The Saving Throw
Pathfinder Chornicles - Rise of the Runelords - Chapter 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast 06.13.2008
Saving Throw's review of Spires of Xin-Shalast.

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Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords - Chapter 6: Spires of Xin-Shalast
published by Paizo Publishing reviewed by Martin Drury
96 pages, 2008, $19.99
Story 19
Enjoyability 18
Adaptability 15
Intelligibility 18
Solid Hit
Review Scoring

   After many harrowing battles and dangerous journeys the player characters have finally come to the end of their struggles against the Runelord of Greed, Karzoug. In order to face the villian however, the heroes will have to find the lost city of Xin-Shalast, the Runelord of Greed's stronghold.

This final adventure in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path is split evenly between finding Xin-Shalast and battling past Karzoug's minions in the city itself to reach the awakening Runelord. Finding the city is not as easy as it might seem on the surface due to a pair of dead dwarves, giants, and the magic of the city that protects it from detection, but the city itself is far more dangerous, even with the knowledge and weapons gained by the player characters in the previous adventures.

Perhaps the best part of the adventure is the final battles, which are filled with tense moments and deadly opponents. It will take every bit of strategy, skill and dumb luck the player characters can summon to strike down Karzoug on his home turf.

Included in this issue is a lengthy description of Karzoug himself, detailing his history, motivations and equipment. Karzoug is arrayed with some of the most impressive offensive and defensive items ever to grace a villian in fantasy gaming. Since most of the adventure takes place at high attitudes, this issue also includes an article on the risks and dangers of high attitude adventures and specific information on the Kodar Mountains, where Xin-Shalast is located. This information will be helpful for Game Masters and players alike.

Like all preceding issues, Spires of Xin-Shalast contains another journal entry detailing the latest exploits of Edo Kline, Pathfinder. This time Edo finds himself in desperate need to escape the city of Korvosa with his latest finds. And of course, the fan favorite, the Bestiary makes another appearance, this time detailing seven monsters found in mountains and Lovecraft inspired monsters hailing from the demiplane of the Leng Plateau. These monsters, even the Rune Giant, can be easily dropped into an existing campaign that takes place in a mountainous region. Only the Denizen of Leng would need significant changes, or the introduction of Leng to an ongoing campaign.

Finally, this issue wraps up with a preview of the second adventure path, the Curse of the Crimson throne, which takes place mostly in the city of Korvosa, providing a great opportunity for players to test out their urban gaming skills.

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