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PaizoCon 2014!

A1: Crypt of the Sun Lord (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

Our Price: $6.99

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game/3.5 Compatible Adventure for 4-6 PCs of level 1

Adventureaweek.com PDFs are fully supported by Hero Lab files (included in download), minimum requirement: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game core system.

The adventurers travel across Serpent Lake with a group of Rybalkan soldiers. The group camps for the night adjacent to the ruins of Ka'Teek. As they sleep a goblin steals a precious keepsake from one of the PCs and disappears into the ruins. The party pursues and finds themselves confronting undead guardians of the Sun Lord while avoiding dangerous traps.

Will the PCs find the goblin and retrieve their precious keepsake or stumble upon something much more sinister?

Also included in "Crypt of the Sun Lord":

  • The first adventure ever launched on Adventureaweek.com Exclusive locations in the Adventureaweek Campaign Setting fleshed out in great detail and accompanied with high resolution maps
  • Maps and Illustrations by 3x ENnie Award winning Cartographer Todd Gamble
  • The Life Ring, a new magical item which bestows the wearer with extra HP
  • A new minor artifact with hidden powers which unlock as the PCs increase in level

Product Availability


Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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EASY & FUN! Great one-shot, easy to adapt to Golarion

*****

The thing I like most about this product is that the content and feel of the adventure was super digestible. I read it once, and I was ready to go! They players loved it too. I dropped it into the game as they were traveling between cities. When reading box text, I replaced the word lake with river and soldiers with sailors. So easy!

How I adjusted for our campaign:
The PC's didn't have anything super valuable or sentimental items, but one PC was saving all of his gold to buy a big ticket item, so the goblin stole his bag of gold. I was running two level 2 PCs through this 1st level adventure made for 4PCs, it was perfect difficulty level. I also replaced the 3 goblins with the goblin PC's from we be goblins. This made it a little more difficult, but more importantly, super flavorful. When they searched the goblin corpses, the things they found were hilarious.


An RPG Resource review

****( )

Set in Adventureaweek.com's own campaign world, this adventure begins with some historical background... far enough in the past that it could be tweaked to work with a different setting if required. Winding forwards swiftly to the present, an adventure hook is provided to get the characters to go visit the Crypt of the Sun Lord (if they know what it is, and know their history, they probably want to go there anyway!). For those who are using the campaign setting, there are some more links and notes to embed the characters into the setting from the outset (complete with hyperlinks to the relevant part of the Adventureaweek website, where the campaign world is detailed in an ever-growing section... which you can only access if you take out a subscription!), and there's a fine opening that sets them in the middle of the action from the outset, sailing across a lake on a Viking-style longboat!

The depth of background, skilfully recounted for you to insert into your descriptions and explanations as the game progresses, suggest that using the intended setting will be worthwhile as you seek to immerse yourselves in the shared alternate reality of your game. There's also plenty of advice on running the game in general, especially useful for new DMs but handy nevertheless however experienced you are at running games - and not too intrusive even if you reckon you need no help!

You may find, however, that the adventure is rather scripted: there is little scope for characters to do other than what has been laid out for them. Provided that they do, the tomb they are to investigate is laid out in lavish detail, complete with lush maps and copious atmospheric description - peppered with notes at the appropriate points to remind you what die rolls to call for, monster stats and combat tactics and so on, everything just when you'll need it and colour-coded so that you will not miss anything. Neat! Monsters are hyperlinked to both the D20 and the Pathfinder SRDs, so if you are running the game from a computer that's connected to the Internet, you can check up on the details from your chosen ruleset - and if you are not, there are also links to full statblocks for both rulesets at the end of the PDF.

You could use this as an exciting start to a campaign, or drop it in as a side adventure for characters going about other business in a suitable part of your campaign world... there's suffcient but not overwhelming challenge so that starting characters will feel that they have accomplished something. And there are a couple of neat low-level magical items to discover, too!


The revised edition V.4 is Better with a capital "b"

****( )

This adventure is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages SRD, leaving 24 pages of module, so let's check this out!

The default of this module is set in the adventureaweek-campaign setting and this fact is evident from the very start - while generic enough to fit into just about any setting, a sense of being entrenched in the place, being truly part of a greater world is almost immediately evoked.

That being said, this is an adventure review, you know the drill: From here on reign the SPOILERS. Players are advised to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! Hailing from the Klavekian kingdom, the PCs venture forth to the lands of the Vikmodere, which essentially correspond to the stereotype of pillaging, evil vikings with longboats etc. Whether these stories are true or just a product of xenophobia remains unclear. The PCs travel on the vast Serpent Lake en route to the village of Rybalka. As they reach shore and camp, though, a goblin makes off with a valuable family heirloom and thus forces the PCs to follow him into the crypt of the sun lord, where the little bugger and his 2 brothers have set several traps.

Unfortunately for the PCs, the crypt is also the resting place of the Sun Lord's guardians and skeletons and undead animals as well as the goblins will make up for the resistance in the short dungeon crawl to follow. Finally, the PCs may not only reclaim their heirloom, but also the fabled blade of the sun lord. The blade has been nerfed in the updated version and now only gradually unlocks the rest of its abilities. However: I'm still not a fan of parts of the blade's fluff: Vampires will flee from the light that emanates from this blade, attacking only if no other options are available." I still feel like the blade is a powerful reward for a rather easy module and should be guarded by a kind of boss battle.

Another problem is the "steal-from-the-PCs"-angle. It works. Almost always does. But it works because they have worked for it. The PCs here are 1st level. They have no attachment or sense of accomplishment to tie them to their characters or loot and thus make this hook with a thievish goblin to guide them into the tomb a very bad one. Not to mention the fact that any group of PCs worth their salt will have a) guards and b) the means to quickly track down and kill the thief, perhaps even in the act. A Goblin can't stand up to the combined wrath of a well-rested group - the casters and ranged fighters will CRUSH the bugger.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect - I did notice some glitches like missing blank spaces, but most have been taken care of. Layout per se is beautiful with a used parchment look. With the revised layout, the icons and boxes are much more smoothly integrated into the text, thus offering a more concise overall impression. I'm still not a fan of the boxes, but they have been shrunken to a point where they still serve their intended purpose and don't feel as jarring anymore.
I'm happy to report that statblocks now adhere to standard PFRPG-formatting.

But there are also bright points: The cartography is AWESOME. I'd recommend the download for these alone - a map of the peninsula, of the whole lake etc. is provided and the map of the crypt is neat as well, although I would have loved a player-friendly version sans the secret doors/numbers etc. The artwork is also neat.

And then there's balancing. This adventure still is a cake-walk. Seriously. It's not only easy, it's ridiculously easy. The opposition faced is laughably incompetent, most of them wait in their rooms to get destroyed and there is no true boss. If the PCs get off track, they can fight a black bear. WITH a lot of backup. That's the toughest adversary herein. I don't want meat-grinders, don't get me wrong. (Though I sometimes enjoy them.) But players need to feel CHALLENGED by a module to enjoy beating it. I wager that my group could complete this whole module without taking damage. Seriously. The reward has thankfully been slightly nerfed, but I think the module might still have need for some kind of boss. Not even the clichéd ogre or shadow make an appearance at the end of the 1st level dungeon (thank goodness), but any kind of boss or final trap to end the module on a high note would have been great. As written, it feels like it peters out.

The people at adventureaweek.com are obviously listening to what you tell them - this revamp of the layout and the whole pdf, in fact, is superior to the first one I reviewed in every way. Seeing that, while most assuredly not perfect, this module is free and with its improvements, I'm adding a star to the final verdict for a score of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


*****

The freshman offering from this company, acting as both an adventure and an introduction to the inhouse setting for a continuing line of weekly adventures. Well thought out story based dialogue from NPC's sets the ground work for the feel of the environment adventure takes place within. Classic dungeon delve with a twist, the undead are not evil this time out, but rather willing guardians, watching over their lord in his death. Cartography is fantastic, offering multiple viewpoints of the tomb leaving no grey areas in regards to depth and locations of rooms. This map simply further illustrates why Todd Gamble is amongst a small collection of cartographers I truly enjoy.

For a group of first level characters, the adventure is perfect. A small group of opportunistic goblins, a random encounter with a bear, traps and a few encounters with skeletal guardians just strong enough to challenge low level characters, with a few nice goodies to reward a group. Even ignoring the price of free, this adventure would be a welcome addition to a GM's toolbox either as a kickoff point for an adventure path, a one off for an evening, or played as intended being an introduction to a fully realized campaign setting.

As the first offering from the adventureaweek.com camp, it shows serious potential, and that merits a download. Giving this adventure a five star rating as it is a perfect example of complexity through simplicity, and reminds us that sometimes brilliant design is in fact the least complex. Very clean, very to the point, and well written.



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