Things You Have Changed and Things You Should Have (Spoilers)


Iron Gods


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I've seen this same topic for Jade Regent and RORL, It was a great asset for both of those APs I think it would be great for this one too. I'm interested in knowing what people have changed in the AP (and why), and what things you ran as-written but now feel like you should have done differently.

I am just starting to read book one (plans on running it this summer) so I personally don't have any changes yet for this AP but when I do I plan on posting them here.

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One thing I might suggest is to change the reward for returning Gerrol's body (FoC p. 17). By the time Emelia's father finishes crafting all the items, the PCs are likely to be well beyond the need for them.

I would suggest exchanging that for a small adamantine weapon. A "light hammer" could be justified as a tool (needed for working adamantine) he might have on hand, to give to the PCs right away.

While this doubles the reward value, and only goes to one hero, but it is something that the players will find very useful against the robots they will find later in the adventure (and other volumes of the AP). And, as an Adamantine weapon, it will remain useful throughout the entire AP.

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Also check out this post ...

... or any Iron Gods post by Mathmuse.


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Most of my changes have been in response to my particular party's interests; thus, would not appeal to everybody. For example, my party wanted to craft skymetal items, so I switched to Making Craft Work (d20pfsrd calls it Alternative Craft Rules [3PP]).

Let's start with Fires of Creation.

Lord Fyre made his adamantine weapon suggestion to me in response to my question about crafting time for the masterwork gifts. It is a good suggestion for everyone. Light hammer is especially appropriate, not just for plausibility but also because light hammer is the sacred weapon of Brigh.

Second, I changed a few technology rules, documented at Going Wild with Technology.

Third, one of the PCs was a relative of Councilor Dolga Freddert, so I had the councilors explain why the Technic League had no presence in Torch, the third largest settlement in Numeria (larger Hajoth Hakados is just outside the border of Numeria).

Dolga explained that she had written down a conversation she had almost a century ago with the representative of the Technic League, after fine wine loosened his lips: "By the spectrum of the torch, you have a fusion reactor buried down there. And it is deteriorating or it wouldn't have turned itself on. Enjoy it while it lasts. I myself don't want to be around for the end." Dolga pointed out that the torch had lasted longer than the representative's human lifespan. She reminded everyone that the Technic League left the town alone so long as they did not go digging for lost technology. Though this fusion reactor was very, very important, they could not send down anyone who might attract the attention of the Technic League's informants in town. Elric's group was sufficiently unremarkable, had an obvious non-tech-hunting motivation to head underground to find Elric and Boffin's lost employer Khonnir Baine, and yet would be able to recognize the technology they encountered.

Fourth and final change for Fires of Creation is that Meyanda opened a conversation with the party via comset before they reached the reactor room. I added a Smiler gunslinger stolen from Lords of Rust to her party so that he could threaten to shoot the reactor instead of her, giving her more opportunity to talk to the party. A villain of her quality deserved more face time in the adventure.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Fourth and final change for Fires of Creation is that Meyanda opened a conversation with the party via comset before they reached the reactor room. I added a Smiler gunslinger stolen from Lords of Rust to her party so that he could threaten to shoot the reactor instead of her, giving her more opportunity to talk to the party. A villain of her quality deserved more face time in the adventure.

This is also, to a lesser degree, an important consideration for Hellion also.

One other thing I would do is use Meyanda as this is a early opportunity to namedrop Casandalee (Lords of Rust).


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Book 2, Lords of Rust

First, Lords of Rust begins with a page in Torch about how to presuade the party to go to Scrapwall, 105 miles away. And then suddenly, the party is 105 miles away. The module literally says, "In the end, the exact route they take to Aldronard’s Grave and Scrapwall is irrelevant." Nope, this is the first chance the players have to see Numeria outside of Torch. Don't skip it. I planned a cross-country ride on summoned horses with overnight stays at two inns, because my wife had given me The Red Dragon Inn Guide to Inns an Taverns for my birthday. Some crusaders at the second inn directed them to the fortress Aldronard’s Grave, which is such an embarrassing name I renamed it Fort Sunbury.

The trip down the Seven Tears River and up the Sellen River will be more interesting for most campaigns.

Second, Scrapwall is set up as a series of encounters in a desolate former bandit camp. That works for a hack-and-slash campaign, but any other set of players will wonder how people manage to survive there. Lords of Rust lacks a gazetter for Scrapwall, so I invented its backstory myself. I should post all the details, but for now let me give some of the best. All this is from my imagination.

About 150 years, a mining company set up shop in Scrapwall to refine all the iron scrap there. They build a few solid brick buildings and started shipping iron down the Sellen River. Most working and timeworn technology had been scavenged out of Scrapwall ages ago, but the Technic League worried about the miners uncovering technology buried deep, so the Technic League shut them down. The Steel Hawks currently live in the abandoned mining buildings. That area acts as a small impoverished village.

Bandits moved in 100 years ago. They had a generation of raiding nearby villages. When the paladins build Fort Sunbury, to help the Crusaders traveling to Mendev, they also stopped the bandit raids. Many bandits died, but many remained and had to find another way of making a living. The most successful bandits were the Rustler gang, based at Section H, Smiler's Headquarters. They went honest with the cattle they still had, protecting it from the local monsters to sell meat to the other Scrapwallers. Ten years ago, the Smiler gang moved in, killed off the Rustlers, and took over their building. The Smilers did not protect the herd, and it died off. The local darkfolk used to raid that herd, and switched to eating more people.

Dinvaya Lanalei moved in 50 years ago. As the only cleric in Scrapwall, her services were in demand. Over the decades, she traded healing for labor and her customers built her the Clockwork Chapel. The secret escape tunnel under her bed and the giant crank for winding her wall of gears are not shown in the map of Section F, but obviously she needs those. Because she often sets her golem on guard while she works in her workshop, she had developed a system of trading special whistles for materials. If the golem hears the whistle, it fetches her instead of fighting the intruder. (In the setup as described, the golem would attack injured people seeking Dinvaya's healing.)

The Lords of Rust was a loose alliance of orcs before Hellion took over. Some had trained scrapyard robots to work for them. Others raised rust monsters to seek out exotic metals.

Third, the receiving array in Section N received the power transmitted from Torch, but how did the power get from the array to the excavator? Did the Lords of Rust stretch a power cable half a mile long? I imagined acolytes changing charged batteries in the receiving array every day until the power stopped. I made many other changes in that area, but that was to customize the area for my particular party.

Fourth, I decided the haunted canyon and haunted valley, Sections O and P, are the only part of Scrapwall with good technological scrap left near the surface. The undead kept scavengers away. The paladins destroyed most of the undead when they raided Scrapwall to stop the banditry; hence, most of the haunts remaining are the kind that respawn. The paladins had not discovered the haunted wreck. One drastic change I made for my particular tech-oriented party was letting them repair the wreck and fly off with it, with the Technic League hot on their heels. I trusted my players to not abuse a working aircraft and they haven't.

In contrast, I usually find problems with the point-system and random encounter tables in Paizo modules, but they worked perfectly well in Scrapwall and I had no desire to change them. My PCs understood scrapworth as the local method of establishing rank in Scrapwall. And the wandering monsters explained why most inhabitants of Scrapwall kept themselves hidden.

One thing I maybe should have changed was all the monitor screens in the excavator. There was at least one in every room. Room R1 had six. Was the excavator manufacturer owned by a monitor-screen company? The big problem with the monitors was that I could have had fun with a few acolytes surrendering, but not while Hellion was watching. One little problem was that the party got into a routine: kill the seemingly-fanatic acolytes, disable the monitors, and search the room. That was a ton of Disable Device checks for the doors and monitors. The other little problem was that the only other place in the adventure path with similar monitors was one monitor in the Aurora in The Choking Tower. That seemed inconsistent.

The good part about the monitors is that Hellion was able to talk to the party about Unity and Casandalee through them.


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Book 3, The Choking Tower

The Choking Tower adventure splits into two halves, Iadenveigh and the Smoking Tower. Almost all my changes were in the Iadenveigh part. I liked the Iadenveigh part more, which inspired me to finetune it.

Particular circumstances in my party gave them an invitation to Iadenveigh. This might apply to other parties, so let me mention them. Khonnir Baine in Torch is famous for and rich from building a water treatment plant to extract safe water from the Weeping Pond. The character Boffin in my party was Khonnir's assistant in the plant. The character Elric was another employee. The NPC party member Val Baine was Khonnir's daughter. Meanwhile, Iadenveigh had a poisonous lake of its own, Longbitter Lake. And Feltic Dozenfingers violated town law and used water from Longbitter Lake in his tannery and had discovered a profitable side effect (page 67, under "16. Tannery Compound").

In my game, Khonnir Baine had an old letter from Feltic Dozenfingers, asking him to come and investigate Longbitter Lake. Khonnir wrote a letter of introduction for the party, saying that these were his field experts, experts in water treatment, coming in response to Feltic's request. And the letter was true. The party was as interested in the water problem as in finding Casandalee.

My other change related to Casandalee. She had written some repair notes and a daily journal on the computer systems of the Aurora. I wanted the party to read her thoughts and come to like her as a person and not merely seek her as a macguffin. She had repaired the nanotech lab and was about to use it to recycle the local groundwater to remove the mutagens, when Unity's robots mortally wounded her and she instead used the nanotech lab to set a trap in her own brain.

I regret not making one other change, but I still don't know how to fix it. The party captured Ilarris Zeleshi and some deformed androids alive. A secret session of the Iadenveigh town council sentenced Ilarris to death. The androids did not even make it to court: a bigotted guard cut their throats. This was consistent with the town's prejudices and the government's fear of anyone finding the underground technology, but those actions permanently soured the party against Iadenveigh. The party lied to their friends on the council and promised to destroy the Aurora and its leaking contaminations within one week. Really, they ran Casandalee's recycling routine, dug a secret tunnel to the Aurora, and blew up the entrance that the town council knew about.


Definitely keeping tabs on your changes to Iron Gods, Mathmuse. I particulayl love your gazetteer to better explain Scrapwall's presence - the 'town' always seemed sort of out of place to me, but your write up helps keep it making sense and allows for some awesome backstory. Hopefully I can convince some players to run this campaign with me sometime!

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Mathmuse wrote:
My other change related to Casandalee. She had written some repair notes and a daily journal on the computer systems of the Aurora. I wanted the party to read her thoughts and come to like her as a person and not merely seek her as a macguffin. She had repaired the nanotech lab and was about to use it to recycle the local groundwater to remove the mutagens, when Unity's robots mortally wounded her and she instead used the nanotech lab to set a trap in her own brain.

It is kind of important to make the Casandalee hook as strong as possible, or Starfinder doesn't happen. ;)


Looking over my changes, I noticed a trend. I like leaving messages about or from people that I want the players to care about.

I overlooked one minor change I made in the haunted wreck from Lords of Rust. I decided that Captain Yurian’ Yurian Valako's final recorded message needed more elaboration.

The first paragraph from Room P5, Bridge, said:

Room P5, Bridge wrote:

The remains seated in the pilot’s station

are those of Captain Yurian Valako, once the captain of Divinity’s
recycling module. As fresh air fills the bridge, his remains, which
had mummified, slump and slowly crumble away until nothing
remains but a few brittle bones and a pile of dust within his
armor. As this takes place, each PC in the vicinity becomes
suddenly overwhelmed with a series of powerful visions—
flashes of emotion mixed with the sound of screaming and
explosions, sudden feelings of vertigo, and the conviction
that gravity has gone mad. Each PC must succeed at a DC
14 Will save or fall prone and be staggered for 1 round as
she experiences the hell and chaos of the crash. The vision
passes quickly, but in its wake comes something far more
dangerous—Yurian’s unquiet shade.

I changed it to:

Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:

As you step into the pilot's cabin of the wrecked spaceship you see a dead man in Androffan uniform in the pilot's chair. Suddenly a vision fills your eyes.

You see that man alive as he entered the room. He plugged a crystal into the control panel and hit switches to light up the panel and display glowing text in Androffan. A smile crossed his weary face, soon replaced by a frown. The man announced, "Ralis, clear the door. I'm launching. We can't wait for Bick."

The curved wall in front of him suddenly illuminated as a window to outside, showing the ground and clouds rush by at a thousand miles per hour from ten miles up. Above the ship hangs a complicated metal structure. He touched a device on his throat and recited as his fingers returned to the control panel.

“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”

The ship lurched downward, away from the metal structure above.

Then the structure dropped and slammed into the ship. A voice called out, "Captain, what...?"

Captain Valako replied, "The Chrysalis rammed us. Unity won't let us escape easily." His fingers raced and the view outside spiun. The ship shuddered from strain as it dipped away from the metal structure. Another flick of a switch and the viewscreen image split, one revealed the metal structure above them as another spaceship the size of a mountain, and the other focussed on the approaching ground, now close beneath them but slowing down.

"Chrysalis, you maneuver like garbage skow," Captain Valako muttered as he dodged out from under the other spaceship's next attempt to smash them.

Then the Chrysalis hit the ground and exploded into a cloud of debris miles wide. "Sh-t!" the captain said. His ship spun as it intercepted the debris.

The vision ends. Captain Valako's body crumbles to dust. And from the dust arises a phantom darkness.

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Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:
“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”

Good early name drop for both the Dominion and Unity.


Lord Fyre wrote:


Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:
“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”
Good early name drop for both the Dominion and Unity.

Captain Yurian Valako had mentioned Unity in his original recording, but his statement was not clear that Unity was a hostile AI: "I’ve secured an inhibitor facet—if I can install it into the Unity interface, it should disable the AI’s security long enough for us to reclaim control and perhaps even signal for help from home."

I also gave a name to the small wrecked spaceship, the Caterpillar. My players renamed it "The Rock" after they repaired it, to make it sound like a hideout rather than a vessel in case anyone overheard.


My changes had to do with incorporating Star Wars flavor into the Androffan tech, and allowing the Force-related bits from Star Wars Saga Edition. I've been using Star Wars minis, so the robots have all looked like various droids (for example, Gearsmen became super battle droids). The PCs encountered a "J'dai monk" shortly before entering the Choking Tower. One of the players took the Force Sensitivity feat for his Numerian Scavenger rogue after learning about how to unlock Force potential from the J'dai and his recently-found holocron. I am currently reading Star Wars Outbound Flight, which is what I am drawing inspiration from to change the backstory of the Androffans' extra-galactic voyage.


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I've been foreshadowing Unity a lot more. For instance, when they had the vision of the Chrysalis shuttle crash, I had Unity's icon appear on the screen.

A character who's been trying to contact the Akashic record for information about Numeria (which i initially blocked because framing the results of the checks was taking me too long) broke through when she saw the symbol (which coincided with the time I figured out how to do Akashic communion quickly). The in-game explanation being that Unity's information had somehow been blocked in the Akashic Record. Something like a broken hyperlink where the information is still there but you have to go through a back door to get to it.

I have since given her visions of Unity as a caged and withered angel trying to break free. In one of these visions she accepted a "gift" from Unity which has manifested as a a "Machine Spirit" with a few powers borrowed from other classes and items in the technology guide.

I've also been trying to present Unity as much more Lawful Neutral or even Lawful Good in most foreshadowing. I changed the drawings in Hellion's lair to a depiction of a Solar trapped within Divinity.

Over book three and four I'm going to play with the shaman's connection a bit more, framing it in similar terms to Cassandalee's original contact. I'm framing Cassandalee as an actual traitor on similar lines to Hellion until the party actually figures out the evil nature of Unity.


I changed a lot of things (used the adventure in a different,non-golarion world).

But one key thing I did, was foreshadowing Unity a lot more. I made Hellion, the BBEG in Lord of Rust, to be directly controlled by Unity, and made Unity gave them short speeches through the TV screens there (trying to convince them that humanity was flawed by free will, that they will end doing the wrong things, and that dreams, hope and fear were beacons for the Dominion of the Black, which is an enemy humanity can't defeat, so the only hope is to join into Unity, being "safe" without free will)

I also changed the reasons to go to book 3. I used one of the players background (was looking for his kidnapped son) to lure them there, as that part of the adventure is not strongly tied with the rest of the AP (Although I find it great as an stand-alone adventure)


Oh, I forgot... I made Casandalee ("Hope", in my game) to exist only in the datapad, instead of being an android. Or to be exact: Casandalee was an android, but "Hope" was the AI. Casandalee flee from Unity, carrying the datapad of Hope. Then the PC carried Hope (as a datapad) until we entered the Silver Mountain.

Casandalee is too human. The point of the AP is to make the players think about the boundaries between humanity, AI, and godhood. Casandalee is an android, that boundary isn't there for here (just like it's not there for the android PC)

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Casandalee is too human. The point of the AP is to make the players think about the boundaries between humanity, AI, and godhood. Casandalee is an android, that boundary isn't there for here (just like it's not there for the android PC)

"Too human" or not human enough.


Lord Fyre wrote:


Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:
“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”
Good early name drop for both the Dominion and Unity.

Great, I will totally steal that. Have to translate it to german of course ;)

On the other hand maybe I will prepare some character sheets and let them play through the vision.. Have to think about that

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MasterZelgadis wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:
“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”
Good early name drop for both the Dominion and Unity.

Great, I will totally steal that. Have to translate it to german of course ;)

On the other hand maybe I will prepare some character sheets and let them play through the vision.. Have to think about that

That's actually dangerous. The players will then think they have some agency to change what happened. (And most PC groups are endlessly clever.)


Lord Fyre wrote:
MasterZelgadis wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


Revised Room P5, Bridge wrote:
“Final report of salvage module Chrysalis, Captain Yurian Valako reporting. Chrysalis is lost, to both the Dominion monsters and the Divinity AI Unity. The surviving crew of Chrysalis are aboard the tug Caterpillar. We will attempt an emergency landing on the unknown planet. I’ve secured an inhibitor facet to disable Unity’s security and enable us to fly free. I will append further reports after our successful landing.”
Good early name drop for both the Dominion and Unity.

Great, I will totally steal that. Have to translate it to german of course ;)

On the other hand maybe I will prepare some character sheets and let them play through the vision.. Have to think about that

That's actually dangerous. The players will then think they have some agency to change what happened. (And most PC groups are endlessly clever.)

Then give them agency. The module itself says,

"Creature: As his body crumbles away, Yurian’s soul
rises up from his remains in a seething vortex of shadows
and crimson dust, coalescing into a vaguely humanoid
shape with long, thin fingers that wisp away into smoke.
As he manifests as an advanced wraith, Yurian cries out
in despair and pain as he drifts forward to attack."

If the PCs actually managed a different outcome in the vision, then instead of that advanced wraith attacking, the wraith crumbles away, too, and a ghost of Captain Yurian remains in its place. Yurian then explains, "I failed and crashed without your aid. I held onto my frustration and anger for millennia and it cursed this valley. You have restored my hope and I am ready to move on. Thank you." He fades out and the party gains xp for defeating the wraith. If the party partially helps Yurian, he appears as a normal wraith rather than an advanced wraith.


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Great idea of an alternative way to defeat him. Why not rewarding the players if they manage to change the outcome? Seems not dangerous at all. When the vision ends, the ship is still crashed. It's a vision, not time travel.

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