Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown 4 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Chapter 4: "Wake of the Watcher"
by Greg A. Vaughan
No one goes to Illmarsh. An ugly town, unfriendly to strangers and squatting amid the nastiest stretch of swamp in Ustalav, Illmarsh seems to breed rumor and madness, and those who speak of it always whisper of strange disappearances, misshapen shadows, and sacrifices to things terrible and forgotten. But when the trail of the death cultists known as the Whispering Way leads to Illmarsh, it’s up to the PCs to learn the secrets of the sickly village. There they’ll find a desperate people, caught in a war between beings from beneath the seas and invaders from the darkest corners of the cosmos. Can the heroes save Illmarsh from its tradition of terror? Or will they be the next victims of the horror from beyond the stars?
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
“Wake of the Watcher,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 9th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan
Blasphemous secrets of the foul faiths known collectively as the Old Cults and sanity-shattering gods such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and Cthulhu, by James Jacobs
A giant bestiary filled with eight classic monsters inspired by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft and the tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, by James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan
Laurel Cylphra’s discovery that the dead aren’t the only dangers in Ardis in a new entry into the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and 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.
Due to some player vacationing, I subjected my Serpents Skull group to this. Even though they were higher level (12-13) than the book would recommend, they still had a great time. The dungeon at the end is creepy and mind warping enough to slip in anywhere. Obviously I can't speak for the overall story plot line, but if your group enjoys some Cthulhu in its D&D, you will enjoy this book.
The idol that communes with Dagon is a personal favorite, my players have carried it around for months debating whether to use it or not!
Excellent and very creepy first part but once the characters go looking for the source it grinds horribly, and on top of that the writer tries to jam in as many different mythos monsters as they can to the point it feels like you are going down an index of the Necronomicon.
The optional sanity rules could use some work but overall they could add another fun dimension as a one off if you really wanted to stress the 'otherworldiness' of the things encountered... and the last one is all but guaranteed to blow someones mind.
When you put James Jacobs and Greg Vaughan together and toss in some Cthulhu Mythos for spice you come out with the most sanity-bending awesome tools any H. P. Lovecraft loving GM can use, nay, MUST have. Now Wake of the Watcher is the fourth installment of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, but I can’t talk about the adventure's place in the path, how this fits in with the rest, or how it flows with them. I can say that the adventure within these pages is easily the most portable of the adventures in the paths I have observed in a while. All a GM needs to do is place Illmarsh in the path of players on the way to someplace else, take out any direct references to following Whispering Way operatives and, Whammo! Adventure.
Taken alone the adventure is useful for a GM seeking to fit in to his own campaign, whether you run the Adventure Path as a whole or not. Combined with the support articles, you have pure Cthulhu-esque gold. Now what I hoped for, and happy enough to recieve, was a conversion of ALL of my personal favorite Cthulhu monsters. (Color Out of Space!!) But Mr. James Jacobs went and converted all of my old favorite Outer Gods and Old Ones to Pathfinder godhood status. Not only can I use these to terrify my players, but they can’t even touch them because they are treated as gods. Pardon me while I giggle to myself a little bit.
I realize I haven’t spoken of F. Wesley Schneider’s contribution. This is because I haven’t read it (yet). When I have additional funds I will make every effort to purchase the first three contributions to this adventure path and catch up on what I missed.
Gold, Messrs. Jacobs and Vaughan, Wake of the Watcher is pure gold for Lovecraft lovers. This gem scores a full five elder signs from me.
I like this one the most of the carrion crown Aps so far especially the beastairy and the article for the elder gods, for this stuff alone made it worth it for me. I am not much for using modules/adventure paths for I like home brewd adventures when I DM but I love ideas and tools so that is why I buy them, well that and I love monsters and magic items. The adventure itself is chock full Lovecraftian goodness that oozes out of every pore just like a lot creatures in there would do if they had the chance.
So far this AP has been really great, the previous three in the AP have had some really original and engaging bits.
Almost all the AP's have had that one part that i did not much care for. Kingmaker was the first and so far only AP that did not have a bad egg in it. I thought Carrion Crown was shaping up to do the same.... until this one.
Now as a stand alone adventure this one would have been better, but it just does not seem to fit with the rest of the AP. Sure it fits the horror aspect, but not the general feel of the rest of them that came before it.
I think though that one of my problems with this one is the Lovecraft aspect. I personally think that Lovecraft is getting way overused lately, and not just by Paizo. I work for a company that sells games, and so i have to be familiar with them before they come out, and it seems like every forth game or so that comes out has something to do with Lovecraft. So i am a bit burned out with Lovecraft and think that is coloring my view of this one.
Now there are some really neat parts to this adventure though, namely the inventor and his invention and the insanity rules, but i just think it could have been better suited to a stand alone adventure.