Fane of the Fallen (PFRPG) PDF

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All is not as it seems when a large scale orc raid preys upon the city of Brookmere. PCs are sent to parley with the orcs believed to be responsible, and after many exciting battles and investigation, the characters learn of the masterminds behind the attack, a faction of murderous elves bent on the destruction of the kingdom. Can the characters penetrate the foreboding Harwood Forest and defeat the denizens of Castle Novgorod? Or will they succumb to the fallen elves and their depraved succubus goddess?

Fane of the Fallen is an epic adventure of epic proportions, designed to take characters from 13th level to 18th level. Fane of the Fallen introduces the Kingdom of Myrridon, a mini-campaign of grand scale, and the fallen elves, a new race of murderous beings seduced by evil.

  • Uncover the dark secrets of the fallen elves, and confront them and the demonic forces they consort with in dozens of unique and exciting dungeons.
  • Fight 17 new creatures, and discover 14 new magical items making their debut in this adventure.
  • Save the kingdom from evil forces and be hailed as a hero in the songs of bards for ages to come.

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FGG10005E


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****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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Epic saga, great, slavic atmosphere, but no bookmarks

****( )

This epic adventure is 172 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 3 pages of advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 164 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players might wish to jump to the conclusion of the review.

Still here? Righty right! This adventure kicks off with a raid on the city of Brookmere, where the PCs are researching some information or another in the city's famous library. It's said library that is surprisingly the focus of the raid of an elite-army of goblinoids. The PCs will try to stop the invaders and probably just fall short of stopping a mysterious woman from stealing an obscure tome. After this raid and the excitement in the burning (fully mapped) library has subsided, the PCs will have to bear the white flag to the local clan of Orcs to find out whether the green-skins have violated the treaty with Brookmere.

Once the PCs have reached the Orcs, they will have to prove their worth by battling a zombie-dragon - after all, their insinuations have insulted the orcish sense of honor. Once they have somehow passed the challenge, the chieftain is willing to help them if they kill some rather deadly troll renegades. Once these creatures, now living in an abandoned barrow, have been cleared out, the treaty between the goblinoids and Brookmere is considered renewed and the PCs might even score some loot - if they messed up, war with the horde might be impending!

The trail of the attackers leads towards a small community called Sylvanus. On the road there, the PCs will encounter a deadly medusa's statue garden and her lair, in which the smart fighting creature will provide for a dread challenge. At the foot of Mount Bloodstone, a commoner asks for the PCs help as another side-trek: In order to save her daughter, the PCs will have to scale the mountain, brave fully detailed yeti and stone giant caves (not necessarily to fight them, btw.!) and save the girl from the Roc-mama who has adopted the girl. Said daughter is also fond of the roc chicks and the mother-bird, making a non-violent solution again preferable.

After these sidetreks and tribulations, the PCs will reach Sylvanus, or rather what's left of it: The town has been deserted by all but some huddled, frightened survivors and is now haunted by a pair of deadly vampires. To make matters worse, the true culprits start becoming apparent: Elves. Lilith-worshipping, demonic, fallen elves that would make drow blush not only with modesty, but also due to their vile practices. Their extremely beautiful, insanity-inducing fallen harpies (failed priestesses of the succubus-queen) and a rear-guard of the invading force is still around, making this the first encounter with this adventure's main antagonists. In order to save the villagers and unravel the mysterious plot of the elves, the PCs will have to track them into primal and eerie Harwood Forest.

Once in the depths of the forest, they will encounter a vast array of villagers and foes, turned to wood by a xenophobic druid and his wood-elemental Gertrude. In order to reverse the transformation of these innocents, the PCs must successfully scale the Druid's Tree lair and deal with his challenges, convince him to let the villagers go...only to find out that the artifact he could use to revert the transformation has run out of juice. Only one could help: BABA YAGA.

Yep. The Crone is in here. With full stats. CR 29. Don't screw with her or her artifacts. The presentation of her hut, though slightly less compelling than in "Tales of the Old Margreve", is AWESOME. In order to coax the necessary information from her, the PCs will have to hitch a ride with Charon in the Land of the Dead. To Circe's Island. To steal an egg from a phoenix and make the noble creature cry. Twisted, iconic, stellar...and potentially an aspect the PCs could skip all together. Just like a sojourn into a cursed barrow, where an entombed lich awaits. As soon as the crone has been satisfied a race against time begins: Lilith's chosen Medb, a succubus of extreme power confined to an artifact axe of the vilest power is the fallen elves' true goal - the villagers will be sacrificed according to a rite in the book stolen from the Brookmere-library. Thankfully, the axe is still confined in the temple inside the meteor-crater of Tunguska. After exploring the now-corrupted and extremely well-secured temple, an elite-squad of fallen elves will try to wrest the axe from the PCs - hopefully in vain.

Only one thing left to do: After saving a paladin in a sacrificial ceremony, the PCs will have to jump into the dragon's maw: In order to stop the machinations of the Fallen Elves, the PCs not only have to infiltrate their hidden city of Nowgorod, they will also have to get into the castle, eliminate the vile race's leaders and save a whole village from the depths of a multi-level castle that constitutes the power-base of the whole nation of vile, decadent demon-worshipping elves. Inside await a vast majority of high-level NPCs, arch-wizards, golems and soldiers - of all the high-level modules, the castle possibly makes for one of the deadliest challenges I've read for PFRPG. I only have one minor gripe in this section: While the castle is highly detailed and includes information on alert-responses etc., I found the lack of details and handwaving of the infiltration of the city unfortunate: With all the exquisitely-detailed side-treks, I couldn't help but feel like one side-trek less and more information on city Nowgorod and its customs would have improved the central story-line of the adventure. The queen, perhaps a legendary succubus-champion, several CR 16+ wizards and a whole city of fallen elves...and then there's the potential problem of escorting a whole village of prisoners out of the succubus-like elves' corrupt town.

The pdf also contains appendices with wandering monster tables, compiled stats of fallen elf strike squads (very useful for these complex high-level encounters), new monsters, new magic items,4 player's handouts.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are excellent: I only noticed 3 glitches on this many pages and all were minor punctuation errors. Layout adheres to an elegant 2-column standard and the b/w-artworks ROCK. There are a lot of them, too and we get maps for even the tiniest side-trek. Awesome! Even better, the city-maps are player-friendly and don't include annoying numbers. One downside of the book is quite eminent: I'm glad I managed to get a dead-tree version - the pdf doesn't have bookmarks. At 164 pages, bookmarks are a NECESSITY, not an option. The lack of bookmarks forces you to print out the adventure, in spite of the compiled stats of the elite enemies, to have any chance of running it efficiently. On the fluff-side, "Fane of the Fallen" is on the one hand pervaded with stellar old-world fluff and a true sense of epicness. On the other hand, several of the side-treks cut be skipped by the PCs and the central plotline has a minor weak spot near the end. And then there's the lack of bookmarks in the pdf-version, which at this length, is unacceptable. Content-wise, I'd settle for a 5-star verdict, but the lack of bookmarks and story-hick-up instead make me settle for a 4-star verdict along a recommendation for everyone who's looking for an epic, old-school challenge.

Endzeitgeist out.


High Level adventure done right

*****

There are 164 pages of adventure in this massive adventure for character levels 13 through 18 with 24 chapters and including appendices for wandering monster tables, new items, spells, templates, new creatures and player handouts. There is a separate legal page and a page each for credits and a table of contents in addition to the previous. This version reviewed here is the Pathfinder Role Playing Game one and those rules as well as the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary are required for play. In addition a number of monsters from the 3.5 Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games have been modified for play with the PFRPG rules set.
When I first read this book, it was with the intent to see if it matches a certain idea I have for my own campaign. It doesn’t and so I can’t use it as a complete adventure. However, I am greatly impressed with the total quality and fully intend to utilize bits that I can transplant into my campaign. This is for high level adventurers and the version I purchased is for the Pathfinder Role Playing Game. It takes into account the resources a party that level may have at their disposal and does not assume they attack each problem in a scripted manner. This is good for me as my players have a tendency to as a matter of course think outside the box. Now I am pretty good at thinking on my feet, but it is nice that the author of this adventure took into account alternate possibilities. There is a vast array of level appropriate challenges and those challenges get increasingly difficult as the players reach the home of the antagonists. It even includes at least one individual who is well above level 20. For those who seek some resolution on the epic level rules for PFRPG, which have not been written as yet, this shows an interesting take on an epic level NPC for your use. Fortunately for the party this individual need not be an antagonist, but the appropriate stat block is present just in case they decide to make an attempt at committing suicide.
In fact for each individual named creature and creatures that have class levels, and there are many, the appropriate stat block is present in the text descriptions of the particular area where they are encountered, except the antagonists that the party will likely encounter again and again. Those are in the back of the book in the appendices. For the DMs use also there is a description of the Goddess the antagonists worship. This is useful for those that do not want to try to replace a goddess of their own. If you choose to run the full adventure, I recommend keeping this one as is because it gives a reason not only for the actions of the antagonists but also for their abilities.
The layout of this adventure book is the typical high standard for Frog God Games. Clear descriptive text shaded differently to be spotted immediately. Special areas or objects within each area are bolded to make it easier for the DM to locate and not have to skim over the paragraphs to find. Most encounters also include initial strategies of the critters and NPCs and alternate ones just in case the party does something different than the most obvious.
This in fact is one of the better high level adventures that I have ever read. It is well thought through and organized. The maps are fantastic. And though the art is sparse in the interior as well as being all in black and white, I actually prefer it this way I am not a fan of a vast array of art taking up space that could be used for adventure notes, stats, alternate strategies, and descriptions. Even if you are like me and find that you cannot use this adventure in its entirety in your current existing campaign you will likely find many bits that can be taken out of the adventure and plugged in to your own with a minimum of reworking.


Silver Crusade

More Frog God, woo!

You had me at "elves framing orcs". Or whatever is really going on. Buyan and downloadan.

Shadow Lodge

Mikaze wrote:

More Frog God, woo!

You had me at "elves framing orcs". Or whatever is really going on. Buyan and downloadan.

They had me at the picture of the witch zooming around in her cauldron.


So, tell us... Is there a Baba Yaga tie in? Would this fit into Irissen?


There is and it could. Though the description of climatic effects might have to be altered a bit.


I made my very first attempt at a review on these message boards. Hopefully you will find this review useful.

Dark Archive

Dark Sasha wrote:
I made my very first attempt at a review on these message boards. Hopefully you will find this review useful.

Since it's your first time I am sure everyone will be gentle :)

Nice to see you doing reviews.


Thanks DM! But I do not need folks to be gentle, just more reviews by those who have also read this book as they may perhaps spot things I did not see.
I did not, for example, check to see if the stat blocks contained no errors. I don't generally delve into that level of detail unless I am writing up encounters to be run in my game. I have 9 players. I have to redo, add to, beef up every encounter anyway. It is easier to add or correct things then or ignore things I don't need.

Dark Archive

Dark Sasha wrote:

Thanks DM! But I do not need folks to be gentle, just more reviews by those who have also read this book as they may perhaps spot things I did not see.

I did not, for example, check to see if the stat blocks contained no errors. I don't generally delve into that level of detail unless I am writing up encounters to be run in my game. I have 9 players. I have to redo, add to, beef up every encounter anyway. It is easier to add or correct things then or ignore things I don't need.

It is on my list of things to do in the near future. I am hoping to get a review done in the next couple of weeks.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

This adventure is excellent, no doubt about it.


As an owner of a copy, I would advise reconsidering purchasing the adventure without getting at least a glimpse at its contents.

In my opinion there are serious design flaws with the scenario, and while it is quite possible to salvage it, I would recommend making the decision an informed one.

I do not want to spoil anyone's fun here, so I am not going to post a review of my own, however it would be unfair of me to criticize the product without providing at least a few arguments. Oh, and just in case: I am really happy with my Slumbering Tsar subscription.

The spoilers follow:

Spoiler:

1. This is extremely linear adventure. And yet, no thought is given to divination magic... so, once you get access to Divination, Find the Path you can break 2/3rd of the adventure. If you purchase scroll of Discern Location, you can head straight to end game.

2. NPC gear does not match their levels, making already erroneous CR even more erroneous.
Examples: 12th level Fighters with masterwork weapons only, rated at CR12. CR29 caster with no active defenses and single quickened spell. CR17 caster with two +2 shock weapons. CR18 caster with no defenses and not enough hitpoints to survive a single round. And so on.

3. On average, there is at least one serious problem per chapter, and some of the problems clearly indicate that the adventure was meant for characters at least 8 levels lower.
The PC class levels slapped on monsters and humanoids (about 8 on average), on-the-road encounters for parties with access to Wind Walk, Teleport and Scrying... and True Seeing.

Overall, I do not regret purchasing the book. I can easily mine it for ideas... I am not going to let my 13th level players anywhere near it though, as they would pick it apart in a session or two, even though my games feature very little of magic gear.

For challenging high level scenarios, I would recommend instead:
- Witchwar Legacy
- end of Kingmaker adventure path

Regards,
Ruemere

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ruemere wrote:

As an owner of a copy, I would advise reconsidering purchasing the adventure without getting at least a glimpse at its contents.

In my opinion there are serious design flaws with the scenario, and while it is quite possible to salvage it, I would recommend making the decision an informed one.

I do not want to spoil anyone's fun here, so I am not going to post a review of my own, however it would be unfair of me to criticize the product without providing at least a few arguments. Oh, and just in case: I am really happy with my Slumbering Tsar subscription.

The spoilers follow:** spoiler omitted **

Overall, I do not regret purchasing the book. I can easily mine it for ideas... I am not going to let my 13th level players anywhere near it though, as they would pick it apart in a session or two, even though my games feature very little of magic gear.

For challenging high level scenarios, I would recommend instead:
- Witchwar Legacy
- end of Kingmaker adventure path

Regards,
Ruemere

I completely understand your hesitation about posting a review, but I want to encourage you to do so. If I were a customer of paizo.com who didn't browse all the discussions, I might base my purchasing decision only on the current review. If I did that and felt as you do above, my disappointment would be significant.

Tam


Thank you for your kind words.

The full review would unfortunately require spoiling the adventure (including picking at stat blocks) and sending negative karma toward Frog God Games (whom I wholeheartedly support for saving legacy books from Necromancers Games, and whose Slumbering Tsar is very, very good).

So, as per the golden rule of "when one cannot say anything positive, it is preferable to remain silent" I would like not to do that. However, if you have specific questions, feel free to post them here.

I have already outlined several serious problems above -- consider them to be representative sample of contents.

Regards,
Ruemere


Thanks for that, ruemere.

That's pretty much the type of information I want to know when looking at high-level adventures.

For the love of pete... don't ever ignore the effect of spells on high-level campaigns!


Reviewed here, on RPGaggression and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Frog God Games

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on RPGaggression and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Aigh! You wound me when you mark us off for bookmarks! The PDFs are free and I was so naive! :p


Can the pdf be bookmarked after purchase ? Is it possible to alter it ?


Unlikely, as that could permit changing the content.

Frog God Games

Yes, you can bookmark it.


I'm thinking about running this soon. Does anyone have any advice for addressing the issues Ruemere brought up?


Grimmy,

(note: this applies to PFRPG version)
(note 2: my opinion is based on my experiences of running games for 15-level adventurers who ply their job intentionally low magic campaign world... in case of high magic campaigns, issues outlined may become even more pronounced)

The adventure relies on players doing walking and talking with NPCs to get information. If your players tend to Fly/Wind Walk or use Divination magic a lot, you will need to come up with in game reason to limit these.

NPC defenses suck. Mind control specialists are going to have a field day with overabundance of Fighter types with really low Will saves. This goes double for single BBEG spellcasters - no items, no defenses, low hitpoints.

If your players like to test major NPCs (or indeed, like in case of certain druid and certain island sorceress, when the PCs are to have a major showdown), consider adding additional creatures and characters to provide meatshield for the casters. Alternatively, revise NPC builds to include sensible equipment and reasonable defenses. Plucking ready-to-run builds of similar level casters from end-game scenarios provided by Paizo should work.

Many encounters are against of high-level, underequipped (masterwork weapons, no save improving items) groups of fighters. This is either a boring grind or incredibly easy win for control casters. Either scrap such encounters altogether (there are only so many 12-level Fighter infantry patrols in the world) or change them to CR-appropriate creatures (charmed or dominated to serve as patrolmen).

Treasure levels seem to be inappropriate to CR of encounters (too low). While I actually like this, you may want to adjust them to reward your PCs properly.

Regards,
Ruemere


Thanks for the quick reply Ruemere!
I would be running this as a stand-alone. Like a one-off, mini-campaign kind of thing. New characters generated just for this adventure. Maybe I could just restrict some of the problematic spells you mentioned.
My group is used to somewhat gritty play with about 1/2 WBL as the expectation for PC's. They are also used to no "magic-marts" and don't usually have "big 6" type of equipment. They rely mostly on what they find in the field. Maybe the low treasure rewards here will work out ok.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Is the print edition here a Print/PDF bundle?


Grimmy wrote:

Thanks for the quick reply Ruemere!

I would be running this as a stand-alone. Like a one-off, mini-campaign kind of thing. New characters generated just for this adventure. Maybe I could just restrict some of the problematic spells you mentioned.
My group is used to somewhat gritty play with about 1/2 WBL as the expectation for PC's. They are also used to no "magic-marts" and don't usually have "big 6" type of equipment. They rely mostly on what they find in the field. Maybe the low treasure rewards here will work out ok.

Please share your notes or impressions afterwards.

If you need anything, just drop me a mail at ruemere AT gmail DOT com

Good luck!

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:
Is the print edition here a Print/PDF bundle?

So, no?

Contributor

Brian, setting up print/PDF bundles for Frog God products that don't have them is on my to-do list. :D


ruemere wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

Thanks for the quick reply Ruemere!

I would be running this as a stand-alone. Like a one-off, mini-campaign kind of thing. New characters generated just for this adventure. Maybe I could just restrict some of the problematic spells you mentioned.
My group is used to somewhat gritty play with about 1/2 WBL as the expectation for PC's. They are also used to no "magic-marts" and don't usually have "big 6" type of equipment. They rely mostly on what they find in the field. Maybe the low treasure rewards here will work out ok.

Please share your notes or impressions afterwards.

If you need anything, just drop me a mail at ruemere AT gmail DOT com

Good luck!

Regards,
Ruemere

I ended up starting Rappan Athuk instead of this back in September, but I'm thinking of prepping a scaled down version of this and giving them an option of transitioning over to it if they want. The PC's are around levels 6-8 in Rappan Athuk right now. I love RA but this same group got frustrated with Slumbering Tsar and gave up so I'm trying to pay attention to any clues that they might be getting frustrated or bored. I inserted one of the FGG One Night Stands for the last couple of sessions and that went over well so I think it can't hurt to have an option if they get tired of the mega-dungeon.

Looking over Fane of the Fallen I think I can tune it down to about their level by simply removing most of the class-levels from the monsters, and leaving the solo caster boss-fights as is.

Thanks again for the insight, I'll drop you a line if I get stuck.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Brian, setting up print/PDF bundles for Frog God products that don't have them is on my to-do list. :D

Hi Liz! Any movement on the to-do list? :D

Dark Archive

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Brian, setting up print/PDF bundles for Frog God products that don't have them is on my to-do list. :D
Hi Liz! Any movement on the to-do list? :D

I'd love to know the status myself =)


I'm coming back to this now, and it is a great read. I'm hero-lab'ing all the encounters and trying to scale things down a few levels because my group hasn't really done any high level play.


Grimmy wrote:
I'm coming back to this now, and it is a great read. I'm hero-lab'ing all the encounters and trying to scale things down a few levels because my group hasn't really done any high level play.

Hello I'm interested in herolab files, as it is very time consuming to retype all the encounters. It would be very kind if you could in one way or another, making them available on the internet.

Thanks

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