Pathfinder Adventure Path #34: Blood for Blood (Kingmaker 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #34: Blood for Blood (Kingmaker 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 4: "Blood for Blood"
by Neil Spicer

Even with the PCs’ kingdom growing at their heart, the Stolen Lands are far from tame. An incursion by merciless barbarians spills blood on the PCs’ lands and begins a search for a legendary artifact in the depths of the region’s most infamous wilderness. Amid the perpetual shadows and bottomless bogs of the Hooktongue Slough lie long-mired secrets and terrors eager to consume any who intrude upon their fetid realm. Yet what powers that lurk beyond the swamp seek to end the PCs’ reign? And how might a single, bloodthirsty blade mean the difference between their kingdom’s ruin and its survival?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Blood for Blood,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 10th-level characters, by Neil Spicer.
  • Information on the cruel society and blood-curdling superstitions of boggards, Golarion’s sinister frogmen, by Todd Stewart.
  • Details on some of the most famous hidden treasures and lost relics of the Stolen Lands, by Brian Cortijo.
  • Ollix and Phargas learn the perils of gambling with a leucrotta in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Kevin Andrew Murphy.
  • Five new monsters, by Julian Neale, F. Wesley Schneider, and Neil Spicer.

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. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-251-7

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

Product Availability

PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Print Edition: This product is out of print.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9034


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***½( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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Too many low-level encounters

**( )( )( )

I ran this adventure with moderate modifications for a group of 5 players (4 experienced, 1 novice). We used the fast XP track, so I cut all of the random encounters and some of the hexploration. My players also avoided the majority of the Baron Drelev questline. What parts of the adventure we did go through took a little over 5 sessions for a total 16 hours of play.

I usually love Neil Spicer's work. My players really enjoyed Realm of the Fellnight Queen, and his perspective on fey that he's shared on the messageboards inspires great adventures. Yet, even though this is a fey-based adventure path and Spicer is brilliant with fey, the adventure has basically none.

In general, the adventure suffers from a surplus of under-leveled challenges. It's not just the random hexes with uninteresting foes either. The big boss in Part 3 is also low-level and bland. My players didn't really see a reason to dispose the villain of part 3 anyway. Since the big boss is such a coward, I felt their decision made sense and wished the adventure had addressed how Drelev responds to a diplomatic solution. Part 4 is better and has an interesting dungeon design, but uses way too many swarms. (Not text related, but the art for Santinder also makes no sense.)

As far as backing material goes, I really didn't feel the need for Ecology of the Boggard. The Spoils of Kings article served as a good reminder that a few proper nouns can make treasure feel more a part of the world, yet the item histories themselves fall flat with throwaway references to kings not mentioned anywhere else. The fiction is entertaining, at least, and I do like the calathgar and the leshy.

If you want to sub out one of the adventures in the Kingmaker adventure path, I would suggest this one. It's a pity Realm of the Fellnight Queen is too low-level to replace it.


Fort Drelev

**( )( )( )

Havent quite finished the Armag encounter at the end of the book as I write this but so far book 4 is LAME. The battle for Fort Drelev which could have been awsome instead relies on this ridiculous points based system (think kingdom building but without the fun) that forces your party to kill enemy soldiers in a small fort (high alert anyone!) And then make friends with NPC's who do NOTHING to actually help or facilitate in ANYWAY (other then points) the taking of the fort, and if this all wasnt bad enough its all done on a "time clock" where you lose points everyday do to low moral amongst the villagers. This whole story basically leads to you storming the fort but without the excitment or immediacy that you want. Takes what should just be an amazing fight and military action on the part of your PC's and kingdom and drags it out into several sessions to stretch a very weak book 4. I recommend DM's just run a "homebrew" version and keep the Armag storyline.


Go West Young Man! And Bring Your Waders!

*****

Now that the Characters have a kingdom, it's time for outside invasions! A really fun arc in the Kingmaker Adventure Path. Check my full review:Blood for Blood


Great stand alone for 9th level characters...

***( )( )

This adventure was tragically under CRed. Even adding additional monsters to random encounters didn't make it much more challenging. The three times my group had a real challenge were once when I rolled a 100 on the random encounter in the Slough (and a 4 for the quantity), once when the group was so overconfident with their abilities they stormed the keep (I had incorporated a mercenary NPC archer to discourage such brazen actions. Without doing this I am sure that the mage-less group could have easily strong-armed the entire keep.) and finally when the barbarian tribes were united under Armag and marched on the PCs kingdom. I don't like to encourage the 'kick in the door' tactic for every encounter. It's fun to really mop up some baddies sometimes, but 2 or 3 levels of it just gets boring.

Overall I highly recommend this adventure as a stand alone for 9th level characters OR enhancing some of the encounters as part of the Kingmaker AP. Although thematically this adventure was SUPERB and worthy of 5 stars, it just needed a bit of work to make it truly fun for the group. The amount of work needed to make this adventure cohesive, plot advancing, and challenging (not to mention the useless sword) knocks the book down a couple notches.


Just can't give it that 4th star

***( )( )

My reviews use bullet points, just how I roll.

The Good: -Barbarian villain seems pretty tough.
-Good storyline, overall one of the better stories.
-Rewards for the PCs are really strong, this is important.

The Bad: -1st of 2 main villains is going to go down like a chump.
-Suffers for wanting mass combat but not having rules for it yet.

The Ugly: -OK we see gay characters but big surprise they are pretty lesbians with fan service art, bad form.
-The big bad's sword is effectively a cursed reward.
-The mid level boss is the chump little brother of book 5's boss.
-Its a little too apparent that these adventures were developed by seperate people who were only very basically collaborating. Paizo has gotten better at this but Neil is an excellent author this was not his best IMHO

Overall: The rewards are great, the villain would be better if not sandwiched between an awesome villain (book 3) and a better version of the mid level villain (book 5.) Can't give a 4th star for it...


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Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

And here...here is BLOOD...


Where are those images from? I don't recognise them!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

WOW! This sounds AWESOME!
.
.
.
Wait.
.
.
.
I'm writing it?
.
.
.
Man...this better be awesome. :-]


Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

We, your fans, reserve the right to go from slobbering sycophants to enraged rioters at the slightest provocation. Otherwise, there's absolutely no pressure, Neil.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Blood for the Blood God!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Otherwise, there's absolutely no pressure, Neil.

O_o

Scarab Sages

Callous Jack wrote:

Blood for the Blood God!

Skulls for the Skull Throne! Phnglui mglwnafh Cthulhu Rlyeh wgahnagl Ftagn!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You don't mix Khorne and Cthulhu in one line, GW lawyers might go after you and they're worse than Hounds of Tindalos...

Sovereign Court

Callous Jack wrote:

Blood for the Blood God!

Damn! I should have known someone would get here before me.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I can very much assure everyone...

...there will be blood almost everywhere...

...and gods (some quite bloodthirsty)...

...and skulls will be taken for someone's throne. But not necessarily who you might think.

Sovereign Court

NSpicer wrote:
But not necessarily who you might think.

Is it me?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Well...the AP is called Kingmaker, right? It doesn't say what kind of king. ;-)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

NSpicer wrote:
Well...the AP is called Kingmaker, right? It doesn't say what kind of king. ;-)

Elvis wants skulls for his throne?!?!

Contributor

NSpicer wrote:

WOW! This sounds AWESOME!

.
.
.
Wait.
.
.
.
I'm writing it?
.
.
.
Man...this better be awesome. :-]

I'm writing the fiction for it. I'm aiming for "awesome" too. ;)

James expects it.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

I'm writing the fiction for it. I'm aiming for "awesome" too. ;)

James expects it.

I knew that name seemed familiar. Shoot me an email at this screenname at gmail dot com to discuss getting you added to the PathfinderWiki. We can't have any contributors without bios now can we? Oh, and congratulations!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would like to know the origin of the Halfling placeholder on the cover, he looks badass.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Coridan wrote:
I would like to know the origin of the Halfling placeholder on the cover, he looks badass.

He's from The Infernal Syndrome, and is a dangerous gangster/harrower.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
logic_poet wrote:
Coridan wrote:
I would like to know the origin of the Halfling placeholder on the cover, he looks badass.
He's from The Infernal Syndrome, and is a dangerous gangster/harrower.

Thanks a ton!


Wait... 2 installations of this AP in ONE month? Sweetness!

Pathfinder's Bullywugs also sound promising...

Sovereign Court

Mistral wrote:


Pathfinder's Bullywugs also sound promising...

Boggards come from Rise of the Runelords. We've had 'em a while now.

Contributor

cappadocius wrote:
Mistral wrote:


Pathfinder's Bullywugs also sound promising...
Boggards come from Rise of the Runelords. We've had 'em a while now.

And you'll be getting more of 'em :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cappadocius wrote:
Mistral wrote:


Pathfinder's Bullywugs also sound promising...
Boggards come from Rise of the Runelords. We've had 'em a while now.

They're also in the Bestiary. They're as core as it gets!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mistral wrote:

Wait... 2 installations of this AP in ONE month? Sweetness!

Pathfinder's Bullywugs also sound promising...

Well, that's only because they're behind schedule. The Spring AP is generally supposed to come out in February, the Summer in August. They have to get caught up to have Serpent's Skull come out for Gencon.


Coridan wrote:
Well, that's only because they're behind schedule. The Spring AP is generally supposed to come out in February, the Summer in August. They have to get caught up to have Serpent's Skull come out for Gencon.

Not complaining here. :-)

More to read. But knowing the pace my groups are playing (monthly-ish) we will play over just the first installment for a year or so...


New question: will they ship together or seperately? Might make a HUGE difference having to pay extra tax or not!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mistral wrote:
New question: will they ship together or seperately? Might make a HUGE difference having to pay extra tax or not!

I am not Vic, but...

One is releasing the beginning of the month, one at the end of the month. If you are set to ship as each AP volume comes out, two shipments, if set to ship once per month, one shipment. That's my unofficial assumption.

Paizo Employee Chief Operations Officer

Hey guys, I just finished updating the product schedule with our current best guesses.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product image and description to match the finished product.


Cool Cover..

Oh my, Spicer gets to throw Giants at us..in a Seige it looks like...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

DM Wellard wrote:
Cool Cover...Oh my, Spicer gets to throw Giants at us..in a Seige it looks like...

There's certainly a siege. But I'm not sure the giants made the cut after Mr. Jacobs worked his developer magic. At least...not in that scene... ;-)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Nice cover... I like it. Suitably dark and menacing for a book titled Blood for Blood!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

NSpicer wrote:
DM Wellard wrote:
Cool Cover...Oh my, Spicer gets to throw Giants at us..in a Seige it looks like...
There's certainly a siege. But I'm not sure the giants made the cut after Mr. Jacobs worked his developer magic. At least...not in that scene... ;-)

The cover ended up depicting a scene that actually didn't occur in the original turnover. That happens a fair amount, as artists make changes and because we have to order the covers so far ahead of when the adventure is being written.

For Neil, though... remember the things that were stomping around after dark in that poor lakeside town? Let's just say that while their monster type didn't chagne... they lost their regeneration power and gained some rock hurling stunts! :P

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

James Jacobs wrote:
For Neil, though... remember the things that were stomping around after dark in that poor lakeside town? Let's just say that while their monster type didn't chagne... they lost their regeneration power and gained some rock hurling stunts! :P

Heh, heh, heh... :->


Teasers...


Succeed and we shall carry you through the streets, rain praise and glory upon you. I lips will pass your name with reverance and awe...
Fail...fail and we just suck the marrow from your bones!

.....Ummm... metaphorically speaking of course.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

o_O

I have only two words regarding the "fail" scenario:

Spoiler:

Blame Jacobs!

What? You thought it was going to be explosive runes, didn't you?


NSpicer wrote:

o_O

I have only two words regarding the "fail" scenario:

** spoiler omitted **

Your bones Jacobs! YOUR BONES!! (Seriously I'm stoked, I would sell a kidney to have this whole adventure path now.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question: Will this have arrived at US addresses before Paizocon? What about #35?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

ericthecleric wrote:
Question: Will this have arrived at US addresses before Paizocon? What about #35?

If all goes well behind the scenes, and the ships all arrive from China on time, we *may* be offering subscriber pickup at PaizoCon. Stay tuned.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps Subscriber

Tunes radio to WPZO: all Pathfinder, all the time.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Vic Wertz wrote:
If all goes well behind the scenes, and the ships all arrive from China on time, we *may* be offering subscriber pickup at PaizoCon. Stay tuned.

Woot!

Ummm...wait a minute...if it comes out at PaizoCon and everyone hates it, I'll be trapped with ravening Paizo fans all eager to take out their displeasure on me.

This can't be good!

Can't you delay it just a little bit longer, Vic? At least give me a headstart to get out the door and flag down a cab to reach the airport... ;-)


Or we could line up to ask for autographs on our books, Mister Spicer.
(Assuming of course that you would be willing to do so, otherwise the cab flagging might be a better option.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fantastic, Vic! :D

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Dark Sasha wrote:

Or we could line up to ask for autographs on our books, Mister Spicer.

(Assuming of course that you would be willing to do so, otherwise the cab flagging might be a better option.)

AIIIEE! The pressure! Should I stay or should I go? :-)

If I autograph stuff I guess I'll have to think up something witty to pen other than just my name. How about...

"Congratulations! You've got 'Blood' on your hands!" ;-D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
NSpicer wrote:
Dark Sasha wrote:

Or we could line up to ask for autographs on our books, Mister Spicer.

(Assuming of course that you would be willing to do so, otherwise the cab flagging might be a better option.)

AIIIEE! The pressure! Should I stay or should I go? :-)

If I autograph stuff I guess I'll have to think up something witty to pen other than just my name. How about...

"Congratulations! You've got 'Blood' on your hands!" ;-D

But, after you've written that a couple of dozen times, would you want to do more than your name for hundreds of fans? :D

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

ericthecleric wrote:
But, after you've written that a couple of dozen times, would you want to do more than your name for hundreds of fans? :D

If there's that many, I'll view that as a nice problem to have...and handle it as it comes (if it comes). ;-)


I'm sure we could help Neil out with some witty things to write. How about...

There will be Blood
Blood will have blood
Blood is thicker than water

...I'm out. Not enough coffee yet.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Lilith wrote:
I'm sure we could help Neil out with some witty things to write.

Yes. By all means, offer up some more witty things to write. Even if I have only Dark Sasha who requests an autograph, I can just write all of them down one after the other. :-D

Some that come to mind:
"Written in blood! Hope you enjoy!"

"Blood brothers to the end!"

"Here's hoping that adventuring and roleplaying is in your blood!"

Heh. :-D

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

NSpicer wrote:
Lilith wrote:
I'm sure we could help Neil out with some witty things to write.

Yes. By all means, offer up some more witty things to write. Even if I have only Dark Sasha who requests an autograph, I can just write all of them down one after the other. :-D

Some that come to mind:
"Written in blood! Hope you enjoy!"

"Blood brothers to the end!"

"Here's hoping that adventuring and roleplaying is in your blood!"

Heh. :-D

In honor of AC/DC:

"If you want blood... YOU GOT IT!"


I am not going to be disappointed if the boat doesn't arrive on time for said distribution. I am not going to cry if I never catch Neal, or any of you other fine gentlemen and ladies that help make Paizo products superb, at the Con. It would be nice if everything works out, but really as long as everyone has a good time that is the important thing.
Neal's response to my suggestion, however,

NSpicer wrote:


AIIIEE! The pressure! Should I stay or should I go? :-)

*pure gold*

Edit: And I forgot to add: You are a gentleman and a scholar, Neal. Thank you for taking my suggestion with humor and seriousness. If I do spot you there I may take you up on your offer with your module "Fellnight Queen".

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