GameMastery Module D2: Seven Swords of Sin (OGL)

***½( ) (based on 17 ratings)
GameMastery Module D2: Seven Swords of Sin (OGL)

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A dungeon adventure for 7th-level characters.

Long hidden away in remote vaults and guarded by powerful wards, the ancient Seven Swords of Sin have been stolen and brought together again for a terrible cause.

Seven Swords of Sin is a lethal adventure that pits players against a vile enchantress, Tirana, in a trap-laden and monster-guarded dungeon. Only the brave (and perhaps foolish) can survive Tirana's lair and rescue the fabled Seven Swords of Sin from her heinous plot to unlock their deadly powers.

Seven Swords of Sin will be released at Gen Con Indy 2007 and will be the featured adventure in the first Gen Con Paizo Publishing "delve" event. Seven Swords of Sin's plot was written by James Sutter but its rooms were written via an internal Paizo Publishing "Deadliest Room Contest" in which many of the Paizo staff collaborated to make the most viscerally pleasing dungeon possible.

If you want to give your players a challenge, run them through the bloodiest, most heinous rooms the Paizo Publishing employees could think of.

GameMastery Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All GameMastery Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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PZO9503


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***½( ) (based on 17 ratings)

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Exciting Kaer Maga Dungeon Crawl filled with Innovative Traps!

*****

This module was a blast to run, but has some very tricky rooms and traps to coordinate. Being an old-school gamer, I enjoy the challenge of grinding through a nice dungeon module. I've noticed that modern powergamers, that are used to curb stomping everything, tend to complain in these sorts of adventures.

If you want a fun, imaginative dungeon crawl, then the Undercity of Kaer Maga awaits! Conversely, if your players like everything handed to them nice and easy, then this is a module to avoid. It will challenge them in every way, shape and form and they may not like it.

In regards to the other reviews that call this module "incoherent", I'd reply that the theme of the module makes more sense when taken in context with the Council of Truth and their experiments that resulted in this dungeon. For further reading, pick up City of Strangers to help flesh out the rest of the Asylum Stone.


Exiting dungeon rooms ....!

****( )

I can imagine and somewhat understand why others dislike the storyline and connection to the Golarion setting in general in this module (there isn't really any). Nevertheless I think it is a really nice product with one particular strength: All the dungeon rooms are contrary to many other dungeon crawls, really exiting and created with lots of imagination. Each room is a revelation to read, and I'm looking forward to running it and think it will be well received among my regular gaming group.

So IMHO the ideas behind these rooms alone, are enough to rate it 4 stars.

It fits well into my RotR campaign as a side treck, and I'll supply the missing links to "all of Golarion", and flesh out Kaer Maga when I get my hands on other paizo stuff so that the dungeon crawl presented in this module will have a "must liberate the swords or the world will end / TPK" -feel rather than a prize for a Cleric of Abadar.


I know how this adventure came about...

*( )( )( )( )

and the end result is kind of an incoherent mess. An admirable attempt was made to make it all make sense, but it's really just a bunch of strange rooms strung together for no real reason. I wish I'd put my money elsewhere.


An RPG Resource Review

***( )( )

Set in Varisia, the home of Paizo's original material, this adventure concerns long-lost swords which once belonged to the Runelords who ruled the Empire of Thassilon. Knowing that if they themselves quarrelled it would bring widescale destruction to the land, these wizards each created a sword embued with a faint trace of their power, and when they had a difference of opinion the swords were entrusted to champions who'd fight to the death to decide the matter. But that was long ago and few people even know of the swords, let alone know where they are now... or do they?

The characters are hired by the Church of Abadar, who apparently used to possess the Sword of Lust but it has been stolen and they want it back. Worse, they have heard rumours that someone is trying to collect all seven swords, each named after one of the seven deadly sins. To undertake this task, they need to travel to a town that's a haven for all the worst folk, thieves and cutthroats and even more unpleasant people, where the person thought responsible for the theft lives. Once there, asking around should eventually lead them to the underground lair of the thief - and what follows is a good dungeon-delve, with plenty of traps to keep the party on their toes.

You either love or hate puzzle/trap dungeons, and if you and your players enjoy them this is an excellent one with a whole raft of intriging and puzzling rooms to investigate and survive. It might make a good one-night stand, something outwith your normal campaign, and if you choose that option there are 4 pre-generated characters provided to allow you to jump straight in.

Overall, it is an interesting and well-constructed delve and certainly from this side of the DM's screen it holds together fairly coherently, although I think that it might appear a random succession of rooms to the characters. Good entertainment!


Bad module

*( )( )( )( )

The module lacks in flavor. It is themed / linked to RotR yet the connections are few and far between. It soon becomes apparent the "logic" or "ecology" behind the dungeon is quite artificial. The maps were not sensational and the traps not particularly clever. Overall the worst Pathfinder Module so far.

One star.


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As a DM who takes perverse glee from killing his players (though it doesn't happen nearly often enough - darn you, clever players), I am very excited about this adventure! Just looking at those pictures from Gen Con of the dungeon maps covered in red dots of death made me froth at the mouth... figuratively, of course :)


Where are those pics at Evil?

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Thaedras wrote:
Where are those pics at Evil?

On the Paizo blog. There is a picture of the dugeon with red dots for where PCs died and a score card for the author of the room and how many died in that room. I did not play the delve but it appeared to be fun, as I watched a bit of it several times.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Got the pdf. Just want to commend the artists involved. All of the art in the magazine (maps included) are superb.
The TPK I played at gencon was pretty fun, too.

Spoiler:
When the fighter kicks off the lid of a glowing, rune-encrusted sarcophagus, get ready to run. ;)


Just opened the .pdf as well, and wow, BEAUTIFUL stuff. Have only skimmed the contents, but the art is gorgeous, and the actual contents look pretty devious.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it only the subscribers who get the pdf for GameMastery modules or will you get a pdf if you order the product also?

thanks

Dark Archive

Question:
At least with D0: Falcon's Hollow, some items were also items from GameMastery's own DeckMaster line of cards (look at the Ring from the game, and then look at the Ring from the 1st deck collection.). Assuming this trend continues, are any of the swords also item cards? Man, I sure hope so- that would be AWESOME!

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

David Kot wrote:

Question:

At least with D0: Falcon's Hollow, some items were also items from GameMastery's own DeckMaster line of cards (look at the Ring from the game, and then look at the Ring from the 1st deck collection.). Assuming this trend continues, are any of the swords also ietm cards? Man, I sure hope so- that would be AWESOME!

One particular burning sword from D2: Seven Swords of Sin may indeed be from a very recent item card set (Elements of Power). As for this being a trend... absolutely.

Especially considering the next deck is called "Rise of the Runelords."

Jason Bulmahn
GameMastery Brand Manager


This adventure is simply amazing! The dungeon is imaginative from start to finish, and it's tightly packed with wonderful traps and fascinating encounters. My personal favorite encounter is...

Spoiler:
the encounter with the vrock in the summoning rift, and his six cultist buddies buffing him with their life force.

The collected efforts of the creative staff at Paizo shine through in this adventure, and I can't wait to annihilate my players' PCs when they challenge the might of the Seven Swords of Sin! Mwahahahahahaha!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Your favorite room almost won the "PCs Killed" contest at Gen Con, with 17 deaths total!

Woo hoo! Yay me! :)

--Erik


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
janxious wrote:

Got the pdf. Just want to commend the artists involved. All of the art in the magazine (maps included) are superb.

The TPK I played at gencon was pretty fun, too.
** spoiler omitted **

You've received this already?


Erik Mona wrote:

Your favorite room almost won the "PCs Killed" contest at Gen Con, with 17 deaths total!

Woo hoo! Yay me! :)

--Erik

My money would've been on...

Spoiler:
Hedgehog's Dilemma (Room 9). This was my second favorite, and it seems the most lethal. Unless you spin dash, that is... :)

BTW, any chance of us being able to see which staff members designed which rooms? I'd like to know which one Jason Bulmahn did, especially. I believe there's a secret cult of kobolds with Skill Focus [Craft (trapmaking)] worshiping him as a deity out there.

Dark Archive Contributor

Hierophantasm wrote:

My money would've been on...** spoiler omitted **

BTW, any chance of us being able to see which staff members designed which rooms? I'd like to know which one Jason Bulmahn did, especially. I believe there's a secret cult of kobolds with Skill Focus [Craft (trapmaking)] worshiping him as a deity out there.

Yay! I'm number two! :D

Scarab Sages

2 questions:

1. In area 26, the text mentions that the trap can be bypassed with the correct password, but no password is given. Did the author have a password in mind, or was it meant for GMs (not DM, that's not OGL) to come up with their own (easy enough to do)?

2. The text for area 27 describes slots above the doorways that hold iron doors. Are those supposed to drop down as part of the trap?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mactaka wrote:
Is it only the subscribers who get the pdf for GameMastery modules or will you get a pdf if you order the product also?

Only subscribers get the PDF for free. The PDF will be available as a separate purchase after the product's retail release date, which is August 29.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

So...is this dungeon so over the top deadly that it's kind of like a joke? As in, not intended for serious campaigns because of a high likelihood of a TPK? (I haven't had a chance to check it out yet).


Kelvar Silvermace wrote:
So...is this dungeon so over the top deadly that it's kind of like a joke? As in, not intended for serious campaigns because of a high likelihood of a TPK? (I haven't had a chance to check it out yet).

The dungeon appears to be quite different with respect to its strikingly modern-looking first level. It has nearly an encounter in every room, though the ELs are all within a reasonable range for a party of 7th-level characters.

Furthermore, the dungeon seems ironic in that with such a large number of trapped rooms, if one such room were to be cleared out, it might make for an easy spot to camp, provided a completion time isn't stressed. It seems to harken back to those good-ol' dungeon crawls where adventurers had to occasionally rest in the most recent room they cleared out, keeping watch, hoping a patrol of goblins and worgs didn't decide to burst in on them in their sleep. Maybe to level up, even, for the latter half of the dungeon.
A party that keeps their wits about them will probably find this dungeon easier than those who panic at the surprises that leap out. Though I believe that a party that has a cleric and rogue will fare better than most.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Hierophantasm wrote:


A party that keeps their wits about them will probably find this dungeon easier than those who panic at the surprises that leap out. Though I believe that a party that has a cleric and rogue will fare better than most.

Thanks for the info! I've been picking up all of the new Gamemastery Modules so far, but I was kind of hesitant about this one after reading everyone's descriptions--it sounded like nothing more than a death trap to end a campaign. Based on your description, though, it sounds pretty cool. I guess I'll have to pick this one up as well. I do love me some old school dungeon crawls...


I found this module very good, but I did notice that the pregens in the back of the module are level 8. I thought this module is for level 7 characters. Or is this just another hint that this is going to be that tough of a module to survive?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Guthwulf wrote:
I found this module very good, but I did notice that the pregens in the back of the module are level 8. I thought this module is for level 7 characters. Or is this just another hint that this is going to be that tough of a module to survive?

Either way it looks tough. I am going to use this come my romp through Rise of the Runelords. I am going to let my players roll up some level 8 baddies and be hired out by Karzoug (or his minions) to retrieve the swords. (this is someone else on this boards idea . . .I am just stealing it). Part of the reason is I would rather them be one-shot characters so I don't feel bad about killing them. Ha,Ha HA!


Hierophantasm wrote:
It seems to harken back to those good-ol' dungeon crawls where adventurers had to occasionally rest in the most recent room they cleared out, keeping watch, hoping a patrol of goblins and worgs didn't decide to burst in on them in their sleep.

Goblins, attack formation 'chaos'!


Just wanted to pop in and stress that, while everyone's been talking about the deadliness of the delve, the module itself is pretty different. You'll undoubtedly see a lot of your favorite rooms show up, but the delve was amped-up in difficulty because each party's only playing for a few minutes, and we wanted to push them hard. (Plus, even moreso than normal adventures, dying spectacularly in a delve is big part of the fun.) The adventure might be a little rough - and I look forward to hearing people's stories - but it's still designed to be a real adventure, not a slaughter-fest. Though as I always tell my players, it helps to have a back-up character ready to go at a moment's notice. :)

For the record, my contributions to the delve were Pistoned Ocher Jelly Time and A River Runs Through It... I think. It all jumbles together in my mind at this point.


And I thought I was the only one that got super creative/silly when I named my rooms.

Spoiler:
My delve rooms were Love Me Render, Vampire Blender, and A View to Xill. They all made the final room list for the module James wrote, but damn if he didn't make my vampire room worse. In a really good way. The man is evil, is what I'm saying.

Dark Archive Contributor

The only room name I can remember creating (and that made it through editing) is Hedgehog's Dilemma, which I'm sure isn't an homage to anything at all.


My "Pistoned Ochre Jelly Time!" room name only really makes sense if you're singing it to this tune.

Liberty's Edge

I am gonna use D2 next in My Game so I have started to make DUNDJINNI maps for it. These maps are detailed 1"=5' Maps available in PDF, JPG and BMP Files

I will be posting them on my webshots account.

Will PAIZO allow me to post them and share with Everyone here on the Forums.


I just added my review of D2 and if I ever run it, I'm going to almost completely re-write it. The traps have little connection to the main story. The plot is great, the villian is great, the background on the city built into the cliff wall also great. I'd probably drop 80% of the traps and replace them with defenders tied to the seven swords of sin or characters/creatures overcome by the main sword in the module. Just my opinion. For people who like traps, you'll love D2. For people coming in from D1 or W1, you'll be a little disappointed.

Kane


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I have to support Kanes point of view. While the traps and monsters are well thought out, they are somewhat mismatched to the theme of the adventure. That might work for a delve for GenCon, but the cool idea for the adventure and the great idea of Caer Maga are sold below their actual value here. And personally, the presentation of the naming seven swords was underwhelming for me. Compared to D1 and W1, D2 just isn´t as good - perhaps its origin as a collection of clever and fiendish encounters and traps is just not enough for a good adventure.

Stefan


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Could this be a good throw in Dungeon for RORL because it deals with the 7 deadly sins also?

I want to know because i am trying to add on to RORL to stretch it out till level 20

Or is this thing just way to deadly and it end in TPK?

Scarab Sages

I'm thinking about having my PCs go through Seven Swords of Sin sometime during RotRL, because it shares the Runelords theme. Either between #2 and #3 or between #3 and #4.

Just decide how hard you want it to be for your players.

Spoiler:
Then get the closest Abadar church to call them! You might even want to introduce Wen Histani to the PCs during RotRL, so they already know her when she calls them for a quest to Kaer Maga.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Can anyone at Paizo give the full writeup for the other 6 swords? i really want to use all 7 in RORL but i dont want to over or under power them


I'm a bit late to the party here.

I just finished the 1st floor of the module. I was running it with the pre-gens at the back of the book. This was a one-off adventure I ran because some of my players didn't make it to the session tonight. Out of curiosity, which room won the "killing the most PCs" in the Gencon delve?

Some general thoughts on the first floor...

Room 3: Needs cake. When I ran the room without cake, everyone assumed it was a trap and walked away. When I ran the room WITH cake, it worked much better.

Room 10: I'm fairly convinced that the raptors are above the scale of the party in the book. Even given the circumstance of the room, they seem vastly more powerful than CR 7. The goblins seem tolerable though. This encounter has killed 2 different parties so far. I think, for comparison, the grey render was a push-over. I'd rather fight 2 renders and the goblins than the double raptors.

Liberty's Edge

Hi everyone. I have been considering getting this module as a "Beyond Rise of the Runelords" adventure. However it really needs to be scaled up for 15th+ level characters due to the fact that the AP has character raising to 15th level. Any suggestions on "amping this up"? Also, should I even bother with this and come up with something on my own?


Playing this in 4E now as a part of Rise of the Runelords. Its not as interesting or story-ish as the rest of the adventure path, but my players are having a blast with it - including the 4E hater/roleplayer. A little odd.

Anyways, has anyone attempted to make a 4E artifiact writeup for the swords?

Liberty's Edge

Kevida wrote:
Hi everyone. I have been considering getting this module as a "Beyond Rise of the Runelords" adventure. However it really needs to be scaled up for 15th+ level characters due to the fact that the AP has character raising to 15th level. Any suggestions on "amping this up"? Also, should I even bother with this and come up with something on my own?

:::Bump:::


Just how much information does the module give on the vile city of Kaer Maga?

Dark Archive

I know this was not one of Piazo's more popular adventures but I rather liked it. I don't really have advice though. Since our group tends to slow xp down so spends a lot more time in the 5-12 range so often i depower adventures. So I have little experience going the other way.


I got around to making a 4E artifact writeup for the swords, levels 15-25. If someone wants it, sent me a PM.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Kevida wrote:
Hi everyone. I have been considering getting this module as a "Beyond Rise of the Runelords" adventure. However it really needs to be scaled up for 15th+ level characters due to the fact that the AP has character raising to 15th level. Any suggestions on "amping this up"? Also, should I even bother with this and come up with something on my own?

Hey there, Kevida.

My understanding is that Seven Swords of Sin was intended to be a pretty gruesome, character-killing crawl, in the spirit of early AD&D meat-grinders. When the Paizo team ran it at its premiere Gen-Con, they were keeping tallies of just how many characters each room killed.

15th-Level play shouldn't be like that. Those characters are, in Ryan Dancey's terms, at the top of the "wuxia" field, and moving into "superhero" territory. The field of monsters that put a terror into the PCs is rapidly falling to the short list: demons, devils, and dragons.

I'm having a hard time imagining that kind of dungeon experience working for those PCs.

Carl Cramer wrote:
I got around to making a 4E artifact writeup for the swords, levels 15-25. If someone wants it, sent me a PM.

Carl, I'm not sure these boards allow for primate messages.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Just how much information does the module give on the vile city of Kaer Maga?

There is a touch of information on Kaer Maga in the adventure. Part one has a little bit of information (about a page) before the group goes down to the lair, and there is a full page worth of information about the city in the appendix of the module. When I ran this for my group, I accented it with information pulled from the Pathfinder's Journal entry (Hand of the Handless)in Pathfinder #3. Though it is fiction, I feel that piece really brought out the flavor and inhabitants of that fine city, including some great hooks and the journey up the Halflight Path. Two sidebars are in that piece, one regarding a who's who and the other talks about the different districts.

I love Kaer Maga, and though there is only a tiny bit of information about the wonderful city, there are bits and pieces around. Like this blog post from Sutter.

...and this thread.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for the links, Mister Daigle. They're very helpful!


Ok, since there are no PMs here: if you want a 4E writeup of the Swords of Sin geared to level 15-25 and using names and inspiration from a Rise of the Runelords Wiki I browsed, send me an email at cramer dot carl at gmail dot com.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Printable Battle Maps for this adventure can be found here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pgoh?Module-D2-Seven-Swords-of-Sin-Printable


Adam Daigle wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Just how much information does the module give on the vile city of Kaer Maga?

There is a touch of information on Kaer Maga in the adventure. Part one has a little bit of information (about a page) before the group goes down to the lair, and there is a full page worth of information about the city in the appendix of the module. When I ran this for my group, I accented it with information pulled from the Pathfinder's Journal entry (Hand of the Handless)in Pathfinder #3. Though it is fiction, I feel that piece really brought out the flavor and inhabitants of that fine city, including some great hooks and the journey up the Halflight Path. Two sidebars are in that piece, one regarding a who's who and the other talks about the different districts.

I love Kaer Maga, and though there is only a tiny bit of information about the wonderful city, there are bits and pieces around. Like this blog post from Sutter.

...and this thread.

Hope this helps.

And this massive campaign setting devoted to it: City of Strangers.

Nevermind that it wasn't written at the time of this release, but you should have been on top of that, Daigle! ;p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My understanding is that this was the product that introduced Kaer Maga to the campaign world. Subsequent publications used Sutter's brief gazetteer from Seven Swords of Sin as its primary source of material.


Also, Daigle's post was from 2009, but we all knew that, right?

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