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

****½ (based on 15 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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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO9073


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Product Reviews (15)
1 to 5 of 15 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 15 ratings)

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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 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.

FLUFF
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 desribing 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.

CRUNCH
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.

CONCLUSION
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.


An astoundingly good adventure

*****

This book is one of the funnest 1-6 adventures that Paizo has put out there. Amber Scott is a fantastic writer who created some fun encounters that actually fit with the pacing and the story. The path opens with a bang AND ends with one too. Even if you don't play any of the other Worldwound adventures, play this one - you won't regret it.


A little bit of a railroad

***( )( )

It is a fun adventure with plenty of demons and cultists to kill but comes off a little railroaded and very black and white morality. Under very little illusion over what kind of story we were getting into my group decided it was going to be a story they wanted to play, it was my suggestion to try a mythic game so i obliged. I'll split the review into 2 parts, what was good about it, and what was not so good and my reasoning for why i rated the adventure 3 stars.

The Good:
The characters are pretty well written and very progressive in having having LBTQ characters. As a GM I enjoyed the variety of different personas to play with that are truly diverse. There are also plenty of shiny items the players get early in the game but most of all feels like a good springboard into a good storyline. The ascension to mythic was among my favorite parts of the adventure the adventure got most interesting around part 4, the final part of the adventure. At part 4 the encounters get more difficult and the final boss fight is very interesting and decently challenging.

The Bad:
Unfortunately, the first adventure has a few points where it really lets me down. The game is heavily railroaded and quite literally drops the players in a situation with only a single direction to progress. Actual "railroad" is in danger of no longer being a metaphor if there was an actual train involved. The encounters are fairly easy no one came close dying even a lot of the named NPCs provided little challenge. This persists until part 3, and then it opens up a little but the PCs are left with little choice in direction. There are very little moral choices presented as its very clear cut good versus evil which has me bothered a little bit. And there is also certain things you can do for a bonus reward but are absurdly specific with no real que on that those are a thing. It is very likely without a little prompting from the GM that players will walk right by it without ever knowing they missed something and i dont think the game takes the increased power level into account if they are rewarded.

Final Verdict: 3 Stars.
It was still a fun adventure but was lacking in several areas i find very important.


Astounding

*****

Man. This book is gorgeous.

I can see why people might nitpick, as in a handful of the other reviews, but in my mind, no pre-made adventure can possibly be 100% perfect - they're supposed to be the foundation that the DM can then tweak to suit the group.

To that end, I've never seen better.

As non spoiler-y as possible - the introduction to the game, for instance, is the most staggeringly good balance between dice-slinging and RP I've ever seen. Seriously. Your group could fall absolutely anywhere on the spectrum, and the DM has absolutely everything they need to make it good. What kind of dungeon crawl has ample fodder for heavy RPers? This kind, apparently.

What's also brilliant about it is that all the combat and RP elements are there, but not intrusive. It is so incredibly easy to use this foundation to build the kind of session that your players want - it's even well suited to on-the-fly adjustments (like, if the NPCs are starting to bore the PCs, they can just huff and decide to ignore each other for a bit - their dialogue is interesting and compelling, but non mandatory.)

So yeah. I'm over the top impressed.


Strongest AP Start Ever?

*****

I just spent this past weekend reading this cover to cover and I was incredibly impressed. Amber needs more AP work. The overall attention to detail and making sure there were no loose ends will make this a thrill to run when I begin the campaign.

Every AP needs a strong start and this one was gripping. An excellent assortment of foes, I loved that exploring the city was left open instead of railroading and the NPCs have to be some of the very best of Any AP. I almost felt like I was reading a story and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next! The mood and grit of the campaign was evident but you got glimpses of the hope on the horizon.

I also like the direction the inside covers took, ensuring you stick with the NPCs throughout the story and none of them get “shelved” when their part is over. The support articles were also really great and I like what the bestiary section is doing with the new demon and demon lord each book. Fantastic.


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