now I need a way to make it interesting for the PCs AND give them a reason to head to Xin-Shalast without just releasing Karzoug. I'm beginning to think that due to the PCs desire to have such a long downtime in the middle of book 5 coupled with them not hiding their tracks at all from Karzoug, I may just need to release the wizard and start his conquering of Varisia.

I guess I'm looking for some suggestions on how to proceed. I've been looking through numerous books from all editions of the game, but outside of starting mass combat, I don't see a way to move forward with the campaign without completely throwing book 6 out the window.


PS - sorry how wandering this post is. Didn't sleep much last night.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Give me some time to mull this over - that sounds like a really interesting scenario, and I'm sure you can do something really cool with it.

Assuming you weren't planning on running Shattered Star, you could look at Into The Nightmare Rift - maybe the Claimer reopens the Leng Embassy and starts dragging horrible stuff through.

Speaking of Leng... technically, nobody ever shut down the Leng Device in this scenario. Maybe Mhar is on the loose too.

So like I said... there's a lot you can do with this. ^_^

Yeah, taking THAT much time off to craft (presumably ignoring your warnings about being on a timetable) sounds like they should just lose. Almost. Leng Device worked, so no:

massive armies from the Xin-Shalast of 10,000 years ago

and most likely the first sign they've screwed the pooch is
Mhar Massif running around flattening the countryside with a swarm of Leng Denizens dancing up a storm


Silver Crusade Contributor

Well... maybe in this scenario, one of Karzoug's minions figured out what the denizens were up to and put a stop to it.

Ancient armies should always be an option. ^_^

Scarab Sages

I'm seriously leaning towards the armies. I've started looking through the army rules in Ultimate Campaign, but they allowed the stone giants in book 4 to form up an army, and still managed to survive.

Giants are humanoid and have crappy Will saves, so the party uses that against them. I honestly don't know how much concern they're gonna have about giant armies rampaging the countryside, but that's the direction its heading in.

I hadn't thought about Mhar Massif, but as I understand it, if he's released, Xin-Shalast gets wiped off the map, and I don't think he's any friend of Karzoug. If I did that, I'd be releasing TWO catastrophic events on the party at once.

Is there any other information about Mhar Massif anywhere, or more on Leng?

Silver Crusade Contributor

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The Shattered Star book I mentioned earlier has a whole gazetteer on Leng. You could also read The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, by H.P. Lovecraft... it's mostly a direct translation.

Mhar gets a tiny bit more in an article on the Great Old Ones:

Carrion Crown: Wake of the Watcher wrote:

The ancient entity known as Mhar first attempted to enter
Golarion eons ago, using the planet’s crust as a womb.
The attempt to manifest failed for unknown reasons—
perhaps the alignment of the planets was not right, or
perhaps other entities acted to still the birth before it
came to term. Yet Mhar’s cult believes not that their god
failed to be born, but rather that its gestation is merely one
measured in eons. The cult further believes that the time
for Mhar’s birth draws near, and that when the Great Old
One—said to dwell deep under the tallest mountain in the
Inner Sea region, a peak in the Kodar Mountains known
as Mhar Massif—finally wakens, it will transform much
of northern Avistan into a new realm of fire and ash that
will spread across world. The time of this birth, the cult
believes, can be predicted by earthquakes and volcanism
throughout the world, and some of Mhar’s more powerful
worshipers seek to hasten that birth by triggering their
own tectonic disasters in key places.
Mhar’s shape is unknown, for it technically has yet to
enter existence. In images created by its cult, the Great Old
One is generally depicted as a volcano-shaped leviathan,
its caldera surrounded by immense molten fangs and its
slopes bearing forests of crystalline limbs.

That's about all we've got, other than his deity info (domains and such).

Scarab Sages

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I have that book. I gave it to my fiance last year for Christmas. I'll have to take a look at it. I'll also have to grab my Shattered Star I.

This is going to be an interesting way to end a campaign, that's for sure. I'll continue to bounce ideas, as my party never comes to the boards outside of one player, and he knows how to stay quiet.

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Hello guys,

In April of 2015 I finally finished Rise of the Runelords, defeated Karzoug and saved Varisia. It was a very long campaign. We stared it in May 2013, and finished it in April 2015 (almost two years!). I should have posted this here one year ago, I even writed it, but forgot to post… Now I’m posting it!

In the Karzoug’s fight we have 5 players (some of them’ve played since the very beginning, others joined the campaign on the run) and 1 cohort. The characters were (at the Karzoug’s fight):


Erin (human, ranger trapper 16). He had a roc as an animal companion and could one-round almost any foe in the game with his arrows, so he was usually one-rounded by the foes too. He died several times during the campaign.

Valerian Falx (human, Cleric of Iomedae 15/ fighter 1). A former Cheliax noble (whose family was notorious among the ranks of Hellknights), he specialized himself in bringing Erin back from Death and in converting people to Iomedae’s faith.

Khan Redbalor (tiefling, Paladin of Iomedae 16). He started as Paladin of Abadar in a high hierarchic position on Magnimar, but the Arcbanker denied him to travel to Turbleback Ferry, so he abandoned Abadar’s faith and Valerian converted him to Iomedae’s. Autoproclamed nemesis of doors. And carrier of the holy flying bible of Lamashtu. Iomedae strongest (and weirdest) weapon.

Ragnarus (human, sorcerer 16). Remember Katrine Vinder (one of the Skinsaw Murders’ victims)? Delvahine (the succubus from Runeforge)? Svenka (the icy nymph who lived near Xin-Shalast)? He did all. There were probably more ladies that I can’t remember.

Ezequiel Surt (human, tower shield specialist 7 / Stalwart Defender 9). He was the son of b###* (literally) with the highest AC I’ve even seen. Most foes only hit him with a natural 20. He started LG and ending the game as LN.

Nualia Tobyn (aasimar Paladin Sacred Shield of Iomedae 14). Yes, Nualia, the main enemy from the Burnt Offerings. Valerios didn’t let the PCs kill her, instead he cut off her demonic arm and tried to redeem her. After a lot of effort from Valerios (and his player), Nualia became a paladin of Iomedae to undo the evil she has done (as Valerian’s cohort)

There were other character in Xin-Shalast like Blair (Ragnaros’ daughter and cohort), Sophia (a planetar Valerian called via a Planar Ally, Sophia is a he), a dominated warden of the wind, Fly (Erin’s animal companion), Viorian Dekanti (the woman who was under influence of the Chellan) and another planetar released from Khalib control, but they didn’t take part in the Karzoug fight.

Karzoug's Fight:

The fight started with Karzoug following his script. Meteor swarm and time stop. He would killed some of the players if Nualia didn’t have used bastion of good. The players protected themself against electricity (making Wardens of Thunder and the Blue Dragon sad), Ragnaros also used his Otherwordly Kimono to maze one of the Warden of Thunder and a Wall of Force to block the others arrows. Ezequiel and Khan rushed to the Rune Giant. Meanwhile they recovered from the damage and effects Karzoug had created, Karzoug used Maze on Khan and the Rune Giant sundered Ezequiel’s Dominant Warhammer and his tower shield. Karzoug even tried a quickened Baleful Polymorph on Ezequiel, but he saved.

In the first rounds, Karzoug was using a hit-and-hide-behind –the-prismatic-wall strategy to avoid Erin’s arrows. Erin was hitting the dragon, who was trying to grapple Nualia and full attack Erin. On the third round (with Khan e Ezequial out of battle), Karzoug flied to the players direction and tried save-or-suck spell on Ragnaros, but he had a Orb of Absorption. Erin full-attacked Karzoug (and that hurts a lot), and Ragnaros tried a Greate Dispel on him, but trap card he had turned down activated (Spell Turning) rendering Ragnaros spell useless. Meanwhile Valerian buffed himself and Erin.

Before coming back to the safety of his prismatic wall, Karzoug used his arcane bound to Maze Nualia away (and her bastion of good and other protective buffs with her) and quickened one wish to restore he and his allies. Ragnaros and Erin (now over buffed and with some handy critical hits) one-rounded the dragon. Valerian buffed himself again and moved to the Lens of Souls for Karzoug’s horror.

Karzoung now left the safety and used Solid Fog to block Erin’s arrows. The rune giant charged on Erin and did some nasty damage, but Erin one-rounded the Rune Giant (an over buffed ranger with favorite enemy giants +6). Ragnaros dispelled the solid fog (this could have been the most important roll on the fight, but other one happened on the next rounds and casted shadows on this). An over buffed Varian full-attacked the Lens of Souls.

Karzoug casted Crushing Hand and grappled Ragnaros. Erin couldn’t hit Karzoug because there was a Wall of Force between the ranger and the runelord, so he attacked the Crushing Hand. Ezequiel tried to grapple Karzoug, but the runelord had freedom of movement on him. An over buffed Varian full-attacked the Lens of Souls, and Karzoug started to fear for his freedom.

Force Cage on Valerian. It was Karzoug’s response. This was the moment that the players (and even me) were in a TPK-mode, but… Nualia came back from the maze (a natural 20 on her roll) and used her swift action to cast Litany of Escape on Ragnaros. Ragnaros teleported him, Nualia and Erin to Karzoug’s side and the ranger full-attacked.

The Crushing Hand grappled Ragnaros again and Karzoug retreated to the Prismatic Wall. Valerian and (mostly) a Warden of Thunder (who was free from the Rune Giant’s control) started to break the force cage. Erin and Ezequial (using a dagger since his warhammer was destroyed) attacked the The Crushing.

With his last wish, Karzoug healed himself. The crusing hand rolled a 1 on his grapple check and let the sorcerer free. He used this opportunity to disintegrate the force cage. Now free, Valerian (with Erin helps) destroyed the Lens of Souls, trapping Karzoug forever in the Eye of the Avarice.

The runelord went mad and casted Finger of Dead on Nualia (killing her) and used one of his quickened Dimensional Door to move away from PC’s wrath. Erin, Warden of Thunder and Valerian finished the Crushing Hand.

Karzoug come back with another quickened Dimensional Door and used a Wail of the Banshee to kill Erin, but he had spell resistance from one of Valerian’s buffs. Karzoug rolled 1, so the spell affected the next character. Ragnaros died. Karzoug went back to the Prismatic Wall.

Two PCs down, hope was again vanishing, but then Khan came back from the maze.

Karzoug now didn’t have many options. His best non-transmutation spells were exhausted and every PC had a dominant weapon (including Ezequiel, who got Nualia’s weapon from her dead body) and Erin had some protective items, such a Ring of Blink and a Ioun Stone for spell absorption. So Karzoug started to burn his quickened spells on Erin to exhaust his protections. He also casted Repulsion to keep evil-smiting-Khan and over-buffed-Valrian away from him (strangely enough, the low willpower Ezequial saved this).

So this was his strategy. Spells on Erin. Take a lot of damage. Move back to Prismatic Wall for healing. But, one thing that nobody was expecting happened. Khan decided to pass through the Prismatic Wall. He actually died on the 4th layer with the epitaph:

“I died the same way I lived. Stupidly”
--- Khan, the paladin with low Wisdom.

This unthinkable strategy blowed up Karzoug mind (well, not his mind only, but my mind as GM) and Karzoug leaved his sanctuary before be full recovered from last attacks to waste his spells (and PCs protections). He actually had enough HP to survive an Erin’s full-attack, but Erin got three critical and killed Karzoug.

It was probably the most epic battle I ever had.

Scarab Sages

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So continuing on Book 6 since a month ago, we have had two sessions.

Karzoug's army is on the march, and the party decided that crafting was more important than finding out what the army was all about. Plus they needed to figure out exactly WHERE Xin-Shalast was and HOW to get there (they completely forgot about asking Master Quink). Regardless of warnings, the party didn't bother investigating the army until it had split, most heading towards Kaer Maga, and a smaller group heading towards the Storval Stairs.

The smaller group at the Storval Stairs (after destroying the library at Jorgenfist on Karzoug's orders (party barely missed running into this group by minutes)), set up camp at the top of the stairs and contacted Khalib. He showed up and set up a teleportation circle to bring in the rest of the army. Once the army had formed (which took 3 days, again, in an attempt to give the party time to be proactive), they moved down into Varisia's lower plains.

So far....
1. Ravenmoor has been destroyed
2. Wolf's Ear has been destroyed
3. Lord-Mayor Grobaras has been deposed, and Mayor Deverin has taken his place.
4. The party has finally started to form an army to defend against the army
5. They found handout 6-1 and have moved on to the dwarven mining camp.

Good times....


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
William Sinclair wrote:

I have that book. I gave it to my fiance last year for Christmas. I'll have to take a look at it. I'll also have to grab my Shattered Star I.

This is going to be an interesting way to end a campaign, that's for sure. I'll continue to bounce ideas, as my party never comes to the boards outside of one player, and he knows how to stay quiet.

Me Quiet? NEVER! Hell I told the group that downtime was a terrible idea for in game reasons and out of game reasons (The Out of game reasons were known at campaign start.) and was ignored.

So as far as I am concerned, "Hail Razmir" and move to the Stolen Lands...

Scarab Sages


Hell, no. I've put too much time into this campaign to watch the party drag into through the mud and into oblivion! Besides, I stated at the beginning that what happens here affects all further campaigns. Loosing Varisia to Karzoug, or worse, will make the other campaigns all that much more interesting.

Scarab Sages

So my party is wandering completely "off topic" and exploring random buildings in the city.

1. Has anybody stated out any of the vague references of information for the lettered buildings?

2. Anybody have an random generator for describing contents of buildings/what happens in them? I'm using some old source from the Myth Drannor Boxed set (2nd edition), but it's weak at best.

3. Ideas for keeping them on track? I swear, at this point I don't know how they're going to stop Karzoug from reappearing/making the old God go free and on the rampage.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just ignore the buildings they go into and insert the next area of the campaign into where ever they go.

Lord knows I have do this to our group on several occasions or we have wondered off aimlessly until the end of time.

Silver Crusade

Also, remember that there's a random encounter table specifically for Xin-Shalast. Use it, and maybe have some of those monsters drop some hints to get them back on track.

Not only is there a random encounter table for Xin Shalast, if the party has any Sidhedron Medalions on it's supposed to double the frequency and chance for those random encounters.

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William Sinclair wrote:

Karzoug's army is on the march, and the party decided that crafting was more important than finding out what the army was all about.


So far....
1. Ravenmoor has been destroyed
2. Wolf's Ear has been destroyed
3. Lord-Mayor Grobaras has been deposed, and Mayor Deverin has taken his place.
4. The party has finally started to form an army to defend against the army
5. They found handout 6-1 and have moved on to the dwarven mining camp.

Good times....

Good lord. What were they crafting that was so all-fired important that they thought ignoring an army of cloud, storm, and rune giants was the way to go?

If Karzoug is not already free, he should be by the time your players get to him. Having a hard time seeing how the party is not going to wind up as stylish new gold statues in his palace.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Long story short. People in our party (9 party members) just don't think time crunch is that important.

Scarab Sages

Well, in this latest session, Sandpoint was destroyed, and the giant army is now moving on Magnimar. Magnimar is about the only thing that stands a chance at stopping them. Plus, if I were to let Karzoug escape (which there IS a deadline on that), then Mhar would escape, and that just opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

At least one of the party members realized this last session that they're chasing after the wrong thing (ie. laying siege to Shahlaria). The party knows they need to go after the rings, but they don't know how/where, because they aren't bothering to do anything about trying to figure out how. They have a 16th level cleric and arcanist who could be casting legend lore's or other divination's and they're just wandering around instead.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is that a hint for Zam once I get back from Korea? ;-)

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ok, me and the players are getting into this last part! And they do know a bit about Karzoug and the first tactical question they came up with was “How could we prevent Time Stop?”. They know how powerful Karzoug is, what a “Rune mage” specializes in and that Time Stop (a simply must spell) is a Greedy (transmutation) spell…

SO, the biggest caster in the group is a very famous Varisian Bard and it was suggested to develop (with help of a large amount of Varisian people) a 6th level bard spell that would “Force the rhythm” and prevent the use of any speed and time flow changing magic. So no haste, expeditious retreat, slow or time stop…

I was thinking of a 100’ radius requiring rounds of performance to keep on up to a max of 1 round /level.

Any other suggestion?

Don't let them. Seems crazy unbalanced for a bard spell.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I can't see letting a 6th level bard spell trump a 9th level wizard spell. Bards aren't supposed to be the superior casters. At the very least, I'd make it an opposed caster level check, like Dispel Magic.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Guys is there a way to protect oneself against lamias' WIS drain? I can't seem to find anything..

Since it is coupled to a melee attack high (touch) AC is the only way to avoid it.


Can Karzoug (or any Thassilonain Specialist for that matter) use Wish or Limited Wish to duplicate a spell from one of their prohibited schools? I'd imagine so, seeing as it's Wish, but the spell does technically say Opposition School, not Prohibited School.

In the AE edition his stat block says Opposition school, so technically he SHOULD be able to. Thematically though, I don't think he would, as the whole background of Thassilonion magic

Liberty's Edge

Wow I just noticed this pun

My party decided that after defeating Ceoptra that they wanted to take a day or three to rest, learn new spells and such.

Since Big K is already well aware of them at this point, how should I handle them deciding to give the BBEG several days of additional prep time?

Baddies in there with him? Bring back one or more of the lieutenants they let live? Bring in some mercenaries? My idea was that Big K has other agents elsewhere in the world and might be calling on them to come, very quickly, to aid him.

Just a quick question regarding the final encounter.

Spoiler tag just in case.

I have a player who's signature spell is Flesh to Stone and he's thinking of trying it on Karzoug in the final encounter. My question is that Karzoug has a lot of immunities and counter abilities set up like his Greater Dispel Contingency but do any stop Flesh to Stone?

Hm. The wording of his contigency is a little unclear. My first thought was that "a hostile spell effect that prevents him from acting on his own" is geared towards enchantment effects but I'd definitely let flesh to stone fall into the same category and let the dispel function as a counterspelling attempt.


It never occurred to me that the contingency could work as a counterspelling attempt... That's an interesting option.

If the pc in question has used Flesh to Stone multiple times in the past, it seems reasonable that Karzoug would know about it. In that case he could simply change his contingency from Greater Dispel to Break Enchantment. Also instead of a counterspell attempt, the Break Enchantment would only trigger if Karzoug failed his save. Since he has a +20 Fort save, that won't be likely.

Also, remember one of his tactics (at least according to the AP) is to bring up Spell Turning as early in the fight as possible. That could make Flesh to Stone a dicey proposition for the pc.

Yeah, I mean as written I can't see anything which stops him being petrified. I don't really mind the player trying it (or even succeeding) as it's a slim chance and would be a good laugh*.

I was just wondering as he's built to be very immune to effects and that one seems to have nothing to stop it. As Latrecis said though he'll have some great defences up if he wins initiative.

The reason this would be a good laugh is because the player is playing a halfling arcane trickster (transmuter wizard) who is obsessed with gold and greed. So much so his Flesh to Stone was reworked to be Flesh to Gold (valueless).

I don't get the last two posts.
The counterspelling is hardcoded into the spell's description as an option (needs to beat DC 28 and K starts at 24 adding 1d20).
Thus, to me he is well prepared to counter this attack (Besides his high Fort save).
Also, don't forget that he brought his buddies: have the big blue prepare Break Enchantment on its list.


Counterspelling requires a readied action. I don't interpret contingency as being able to ready an action against all possible casters and then disrupt a particular caster's spell attempt that qualifies in the contingency's language.

Further, the contingency spell description says "The spell to be brought into effect by the contingency must be one that affects your person..." Not to get too rule lawyerly but using a dispel magic to counterspell another caster does not seem consistent with that.

And Dispel magic doesn't work to fix someone petrified by Flesh to Stone.

So taken altogether I concluded that Karzoug's published contingency won't help him against Flesh to Stone. And suggested using Break Enchantment instead.

I assume your reference to "the big blue" is to the dragon. But (in the AE at least) that's an Adult Blue Dragon which is only a 5th level sorceror - no Break Enchantment on that list.

Thanks, Latrecis (on both accounts).


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