Changing the Greed Runewell for the Karzoug fight


Rise of the Runelords


I was thinking about how big the runewells are in the story of the Runelords, and how pitiful they really are in Rise of the Runelords. I wanted to add something to Karzougs Runewell in the Eye of Avarice, and was thinking of ways to make that fight more distinct than a powerful wizard with just a higher caster level and better stats. This is the first draft of what I came up with, please share any opinions or criticisms. This would probably be layered on top of the fight as it stands, maybe without the advanced template on the giants or with one less storm giant.
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Karzougs Runewell stores the very essence of greed, slaving the emotional turmoil and power of greed filled psyche all over Varisia, and manifests it as a physical force that the Runelord of Greed can control. The Runewell contains 50 charges and can use these charges each round to activate one effect as described below. At initiative count 20, the Runewell can expend a number of charges to manifest a spell, which activates at the top of its next turn. During this manifestation, The Eye of Avarice shows physical signs of the power building, such as stone encasing the walls for flesh to stone, particles in the air spinning for gravity well, or a large rune being etched for the rune of jandelay. Effects can be identified using a DC 35 arcana check, or a DC 35 spellcraft check as the effects take place (15 + caster level of the Runewell).

The Runewell contains the following spells. They affect the entirety of the Eye of Avarice, including any single target or non-aoe spells, accounted for in their cost. The Runewell of Greed's spells acts as if cast by Karzoug using a Staff, with the exception that the DCs on the spells are 10 lower and they have a spell attack modifier of +6. Spells affect every creature in the Eye of Avarice, besides Karzoug and the called Blue Dragon unless Karzoug allows it to.

Burning Disarm (4 charges)
Windy Escape (4 charges)
Diminish Resistance (5 charges)
Steal Breath (5 charges)
Steal Years (6 charges)
Slow (6 charges)
Curse of Burning Sleep (7 charges)
Obsidian Flow (7 charges)
Baleful Polymorph (8 charges)
Gravity Well (8 charges)
Flesh to Stone (9 charges)
Stone to Flesh (9 charges)
Resonating Word (10 charges)
Reverse Gravity (10 charges)
Polymorph any Object (11 charges)
Temporal Stasis (11 charges)
Rune of Jandelay (12 charges)
Transmute Blood to Acid (12 charges)

The Runewell of Greed can contain a vast amount of energy, but the player's can affect how much power it contains by the time they reach Karzoug. For every notable npc villian the players let live, or save, reduce the starting pool by 4. Notable npcs include, Nualia, Mokmurian, the Lamia sisters, Khalib, Veorian Dekanti etc. The Runewell starts with 49/50 charges if the party fails to prevent any death, just one off of allowing Karzougs escape. With the player's death, he will have siphoned enough energy to release himself regardless of the power expended in the fight.

example spell dcs
there are 2 spells of each level in descending order
1st level 17
2nd level 18
3rd level 19
4th level 20
5th level 21
6th level 22
7th level 23
8th level 24
9th level 25

Shadow Lodge

I've always thought that the main powers of the runewell, "Let Karzoug Out/Keep Up The Occluding Field" were enough. The way I'll play it, he can pull Greed out of the runewell to basically make any spells he wants permanent ahead of time; as well, some of his equipment was made from it, which will turn to liquid and flow back into the runewell when he's killed. As well, you can describe the giants and the dragon as sinspawn designed to look like giants and a dragon, since he built them from the runewell. You can play up that it's still almost completely full during the final fight to add some urgency.

As for your ideas specifically, does Karzoug have to use the runewell like he's casting a spell? 1 standard action on his turn? If so, he could always just cast those spells himself, though given the high level, high stakes, and immediacy of the fight, I don't see Windy Escape nor Curse of Burning Sleep being useful to him. Perhaps a Heightened Mass Enlarge, to be used on the PCs who never plan to attack hand-to-hand anyway? Or Telekinesis to push people off the platform, explained as a torrent of Greed pouring out of the runewell and into you/getting the floor slippery?

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