Pathfinder #8—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 2: "Seven Days to the Grave" (OGL) Print Edition

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Pathfinder #8—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 2:

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Chapter 2: "Seven Days to the Grave"
by F. Wesley Schneider

The civil unrest in Korvosa has been dealt with, only to be replaced by a far more deadly and insidious threat. A horrific disease that leaves its dead deformed and faceless sweeps through the streets of Korvosa, death borne on the wind and steeped in the stones. Mass graves crowd the outer walls and plague doctors stalk the streets in a desperate attempt to prevent the sickness from spreading, yet is there something more to the plague than meets the eye?

This volume contains supplementary rules for handling large-scale urban disasters such as plagues and famines, and also presents a detailed exploration of Abadar, the god of cities and wealth. Several new monsters associated with sickness and disease round out the bestiary.

For characters of 4th to 7th level.

Pathfinder is Paizo Publishing's 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover Adventure Path book printed on high-quality paper that releases in a monthly volume. Each volume is brought to you by the same staff which brought you Dragon and Dungeon magazines for over five years. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Because Pathfinder uses the Open Game License, it is 100% compatible with the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Seven Day to the Grave Review

*****

Warning: This review contains spoilers
Written from a GMs perspective
I ran this for 6 PCs
I ran the Pathfinder re-released version

Curse of the Crimson Throne is an adventure path that is mostly advertised as an urban adventure filled with political intrigue. Seven Days to the Grave is a clear case where the adventure path effectively achieves exactly what it set out to do. Korvosa is beginning to fall apart and everywhere something seems to be going wrong. Still, the adventure does a great job of giving the PCs plenty to do and not instilling the sense of hopelessness that can sometimes infect this type of game.
Pros:
The first major positive is the plague theme. The plague offers a bleak backdrop that makes the adventure unique, as well as offering RP opportunities with new and old NPCs. It also offers a mystery that simultaneously keeps the PCs distracted from immediately discovering the truth about Korvosa's new leader, while ultimately leading them closer to discovering the truth.

In my review of Edge of Anarchy, I remarked that the book did not entirely stand up on its own, but did a great job of setting up the setting and characters. Seven Days to the Grave is where that choice starts to pay off. Cressida's fears start to become a reality as she sees her budget and authority consistently diminished by the new Grey Maidens. The Queen's initial set up will keep the players wondering for a while if many of her choices are caused by true malice or whether she is merely having her inexperience exploited by other corrupt individuals. Any friendship forged between the party and Vencarlo becomes interesting when all every bridge, but one, is destroyed between the main city and Vencarlo's home in Old Korvosa. Also, much like the previous book, Seven Days to the Grave does a great job setting up intrigue for the next chapter. However, I believe it does a much better job of remaining a memorable adventure in its own right.

Ultimately though, the best thing about Seven Days to the Grave is that it is political intrigue done right. After the attempted execution of a framed assassin in the last book, it is pretty obvious that there is corruption in Korvosa. It is also clear, between the riots and the spread of the plague, that the city is being thoroughly mismanaged. However, what is not immediately clear to the players is who is responsible and what their intentions are. Even when the players were given solid evidence that Dr. Davalus was colluding with the cult of Urgathoa to worsen the plague, the players still argued amongst themselves about whether or not to confront the Gray Maidens who were guarding the hospice. Ultimately they realized that, while they had strong suspicions that the Grey Maidens and the Queen knew what was happening, they couldn't prove it. As a GM it was very refreshing to not have the players immediately pinpoint the main villain within five seconds of meeting them.

Cons:
The only weakness I saw in this chapter was that, similar to Edge of Anarchy, some of the missions did still feel a bit random and disjointed. I know my players were very curious to investigate Old Korvosa, but instead kept getting approached by random people to do random missions. However, I did not deem this flaw worth of knocking of a star, since while these missions seem random, the story still is advancing. Even more importantly, the missions were well written and enjoyable, even if a bit random.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this adventure to anyone who enjoys political intrigue and I am excited to see where the game goes in the next few parts.


Good, But A Little Underwhelmed

****( )

The foreword of this module talks about how the 'Curse of the Crimson Throne' adventure path was MADE around this module, and while it absolutely digs right into the 'plague outbreak in D&D' aspect, on the whole I found it a bit disappointing on the heels of Edge of Anarchy.

The beginning goes from uplifting (upon saving cute-little Brienna Soldado) to downright macabre (with the plague outbreak running rampant through the city). The thought that many of the NPCs that the group meets in Edge of Anarchy suddenly contracting plague and dying is upsetting to me (but I'm kind of a softie).

From there it sets up a series of missions that somehow relate to the PCs combating the plague. The PCs go through this weird arc of feeling empowered to feeling useless to feeling empowered again after a while.

About the missions. I didn't like the lack of choices in the were-rat mission. Most other missions in Curse of the Crimson Throne can be dealt with in many different ways. Not the were-rat one though. The sunken ship investigation was fine, but, again, not a lot of interesting choices for players to make. The mission where they investigate the corpse dumping has a good (if macabre) start, but the fact that it ends up with fighting vampires is just... weird to me.

Like, you've got this plague going on in the background, and there could've been some really great mission about a family member trying to get medicine for their family who is badly infected and sacrificing themselves. Or maybe an infected who is desperate to get back home. Or maybe a fire breaks out as someone decides to 'purge' part of the city. They could've put in these gut-wrenching moral decisions for the players, but instead I'm fighting vampires and were-rats. That's really where this adventure went from 5-stars to 4-stars for me.

Back on track about the missions. Dealing with the snake-oil saleswoman, on the other hand, was great, but the STAR of the missions is where you have to investigate this noble's mansion.

Oh-man...! I have to stop and dedicate a paragraph to the bit of the adventure where you investigate the mansion where there's an evil elf. When I read the setup for this mission, I KNEW it was going to be a blast, an it totally was. The part of the adventure about the Carowyn Manor? Just... AWESOME. So much fun!

The finale of the adventure, the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden, does require some creative thinking to deal with. This is mostly because players are tasked with interfering with the Queen's Physicians, a crime punishable by death. So, for them, finding a way to not become outlaws was crucial.

Finally, they go to the evil temple, which I thought was fine. Unlike Edge of Anarchy there isn't some huge cliffhanger ending, but coming out as the heroes who 'cured' the plague still was pretty great.

In conclusion, I don't know if it's a 5-star adventure, but it's pretty good. It does include a lot of interesting information on how to handle a plague in a Pathfinder world. Maybe I had my expectations set to high? But, I will say, the module is worth it for the Carowyn Manor mission alone. SO MUCH FUN!


Best AP volume ever published ?

*****

This AP volume is a jewel. You will find everything in it : deep NPCs, complex gray clergy (Abadar), corrupted authorities, mad evil cultists, fight against time, rich story with plot twists, epic final battle... Everything, really, is highly enjoyable. I don't see a major negative point here and I'm usually not a crazy paizo fan boy.


Portuguese - Br

*****

Seven Days to the Grave é uma aventura complexa, ela tem uma história bem amarrada mas ao mesmo tempo tenta dar liberdade aos personagens de conduzir a história ao seu modo. Eu diria que ela consegue até certo ponto (o que por si só é um mérito incrível), mas isso dilui um pouco a aventura fazendo com que ela pareça um pouco incompleta. Mesma assim é preciso admirar o esforço da Paizo de fazer isso justamente com um tema tão complexo e de difícil aproximação quanto uma epidemia. Essa aventura é um exemplo de narração e tem muito a ensinar em vários níveis (desde como conduzir tramas com problemas realistas num mundo de fantasia com magia, até métodos alternativos de condução de eventos. Mais uma vez a Paizo se superou conseguindo algo que julgava impossível. Com certeza um clássico que influenciou bastante o futuro do pathfinder (ver que mais tarde eles criaram campanhas inteiras com esse conceito, como Kingmaker e Serpent´s Skull).


Best Plague Adventure

*****

The plot was well written and a real joy to run. The plague in the city and how it was handled in the campaign makes this one of the best written adventures I have run and read.


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Plague in the streets! Urban mayhem! Yum!!! (Or perhaps Ecch!!! depending on your tastes in such matters.)

Gather your necromancers; it looks like there will be plenty of raw material to work with in this upcoming book.


The cover art looks great and I'm really looking forward to the whole Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path. Role on March.

Silver Crusade

Why wasn't cover the posted on the pathfinder blog like all the rest. Not fair.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

brent norton wrote:
Why wasn't cover the posted on the pathfinder blog like all the rest. Not fair.

Because the blog is now handled by the marketing department and they're running on a different schedule than we were when the blog was the editing department's responsibility.

The Exchange

Then pleeease ask them to post the wallpapers again, Im almost running out from those.

Ney.


I got to agree with Pen_Dragon that the wallpapers are great. The one for pathfinder 3 spent weeks as my background and it would be a shame to see them go. I personally think it's a pretty cool way to advertise as it really shoes off Pathfinders amazing art. Like I said hope we see more cover art in the blogs as this one just seems to have snuck by without anyone noticing which can't be good.


brent norton wrote:
Why wasn't cover the posted on the pathfinder blog like all the rest. Not fair.

You can look forward to art of the upcoming pathfinders and modules almost every friday.


Keep an eye on the Paizo Blog this week for new Pathfinder-themed desktop wallpapers.

Contributor

Plague Ship! (Courtesy of the Paizo blog.)

Contributor

Plague Doctor! (Courtesy of the Paizo blog.)


My Rise of the Runelords game was scheduled on saturday, and I was excited because we don't get to play very often because players live across the country. Then I managed to catch some annoying flu and had to spend my weekend in bed, coughing in fever. Now the fever isn't gone, but I feel a bit better, not so weak anymore. First thing I do when I open my computer, I check Paizo blog, of course. And what do my eyes see, the Doctor is in! "Why I'd love to taste some of your funky looking medicine mr. Doctor, but why oh why didn't you come on friday?"

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Just curious, is it on the slow boat from China yet?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dreamweaver wrote:
Just curious, is it on the slow boat from China yet?

We're currently expecting it in the first week of April.

Contributor

Come to me, my precious...


Suddenly, I really like the first week of April; it's a good week.

:D

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Its April...will they be hitting the warehouse this week?

Dark Archive

So whens it gonna ship I need my fix soon.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Jeremy Mcgillan wrote:
So whens it gonna ship I need my fix soon.

they were supposed to come in Wed - but the company hasn't seen them yet (look in the CotCT board for this info)

Dark Archive

Thanks

Dark Archive

Bring out your dead... hahaha. A Monty Python and the Holy Grail adventure, ha?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Jeremy Mcgillan wrote:
So whens it gonna ship I need my fix soon.
they were supposed to come in Wed - but the company hasn't seen them yet (look in the CotCT board for this info)

They arrived at the end of the day on Friday, so they'll start going out next week.


Vic Wertz wrote:
They arrived at the end of the day on Friday, so they'll start going out next week.

But. . .what am I supposed to do to keep myself occupied until next week?

Liberty's Edge

It says "ready to ship". So when is it shipping? (And of course by this I mean "shipping to me"!) This sounds really, REALLY cool. I'm chomping at the proverbial bit. The supplemental stuff sounds really interesting, too.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Woot! Got my pre-ping email today!

Sczarni

Just curious...but does anyone not get the PDF or do they just wait for their print copy to ship first then buy the PDF?

I just was curious.


I'm having difficulty downloading my PDF, if that's what you're asking.

I click the link to personalize the file, but nothing happens, and the download link remains grayed out.

EDIT: Never mind, It's working now.

Sczarni

I mostly would like a review of this one via the PDF...

If that's possible.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mactaka wrote:
Woot! Got my pre-ping email today!

I'm still pending for some reason... :(

Scarab Sages

I've already downloaded my PDFs and have been joyously looking through them for the last 15 minutes.

This is a good one. I love the nosferatu - classic in every way. The Leukodaemon is awesome as well, especially with the hints of the 4 Horsemen. I can't wait to read throught the adventure.

Once again, Paizo - Great Job!

Sczarni

Aber,

Do you mean like the Four Horsemen template found in Advanced Bestiary?!

Scarab Sages

Nightfall wrote:

Aber,

Do you mean like the Four Horsemen template found in Advanced Bestiary?!

I'm not sure. They didn't give stats for them, just mentioned them in a sidebar in the Leukodaemon entry as being the 4 Lords of the Daemons.

Sczarni

Well they are in there because the Four Horsemen are templates.

Not sure they are Daemons. However if they are, that's cool too.

Contributor

I'm interested in feedback on the "Plague and Pestilence" article, if anyone is interested in giving it...


Plague Ship Sails Into Korvosa won a Daily Deviation for October 7th, 2008.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Nightfall wrote:

Well they are in there because the Four Horsemen are templates.

Not sure they are Daemons. However if they are, that's cool too.

The Four Horsemen are the rulers of Abaddon, the NE plane. They'r'e the daemon equivalent to demon lords or archdevils.

Sovereign Court

another addition to the many kudos you have recieved . with one exception: the BODY COUNT section ;if the party completes every one of the scenarios the BODY COUNT only adds up to 2800 ( A=200, B=700, C=400, D=00, E=500, F-G = 1000) these add up to 2800 exactly so how does the party get as high as 3600 ?

Did I miss something or was a very large award omitted?

if you could send me an E-mail reply that would be nice.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Rocannon II wrote:

another addition to the many kudos you have recieved . with one exception: the BODY COUNT section ;if the party completes every one of the scenarios the BODY COUNT only adds up to 2800 ( A=200, B=700, C=400, D=00, E=500, F-G = 1000) these add up to 2800 exactly so how does the party get as high as 3600 ?

Did I miss something or was a very large award omitted?

if you could send me an E-mail reply that would be nice.

If I recall there was a description somewhere that indicated the very same thing, and suggested the DM award more "body counts" saved for other actions the PC's may do. I can't find that reference currently -- although I did find the side bar "Other Plague Events" (pg 44) which you could use to add some more saved souls to the count.

(The description on page 20 under body count does indicate that up to 5000 lives could be saved by the pc's actions).

Scarab Sages

Rocannon II wrote:

another addition to the many kudos you have recieved . with one exception: the BODY COUNT section ;if the party completes every one of the scenarios the BODY COUNT only adds up to 2800 ( A=200, B=700, C=400, D=00, E=500, F-G = 1000) these add up to 2800 exactly so how does the party get as high as 3600 ?

Did I miss something or was a very large award omitted?

if you could send me an E-mail reply that would be nice.

Yup, James Jacobs said in a thread somewhere (I can't be bothered digging it out, it's probably linked in the DM reference thread if nothing else) that it's expected that most groups will hit the local heroes level on that table. It goes up to 3600 to account for groups going above and beyond. F'rinstance my group saved Brienna and everyone they could manage in the hospice, the favoured soul ran himself ragged with heal skill uses and remove disease (once he finally had it), they paid for several remove diseases for various key people from the Temple of Abadar, they successfully eradicated the disease completely at Trail's End/Thieves' Camp, they worked out the disease vector very early on, so they were posting announcements all over town advising wearing gloves, particularly when handling low-denomination currency, and when they found the notes they basically turned the hospice into a giant lab, personally financing and overseing a team of every willing alchemist and healer they could find in the city for discovering, fabricating and distributing the cure. That plus my running the sidebar encounters meant they were pretty much in the 3600 region :).

Scarab Sages

Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
(The description on page 20 under body count does indicate that up to 5000 lives could be saved by the pc's actions).

I figured the figure of 3600 was intended as a realistic upper limit for how much the PCs can do. 5000 people will die if the PCs do nothing at all, the PCs can reduce it down to 1400, but there are always going to be a fair few deaths unless they somehow come up with a cure within the first few days and managed to get it out to the general populace immediately (which probably wouldn't be possible even if they raided the hospice immediately, what with the cure being the product of cross-referencing notes about experiments on plague victims, plus there's all the people stuck behind the quarantine in Old Korvosa that they can't get to immediately).


Anyone know why all of the other curse of the crimson throne books are on sale for the great golem sale but not this one?


Mark_Twain007 wrote:
Anyone know why all of the other curse of the crimson throne books are on sale for the great golem sale but not this one?

Because it's been sold out for the longest time. I'm surprised they found more copies. If you look at the CCT forums, people are complaining that they couldn't find this book for months... period. I think it's great they found more copies but I'm sure they are extremely limited, so I'd get mine now.

Great AP btw.


are there plans to print another run of these? if so, is there any possibility of the AP being updated?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

As far as we know there aren't any plans. The reprint of RotR was a anniversary thing. They also don't want to invalidate buying seperate volumes if people know there will be a collected hardcover out later on.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
are there plans to print another run of these? if so, is there any possibility of the AP being updated?

They will not reprint this directly. Paizo don't do that outside their hardcovers and a copule of other books.

There is a tiny chance of a compilation, but almost certainly not for several years. Even then, it's not certain they'd choose Throne for the treatment (although it'd certainly be on their shortlist).


That sux. I've never played it and I'd like to purchase the AP but this ones not available. Checked eBay and amazon but all I found was an old one and being a softcover there's really no telling how long it would hold up

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
That sux. I've never played it and I can't find a book 2

The PDF is available.


Yeah I know. PDF is a pain though. If they were only a few dollars I'd prolly buy them but not for what they are asking


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
Yeah I know. PDF is a pain though. If they were only a few dollars I'd prolly buy them but not for what they are asking

$14 bucks is actually not a bad price to pay for a 100-ish page book including an adventure (which could be reduced into a stand alone module if you tried), an appendix of supplemental rules/ideas to flesh this or other stories out, and a mini bestiary.

I'll never understand why some folks aren't willing to pay other folks for their time and work, but demand higher wages for their own time and work.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
Yeah I know. PDF is a pain though. If they were only a few dollars I'd prolly buy them but not for what they are asking

If you have a FLGS that deals in second hand books, you might be able to find one there. I lucked out myself, and was able to get all six books in this AP plus the Map Folio as a bundle for 100$ at my FLGS. And, it completed my AP collection too.

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