Chapter 9: "Escape from Old Korvosa"
by Richard Pett
Old Korvosa is under quarantine, a sprawling slum contained by roadblocks and guardposts manned by remorseless Hellknights and sinister plague doctors. While the rest of Korvosa stifles under an increasingly brutal martial law, the quarantined streets of Old Korvosa descend into true bedlam. Yet the one man who may hold the truth behind the perils that have brought Korvosa to its knees is lost inside the quarantine zone. Can he be rescued from the clutches of a new menace rising in the festering pits of Old Korvosa, and what secrets does he know that could justify the bounties for his death?
This volume of Pathfinder presents an in-depth exploration of the rakshasas of the world of Golarion and reveals details on one of the world’s most sinister networks of assassins, the Red Mantis.
For characters of 7th to 10th 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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First off: I'm not running or playing in a Pathfinder game right now. I love the universe and the stories, but I'm all booked up on role-play at the moment.
So I bought this, I'll admit, entirely for the Rakshasa article - but quite unexpectedly, the rest of the book (both the Red Mantis section & the stellar adventure) caught me and dragged me in. I'll be running elements of this adventure, and soon!
The Curse of the Crimson Throne is, in my opinion, the best that Paizo ever did –and there's some tough competition in the category. There is nary a weak point in the entire AP, which is written with a unique tone and style. When there is a breach in such a well constructed creation as this, it seems even more devastating then it probably is.
The beginning of Escape is purely, unquestionably awesome. It has a soul of its own, and the background of Old Korvosa is breathtakingly believable. One can smell the drying mud that his PC steps through, and the GM has a great time capturing the imagination of his players. Assassination, death and intrigue shroud all. This is the same thing attempted at earlier installments in this AP, but even better.
However, once the PCs are forced to enter the maze of the Rakshasas, things get real bad, real quick. The living maze is tiresome, lacks in character and simply dosent fit comfortably along with everything else in the adventure.
This book has tons of awesome in it: the Red Mantis, the first half of the adventure, the awesome bestiary… I even liked the PF Journal this time. Kudus for all of those. But I can't help but feel that this weak spot in the AP really sort of damages the entire experience. This is a three star review, even though mostly, this book deserves five stars. Such a shame, really.
Only kidding - it's a tricky one to give too much away about really, think Escape from New York meets the French Revolution during the Black Death whilst perusing a Jeff Vandermeer Novel as rome burns and you're getting there.
It should run very fast paced and very unpredictably, everyone may well have a different take on this one at various stages and I hope it will translate into the most open-running adventure I've ever done for Paizo. Certainly I'm looking forward to seeing how it runs, as much as how it reads as the playtesting of segments of it ran very wildly.
Very brief skim of the pdf says this looks awesome. CotCT is really becoming something special, I'm itching to run it (we'll finally be starting mid-late May if RL doesn't catch up with us again). I'm in love with the Rakshasas already. Also BEST LOOKING BESTIARY EVER, is it just me or has the book yet again improved in terms of look? Though what on earth is going on with Laori Vaus picture? I mean I don't mind the old school anime look, and it kind of fits with the character, but it's so out of place amongst all the other artwork that it feels really jarring, hmm...
anyway, I'm mostly getting over-excited, now to get a giant mug of tea and curl up in front of the computer screen for a couple of hours reading and plotting...
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
So far this is looking great. I have read through the pdf but I don't get too in depth until I get my copy. Still so far this is looking really good. Though at the moment I wish there was a little more "time" for the PC's and Vencarlo to interact before the other rescue. (I will have to make time for that.) Great job as always.
I liked this module, its got a lot going for it. One thing I'd like to see that was missing in this one and past mods, is a bit more info, very brief, on some of the staff/guards at the major locations. At a minimum, just list their classes and races. In this mod, that applies to the Arkonas Palace. It applies to the Korvosan Guards, Sable Company, etc. Who's the 2nd in command of those? 3rd, etc. Maybe its in the guide, but in one of these mods it should be listed out.