Karzoug in 5E (Spoilers for Spires of Xin-Shalast)


Rise of the Runelords

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Sovereign Court

That's fantastic! Sounds like it was a great night and your experience will help me greatly in my encounter building. Thank you so much for sharing!

I am starting to wonder however if my party is getting too high in level. I thought they were actually behind, but if yours is fighting Mokmurion at level ten while mine is almost to level 9 already and they are just starting on Skull's Crossing, perhaps I'm rewarding them too much xp. Don't Pathfinder levels and 5e levels convert rather evenly?

Now on a totally seperate topic...

I have a Hexblade warlock in my party. I have decided to make his patron Alara'quin (Karzoug's glaive). This has already created some very interesting rp dynamics and I am very happy with this decision. The player has only received some brief glimpses of Alar'aquin so far and I highly doubt the player even knows yet what kind of weapon Alar'aquin is let alone what exactly it is after. I think it's only going to get better in fact and the climax (if they actually get to Karzoug) is going to be phenomenal. I'm wondering if you or anyone else might have some inspiring ideas about crafting that specific patronage that I may not have already thought of.


I'm not doing XP for my run (I briefly tried using the alternate XP system from the Unearthed Arcana article but abandoned it) have just been using milestone leveling. (Though because I have a party of 6 I've been leaving them about 1 level behind where the AP says they should be.)

They hit 11th level after Mokmurian and I'm going to boost them to 12th once they defeat Freezemaw. We left off last session with them opening the secret door into the Scribbler's lair and a strange voice (The Scribbler) calling out from the fog and darkness in the demanding to know who they are.

Ultimately, I don't think it matters too much about the pace you level them up at as long as you keep the party's current abilities in mind when converting the baddies over.

One thing I didn't do that I should have is convert the treasure values. Even with removing a ton of random +1/+2 cloaks, rings, weapons and armor from the AP, the party still has a ridiculous amount of money. That being said, I'm rolling randomly for the items available at shops (or, more specifically, using the Donjon shop generator) so they can't kit themselves out exactly how they want.

Dark Archive

I'm assuming this thread is rife with spoilers. That said, (btw...the party is 15th level)

WOW....what a session last night! The PCs are in Xin-Shalast and are taking up residence in one of the many empty buildings in the southern portion of the city....about a mile past the giant encampment. Because the PCs are wearing a couple of Sihedron amulets, Karzoug informs his servants of their whereabouts and they send a rune giant to their location....testing all of the intel (their strengths, weaknesses, etc) Karzoug has divined from them over the last year or so.

The rune giant attacks while a minor wizard in service to Kalib creates an illusion of more giant steps approaching up the stairwell. The battle spilled outside and the party eventually dispatches the rune giant.

Now because of the connection Karzoug has to his beloved creations--the Rune Giants--he senses the death of one (in fact he sees it happen though his scrying) and uses that death's energy to center a meteor swarm onto the PCs, taking 2 of the party down to 0hp and leaving the rogue inside a nearby building avoiding all the meteor damage via Evasion. Unfortunately for the rogue, the detonation causes that building to collapse burying him alive. He is unharmed but trapped within.

This definitely attracted attention from a contingent of cloud giants a ways away and they move in from the sky to investigate. Their was immediate healing administrated (mass cure wounds) as they simultaneously remember that they're all still affected by the Wind Walk spell. The rogue begins transforming within the wreckage but the others(minus the barbarian) did not attempt to hide before the transformation process (this was a WTF moment for me, as they saw the cloud giants flying towards them from afar).

The 3 cloud giants landed and immediately began to put the cleric and the bard in hog-tied manacles while the barbarian has the bright idea to begin to transform above their heads on an overhanging building preparing his eventual attack. They see him, fly up to him, and do the same. (although his hog tie is with the giant's leather belt as they were out of manacles)

Now it's become very much a s%!t show as the 3 giants haul the cleric, the fighter, and the barbarian. The cleric urges the others to get near him so that he can cast a Word of Recall spell (verbal component only!) An absolute crazy confrontation commenced and by all rights should have been challenging but not detrimental for a 15th level party.

But amazingly enough, the two healers (the cleric and bard) both died by BOTH rolling a 1 on their death saves! which was the biggest contributing factor. Everyone was floored by this very sudden turn from challenging to DEADLY.

BUT.....this gave me an amazing opportunity to RP out some dialog with Karzoug and both of their spirits as they wait near the runewell inside the Eye of Avarice. They are not particularly greedy souls so they're not worth as much to Karzoug as they would be if their hearts were filled with avarice. This does not stop him from processing their souls as he is currently taking great joy in seeing these would-be heroes thwarted in a most permanent way.

And for the others now, their is no escape from Xin-Shalast as the recently deceased cleric was responsible for their ease of travel over the Kodar mountain range.

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