Battle report, final Alaznist battle in Return of the Runelords (spoilers!!)


Return of the Runelords


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Yeah, so here it is. I wrote it all up to keep it for myself, and I'll share it in case, like me, you wonder how the heck this battle might play out. I hope some of y'all enjoy. We had a blast Well, kinda literally, you know, evokers and all. :)

Final RotRL Battle log

The players: Elidy, a tiefling Sheylnite paladin who smites and power attacks with a glaive (3x critical mod, and has stunning critical feat) when necessary. Dale, a fetchling blade bound Magus. Ari, a catfolk time mystery oracle from Sandpoint. Will, an aasimar rogue from Riddleport.

The battle lasted nine rounds and took 3 and 1/2 hours to play.

Initiative: Alaznist, Elidy, Dale, Will, Ari, Clockwork goliath, Rune giants, Iathavos
(Alaznist used mythic surge to win initiative and only just did)

Pre-battle buffs: Resist fire on all party, nine lives on all party, freedom of movement, oracle cast winds of vengeance and true seeing and used miracle to cast telepathic bond, magus case Aroden’s spellsword x2 (to put quicken rod in his sword and staff of life in Elidy’s glaive) and wreath of blades, mirror image, displacement. Paladin activated Angelic Bond (variant, and a powerful one at 20th level) and used aura of justice. The magus made his sword vorpal.

The party had the Sihedron. The paladin began with it, turned to Love point (+8 initiative).
Alaznist had only ten paradox points to start due to the party completely clearing the level before going into the Eye of Fury.

Round 1:

[all party members declare smite vs Alaznist in round one on their turns.]

Alaznist surges to cast time stop, gains 3 rounds and casts true seeing, quickened displacement, project image and quickened greater invisibility, quickened mirror image and crushing hand near the time oracle.

The oracle calls out Alaznist’s true position.

Paladin uses wings of flying to move all the way to within reach of Alaznist.

Magus, who wears a robe of eyes, teleports to Alaznist and into a full attack, 2 hits.

Rogue uses wings of flying to move to flank Alaznist.

Oracle escapes the crushing hand (after being damaged by it) and casts invisibility purge on Alaznist.

Slayers flank paladin, cannot hit him.
Giants reposition.
Clockwork goliath attacks magus, misses

Round 2:

Alaznist throws mythic maximized chain lightning at the party and quickened magic missile at paladin. Magus and oracle blow saves, oracle is insta-killed; her contingency breath of life goes off and I rule that she can make a fly check not to fall into the lava (she succeeds). Paladin takes half damage, rogue none (improved evasion). Mythic chain lightning from a 20th level evoker does 210 points of damage, folks.

Paladin lays of hands on self, and uses his staff of life to heal the magus.

Magus casts a quickened wall of force to block the goliath off from melee and readies a counter spell against Alaznist.

Rogue attacks Alaznist, misses.

Oracle uses Belimarius’ greater extend metamagic rod (they killed Belimarius in book 5) to extend a time stop, gains six rounds. She casts heal on herself twice, moves, uses her staff of a hundred hands to put a crushing hand behind each Rune giant, and then readies a counter spell vs Alaznist.

Slayers hit rogue x2, no criticals.

Goliath hammers on the wall of force, doesn’t break it.

Giants: one grappled by crushing hand, one not, it attacks oracle for 42 hp.

Round 3:

Alaznist casts mythic meteor swarm down into the melee and quickened magic missile at paladin. Magus counter spells meteor swarm, oracle counter spells the magic missiles.

Paladin full attacks Alaznist and hits lots of mirror images.

Magus full attacks Alaznist, misses, and dispels her True Seeing.

Rogue full attacks Alaznist, hits mirror images.

Oracle directs crushing hand to grab non-grabbed giant. Readies counter spell vs Alaznist.

Slayers hit rogue x5, no crits.

Goliath moves and fires four cannonballs at the paladin, all miss.

Giants break grapples from crushing hands.

Round 4:

Alaznist: Ranseur casts lightning at paladin. She repeats mythic meteor swarm on the paladin; oracle counter spells it.

Paladin heals self, full attack on Alanist, again hits mirror images.

Magus force walls the goliath off again, and full attacks Alaznist, misses.

Rogue uses a combat trick to flat-foot Alaznist versus the paladin.

Oracle readies counter spell versus Alaznist.

Slayers hit rogue x4, no crits.

Goliath hits force wall.
Giants attack paladin, oracle, score few hits.

The Iathavos arrives at the end of round 4, actives horrific appearance, no one is affected by that or its stench. Party correctly identifies what it is.

Round 5:

Alaznist wishes the qlippoth banished, it saves.

Paladin full attacks Alaznist,connects twice for 115 damage.

Magus puts up a wall of force between Iathavos and oracle, full attacks Alaznist, misses. (Poor magus rolled lots and lots of low rolls, until the very final round!)

Rogue full attacks Alaznist, misses.

Oracle again readies counter spell vs Alaznist.

Slayers hit rogue again x3, no crits, rogue quite wounded.

Goliath cannonballs paladin.

Giants attack oracle, paladin.

iathavos uses its considerable reach to try to imprison Alaznist; fails.

Round 6:

Alaznist is quite wounded, casts time stop using a mythic surge again (oracle fails to counterspell) and uses two heal scrolls, repositions out of the melee.

Paladin moves to Alaznist and single attacks for 60 dmg, and heals self.

Magus hits Alaznist once, non-crit.

Rogue misses Alaznist.

Oracle time hops to rogue as a move action and casts heal on him.

Slayers attack oracle, miss.

Goliath fires on magus, misses.

Giants attack iathavos.

Iathavos fires entropic rays against all targets, sorely wounds giants; minimal effect on others; oracle is protected by magus’ force wall.

Round 7:

Alaznist casts mythic maximized empowered fireball. O. U. C. H. That does 160 damage and you get to roll twice against the save (same with chain lightning). Oracle fails the save, re-rolls it and fails again, is insta-killed. The paladin uses an immediate action to use the Sihedron to resurrect her.

Paladin full attacks Alaznist and her mirror images are running out, two hits on her one a crit.

Magus full attacks Alaznist + disintegrate spell, she saves.

Rogue again flat-foots Alaznist, this time versus the magus.

Oracle readies counter spell against Alaznist.

Giants, slayer, goliath don’t manage substantial damage in the round. The Iathavos physically attacks Alaznist for some significant damage.

Round 8:

Alaznist again casts time stop, uses last scroll of heal, casts delayed blast fireball into the party and then moves out of the melee. Moderate party damage, no deaths.

Paladin full attacks Alaznist, hits once, and lay of hands on self.

Magus full attacks Alaznist, misses.
Rogue does the same, one hit, sneak attack damage.

Oracle again readies counterspell.

Again, giants manage no significant hits on paladin, and the slayers are out of the melee now (it’s out of their reach, most combatants are flying). Goliath attacks paladin to no hits.

Iathavos unloads a horrid wilting on everything, killing a giant and injuring slayers.

Round 9:

Alaznist casts power word kill on the most wounded party member (rogue) — it fails.

Paladin full attacks Alaznist for 116 damage in 2 hits.

Magus ends the battle. His full attack versus Alaznist lands two hits on her, the second a long-awaited vorpal hit. By this point in the battle Alaznist has spent six paradox points to save various allies and to save herself from being staggered by the paladin’s criticals, so she has only four left. The physical damage of the first hit kills her (she spends a paradox point, lives), the vorpal attack she blocks with two more paradox points, and her remaining point is not enough to save her when he casts power word kill on her. From an action economy it doesn’t work (to let the magus cast power word kill from the Pendant of the First Tears that he has kept, as part of spell combat) but thematically it was a good end so I let it go— he rolled literally a 1, 2 and a 1 one for attack routine earlier in the battle, so he was *very* pleased to finally be the one to beat her down.

Alaznist dies, the Iathavos is banished (the book is conflicted on what happens with that one, but I thought the battle had reached a fitting end), and the explosion of wrath from Alaznist kills everyone else in Alaznist’s party.

After the battle, I ruled that each player got one of Alaznist’s mythic tiers, so each of them ascended to tier 1.

As the rogue is eagerly asking what is on Alaznist’s body, an epilogue that I wrote happened, which is that various heralds appeared, one a time to a party member in turn, and presented them with gifts for their defense of time and of Varisia. Calistria sent the Menotherian to the rogue, and gifted him with Protective Grace (Inner City gods p 28), and then Nethys sent the Arcanotheign to the magus and oracle, gifting each with Nethys’ Protection. The Arcanotheign also gifted the magus with a scroll of permanency that allows one to make Aroden’s Spellsword (his favorite spell) permanent for 15,000 GP. The paladin, lastly, was visited by the Spirit of Adoration and gifted with a ruby rose earring (non-magical) and the Glorious Might ability was given to him as a gift. I wrote a little speech and interaction for each of these, which they much enjoyed.

We stopped there, and we’ll play a bit more next time with the mythic tiers statted up, and they can sell their loot, visit their friends in Varisia (Audrahni, the heroes in Korvosa — their own former PCs from CotCT when they played it, and the Sihedron heroes, and so on). Also I’ll have Sorshen invite them to the Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint (the oracle is from there), which is reminiscent of how Rise of the Runelords began (their first AP they played together). 

I’m trying to think of some mythical battle they can play, to take the mythic rules out for a spin. I’m thinking about a scenario in the Shadow Plane, where the magus is from — he has a grudge against the umbral dragon to which his family was enslaved. Perhaps I’ll put that dragon under the protection of the demagogue Inkariax, and write a bit of a lead-up to a battle between them and the dragon, with a chance to fight Inkariax at the end of that. Haven’t seriously looked at that yet.


Afterthoughts:

Biggest battle I’ve ever run. I had to prep quite a bit and write notes on everything so that I knew the attack routines, tactics and mythic rules. Even then I didn’t get it all right. It would have been completely hopeless for me without running the prep first. I even ran the whole battle once, simulated, before we played it through.

2. The battle ran just about right. The mythic chain lightning really put the fear in the party in round 2 — that spell offing HURTS -- they had a real “the shields canna take much more!” moment, it was great. Great climactic ending, and a divine heroes’ welcome at the end as the lava cooled around them and the Eye of Fury darkens.

3. I definitely didn’t get all the rules right in all instances in this battle, but it all played well. So, forbear please on commentary about the rules. :)

4. Players loved the campaign. They loved finally playing 20th level and becoming mythic, and in re-visiting Varisia which is where they have played the most. This campaign was a close second to Curse of the Crimson Throne, which is their favorite. We still occasionally yell at each other, “GO! GET! YOUR! PIIIIIIIIIIIG!”

5. We’re learning to play 2nd ed Pathfinder next, and starting the Edgewatch campaign!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yayl Thank you for sharing this! Good to see folks had lots of fun with the fight!


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James Jacobs wrote:
Yayl Thank you for sharing this! Good to see folks had lots of fun with the fight!

Kull wahad!

Well, thanks to all who wrote this amazing AP, and especially to you! I'd say it's the most fun one I've had, to GM. Certainly recommend it to those who are looking for a new AP in 1st ed.

We're gonna play Edgewatch to get ourselves into the 2nd ed rules, and when the re-make of Kingmaker comes out I'm getting that and we're playing it (we have never played it).


Great writeup, reminds me a lot of the final battle of Rise, I also had to run a simulated fight to make sure I could present that battle better. It lasted 10 rounds and took 7 hours! (had 7 players, three of which had animal companions)

Can't wait 'til my Return groups get to experience this, one of the PCs is a magus already heading down the Disruptive & Spellbreaker feat chains to make sure they have the best chance of taking on the various Runelords.

Hope the MVP went to the Paladin for that Sihedron immediate action res on the Oracle! Great play by the oracle countering so many of Alaz's spells too, seems like they really went all out on preparation themselves!


That battles sounded epic - I'm really looking forward to getting my group there.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Zapranoth wrote:

Round 7:

Alaznist casts mythic maximized empowered fireball. O. U. C. H. That does 160 damage and you get to roll twice against the save (same with chain lightning).

I doubt anyone will see this before I play, but I'm running this final battle for my group tomorrow. Why do players have to roll twice against the fireball and chain lightning spells? I can't figure this out - but knowing all the rules for this fight is HARD!

Thanks!

Dark Archive

Isn't Alaznist mythic with an ability to make certain mythic spells force "disadvantage" on the targets?


MUKid wrote:
Zapranoth wrote:

Round 7:

Alaznist casts mythic maximized empowered fireball. O. U. C. H. That does 160 damage and you get to roll twice against the save (same with chain lightning).

I doubt anyone will see this before I play, but I'm running this final battle for my group tomorrow. Why do players have to roll twice against the fireball and chain lightning spells? I can't figure this out - but knowing all the rules for this fight is HARD!

Thanks!

Could have been a slight error, but I assume she used two mythic points. One for Arcane Surge to cast the memorized empowered maximized fireball without expending it, which also forces targets to roll twice and take the lower. The other to cast the mythic version of the spell.

No ding to the OP, but for anyone else reading - an empowered maximized spell does max damage + 50% of rolled damage, not 150% of max. Common misconception. So a mythic empowered maximized fireball would do 100 + half of 10d10 (average 127 +10 for evoker).

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