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Pathfinder Adventure Path #47: Ashes at Dawn (Carrion Crown 5 of 6) (PFRPG)

***( )( ) (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #47: Ashes at Dawn (Carrion Crown 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 5: "Ashes at Dawn"
by Neil Spicer

A killer stalks the streets of Caliphas, a murderer whose victims are already dead. Something is preying upon the ancient vampire clans of Ustalav’s capital, a mysterious foe who threatens the centuries-old truce tenuously held by generations of both the living and the undead. Into this madness enter the heroes, closing in on the death cultists of the Whispering Way. What role do the deadly necromancers have in the undead murders plaguing Caliphas? What secret grudge exists between the cult and the rulers of the night? And will the heroes be able to save the capital without sacrificing their very souls?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Ashes at Dawn,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 11th-level characters, by Neil Spicer
  • A gazetteer of fog-haunted Caliphas, the mysterious and deadly capital of Ustalav, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • A terrifying look into the blasphemous church of Urgathoa, goddess of gluttony, disease, and the undead, by Sean K Reynolds
  • Laurel Cylphra’s attempt to steal a soul stealer in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • Six new monsters by Crystal Frasier, Patrick Renie, and Sean K Reynolds

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.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-312-5

Ashes at Dawn is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (561 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Product Reviews (6)
1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 6 ratings)

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Great Role-Playing Opportunities and Diverse Combats


In my opinion, this is an excellent role-playing module for mid-level characters due to the opportunities it presents and morality questions it raises. I feel that Neil Spicer did an excellent job detailing an excellent array of villains with various motivations, despite their inherent nature of eating up a massive word count (vampires are always classed NPCs). I felt that this module does a good job at giving a great framework for setting up its different combats while keeping the role-playing heart of that intact. What's even better is that the writer has ambitiously written it so that the PCs can either join with or fight against the vampires encountered, allowing for two different ways to play it depending on the motivations of the group. While the module has its share of weaknesses, on the whole, its quite excellent. A more detailed review can be found Here .

Potential but needs work

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There's quite a few good things about this installment:

1. Caliphas - great setting, gazzetteer article has some wonderful details to help bring this gothic urban setting to mist-shrouded life.

2. The vamp courtyard - Quinley, Luvick, Countess are all interesting NPCs and their is some good story/rp potential for the notion of helping the vamps.

However, this adventure comes on the heels of a side trek and mostly feels like a side trek as well. The background motivations for the villain's plan are too opaque to the players and as written most parties would probably wonder why they are going to this bother. Additionally, the

tailor villain
is fairly forgettable and the last part of the adventure while a well written crawl feels stapled on. All in all, this is a very uneven adventure but with some good parts that a GM willing to hack together to fit the campaign better will get some good mileage out of. With the support articles the book would merit 2 stars but as this primarily a review of the adventure material I will indicate 1 star.

Ashes at Dawn or We haven’t done vampires yet, right?

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If you are looking at this book expecting it to be a part of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, it is attempting to reconnect with it. In the same way you attempt to halfheartedly reconnect with relatives you don’t like but try either way cause, “hey they are family….I guess”.

The module is a meh as a vampire story. More could be done with the vampires instead of just making them victims who don’t really care what is happening to them, but dismissingly get the PC to solve their problem be blocking them from proceeding or TPK them.

Overall, the adventure path is just starting to remember about the overall theme of the AP and attempts to wake itself up to that fact. Yet it has left the plot so neglected it has to block the PCs from advancing just to make sure they know what they are supposed to be doing.

Module is meh alone, but when a part of the AP it becomes easily forgotten.

Awesome Supplement!


I don't have much to say about this adventure other than that if you like vampires (which everyone should), then you'll like this adventure. I'm not sure why other people are being so negative about this one, it's probably my favorite adventure in the whole adventure path!

Horrible installation

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I've been a GM for the entire Carrion Crown now, and this stands out as the thorn in an otherwise good Adventure path.

Book 1 + 2 was very good, book 3 a bit week, book 4 a bit off to a side, but good. Book 5 horrible, and book 6, ok, but a bit too much dungeon crawl. Since it's basically one big dungeon.

*****************SPOILER WARNING**************

So book 5 starts out with the characters having to go to Caliphas, so far so good.
They are confronted with an enemy they have to kill, with a magic item they now have to find a reason behind.
The scenario now presumes that the PC's will investigate this, not too big a leap, with the Order of the Palatine Eye (OotPE), a big assumption but reasonably.
To find out anything, they have to succeed on some very high DC knowledge checks, and not just 1 but 3. DC 27 spellcraft, DC 30 knowledge arcane, dc 40 knowledge history. If any are failed, the story stalls without a bit of fiddling.

My players were actually very brilliant here, they remembered from book 3, that the guy giving credentials to the whispering way was Advion Adrissant, and he was from Caliphas. But there is no mention of him in this book 5, especially not if players actually look him up.

They find the Whispering way HQ to be gone, and gain an ally, claiming they can get info from vampires. This bit is fine. Now they have to go talk to vampires.

But to get there, they have to kill a vampire?! Ok, my players got around that. They talk with the head honcho vampire, who claims to have information, if they help solve the murders. The thing is, he doesn't know anything, or the scenario has no knowledge he has... ok so he is manipulating the PC's? Fine.

They talk to the vampires, which apparently are incredible dense, especially the inquisitor. 30 min. used on talking with all vampires, and they have enough clues to solve the problem.
After a fight with some drug dealers, who hangs out approximately 50 meter from the head honcho....

They find that the documents are false and/or that the stakes are table legs bought by the vampire tailor. And here the chain jumps off again. Instead of going in and killing the vampire, like good little sociopaths, my group just went back to the head honcho and gave him the evidence.
I could have forced them to kill the tailor, but no, their method seemed more logical. So let the vampires duke it out, and gave them his diary.
They get the Nosferatu freed, which only happened because he promised them information, for hey, vampires killing vampires, who cares.
He didn't have any info (Well until the end of the scenario)

After this they have to go to the Abbey, because of some slim chance it has anything to do with the Whispering way.
Kill a bunch of people, and a demon.
But it has nothing to do with the Whispering Way, it just a crazy countess wanting to be younger. Evil perhaps, but in the grand scheme of things, a lot hoo-ha over nothing really.
What really bugs me here? The abbey has a great story, but the PC's have no way to discover the story. Or gain any real insight into why there are spider swarms everywhere.
At the end of the dungeon, they have to fight a bloodknight, and then the boss. The fight is basically in the same room, but is described as two seperate fights. Really bad.

Then they get a letter from the nosferatu telling them where to go... which is basically where they thought they have to go to stop the Whispering Way, e.g. Gallowspire.

So let’s sum up what the PC's did this story? The talked/killed (to) some vampires, perhaps killed a tailor, killed a bunch of people, thing and witches at an abbey.
Hindered exactly 1 whispering way agent, who did not work on the Carrion Crown.

The whole scenario feels like a bad placeholder.

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