GameMastery Module J3: Crucible of Chaos (OGL)

***** (based on 8 ratings)
GameMastery Module J3: Crucible of Chaos (OGL)

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A journey adventure for 8th-level characters.

The Lost City has been found, hidden in a remote mountain valley. As adventurers rush to plunder its fabled treasures, a hungry terror prepares for their arrival. The dream of the Lost City is gone, warped by eldritch forces into a living nightmare that only the bravest can ever hope to escape.

Written by Wolfgang Baur

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-074-2

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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***** (based on 8 ratings)

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Excellent Module with Cthulhu Flavor

*****

A very fun adventure, for both GM and player. An atypical blend of exploration, NPC interaction, and dungeon crawl (if you consider a ruined city shrouded with green fog and horrible monsters a "dungeon", which I think you can). The module provides a lot of details, and a lot of gaps, which I view as ideal for any adventure: There is plenty of structure and pre-planned encounters, but endless opportunity for the GM to make up anything. For example, the city can be hidden pretty much anywhere, and I made it a fairly epic wilderness adventure just to find the place. The module gives details for only so many city buildings, meaning the GM can concoct additional adventures around all of the other countless buildings, if desired. There are Lovecraft flavors peppered here and there that boost the fun. My experienced group of players really embraced and enjoyed the mysteries of the remarkably unusual city.

Spoiler:
I agree with the other reviewer about the "Return of the Eaten" optional ending. To me, the notion of a few high-ranking Shory citizens consumed by a shoggoth 6,000 years ago suddenly coming back to life when you kill the shoggoth was too much to swallow (pun intended). That just didn't make a lot of sense to me: once a shoggoth eats you, nothing short of a true resurrection can help you. At the same time, I like the idea of that optional ending: a few knowledgeable people of the Shory culture showing up who could really help get the city back to full operational capacity. So I tinkered with this piece of the adventure, and added deposits of magic amber here and there. The idea was that when chaos magic overran the city six millennia ago, some of that manifested as random blasts of amber goo that froze -- and preserved in stasis -- some of the citizenry. I also added a few traps that blasted PCs with the amber. That seemed to work well: the PCs found someone trapped in amber whom they broke free, the NPC didn't experience the passage of 6,000 years, and he eventually turned into a replacement PC when another PC died. At the very end, there was an amber pocket under the "Shoggoth Stone" where there were a couple of the named NPCs described in the "Return of the Eaten" segment. So, the ultimate plot point was preserved: knowledgeable NPCs showing up at the end.


Great Lost City Sandbox

*****

I ran this adventure for my Skulls'n'Shackles group. It required some wrangling to fit it to a 5th-level group, but in the end everyone, me included, had an absolute blast.

Wolfgang Baur sure knows how to build a mysterious lost city that keeps players interested in discovering "what exactly happened here?". The encounters run along coherent themes and are memorable, there's plenty of opportunity for both GM and the players to improvise, what's not to love?

Also, shoggoth.


The Crux of my Campaign

*****

As my title may indicate, I used Crucible of Chaos to begin my weekly Monday night game (and the game group call themselves the Monday-Knights). This was one of those modules (like another reviewer had said) a few pages into it and you WANT to run it, it's that good. I had a slightly larger adventuring party (mostly 6, sometimes 7) players. I did kill about half of the original party at one point or another.

Spoiler:
(The babaus,& the lightning trap were the culprits).
I would have enjoyed using the "return of the eaten" but my group wouldn't have gone for it. They plan to rebuild the city, and make it their own. (Of course they need to survive the last part of Legacy of Fire first). If they do, it's on to the Ruins of Kho, find any parts that can help rebuild Ulduvai, and get back in one piece. I also LOVED the Derhii, and I WANT a miniature of one SO badly. An Awesome module! Highest recommendation possible.


Awesome!

*****

This really is one of the best adventures I've ever seen. Lots to do, plenty of hooks and NPCs, helpful hints and examples for creating a "weird" atmosphere, and winged apes! 5/5 and a 'must buy' award if you're a pulp/Lovecraft fan.


Crucible Intergration

*****

We intergrated this side adventure into the Rise of the Runelords campaign. The party was investigating leads on ancient ruins and societies in their search post Hook Mountain/pre Stone Giants. Intergated so well that one of the Shori joined as a cohort/side kick. (Martaniss Gloriandor).

Flying Apes! Demonic Baboons! and all the love of the ancient lost city in the jungle. loads of fun. worth your time!

enjoy!


1 to 5 of 8 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Is this module set in or near the Xin-Shalast portion of the Rise of the Runelords Path?

The first review seems to indicate that it does, but I wnat to know for sure before purchasing.

Thanks
Steve


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Crucible of Chaos can be set in any mountainous region, it was not set specifically anywhere.

Spoiler:
since it was a flying city, the logic is that it could have come to rest just about anywhere, and remained undiscovered in a hidden valley in the mountains.


BY far the most absorbing of the series so far.

The depth you've managed to fit into the cthulhu-esque inspired crashed floating city is amazing, as is the flexibility for the players to choose their own goals.

Hidden mountainous verdant valley complete with waterfall and jungle. Lizardfolk on dinosaurs. Chaos warped lovecraftian madness. Flying kick ass apes. Mutated sorcerer cultists. Flying cities. Long gone civilisations. Ancient technology. What isn't in this adventure!

As for me, I'm fitting this into my homebrew as my players next adventure.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Several questions:

1) Since there's no mention of where in Golarion this location is, what have people been doing to tie it in with the rest of the world? I'd love to establish it as existing in a specific location so players can return to it, especially if they get it up and running again (which I can more than see them doing.)

2) This one's more for the editorial staff. Are there stats for running the Derhii as PCs? I assume there's a few levels worth of Level Adjustment, but beyond that, what are the Ability bumps, etc to consider?

Contributor

yoda8myhead wrote:


2) This one's more for the editorial staff. Are there stats for running the Derhii as PCs? I assume there's a few levels worth of Level Adjustment, but beyond that, what are the Ability bumps, etc to consider?

There's some great suggestions on how to build the Derhii as a PC race in this thread.


I know that many of you are probably GMing, but I wanted to let everyone know that I will be starting a email game using Crucible of Chaos. If you are interested please email me at GMWayne@personamgames.com.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
yoda8myhead wrote:

Several questions:

1) Since there's no mention of where in Golarion this location is, what have people been doing to tie it in with the rest of the world? I'd love to establish it as existing in a specific location so players can return to it, especially if they get it up and running again (which I can more than see them doing.)

Actually I found this in the Blog from Jason Bulmahn (emphasis mine)

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Uncover the ruins of the flying city

Legends speak of an ancient culture that drifted through the clouds atop immense floating cities. These same tales speak of a horrible catastrophe that brought them low, but no one has discovered the true cause. Now, a mystical compass has been discovered that seems to point to an unexplored valley, one that just might hold the secrets of this lost empire. But will the same catastrophe strike again?

Crucible of Chaos is a journey-based adventure for 8th-level characters compatible with the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game. This adventure contains details on the valley containing the crashed sky-city, including the natives who live there, as well as information on those who brought about the city's downfall.

This adventure is set in the unexplored reaches of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, one of the nations in the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, but it can be easily adapted for use in any setting. For more information on this area, check out the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer.

Jason Bulmahn
GameMastery Brand Manager

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

My only concern is that if I put it somewhere and later that area is used in an Adventure Path then I 'll have to move part of that path around. So if he suggested the Mammouth area, that's where it will go. With all the Setting books coming out this summer the journey there will great exploration type adventure stuff.


What level will the PC's be at the end of this mod.?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

stuart haffenden wrote:
What level will the PC's be at the end of this mod.?

10th.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

There is mention on the back cover of the ruin of the city being somewhere in the Mwangi Expanse (which of course is...huge!).

There is a point in the NE corner of the expanse called the Ruins of Kho, which is mentioned in the PfCG as a Shory ruin. I think I would put Uldavi in the Bandu Hills though, probably in one of those valleys in the northeastern stretch of these rugged mountains. (It is also close to Bloodcove, a possible entry port into the expanse).

The other alternative is placing Uldavi in the Barrier Mountains south of Thuvia, though that might be too close to Jaha, which does not seem to be a pleasant place.


About to put this in to my homebrew as a cross over adventure.

Any chance of getting another map of the city, but without the invisible bridges or descriptions?


Running this module right now for my party and they love it.

Great job on this one Paizo and WB.


reinbowarrior wrote:

About to put this in to my homebrew as a cross over adventure.

Any chance of getting another map of the city, but without the invisible bridges or descriptions?

Email me privately ( sozinsky at gmail dot com ) and I can send you a set of edited maps. I use digital projecter and and photoshopped everything out manually. (Hey, Paizo, I know I sound like a broken record, but it would be beyond great if you could start releasing un-annotated maps...)


sozin wrote:
reinbowarrior wrote:

About to put this in to my homebrew as a cross over adventure.

Any chance of getting another map of the city, but without the invisible bridges or descriptions?

Email me privately ( sozinsky at gmail dot com ) and I can send you a set of edited maps. I use digital projecter and and photoshopped everything out manually. (Hey, Paizo, I know I sound like a broken record, but it would be beyond great if you could start releasing un-annotated maps...)

I'm starting this next week in my homebrew as well. I would love a copy of those maps as well if you are amenable. I'm mixing it in between a couple of the fantastic location adventures and another gamemastery. I hope it goes as well as some of you have indicated. I have some reservations but overall I think it will be cool.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

sozin wrote:
Email me privately and I can send you a set of edited maps. I use digital projecter and and photoshopped everything out manually. (Hey, Paizo, I know I sound like a broken record, but it would be beyond great if you could start releasing un-annotated maps...)

Please don't redistribute our maps, or altered versions of our maps.

Also, in our more recent PDFs, maps are now usually saved in a format in which the untagged art layer can easily be selected and extracted.


Vic Wertz wrote:
sozin wrote:
Email me privately ( sozinsky at gmail dot com ) and I can send you a set of edited maps. I use digital projecter and and photoshopped everything out manually. (Hey, Paizo, I know I sound like a broken record, but it would be beyond great if you could start releasing un-annotated maps...)

Please don't redistribute our maps, or altered versions of our maps.

Also, in our more recent PDFs, maps are now usually saved in a format in which the untagged art layer can easily be selected and extracted.

Eek! Yeah, that occured to me after I posted. Sorry Vic (and others!), I'll go up and edit that post away.

I just tried to do what you described above (find untagged art layer) in the Curse of the Crimson Throne mappack, but without luck ... is there a FAQ or README somewhere that describes how to do this?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

sozin wrote:

I just tried to do what you described above (find untagged art layer) in the Curse of the Crimson Throne mappack, but without luck ... is there a FAQ or README somewhere that describes how to do this?

D'oh! Looks like that one went through the wrong PDF exporter, so you can't do it with that. I'll see if the art department folks can fix it sometime soon.

Normally, you use the Select tool (the one with the arrow cursor) to click on the image, and then you can copy-and-paste, or drag-and-drop.

(I'm told, though, that Adobe removed this feature in Reader 9, but I haven't actually checked that myself.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:

D'oh! Looks like that one went through the wrong PDF exporter, so you can't do it with that. I'll see if the art department folks can fix it sometime soon.

Normally, you use the Select tool (the one with the arrow cursor) to click on the image, and then you can copy-and-paste, or drag-and-drop.

(I'm told, though, that Adobe removed this feature in Reader 9, but I haven't actually checked that myself.)

Looks like the two large maps went through correctly, but because those are full-page maps, Adobe Reader thinks the map image is a page background, so you have to Option-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows) to select it.

Dark Archive

GM's may want to show this picture to their players when they enter the crucible.
The mountaineers in the picture are non-descript enough that they just might be adventurers carriying shields - no photoshopping required. I wish I found this before running the adventure :(
note: It's not my photo, but it's perfect for this adventure.


How difficult is it to adapt this to PFRPG? Substituting final statblocks from the Bestiary is simple enough, but I'm curious about adapting the difficulty of traps and such.


Figured it out. Been converting all day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Brother Fen wrote:
How difficult is it to adapt this to PFRPG? Substituting final statblocks from the Bestiary is simple enough, but I'm curious about adapting the difficulty of traps and such.

Been looking at that myself lately. The Shoggoth in particular bothers me. Also, I know virtually nothing about EL except that it comes from that other game, is short for "encounter level" and seems to have been entirely replaced by Challenge Rating (CR).

I haven't looked at traps yet.


The DC's pretty much translate directly over, unless you want to +5 here or there. Substitute the 3.5 skills for PFRPG skills (Perception and Disable Device) and it's all done.

Spoiler:
The Shoggoth in the Bestiary is a much higher CR than the one in the module. I imagine it doesn't matter much because the party is not meant to fight the Shoggoth. They are meant to run from it.

The higher CR is negligible. I've noticed in adapting these older 3.5 Pathfinder modules that most of the CRs and ELs line up. The Shoggoth seems to be the exception to the rule.


I just ran this with a party of six 7th level pathfinder PCs as a one shot. It ended when the two amazon PCs got tentacle snatched to death and the rest of the party bugged out for good. Before the end one PC got swallowed whole, one was energy drained, two had their internal organs rearranged, and at one point four out of five remaining PCs were confused. A good time was had by all.

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