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Pathfinder Adventure Path #99: Dance of the Damned (Hell's Rebels 3 of 6) (PFRPG)

***** (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #99: Dance of the Damned (Hell's Rebels 3 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Having successfully established a hideout in the city of Kintargo, the heroes of the growing rebellion are poised to take back the city. But before the Silver Ravens can strike against diabolic House Thrune, they must forge alliances with nearby tribes of aquatic elves and the free city of Vyre to cut off Cheliax's easy sea and land routes, forcing Lord-Mayor Barzillai Thrune to rely solely on his resources at hand to defend his control of Kintargo. Yet nothing is as simple as it seems, and the dangers awaiting the rebels are not always those that can be defeated with a spell or a sword. And, of course, Barzillai Thrune won't take these new developments lying down—what retribution might one of Cheliax's most dangerous inquisitors have in store for the Silver Ravens?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Dance of the Damned," a Pathfinder adventure for 7th-level characters, by Richard Pett.
  • A gazetteer of Vyre, the City of Masks, by Richard Pett.
  • A look into the faith and worshipers of Mahathallah, by F. Wesley Schneider.
  • A daring rescue attempt in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Stephanie Lorée.
  • A menagerie of new monstrous threats, by Michael McCarthy, Alistair Rigg, and Todd Stewart.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-788-8

"Dance of the Damned" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (723 kb zip/PDF).

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

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PZO9099


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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Best of the AP

*****

I think Dance of the Damned is the best book of what is an absolutely stellar AP. Reading through, I liked Turn of the Torrent better, but in play Dance of the Damned really shone. (Fewer lawful allies that the group had to appease.)

Dance of the Damned had something for everyone. My fighty types enjoyed the underwater mission and the siege of Menador Keep, and the more diplomatic types had fun at the parties. I for one am always glad to see a segment of adventure where there is no expectation that initiative be rolled. Rebels provides these, and the best is right here. The reveal of the boss of the adventure in the Dismal Nitch was also particularly memorable.

The epic final adventure demands to be run in person and can be done in a day (though I imagine I could have made it work online as well.) The entire affair was definitely memorable for my players.


Get Ready, This Thing is Fancy Dress

*****

(Note: I have only read / not run Dance of the Damned)

Have your player's character been studying their etiquette? Have they been learning all they can about fine dancing?

They may well need it to survive the rigors of the Dance of the Damned.

In contention (with part 4) for my favorite Adventure Path volume of all time Dance of the Damned finds the Silver Ravens leaving Kintargo behind to do a 'good-will' tour of the county surrounding it.

Although the book involves a number of standard sword and spell slinging affairs the real shining moments are literally spinning plates at a fancy dinner with a powerful NPC and the titular Dance of the Damned.

One note, this part of the adventure seems like the kind of section that requires a lot of work on the part of the GM. Set dressing and coordination and keeping everything rolling might be quite a challenge.

Dance of the Damned may need more prep work than some of the other volumes.

The art and writing, as usual, are fantastic


Worth it for the Set-Piece Alone

*****

If the entire adventure were not a superbly-written continuation of your efforts to topple Barzillai Thrune's vile reign over Kintargo (it is, for the record) this volume would still be worth it for the party sequence alone.

A wonderful building sense of tension while the Party schmoozes with the high and mighty, culminating in one of my hands-down favorite sequences to date.

Volume three of my new favorite Adventure Path picks up the ball and just RUNS with it.


A fantastic third leg to an urban sandbox AP

*****

(Preliminary note: Hell's Rebels is a series of urban sandbox adventures. Like most sandbox adventures, these adventures especially benefit from a DM who is willing (i) to tailor the adventure to the motivations and goals of the particular party, (ii) to allow players to be proactive, and to shape the adventure around their decisions, and (iii) to allow the party to try (and succeed at) dealing with problems in unexpected ways. So while these adventures run fine "out of the box", they work best with experienced and flexible DMs who are willing to put in a little extra work.)

The best leg of this AP, The Dance of the Damned nails it. Pretty much every part of this leg of the AP is stuffed with interesting social encounters and role-playing opportunities. The crown jewel is the fantastic Queen's Banquet, and the Ruby Masquerade is a close second. And even the side quests, like the Acisazi quest are nicely done, mixing the challenge of deep underwater travel with some appropriately spooky encounters.

Some of the things the players enjoyed most during this leg of the AP:

  • --The creepy descent into the Drowned Eye
  • --Choosing gifts for the Queen's Banquet
  • --Entertaining skill-challenges and role-playing during the Queen's Banquet
  • --Scoping out the opera house during the Ruby Masquerade

Some tweaks we used:

  • --We rewarded the acquisition of Masquerade Points a bit more, by giving the party a number of new supporters at the end of the masquerade equal to 10 times the number of Masquerade Points they earn.

Overall assessment: This leg is as good as the very best AP 3rd legs (like The Hook Mountain Massacre and The Varnhold Vanishing), and in my view, is the best of the lot. 5+ stars.


How to Make Friends and Influence People ...

*****

A note up front: I have not run this module, only read it.

Also SPOILERS FOLLOW ...

I was very surprised and pleased with the unique roleplaying encounters in the AP. Though, with Richard Pett's name attached, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

The point system associated with both banquets the PC's attend was amazing. How the final points accrued in the second banquet will affect the next adventure was deliciously enticing. This subsystem is the main reason I thought this adventure will go down as one of the best AP issues to date. It provides many options for non-charisma, non-diplomacy based PC's to still shine in roleplaying situations, and gives those that are focused in CHA-based skills new takes on how to use them.

The NPC's are great. The added explanation of how Jilia's current state wholely prevents divination attempts to find her is a very interesting twist on thwarting divination that I have never thought of myself before. Kudos!

Finally, there are still enough cinematic battle scenes to keep even the most strident of dungeon-crawlers happy.

The back matter is also great. I particularly liked Mr. Schneider's words on Mahathallah (as the only non-celestial of the pre-exodus Whore Queens, she has always been the most intriguing to me).

A fantastic product all round and has me counting down the days until the might issue 100!


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