Akachek no longer has stats (he was changed from a demigod to a full god a while back, so he's now too strong for stats), but the Havero gets full stats, as do a few of the other monsters that had yet to be given PF updates.
While I understand the appeal of the stories to some, and symphathize with the people who will miss them...
Also, I know it's a bit early to talk about now, but will Starfinder AP's have fiction?
I'm liking the trend of having the announcement covers being much closer to the release covers - is this just a fluke thing, or is this the new standard?
And considering that we have a Hastur article in this book, I think I know what the theme song of this AP should be.
By the way, I don't see the author of this adventure in the description. Don't want to forget about them! ;)
So I finally finished reading this AP and I have to say - wow. This is definitely one of the best Adventure Path's Paizo has ever done. The adventures all flow together amazingly, the variety of encounters and set pieces, the excellent villain - it's all just so good. Just wanted to let everyone who worked on this AP know - you did outstanding, in every department. Now don't disappoint me with Hell's Vengeance! ;)
nighttree, with the APG they previewed the classes and new iconics over the approximately 3 month period before the book came out, so I imagine they'll do something similar here - so I wouldn't expect such info until late April or so. Generally Paizo doesn't like to talk about the post playtest changes until things are finalized, which wont happen for a while. But we'll see...
I think the main reason that a lot of Paizo fans like the crazy gonzo stuff more than the traditional (myself included) is that, well, I've got tons of traditional fantasy modules. There are just way more traditional modules in print for 3e, Pathfinder, and D&D in general than crazy stuff like Iron Gods. Frankly, there aren't more sci-fi D&D like products then fantasy ones, not by a long shot, and there's even less science-fantasy. While I, and I think most people, don't want everything to be as out there as Iron Gods, there's a definite demand for the crazy. Just look at how well Distant Worlds sold and is regarded, or the excitement for Iron Gods. I understand it's not for everyone, but that's not a bad thing.
On another note, the thing that disappoints me personally about Iron Gods is that it seems to be playing things very safe. Almost every AP has done something that sets it apart from other adventures. Jade Regent dealt with eastern mythology, Kingmaker was a sandbox, Wrath of the Righteous used mythic rules, etc. Even Shattered Star, which is almost entirely dungeons of various kinds, had the twist of being the first Paizo AP that dealt with previous AP's and their effect on canon. I'm just not seeing anything like that here. And maybe that's what Paizo is going for, I don't know. But this sort of story has been done so much (heck, Paizo themselves has told a very similar story, with Rise of the Runelords) that it just seems unnecessary to retell it without adding something.
But to be more positive, I am excited to see more of Belkzen, though I don't know how much of the AP takes place there. And despite my grievances, I'm sure Paizo will do some great stuff in this AP, per usual, but I just feel Paizo's efforts would be better spent on more unusual campaigns. But that's just me. And who knows? Maybe this will be the best AP ever and I do a total opinion 180. I certainly wouldn't mind that.
Mummy's Mask could end with book 4 - just don't have
Rakotep's soul escape to reunite with his body
Most of the more recent AP's - Reign of Winter, Wrath of the Righteous, and Iron Gods come to mind - are harder to end partway through due to a pretty strong indication fro the get-g of who the BBEG is. You could stop Reign of Winter in Book 5 with some adjustments and Iron Gods in book 2, but of the last 2 years of AP's the only one with a really good partway stopping point is Mummy's Mask
One thing I might recommend - After Runelords 5, the PC's will probably want to take the fight to Karzoug pretty badly. Putting in Shattered Star 5 right after might run the risk of feeling like a side mission. There are three options I can think of that might work there - merge Shattered Star 5 with Runelords 6, or move Shattered Star 5 to after Runelords 6 or before it, likely after Book 4 of Runelords. You'll have to adjust some things, but I think i'll improve the flow signifigantly.
Yeah, while I dunno if Giant Hunters has anything to do with the next AP, this book definitely makes it look like the next AP is in Belkzen.Which is awesome, because we really haven't seen a whole lot of detail about orcs in Paizo products, considering how popular they are. It'll be neat to see them in more detail here, and hopefully in the next AP.
Tis sad he's leaving, but I can't begrudge the man wanting a change of pace. He's done a huge amount for the roleplaying community and for Paizo as a company. I may not have always agreed with Mr. Reynolds, but I certainly always respected him and the insane amount of work he does. May your future be even better then the present.
Wouldn't mind if you wrote more god articles at some point either...
Purity of Violence, I'm pretty sure this book wasn't due out originally till November or October, and thus it only got pushed back one or two months. It's probably just due to shipping delays, not anything with the writing. I'm not from Paizo, so this is all just speculation, but I wouldn't worry about it.