Spires of Xin-Shalast (GM Reference)


Rise of the Runelords

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Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
TheOrganGrinder wrote:
1) Its effects are noted to cover the whole of the Spires of Xin-Shalast, but I don't know if it's specifically mentioned anywhere that this extends into the extraplanar Eye of Avarice.... Or is it intended that PCs who find out Karzoug's identity early in the adventure path should be able to peek into the Eye of Avarice with no more than normal difficulty for scrying on a powerful NPC in an extraplanar space?

Either way, frankly I'd never let Karzoug fail that will save. My players greatly enjoyed the reveal of Karzoug upon Mokmurian's defeat and I wouldn't let anything spoil that. But yes, I'd say that the barriers to scrying extend to the Eye.

Quote:
2) Does possession of a Sihedron medallion or Sihedron ring allow a character to bypass the occluding field's otherwise absolute barrier to divination effects, or does it 'merely' protection the character from the field's other effects (teleportation block, vertigo, damage, wisdom drain, blindess)?

I can't imagine any reason why Karzoug would make it easier to scry on him through those objects. In my game, they provided protection from the physical effects only. I didn't see anything in the AP to suggest otherwise.

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I'm toying with the idea that a Sihedron ring protects the wearer from all of the occluding field's effects, while the less-powerful Sihedron medallion does not - from an in-setting perspective, I feel as though Karzoug wouldn't carelessly hand out items that, if captured, would allow...

Xin-Shalast can be a bit of a slog. The occluding field wasn't a particularly fun thing, and there really isn't any reason to make it a major plot point. The main thing it does is it potentially forces some of them to wear the Sihedron medallions, which provides some entertainment when Karzoug speaks through their voice.


TomParker wrote:
Either way, frankly I'd never let Karzoug fail that will save. My players greatly enjoyed the reveal of Karzoug upon Mokmurian's defeat and I wouldn't let anything spoil that. But yes, I'd say that the barriers to scrying extend to the Eye.

This is about what I was leaning toward too. :)

TomParker wrote:
I can't imagine any reason why Karzoug would make it easier to scry on him through those objects. In my game, they provided protection from the physical effects only. I didn't see anything in the AP to suggest otherwise.

The description of the occluding field on page 342 of the Anniversary Edition notes that "the occluding field renders the entire area shown on the Spires of Xin-Shalast map on page 343 impenetrable to divination or scrying of any sort (though use of the Eye of Avarice to scry upon the outside world is not similarly barred)," and goes on to state that "a character who wears a Sihedron medallion or Sihedron ring can ignore the effects of the occluding field," and what I'm trying to determine here is how those two statements interact - whether the scrying/divination barrier is included in the effects that the Sihedron items allow the wearer to ignore, or if it's only the dangerous effects of the field (teleportation block, vertigo, damage, wisdom drain, blindess) that are ignored.

Khalib (p. 357-358) has arcane eye prepared, and has made several divination spells permanent upon himself, so either it's his Sihedron ring that allows those permanent spells to function (and makes his choice to prepare arcane eye a meaningful one), or those effects are suppressed until he leaves the occluding field, or "impenetrable to divination or scrying of any sort" applies only to spells and effects that pass into or out of the occluding field, rather than those that take place entirely within it - that last part is something I don't need to think about for many months though!

TomParker wrote:
Xin-Shalast can be a bit of a slog. The occluding field wasn't a particularly fun thing, and there really isn't any reason to make it a major plot point. The main thing it does is it potentially forces some of them to wear the Sihedron medallions, which provides some entertainment when Karzoug speaks through their voice.

Apologies if I wasn't clear about what I was considering here - if it's intended (or if I decide, for my group/table) that the scrying/divination barrier is among the effects that wearing a Sihedron item allows a character to ignore, then I was thinking about having that property apply only to Sihedron rings, not to the less-powerful Sihedron medallions - both types of item would allow their wearers to ignore the dangerous effects of the occluding field.

My players are a long way from Xin-Shalast and I don't know enough to anticipate what their reactions will be - could be that they want to press on immediately toward the Spires only to find themselves turned back by the occluding field until they've accumulated a sufficient number of Sihedron items, could be that they're happy to explore the sprawling lost city until events propel them onward.

Thank you for your thoughts on this!

Shadow Lodge

About Khalib, you can use divination spells while within the field, as long as their targets are also within the field. He could always cross the field's threshhold, Teleport somewhere else, then do that again to go back after doing his divinations to see where the PCs are.

Also, I feel like it's implied that the protection the Sihedron objects give in relation to the occluding field relates to being inside it, instead of divining/conjuring through it. Though I'd say, if a PC manages to Detect Scrying, and successfully make that caster level check, feel free to take that player aside and tell them they get a mental image of Karzoug offering a round of sarcastic applause.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The occluding field "feels like an invisible force, almost like gravity, that seems to push against the intruders" (RotR AE p. 342).

Should I take this as flavour text, backed up by the effects described in the rest of the paragraph, or should I take it as an actual Repulsion effect (like the spell)?

I'm currently favouring the first option as there is no accompanying DC for a Will saving throw.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I personally wouldn't, but you can if you wish, though if you went that route, I'd recommend the Sihedron rings and amulets allow the PCs to ignore the repulsion effect as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the answer. Like you suggested, I think that I'll skip defining it as a Repulsion effect mechanics-wise, and just go with the mechanics already delineated in RotR AE.

Liberty's Edge

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Self-pitying sigh.

Just finished the last session of my home Runelords game before driving our daughter to her first year of college, and my ability to deny she's leaving has come to an end.

My wife, daughter, son, their friend, and I started this AP on New Year’s Eve, 2014; tonight, we got through the Fen of the Icemists and the fight with the giants guarding the road to Xin-Shalast. The night ended as the PCs started up the gold-tinted path and caught their first glimpse of the city, much of it built from green marble, sparkling in the early dawn.

They got it, and I played "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" as we packed up for the night.

I hope everyone took good notes, because we probably won’t get to play again until December. #IcastSunriseSunset

Scarab Sages

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Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
They got it, and I played "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" as we packed up for the night.

Nice. I played The Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly when they first saw Xin-Shalast.


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My players nicknamed Karzoug "Ruby Slippers" for some unknown reason back in book 4 or so. We've just made it to Xin Shalast and the group flipped when the Oz reference came out.


It's mentioned in the description of the Leng Device (p354 of Anniversary Edition) that it's similar to the ring of stone in Magnimar. However, even after flicking through the "Magnimar, City of Monuments" book, I can't find any reference to a ring of stone.

Can anyone tell me what is this actually referring to? Thanks.


It is refering to the ring stone in Riddleport, the Cyphergate.


Adjoint wrote:
It is refering to the ring stone in Riddleport, the Cyphergate.

Ah, thanks. That makes a lot more sense.

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