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Pathfinder Module: Gallows of Madness (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Gallows of Madness (PFRPG)
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The Abyss Approaches!

Something wicked—and monstrous—stirs around the rugged Isgeri town of Saringallow, where the hated legacy of noble Chelish diabolists runs deep. With the recent disappearance of several apprentices, the nearby menace of particularly grotesque goblins, and the unsettling rumors about the old Sarini Estate, Mayor Sandra Trinelli knows that she needs help, and she needs it fast! The heroes must confront one of these crises, or all three, if they hope to stem the tide of darkness that looms. Before too long, the heroes discover that villains with ties to the Abyss have set their sights on Saringallow, and won't rest until the settlement and all its innocent inhabitants fall victim to their madness-inducing predations!

Gallows of Madness is a 64-page, highly versatile collection of three adventures for 1st-level characters. Each adventure also includes scaling information for parties of 2nd-level characters. Written with beginning Game Masters and players in mind while also providing challenging content for veterans, these adventures can be prepared quickly and run separately or in any order. For GMs who wish to run a deeper, more narrative game, this volume also offers an overarching timeline of events and detailed tips for running these adventures as a cohesive whole. Bonus content includes new monstrous foes and a gallery of NPCs to help easily connect the adventures, plus a gorgeous double-sided poster featuring an overview of Saringallow and a miniatures-scale battlemap!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-854-0

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content
Gallows of Madness is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Download the rules and Chronicle sheets — (365 kb zip/PDF)

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Product Reviews (8)
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****( ) (based on 8 ratings)

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Thematic excursion outside the Beginner's Box

****( )

Taking place in Isger, this module introduces the town of Saringallows and stuffs it to the brim with theme. All of Isger's major points are touched upon: goblins, demonic Chelax history and wilderness. NPCs add to the atmosphere with quotations and simple but effective backgrounds. The PCs are given lots of opportunities to interact and uncover the themes that pervade the town and its history, and this really is one of the high points of this module. Unfortunately, the PCs are not given the chance to discover the history of the major villain, which really is a low point given his equally interesting background.

This module is somewhat unique in the modules lineup as it advertises 3 smaller adventures that can be used together or seperately. Really, they are best used together, as the module is very thematic and they flow beautifully together. Besides, who would want to miss the opportunity to kill the BBEG? Each subsection has a scaling the adventure section, which is something I really appreciated in "Dungeon", but which has been sorely lacking in the Modules presentation. It is very much orientated for beginners, as the major pretty much spoon feeds the PCs as to what needs to be done in each section.

The first of these is a nice little investigative adventure, and although the section is not groundbreaking (none of the adventures are) it is well written and a standard RPG theme well done. Part 2 allows the PCs to have a mobile battle on the included battle map and to siege a fortress. Agreeing with other reviewers, this is the blandest part of the module. The final part is the encounter with the BBEG at an abandoned mansion, a fun, flavourful and often used adventure theme. Anilda is the highlight of this adventure, though the after death of the BBEG has some great thematic obstacles.

Several new monsters are included and 2 of the NPCs receive detailed backgrounds. Anilda is one such monster and she really gives a creepiness to the module that for me is a highlight of the entire volume. Other monsters include a multi-legged fey thing, the hook fly reprinted, a cool plant and the katroome, a caterpillar version of a pseudodragon. Unfortunately, the detailed backgrounds of the NPCs, extra page on the hook fly and underwhelming fey thing eat up pages that could've been used for a map and gazetteer of Saringallows, a major low point IMHO.

All in all, this module is to be praised for its beautifully thematic introduction into Golarion as a campaign setting. Although the adventure themes aren't new, they are enjoyable. While this module might feel cliche and dumbed down to veterans, I feel it caters well to beginners, as it is intended too. As such, I highly recommend it to groups ready to think outside the (Beginner's) box.

A fun and thematic adventure.

****( )

(I played this together with TheDegraded, see below.)

I agree with TheDegraded's review. There's a nice story (though some parts need some explanation by the GM) and good atmosphere all throughout the three parts.

The only downside is that the middle part feels too linear. The last part consist mostly of one map, but you can traverse it however you like. The middle part, though, is just a "go from A to B to C," with a final fight at the end. They were fun encounters, but I'm just not a big fan of "walk until you meet something, repeat."

I liked the variety in encounters. There are some repeats, but overall there are enough different things that it doesn't feel the same. Too bad level 1 has a high amount of creatures you down with one shot or without any cool abilities, but that's the nature of the game.

All in all, a very enjoyable module. It won't get perfect marks from me, but it's close.

Excellent low-level module


Past weekend I had the pleasure of playing the entire module with the same group of players and characters. We basically had three Halfling skalds being a band, a summoner with a demonic eidolon (the drummer), a half orc slayer as the bodyguard and a ratfolk investigator as the manager of this band. In short, a colourful group.

We basically started the first part (A Foul Breed) by looking for our missing ‘fans’ and by buying everything in a bakery. The halflings were hungry after all. We quickly got introduced to an interesting town with a whole bunch of diverse characters and discovered a nefarious plot. It honestly was a fun plot that was suitably creepy and mysterious. The only downside to this, and the other parts, was that the template more or less makes certain character builds (or even certain classes) relatively useless. The investigation was fun and the fights were a little challenging, though that was mostly because we had some very poor dice rolls. I quite liked this part, though at times I felt a little lost. We gathered plenty of clues, but we weren’t always sure what to do next.

The next part, What Lurks in the Woods, is probably my least favourite part of the three. We went into the wilderness and encountered plenty of ‘special’ goblins and other creatures. The ‘ruler’ in particular was a lot of fun and the band had a spontaneous gig to take care off. The fights were all fun, but a little repetitive at times (they’re still goblins). My biggest issue though is that the presence of goblins feels a tad random. Of course they’re a common pest in Isger, but they felt a little out of place when it comes to the overarching storyline of the module. That said, it was still enjoyable, though that can’t be a surprise. It’s always fun when goblins are involved.

The third part, The Festering Blot, was my favourite portion. I’m a little biased, I must admit. I was playing an investigator and this was investigation heavy. Looking for clues in an abandoned mansion always speaks to one’s mind and this module really delivered on that front. My ratfolk had a lot of fun checking the books in the library and even slammed a door in the face of an enemy while stating that he should come back later as she was trying to read. Seriously though, the encounters were all great and different, and the big bad boss fight delivered (partially because of the terrain). Escaping the place was also one of the better executed ‘chase’-scenes I’ve seen in a while, probably because you revisited certain rooms.

Overall this module has a great storyline. Each of the three parts offers an exciting adventure for both new and experienced players. The setting is great and the encounters are at times challenging. Our party setup was probably a bit over the top when it came to damage potential and output, and we had most of the skills covered with pretty high bonuses. However, and this is important to point out, certain classes and builds will struggle to have an impact during combat. I won’t spoil too much, but I will say that focusing on fire damage is a bad idea. It’s better to just create a different character instead, because you’ll certainly want to play this module.

First Part is absurd for low level characters

*( )( )( )( )

The following is a review of only the first third of the module. But I needed to vent.

The last encounter is just crazy for a group of 1-2nd level characters.

1 or two Fiendish Fly Swarms? So, functionally immune to by far the most common anti swarm remedy carried by low level characters (alchemist fire), relying instead on the far less useful acid flasks that, I admit, WERE provided to the characters.

Characters partly built to handle swarms (alchemists, blasty wizards) are also partly or completely nerfed by the fire resistance.

But hitting swarm AC is pretty difficult. Bleed is a NASTY effect unless you have a channeler around.

And all this while on a timer so retreating is only an option if you don't care about saving the apprentices.

Giving the swarms the Fiendish template is, IMO, an egregious blunder for a low tier module. Without that the encounter would have been difficult but fine.

Admittedly some of this was due to a party with low damage (so we couldn't kill the fly quickly enough)

I enjoyed the rest of it. The investigation was fine (nothing special but fine). The other fights were fine (party composition made one fight a hilarious slap fight).


This is one of my favorite modules. I played through this one instead of GMing it. It really does fit the niche of "three separate but connected adventures". Having played all three parts, the third chapter is by far the best with a thematic and creepy trek into an abandoned mansion. It genuinely lead to several moments at the table where all of the players were creeped out - and that's not an easy thing to do with this group. I highly recommend this module.

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