Pathfinder Adventure Path #19: "Howl of the Carrion King" (Legacy of Fire 1 of 6) (OGL) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Chapter 1: "Howl of the Carrion King"
by Erik Mona
Hear the cry of war!
In the exotic nation of Katapesh, a land of fortune and wonders, heroes are those with the courage to command their destinies. Such wisdom leads a daring band to the abandoned village of Kelmarane with the hopes of reestablishing the once prosperous community. But buzzards still feast upon the secluded settlement’s corpse: a savage tribe of gnolls and their bestial allies hold the town in the name of a merciless master known only as the Carrion King. Can the PCs retake the village from its feral conquerors, or is Kelmarane but the first bastion of civilization to fall before the hordes of the mysterious warlord?
This volume of the Pathfinder Adventure Path begins the Legacy of Fire, and includes:
“Howl of the Carrion King,” an adventure for 1st-level characters, by Erik Mona
An investigation into the savage gnoll tribes of the Brazen Peaks, their brutal culture, and their merciless members, by Eric Haddock
Ruins once sacred to the god of magic have become the lair of a living curse in “The Refuge of Nethys,” a Set Piece adventure by James MacKenzie
The adventures of druid Channa Ti begin in “Dark Tapestry,” a new chronicle in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by New York Times bestselling author Elaine Cunningham
Five new monsters by Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, and F. Wesley Schneider
For characters of 1st to 5th level.
Pathfinder Adventure Path is Paizo Publishing's monthly 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover book printed on high-quality paper. 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.
This is probably the best first-level module, and first Adventure Path installment, that I've run. I loved it, the players loved it, they still talk about it today.
The characters are hired to meet up with a trade caravan and reclaim an Arabesque city from gnolls, in order to restore it to a functioning trade hub; while the path goes to bigger and greater things later, here, it's low-level town reclamation and gnoll slaying. In fact, the module is kind of a low-level guerrilla assault on the gnoll-occupied village, where the players have the freedom to choose how and where they strike. Likewise, there's a lot of room for gnoll counter-attacks, or an assault on the PCs' monastery base.
And not just gnolls; there's a great variety of monsters at play, leading to some interesting and memorable combats. Best of all was the introduction of some gremlins as introductory villains. These little guys are pushovers stat-wise, but exude an aura of unluck which makes them really tough to deal with. Plus, they have a habit of hiding out in areas that have dangerous terrain features---cactus patches, for one---that has great synergy with their aura.
Granted, there's a lot more than just killin'. There's a lot of places to explore, including some interesting adventure seeds, and a set-piece mini-dungeon later in this book. The module introduces a batch of NPCs with the caravan, with plenty of opportunities to roleplay; on top of this, there's options for several of the "bad guys" to be talked/bribed into the PCs' side. And there's several locations, including the entire town, for the PCs to reclaim and occupy.
All in all, a very memorable module with a lot of grit and detail. The enemies are challenging without being overpowered, the setting is great---the art design in these books is simply stunning---and the plot is interesting and engaging. Add in the standard Path features---a bestiary, an overview of the gnoll tribes in the area---and you have a lot to work with adventure-wise. I highly recommend this Path; even alone this module is worth it.
Howl of the Carrion King é uma excelente aventura inicial, completa, cativante e com uma trama instigante, de uma forma como não se via desde Rise of the Runelords. Infelizmente ela tem uns probleminhas de ter de pausar a estória para os personagens irem ganhar XP, mas nada que um mestre habilidoso não já tenha aprendido a lidar. Os artigos suplementam muito bem a aventura, sendo indispensáveis ao sucesso da mesma. Os monstros novos são muito divertidos e criativos. Realmente uma edição recomendada. Parabéns Paizo.
Legacy of Fire has a good story but the encounters fall short because the adventure path series waste too much space on non essential material. Like fiction that has nothing to do with the series except it take place in the region. Monsters that are not used in the adventure path. A "extra" filler adventure that is in most of the books is lower level then the actual book that is should be played in. Pretty much all the encounters are basic thug attacks with underpowered opponents and no variety. Some encounter are good and can be deadly but most are just a waste of space. The party quickly adapts to these basic thug attacks. These thug attacks turn into a exercise in dice rolling with hardly any challenge. If Paizo spent more time on the adventure and less wasting the extra space on non essential fluff and rules this series could have been so much better.
This adventure path series tries to do too much. Paizo needs to focus more on the adventure then adding a bunch of extra fluff and rules. Save that stuff for the rule books and regional books.
The paper in the books is really nice but the bindings are poor quality. After one use the pages start falling out. Almost all of the six books lost some pages after one use.
I liked this first book quite a bit. The ruin exploration was pretty fun, the npcs got my interest. The many types of gremlins are a good addition, and they sure can be troubling to take down in the adventure. Some of the dodgy npcs were a bit obvious though, and an alert and careful npc can determine a few things at a glance. The setting feels good and different.
The point on non-optimised parties has been made and is valid, but this is a problem for many paizo adventure paths, they are made to challenge power gamers. If a dm just runs it straight, and some players are new, team work is a bit off, expect casualties (and gnoll laughter).