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Great resource, just wish the player options were a bit strongerCrusaderWolf —
title says it all, it's a good book but it feels like they were afraid of really committing to the undead vibe for the player options, which is a bummer but far from a deal breaker
Replacing Mwangi Expanse as my favorite Lost Omens bookCrusaderWolf —
I've been looking forward to this one since it was announced, and I was not disappointed! The book goes to considerable lengths to avoid creating a setting full of stereotypes--the knights aren't all just Lawful Stupid absurdly rigid archetypes, there's a lot of space for many types of characters. There's a focus on preserving goodness in the face of horror and constant conflict.
The content for the Crimson Oath is delightful, as are the new pantheons. I would have liked to have seen some more explicit plot hooks built into the descriptions, it is pretty vague in a lot of places but I think Paizo hasn't fully pinned down what they want to do with the Gravelands yet and that's okay.
My new favorite Lost Omens book!
Tons of Flavor, Setting Lore, & Plot HooksCrusaderWolf —
This is the book that I wish Legends had been. Each legendary monster entry had me thinking about the campaigns I could run with the hooks and lore I was being given in a way the Legends book just didn't. More like this, please!
A Strong Treatment of My Favorite ContinentCrusaderWolf —
There's a lot to like in this book: the content for the elves and dwarves, the demon-hunting orcs of Matakali, the Corsair Wars, Veridian. My only real complaint is that the new cities and locales introduced (Matakali, Cloudspire, etc) are completely ignored on the maps--it looks like 1st edition maps were reused, which is disappointing.
I would also have liked to see material at least alluding to the southern half of Garund, which has been a glaring oversight for years now. But these are minor quibbles and not enough to warrant losing a star.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #144: Midwives to Death (Tyrant's Grasp 6 of 6)Paizo Inc.
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Emphasizing a Different Type of HeroismCrusaderWolf —
If you read all the 1-stars above you might be feeling a little discouraged about this adventure. Having just read them myself, I'm scratching my head about whether they read the same book(s) as I did.
There are some spoilers below, so be warned.
The first half of the adventure takes place in one of the Whispering Tyrant's bunker/barracks where the party has the opportunity to fight and/or intrigue against several powerful undead commanders. There's plenty of room here for RP and even a moral dilemma when a powerful devil offers to remove an undead army from consideration.
After the dungeon, the adventure offers a change of pace in the form of a Wild Hunt choosing them as its prey, but this is a bit of a side note before getting to Absalom, where Tar-Baphon and his armies are engaged with Absalom's defenders. This part of the adventure involves the party striving to taunt the Whispering Tyrant by defeating his lieutenants and driving him berserk with rage and frustration.
The climactic battle deserves some special mention since it seems to be angering many people. I'd like to push back on that a little bit.
The final gambit is an echo of Arazni's in Book 4: to provoke the lich into nuking his annoying enemies. For the PCs, their obols were modified in Book 5 to make them amplify positive energy and reflect the Radiant Fire back on Tar-Baphon. In the process, the PCs are destroyed body and soul. Tar-Baphon is not permanently destroyed; though his bid for godhood fails his phylactery is safe and he eventually reforms.
I think this is a bold choice, in a genre where the party usually kills the bad guy and gets an unequivocal victory, having an ending where the heroes sacrifice everything for an incomplete victory has enormous potential for bittersweet storytelling. If that's not your jam, the adventure provides a way out in the form of a magical tree from book 5 acting as a pseudo-phylactery...but I think people should give ending as written some consideration. Having characters not get the power fantasy ending for one campaign is intriguing, and it certainly doesn't warrant the rage its seemed to have inspired.
On the negative side, there are some pacing issues in the last half of the adventure. I also worry that a CR26 final boss fight might be too harsh on the party, even with help from a pair of fairly powerful NPCs and the obols. Mythic has a strong potential to make this a one-sided slaughter, so be careful. That said, on the whole it's a good contribution to the last AP of PF1.
Thematic & Fluffy, but a few Mechanical IssuesCrusaderWolf —
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this PDF in exchange for this review, but I have striven to be as objective as possible.
What You Get
Themes Are Excellent
Some Mechanical Hiccups
Another example: the Osteokineticist is a beautifully flavorful class, but its Bone Bands ability makes no mention of Armor Check penalties, speed, so a DM ruling would be required on all of that (presumably none apply, per Barkskin or similar effects, but this isn't stated). Initially, my first impression was that the all of the new elements' abilities are way undercosted in Burn, but on reflection the Kineticist is a slightly underpowered class, so I think the Burn cost is only modestly too low.
Some Cool Options