Pathfinder #7—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy" (OGL)

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Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy"
by Nicolas Logue

The King has died, and the city of Korvosa is in chaos! Riots, banditry, monsters, and mayhem are turning the normally safe streets of the city into a war zone. Desperate to regain control of her city, Queen Ileosa seeks heroes to aid her in reclaiming control before the largest city in all Varisia consumes itself from within, as Pathfinder’s second Adventure Path, Curse of the Crimson Throne, begins with a bang!

This volume of Pathfinder includes a GM’s gazetteer of the city of Korvosa, designed to supplement the player-oriented Pathfinder Chronicles Guide to Korvosa, along with a presentation on the mystical culture of the land’s indigenous Varisians and several new monsters designed for use in urban environs. Your new campaign starts right here!

For characters of 1st to 4th level.

Pathfinder is Paizo Publishing's 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover Adventure Path book printed on high-quality paper that releases in a monthly volume. Each volume is brought to you by the same staff which brought you Dragon and Dungeon magazines for over five years. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Because Pathfinder uses the Open Game License, it is 100% compatible with the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

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Fantastic Start to an Urban Campaign

5/5

NO SPOILERS

Since the middle of last year, I’ve been running Curse of the Crimson Throne. The adventure path is known as one of Paizo’s very best, and I’ve certainly had a blast with it. Although I primarily use the hardcover edition that updates the material from D&D 3.5 to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, I still read through each of the individual issues as they often provide additional flavour, artwork, and supplementary material that helps enrich the experience. Although my campaign is well into Chapter Four at this point, this review looks at Edge of Anarchy, the first chapter of the adventure path. We’ll start with the non-spoilery back matter and then move on to the adventure itself in the Spoilers! Section below.

• Harrow (4 pages): This section is a very short introduction to the Varisian fortune-telling device called the Harrow. In a broad sense, it’s very similar to the idea of using tarot cards, with each card holding its own theme and the placement of the card in a “spread” providing additional interpretative clues to its meaning. Paizo has produced a Harrow deck that corresponds with the attributed meanings in this guide, but there are also instructions here for GMs who want to replicate a Harrowing with an ordinary deck of playing guards or even dice. The instructions here are essentially the bare minimum necessary to do a Harrowing, and I’ve seen more in-depth material in later books. But like “real” fortune-telling, whether the statements offered seems meaningful and insightful really comes down to the skill of the one interpreting the cards.

• People of the Road (8 pages): This is a beautifully-written description of the Varisian people, a loose analogue to the real-world Roma. Varisians embrace a life of freedom and travel guided by elders skilled the Harrow—but now that long-term prophecy has failed on Golarion, their paths are even more uncertain. The entry covers distinctive Varisian dress, tattoos, magic, caravans, and their kapenia (customary scarves that show kinship relations). There’s also a discussion of the sczarni—clans of Varisians who have turned to criminal pursuits for profit. There’s even a real-world recipe for a yummy-sounding classic Varisian meal (“Spicy Chickpea Simmer”) and a sample Varisian family. It’s a fantastic entry, and I really wish I had remembered to consult it as I homebrewed a meeting with a Varisian caravan in a session a few weeks ago which would have gone even better with the material here. I don’t believe this material has been wholly reprinted anywhere, and it’s definitely worth looking at.

• The Burn Run (6 pages): This short story is the beginning of another serialised tale of Eando Kline, a member of the in-world Pathfinder Society. Kline is attempting to cross the Cinderlands, a desert-like scrubland of parched earth, relentless heat, and ferocious predators. It’s also the territory for three Shoanti quahs (clans), including the Sklar-Quah (Clan of the Sun). Through a twist of fate, Kline gets caught up with the Sklar-Quah’s Burn Run, a ritual which involves adolescent members attempting a rite of passage: to outrace an intentionally-set wildfire! It’s an exciting story with a ton of great information about the Cinderlands and the Clan of the Sun—if the PCs in my campaign ever go there, I’d pass out this story for background flavour.

• Bestiary (14 pages): This section starts with an announcement that, starting with this issue, each monster in the bestiary will receive a two-page spread. There’s also a one-page discussion of the sewers under Korvosa and a Korvosa sewers random encounter table. Six new monsters are introduced: carrion golems (solid concept, like different diseases, artwork is too “wolfman”), devilfish (fine), dream spiders (interesting relation to the drug Shiver, and important sidebar on Shiver’s effects), soulbound dolls (a creepy idea I’ve never seen in a game), raktavarna (a sort of telepathic spy that can appear to be a normal item of equipment), and reefclaw (mean lobsters! I didn’t know they had their origin in Thassilonian flesh-warping). Although (I’m pretty sure) all of these monsters also appear in later hardcover monster collections, the two-page spreads here really do provide some worthwhile background and flavour to help flesh (carrion golem pun!) them out.

• Iconics (2 pages): A set of four, Level 1 pre-generated characters are here and ready for play: Ezren, Seelah, Harsk, and Lem.
It all adds up to a great collection of back matter that adds a lot to the campaign and to Pathfinder in general.

SPOILERS!:

Okay, let’s get into the real meat of Edge of Anarchy! A two-page forward by James Jacobs makes it clear that Curse of the Crimson Throne is primarily an urban campaign centered around the city of Korvosa. Whereas Rise of the Runelords had a huge amount of trekking through the wilderness and surviving the dangers of forbidding mountains and dark forests, this adventure path is perfect for more urbane social characters like bards, rogues, and (though they weren’t around at the time) vigilantes. That doesn’t mean that the PCs will never leave Korvosa during the campaign, just that there’s a different emphasis. The foreword also explains that it’s up to the PCs (in consultation with the GM) to decide on where their residences are in the city, and that the campaign isn’t on a strict internal timeline.

The background presented for Korvosa and the events leading up to the start of the campaign is a deep, rich tale involving colonialism, dispossession of indigenous peoples, a stirring ancient evil, and regicide! The overall plot of the adventure path is that, fuelled by a link to a once-buried malevolent entity, the Queen of Korvosa has arranged for the murder of the King and begins to reign with a cruel, capricious fist. Over the course of the entire campaign, the PCs have to find a way to depose the Queen and restore a semblance of order to the city. The adventure in Edge of Anarchy is divided into seven parts.

In Part 1, the PCs are assembled by a mysterious fortune-teller named Zellara. Zellara explains that each of the people present have been wronged in some way by a notorious criminal named Gaedren Lamm, and that now is the time to bring him to justice. After performing a Harrow reading for the PCs (which gives them some veiled insights into the chapter as well as some mechanical bonuses depending on the cards they draw), the PCs are directed to an old fishery that serves as Lamm’s base of operations. Here, Lamm forces enslaved orphans to work for him as pickpockets (in a sort of Oliver Twist/Fagin way) and laborers. The old fishery contains several encounters against well-written and memorable NPCs, though the structure of the building is a bit complicated to picture in a three-dimensional sense and can lead to confusion. One of the problems with the campaign in a big picture sense is that all of the PCs are required to have a shared background with Gaedren Lamm (even selecting campaign traits for the purpose), but Gaedren is probably brought to justice within the first session or two—so why does the group want to stay together afterwards? Players at most tables will do it just because they know they’re expected to, but it does hurt the verisimilitude of what happens next.

In Part 2, as the PCs have departed the old fishery, they realise that anarchy has broken out over Korvosa! Word that the king is dead (and widespread loathing of Queen Ileosa) has led to rioting, arson, looting, and more. It probably all happens too quickly (how long were the PCs in that old fishery?), but it certainly is cinematic. This part presents five encounters that the GM can insert as desired, with some of them capable of repetition (like dealing with mobs). One of the encounters is fairly important, as the PCs meet a drunken member of the Korvosan Guard named Grau Soldado. Every group latches on to different things, and Grau proved an important NPC for my group in particular. Anyway, this section is fairly open-ended for the GM (something I appreciate), and allows for easy customisation to the character backgrounds and playing styles of different groups.

The hook that starts Part 3 is a problematic one, in my opinion. Assuming everything went as expected in the old fishery, the PCs would have come across an old broach. Assuming they decide to sell the broach, they’ll learn that it actually belongs to Queen Ileosa (it was stolen from one of her handmaidens) and that there’s a reward for it. Assuming they decide to return it to her (a potentially scary proposition), they’ll be invited into the throne room itself for a brief meeting. Ileosa delivers the promised reward, says she can use brave warriors like the PCs, and arranges for them to meet another important NPC, Cressida Kroft—leader of the Korvosan Guard. I can sort of see the value in the PCs getting to encounter Queen Ileosa early, but it all seems a bit pat and it all relies on the broach in a way that’s hard to fix if the PCs don’t do what’s expected.

In Part 4, Field Marshal Kroft offers the group a job: several deserters from the Guard have set up shop in an abandoned slaughter-house and are giving away free meat to the locals. Kroft wants the PCs to bring in the leader of the deserters, a man named Verik Vancaskerkin (a relative of Orik from RotRL!). Verik has a really interesting story, and isn’t really a villain per se, as he’s been manipulated by someone from House Arkona (a noble family, who we’ll see play a prominent role in Chapter Three). Depending on what happens, there could be a great “Soylent Green is People!” revelation.

Part 5 has Kroft introduce the PCs to a well-known fencing instructor and critic of the monarchy, Vencarlo Orisini. She then hires the group for another mission. The ambassador to Korvosa from Cheliax is proving troublesome, and the city could use a way to discredit him. Word has leaked that the ambassador is having an extra-marital affair, with proof contained in letters he’s written that are now in the hands of a criminal entrepreneur named Davargo Bavarsi—“King of the Spiders.” The PCs are tasked with getting these letters, and there’s lots of ways they can go about it: stealth, deception, and skulduggery, or through a little ultra-violence. I have to gloss over a ton of content and description in these reviews for space purposes, but trust me that it’s all handled quite well and with a surprising depth and richness.

Part 6 is really fun, and something different. Tired of the (completely true) gossip that she had a hand in her husband’s death, Queen Ileosa decides to frame someone to take the fall. She chooses a pretty young artist, Trinia Sabor, who had been painting a portrait of the king before his death. Soon, everyone in the city is after this artist and if the mob or the Hellknights get to her first, the results won’t be pretty. Field Marshall Kroft doesn’t want a lynching, she wants justice, so she asks the PCs to see if they can find Trinia and bring her in alive. How this plays out in the game is a special encounter using Chase rules (as later published in the GameMastery Guide). A Chase is a sort of special skills challenge that rewards PCs who have invested in skills like Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, and so forth that enable them to get around obstacles in their way. It’s a nice change of pace from combat-focussed characters getting all the glory.

Part 7 is a big section as it involves the AP’s first real dungeon crawl. The anarchy and mob violence have also led to race riots, and the city’s small population of Shoanti have paid the price with some getting murdered in the streets. The PCs are tasked with recovering the body of the slain grandson of an important Shoanti shaman named Thousand Bones. But the body has been taken and dismembered by a necromancer named Rolth Lamm, and the PCs have to fight their way through one of his many underground hiding places to find the body. Rolth isn’t actually present, but his allies (derro) are, and the closest thing this chapter has to a “boss battle” is against a derro sorcerer named Vreeg. It was an excellent, challenging encounter. The sequence of finding the dismembered parts of the grandson’s body is a bit gruesome, and although I understand it from a plotting perspective (ensuring the PCs visit various chambers), I think it could be done better.

The Conclusion to the chapter isn’t a mere epilogue—it’s vitally important to the adventure. Trinia Sabor (if she was apprehended) or a lookalike (if she wasn’t) is slated for execution, and everyone who’s anyone in Korvosa has come out to watch. Suddenly, Blackjack, a legendary masked hero of Korvosa who hasn’t been seen for a decade appears and tries to rescue her! This is handled as a sort of interactive scene (not an Initiative-tracked grid encounter), and what the PCs choose to do here is very important. One of the things I love most about these early Pathfinder adventures is that the writers are willing to entertain “bad” outcomes. Although Blackjack and Trinia might very well escape, they could also be captured and executed. A lot of it depends on the PCs, and it all matters for future developments in the campaign. It made a great capstone adventure for Chapter 1, and I think all of us at the table were breathless during it.

The first volume is integrated into the entire adventure path is a really intelligent way, as many of the NPCs and plot developments tie into later books. For example, Thousand Bones will reappear in a later chapter when the PCs visit the Cinderlands in Chapter 4, while Vencarlo Orisini is a major part of Chapter 3. How the PCs handle these early encounters affects the course of the campaign. I’m at my word limit, so I’ll wrap up by enthusiastically endorsing Edge of Anarchy. It’s a great adventure.


Edge of Anarchy Review

4/5

Warning: This review contains spoilers.
Written from a GM's perspective.
I ran this for six players, using the re-released version for Pathfinder.

I've always heard great things about Curse of the Crimson Throne. However, the fact that my 3.5 experience was limited to only a couple of adventures as a player was somewhat of a deterrent. Since converting the whole thing wasn't something I really wanted to do, this adventure path got put in the backlog of things I might run some day. So, naturally I was thrilled when they announced that they were re-releasing the whole campaign for Pathfinder. Curse of the Crimson Throne immediately came out of the backlog and jumped right up to the top of the list of things I wanted to run. and having completed the first installment, I feel that the adventure mostly lives up to the hype.
Pros:
The setting and feel of the campaign is very well executed. Korvosa as a city falls into a lot of the tropes of your typical rpg city. Wealthy districts contain cavorting nobles and political schemers. The poor districts contain slums where crime runs rampant. While this is perhaps not the most original setting in the world, it's familiarity was useful. I liked that my players were able to make assumptions about the setting and quickly become immersed in the game world as a result. Once, they were comfortable in the world, the game introduces the king's death and the resulting riots, shifting the setting into something more unique. The writers very cleverly created a world that would be immersive and interesting, without requiring a whole lot of exposition to do so.

I also liked the way that NPCs were used in this game. Despite, the somewhat spoilery nature of the adventure path's title, my players did not immediately lock on to the queen being evil. Her initial portrayal as someone who is thrust into a position of power and way over their head makes it believable that her decisions are the result of fear and incompetence, instead of some nefarious plot. Cressida also served her purpose very well. Often I find that her type of NPC can seem a bit useless to the players, since they are always looking to the party to solve all their problems. However, between the obvious chaos and her careful, insightful commentary of the troubles facing the city, she came off as a competent commander who was just strapped for resources and dealt terrible hand. As a result, the players quickly viewed her as the trusted ally she is intended to be. Other characters also provided good roleplaying opportunities. Trinia, the scapegoat for the king's murder, works well as an introduction to the greater conspiracy and corruption in the city. Vencarlo was also a fun addition, even if he is not the most original character. Given his greater involvement in later chapters, I think it was smart to get the PCs acquainted with him early on.

I am also a fan of the chase mechanics that were used in a part of the book. I know that a lot of the special rules introduced in the various adventure paths can be a bit cumbersome and reduce things to dice rolls that could have been better handled by good RP. However, Pathfinder's chase mechanics are relatively simple to learn and I felt they encouraged my players to be more creative by forcing them out of the standard "move and attack" pattern.

Cons:
One potential pitfall with this adventure is that the information provided in the player's guide and the initial mission could set the wrong expectations for the rest of the campaign. The initial set up for the adventure is the PCs working to bring justice to a crime lord named Gaedran Lamm who has wronged each of them in some significant way. Without additional guidance, this could lead to players building characters whose primary motivation is revenge. That could be both disappointing, when Gaedren is dealt with very quickly, and problematic, because the rest of the game relies on the PCs being motivated to help the city, often for little or no payment. However, this issue can be avoided entirely by good communication during character creation. For my game I required all my PCs to either be good aligned or have a reason why they would be personally invested in helping the city during a crisis.

The only other issue I had with this book was the overall flow. After dealing with Gaedran Lamm in Part 1, the rest of the book is just a string of missions that Cressida asks the party to do. While these missions are individually fun and do a good job of introducing the players to life in Korvosa, they have little to do with one another beyond having the riots as a root cause. Also, with the exception of the mission to catch Trinia, they have very little relevance to the overall story. Even the final part of the book didn't feel very final. My players searched the entire dungeon for Rolth Lamm, because they didn't realize that the random Derro lackey they fought was supposed to be the final boss. Essentially, this book is mostly set up for future installments and doesn't tell much of a story in its own right.

Conclusion:
Overall I do think this is a great adventure. For my tastes, it strikes the perfect balance between combat and roleplaying. Also, while it might not be strong as a standalone adventure, it's also pretty obvious that it was never intended to be one. The job of this book is to introduce the key characters and get the players connected to a city that is, as the title suggests


Classic adventure made only more challenging with the updates!

5/5

I've played through two attempts to complete part one of Curse of the Crimson Throne and both times, the Edge of Anarchy has battered the players into submission. It's a very fun beginning to the adventure path, and while it may have been nice to keep playing through to the end, the parts we managed to play were quite memorable.

This one is definitely a classic. Play it when you get the chance and do your best to keep Korvosa from tumbling into anarchy. It's not as easy as one may think!


Anarchy rules the day

4/5

Crimson throne curse, I think is a novel idea to start a AP. Sets up a different tone than usual. With the back drop of an ambitious queen to boot makes for a nice stirring of city intrigue. The Harrow deck also helps to incorporate more flavor to the recipe of the series. The owner can do readings in a spectral manner is a nice touch. The possible rioting and chase of a blamed king-killer, last minute saving by a local folk hero helps to pull the players into the plot of things to come. Regicide or not this AP starts off with a attention grabber and keeps one riding along for a thrill.


Worth Your Time

5/5

I wasn't sold on this adventure until I ran it, but now, looking back at it? It was totally awesome.

First and foremost, the best part of this adventure is that it sets up a number of situations for your PCs to go in to, but it doesn't contain any expectations on HOW those situations will be dealt with, or what the CONSEQUENCES will be.

Early on, you have to deal with an orphanage run by a horrible man. But do you have to fight your way in? Could you sneak in? Do you bargain with the minions? It's all up to your players. And what's more, when the orphanage falls, what happens to the kids? Again, all up to your players.

And that's what really shines about this adventure, your players are really put in the driver's seat and what happens is all to do with what THEY want to do. Maybe they want to roleplay a fast-talking rogue who gets them through the situation? Or a magician who uses illusions to intimidate foes? Or a warrior who just kicks in the door? All acceptable solutions to the many problems contained herein.

Now, that said? DM's are going to have to do some work to really get this thing to shine. (One thing FOR SURE is you're going to want to make Trinia Sabor 5th level) It's on you to develop the characters and really create this city called Korvosa. But, the more you put in, the more the place just comes to life. Eel's End becomes a dark 'Las Vegas' kind of place with all kinds of characters. The people of the Shingles can be revealed as humble artisans and caring citizens and optimistic youths. And the orphans rescued from the evil Mr. Lamm can turn out to be the best, most affectionate side-kicks the PCs ever had. But, again, that's what's great about this adventure, it's on you. It would be impossible for the authors to put in all the details and nuances needed, so you'll have to roll up your sleeves and get creative, but you will be well rewarded for doing so.

In summation, this is a great adventure, because it's on you. It sets up a solid framework with a good story, but it puts you and your players in the driver's seat.

In this DM's opinion, this is BETTER than the continuation, Seven Days to the Grave.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is the all-in-one PDF missing the Prologue page? My copy has page 6 immediately following the Table of Contents, but the TOC says the prologue should be on page 4.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

What happened to the PDF files sizes? I have plenty of disk space, but the CotCT pdfs are 4 times the size of the RotRL ones. Is the art that much better?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Steven Cole wrote:

Is the all-in-one PDF missing the Prologue page? My copy has page 6 immediately following the Table of Contents, but the TOC says the prologue should be on page 4.

Thanks for letting us know... I'm working on it...

The Exchange

Kudos on the "Visit Beautiful Kordosa" ad. Srsly awesome.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We have updated the PDF of Pathfinder #7—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy." The Foreword now appears in the single-file download, file sizes have been greatly optimized, and bookmarks have been improved.

Authorized users can download the updated version for free at https://secure.paizo.com/paizo/account/assets. (If the file shows that it has already been personalized, you'll need to repersonalize it before you can download the corrected version.)


janxious wrote:
Kudos on the "Visit Beautiful Kordosa" ad. Srsly awesome.

Thanks! I always appreciate feedback on our marketing efforts.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Vic Wertz wrote:

We have updated the PDF of Pathfinder #7—Curse of the Crimson Throne Chapter 1: "Edge of Anarchy." The Foreword now appears in the single-file download, file sizes have been greatly optimized, and bookmarks have been improved.

Authorized users can download the updated version for free at https://secure.paizo.com/paizo/account/assets. (If the file shows that it has already been personalized, you'll need to repersonalize it before you can download the corrected version.)

Thanks, Vic!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

This month's Pathfinder's Journal was awesome. A really good in-world look at a barbarian's rage and fast movement.

Dark Archive

Has it been shipped yet? Mainly cause I just got my sunscription 2 weeks ago and was wondering if and when this would ship with it.

Liberty's Edge

Jeremy Mcgillan wrote:

Has it been shipped yet? Mainly cause I just got my sunscription 2 weeks ago and was wondering if and when this would ship with it.

Mine appears to be in the process of being fired by trebuchet at a passing UPS truck.

Spoiler:
Oh, wait, that was just copies of the WotC press releases about the GSL being available soon, and the UPS guy was just being used as a rangefinder... My stuff was already en route via a less violent method.


This is awesome, no better than awesome, it's like a squirrel salad sammich with pimentos!


Are you going to post the prospective levels each adventure will span for the new story arch as you did for "Rise of the Runelords?"

Liberty's Edge

Ok, stupid question time……

At what level does Curse of the Crimson Throne start? I was just wondering how the three different series fit together and if the party has to start over at the beginning of each adventure path. Do they all get tied together at the end?

Thanks

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

jonas skinner wrote:

Ok, stupid question time……

At what level does Curse of the Crimson Throne start? I was just wondering how the three different series fit together and if the party has to start over at the beginning of each adventure path. Do they all get tied together at the end?

Thanks

All three start at level 1. It's tough to run three consecutive 15+ level campaigns, as the final path would be a party of gods fighting other gods. So far the first two paths tie together in that they both take place in Varisia, and there are a few Easter eggs that parties going through them in order will notice. Other than that, you could add in some common NPCs who have traveled to Korvosa, but there's nothing I've seen that ties them together directly.


I have just started running this module/campaign in 4th edition and was wondering, if anyone else had thought to do the same thing?

The alignment issue is one we have had to resolve, but otherwise it all seems reasonable. One thing that I am finding is that all of the Paizo modules are based on smallish, one might even say cramped, maps, which makes the much more versatile 4th ed combat a little hard to take advantage of.

Still, cramped is cramped and the players will adapt, I am certain.

Is there a thread anywhere, where people are helpign with these 4th edition conversions? it would be great to have some unofficial assistance with this, so the very worthy Paizo modules can be played in the new rule system.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

scytale2 wrote:
Is there a thread anywhere, where people are helpign with these 4th edition conversions? it would be great to have some unofficial assistance with this, so the very worthy Paizo modules can be played in the new rule system.

Try this thread!


What is the appropriate number of players for this adventure?


Glenn Rotton wrote:
What is the appropriate number of players for this adventure?

Welcome to the messageboards!

I believe that the assumed number of players for all of the Pathfinder Adventure Paths and Modules is 4, although it should be easy enough to adjust up and down.


Only one complaint about the setting of Korvosa;

The Imp vs Psudodragon thing plays a serious background/lore role in the city (fortunately not in the campaign itself).

BUT, In such a conflict, the Imps will always triumph. Fast healing, DR 5, and immunity to poison means that a hundred Psudodragons couldn't hope to take out a single Imp. This makes one of the random encounters useless unless you are feeling really cruel to your PCs, fortunately that is the only "real" spot in the campaign where this comes up.

Scarab Sages

Gneeker wrote:

Only one complaint about the setting of Korvosa;

The Imp vs Psudodragon thing plays a serious background/lore role in the city (fortunately not in the campaign itself).

BUT, In such a conflict, the Imps will always triumph. Fast healing, DR 5, and immunity to poison means that a hundred Psudodragons couldn't hope to take out a single Imp. This makes one of the random encounters useless unless you are feeling really cruel to your PCs, fortunately that is the only "real" spot in the campaign where this comes up.

See here for an easy solution.


Ungoded wrote:


See here for an easy solution.

Nice, thank you for pointing that out, guess I'll be able to use that encounter after all :)


I really like this module. But there´s one thing I don´t like that much:

Spoiler:
When the PCs come out of the Old Fishery, the city has completely gone mad. And the only reason for this is that a young queen most people don´t like sits on the throne now. Wow... when looking into history, there were a lot of young monarchs. Reason enough for a riot and the collapse of the economic system? I don´t think so. After all, the people don´t know anything about the evil nature of Ileosa yet.

I wonder how I can make the setting more believable after the death of Eodred. You need the riots to get the plot into motion, that´s for sure...


My table has just embarked on CotCT! Our first session ended with the fishery and the cliffhanger was the city erupting into chaos. I have purchased the Guide to Korvosa. I have my Harrow Deck and Curse of the Crimson Throne Item Cards are on order. We all very excited and can not wait to play through this entire AP!

Contributor

Mitch Brock of Boston wrote:
My table has just embarked on CotCT! Our first session ended with the fishery and the cliffhanger was the city erupting into chaos. I have purchased the Guide to Korvosa. I have my Harrow Deck and Curse of the Crimson Throne Item Cards are on order. We all very excited and can not wait to play through this entire AP!

Hi Mitch! Glad you are enjoying Edge so far!

Grand Lodge

Just wrapped this adventure last night (with a few loose ends).

My players had a great time. Thanks, Nick!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work that character into the final dungeon that you told me about at GenCon (DBD), too much squick factor for this group.

Starting "Seven Days" in a few weeks!

Contributor

Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Just wrapped this adventure last night (with a few loose ends).

My players had a great time. Thanks, Nick!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work that character into the final dungeon that you told me about at GenCon (DBD), too much squick factor for this group.

Starting "Seven Days" in a few weeks!

Awwwww...that's okay. Someday, someday, Donkey Baby Daddy will ride again.

:-)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Nicolas Logue wrote:
Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Just wrapped this adventure last night (with a few loose ends).

My players had a great time. Thanks, Nick!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work that character into the final dungeon that you told me about at GenCon (DBD), too much squick factor for this group.

Starting "Seven Days" in a few weeks!

Awwwww...that's okay. Someday, someday, Donkey Baby Daddy will ride again.

:-)

::blink:: Unfortunately my group is already past this ... but I wanna know what the hey you are talking about LOL

Contributor

Gamer Girrl wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:
Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Just wrapped this adventure last night (with a few loose ends).

My players had a great time. Thanks, Nick!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work that character into the final dungeon that you told me about at GenCon (DBD), too much squick factor for this group.

Starting "Seven Days" in a few weeks!

Awwwww...that's okay. Someday, someday, Donkey Baby Daddy will ride again.

:-)

::blink:: Unfortunately my group is already past this ... but I wanna know what the hey you are talking about LOL

I can't post it here - it would get me banned. :-(


Question - what # of adventurers are the APs designed for? I've got a group that fluctuates between 4-7, depending on the availability of my gaming group. Any suggestions how I could scale the AP upwards?

BTW - love the plot and storyline and everything else about this adventure path. We are running the PFRPG for the first time with my group (all 3.5 devotees) and we are having great success - keep up the great work!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Rosenwald wrote:

Question - what # of adventurers are the APs designed for? I've got a group that fluctuates between 4-7, depending on the availability of my gaming group. Any suggestions how I could scale the AP upwards?

BTW - love the plot and storyline and everything else about this adventure path. We are running the PFRPG for the first time with my group (all 3.5 devotees) and we are having great success - keep up the great work!

We assume 4 players for all the adventures we do—that's the assumption for the baseline in 3.5, and it's an assumption we kept for Pathfinder.

Things should work well with 5 or 3 players, but once you get up to 7, you'll want to add more monsters to your combats and more treasure to your adventures. Take care trying to "up the danger" by adding more POWERFUL monsters though... just because you have more players than expected doesn't mean that any one of them is gonna be more powerful than expected, and when you add more powerful monsters than their level expects them to face, you start getting dead PCs more often. The overall battles might work, but only because your group's losing 2 or 3 PCs per battle. That starts to get old real quick... especially if you have to use all your treasure to raise dead or if your players start just making new characters every week...


I have two quick questions on this module:

1. How precisely does on get from the top level of the Fishery to the lower level? It's not really clear to me. The door attached to the boat at the back is said to be unknown by the patrons.

But the text also claims the alchemist/book keeper will flee to that level if his morale fails, but how precisely does he get to it?

2. Am I right that none of the NPCs would lead a party to the lower level, no matter how skillful the diplomacy? Gaedren's location seems isolated and inaccessible for a reason. I ask because my party seems pretty keen to get to Gaedren without a fight, but I don't easily see a way they can do that.

Thanks in advance, I know I am posting on an ancient product, but if there is anyone who might know the answer to these two questions I'd be obliged.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DofC wrote:

I have two quick questions on this module:

1. How precisely does on get from the top level of the Fishery to the lower level? It's not really clear to me. The door attached to the boat at the back is said to be unknown by the patrons.

But the text also claims the alchemist/book keeper will flee to that level if his morale fails, but how precisely does he get to it?

2. Am I right that none of the NPCs would lead a party to the lower level, no matter how skillful the diplomacy? Gaedren's location seems isolated and inaccessible for a reason. I ask because my party seems pretty keen to get to Gaedren without a fight, but I don't easily see a way they can do that.

Thanks in advance, I know I am posting on an ancient product, but if there is anyone who might know the answer to these two questions I'd be obliged.

No worries about posting on old products! We'll get to them eventually!

1) There's a rickety walkway that runs along the south side of the building—this is area A3. That walkway can be accessed by the door in area A6. The walkway itself leads around the back of the fishery to the old boat (areas A9-A11). You can climb down the stairs in area A10 to the boat's hold in area A11, and there's a secret door in the hull that leads to the lower walkway, area A12. Note that the upper walkway (area A3) is higher than the lower one (A12), and that the lower one is mostly located UNDER the main building, which stands on pilings above the water level. Following the lower walkway (A12) leads you to the lower section of the building. You can also get into the lower section by simply wading or swimming through the water and up into the open area in A13, even though there's sharks and gators. Alternatively, you can jump into the hole in the floor in area A8; that drops into the water next to the walkway at area A12.

When the alchemist flees, he does so by ducking through the door in area A6 and running along A3 to the boat back in area A9/A10, where he can drop down the side of the boat and onto the walkway without sneaking though the spider infested hold.

2) Gaedren IS squirreled away, and the fact that his actual den is hidden can certainly make diplomacy a difficult task. I would probably have the PCs, if they can convince the locals to guide them, be led to the spider infested ship if the thugs are secretly trying to harm them still, or barring that, lower them down through the hole in area A8 to the walkway below.


This is my first Pathfinder Adventure path, and though the rave reviews are obviously long in, I want to throw in my two cents because I'm running this in a different way:

1) I'm using the Pathfinder rules instead of 3.5. This has been easy, and that is saying something because I've never run Pathfinder before. Actually, I've never run 3.5 before either. I haven't run a game of any kind in about six years. I'm finding the experience to be pretty easy, aided by the fact that one of my players has more experience in the system.

2) Here is the really interesting part: I don't know any other RPG players. I'm a working professional in my mid-thirties, and I've only recently moved to my area. Since finding a gaming group would be problematic, I've decided to move my endeavors to a play-by-post format over on thetangledweb.com. I now have a group of five players who span four different countries and a 15 hour time difference. This creates what I've been calling the 24 hour game.

I have a PDF copy of EoA, and this has worked out great. I use top-down miniatures available for free online, and I just cut and paste the maps from the module into Photoshop, and paste in the character and NPC tokens. This works great, and doesn't require much in the way of Photoshop knowledge. I imagine that a program like GIMP would also work too. You just have to be able to resize and rotate images.

Someone in the reviews section talked about the players wanting to "leave the city like any reasonable person would." I have to completely disagree with this. The background materials for this adventure are outstanding, and if used as intended completely root the PCs in the city. They don't leave when the trouble starts, because they are fighting to defend their home.

Korvosa has so much color and flavor to it. All of us fell in love with the city immediately and I doubt I'm going to get any of the players wanting to leave it.

Kudos to the designers and their excellent work. I look forward to trying to complete this adventure path in a PbP format. I imagine that is going to take somewhere around a year in real time, so its a lot of entertainment for the dollar.


Is there any chance that a tailor-made conversion pdf or guide will be released for CotCT? I like the story but I have trouble running the game because either the conversion rules don't apply well or at all. Other encounters like the jigsaw shark have no basis for conversion as there are no comparable creatures and i don't want to buy the 3.5 monster manual for a few monsters. I just think it would be nice to release a book-by-book conversion guide to make running the game a little easier.


I can’t imagine Paizo’s going to do an ‘official’ one; their efforts are focused on future products.

If it’s just a matter of converting the monsters, a lot of them have been updated to PFRPG in the various bestiaries and are available through the PRD.

If you need stats for specific individuals like Gaedren Lamm or Verik Vancaskerkin, there are also fan-conversions available on-line at d20pfsrd.com - here is the one for this AP.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just for your information, a jigsaw shark is acually a standard Bestiary shark with the young creature template. This information comes from the Inner Sea World Guide.

I'm currently running this AP with Pathfinder rules, and I have done a complete conversion for the first two adventures so far, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask. As an example, most NPCs need to be updated with one more class level, so their CRs remain the same, and so on.


Thanks to both Zaister and Trace for the help. You have no idea how bothersome it is when a particularly difficult encounter falls flat and the players just look at you like," Was that all?"


So does anyone know if Curse of the Crimson Throne and the other OGL books are going to be reworked with the pathfinder rule set and not the 3.5?


Idward Evanhand wrote:
So does anyone know if Curse of the Crimson Throne and the other OGL books are going to be reworked with the pathfinder rule set and not the 3.5?

While I can't remember exactly where I saw it, and therefore can't get you a direct quote, I'm pretty sure I've seen Vic Wertz say multiple times that there are no plans to do this at any point in the near future.


Here is a recentish quote from Vic on the issue.

Vic Wertz wrote:

As many of you know, one of the biggest issues that lead to TSR's insolvency is the proliferation of campaign settings. When they were actively selling one or two or three campaign settings to their audience, a big chunk of their audience would buy any given book they were releasing. When they were actively selling seven or eight campaign settings, only a small fraction of the audience would buy any given release.

A similar problem exists with APs, as the typical gaming group plays only one at a time. Right now, a group looking for an AP might well rule out the 3.5 ones, and the ones that have volumes out of print, so that leaves them 7 APs to consider—or, assuming quality and appeal being similar among them, a 1 in 7 chance they'll buy the current product. If we updated the 3.5 ones, and reprinted the out-of-print volumes, the odd that they'd choose the current release drop to 1 in 12.

The simple fact is that we need to sell you what we're making more than we need to sell you what we've made, and allowing things to go out of print is therefore a necessity.

And when those out-of-print volumes go for big money on eBay, that's actually helpful in that it helps establish an upward trend for the future value of a present subscription, and underlines the fact that the best time to subscribe to our lines is "as soon as possible."

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