Pathfinder Adventure Path #61: Shards of Sin (Shattered Star 1 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
Chapter 1: "Shards of Sin"
by Greg A. Vaughan
The Shattered Star Adventure Path begins with a thrilling new adventure from fan-favorite author Greg A. Vaughan! In Varisia’s bustling frontier city of Magnimar, the Pathfinder Society’s newest lodge recruits a team of rookie Pathfinders to track down rogue agent Natalya Vancaskerkin—who also happens to be one of the Varisian criminals known as the Sczarni. Yet when these heroes track down the missing woman, they find far more than a Pathfinder on the run, becoming embroiled in a swiftly expanding hunt for a fragmented artifact from the ancient empire of Thassilon—a quest that will take them to some of the most dangerous corners of Varisia.
This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Shattered Star Adventure Path and includes:
“Shards of Sin,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters,
by Greg A. Vaughan.
An exploration of the ancient Sihedron artifact and its ties to powerful Thassilonian magic, as well as details on the mysterious skymetals that fall to Golarion, by James Jacobs.
Forays into the even seedier underbelly of Riddleport in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Bill Ward.
Five new monsters, by Benjamin Bruck, Craig Campbell, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon, and James Wilbur.
Each monthly full-color softcover 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 world’s oldest fantasy RPG.
Greg Vaughn's AP chapters have rarely disappointed me and the starting volume of the Shattered Star is no exception. The first part of the scenario, in Magnimar, is a good way for the PCs to start knowing each other before they move on to tackle the full exploration of the large dungeon that is the meat of this chapter.
Although it sometimes felt a tad long, the dungeon's exploration is varied, and the dungeon's ecology mainly makes sense. The many little touches of Thassilonian knowledge scattered throughout all the great boon to convey more information on Thassilon to the PCs.
My group and I had quite a lot of fun playing through this chapter!
Not sure what Matt is talking about but Shards of Sin is the type of Roleplaying Dungeon adventure my group is looking for, with a detailed city, home base and roleplaying elements to support the party as they delve the secrets of the dungeon.
I am not sure of the rationale behind it, but it is wreaking havoc on my ability to reproduce the map in a reasonable way that doesn't undermine what at first glance seemed like some fun and interesting maps...
I haven't made it through all the dungeon levels yet for my group, but I would otherwise probably rate it a 4/5 thus far based on writing and design.
I’ll admit that after getting into Pathfinder recently with Rise Of The Runelords and other Varisian material, I probably had outrageously high expectations for this, the spiritual sequel to that first, excellent campaign. Now, I’m not trying to downplay Shattered Star, but I have found that it has a slow start, and definitely seems to encourage more hack and slashing via dungeon crawl than roleplaying.
Some opportunity for cool interaction with both the upper crust of society, as well as the Sczarni.
A HUGE dungeon (that’s fairly varied) with Thassilonian secrets!
Excellent bonus content for the city of Magnimar, and some quality fluff.
Not a good roleplaying/action blend, at least not for the majority of the adventure, or unless you put in a supreme amount of effort as a GM.
A HUGE dungeon (that eats up the latter two-thirds of the chapter’s play time, and gets kind of tedious/boring in the middle).
Poor skill check balancing at times.
Kind of an anticlimactic end to the chapter.
The enjoyment factor of Shards Of Sin is thus balanced on a knife point. Does your party love classy dungeon crawls with only light to moderate roleplaying? They’ll dig this a lot. If, on the other hand, you wanted to see a lot of Magnimar’s streets, interact with its people, and generally spend more time not hacking your way through things, then you’re going to be at least mildly disappointed. I enjoyed it, but felt that it was ultimately a bit unexceptional for what I’ve come to expect.