Pathfinder Adventure Path #108: Hell Comes to Westcrown (Hell's Vengeance 6 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #108: Hell Comes to Westcrown (Hell's Vengeance 6 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Raising Hell!

Cheliax's largest city, Westcrown, has fallen to the Glorious Reclamation, and the evil adventurers are sent to reclaim the metropolis in the name of House Thrune. Armed with the legendary weapon they created from a gold dragon's head, the nefarious characters confront the Glorious Reclamation's forces and break its siege of a nearby Hellknight citadel. Once the army is defeated, the villains enter Westcrown, where they must undermine the chivalrous knights' rule of the city. Finally, they face the founder and Lord Marshal of the Glorious Reclamation to end the rebellion and restore the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune's rule over the empire of Cheliax.

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path concludes the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Hell Comes to Westcrown," a Pathfinder adventure for 15th-level characters, by Ron Lundeen.
  • A look at how the city of Westcrown operates under the rule of the Glorious Reclamation, by Ron Lundeen.
  • Advice and suggestions on how to expand your campaign beyond the Adventure Path's conclusion, by Ron Lundeen.
  • An infernal confrontation and the waking of a powerful ancient weapon in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Josh Vogt.
  • A collection of formidable monsters, by Jason Keeley and Ron Lundeen.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-851-9

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

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***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Assault on Brienne's castle! And celestials killed!

*****

I just finished reading this volume and found it to be very nice, possibly the best of the saga (maybe a close second after volume4).

The mass murdering at the begining of the book is simply glorious (pun intended) and the Korradath is a very funny and live dungeon, if a little too small ( i especially apreciated the fluidity of the encounters, well connected to previous player actions and Chorus).
The missions in the middle are also well varied and interesting. Including other elements of the campaign, such as the inferno gate is a marvelous idea as well. My favourite point of the adventure must be the final lines on the Big Bad Good Lady description..and the alternate ways of..dealing with her..reminded me a lot of the first Mass Effect game.

Continuing the campaing is also a very interesting article, especially for the high level stat block presented...very looking forward to any player foolish enough to face that. Also, what to do with a good artifact was a very nice read.

I loved the bestiary, filled with high level celestials, it felt very consistent with the needs of a high level evil campaign.

All in all i am very satisfied with this volume, the art, tough being somewhere a bit too dark (but that gives out a lot of atmosphere) looks very good, except for a certain high level cleric, way too plain for being such a high level cleric. If i must find a ngative element i must say that i'm quite surprised by the numbers of high level paladins present in the Glorious Reclamation army. Tough i understand that lower level enemies would have counted for nothing.


Average end to an average adventure path

***( )( )

Previous 2 reviews have said it all so I'll just add still not a fan of the evil Iconics taking up page space and cover.


Still better than Inferno Gate

***( )( )

At this point, I'm figuring it went something like this:
"Hey man, I noticed in the warehouse we have like ten boxes of paladins, and they're still unloading more, what's up?"
"Dude, it's going to be radical. I ordered up like 500 identical paladins for the big battle at the end of Wrath of the Righteous! You can't have an epic battle without hundreds of identical paladins, pretty sure gygax said that."
"We cancelled that battle bro! Oh man, we're so fired when the Golem finds out!"
"What? No dude, hold on, I have an idea. We pitch an evil adventure path! Every encounter in the last two books can just be a s~%~ load of paladins, problem solved!"
"Man, I don't know about you, but I don't know how to write an evil adventure path!"
"I got that covered too! We just make the party a bunch of government agents for the legitimate authority! They won't actually do much evil s!&! at all, but they can still be hellknights or whatever."

So you set off the artifact bomb you spent a whole book building, only to find it's two or three delayed blast fireballs with a ridiculous summoning caveat that the game encourages you to let the party play as some ridiculous undead, which sort of defeats the purpose of role-playing? The head of an adult gold dragon, blood of a bunch of peasants, the desecration of a holy spring, and the destruction of an ancient monastery of evil for roughly as much power as the level 14 sorcerer's 6th level spell slots. Once the tiny warhead has been dropped, you sneak into the city, conduct some more silly rituals while fighting a whole bunch of paladins. Your old friends from Castle Dinyar are back: An endless fountain of paladins, minibosses that can be summoned by the final boss, and making knowledge checks to identify which devil is best at standing on a bridge. Okay, that last one is new, but it's absurd enough to fit it with the Scourge of the Godclaw, or even The Inferno Gate. You identify some other devils to delegate to, because there are no Chelaxian troops or Hellknights anywhere on the planet. Then you fight the biggest paladin of them all(or make a reasonable diplomacy check), and you're done!

This book answers one of the great mysteries of the adventure path. We finally discover why Iomedae left Heart's Edge behind when she ascended: It wasn't very good. This is a good book for mediocre artifacts. The quest to corrupt it is pretty extraordinary, if you choose to follow it, in that it's way harder than just leaving it with the court of Zon-Kuthon to torture evil s@#% for a thousand years.

All of this is not to say this book is without redeeming value. There's a sequence I haven't mentioned with some awesome, thematic monsters in a sensical sequence, and the Solar form of the Angel Knight is going in my folder for all eternity as a 'Melee Solar.' The combat maps are pretty great, all the non-paladin fights are solid, and most of the art is awesome. While I would rather have had more evil s+!& to do, perhaps actually invading heaven with an Archon who was uncomfortable with the unlawful actions of the Glorious Reclamation and their indifference to the pain caused by their actions, perhaps destroying a major good city as vengeance for them taking Westcrown, the book works, and is far better than The Inferno Gate.


Mediocre finale of a disappointing AP!

***( )( )

GOOD: Battle maps, stat blocks, Westcrown article and bestiary are solid.

BAD: Illustrations are too dark or crude, magic items/artifacts either op or just strange. The encounters are very much work for the DM, because of multiple spellcasters and/or spell-like abilities, missions feel like computergame quests. The BBE is boring and has no build-up.

UGLY: You NEED the NPC Codex to play this, as every 3rd fight has characters from it!The Iconic necromancer lvl 7 with AC 12 & 41 hp.

The "Evil AP" is a failure, mostly because of the boxed-in framework. "Way of the Wicked" shows how it's done the right way. Luckily this is the ONLY AP that failed.


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Community Manager

Announced! Cover image and description not final, and subject to change.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You mean Sissyl won't be on the cover :-(

Bummer!


Captain,

I'm sure she's got better things to do than put down rebellions.


I look forward to seeing this Lord Marshal.

Is it the lady who's mentioned in the GM-text of In Hell's Bright Shadow as having stormed the Godclaw citadel?


Axial,

Who knows... Right now all we know for sure is the Godclaw took an artifact sacred to Iomedae, and didn't give it back.


lol Westcrown more like WRESTCROWuh hey wait a minute


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm looking forward to the "what happens if they lose" Continuing the Campaign paragraph in this one. "On the whole, that is a good thing for pretty much everyone else."


Snerk. Yea.


If they lose, everyone gets free XP. ;)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?


Westcrown will be a clean slate for this AP, Shadowbeasts still roam the streets and presumably Ilnerik rules from Walcourt, Delvehaven is still sealed and the Drovanges are skulking about. The GR might be written as dealing with the Shadowcurse at least.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?

More likely, the conquest of Westcrown by the Glorious Reclamation has rendered the outcome of Council of Thieves moot. If the heroes of Council of Thieves were successful, the major threats in Westcrown were dealt with then. If they failed or if that adventure never took place, the Glorious Reclamation would have taken care of the same major threats in addition to overthrowing all of the Thrune supporters. Either way, the villains of Hell's Vengeance would find Westcrown in approximately the same condition regardless of earlier events.


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C. Richard Davies wrote:
I'm looking forward to the "what happens if they lose" Continuing the Campaign paragraph in this one. "On the whole, that is a good thing for pretty much everyone else."

My expectation would be for Cheliax to burn once Queen Abrogail gets desperate.

She has an actual alliance with Hell; I'd expect the collateral damage if she actually has to invoke it to be staggering.

I suspect the PCs represent the Queen's best bet to get the situation back under control while keeping the damage within acceptable limits.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?

Hell's Vengeance will assume that the events of Council of Thieves have already taken place. There is an entire Adventure Path's worth of plots in Westcrown (from Council of Thieves) that simply cannot be addressed in a single adventure ("Hell Comes to Westcrown"), so the decision was made to "advance the timeline," so to speak--with regards to Westcrown, at least. The adventure will have more details on this.


Huh, so no doubt Ilnerik got staked either way. A litle dissapointed but considering he is an utter paranoid, RPing with him would be limited.


Thank you for the explanation, Rob.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?
Hell's Vengeance will assume that the events of Council of Thieves have already taken place. There is an entire Adventure Path's worth of plots in Westcrown (from Council of Thieves) that simply cannot be addressed in a single adventure ("Hell Comes to Westcrown"), so the decision was made to "advance the timeline," so to speak--with regards to Westcrown, at least. The adventure will have more details on this.

Any chance any of the children of westcrown showing up (with art?)


No doubt either dead/fled(bad end) or dispersed(good end)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?
Hell's Vengeance will assume that the events of Council of Thieves have already taken place. There is an entire Adventure Path's worth of plots in Westcrown (from Council of Thieves) that simply cannot be addressed in a single adventure ("Hell Comes to Westcrown"), so the decision was made to "advance the timeline," so to speak--with regards to Westcrown, at least. The adventure will have more details on this.

Thanks, Rob.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?
Hell's Vengeance will assume that the events of Council of Thieves have already taken place. There is an entire Adventure Path's worth of plots in Westcrown (from Council of Thieves) that simply cannot be addressed in a single adventure ("Hell Comes to Westcrown"), so the decision was made to "advance the timeline," so to speak--with regards to Westcrown, at least. The adventure will have more details on this.

Very cool.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thoughts of Gwendolyn Thistlebrook

And so it ends. This rebellion has been pushed back to the great city of Westbrook. It's the largest city in all of cheliex, and has the natural protection of its massive walls, strong gates, and the sheer scale and number of defensable positions aforded from its layout. If this were an independent enterprise, I would have picked a much softer target. But this is a affair for the cheliexians, therefore we have some advantages. Plus if we fail, the queen is possibly going to sink this city into the abyss, and we can't have that. Maybe I will stay in cheliex after this is all over. Maybe I will actually finish what I started some goodlong years ago. In any case, my new companions may still prove to be an asset in this bloody affair.

CAN'T THIS BLOODY CART MOVE ANY FASTER!!!


Will the Queen of the House of Thrune be statted?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
Will the Queen of the House of Thrune be statted?

Queen Abrogail gets a full NPC write up in Pathfinder #106: For Queen & Empire.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Updated with final description and cover image.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Looks great! Glad to finally see our lovely dhampir in the flesh. ^_^

As a longtime fan of Westcrown, I can't wait to read this one.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rob McCreary wrote:
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
Will the Queen of the House of Thrune be statted?
Queen Abrogail gets a full NPC write up in Pathfinder #106: For Queen & Empire.

What are the chances that someone will use this stat up to figure out a way to remove the thrice damned house of thrune from power and take over cheliex for themselves.

Pretty high i would think.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
Interesting. Does this mean the Council of Thieves timeline has advanced, similar to what happened with Shattered Star?
Hell's Vengeance will assume that the events of Council of Thieves have already taken place. There is an entire Adventure Path's worth of plots in Westcrown (from Council of Thieves) that simply cannot be addressed in a single adventure ("Hell Comes to Westcrown"), so the decision was made to "advance the timeline," so to speak--with regards to Westcrown, at least. The adventure will have more details on this.
Any chance any of the children of westcrown showing up (with art?)

Just thought I would ask this again since were closer to it's release.


I think the lifespan of the CoW is going to be very short in this adventure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
Will the Queen of the House of Thrune be statted?
Queen Abrogail gets a full NPC write up in Pathfinder #106: For Queen & Empire.

What are the chances that someone will use this stat up to figure out a way to remove the thrice damned house of thrune from power and take over cheliex for themselves.

Pretty high i would think.

Just wanted to chime in that I think it's fantastic - and the kind of thing a (good) campaign can be made around. Paizo has taken a stance that full deity stats will never be provided - that doesn't include important NPCs - and when possible and reasonable we should get outlines of these guys.

Should I (as a GM) want to change my version of the world to break the rule of hell - this shouldn't be a problem. This is NOT a request for such an adventure (although if you did such an adventure it wouldn't break my heart).


I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.

And have their hard-won independence from Cheliax crushed swiftly by whoever comes after her? :)


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It's reasonable that Abrogail would rain hell upon Cheliax if she loses, but I don't really want the one evil Adventure Path to end in the greater good being achieved.


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Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.

Bring it on peasants! I'll make Gortholek's next bow tie out of your spine. I couldn't care less what happens to the rest of you, but it'll be fun to find out won't it.


Sinking Westcrown into the sea if you lose it? That is a major port there, you'll be leaving the coast wide open to Shackles pirates.


Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.
And have their hard-won independence from Cheliax crushed swiftly by whoever comes after her? :)

Not quite. If you cut off the head of the serpent, the body will destroy itself...especially since as far as we know, Abrogail has no successor. Not to mention seeing the feared Majestrix getting beheaded with a +5 holy vorpal greatsword would strike terror into every Thrune loyalist's heart.

Hell's Rebels spoilers:
Also, there's a reason why Cheliax can't just invade Kintargo; due to a loophole in the contract the alliance with Hell would be voided if they directly invaded Ravounel unless the government of Kintargo directly asks them to
.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Long as House Thrune exists and Asmodeus wills it, infernal Cheliax will exist.


Abrogail will be succeeded by whichever Thrune can pull it off. Most of the Thrune rulers of Cheliax were not the child of the previous ruler. Lots of cousins, siblings, and niece/nephews exploiting their predecessor's untimely death.


Axial wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.
And have their hard-won independence from Cheliax crushed swiftly by whoever comes after her? :)

Not quite. If you cut off the head of the serpent, the body will destroy itself...especially since as far as we know, Abrogail has no successor. Not to mention seeing the feared Majestrix getting beheaded with a +5 holy vorpal greatsword would strike terror into every Thrune loyalist's heart.

** spoiler omitted **.

Well, keep in mind

Hell's Rebels:
That contract is what prevents House Thrune from invading Ravounal, and I question whether its protection would hold if Ravounal starts attacks Cheliax. And if House Thrune falls, the next ruler of Cheliax will give no s~+#s at all about the Kintargo Contract.

But no, Abrogail's successor would simply be which member of House Thrune can murder her and take the crown. If a group of PCs murdered her and took the Crown, then the heir is whoever can sell out hard enough to Hell to get the forces needed to take the Crown from the PCs.

I don't think the Crown has ever passed naturally.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Besides, Abrogail Thrune is CR 18 and legitimately tough even without Erynes + Pitfiend + army <_< All those +5 AC equipments...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.
And have their hard-won independence from Cheliax crushed swiftly by whoever comes after her? :)

Not quite. If you cut off the head of the serpent, the body will destroy itself...especially since as far as we know, Abrogail has no successor. Not to mention seeing the feared Majestrix getting beheaded with a +5 holy vorpal greatsword would strike terror into every Thrune loyalist's heart.

** spoiler omitted **.

I'm pretty sure that Iraqis, Libyans and Afghans wouldn't quite agree with you on the 'cut the head and the body will wither' part.


Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
I think Abrogail having stats will be very valuable to Hell's Rebels parties who want to visit Egorian and put her head on a stake.
And have their hard-won independence from Cheliax crushed swiftly by whoever comes after her? :)

Not quite. If you cut off the head of the serpent, the body will destroy itself...especially since as far as we know, Abrogail has no successor. Not to mention seeing the feared Majestrix getting beheaded with a +5 holy vorpal greatsword would strike terror into every Thrune loyalist's heart.

** spoiler omitted **.

I'm pretty sure that Iraqis, Libyans and Afghans wouldn't quite agree with you on the 'cut the head and the body will wither' part.

I don't want to derail this thread, but you actually proved his point, Gorbacz. Historically, in a nation ruled by iron-fisted despots, when you remove the despot things tend to implode. So, Cheliax might well lose its international power as chaos reigns internally until the political and social order somehow resolves itself

Now, despite your obvious inference regarding western interventions in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, please don't take my comments above to be a reflection of my views on these campaigns. Their not. They are a historic fact.

That said, in the long run I am confident Cheliax would eventually reassert itself as a powerful nation in the inner sea region: geographic location, resources, demography, cultural cohesion, technology and magic, and military strength would all see to that

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not really, Axial's point was that once you kill the BBEG, his/her structures collapse entirely and nobody will dare to climb back into the spot.

Which is exactly what didn't happen when Saddam, Qaddafi and Taliban were 'defeated'. Sure, there was chaos and turmoil, there always is. But ultimately, we found out that elimination of single authoritarian leader does not instantly generate peace, democracy and happiness.

And frankly, all the recent experiences make a strong case for being in favor of keeping Abrogail II on the throne instead of risking a devil-ridden civil war wasteland.


If Abby dies, then it is doubtful the contract with hell is kept up and all help is withdrawn.


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Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MannyGoblin wrote:
If Abby dies, then it is doubtful the contract with hell is kept up and all help is withdrawn.

The contract is with her family. Breaking the Thrune contract with Hell requires wiping out the Thrune family, either by killing them or by persuading them to renounce their heritage.


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Yeah, how do you think I came to power. A tragic accident, that's how. And boy, do I miss my uncle, whatever his name was.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Of course the best thing about RPGs is that one doesn't have to deal with pesky real-life stuff like a country imploding after you axe the queen. 'Great adventure and we got revenge! What are we doign next?"


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Oh, I'm sorry, are we moving over here now.


I'm aware of the recent wars in the Middle East and their outcomes, but I'm not talking about changing the fundamental culture of Cheliax down to the individual level. I'm trying to argue that with enough heroism, persistence, and...well, brutality, the PCs can wrest Cheliax away from the devil-worshippers that control it. House Thrune and the Church of Asmodeus can only take enough vicious body blows before they either collapse or are forced to surrender. And seeing as how most published material about Cheliax points out that the average citizen only gives lip service to Thrune and Asmodeus, it's safe to say that "the street" would be more or less supportive of what the PCs are doing.


Perhaps more attention should have been done for those who want to have a go at overthrowing Thrune and doing an Ultimate Campaign deal(Grognards might remember the old AD&D Battlesystem for army vs. army. Granted CoT was done before UCam) Granted many APs end when the last dice roll is done but a Kingmaker style book for after say an Andorian/Thrune fight would be nifty.


Hell comes to Frog Town!!

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