Pathfinder Adventure Path #42: Sanctum of the Serpent God (Serpent's Skull 6 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Chapter 6: "Sanctum of the Serpent God"
by Neil Spicer
In their lightless sanctuary, an army of serpentfolk gathers to bring the world above to its knees. The skull of the dead god Ydersius has fallen into the hands of his worshipers once more, and fanged fanatics now commence the rites to resurrect their slain deity. Only the heroes stand between the serpentfolk and their insane plot to unleash one of existence’s foulest tyrants once more upon the world. Can the PCs gather the weapons and allies they need to strike back against the snakes and slay their decapitated god once and for all, or will their failure to do so usher in the Age of the Serpent? Decide the fate of an entire world in this, the climax of the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path!
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
“Sanctum of the Serpent God,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 15th-level characters, by Neil Spicer
Aids and advice to continue your war against the serpentfolk even after the climax of the Serpent’s Skull Adventure Path, by James Jacobs
Secrets of the sinister snake cult of Ydersius, beheaded god of the serpentfolk, by Rob McCreary
The triumphant conclusion of the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws
Five new monsters, by Jesse Benner, Rob McCreary, 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.
This is a good finale module. It is sufficiently-epic, well-organized, concludes all the important story lines, and has some great encounters and events.
The "invasion" aspect works well if you like the prerequisite roleplaying and diplomacy. The hard work from the rest of the AP pays off here if you did it right.
The "Coils" are cleverly done. The back and forth with the Serpentfolk has worked well for our group in previous modules (the Seekers in module 4) and I think these will, too. My players will never go for the railroady assassination setups suggested, though, but this is a very minor complaint.
I really liked the sanctum. Other than its generous use of my paper and ink, it is a great final dungeon crawl with appropriate encounters along the main theme and a seriously dangerous, epic finale. If you kill those dudes, you totally won.
I thought the hunter's maze wasn't that interesting and reworked the recovery of the "weapon" (which is a cool encounter and theme) into a much smaller map. I was looking to cut some stuff, though, and a lot of this part seemed like filler to me. Given that, its written well enough, and others might like it.
The proto shoggoth is really cool - another great note in the abomination sub-theme.
For me, the only big problem with this module is the ridiculously bloated maps. These three maps print out (at standard 1 inch mini scale) at about 7 feet by 9 feet EACH! I think you may have been able to trim these down a bit, guys. People print maps and use figures, but it's just not practical with these behemoths.
Overall, this is an epic finale to the AP that manages to shine through the the failings of its wayward sibling modules. Major and minor themes of the AP - the overarching story of Savith & Ydersius, Azlant & the Serpentfolk, the various factions & tribes, the ongoing skirmishes, and the beloved abominations - are all woven in nicely. Thanks to Neil Spicer for pulling it all together into a refreshingly well-written finale.