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Pathfinder #7—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy" (OGL)

****( ) (based on 26 ratings)
Pathfinder #7—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 1:
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Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy"
by Nicolas Logue

The King has died, and the city of Korvosa is in chaos! Riots, banditry, monsters, and mayhem are turning the normally safe streets of the city into a war zone. Desperate to regain control of her city, Queen Ileosa seeks heroes to aid her in reclaiming control before the largest city in all Varisia consumes itself from within, as Pathfinder’s second Adventure Path, Curse of the Crimson Throne, begins with a bang!

This volume of Pathfinder includes a GM’s gazetteer of the city of Korvosa, designed to supplement the player-oriented Pathfinder Chronicles Guide to Korvosa, along with a presentation on the mystical culture of the land’s indigenous Varisians and several new monsters designed for use in urban environs. Your new campaign starts right here!

For characters of 1st to 4th 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.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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Product Reviews (26)
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Anarchy rules the day

****( )

Crimson throne curse, I think is a novel idea to start a AP. Sets up a different tone than usual. With the back drop of an ambitious queen to boot makes for a nice stirring of city intrigue. The Harrow deck also helps to incorporate more flavor to the recipe of the series. The owner can do readings in a spectral manner is a nice touch. The possible rioting and chase of a blamed king-killer, last minute saving by a local folk hero helps to pull the players into the plot of things to come. Regicide or not this AP starts off with a attention grabber and keeps one riding along for a thrill.


Worth Your Time

*****

I wasn't sold on this adventure until I ran it, but now, looking back at it? It was totally awesome.

First and foremost, the best part of this adventure is that it sets up a number of situations for your PCs to go in to, but it doesn't contain any expectations on HOW those situations will be dealt with, or what the CONSEQUENCES will be.

Early on, you have to deal with an orphanage run by a horrible man. But do you have to fight your way in? Could you sneak in? Do you bargain with the minions? It's all up to your players. And what's more, when the orphanage falls, what happens to the kids? Again, all up to your players.

And that's what really shines about this adventure, your players are really put in the driver's seat and what happens is all to do with what THEY want to do. Maybe they want to roleplay a fast-talking rogue who gets them through the situation? Or a magician who uses illusions to intimidate foes? Or a warrior who just kicks in the door? All acceptable solutions to the many problems contained herein.

Now, that said? DM's are going to have to do some work to really get this thing to shine. (One thing FOR SURE is you're going to want to make Trinia Sabor 5th level) It's on you to develop the characters and really create this city called Korvosa. But, the more you put in, the more the place just comes to life. Eel's End becomes a dark 'Las Vegas' kind of place with all kinds of characters. The people of the Shingles can be revealed as humble artisans and caring citizens and optimistic youths. And the orphans rescued from the evil Mr. Lamm can turn out to be the best, most affectionate side-kicks the PCs ever had. But, again, that's what's great about this adventure, it's on you. It would be impossible for the authors to put in all the details and nuances needed, so you'll have to roll up your sleeves and get creative, but you will be well rewarded for doing so.

In summation, this is a great adventure, because it's on you. It sets up a solid framework with a good story, but it puts you and your players in the driver's seat.

In this DM's opinion, this is BETTER than the continuation, Seven Days to the Grave.


Still A Solid Start

***( )( )

Short Version: This adventure is too linear, but has aged surprisingly well.

I'd definitely still run this adventure, although I'm a little concerned about the amount of adjustments needed. The early sections feel like they need a little more meat, both foreshadowing future occurrences and grounding the players in Korvosa. The latter parts should probably be loosened up a bit, structure wise.

Even with that work, and the lesser concern of conversion from 3.5, this still seems like a fun adventure. I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Posted more thoughts on tumblr.


Great start, great flavor and great NPCS, but maybe to linear

****( )

The first part greatly succeeds in unifying the PC's group, but keep in mind that for the rest of the volume (and AP), PCs have to like their city and want to help the guards of Korvosa.

The whole Harrow deck/Zeralla thing is a great addition of the AP, very flavorful, with rules and hints to use the cards in all volume of this AP. The NPCs are great and may be the best NPCs ever made in an AP from Paizo.

The different parts of this AP are nothing but a linear succession of missions from Marechal Cressida Kroft. However, each of these missions is important for the sequel of the AP's story (it prepares the way for the other volumes) and allow the PC to tackle a different aspect of the city.

I also like the Varisian article, especially the fact that it describes how varisians remember about Thassilon and the runelords without using none of this two words : very subtle.


Required some changes to be enjoyable

***( )( )

I liked the overall tone of city riots. On the other hand, I expected more events to fully exploit it. For instance, a mob attack on the castle (obvious target...) or the guard citadel seemed impossible to miss. Yet I found none of those, and had to design them myself.
I also added an event with goblins taking their share of the fun by attacking an alchemy shop to steal bombs and wreck havock through the sewers. Thus driving otyughs mad and giving a reason why one would break loose in the streets.

The fishery and the butchery were nice. I loved the extended descriptions of the characters and their motivations. I regretted there were so few hints for the players to figure them out for themselves.
Unfortunately, the part five was quite redundant with the previous two.

The shingle chase was a good idea, however. Liked that part very much. But completely skipped the dead warrens. I just couldn't see the point, except as a fill up, maybe.

The conclusion of the adventure is very easily expected. It's too much of a happy ending, and I had the scapegoat executed to add to the despotism feeling. Blackjack still messed up with the queen, but had poor success.

Edge of Anarchy is a good start for a urban campaign, although some more thinking would have made it better.


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