Pathfinder Module S1: Clash of the Kingslayers (OGL)

3.80/5 (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Module S1: Clash of the Kingslayers (OGL)

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An RPG Superstar dungeon adventure for 10th-level characters

Glimmerhold, an ancient dwarven city-kingdom, is under attack! A casual dungeon exploration has unleashed a host of hideous monstrosities from deep beneath the earth that threatens to destroy Glimmerhold. The ancient dwarven city has a dark secret, one that may turn the players against its rulers and force them to make the ultimate decision: save the city of Glimmerhold, or destroy it!

Written by Christine Schneider, the winner of Paizo’s first RPG Superstar™ contest.

The map of Glimmerhold was omitted for lack of space, but you can download it here, and read about it in this entry in the Paizo Blog.

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

ISBN 13: 978-1-60125-125-1

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

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Average product rating:

3.80/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Great module, but could be fantastic!

4/5

This module should be double sized. It's missing the map of Glimmerhold, but I found it online. The premise is sound, but the dungeon into Siege Weapon needs more 'crunch' dealing with hazards and CR rewards, a timeline as the rooms change, etc. I would have liked to see more detail of the Doom Guides as an organization, perhaps a charismatic leader with which to respond or interact with. These people are very interesting, since they clue the PCs into the corrupt nature of Glimmerhold. Also in the text, are suggestions for NPCs whom would interact with the PCs, but no names or even base stats are included. Again, this module shouts out for more detail.

A bit of background: I am running this adventure chopped up with the 'Doom Grinder' from TSR circa 1998 (?). I have set this module/Doom Grinder as the dwarf city of Karakast, on the fringes of the lands of Greyhawk. My Age of Worms campaign has a larger than normal group, so XP progression from that AP is slower than normal. The PC group is 6 level 12 characters. So I used the advanced template for most of the bad guys. Added some Forge Fiends rather than the Fire Elementals. etc.
The Doom Grinder module as written was interesting, but no reason for it's existence, reason for it's course, and the Derro guiding it was sketchy (i.e. they're insane, so do insane things). The 'Clash of Kingslayers' has motivation in spades, and I love the interaction with the King!


Enjoyable for player and GM

4/5

I ran this in my 3.5 game, the conversion was pretty easy, just a few name changes and such. Overall I enjoyed the module, there were some good roleplaying opportunities as well as a few challenging fights.


Unique Module With Unique Feel

4/5

This module is one of the most interesting concepts for an adventure I've seen. It moved away from common fantasy tropes, which does require some preparation. But with a little front-end work, it can fit into most campaigns.

The good: It's got an engaging back-story, one of betrayal, death, and revenge. Similarly, it's got a compelling villain, with whom the party has a chance to interact. The party also has the chance to interact with the populace, and actions in the beginning of the adventure can affect the end. The encounters are exciting, and challenging for a party. The new monsters presented were well-received by my party. Overall, there is plenty to keep a party busy. The quality of the writing, printing, and maps are all quite good.

The bad: All the items to compel a party to keep playing also mean the module is crowded. The details are sparse, and much of it needs to be fleshed out further. Many of the NPCs are given a few meager words of description. Several elements seem a bit rushed. This means that the GM will have to sit down beforehand to master the material and either 1) be prepared to improvise many minor but salient details or 2) work out such information ahead of time.

Similarly, the presentation makes the timing seem rushed. If you are not careful, your party would bounce back and forth without a real opportunity to understand their situation or even appreciate the unique living dungeon.

Finally, the hook is very sparse. The adventure seems to assume that the party will show up, notice bad things happening, and intervene because that is what adventurer's do. While high-level adventurers should be big players in a world, it will require some invention to give them a reason to care about the situation.


Not what I needed

2/5

I was running Curse of the Crimson Throne and thought I would use this adventure as an interlude as they traveled toward Kaer Maga. Upon purchase and review, I decided not to use it and swallow the $13 I paid for it rather than run my players through it.


Awesome

5/5

This adventure is one that will wake you up at the table. Totally unexpected twist in this one and I have to say that our whole group really marvelled at the originality of the adventure. This one is definately worth your time.


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Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Very nice art preview! This is looking sweet.


Oh, WOW. Just seen the artwork posted on the November 14th Paizo Blog.
Please may I have a copy of the module to, uh, 'proof-read'? :D

The Exchange

That artwork on the blog is SWEET!


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

I wonder what the wolfish black dragon thing with hooves might be. :)


Zaister wrote:
I wonder what the wolfish black dragon thing with hooves might be. :)
I just checked the RPGSuperstar entry, and I think it might be the mount of a Doomguide Valkyrie. In the entry:
Christine Schneider wrote:

Doomguide Valkyrie CR 6

Soaring high above the ground, this dwarven battle maiden is mounted on an umbral, dragonwinged ram. Armed with sword and lance, she is the pristine incarnation of bloodshed, and with a hate filled battle cry, she beckons you to welcome her sanguinary embrace.
Ecology: Creatures of ancient dwarven mythology, they are known to bring the souls of traitors and cowards into the netherworld where they will suffer for eternity. Some dwarven warriors claim that they witnessed battles between Doomguide Valkyries and their good aligned counterparts fighting for the spirit of dwarves who were both, soldier and traitor.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
I just checked the RPGSuperstar entry, and I think it might be the mount of a Doomguide Valkyrie.

Ah, clever. :) Thanks! Sounds cool.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've posted the finished cover. If you don't see terror swooping from the skies, clear your browser's image cache.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Not long now!


Just curious: Where is Glimmerhold located in Golarion? Is it in the Mindspin Mts, the Five Kings, the Menador range, or somewhere else completely?

Dark Archive

Glimmerhold is located at the rim of the Mindspin Mountains near Janderhoff.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Lord Gadigan wrote:
Glimmerhold is located at the rim of the Mindspin Mountains near Janderhoff.

Yes, but where? Is it in Varisia? In theory, they could trade with Janderhoff from anywhere. Just about everywhere one the "rim of the Mindspin Mountains" is closer to Janderhoff than any other major dwarven settlement.

Dark Archive

It’s in the center of an artificial lake boardered by the dammed-up Gjurn River. There are also mentions of locations nearby called Ogmorn Ridge and the Monastery of Sigreir’s Pledge. There’s also a sentence partway into the module that mentions water being scarce “deep in the Mindspin Mountains.” That’s all I could find as to its location, though. I looked for the Gjurn on my maps of Varisia, Belkzen, Bloodsworn Vale, the main map of Avistan and Garund, and Cheliax (since that map includes part of Southern Nidal), but I wasn’t able to spot the river or the city on any of them. I’d probably place it at the far Eastern end of Varisia over next to Nirmathas if I had to take a guess as to its location. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help on that.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Yeah, I got all that too. I just wish it were stated in the adventure. It would be one sentence. Oh well. Still a really cool module. If all Superstar adventures end up this good, I can't wait to see the next one!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow I am in awe of this one.


Since Paizo hasn't done anything 4e, I imagine this is going to be 3.5 via the OGL.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Joe Kushner wrote:
Since Paizo hasn't done anything 4e, I imagine this is going to be 3.5 via the OGL.

Yes—anything that comes out before August is 3.5 OGL; anything August or later will be Pathfinder RPG.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Yes—anything that comes out before August is 3.5 OGL; anything August or later will be Pathfinder RPG.

That is, except the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary and the Pathfinder module Crypt of the Everflame, that are targetted for a July release as kick-offs to the whole Pathfinder RPG thing in August. Right?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Fayries wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Yes—anything that comes out before August is 3.5 OGL; anything August or later will be Pathfinder RPG.
That is, except the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary and the Pathfinder module Crypt of the Everflame, that are targetted for a July release as kick-offs to the whole Pathfinder RPG thing in August. Right?

Right you are!


sounds good, wheres glimmerhold? Is itinthe pathfinder world inner sea area?


Ah, my ancient technology has shown me the answer at last! thanks.

Dark Archive

Had a chance to browse through it.

Wow. Can't wait to run it for my 4e game. I have one player running a fighter rager and he's gonna MURDER you know who when he finds out the background.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Can we get a permanent link from the product description to today's blog so that people can pick up the map?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Ross Byers wrote:
Can we get a permanent link from the product description to today's blog so that people can pick up the map?

I've left myself a note to link to the map tomorrow.


yoda8myhead wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
Does anyone know where in Golarion this module will be set?
Assuming it remains dwarf-centric and James didn't veto that, my best guess is the Five Kings Mountains, but that's just a guess and I've been known to be wrong from time to time.

In other words, roughly in the neighborhood of Falcon's Hollow? I seem to recall that the Darkmoon Vale guide stated that Droskar's Crag (where the evil dwarven monstaery is) was part of that mountain chain.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

One of the problems we had with Clash of the Kingslayers was that its initial development was done under a "don't use Pathfinder content" umbrella, I believe. Certainly, when it was in development, Christine didn't have access to the wealth of Golarion information we had here at the office, since most of that stuff wasn't in print yet. As a result, fitting this module into Golarion was actually a pretty awkward and difficult process... especially since the initial adventure had dwarves and derro living together with the 3.5 assumption that dwarves and derro are similar creatures. (In Golarion, they aren't; derro are descended from deep underground fey creatures, not dwarves; derro are closer to gnomes than dwarves as a result.)

Anyway, we bounced around several locations for Glimmerhold—the Mindspin Mountains and the Five Kings Mountains were the two finalists (yet still... the city didn't have a tag on the maps, which is a bit unfortunate). In any case, we ended up placing Glimmerhold in the Mindspin Mountains, although we haven't said exactly WHERE in these mountains the dwarven city is at. Since we've done a lot of development on Varisia and some on Belkzen, without ever mentioning Glimmerhold, that infers that Glimmerhold is NOT close to those regions. Rather, it's in the southern Mindspin Mountains, probably somewhere along the mountains bordering southern Nirmathas or northern Molthune.

Scarab Sages

Just picked it up and can't wait to bite into it tonight! It looks great on the flip-through, though!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I invite Barbarosa, the fellow who gave a very terse two-star review, to drop a line here explaining what aspects of the module he found problematic.


I have a question about this adventure.

Spoiler:
When the curse hits and all gold in the city turns to lead, does this include the pcs gold? That seems a bit harsh.

Thanks.

Contributor

Not that which belongs to the PCs, that would be a jerk GM thing to do! :)

(Note that Christine's original RPG Superstar proposal for the adventure specifically calls out that it doesn't affect the PCs. Yay!)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Not that which belongs to the PCs, that would be a jerk GM thing to do! :)

(Note that Christine's original RPG Superstar proposal for the adventure specifically calls out that it doesn't affect the PCs. Yay!)

Thanks for the quick reply!

Dark Archive

BTW, what's happened to Christine Schneider? Is she continuing to write rpg stuff?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Is it just me, or does Torag seem a little vindictive for a LG deity?
I have another option . . . and some proposed options for a certain deity who has largely been neglected so far.

Spoiler:

I know she didn't exist when this mod was written, but I am powerfully drawn to the idea that Torag handed over the adjudication of Glimmerhold to Draangvit, if Helrun didn't simply switch to her worship.

In order to make this useful, I have these suggestions for poor, neglected Draangvit (who doesn't even get a mention in the Inner Sea World Guide):

Draangvit
LN
Portfolio: Bitterness, Envy, Vengeance
Holy Symbol: cold forge, bisected by a jagged line
Domains
Law, Earth, Darkness, Destruction, Death

Subdomains: Catastrophe, Caves, Inevitable, Loss, Metal, Murder, Rage

She has no avatar or herald, but the Doomguides are her handmaidens; they serve as her warning that a great wrong has befallen her or one of her favored followers.

Part of the reason for this is I needed to convert Clash of the Kingslayers to use for a size 7 APL12 party of ex-Living Greyhawk mercenary players.

If anyone is interested, I have updated stats suitable for running this adventure at this level.


CalisNight wrote:

Is it just me, or does Torag seem a little vindictive for a LG deity?

I have another option . . . and some proposed options for a certain deity who has largely been neglected so far.

Wow...great minds think alike. I've recently started converting this module to Pathfinder and got stuck on which diety the Doomguides worship. Came to the same conclusion as you.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I was rereading in prepration of running module and couldn't puzzle out how the PCs re-enter the Agronach and reach area 11 to confront Helrun. Pages 24-25 note 2 entrances on the back of the beast, which I suspect are the two sets of stairs between 6 and 11, that can be accessed by flying or climbing or leaping down from Glimmerhold when the thing is climbing up. Once inside however there doesn't appear to be any internal access into 11. Are the PCs expected to hack their way in? Teleportation is out due to the dim lock. Not having a viable route after scaling/flying/falling and possibly suffering the two 4d12+20 attacks doesn't seem quite right, is it some sort of oversight?


I think the link to the Paizo blog in the description needs updating as it now links to Paizo front page.

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