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Slumbering Tsar 3: The Desolation, Part 3—The Western Front (PFRPG)

Slumbering Tsar 3: The Desolation, Part 3—The Western Front (PFRPG)

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The western half of the Desolation sprawls around the walls of the fortified city of Tsar. Here endless armies battered themselves against its unyielding stones and faced off against fell creatures and powers beyond mortal ken. The Western Front takes the players to the very threshold of the city itself in the areas known as the boiling Lands and the Dead Fields, against its malevolent guardian, and through the war-torn fragments of a landscape that can truly be called a no-man’s land. PCs should be 11th level by the conclusion of their adventures in the Desolation.

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Product Reviews (3)

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*****

Yet again, I can't think of much to add to Endzeitgeist's and Dark Mistress' reviews. They've covered all the major points, and although the complaint EZG made regarding the lack of an overview map is a sticking point, I don't think it's enough to detract a star. Well done.


Another awesome wasteland

****( )

ST: Desolation 3 – The western Front is a 48-pages pdf; One page editorial, one page front cover, one page OGL – that leaves 45 pages of content in this installment of the Slumbering Tsar saga.

The module kicks off with one page of flavor text and a nice b/w artwork and then delves into the first area featured in this incarnation of ST, The Boiling Lands.

The chapter on the boiling lands is 15 pages long. Once again, we get planned encounters as well as a random encounter table and have an iconic wasteland. The boiling lands are riddled with geysers, mud and pestilence and poison are key factors among the hazards the PCs will face here. Don’t forget to bring your cleric! To give you an idea what to expect: A muddy battlefield defined by water- elemental warfare, disease and a general feeling of wading though plague-ridden swampy lands seeking to devour you and a prevalent decay that seeks to claim the PCs and make them part of the ever-present muck. Two sub-locations are provided (along with their respective maps in the appendix), The Last Outpost and the Geyser Cluster.

The next chapter details The Dead Fields, is 14 pages long and another no-man’s land with a distinctive flavor. The coolest place of the Dead fields is a Dwarven outpost that will be defended by the players against sheer countless waves of undead. Awesome! As a nice bonus, PCs may also befriend a dire wolf. A “Firebase of the damned” also promises some fun for your PCs.
The Crossroads and Tsar chapter is 5 pages long and features a gateway monster the PCs have to defeat to finally enter Tsar.
The Monster appendix features 2 new monsters, the Battlehulk and the (Poisonous) Mudmen. Both are interesting and cool.
The appendix featuring new magic items features both the “Reverse Gravity Mine” and a mighty hammer with an interesting drawback. The hammer even gets its own artwork.
As previously mentioned, we also get 6 pages of maps, 1 for the regions and two for the subregions each. My only gripe with them is, that I can’t show them to my players due to the legend features. I’d love to see some player-friendly maps sometime or in the final book.

Conclusion: The final installment of the Desolation chapter features once again some iconic wastelands and will surely challenge you in the unique Vaughan-style, i.e., this one is DEADLY but extremely fun. My personal favorite was defending against the waves of undead – I can see players loving this. Unlike previous installments, though, this one is plagued by some editing and formatting glitches. I found the following:

There are relic <n>s on page 14 as well as page 19. On page 26, there is line that strikes through the flavor text, page 27 and 31 have a formatting glitch about the number of wights that are encountered and the brackets are placed wrong. Finally, page 34 has two more relics.

Don’t let that detract from your enjoyment, though: You still get quality, awesome locations and challenging encounters for your PCs.
I rate it 4 stars due to the editing glitches and the fact that we still don’t have an overview map showing all parts of the Desolation as well as the crossroads.


The Slumbering Tsar: The Desolation, Part 3. The Western Front

*****

The Slumbering Tsar: The Desolation, Part 3. The Western Front

This product is 48 pages long. Cover, credits and introduction takes up the first 3 pages.

Chapter 6 – The Boiling Lands (15 pages)
This section has starts with a few paragraphs what this are is like and then random encounter tables. There is one random encounter table for day and one for night, there is a total of 11 different random encounters. Following that is write up's and stat blocks if needed for each of the random encounters.

There is 6 encounter locations in this section, once more not all of them result in a fight. Including 2 mini dungeons.

Chapter 7 – The Dead Fields (14 pages)
This section has starts with a few paragraphs what this are is like and then random encounter tables. There is one random encounter table for day and one for night, there is a total of 18 different random encounters. Following that is write up's and stat blocks if needed for each of the random encounters.

This section has 6 encounter locations. Including 2 mini dungeons one of them with event based encounters. There is also some NPC's that could prove to be replacement PC's or Cohorts. Including one new spell. Doomwail – think banshee wail.

Chapter 8 – The Crossroads and the Tsar (5 pages)
This section has starts with a few paragraphs what this are is like and then random encounter tables. There is one random encounter table for day and one for night, there is a total of 7 different random encounters. Following that is write up's and stat blocks if needed for each of the random encounters.

It gives a little history about the city and how it came under the influence of Orcus. This section includes 4 encounters. One of them is pretty clever, I won't ruin the surprise but it is interesting to say the least. At the end it also has a section taling about if the PC's leave the map and a random encounter table, there is a total of 9 different random encounters.

Monster Appendix – (3 pages)
There is 2 new monsters in this section.

Magic Item Appendix – (1 page)
There is 1 new magic item in this section and 1 minor artifact. The Reverse Gravity Mine and The Hammer of Mordecai's Doom respectively.

It finishes with 6 pages of maps and 1 pages of legal index and OGL.

Closing thoughts, For those of you that read my first review of the the PDF of the 3.5 Slumber Tsar book earlier this year this will look familiar. Since this is the last third of that same book, only updated to Pathfinder rules and a few other changes. This time around it is much cleaner and easier to read. This time there is a lot more art and the art is from fair to very good. I didn't notice any errors this time, so the editing is much better this time around.

The stats blocks are now in the relevant section instead of at the end of the book. Which I consider a plus. Also each monster is described so you know exactly what they look like, which is also a plus. This is the other half of the land around the Slumbering Tsar City, opposite from what was in part 2.

The encounters are laid out in a very sandboxy style, meaning that a low CR might be right next to a high CR encounter. PC's will need to be on their toes and know when to run to avoid TPK. The encounters are well done and interesting. So if you like sandboxy style adventures then I strongly recommend this product.

What can I say if you like sand box style adventures then this is a very good one. My only complaint this time around is. There is no overview map of the whole region and that would have been very good to have. It was something I brought up in my last review and sadly it is still true. Other than that I am giving this a 4.5 star rating.



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