Pathfinder #17—Second Darkness Chapter 5: "A Memory of Darkness" (OGL)

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Pathfinder #17—Second Darkness Chapter 5:
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Chapter 5: "A Memory of Darkness"
by J.D. Wiker

Armed with the knowledge that an elven traitor supplied the drow with the magical means to call down the stars and devastate Golarion, the PCs arrive at the elven nation of Kyonin to find their claims falling on deaf ears. Courtly intrigue leads to a confrontation with a mysterious elven order called the Winter Council, deep in the demon-haunted shadows of the legendary forest known as the Tanglebriar. Yet one final tragic and horrific secret awaits them as they discover the true source of the dark elves' curse.

This volume of Pathfinder also features an exploration of the faith of Calistria (goddess of lust, revenge, and trickery), a gazetteer of the elven nation of Kyonin and demon-haunted Tanglebriar, a bonus adventure detailing the lair of a powerful demon, and several new monsters that lurk in this dangerous realm.

For characters of 12th to 14th 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 3.5 edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-130-5

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

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Wasn't impressed...

*( )( )( )( )

This installment of the AP is just a distraction from the main events and really quite an annoying one. It essential has the characters being taken prisoner by the elves they have been helping, then escaping and going off to an interesting area that is virtually ignored to deal with a shadow government.

Why didn't they do more with the Tanglebrair and Treerazor? Such a fun place. The Thorn's End map and the development of the rooms take up a ton of space and are largely irrelevant as this isn't a dungeon grind. That space could have been used is so many better ways.

Also the maps... this AP just has the blandest maps. No detail, same color palet for most. Just blah.

There are few combats in this AP and those that are here can mostly be bypassed with good diplo skills. That too is annoying as you can level without doing much fighting to earn it.

All around just a disappointment.


Portuguese - Br

***( )( )

Infelizmente a aventura é muito ruim. A trama é muito ligada ao resto de Second Darkness, mas ao mesmo tempo não funciona com o resto de Second Darkness alem de ser politica demais (de uma maneira ruim). Uma oportunidade perdida para mostrar que sistemas da família do D&D podem ter excelentes tramas de intriga politica, mas aqui falha tragicamente. Mesmo assim, mestres com tempo livre podem querer aproveitar as idéias ou reconstruir a aventura para concluir a adventure path. Felizmente os artigos da edição são muito bons e aliviam um pouco o sofrimento que é ler a aventura. Boa sorte.


Drow Perfected Intrigue; The Didn't Invent It.

****( )

One of the greatest challenges for most DMs is how to get out of Dungeon Crawl mode, and play intrigue. This module lays it out, complete with threads to help get those pesky players back on track. Check out my full review A Memory of Darkness


Below average

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I really like the Second Darkness adventure path, but this chapter is just awful. I read it two times now, but I still don't get what the succubus and the elven queen expect from the PCs. Maybe it's me, but I think that the intrigue in this story doesn't work at all.


Needs work, sadly.

*( )( )( )( )

I usually sing high praise of Paizo's products, but this is apparently the biggest miss in whole Pathfinder range so far.

This module is basically a giant railroad set, kicking off with the players being betrayed by their apparently only ally and forced into some choo choo train of an intrigue which they can't really break off from and have to play along. Sure, it's all explained and makes sense, but betrayal and deception is a very risk plot tool, as few things irk players more than becoming pawns of all-mighty NPCs who can just sneeze them off the Prime Material.

Coming up next are a few random "tour the Golarion" encounters with little cohesion ...

And then PCs meet the Winter Council, who are basically a bunch of douchebags who sit around and pick their noses. And whoever ordered the art for Hialin ... how am I supposed to show him to players ? He should have a "I'm a very bad person !" t-shirt, because it's not really obvious from the artwork. (SARCASM MODE OFF)

And on the top of that, in the end you get a massive highish level combat with dozens of stat blocks that have to be handled by the GM, some of them casters. Ever tried that ? I did, and it's no fun !

What I love about Paizo stuff it that it requires very little DM work, because most bases are covered and there are almost no glaring logical errors or possible exploits. The MoD is so underwhelming that I will likely have to scrap it and rewrite, something I loathe to do as it drains my already limited time.

The saving grace for this book are the backup material (Calistra article is great, but where did the prestige class go ?). They bump the score by one star.


Scarab Sages

What are those weapons...????

Paizo Employee Creative Director

fray wrote:
What are those weapons...????

Bladed Gauntlets. They're basically the same as a spiked gauntlet, but they do slashing damage instead of piercing damage.


They look more like modified katars... Though, having a single cutting edge like that and no point would make fighting with them much different than a normal katar...

Scarab Sages

ooooooo!
purty!


Is it just coincidence that Brandon Sanderson hopes to submit Robert Jordan's "A Memory of Light" manuscript for editing in December of 08'as well

Just saying.

"What is Light without Darkness" Lord of Darkness from Legend

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lord Vile wrote:
Is it just coincidence that Brandon Sanderson hopes to submit Robert Jordan's "A Memory of Light" manuscript for editing in December of 08'as well...

Apparently, it *is* a coincidence.


Probably a coincidence.

I love WoT if Brian messes it i will be devestated :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man I can't wait until December! I need that Calistria info!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've posted the finished cover.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Finally, an archer on the cover! Great work!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Vic Wertz wrote:
I've posted the finished cover.

Thanks Vic! This looks awesome. I hate to say it, but I think I like the SD covers more than the previous iconics ones by WAR. Maybe it's that the portrait on each seems to gel better with the Path as a whole. In any case, keep the good covers comin'!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

wow...that archer looks great.

I in general, I really like WAR's stuff. However, the characters on the front of 2nd Darkness are really good :)


Nice cover. Is that a Bebillith in the background or some kind of new monster we've yet to see? Also I don't suppose anyone official has said anything about who that archer is?

Silver Crusade

Love the new artwork.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So any idea when subscribers will be getting this one?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Kevin Mack wrote:
So any idea when subscribers will be getting this one?

Product Schedule says early January.

Dark Archive

I noticed this product has appeared in my orders, and that the estimate now says december, does that mean you plan to ship it after the 28th?

(the main page says pazio is closed until sunday 29th, but the 29th is a monday so I assume they meant they would open on the 29th...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Today I received an email from Paizo saying it will ship next week, so, yes, it is possible that it ships in the last days of December, I think.

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

Ah, the speculation begins...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We found out this week that the shipment containing Pathfinder 17, as well as Pathfinder Companion: Osirion, and Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Absalom will be on time after all!

(Earlier in the month, we were told that it had been delayed until early January).

Assuming weather doesn't get in the way, we expect to ship subscriber copies next week.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:

We found out this week that the shipment containing Pathfinder 17, as well as Pathfinder Companion: Osirion, and Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Absalom will be on time after all!

(Earlier in the month, we were told that it had been delayed until early January).

Assuming weather doesn't get in the way, we expect to ship subscriber copies next week.

Great work Vic! Three volumes of Paizo-goodness is just what I need to pass the time during the slow holidays.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So are they ready to ship yet? My anticipation meter is off the scale.

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

Credit card just got charged....

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kevin Mack wrote:
So are they ready to ship yet? My anticipation meter is off the scale.

We're told they'll be in our warehouse tomorrow; Gary has begun the process of charging cards and printing labels.


WOOT!!! That is great news!

Liberty's Edge

FYI: In the Single File per Chapter PDF for #17, in the adventure chapter, the map on page 36 is only selectable in sections (trying to get labelless maps using Adobe Reader 8).

I checked the rest of the maps - no other problems that I noticed.

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

That happens on some of the larger maps. It can be frustrating.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pygon wrote:

FYI: In the Single File per Chapter PDF for #17, in the adventure chapter, the map on page 36 is only selectable in sections (trying to get labelless maps using Adobe Reader 8).

I checked the rest of the maps - no other problems that I noticed.

Weird. We'll see if we can't get it fixed.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
Pygon wrote:

FYI: In the Single File per Chapter PDF for #17, in the adventure chapter, the map on page 36 is only selectable in sections (trying to get labelless maps using Adobe Reader 8).

I checked the rest of the maps - no other problems that I noticed.

Weird. We'll see if we can't get it fixed.

Hmm. My usual methods for fixing that sort of thing aren't working...

Liberty's Edge

Kick harder!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Hmm, seems my former bank is slow with canceling my card. Good for me, I guess. :)

Anyway, first glance-through looks great. I have not read anything in detail, of course, but the (male) priest of Calistria looks good enough to take home - and I am a heterosexual male.


Another issue with the PDF, both pre- and post-revision: it seems to be missing the title page, jumping straight from the Drow Runes to the Credits page. The problem with this is that if you're viewing the PDF in 2-page mode, it leaves the odd numbered pages on the left instead of the right, and our two-page spreads are broken up.

I'm running Preview on Mac, and this seems to be the first time this has happened - earlier chapters of Second Darkness all display correctly. Same behavior on Adobe Reader, although at least there you can toggle the "Show Cover in 2-Up" option to get the display correct.

This is the Single File edition, not the multiple PDF version.

Dark Archive

After reading over this, I am sad that I have only started part 2 of the AP. I can't wait until my players get to A Memory of Darkness, it is everything I could have hoped for and more.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

On a second, complete reading: I was afraid this adventure would be yet another backstab by people the group would like to trust and ally with - something that needs to be done very sparingly. Thus, I was very critical of it.

Spoiler:

Fortunately, the most critical part (get a little bit deceived by the elven queen, ally with the succubus) seemed to have received quite a bit of love and care, which I applaud. I can see how even a strongly good-aligned party might "get the hint" with the book. Good job so far.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The unscrupulous Dr. Pweent wrote:

Another issue with the PDF, both pre- and post-revision: it seems to be missing the title page, jumping straight from the Drow Runes to the Credits page. The problem with this is that if you're viewing the PDF in 2-page mode, it leaves the odd numbered pages on the left instead of the right, and our two-page spreads are broken up.

I'm running Preview on Mac, and this seems to be the first time this has happened - earlier chapters of Second Darkness all display correctly. Same behavior on Adobe Reader, although at least there you can toggle the "Show Cover in 2-Up" option to get the display correct.

This is the Single File edition, not the multiple PDF version.

Just noticed that Myself..

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dragnmoon wrote:
The unscrupulous Dr. Pweent wrote:

Another issue with the PDF, both pre- and post-revision: it seems to be missing the title page, jumping straight from the Drow Runes to the Credits page. The problem with this is that if you're viewing the PDF in 2-page mode, it leaves the odd numbered pages on the left instead of the right, and our two-page spreads are broken up.

I'm running Preview on Mac, and this seems to be the first time this has happened - earlier chapters of Second Darkness all display correctly. Same behavior on Adobe Reader, although at least there you can toggle the "Show Cover in 2-Up" option to get the display correct.

This is the Single File edition, not the multiple PDF version.

Just noticed that Myself..

We'll fix on Monday.


Vic Wertz wrote:
We'll fix on Monday.

Thanks, Vic!

Liberty's Edge

On the inside cover, PF17 says that PCs should start at 12th and reach 14th at the end. The iconics in the back are statted for 12th level. The product description says it's for 11th-13th.

PF16's inside cover says it starts at 9th and ends at 11th. The iconics there are statted at 10th level.

Which is correct?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product descriptions on the website:

16: 9–11
17: 12–14
18: 14–16

Liberty's Edge

Thank you!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, I've taken 20 on my Search/Perception check and I still can't find what I'm looking for...

On page 36, what do the letters in the un-numbered rooms mean? :-\

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Laithoron wrote:

Alright, I've taken 20 on my Search/Perception check and I still can't find what I'm looking for...

On page 36, what do the letters in the un-numbered rooms mean? :-\

See the sidebar on page 33.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Vic — I was starting to think I was crazy! I never would have expected to find a map legend a full two page-turns removed from the closest map.

I can see that page 26 couldn't have supported another sidebar, but it looks like 37 might have. I'm just thankful I had the time to read everything and get a response from you well before I'll running this part of the AP. However, I can easily see myself performing a *headdesk* behind my DM screen if trying to perform such a hunt at gametime — perhaps a bit of usability feedback to keep in mind for future page layouts. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Laithoron wrote:

Thanks Vic — I was starting to think I was crazy! I never would have expected to find a map legend a full two page-turns removed from the closest map.

I can see that page 26 couldn't have supported another sidebar, but it looks like 37 might have. I'm just thankful I had the time to read everything and get a response from you well before I'll running this part of the AP. However, I can easily see myself performing a *headdesk* behind my DM screen if trying to perform such a hunt at gametime — perhaps a bit of usability feedback to keep in mind for future page layouts. :)

I'm totally in agreement there!

Liberty's Edge

Please tell me the elf on the cover is going to be a PF mini from Reaper!

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