GameMastery Module W1: Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale (OGL)

****½ (based on 18 ratings)
GameMastery Module W1: Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale (OGL)

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A wilderness adventure for 6th-level characters.

Fallow and abandoned for years, Bloodsworn Vale has long been a dangerous wood separating two kingdoms. A recent call-to-arms asks adventurers from around the world to establish a trade route through this dark and forboding forest.

Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale is a wilderness adventure written by Jason Bulmahn that pits players against the evil fey tribes of the Vale. Only the valiant and clever can defeat the fey—but will you be clever enough to destroy their master?

GameMastery Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All GameMastery Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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****½ (based on 18 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

*****

The background to this adventure is quite simple: the ruler of Korvosa wants to reopen a trade route to the south through a long-deserted valley. He's sent his own troops, of course, but they are struggling a bit so he's prepared to offer gold, titles and land to anyone willing to help.

Assuming the characters take the bait (a few options are presented to entice them in), when they arrive a fort has been established and the long slog of making Bloodsworn Vale safe has begun. The action consists of a series of tasks and missions, with a neat system whereby the characters accumulate 'accomplishment points' for everything that they do, these being used to calculate the level of reward they have earned once the trade route is open.

The tasks are varied: finding out what happened to a missing party of road-builders, dealing with other sentient races already in residence and the like, as well as plenty of random encounters for you to drop in as you see fit. A lot of the work can be undertaken at the characters' own pace and in an order of their choice, but there is an underlying timeline which both keeps things moving and melds the adventures into a coherent whole - a neat way of letting the players think they have complete freedom of action while ensuring that the overall game proceeds as planned!

Overall it is a well-organised mini-campaign, which can give the characters a feeling of accomplishment and knowledge that they have contributed to the development of the area. This may be continued as you wish, or they can take their rewards and move on.


Great, open ended adventure to let your PCs run through

****( )

I really liked this one. Its not that the plot was full of twists and turns so much as events were properly and clearly linked to other events. The passage of time should be pretty easy to feel, and there are clear benchmarks for how this story progresses, while still leaving the the specifics really open ended for what the PCs can do to achieve these goals.

I have noticed that the fey of Golarion seem to be twisted little muppets, but I'm okay with that. Loved the new drakes as well. Glad I got this one, and I'll probably be ordering the physical copy from my local hobby shop soon.


Not for me, but my players liked it

**( )( )( )

This module had lots of potential, but, for me, the layout and format made this module very difficult to run.
Positives: Interesting locale, wide range of choices for the PCs to explore, a wide variety of encounter types to challenge the players.
Negatives:#1 Layout. The encounters/areas were laid out in an order based on the map on the inside of the jacket. Very little rhyme or reason for the way they were laid out on the map. Then, add in the fact that there is a timeline (on page 11- 1/3 of the way though the book.) for the encounters that essentially goes A_B_K_J_I_G_E_C_L_H_I_F_M, and you have a lot of flipping back and forth. The Fort, which is labeled "A", is put in an Appendix in the back of the book (Map on inside front cover.)
#2 Railroading

Spoiler:
In order to encounter, much less defeat, the King of Roses, the first "boss" of the adventure, the party must complete a "series" of sidequests in an 8 room dungeon. Many parties will fail this, due to the obtuse nature of the quests and the likely desire to just kill all these vicious little fae.

Spoiler:
The fire seed is another. This "Immovable" floating time bomb is designed to scare/force the PCs into moving quickly to take down the story's ultimate villian, Lord Vardak. My players floated up to it, threw it in a handy haversack, then threw the haversack into the river far, far away from the fort. Problem solved. It was followed by a very forced/argumentative conversation, as the players felt they had completed their mission and had earned their rewards.

#3 Adventure Design Flaws-I felt the random encounters in the vale were simply too easy for 6th level characters. The encounters in the final "dungeon" were problematical.
Spoiler:
The greater barghests had problems with narrow passages and doorways, plus the 2 that were to come to Vardak's aid couldn't leave their room without either using dimension door or having to save vs. the pit.


Michael's Review of "Bloodsworn Vale"

****( )

There is considerable value in this adventure, in fact, the term adventure has to be used very loosely in the case of this module. Like a few other modules--most notably, Keep on the Borderlands--Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale is really a mini-campaign based around a region, rather than an adventure based upon a specific narrative goal. The encounters occur along a timeline, but the DM is provided with enough detail about the Vale and its main location, Fort Thorn, to use the episodic nature of the adventure to their advantage: players can be afforded ample opportunity to role-play in the community and develop their own stories.

The encounters themselves can be handled in multiple ways, with some dependent upon investigation or diplomacy and others on direct combat. This mix means that the overall wilderness focus of the adventure won't leave characters like Bards out in the cold!


Uninspiring story but artwork and maps saves it.

**( )( )( )

Dont get me wrong I love Paizo's work, particularly the pathfinder serie. The story is very bland/boring and a lot of the encounters feel redundant.

What saves this module is the high quality of the production : paper, artwork, maps...

Go buy one of the other modules or better yet the pathfinder AP.


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Will there be a PDF to purchase?

j.

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

It will be available as a PDF on August 15.

Or, if you're in a hurry, you could get a subscription to the GameMastery modules line... subscribers get access to the PDF (for free) as soon as their module ships, and we started shipping W1 to subscribers Thursday. :-)


Only scanned it but so far so good. The sprites and drakes look cool, and the big bad looks fun . . .I will offer some more insight when I finally get a chance to sit and read it

Liberty's Edge

I signed up a couple of days ago as a GameMastery Modules Subscriber but it says in my subscriptions that GameMastery Module D2: Seven Swords of Sin will be the first one send to me? Your post seems to indicate that W1 should be the first one recieved if you sign up now. Am I missing something?

Thank you :-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Read through it last night. I loved it. Great monsters, great conditions for victory. Awesome. The chance to rule a domain, even better. Now if only somebody would conjure up some good rules for running a domain (hint hint nudge nudge) . I am currently looking at the old Birthright rules. I got the Stronghold and Dynasty book from Mongoose Publishing, Fields of Blood and Empire as well. Guess I could create a patchwork home rules.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Stegger wrote:
I signed up a couple of days ago as a GameMastery Modules Subscriber but it says in my subscriptions that GameMastery Module D2: Seven Swords of Sin will be the first one send to me? Your post seems to indicate that W1 should be the first one recieved if you sign up now. Am I missing something?

That display is a bit misleading right now, but will be fixed in the next day or two. You'll start with W1.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

MercLordDeadboy wrote:
Read through it last night. I loved it. Great monsters, great conditions for victory. Awesome. The chance to rule a domain, even better. Now if only somebody would conjure up some good rules for running a domain (hint hint nudge nudge) . I am currently looking at the old Birthright rules. I got the Stronghold and Dynasty book from Mongoose Publishing, Fields of Blood and Empire as well. Guess I could create a patchwork home rules.

Pathfinder #3 will include rules for running a castle... that's kind of like a fort, isn't it...?


Hey gang!

I received W1 on Saturday morning. I did not see who made the delivery but the envelope was thrown into the wet yard during a rainstorm. I was at home and I have a covered front porch so this was quite unnecessary. I am positive the package came Saturday since I mowed the lawn on Friday evening. The module is soaked through. The label on the package is "US Postage Paid UPS Mail Innovations." I am confused on who delivered the envelope. My USPS mail carrier showed up an hour later than the envelope with the regular mail and a package and I met with the Saturday crew at the UPS Center in town they were unfamiliar with the labeling. Who delivers these packages? I would like to direct my righteous indignation to the appropriate party.

Would you mind sending another copy of W1 with my next mailing?

Thanks,

Thomas Oakland


Fflewddur Fflam wrote:
The label on the package is "US Postage Paid UPS Mail Innovations."

Mail Innovations is a method in which UPS will pick up all of your USPS packages and deliver them for you, to the USPS. (Paizo to UPS to USPS to you.) Generally, it saves the shipper (Paizo) some delivery charges, and thus can get volume discount, which usually translates to savings for us.

You should direct your wroth to USPS, as they were the last piece in this particular puzzle.


Lilith wrote:
Fflewddur Fflam wrote:
The label on the package is "US Postage Paid UPS Mail Innovations."

Mail Innovations is a method in which UPS will pick up all of your USPS packages and deliver them for you, to the USPS. (Paizo to UPS to USPS to you.) Generally, it saves the shipper (Paizo) some delivery charges, and thus can get volume discount, which usually translates to savings for us.

You should direct your wroth to USPS, as they were the last piece in this particular puzzle.

Thanks, I will swing by the Post Office in the morning.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
MercLordDeadboy wrote:
Read through it last night. I loved it. Great monsters, great conditions for victory. Awesome. The chance to rule a domain, even better. Now if only somebody would conjure up some good rules for running a domain (hint hint nudge nudge) . I am currently looking at the old Birthright rules. I got the Stronghold and Dynasty book from Mongoose Publishing, Fields of Blood and Empire as well. Guess I could create a patchwork home rules.
Pathfinder #3 will include rules for running a castle... that's kind of like a fort, isn't it...?

Yes!Yes!Yes! Wait a second, will it also have rules on how to run the surrounding fief?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When will the PDF version be available to subscribers?

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Zulekia wrote:
When will the PDF version be available to subscribers?

I got my issue in the mail Friday and the PDF access the friday before that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zulekia wrote:
When will the PDF version be available to subscribers?

Check the My Downloads section of your account...


Thanks Jason Bulmahn for a wonderful adventure! Totally solid! I especially love the way it blended combat and roleplaying, and the choice of baddies that all had a natural and integrated niche in the Vale. I'm a real fan of ecologies that make sense - even if this is fantasy roleplaying! Good layout too - though I'm suprised you guys chose blue for the tables over green, what with the rosebush theme and all! Looking forward to the next adventure!


Out of curiosity, has anyone run this adventure yet? I can't afford to subscribe to both Pathfinder and the Modules, but I'd like to get a module here and there I love what I've seen of the new rose-thorned fey. Does it play as good as it looks?


Are the Iconics in this or are they only going to be features as part of the D series?


Sir Urza wrote:
Are the Iconics in this or are they only going to be features as part of the D series?

Valeros, Seoni and company are all in the included as pre-gen characters in the adventure.


Riskbreaker wrote:
Does it play as good as it looks?

Sebastian's Experience w/Spoilers

Sovereign Court

sorry to be the only one not to gush but I came to expect more from such an illustrious array of writers, illustrators and players.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Rocannon II wrote:
sorry to be the only one not to gush but I came to expect more from such an illustrious array of writers, illustrators and players.

I have a comment on your review, actually, as well as an answer for you.

Rocannon II wrote:
while I am impressed by the clarity and detail of this I find that the price of 13.99 + shipping is way too high! your competition is well below your prices, and by the way ,how does one actulyy send the company an E-mail ?

Regarding our "competition," I'm not clear on whether you mean that other resellers are offering our products more inexpensively, or whether you mean other companies are producing competitive products priced less expensively.

If you mean the former, you are correct. We can't charge less than the cover price for our own products in our webstore, or retailers would feel that we're undercutting them, and that would be a very bad thing. However, we hope that by adding the value of a free PDF version to our subscription (which is $12.99 plus shipping, by the way, not $13.99 plus), our customers are getting a decent value from us. (Many people also don't mind paying a little more to support the publisher directly.)

If you mean the latter, I don't think I've seen any full-color 32-page adventures selling for "well below" $12.99.

As for your question, there's a link to e-mail customer service on the bottom of every page. If you're looking for a specific person, try the Contact Us page.

Dark Archive

Just how "bad" are the evil fey? My best friend has really taken to fey throughout our gaming history, and has recently squeeled like a giddy schoolgirl after piecing together a faerie deck with Magic:The Gathering. His birthday is coming...
Will he be delighted to see these new fey, or upset that his obscure love affair with imps, sprites, fey, etc. has been claim-jumped?

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

SO, why is W1 a 6th level adventure and W2 & W3 4th level? Are these not the old adventures where they were great as single shot but better a campaign?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Weaponbreaker wrote:
SO, why is W1 a 6th level adventure and W2 & W3 4th level? Are these not the old adventures where they were great as single shot but better a campaign?

They are not part of a series; W is used to mark it as a Wilderness adventure.

Liberty's Edge

Weaponbreaker wrote:
SO, why is W1 a 6th level adventure and W2 & W3 4th level? Are these not the old adventures where they were great as single shot but better a campaign?

These aren't old adventures of any kind; they're Paizo-produced adventures. The W signifies that they're Wilderness adventures, rather than linked modules of a congruent storyline. The letters represent the adventure type.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Doh, I wich I knew that. They are still great adventures.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Need Sequel!!!


Where in Golarion is Bloodsworn Vale located?


Blackbird wrote:
Where in Golarion is Bloodsworn Vale located?

Found it on the Gazetteer map: a mountain area between Nirmathas and Korvosa


Vic Wertz wrote:
We can't charge less than the cover price for our own products in our webstore, or retailers would feel that we're undercutting them, and that would be a very bad thing.

But you still make money from amazon purchases


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm running this as part of my CotCT campaign. I've advanced the timeline to match the AP by simply saying that nobody has answered Sir Gyrad's call for adventurers and now it's a year later.

I'm still pondering a couple of things though.

Spoiler:
The vale contains some serious monsters, including a chimera, a hill giant, and a medusa, that aren't detailed at all. It would seem that monsters this powerful should have their presence felt at least a little in the plot. I'm going to name them and give them backstories, but if any of you have already done this then I'd be interested in reading about it. The hill giant, I figure, will be a refugee from Mokmurian's recruiting drives (in RotRL).

I suspect that one of the first things that will happen after the party arrives in the vale is that Leutnant Leroung of the Sable Company will begin an extensive aerial survey of the vale. I suspect that she'll see Oakbrow's home and possibly the old druid circle fairly easily, and maybe the bugbear camp. A scout once saw Lord Vardak's fortress from fairly far away, so she might see that, too. They might end up doing things in a very different order as a result.

My party is primarily a diplomatic one, and it seems likely that they'll negotiate with the King of Roses. According to the text, if he's made friendly then "he pretends to agree to stop the attacks, and then cheerfully resumes them as soon as the PCs' backs are turned." (p. 10) Doesn't this seem odd? Why wouldn't he explain the problem and tell them why he can't stop the raids? Certainly if the make him helpful instead of friendly he'll tell them all he can (though this is DC 40, and so a little tougher).

The bugbears seem out-of-flavour for Golarion bugbears, and I'm clearly going to have to rework them. I think I'll post about this separately. They need to be sneaky and frightening, and possibly getting into the fort during the night in spite of the guards, or something.

The lizardfolk seem oddly concerned with Fort Thorn. I think I'll make it so that they only care about the road being built through the forest, since that's almost in their swamp. According to Classic Monsters Revisited lizardfolk in Golarion don't tend to care much about stuff away from their watery homes.

I don't understand the intent of the lake pollution. Fort Thorn is upriver from the lake. I guess it's a haunting that supernaturally spreads against the stream, but is that what Mr. Bulmahn had in mind when he wrote it? It seems odd that this wouldn't be mentioned. Unless I figure out how this was intended I'll just go with that. (Incidentally, do we know the name of the river that leads from Mist Lake toward Nidal?)

Finally, I thought it was funny that Lord Vardak, a sorcerer, was somebody's apprentice. :) I can see them sitting around drinking. "Can you can invisibility yet?" "Nope." "Hmm, better have another beer then. You too."

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

This is probably my favorite module so far. It works perfectly in my game as an ongoing open-ended mission while the players explore the vale, where I've set a few other encounters that belong with my existing campaign.

Liberty's Edge

My only issue with this module is that the villains do not seem that clearly defined. The players end up with the option of committing massive amounts of genocide against vaguely offensive and more or less neutral factions or perhaps just wandering around making peace with everyone and getting no experience or treasure... personally... I feel a bit frustrated with it.


I'm running this adventure, but am a bit worried about the difficulty of the last encounter. Hopefully, this is the place to post? (Sorry, if it isn't)

Press here for details:
Although the characters may have gained a level and all reached level 7, they are still facing a deadly opponent (CR10) who might even have some help (2xCR5). The combat would start with a fear spell, which might reduce the number of PCs by one or two. If someone falls for the trap (CR5), another PC might be removed. All in all it's almost an APL+5 encounter... I can't see how this fight would end than a loss 9 times out of 10?

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

By the end of this adventure, the PCs should have a sense of the danger that they are in and have time to prepare for the final battle. While they might not know all the specifics, they know that they are facing a powerful spellcaster and that alone gives them quite an edge.

If you are truly concerned, there are a number of ways to give them an advantage or even warn them about some of his powers. Dropping in a scroll of remove fear, or giving them some clues as to his elemental spells should be more than enough for a clever party to properly prepare.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just looking over this again today, and got to thinking that it might be fun to run it with the Sandbox Exploration rules from Ultimate Campaign (and Kingmaker).

Has anyone tried this? I'd be curious to hear your experiences. I may give a whack at trying a conversion with a hex map myself.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:

Just looking over this again today, and got to thinking that it might be fun to run it with the Sandbox Exploration rules from Ultimate Campaign (and Kingmaker).

Has anyone tried this? I'd be curious to hear your experiences. I may give a whack at trying a conversion with a hex map myself.

Dude that sounds awesome! I always considered this and hook mountain as precursors to kingmaker. It would be neat to update them both with a little kingmaker love.


There's a treatment of the Hook Mountain area in one of the Wayfinders (#9?) as a Kingmaker-style exploration map.

I've considered the same, but the area is kind of small for that hex treatment. The hexes are 12-miles across, but each square on the Bloodsworn Vale map is only 2, so there might be some re-arranging required to keep things from winding up in a small number of hexes.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Interesting thought. This mod was one of our first "exploration" style adventures and was way before any of our rules for that system were put into place.

That said, I am sure they could be modified to make it work.

Jason

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I would love to see this, the Falcon's Hollow modules, and a few others updated to the current rules. I know it's wishful thinking. :)

>Looks at date stamp when he purchased it< Wow, has it really been seven years? O_O Time really does fly.

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