Pathfinder Adventure Path #73: The Worldwound Incursion (Wrath of the Righteous 1 of 6) (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
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?
“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.
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.)
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.
That one came pretty much as a surprise to me. A good one. I thought a demon war theme would be rather dull and redundant, but this first part had me change my mind.
Wrath of the righteous is clearly more "mature" than most campaigns. It features more than linear events leading to some dungeon crawls, it really give the events a life of their own. NPCs are especially well covered, have a real personality, and furthermore interact with each others and the characters. They are more than disposable faces in the crowd, they have a life and a role to play. I also like the fact that the crusaders are not all shining and righteous warriors, some are just warmongers or gloryseekers, more like the historical crusaders.
Running a game in the aftermath of a demonic incursion is like enjoying an apocalyptic movie. I only regret some downtimes in part 3. Many random encounters to be held to have the characters level up enough. However with some extra work, GMs can reshape the events and give them more flesh.
That's a very good start, and I hope the sequels will follow the same lead!
AT the outset I can say I really liked this volume of the AP series and it marks a great start to what looks to be a very memorable adventure path. The bestiary is solid with two very tough demons (well a CR15 demon and a lord) and two interesting additions to the DM's arsenal - the forest dwelling stag horned herne, an old faith hunter, and the low CR sin seeker- a great familiar for PC and foe alike.
As for the adventure, for the large part it's a great adventure. The encounters are varied (varied enemies, dungeon crawls, sandbox elements) and well paced; generally approriately challenging and the adventure really succeeds in setting the scene for a truly world changing AP.
If I had to nitpick I would say to my mind very start and end may be the weakest point for some - the game starts in a truly epic scale but it's essentially exposition by the DM. A good DM can make it shine still. Similarly at the end we have a long exposition and then a very underwhelming encounter in which the enemy has very threat of actually winning - the adventure even states as much. Of course some of the encounters prior may be a different matter.
Then there is also the NPC's and the add-on system through the last area. 3 NPC's tag along from the start and depending on your DM these fellows may well slide into the backgound and obscurity; potentially annoy your players; or add a sense of realism, attachment, motivation and several great role-playing opportunites from the very beginning
Now for the add-on devotion points. These appear in the final encounters areas and unless players are aware before hand, may not even get the attention they deserve, and hence the rewards they bring. If you want to include then you may need to metagame a little and let your players know what is involved before you start (which is realy just rewarding characters for behaving in as good and just fashion). I would even extend them out to include the entire adventure so players realy get to reap the reward of goodly behaviour - the rewards are very nice.
Overall I am really excited to run this AP and I'd also think as a player I couldn't help but be swept up in the sense in the grandeour and scale it evokes. A memorable and mythic start to paizo first mythic AP and a grand adventure from Amber E Scott (please give her more!)
The Worldwound Incursion by Amber E. Scott absolutely blew me away. A couple months ago, I declared Rasputin Must Die! to be one of the best adventures I had ever read. Well, it’s entirely possible that adventure now has a rival. I don’t make statements like that lightly (and anyone who reads my reviews regularly knows I can be very exacting in my standards), but from start to finish, this is one epic and exciting adventure. It’s definitely worthy of the term mythic. If this adventure is anything to go by, the remainder of Wrath of the Righteous will be simply stunning.