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Well-Designed Low Level Module

4/5

This one was low-level play done right. It starts as generically as is possible (goblins attack, yeah, yeah, we've seen this before). But it builds out of that in an intriguing way, and before long you're at the really cool megadungeon setpiece. The dungeon is done quite well, and my group had a lot of fun with it. There were varied encounters, and interesting NPCs. I also liked the schedule mechanics, where the monsters would change position based on the time of day, and the actions of the PCs.

Our group is doing fine with the much-maligned Caravan rules. We're also using the Ultimate Relationships ruleset, which is working quite well. We're leaning into the travel and NPC relationships portion, which is a novel addition to a campaign. It worked for us, but it might not for you.

One final thing I liked is that the travel allows a GM to really add a lot of stuff to the AP if they want to. There's a lot of cool locations you can take the caravan through, and it's great for adding on sidequest stuff.


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Excellent adventure that really feels like an adventure

5/5

This AP volume was really fantastic. The NPCs, especially the three main Ekujae, were extremely fun to play and had excellent characters and motivations. There's a ton of excellent lore. I loved how the Ekujae didn't need the heroes to come save them or anything, even from the BBEG of the campaign. If it gets down to it, they know what they're doing and they'll take the steps they need to stop it. The whole time spent in Akrivel was a great time. The scenarios were really well done. I enjoyed it a lot.

I really didn't think I'd enjoy the jungle hexcrawl. And it certainly wasn't perfect. There were too many towers, and doing them all could be a slog (if you're running this, don't have the PCs do all of them. Have them do like 5 or 6).

But even then, the scenarios were terrific. It felt like there was something interesting to do everywhere in the jungle. It really felt alive. And the scenarios were good at signposting a lot of the plot-heavy locations.

All in all, this was a fantastic module that really brought a cool region and culture to life. Highly recommended.


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A Poor Start to a Strong AP

2/5

I remember not being drawn in by this upon reading it for the first time, and then dismissing Age of Ashes as an AP in favor of running another 1e game. That was a mistake-- Age of Ashes is definitely a strong AP. This book, however, is not a strong module.

I'll leave aside some of the stuff like wonky encounter difficulty. That's not all that hard to fix. It's pretty clear that the Barghest encounter needs to be adjusted. There are other encounters that are a bit tough, but my group didn't have any problem with that aspect overall.

The entire story and setting seemed a little dull, and didn't do a good job of seeding plot threads for the later volumes. The tone also felt different as well. I wasn't a huge fan of how it was written, and the scenario and setting were kind of generic. A lot of the logic of what happens felt undercooked, like the justification for why the PCs should get the Citadel, or what Voz's motivations were. Overall, it just didn't feel very compelling to me.


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Felt Like Filler

2/5

While Book 2 of Extinction Curse was great, this one was a let down. It just felt really... bland. First, the encounter difficulty was all over the place. This isn't uncommon for sandbox-style adventures, I suppose, but with PF2e's very tight difficulty curves it could be a pain.

Second, the scenarios were really repetitive. Like... really repetitive. Go to a tower. Fight Xulgath. Then on to the next tower, fight more Xulgath. There weren't many other subplots in the book except for the (ok) murder mystery thing that permeated the whole book.

The setting felt pretty boring to me, and there weren't many notable NPCs to play. This whole scenario felt like sidequest filler, which is bad considering it's absolutely integral to the plot of the entire AP. There were some fun moments, but overall I wasn't really a fan.


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Really Fun Adventure

5/5

I think this module is the Extinction Curse AP at its best. It has a bit of everything, with some cool locales, some interesting villains, and some varied adventures. It also leaves some blank space for you to add things for yourself if you need to. The difficulty curve is more gentle in this one (until you get to the book's boss that is-- good luck and be careful!).

There's a really neat sense of wonder that permeates the book. First, with the investigation of an old temple, you do get a good idea of a bygone era; it's very atmospheric. Then, with the circus stuff, it's very on-point, conveying whimsy and danger all at once. The set pieces are really well done.

We didn't bother much with the actual circus performances, but that's fairly standard for this AP from what I understand. This adventure is pretty great without them.


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Good Starting Adventure-- Once You Get Past the First Part

4/5

This is a good low-level module for PF2e. It's quite self-contained, as you're a circus troupe that is investigating a murder, and finds more than they bargained for. The stories are good, the setting is pretty fun, and it ramps up in a believable way to the climax.

I do have a couple of quibbles. The first is that it's pretty generic sometimes. It's a fun module, but there's a certain "coolness" factor that it's missing that some other modules have.

Second, yikes, some of those level 1 encounters. The first part can be extremely difficult, so GMs, don't be afraid to pull some punches.

Outside of that, this is a fun-- but kind of generic-- start to a fun-- but kind of generic-- AP.


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The Gold Standard For Adventure Paths

5/5

This AP is widely considered one of the (if not THE) best Adventure Paths for good reason. It really is that good. Tons of really interesting NPCs and storylines. Lots and lots and lots of room for a GM to add their own touches. An excellent story that makes the PCs feel like heroes. Villains they really want to beat. Heck, it's even a good introduction to the pathfinder system and world.

Not only that, but since it's so popular, there's tons of advice about what changes to make, what to keep an eye on, and how to make changes that can improve it. This edition is a fantastic deal and an excellent campaign and I can't recommend it highly enough.


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Cool Story, But Too Punishing

3/5

I liked the story of this module. I also liked the gimmick of it, to an extent, with the focus on weather as a very real hurdle to overcome.

However, the first part is so hard that my players really had trouble enjoying themselves. The weather rules could use some streamlining, and some more give. The penalty to ranged attacks was especially brutal, since many enemies in the forest flew. I did make some tweaks to make some encounters cool (playing with low visibility on Roll20 due to snow was fun). But beware: the encounters in the forest are going to be very, very hard for a level 1 party. Judging from my players' reactions, it wasn't the fun kind of hard.

Once they got out of the forest, though, it picked up. The next section was a cool town and dungeon crawl. I enjoy how alien and oppressive Irrisen feels. What really attracts me to this AP is that it's definitely not a "standard" fantasy setting. The book does a good job of making the dungeons feel otherwordly and should take players out of their comfort zone.

PROS: Does a good job of evoking a "stranger in a strange land" feeling. The second section is really nicely done, with a really neat dungeon to end the module. The story is very dark in a satisfying way-- expect your players to see terrible things happening to people in this AP. Irrisen pulls no punches, like a fairy tale if you take out all the whimsy.

CONS: Difficulty (too high for the first section). Weather mechanics can bog down gameplay, and can make some builds feel useless (like ranged attackers). If I had to run it again, I'd homebrew some stuff to get the players to level 2 before launching into this module.