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Pathfinder Adventure Path #73: The Worldwound Incursion (Wrath of the Righteous 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #73: The Worldwound Incursion (Wrath of the Righteous 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "The Worldwound Incursion"
by Amber E. Scott

For more than a hundred years, the demon-infested Worldwound has warred against humanity, its Abyssal armies clashing with crusaders, barbarians, mercenaries, and heroes along the border of lost Sarkoris. But when one of the magical wardstones that helps hedge the demons into their savage realm is sabotaged, the crusader city of Kenabres is attacked and devastated by the demonic hordes. Can a small band of heroes destined for mythic greatness survive long enough to hold back the forces of chaos and evil until help arrives, or will they become the latest in a long line of victims slaughtered by Deskari, the demon lord of the Locust Host?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path and includes:

  • “The Worldwound Incursion,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Amber E. Scott.
  • A gazetteer of the crusader city of Kenabres on the border of the Worldwound, by Amber E. Scott.
  • The search for an infamous demon hunter in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • A complete outline of the Wrath of the Righteous campaign.
  • Four new monsters by James Jacobs, Jason Nelson, David Schwartz, and Jerome Virnich.

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.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-553-2

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

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****½ (based on 19 ratings)

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A Solid Foundation for the Entire Campaign


The Worldwound Incursion is an extremely good start to an epic campaign. This module of the Adventure Path builds a solid foundation on which the rest of the campaign rests.

The start of the module effectively not only shows what is at stake in the campaign and what will happen if the PCs fail, it also manages to build solid relationships with many of those who will be the PCs' closest allies as the campaign progresses. The NPCs have clear, strong and differing personalities which together with their background stories make for believable and likeable (or at least entertaining) NPCs.

Furthermore the AP manages to shine a light on not only the physical corruption demonic taint brings to mortals and nature itself, but also shows how the corruption of crusaders, mercenaries and in general fallible mortals slowly destroys the very nature of the crusades and crushes all hope of victory.

Add that the story is brilliant, the combats appropriately challenging and the rewards are very good as well, and the module offers plenty of good roleplaying opportunities, whether one prefers the more serious, the over the top and funny (with a touch of the dramatic) or a mixture of both.

The only negative I can add is that for any moderately competent group the mythic rules being introduced in the end pose quite a challenge for the GM in future modules. Mythic is overpowered, there is no way around it, and in my group even the suggested alternative stat increases make for too strong a party if one wants to play the entire AP exactly as written. As the campaign has progressed I've needed to increase the CR considerably to keep combats challenging (or just at a point where they drain PC resources), but luckily the Paizo forums have an amazing reworking of higher ranking enemies/allies/neutrals. Personally I find that those reworked stats and the stronger enemies being allowed to use mythic while the PCs aren't makes for an appropriate challenge, but it would depend a lot on how experienced the players are.

All in all The Worldwound Incursion is a brilliant start to a very, very good campaign, although later modules do need a bit more mechanical tweaks from the GM's side than the average AP. The help found on Paizo's forums helps a lot in this regard though.

Excellent Start


My group and I finished this book yesterday after playing nine sessions roughly averaging 3 ½ hours a pop. We play online with 6 players.

Story: The story is great. Starts off with the big bad guys making a powerful statement. This gives the GM a chance to play up that the demons are no joke and over the course of the book, the descriptions emphasize just how rotten they can be. The writers rarely miss a chance to speak to their taste in graffiti, vandalism of statues and desecration of monuments. The story really falls into two parts, the first one isolates the PCs from the larger events but that works great to force them to build as a team, the later part of the story opens up the scene to allow the players to explore the destruction and claim some victories. I liked how that worked out

Role-Play: This was also really well integrated into the story. The book has some NPCs thrust upon the PCs right off the bat. They are all well flushed out and easy to adapt and challenge the PCs to interact and help them find their voices with these brand new characters. Later on there are more interesting NPCs presented to the PCs each of them also well flushed out with clear goals and easy personalities to interpret. Also, the story has a number of decision points that should challenge members of the party to consider their own motivations and cooperate and negotiate upon those ideas.

Combat Encounters: These were mostly good. I had to modify a little bit here and there given the size of my group and emphasis upon them to build powerful characters. My intention being to run this without mythic rules means I will frequently be forced to modify encounters so this did not bother me. If it were a standard 4 person party, I think a good amount of the encounters would be challenging.

Extras: The maps of the underground could have been a bit more interesting. As it is they look pretty generic. The maps of the city however are very compelling visually. Give you a really good sense of the damage that was done. Additionally the introduction to Kenabres allows you to set up some stuff before the events of the AP kick off, so if you feel like you need to invest your players into the city more, there is ample material to do so. The monsters at the back are also good. Mostly they flush out the ranks of the demons giving multiple options across all CRs.

Overall: Great start to the AP. I’ve noticed some complaints of this being too railroady, but I don’t think so. In fact there is a large portion of the second half of the AP which asks the PCs to explore the ruins of Kenabres. A GM could easily add or subtract encounters into this portion as he wants. So the characters have room to develop, the plot sets the stakes really high and invests the PCs into the books to come.

A Thrilling Start To A Fanastic Adventure Path


The World Wound Incursion starts off with an epic event that forever changes the city of Kenabres. PCs won’t need any extra incentive to become heroes in this adventure; before they even know what’s happening they’ll be thrown head first into a dangerous cavern where they must rely on each other and newfound NPC allies to survive.

The NPCs are all very complex and interesting people. They have their own unique personalities, motivations and secrets. They also share interconnected histories that won’t become revealed until the player characters take time to get to know them. The friendships the players build with these NPCs can affect the rest of the adventure path. Having these NPCs be important helps players invest in their well-being and makes things very interesting.

Players will have the chance to help their city, fight evil outsiders, form alliances with noble defenders, and face off against a powerful Oracle and an ancient wardstone with thousands of lives on the line. The stakes are amazingly high for the first chapter of any adventure path, and the rewards for success are equally high; the PCs will get their first taste of mythic power.

Mythic levels will give players high-level abilities they’ve never been able to experience before. Characters become astounding heroes of legend who can go on to battle powerful enemies and accomplish great deeds. This is seriously fun.

I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed this adventure. There are wonderful NPCs, thrilling battles, interesting settings and huge rewards. The artwork is also very high quality and there is a nice chunk of information about the city of Kenabres at the end of the book.

Highly recommended!

****( )

The Invasion Begins


I've long been a fan of the concept of demonic invasions into the mortal realm, and the many opportunities such a concept adds to the gaming table. War, horror, desperation, heroism, and more. As such, it was with great glee that I saw the announcement of the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path (or The Demonblight Crusade as it was called before creative director James Jacobs asked the community to help figure out a more fitting name). I was excited. Demons. The Worldwound. The Mendevian Crusades. All three aspects of the Pathfinder campaign setting that I enjoy immensely.

Since the release of Wrath of the Righteous, I've been fortunate to join an amazing group of gamers in their adventures in Mendev and the Worldwound, and our band of heroes are currently near the end of the adventure path's second book - Sword of Valor. How, then, did the first book - The Worldwound Incursion - fare at our virtual gaming table? Well, let's find out.

Before I dive into the actual review, a wee spoiler warning might be in order. This review mentions specific names of characters and locations featured in the adventure. If you want to avoid possible spoilers, head on down to the CONCLUSION section for my final words on the book.

Also, this review is written from the perspective of a player. I haven't read the adventure or the book's backmatter, so I can't comment on specific stat blocks or other mechanical aspects of the adventure.

The adventure starts off with a description an assault on the fortress city of Kenabres by a horde of demons, in the aftermath of which our heroes found themselves under the city, saved by a dying dragon. Normally I'd consider such a start a letdown, because it didn't give us an option to interact with the invasion, but it was well written and gave me a sense of dread and wonder. The scope of the demonic invasion was well conveyed. There are plenty of ways for GMs to alter the opening parts of the adventure, but that wasn't really necessary, I felt.

The adventure itself started beneath the city, and it was in many ways a traditional dungeoncrawl in the sense that we moved through the underground tunnels as we tried to find a way back to the surface. The trek through the underground was sprinkled with interesting encounters, and the NPCs that had been placed in the opening scene by author Amber E. Scott added color to the experience. They were interesting and had differing motivations and demeanors. I particularly enjoyed our encounters with the mongrelmen that lived beneath Kenabres, and the lore surrounding them was rich.

After their first real interaction with the demonic forces via a battle against a servant of Baphomet, our heroes reached the surface, and this part of the adventure was my favorite part. Our GM did a great job describing the destruction and horror that was Kenabres, and as our heroes tried to find any surviving Mendevian crusaders, they encountered demonic vandals, madness-stricken crusaders, desperate survivors, and more. Having linked up with survivors in the inn named Defender's Heart, our heroes struck back against the Baphomite infiltrators in an assault on their safe houses, aided by clues found in the underground. As mentioned, this part was really well done. The horrror and devastation was vividly painted by our GM and the encounters fit with the general mood of the story. They made sense.

The final part of the adventure was basically an assault on the demonic stronghold in the fortress city, a place called the Gray Garrison. It too was well done, I think, and the demons' desecration of the place was detailed in a manner that made me want to bash in the head of every single demon and mortal demon-worshiper we found. The encounters were somewhat challenging, but not excessively so. A couple of encounters brought one or two characters down to negative hit points. The most rewarding segment of this final part of the adventure, however, was the destruction of the city's wardstone. It was the event that added the mythic subsystem to the game, granting our characters their first mythic tier. The adventure's ending was as epic as its beginning, as the heroes received visions of times past as well as potential future enemies.

As I mentioned earlier, I played through this adventure as a player, and as such I don't have any insight into the mechanical aspects of the adventure. However, I *can* comment on the general level of the challenges that were thrown at our characters. The encounters were varied in their deadliness, and, with the exception of one encounter in the underground, I felt that the real challenge started when our heroes reached the Gray Garrison. It was here that some of the encounters sent a few characters into negative hit points. It wasn't really my impression that the encounters in the adventure were designed to be challenging for our heroes as much as they were there to add depth to the story, and I liked that. They all made sense in the context of the story and the atmosphere, and they *were* taxing for our heroes.

I am very pleased with Wrath of the Righteous #1: The Worldwound Incursion. It is an extremely atmospheric and story-heavy adventure that manages to convey the horror of a demonic invasion without becoming excessive in its graphic depictions of its main themes. The encounters were all there to immerse us in the story, the NPCs were interesting, and the encounters adequately challenging. I played an Ustalavic tiefling inquisitor of Iomedae, and I got my money's worth, so to speak, with a character that was a part of both worlds - the demonic and the holy. I highly recommend Wrath of the Righteous #1: The Worldwound Incursion, and I count it among my best memories as a gamer.

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