Karzoug needs help killing gunslingers


Rise of the Runelords

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Liberty's Edge

Hi Guys,

I GM a group of ungodly broken 18th level characters. My group is full of experienced players (many of them high star GMs and/or Venture lieutenants) who know every trick imaginable. I made peace with this a long time ago and don't try to give them challenging combat anymore, just challenging roleplay. That said, they are about to fight Karzoug and just for once I want to give them something challenging. I know there a million posts about the Karzoug fight, but none of them seem to deal with my unique challenge. How do you kill two gunslingers and a cleric who has already cast Source Severance? The gunslingers always win initiative (and I do mean always) and drop something like 300 damage each. They have items that allow them to not be affected by a number of things that normally stop gunslingers like fog, wind wall, incorporeal, miss chance, or invisibility. I don't know how he can stop them (or even slow them down) from killing him. Someone mentioned magic jar and possessing the giants, but as soon as he casts a spell they will know which giant he is in and destroy it and then he has to use a full round action to get in another giant (and all of the giants will likely be shot to death in the first two rounds). I could put a prismatic wall around them ... but then he would not have line of sight or line of effect on them to cast anymore spells. To make matters worse the cleric has cast Source Severance which is like anti-magic field, but only for arcane spells. If you guys have any clever ideas I would really appreciate it. I just don't want them to breeze through this final fight.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

When it comes to Karzoug fights I tend to throw out some advice that one of the designers gave a few years ago for the time he ran the fight. So here it goes with some added suggestions for your particular situation.

Seifter's Karzoug Suggestions

1.) I would make one of the storm giants a cleric of decent level who can cast such spells as wind wall and entropic shield on Karzoug (or his forms). If you don't wanna do that I would go some of the advice from the above link and have him use scrolls with the spells on them to provide additional defenses against ranged characters.

Not to mention a scroll of bullet shield at 20th caster level. Remember as the Runelord of Greed Karzoug has pretty limitless funds.

2.) Consider giving Karzoug mythic tiers (or at least templates) like Invincible. I also gave him a mythic spell called Goldskin which was in every way similar to Ironskin but required Epic damage to overcome.

3.) Consider having pre-cast spells onto the platform to hamper the group when they appear like Sirocco.

4.) As far as source severance goes I think you just have to keep that cleric away from you. I'm not entirely sure how to do that. Hopefully someone can chime in.

Honestly I'm not a high level concept guy or as keenly aware of the rules as some but these are the best suggestions I have.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The first thing to remember is that Karzoug likely knows how the party fights, so he'll adjust his tactics to counter their preferred methods.

Source severance appears to only stop one school of magic, while doing nothing against the other seven. Obviously, the smart play would be to choose transmutation, but that means Karzoug's meteor swarms and other high-level non-transmutation spells are unaffected. That makes the cleric less frightening, especially since it requires the cleric to make a CL check DC 20+SL+SL to cast anything. Sure, he might get it off, but there's failure chances all over the place there.

With the cleric sorted, that leaves the gunslingers. I feel he'd try to target their gunpowder - get rid of that, and they're carrying foul-smelling paperweights. I'm less sure on how to do that - maybe the congress of minds here can help with that!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Would fickle winds help with gunslingers? Have Karzoug memorize this spell a couple of times to cast on himself, giants, and dragons prior to the fight.


Perhaps I'm over-simplifying, but wouldn't the spells Antitech Field, Protection From Technology, and Rebuke Technology significantly impair the gunslinger threat?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think you could make a case that those spells could work against firearms, Zinfandel, but they're specifically for advanced tech, like laser rifles and null blades. I think you first need to answer the question whether flintlocks count as technological devices before you can call it one way or the other. Personally, I say no - those spells were designed to deal with super-science devices like death rays, not a metal slug propelled by black powder.

Fickle winds would definitely help, but the OP says the PCs have a way around wind wall, which suggests that fickle winds is probably also countered. If the OP could let us know what items they have available, we might be able to find a chink in their armor.


Misroi wrote:

The first thing to remember is that Karzoug likely knows how the party fights, so he'll adjust his tactics to counter their preferred methods.

Source severance appears to only stop one school of magic, while doing nothing against the other seven. Obviously, the smart play would be to choose transmutation, but that means Karzoug's meteor swarms and other high-level non-transmutation spells are unaffected. That makes the cleric less frightening, especially since it requires the cleric to make a CL check DC 20+SL+SL to cast anything. Sure, he might get it off, but there's failure chances all over the place there.

With the cleric sorted, that leaves the gunslingers. I feel he'd try to target their gunpowder - get rid of that, and they're carrying foul-smelling paperweights. I'm less sure on how to do that - maybe the congress of minds here can help with that!

As I read source severance, it stops either divine or arcane magic with no reference to school. It goes on to describe suppressing only spells from spell-casting classes of the associated type and to exclude magic items, so I would suggest any spells from magic items like a wand or staff or runelord's glaive would not be affected.

Liberty's Edge

Source Severance actual stops ALL arcane magic, not just one school of it :-( That really puts a hamper on an arcane spell casting bad guy.

Their guns both have Reliable to the point that they don't have a misfire chance anymore. They use a pocket of air (a spell I don't remember the name of) to keep their black powder safe from water and other black powder destroying effects. They also have a weapon enchant called Cyclonic to get around wind wall and fickle winds. Finally one of them has a gun enchant called Greater Distracting which gives all casters a -10 to concentration checks if he has hit them and the group likes to follow up his attacks by making spell casters make all kinds of concentration checks. The other gun has merciful on it.

Liberty's Edge

They also have Goz Masks to see in fog and a Spectral Shrouds to see invisible.


Handful of suggestions:

Mage's Disjunction - I assume that since Mage's Disjunction has a specific affect against anti-magic field, it has the same effect on the Source Severance - Karzoug has a 20% of getting rid of it. And he gets rid of all their other buffs and forces will saves for ALL of their magic items - including the guns. Didn't work the first time? Do it again. This can also take out any "powder protection" magic.

How long has Karzoug been active and trapped in the Eye? 5 years? How much money does he have? A lot more than you can imagine. His combat gear lists 75000gp (!) just for wishes for crying out loud. Consequence: he should have scrolls up the wazoo. His spell memorization should only be of moderate interest - he should have the ability to cast a large number of very high level spells, limited not by how many he can memorize but simply how many rounds he can stay alive.

Time Stop/Prismatic Sphere - cast time stop, move near the gunslingers, cast prismatic sphere so they are inside and then leave. They are trapped inside and must move through the layers to get out.

Time Stop/Temporary Resurrection: whenever his allies are taken out, he restores them. The pc's should have to go through the giants and dragon multiple times.

Give the giant's improved and greater sunder - they can take out the guns.

Symbol of Vulnerability - good strategy to soften them up. Put it where they will arrive and can't avoid it. Particularly for...
Mass Suffocation - this might keep the gunslingers distracted.

Wall of Lava - seems thematically appropriate given the environment in the Eye - use to block off the gunslingers

Mirror image/displacement - these are illusion spells and therefore not on Karzoug's class list - but magic items (such as a cloak) could be used, perhaps with Use Magic Device.

Deflection - pending how likely the gunslingers are going to miss, this might be interesting.

Bullet Shield - will increase Karzoug's AC a small amount.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Is there a way to telekinetically disarm the gunslingers? It would be fun to use their guns against them. Can he use magnetism or reverse gravity to his advantage?

Can Karzoug use cover? Can he stay out of their first range increment so they aren't using ranged touch attacks?

Are there any ways to get a bunch of low level slaves that use their immediate actions or readied actions to jump in front of the bullets?

Isn't there an Elminster spell that created a bunch of floating globes that absorbed attacks? Use something like that? Maybe an epic spell or item or even a unique monster type or environmental effect?

My group was 13th level, and using 5th Edition, when we fought Karzaug, so my experience with him vs super-high-powered-PCs-of-doom is limited.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

"I wish the Gunslinger's weapons never hit me."

Curse effect giving a -12 to hit against Karzoug.


First of all, I know your pain. I had a gunslinger devastate RotRL when I ran it as well. Only time I stopped her was when Athroxis Prismatic sprayed her and she failed the save vs. Green.

I have 3 suggestions that may help.

First, How good are the gunslinger's CMD? If it's so-so, then using Telekinesis for disarm checks is an option.

Secondly, In Legacy of Dragons, there's a spell called Scales of Deflection. When it triggers, it forces all touch attacks in a round to be resolved against the target's normal AC. It may significantly increase Karzoug's odds of lasting longer.

Finally, I found Cloudkill + Quickened Forcecage to be a mean trick to dump on the character with the lowest Reflex save.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

if you want to be mean, he can put a symbol of dispelling on the arrival platform; dust of disappearance cant be detected normally.


In theory, he should have been watching them, and know their tactics.

Readied action Prismatic Sphere (not affected by AntiMagic Field, blocks magic and non magic ranged attacks) on the arrival platform.

If you go with the idea above to give him mythic tiers, give him Mythic Disjunction, doubles the change to dispel AntiMagic fields.

I think there is an item called something like Bullet Magnet? I don't remember for sure what it is called, but they draw bullets to them up to a certain amount, and are relatively cheap... he could have a few around the eye, especially if he knows they are coming.

*edit*
It is called Arrow Magnet


Misroi wrote:

I think you could make a case that those spells could work against firearms, Zinfandel, but they're specifically for advanced tech, like laser rifles and null blades. I think you first need to answer the question whether flintlocks count as technological devices before you can call it one way or the other. Personally, I say no - those spells were designed to deal with super-science devices like death rays, not a metal slug propelled by black powder.

Fickle winds would definitely help, but the OP says the PCs have a way around wind wall, which suggests that fickle winds is probably also countered. If the OP could let us know what items they have available, we might be able to find a chink in their armor.

Antitech Field would help considerably, considering this text from the spell description: "High-tech missiles such as bullets and missiles immediately halt upon contacting the field, and either drop to the ground harmlessly or detonate."

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oooh! Missed that section, Zin! You hear that, OP! Do that! Your players will love/hate you for it!

Liberty's Edge

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Anti-Tech Field it is! Thanks Zin! I know my gunslingers will hate it, but I think the rest of the party will like being able to do damage for once. :-)


Glad that I could help somebody today!


Putting aside my abject distaste for having Gunslingers in this sort of fantasy mileu, try Enlarged Planeshift spells, used as a weapon. Not too many Gunslingers have a way to get back from the Abyss on their own...

Gotta remember too, we're talking about a supreme genius with centuries of experience and the benefit of scrying on the players for quite some time at this point. He should have all the foreknowledge he needs at his fingertips and, while some might call foul, I would expect him to have access to magic/spells unfamiliar to the players.

I introduced the concept of 'kicker' spells in my campaign as an example of 'lost' magic from the age of Thassilon - swift action spells that add on to the next spell cast that round that create all sorts of side effects and can often function as metamagic feats.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

When we fought Big K, he trapped the barbarian in a Force Cage (no save), and we had no way to get him out, which made the epic final battle really boring for that player. That might be the fault of the 5e magic system, which severely limits the number of 6-9th level spell slots you get. My cleric had no dimension door or teleporting magic, and the wizard already used his teleport (7th level in 5e) and didn't have dim door prepped. The ranger, arcane trickster rogue, and eldritch knight fighter had no teleports or even misty steps available.

So I recommend not removing players totally from play. It's just not fun and very frustrating.

Maybe use Heightened murderous command or something?


ComicViolence wrote:
Anti-Tech Field it is! Thanks Zin! I know my gunslingers will hate it, but I think the rest of the party will like being able to do damage for once. :-)

There's zero plausible reason for him to know this spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

He is a powerful ancient wizard with the ability to cast Wish.

And he knows about the Gunslinger. He has scryed on the group and his minions fighting the group.

Before the battle even comes about, he could do this: I Wish I knew a spell which would render the Gunslinger's weapon ineffective against my power.


Anti-Tech Field is a very small area to cover. I'd recommend getting access to the Scales of Deflection spell from Legacy of Dragons. It's a handy little third-level spell that lies dormant for a minute per level, and activates automatically when your touch AC is targeted. Until the end of your next turn, touch attacks resolve against your full AC. So it's only good for one full-attack, but it's an easy spell to prep to keep him safe.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
ComicViolence wrote:
Anti-Tech Field it is! Thanks Zin! I know my gunslingers will hate it, but I think the rest of the party will like being able to do damage for once. :-)
There's zero plausible reason for him to know this spell.

Depends upon your point of view. Do we assume Karzoug has the same knowledge, possessions and spells now as when he first entered the Eye 10,000 years ago? Then yes, it seems highly unlikely he would have anti-tech field. However, if you assume that in the 5 (?) years since Mokmurian first awakened him, he's been learning about the "new" Golarion, acquiring spells, power, magic items, etc. then it's reasonable. Not one but two gunslingers have been wrecking his plans and killing his minions for months, it seems likely he would take some steps to address their abilities. Karzoug could simply research such a spell (or Wish for it per Tangent.) He can't leave the Eye - bossing his minions can't take all day, what else should an ultra-high level wizard be doing with this time?


You know, if Source Severance is that big of a deal, you can always have Karzoug burn a wish on Source Severance (Divine), possibly in combination with magic jar to put it on one of the giants instead of himself...

Also he can Time Stop as a readied action when the party shows up to prevent them from winning initiative before he gets to do anything.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
ComicViolence wrote:
Anti-Tech Field it is! Thanks Zin! I know my gunslingers will hate it, but I think the rest of the party will like being able to do damage for once. :-)
There's zero plausible reason for him to know this spell.

The wall behind the throne is covered with books filled with knowledge about present-day Golarian. He's clearly had his servants go into the world and buy up a lot of information. All someone needed to do was teleport to a major city and purchase a scroll of Anti-Tech Field and Karzoug has it.


He could also try and get a scroll of Repel Metal or Stone, though that would be expensive, to repel bullets (He'd need to roll 12 on a UMD check to use the scroll, though).


The Golux wrote:

You know, if Source Severance is that big of a deal, you can always have Karzoug burn a wish on Source Severance (Divine), possibly in combination with magic jar to put it on one of the giants instead of himself...

Also he can Time Stop as a readied action when the party shows up to prevent them from winning initiative before he gets to do anything.

Source Severance idea works, but you can't ready an action outside of combat and initiative order. He still has to roll first to go first, or arrange circumstances so that he gets a surprise round and they do not.

Narsham wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
ComicViolence wrote:
Anti-Tech Field it is! Thanks Zin! I know my gunslingers will hate it, but I think the rest of the party will like being able to do damage for once. :-)
There's zero plausible reason for him to know this spell.
The wall behind the throne is covered with books filled with knowledge about present-day Golarian. He's clearly had his servants go into the world and buy up a lot of information. All someone needed to do was teleport to a major city and purchase a scroll of Anti-Tech Field and Karzoug has it.

The Technic League doesn't sell scrolls of tech related magic and no one else has the knowledge.


And you're assuming a literal Runelords can't manage to bring enough resources together to find a copy of literally anything he wants?
In fact, doesn't his spellbook description say "holds every spell known, except those from his prohibited schools" or something?

Runelords are the masters of their schools, rulers of entire nations that have massive resources available. He can find whatever spells he desires.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are many plausible reasons for Karzoug to know antitech spells, there are other worlds within the Golarion system which have technology and did so 10,000 years ago, so Karzoug was prepared in case he had to deal with them.
Your players are about 2 levels 2 high for this fight which makes things harder, reinforce his giants and upgrade the blue dragon, maybe have the high level lamia cleric retreat to reinforce him.
Use a wall of supression/symbol of dispelling/disjunction to drop all their buff spells. Have a prismatic sphere ready to retreat into so he can heal himself with wish, use maze to break up the party. Time stop to use massed delayed blast fireballs/summon monsters etc.
I upgraded Karzougs gear to include a rod of quicken metamagic (greater) so he could really burn off his high level spells.

The arrow attractor items are great for ruining a gunslingers day particularly if he has 20 of them.

Silver Crusade

bigrig107 wrote:

And you're assuming a literal Runelords can't manage to bring enough resources together to find a copy of literally anything he wants?

In fact, doesn't his spellbook description say "holds every spell known, except those from his prohibited schools" or something?

Runelords are the masters of their schools, rulers of entire nations that have massive resources available. He can find whatever spells he desires.

Were. His primary agent on Golarion is Mokmurian, who we never heard of as leaving Varisia, and is described in the anniversary edition as of so little power big K would never have bothered with him before Earthfall. Aside from that we have the lamias, and...that's really it, as far as allies outside of Xin Shalast.

That said, there's no reason he couldn't just make his own version. "Karzoug's Bullet Shield," as it were.


And yet Xin-Shalast itself is full of tons of completely loyal Giants and lamias, a semi-friendly dragon, and a few Denizens of Leng that aren't too honest, plus all the gold and treasure you could ever hope for.

Send one of his many minions out to dominate a few humanoids that are in the know, and tell him to bring it to him.
Polymorph Any Object a giant into a human and send him to get it.
Use Greater Planar Binding to bring in some outsider who has it or can get it (devil, angel, whatever works).
Or he could cheat, and use Wish to get a copy of it.

He has unlimited wealth, (semi-)unlimited time, and near-unlimited minions he's willing to sacrifice; nothing's stopping him from getting a scroll of any spell he wants.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

And he has the Wish Spell. He can Wish to have the knowledge or spells he needs. He can even Wish a Curse Effect on the Gunslinger that would have the Gunslinger with a -12 to hit using his gun against Karzoug.

Besides. The GM is the final authority in this. If the GM says X, then it is X. The Gunslinger player may feel it's unfair, but we are talking about a Wizard King with an intelligence of over 30 with multiple Artifacts. The only reason to say he can't use anti-technology magics is by insisting on using an unmodified version of the Anniversary Edition of Runelords.

And hey, if this were the case... then the players should be limited to the same classes as was allowed in the AE, which means no Gunslinger.


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Emergency Force Sphere is an effective barrier to gunfire, but really if you play Karzoug to the hilt the Gunslingers won't live long enough to shoot. Intensified Anticipate Peril and Heightened Awareness bring Karzoug's initiative bonus to +21, that should be enough to get him going first.

Aroden's Spellbane nullifies Source Severance, letting him drop Wish and Quickened Wish to transport the entire party into the center of the sun.

Everyone makes a pair of DC 32 Will saves or dies. A PC with a +20 Will save has an 80% chance of dying.

That's Karzoug (basically) as written, if you're willing to make some modifications to his build there is no meaningful limit to how deadly he can be. Murdering the whole party isn't the challenge, *not* murdering the whole party is the challenge.

Dark Archive

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I find running players over while they are walking to their car.... wait, you mean the game. Hmmmmmmmm.


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Um, hi! So, have you considered that maybe the best way to run this fight is, rather than taking out your player's main abilities immediately and frustrating the hell out of them, rather to run this cinematically?

So, the party walks in, and Karzoug drops a Plane Shift on each of them (don't worry about the mechanics) to deposit them in different areas of the Abyss, Hell, and Abbadon.

Each party member must fight their way through a dungeon that is difficult, but ultimately surmountable, for that party member's skills and mindset. As they each progress, have Big K at first taunting them, then getting more and more desperate as they get closer to the end point, and fight an immense fiend (think dragon fights in Dragon Age-attack individual body parts, leap up onto legs, clamber all over their body, etc.) to retrieve a powerful weapon, and rend open a portal back to the Prime Material to face off against Karzoug.

Except he's had time to prepare.

I would, for example, give him three initiative counts, a big buff to HP, lots of castings of attack and debuff spells, massive DR to help negate the absurd amount of gunslinger damage, and a few parry-like abilities. Remove the giants altogether, to further give that feeling of 'climatic duel.'

Doesn't that sound fun, epic, and the fitting climax to an awesome campaign? Sure, it'll be a lot to prep for, but remember: the DM's job isn't to "beat" the players. It's not to make the players angry. It's not to make their characters' lives miserable. It's to give a player a good time.


One amusing way to negate a gunslinger which as not yet been brought up is a minion using sleight of hand to drop glue (possibly even sovereign glue) into the ammo pouch. Or down the barrel of the gun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Another way to deal with a Gunslinger of course is a lot of minions. I don't think Conjuration is an Opposition School ;) so a Summon Monster IX that tosses several nasties would most likely cause some issues. Especially if they specifically target the Gunslinger.

Dark Archive

when i played rotrl my dm used maze. my archer pally had a -1 int mod and was gone for 10 min. damn no save spells.


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Don't you just "love" it when one spell can give total, complete (and even selective; it only slows things down if a small lead ball was fired by a gun but not by a slingshot) and potentially permanent (you can!) immunity to an entire class and set of archetypes? I wonder why antimagic field doesn't stop magic nearly as well as this does tech.

...Or rather more interestingly for all you wizards out there: why is there no such thing as protection against low techs in the technological side? And what are you *waiting for*?

I mean wouldn't "Anti-Archaic Field" (seriously needs catchier name) be exactly as selective but a whole lot more useful for 95% of mages and encounters? Most people running around with axes and swords and bows.

Plus it offers some utterly hilarious potential moments if built to affect anything older than firearms like "what do you mean Bob's full-plate still works? that makes no sense!"
"Because guns were invented before it so it's actually higher tech! A spontoon would stab perfectly well into the field as well you know."

I'd suggest tuning it to moderns at least to make it the a special balance where high-end-crossbows (if they actually existed in the game, but it's a good chance to write in ones newer than "greek era" here) and muzzleloaders could get through, but technically "anything older than matchlocks" would be the proper reverse of antitech field's capabilities.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

Don't you just "love" it when one spell can give total, complete (and even selective; it only slows things down if a small lead ball was fired by a gun but not by a slingshot) and potentially permanent (you can!) immunity to an entire class and set of archetypes? I wonder why antimagic field doesn't stop magic nearly as well as this does tech.

...Or rather more interestingly for all you wizards out there: why is there no such thing as protection against low techs in the technological side? And what are you *waiting for*?

I mean wouldn't "Anti-Archaic Field" (seriously needs catchier name) be exactly as selective but a whole lot more useful for 95% of mages and encounters? Most people running around with axes and swords and bows.

Plus it offers some utterly hilarious potential moments if built to affect anything older than firearms like "what do you mean Bob's full-plate still works? that makes no sense!"
"Because guns were invented before it so it's actually higher tech! A spontoon would stab perfectly well into the field as well you know."

I'd suggest tuning it to moderns at least to make it the a special balance where high-end-crossbows (if they actually existed in the game, but it's a good chance to write in ones newer than "greek era" here) and muzzleloaders could get through, but technically "anything older than matchlocks" would be the proper reverse of antitech field's capabilities.

So wait... Now we're going to use Earth-based historical accuracy and scientific reasoning to rationalize spells? Boy that seems a dangerous precedent.

However it does seem incongruent to have bullets affected by anti-tech field (even though they are explicitly referenced in the spell) - they aren't actually very "techy" (unless they are explosive rounds, etc.)

All that said, it seems a plausible spell to use. It's an "official" Pathfinder spell that wizards can cast that blocks bullets (and other things not relevant to the situation at hand.) Whether you call it Anti-tech Field or Karzoug's Bullet Shield doesn't matter too much. It seems reasonable to me that Karzoug would put considerable effort into finding an answer to the gunslingers if not before Runeforge then certainly after.

Of course that still leaves a bit of meta-game angst - it's the last battle of the campaign and its a tactic the pc's won't have encountered previously and therefore have no chance to anticipate. The gunslingers could be well neutered until someone hits the "field" with a dispel magic (or such.) Or they can just shoot the Runelord's allies (assuming he hasn't put the spell on them also, and for that matter, why wouldn't he?)

Lantern Lodge

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Thanks for all the advice on this folks. As a player for this game, the final battle with Karzoug was challenging & great. Overall the 6 person party had 3 of it's members taken out, a 4th possessed by Karzoug, & lots of general hi-jinks. If I remember it right the combat lasted about 14 rounds before there was a true tipping point & the remaining party saw that they could potentially snatch a victory. Quite a change of pace, since most set ups of combat/exploration-based issues are resolved in a round or 2 & when their social we're well equipped in talking our way out of conflict & into dumb situations socially.

It's a pretty optimized party but we do enjoy our RP. Thanks for helping make the fight more climactic. Oh, & I thinking the winning recommendation goes to John Hawkins for the Wall of Suppression. Having that (waiting for us in the entrance) nuked our characters something fierce, making DC 32 saves for the majority of party damn difficult for the first time in a while.

The challenge was met, the PCs were not immediately on fire in the center of the sun, & were still challenged by a moldy old wizard with his giant buddies.


Latrecis wrote:
So wait... Now we're going to use Earth-based historical accuracy and scientific reasoning to rationalize spells? Boy that seems a dangerous precedent.

Well, is not the precedent placed by the Antitech Field spell in the first place? As you've stated:

It blocks bits of metal outright if bit of metal was launched by a chemical explosion - even outside the spell's zone - rather than by a spring or torsion mechanism. This is not something Antimagic Field is capable of; in fact AMFs are notorious for letting certain things function (golems and walls of force or anything "instantaneous" from outside the field, as it is "no longer magical" once the effect has happened) unimpeded in them.

In order for Antitech field to do what it does, it's got to have some kind of divination-like component allowing it to know whether that javelin was thrown or whether it was blown out a fire-lance (or whether that directed lightning bolt comes from some kind of two-handed emitter recharged by magic-users or whether it comes from some kind of two-handed emitter recharged by batteries) long before it reached the perimeter of the spell, allowing it to know that yes, THIS javelin was once (because the 'technological effect' of firing is done with, now this is just a quick stick) a 'technological' deal!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

AWESOME!!! Glad you had fun!

My experience:

We played a conversion to 5th Edition. The spells are really different: Even uber-high level casters get one or two slots for each of levels 6-9. At least Karzaug could use a Legendary Action to regain a spell slot of level 1d8 each round.

Our party: my dwarf Life cleric, a human divination wizard blaster, an elf arcane trickster rogue, a human ranger hunter archer, a half-orc berserker barbarian, a human eldritch knight fighter.

Karzaug opened with a meteor swarm--our DM's favorite spell!

Then the berserker used his cape of the mountebank to teleport up to Karzaug and attacked the dragon. The berserker ended up jumping on the dragon's head and annoyed it so much that he got trapped in a wall of force for the rest of the fight. :-( No more teleport magic in the party.

My cleric buffed with bless, then dropped it almost immediately to try to banish some giants. I think I got one. I spent most of my actions healing and revivifying folk.

The ranger and rogue did a lot of archery, which whittled down some giants. The ranger used his Horn of Valhalla to call in a ton of allies, which locked down the dragon and Karzaug for a while. The wizard pretty much traded spells with Karzaug, and the eldritch knight used counterspell at a pretty clutch time. He then used two-weapon fighting and Action Surge to make 7 attacks--6 of them with his Flame Tongue (1d8+2d6+5 x6!).

Then it was over!

Liberty's Edge

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Thanks for all the help guys! It went great!

Karzoug dropped Control Winds and Anti-Tech field to seriously hamper the gunslingers, but I let them attack the non-Karzoug minions at point blank range (who were away from Karzoug at the time), so they were still able to participate. I also used a Wall of Suppression to get rid of the gunslingers' crazy powerful collection of magic items. The Cleric's Source Severance was dangerous but Karzoug was able to use stone wall to encase him in a stone cube (15ft by 15ft so it was beyond the range of Source Severance) at the start of the fight. Later, once the cleric got out, he had one of his giants grapple the cleric and jump into the lava with him. I killed the poor guy, but it was the most epic death I can think of.

Also, I don't think Anti-Tech field was that powerful. I just saw it doing for bullets but Repel Wood does for arrows and crossbow bolts.

It was a very hard fight, but not unwinnable. And they did win ... but with 3 dead and 1 unconscious. Most importantly a lot of them (including Toxic_Cure) were really happy with it.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yay! That's all that really matters in the end - did the final battle for the campaign feel epic enough? After all, a TPK is just as bad as a Karzoug curbstomping. The players want to be challenged by the final bad guy, as this is the guy who has been the root cause of all of their problems for the campaign!

What's the denouement for the two survivors? And what are you guys playing next? :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Actually upon killing Karzoug, anyone who died is brought back to life. This includes the giants. But they would realize they are out of their league and would flee or surrender quickly. (This is according to the AE.)

Liberty's Edge

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Both of the gunslingers lived, but one was at 8 hp and one was at half hitpoints.

The fight in detail:
Karzoug started by casting silence on the squares where he knew the players would end up, wall of suppression (at 20th caster level because he took off his +1 caster level robes), and shape wall to make walls that separated them into each other (and the source severance). He then cast undead anatomy IV to become incorporeal and floated into the groud, then he cast soul jar to control his dragon. Karzoug cast a number of buff spells before anyone ever showed up including control winds, anti-tech field, repulsion, greater invisibility, and mind blank (so no one could see through greater invisibility). When they showed up he rolled a natural 20 on initiative and between Moment of Prescience and Heightened Awareness got a 51 initiative. He did a horrid wilting and outright killed the Arcanist and severally hurt the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple (who had gone in raging). He cast time stop and used stone wall to trap two players (including the cleric with Source Severance) in a box just outside of the range of Source Severance. He then did hungry darkness and put a prismatic wall in front of all of remaining players. Two players were in "a box" and couldn't walk through it, one was dead, one walked into it (the Gunslinger/Warpriest), one floated into the floor incorporeal and under it (without knowing it was there, just not wanting to be targeted by spells), and one realized something was there with blindscense and flew upward (the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple). It did turn the Gunslinger/Warpriest to stone. The incorporeal Gunslinger/Monk snuck in the floor up to the throne to attach the rune giant in melee (I let him ignore the control winds since he was literally adjacent) and the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple got Mazed and couldn't get out (she has a bard scroll of Find the Path but couldn't get to it because her bag of holding had become a mundane bag). She stopped raging and died. The Invisible Dragon Karzoug kept disintegrating the Gunslinger/Monk (who had a great touch AC, but not a great flatfooted touch, lol), but he kept barely managing to make the save (mostly with rerolls). He couldn't do much other than kill the rune giant though because he failed the save against repulsion and couldn't shoot at range. Meanwhile the Rogue/Shadowdancer who was with the Cleric had an Adamantine weapon and finally got the cleric out of the box (who had cast a caster level 21 Angelic Aspect Greater to get wings to fly over the Prismatic Wall). It was too late to save the Arcanist, but the Cleric got outside of the Wall of Suppression and then cast Stone to Flesh and used the lunge feat to deliver it to the Gunslinger/Warpriest (yeah he actually had that feat just for delivering touch spells). A quick reading of the wall seemed to let him cast outside of the wall and touch people in it so I gave it to him and he got the Gunslinger/Warpriest back (in retrospect maybe I should have let him to that, but ohhh well. Then they ran up to the Karzoug Dragon and used the Source Suppression to shoot him to death and push his body off the Runewell into the lava. Karzoug then possessed a giant and ordered the other giant to grapple the Cleric and jump into the lava. There was some debate about if that was possible in the game rules, but I eventually invoked the Rule of Cool (when was the last time a GM did that?) and did it. The cleric was then in a fight to out channel the 20d6 of fire damage every round (for which he did have 10 resist energy) and get away once the giant died. He did get away but the extra damage from the lingering Lava (half damage the next round) dropped him unconscious and he fell back in dying. The Gunslinger/Monk, no longer affected by repulsion since the repulsion target was melted in Lava, flew down and grabbed the Cleric's body to save his magic items from melting, while the Gunslinger/Warpriest and Rouge/Shadowdancer fought the remaining Karzoug Giant. They won and Karzoug possessed the Rouge/Shadowdancer. He then dimension doored to the gate and used telepathy (which he had up earlier to push people into lava) to move his incorporeal body through the gate with him (I had changed the plot a little so he could escape if he killed enough of the PCs and added their Greed to his Runewell). The Gunslinger/Warpriest pursued while the Gunslinger/Monk stayed to destroy the Runewell. The Gunslinger/Warpriest managed to knock out the spell depleted Karzoug in a Rogue/Shadowdancer body and then destroy his actual body, screaming Baby Killer (a reference to earlier plot) while the Gunslinger/Monk destroyed the Runewell, destroyed the Demi-Plane, and brought everyone back to life. The end.

Next, we are doing a homebrew Test of the Starstone to see if they can become gods. Expect a post about possible ideas soon :-)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

With Paragraph Breaks:

Karzoug started by casting silence on the squares where he knew the players would end up, wall of suppression (at 20th caster level because he took off his +1 caster level robes), and shape wall to make walls that separated them into each other (and the source severance). He then cast undead anatomy IV to become incorporeal and floated into the groud, then he cast soul jar to control his dragon.

Karzoug cast a number of buff spells before anyone ever showed up including control winds, anti-tech field, repulsion, greater invisibility, and mind blank (so no one could see through greater invisibility).

When they showed up he rolled a natural 20 on initiative and between Moment of Prescience and Heightened Awareness got a 51 initiative. He did a horrid wilting and outright killed the Arcanist and severally hurt the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple (who had gone in raging).

He cast time stop and used stone wall to trap two players (including the cleric with Source Severance) in a box just outside of the range of Source Severance. He then did hungry darkness and put a prismatic wall in front of all of remaining players.

Two players were in "a box" and couldn't walk through it, one was dead, one walked into it (the Gunslinger/Warpriest), one floated into the floor incorporeal and under it (without knowing it was there, just not wanting to be targeted by spells), and one realized something was there with blindscense and flew upward (the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple). It did turn the Gunslinger/Warpriest to stone.

The incorporeal Gunslinger/Monk snuck in the floor up to the throne to attach the rune giant in melee (I let him ignore the control winds since he was literally adjacent) and the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple got Mazed and couldn't get out (she has a bard scroll of Find the Path but couldn't get to it because her bag of holding had become a mundane bag). She stopped raging and died.

The Invisible Dragon Karzoug kept disintegrating the Gunslinger/Monk (who had a great touch AC, but not a great flatfooted touch, lol), but he kept barely managing to make the save (mostly with rerolls). He couldn't do much other than kill the rune giant though because he failed the save against repulsion and couldn't shoot at range.

Meanwhile the Rogue/Shadowdancer who was with the Cleric had an Adamantine weapon and finally got the cleric out of the box (who had cast a caster level 21 Angelic Aspect Greater to get wings to fly over the Prismatic Wall). It was too late to save the Arcanist, but the Cleric got outside of the Wall of Suppression and then cast Stone to Flesh and used the lunge feat to deliver it to the Gunslinger/Warpriest (yeah he actually had that feat just for delivering touch spells). A quick reading of the wall seemed to let him cast outside of the wall and touch people in it so I gave it to him and he got the Gunslinger/Warpriest back (in retrospect maybe I should have let him to that, but ohhh well.

Then they ran up to the Karzoug Dragon and used the Source Suppression to shoot him to death and push his body off the Runewell into the lava. Karzoug then possessed a giant and ordered the other giant to grapple the Cleric and jump into the lava. There was some debate about if that was possible in the game rules, but I eventually invoked the Rule of Cool (when was the last time a GM did that?) and did it. The cleric was then in a fight to out channel the 20d6 of fire damage every round (for which he did have 10 resist energy) and get away once the giant died. He did get away but the extra damage from the lingering Lava (half damage the next round) dropped him unconscious and he fell back in dying.

The Gunslinger/Monk, no longer affected by repulsion since the repulsion target was melted in Lava, flew down and grabbed the Cleric's body to save his magic items from melting, while the Gunslinger/Warpriest and Rouge/Shadowdancer fought the remaining Karzoug Giant.

They won and Karzoug possessed the Rouge/Shadowdancer.

He then dimension doored to the gate and used telepathy (which he had up earlier to push people into lava) to move his incorporeal body through the gate with him (I had changed the plot a little so he could escape if he killed enough of the PCs and added their Greed to his Runewell). The Gunslinger/Warpriest pursued while the Gunslinger/Monk stayed to destroy the Runewell. The Gunslinger/Warpriest managed to knock out the spell depleted Karzoug in a Rogue/Shadowdancer body and then destroy his actual body, screaming Baby Killer (a reference to earlier plot) while the Gunslinger/Monk destroyed the Runewell, destroyed the Demi-Plane, and brought everyone back to life.

The end.

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