Coliseum Morpheuon (PFRPG) PDF

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Go Beyond the Adventure Path and enter the Realm of Dreams!

Hundreds of teams enter. One team leaves! Can your team survive the Chimeric Amphitheater? Navigate among manipulative benefactors, violent rivals, vengeful trainers and the mysterious Khan of Nightmares who rules all.

Coliseum Morpheuon is an extraplanar plug-and-play mini-setting and adventure for 16–20th level characters, wholly compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Authors: Clinton J. Boomer and Jonathan McAnulty
Artists: Jason Rainville, Jonathan Roberts, Jeff Ward, Rick Hershey, Ashton Sperry, James Hazlett
Pages: 122 (Full Color Interior) Softcover

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Planar Adventure and Mini-Setting for High Level Adventuring

5/5

This astounding document is 130 pages long, including beautiful front and back covers, a credits page, two pages for Table of Contents, and introduction, 10 chapters plus 3 appendices, and a single-page OGL. It is clearly intended primarily for GMs to use as a new planar mini-setting that can be used for plug-and-play within your own setting/campaign, and includes a full adventure for high-level adventures (intended for 16th to 20th level PCs), centered around a major event in the Coliseum Morpheuon: The Damnation Epoch.

I have a few beefs with the layout of certain bits that are spread across pages, but given the nature of the adventure's non-linear layout, the overall structure of the document is nice. It should clearly be easily accessible (physical printed document is best), since it's clear a GM running this setting or adventure module would want to easily reference material from many sections of the book. There are sections that would be more appropriate for players appropriate to functioning well in the Plane of Dreams (feats and spells, specifically), and should be printed out separately for player reference. Along with a few bits of text for major NPCs and creature entries running across pages that feels awkward, I feel these minor setbacks to the document only take off 2/10 deduction, and will end with a 5-star review (4.8). This is a great product that, if employed properly, is everything needed to run a really amazing and memorable adventure at high-level.

Furthermore, this product is not just an adventure, because it is also the entire description of elements of the coliseum (and all surrounding sites) within the Plane of Dreams, in a moderately stable, finite planar region. This planar site serves as the central focus for the adventure and all related plotlines. Being strange and ephemeral, the Plane of Dreams has new rules and planar traits that allow both GMs and PCs a chance to have a lot of fun in a free-form manner, allowing the PCs to follow a central storyline, while still giving them a chance to interact with a very lively and imaginative setting that never has to be the same thing twice. The product outlines major NPCs, including patrons who may employ/mentor PCs during the coliseum events, as well as a host of other individuals who are involved in the mini-politics and plot hooks of the adventure. It is not intended to be linear, and PCs have a lot of choice in how things play out, and how big and tough the opponents are which they wish to take on. It has all the elements of an epic story, no matter how you look at it.

Chapter 1-2 covers the Plane of Dreams and dream-related abilities and effects. Ch. 3 includes other inhabitants of the dream realm, and specifically the site of the Coliseum Morpheuon. Ch. 4 is an overview of the island region within the dreamscape, and ch. 5 is all the major NPCs within the adventure and surrounding plotlines. Ch. 6 gives the overview of the Damnation Epoch and the adventure to come, while ch. 7-9 is the actual adventure. Ch. 10 ends with the secrets of the region, the major NPCs, and ways to continue the adventure beyond its scope of the tournament's trials. The appendices include the two major rival groups of adventurers, as well as four other pre-generated characters that could be PCs or potential other gladiators or NPCs.

This includes several new map images (very nice looking and useful, both in the adventure and possibly for other application), and the adventure clearly has ties to other related products in the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series, which can expand the diversity of faces at the site if things start to get boring or repetitive (and you would have a difficult time accomplishing that, IMHO). It's hard to add anything to what other reviewers have said about this great product, but it's worth checking out and putting to use at the game table!


5/5

Coliseum Morpheuon, presented as an adventure for higher level characters, quickly took on more of a feel of a full setting waiting to be realized. Looking through support material, it isn't hard to see I wasn't the only one thinking along that vein, as an entire series of NPC's have sprung up to make sure that there are new and fresh faces awaiting your players for further exploits within the Dream Plane.

Weighing in at 130 pages, this PDF is crammed with an immense amount of material detailing the setting, it's inhabitants, new and variant rules, and of course the adventures that await your players. With how many reviews have already gone into extensive detail, rather than rehash upon what has already been said both here, and throughout the comments thread from the actual product posting, I thought I would touch instead on a few thoughts.

First off, the book is flat sexy folks. With page borders that, honestly, set a new standard in the concept of layout and background design. Scattered throughout the book we are visually treated to thematic artwork designed to take us along for the visual trip into a realm of possibility. Several of these pieces are very, very good. Good enough that they make up for the ones that, to be blunt, should never have been put anywhere near this book, Lady Puzzledeep comes to mind. The Pasha of Swirling Ashes ranks up there in my top ten for all time favorite NPC illustrations, the piece is simply fantastic. There is also the concept of the drastically different art styles represented within this book, going from a standard I would call semi-realistic, to cartoon. And, if the two from the cover are going to make so many appearances, shouldn't they be statted somewhere in the book? And, while we're discussing stats, why no monster illustrations for our new critters?? That's a huge downer folks, new monsters need new artwork, lol. And speaking of monsters and artwork, the one new creature we get identified with art, has no stats, the Dream Horror....that thing is freaking creepy, I want stats!!!!!!!!!

Now, layout and formatting follow the dual column approach with embedded artwork. The few hiccups in grammatical and editorial are minor enough to barely even register, which is pretty impressive in a book of this size. I did find it odd that the image of Lady Puzzledeep reveals more on the back cover than on her actual stat page though.

The real question, all comments regarding how pretty or not the book is, is it worth the price? Because at the end of the day, that's what it boils down to, is a product going to provide you with enough material, that has been designed well, to make the price worth paying. I can answer that easily by saying, this is what high level enthusiasts have been waiting for. Contained within this book is a playground for those characters that currently have nowhere to go, and we all have a pile of those from past glories and quests. Truly, one of the most aggravating concepts of playing a character is getting to that point that there's nothing left, and you have to again say goodbye to an old friend. Well, no more. The beauty of this product is it's re-usability, as it is more setting then simply adventure, and more than easily adaptable to fit the feel of many different playgroups. Well thought out NPC's, encounters, trials, and challenges all make sure there will be plenty to do for quite some time within the lands of dreams.

More than happy to add my 5 star stamp, for even with my issues with artwork, the pros of this book far, far outweigh such minor cons. Honestly people, even if your a new GM with brand new characters, add this book to your library, and give them something to work towards, it will be worth it.


Simply Brilliant

5/5

My review is directed specifically for Game Masters who need an epic conclusion for their own campaign.

As I look over the array of 5 star reviews I am struck by two things. The first is that I don’t feel I can add to the content of the reviews for specifics of what this product contains. There are several very in-depth reviews that state exactly what you are getting when you purchase this book. The second is that I fully agree with these reviews.

What I can add to the discussion is why I purchased this book and how much use it will be for me and any other GMs out there who need a high level campaign to end on a high note. I admit that I hesitated to buy Coliseum Morpheuon. I heard it was a high level duel style campaign. I thought to myself, “boring!” Boy was I ever wrong. When I read the reviews one thing stood out as being very useful to me, the material on the Plane of Dreams. I hesitated, hemmed and hawed and read the glowing reviews until I succumbed.

What I didn’t know before purchasing and scanning over the book from cover to cover was just exactly how brilliant this product is. I can link no less than three of my very ultimate all-time favorite RPG settings with this product, the City of Brass (Necromancer Games), Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium), and very obviously the Rise of the Runelords adventure path by Pathfinder Roleplaying Games. This fills the holes in my own campaign and makes these links not only possible, but easy. Now I don’t have to do much on my own to accomplish this because the geniuses who created this did it for me. I am not saying that only those GMs who use those three products can find this useful. Oh no. I can imagine a whole array of other possible links to other game worlds. Virtually every kind of GM who uses PFRPG or 3.5 and needs a high level epic campaign capper to the exploits of their game group’s heroes can link whatever they have created for their own campaigns with minimal effort.

Simply Brilliant.

If I could hand out a review of more than 5 stars I would do it. Coliseum Morpheuon met and surpassed all of my hopes and expectations. Not only does it allow me to provide a sufficiently epic conclusion to my own campaign but also has delightful potential to provide multiple denouements for each of my players’ characters. I hope to see many more brilliant works by you folks at Rite Publishing.


High-level gladiator adventuring in the dream planes

5/5

Coliseum Morpheuon is more than just an adventure module for Pathfinder. It is an entire setting taking place on the Plane of Dreams, written adventure, possible mini-campaign, and possible full campaign setting. The setting is beautifully detailed with an excellent array of adversaries, NPCs, plot-hooks, encounters, and the Gladiator events themselves. The publication is filled with fantastic illustrations, maps, and an easy to read layout. Even if you don’t use the Gladiator events or the overall Gladiator games, the content is filled with so many more ideas that you are almost getting 2 full publications in one with loads of potential for exciting adventures and thrilling campaigns.

The Coliseum Morpheuon Gladiator events are written for 16th – 20th Level characters and could be thought of as a playground (not just a sandbox). There are given events that are supposed to occur at given times, but the time in-between can be spent playing anywhere throughout the playground doing virtually anything the GM or players can imagine.

I can’t help but say great things about Coliseum Morpheuon. The publication is very professional and I absolutely love the illustrations. New mechanics, setting details, new adversaries, new NPCs, and maps, this publication has it all! There is so much value found throughout that no matter what you don’t want to use, there is bound to be piles and piles of information that you will find very useful.

Overall I highly recommend Coliseum Morpheuon. Not only for the Gladiator events but for the wealth of source material presented throughout. Along with this there are great new mechanics for GMs and players alike pertaining to the Plane of Dreams that could make any adventure or campaign more colorful. Rite Publishing has done an excellent job of bringing together a collaborative publication that can serve as a sourcebook, adventure, mini-campaign, or full campaign.


This is a MUST have to any collection

5/5

I bought this on a whim, not expecting a great deal, but hopeful for something new.

And boy did it deliver!

Okay, let me put it this way... there have been some great Adventure Paths and Modules printed for the Pathfinder RPG, but I'd rather play this one rather than any of those others!


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Thanks for getting this up and perfect Vic.

The Sexy our first Full Color Print Product in partnership with Cubicle 7 should be out in November, the final pdf is in proofing!

Our patrons are reviewing that proofing copy as I type this.

Snoopy Happy Dance of gaming geekness!

If you have any question I will be happy to answer them.

The Cover Image is Art by Jason Rainville, the layout is by Claudia "DarkHanna" Burgos

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Yay!

I've been rereading through the proofing copy on and off all day today. Its a snazzy looking book.

Liberty's Edge

Is this an extra planar gladiatorial adventure and setting? Any new classes/races/feats/magic/monsters?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Justin the Big wrote:
Is this an extra planar gladiatorial adventure and setting? Any new classes/races/feats/magic/monsters?

Yes... ;)


Great! I've been looking forward to this for quite a while.

Edited out patron-only question. Sorry Steve.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Justin the Big wrote:
Is this an extra planar gladiatorial adventure and setting? Any new classes/races/feats/magic/monsters?

Yes to the monsters.

Yes to New Player options in the form of Dreamburning and dreamburning traits.
No new classes though.

It is a combined campaign setting/high level adventure meant to be easily customized for any high level campaign set in the Plane of Dreams. The adventure does take place in an arena setting during a high-level gladiatorial contest.


Just a reminder that if its a patron question there is the patron forums or the Compatiblity Forums. As this is the Paizo Store Forum and a patron sale is not one going through Paizo.

Thank you

Steve Russell
Rite Publishing


@Justin the Big
If you want new Races and Classes I suggest our pathfinder rpg pdfs.

You can find them HERE


@BenS its ok, its just alot of various obligations for me to juggle, to patrons (as my existing direct sale customers), to paizo (as the retailer and our Licencor), and to Cubicle 7 (as the print/distribution partner) who is also part of the sales in this forum.

Liberty's Edge

Rite Publishing wrote:

@Justin the Big

If you want new Races and Classes I suggest our pathfinder rpg pdfs.

You can find them HERE

Yep! Got 'em already!

Looks like I'll pick up this product too!


@Justin the Big;

Well then, thank you for your support!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The PDF looks very nice, I can't wait to see it in glorious printed color.


@deionl; Thank you

Here is a preview of the Back Cover: Click Here
Illustration by Jason Rainville; Layout by Claudia "DarkHanna" Burgos


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is the PDF available via paizo?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Zen79 wrote:
Is the PDF available via paizo?

Not yet, but it will be eventually. Patrons get it as soon as it is available but the PDF will be released to the general populace in conjunction with the print book, and if you order a print copy, the PDF, I believe, will be included in that price. We are looking at a November release.

Sovereign Court

As it stands, if my players completed Rise of the Runelords and

Spoiler:
I coaxed them through the Leng portal just as it was closing
.
Would that be an opportunity to follow up with Coliseum Morpheuon?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

As it stands, if my players completed Rise of the Runelords and ** spoiler omitted **.

Would that be an opportunity to follow up with Coliseum Morpheuon?

You could certainly work it that way, though it would take some work on your part to make it segue smoothly, (but it certainly could be done).

The module portion of the adventure contains an introduction adventure in which the PCs, having come to the attention of the Powers running the Coliseum, recieve an invitation to participate in the games and instructions on how to get there.

While this sounds generic, the adventure also has a half dozen subplots to tailor to the skills and desires of your PCs to explain why they might want accept the invitation and who else, besides the Khan running the Coliseum, might invite them first. These plots include freeing a captive devil, setting slaves free, getting the bounty on a powerful efreet on the lam, and saving the soul of a fallen, now undead, lillend.

The default assumption of the adventure however, is that your PCs have just completed a major story arc, like an adventure path, and now they need something else to do with their time, so it is most certainly a viable follow up to Rise of the Rune Lords.


GeraintElberion I would have the PCs stumble across a ghost ship of Leng, that sails onto the Slumbering Sea toward the isle of the Colieseum (The PCs are not of leng so they can't pilot it correctly; aboard ship they find the invitation which was ment for someone else but the PCs can pose as that group!


@Zen79 Our patrons had early access but the PDF will be available November 1st for Retail customers we are working with our print/distribution partner Cubicle Seven to make the PDF available to customers who preorder the print copy, as soon as the finalized PDF is ready.

Sovereign Court

Rite Publishing wrote:
GeraintElberion I would have the PCs stumble across a ghost ship of Leng, that sails onto the Slumbering Sea toward the isle of the Colieseum (The PCs are not of leng so they can't pilot it correctly; aboard ship they find the invitation which was ment for someone else but the PCs can pose as that group!

sweet!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Actually, its probably worth mentioning that the only monster in the bestiary section of the book that is not original to the book is the Denizens of Leng, updated to the PFRPG ruleset. The men of Leng do a brisk trade with the Coliseum, selling slaves.


OH just so folks know we are working on a Anthology Fiction book to go along with this.

Sovereign Court

Wicht wrote:
Actually, its probably worth mentioning that the only monster in the bestiary section of the book that is not original to the book is the Denizens of Leng, updated to the PFRPG ruleset. The men of Leng do a brisk trade with the Coliseum, selling slaves.

Finally, the proof that I am psychic!


GeraintElverion

No the Khan of Nightmares just planted the idea in your dreams to bring your PCs to him ;)


GeraintElberion wrote:


Would that be an opportunity to follow up with Coliseum Morpheuon?

Heck yeah. I'd have the portal swirl and strangely deposit them on the island's shore, near the Coliseum...watch hilarity ensue.

-Ben.


Such is the Will of the Khan of Nightmares!

I also need to sit down and talk about what we want to do a preview of.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

The PDF was released today to Patrons and I thought it was worth mentioning that as supplements to the adventure there are five PDF map packs and a pack of paper miniatures. The map packs, for those not familiar with Rite map packs, are put together in such a way as to allow DMs to print out, on stock, sections of the map and then put them together into one large battle map with one inch squares. Personally, I'm looking forward to using the maps in conjunction with the scenarios.


Paper minis and map packs will be separate retail releases. Patrons got them free as a bonus. But I am will be working with Vic this week to get a PDF bundle to those who preorder through paizo.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

Now if you could just get Sonic Legends to put together a Coliseum soundtrack, you could offer the whole gaming experience. :)


Can you say how much of the book is devoted to information on the mini-setting and how much is the adventure itself? I don't really enjoy high level play so I'm not as interested in the adventure. But the setting sounds interesting, so I'm quite tempted to pick it up it if there's much detail about it. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Berik wrote:
Can you say how much of the book is devoted to information on the mini-setting and how much is the adventure itself? I don't really enjoy high level play so I'm not as interested in the adventure. But the setting sounds interesting, so I'm quite tempted to pick it up it if there's much detail about it. :)

Its about half and half (edit: 53 out of 123 pages so a little less than half). Admittedly, the NPCs statted in both the campaign setting and the adventure are all high level encounters (CR 15+), but there are adventure seeds in the setting information to help DMs who want to use the setting as a backdrop for lower levels of play and though the adventure itself takes place in the Chimeric Amphitheatre, the centerpiece of the Coliseum, there are other arenas in the Coliseum in which it is possible for fighters and competitors to work their way up the gladiatorial ladder (ie. low level adventurers don't go straight into the main arena, they have to build up a reputation first as participation in the Chimeric Amphitheatre is by invitation only).

The breakdown of the campaign setting part of the book is as follows: 1. An overview of the Plane of Dreams, 2. Rules on Dreamburning, a new subsystem which is sort of like action points but more personal to the dreamers, 3. A small selection of denizens of the dreaming plane (ie. new monsters) 4. An overview of the Island of the Coliseum, home of the Coliseum Morpheuon (this is the chapter that provides information allowing DMs to run adventures on the Island, including rumors of the Coliseum and adventure seeds for the Island), 5. A selection of NPCs populating the Island (16 high level NPC stat blocks and 1 monster)


@Sonic Legends I tried, they responed to my first email, then never got back to me with a quote for its cost. Sigh.


Thanks for the breakdown Wicht, much appreciated! The split between setting and adventure information sounds fairly comparable to what's in a Paizo AP volume. I still find those interesting and useful even when I don't plan to run the adventure, so it sounds like there should be enough there to make this worth getting for me. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Berik wrote:
Thanks for the breakdown Wicht, much appreciated! The split between setting and adventure information sounds fairly comparable to what's in a Paizo AP volume. I still find those interesting and useful even when I don't plan to run the adventure, so it sounds like there should be enough there to make this worth getting for me. :)

And you never know, you might actually find the adventure to be something you want to use too. :)


Oh and this preorder should be available with the PDF soon, as Vic was getting things set up earlier today, and now has the PDF file.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Rite Publishing wrote:

Oh and this preorder should be available with the PDF soon, as Vic was getting things set up earlier today, and now has the PDF file.

Yep... should be ready in just a bit.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
Rite Publishing wrote:

Oh and this preorder should be available with the PDF soon, as Vic was getting things set up earlier today, and now has the PDF file.

Yep... should be ready in just a bit.

It's up now, though it may take a few minutes before everyone can see it properly everywhere (especially in places like this discussion thread).


Nice! The Print/PDF bundle just makes it that much harder to resist.

Wicht wrote:
Berik wrote:
Thanks for the breakdown Wicht, much appreciated! The split between setting and adventure information sounds fairly comparable to what's in a Paizo AP volume. I still find those interesting and useful even when I don't plan to run the adventure, so it sounds like there should be enough there to make this worth getting for me. :)
And you never know, you might actually find the adventure to be something you want to use too. :)

Well, I should say that I'll read the adventure with interest and look forward to seeing it. I find a well written adventure to be an interesting read in itself, whether I plan to run it or not. I've just never really enjoyed the high levels of play, though maybe this will force me into trying them again! :)


@Vic

Thanks so much

[Doing the Snoopy happy dance of joy]

Dark Archive

Rite Publishing wrote:

[Doing the Snoopy happy dance of joy]

Blackmail material!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

The opportunity to add a Table of Contents came up today and so I've put one together. For those interested here is the (unedited) Table of Contents for Coliseum Morpheuon:

Coliseum Morpheuon
Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter One: The Plane of Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 1
• Planar Traits • Morphic Subjective Gravity • Regions of the Dream Plane • Dream Messages •
Storms on the Slumbering Sea • Inhabitants of the Slumbering Sea • Entering the Plane of Dreams •

Chapter Two: Dreamburning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 5
• Character Preparation • Using Dreams • Story and Mechanics • Sacrificing a Dream •
Repairing a Dream • Dream Theft • Dreamburning Traits • Why Traits and not Feats •
Alternate Dreamburning • Designer's Notes: Why Use Dreamburning •

Chapter Three: Denizens of the Dream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 10
• Overview of the Inhabitants of the Dream Plane • Chittering Dream Eater • Denizen of Leng •
Oneirobound • Oneirobound Lord • Qarnjthak •

Chapter Four: The Island of the Coliseum Morpheuon . . . . . . . . Page 17
• History • Society • The Voracious Visitor • The Great Coliseum • Beyond the Coliseum •
Rumors of the Coliseum Morpheuon • Adventure Seeds for the Coliseum Morpheuon •

Chapter Five: Denizens of the Coliseum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 25
• Overview of the Denizens of the Coliseum • Auberyon • Black Glass Spade • Deuce of Clubs •
The Dragon of the Ghostdance • Hounds of Ill-Prophecy • Ioanna Vipersshade • Jack of Diamonds •
Jig • The Khan of Nightmares • Khanbika Khongordzal • Khanzadeh Sukhbataar • Lady Puzzledeep •
Lai Elderon • Meabh Liadan • Munt Pan Nadish • The Pasha of Swirling Ashes •

Chapter Six: An Overview of the Epoch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 54
• The Background of the Damnation Epoch • The Cup of Desires • A Summary of the Damnation Epoch •
Adapting the Damnation Epoch • An Overview of the Contents of this Adventure •
Designer's Notes: To Kill the Khan or to Not Kill the Khan • The Benefactors • Rivals for the Cup •
The Khan of Nightmares and the Damnation Epoch •

Chapter Seven: An Invitation to Damnation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 60
• Synopsis for “An Invitation to Damnation” • Starting the Adventure •
How Much do They Know? • Reaching the Coliseum • Trial by Guardians • Trial by Inquisition •
Trial by Hindrance • Into the City of the Coliseum • Rumors in the Coliseum • Trial by Fire •
Trial by Peers • Handouts •

Chapter Eight: The Tests of the Coliseum Morpheuon . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 72
• Encounters 1 - 34 •
Chapter Nine: The Tests of the Damnation Epoch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 77
• The Chains of Guilt • Capture the Mast • Into the Fire • The Test of the Dragon Riders •
Chaotic Time • Black Stone on the Rocks • Rage against the Machine • When a Star Falls •
Race against the Beast • The Coming of the Voracious Visitor •

Chapter Ten: Secrets of the Coliseum Morpheuon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 98
• The Salvation Epoch • Destroying the Umbral Blot • The Pasha's Riches • The Dragon's Mate •
Sympathy for the Devil • Setting the Captives Free •

Appendixes
Appendix 1: The Dirges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 103
• Gallows • Fran Kindle • Mother • Pike • Winegrow Sop •
Appendix 2: The Grey Feathers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 112
• Drahka-Kuhl • Erzebeth Nostrayli • Koranger • Loren Desharn • Rainbow •
Appendix 3: Pregenerated Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 118
• Midnight Son • Patience • Ragnar Grimrson • Unfettered Sky Cirith •


Thanks for the ToC, Jonathan

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

I just noticed that Deinol put up a review of Coliseum Morpheuon this past week. Thanks for the kind words Deinol and let us know how the games went. :)


Disclaimer:
I’ve been a part of this patronage project and have contributed some minor pieces to it. This review takes a look at the pdf version as the print version has not yet been released. If the print version is somewhat different from the pdf, I’m going to edit and expand my review accordingly.

The pdf is a whopping 127 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1page OGL. That leaves us with 123 pages.
A quick glance at the cover and interior shows you that CM is a full-color book, and a beautiful one at that – both the full-color artworks and the formatting is beautiful to behold and easy to read. That being said, let’s jump into the action.

The pdf kicks off with an informative introduction on the subject matter of the plane of dreams in literature and gaming that serves to provide both nice recommended readings as well as lead into the first chapter.

Chapter 1: The Plane of Dreams (4 pages) – This chapter has some information on the plane of dreams, e.g. how to temporarily change gravity, the altered effects of the dream spell as well as 5 sub-regions of the plane of dreams, all evocatively written and full of possible adventure seeds. I especially enjoyed some subtle nods to Lovecraft in “The Ghoulish Cliffs” and the disturbing nature of the “Idle Isles of Daydream”, where one may literally dream one’s life away.

Chapter 2: Dreamburning (5 pages, one of which is an artwork of the spell Dream Stealing in action) – Dreams are power in the plane and subsequently three levels of personal dreams are introduced: Hopes, Aspirations and Goals. These three are determined via 3 simple questions
if you don’t want to design tailor-made questions or need some guidance. Why use dreams, you ask? Well, you might burn dreams to gain all sorts of benefits and the practice of dream-burning is simply role-playing gold for any players. Players may even permanently sacrifice their dreams or lose them – as everyone knows who ever had one of his/her dreams squashed, a significant loss. Being presented mostly mechanically, we also get the influences of high-level magic like limited wish and Restoration on degraded and/or destroyed dreams. Plus, we get an interesting moral choice: Via the destruction of other people’s dreams, one may regain a lost dream – this being, of course, an evil act shoots close to home is a hard choice and somewhat reminiscent of the choices one may have to face throughout life. Furthermore, we get new dreamburning-related traits that might be converted to feats, Designer’s notes (with which I wholeheartedly agree) on the reason for using dreamburning and some additional pieces of advice on how to expand/change or eliminate parts of the rules.

Chapter 3: Denizens of Dream (7 pages) – This chapter kicks off with 2 pages on how the different kinds of creatures are represented on the plane of dreams, what can e.g. be encountered and so on. 4 new monsters are introduced, all of which are cool and have some nice twist or cool ability. Even one of my favorites, the Denizen of Leng, has been upgraded to PFRPG – very nice.

Chapter 4: The Island of the Coliseum Morpheuon (8 pages) – The Island in the plane of dreams that contains the Coliseum is detailed herein in Gazetteer-style and depth: We get notes on the strange society within, on the Pagodas of Patricide, Regicide and Deicide, the Voracious Visitor (a strange, black moon orbiting the Coliseum), adventure seeds for going beyond the Coliseum Morpheuon, more than one page of rumors and seeds to kick off whole campaigns centered on the Coliseum.

Chapter 5: Denizens of the Coliseum (28 pages) –If you’re looking for a high-level adversary, this chapter alone is worth the price. Some of the Evocative City Sites – pdfs by Rite Publishing featured extremely complex, cool stat-blocks. This chapter is chock-full with them. But you undoubtedly want some examples, so here you go: We get Auberyon (also known to the Warhammer-crowd as Oberon), master of the wild hunt. His bodyguard IS a part of the hunt, a hound-creature that can split up into smaller hounds. (This statblock also features 2 new weapon qualities). We also get adversaries/benefactors like “The Dragon of the Ghost-Dance”, “Lady Puzzledeep, the Witch of Stolen Hopes”, several others and also notably “The Pasha of the Swirling Ashes” whom you can take a look at in the free Rite Review- magazine.

Chapter 6: An Overview of the Epoch (6 pages) – The contest of the Damnation Epoch is given an overview for the DM here, including several possible reasons for the PCs to participate in the contest – each and every one sets a different tone for the epoch and thus greatly increasing the replayability of the scenario. We also get short comprehensive summaries of some of the potential benefactors. There are also some other teams of contenders for the DM to develop upon as well as information on how to roleplay the Khan of Nightmares.

After this chapter, we get to the adventure section of the book and thus MAJOR SPOILERS. PLAYERS, PLEASE STOP READING HERE:

Chapter 7: An Invitation to Damnation (11 pages):
– How to get your PCs into this adventure? Well, several interesting ideas, from In Medias Res to foreshadowing dreams and the like are given. After the synopsis, we get 5 trials for the PCs to best both with brains and brawl to earn the privilege of participating in the contest itself. This is where all the stops seem to have been pulled – take a look at the cover to see what PCs may witness and cackle with glee. The riddle contest has 3 clues for any given riddle, which is nice for the people who don’t enjoy them. This part also features 3 pages of handouts for the players.

Chapter 8: The Tests of the Coliseum Morpheuon (5 pages):
– This chapter provides the basic outlines for 34 encounters a DM can use to give life (or in some instances un-life) to some of the denizens of the Coliseum. The encounters also serve to personalize the experience of choosing different benefactors and, once again, increase the replayability-value.

Chapter 9: The Tests of the Damnation Epoch (21 pages):
– Herein lie the different tests the PCs will face in the contest “Damnation Epoch” , a contest not only for the lofty price, but also a challenge to preserve one’s moral compass within the tests. All of the tests have mechanically very interesting themes and are laden with symbolism: In “The Chains of Guilt” the PCs have to bear the chains of their guilt (which get consecutively heavier) up some stairs while defending against the other team in the contest. In another test, one of the PCs becomes a dragon and PCs have to catch rings while riding their comrade through a lightning storm. While I don’t want to spoil all of the goodness, let me give two further examples: Ever wanted to put your PCs on a piece of a broken planet that is rapidly falling into the sun? Or battle their way through a WHOLE ARMY to escape the dreaded Tarrasque (or turn around and face the beast)? All of this and more can be found in CM. And that is not even the furious finale.

Chapter 10: Secrets of the Coliseum Morpheuon (5 pages) – This chapter has 6 possible sample campaigns for different benefactors in the Coliseum Morpheuon, including different plot secrets and climaxes, further cementing the potential for several wildly different scenarios in CM.

Appendix 1: The Dirges (8 pages): This chapter contains the undead, evil team that is one of the opposing teams for the PCs.

Appendix 2: The Gray Feathers (5 pages): Written by yours truly, this is another team of adversaries, albeit not one as villainous.

Appendix 3: Pregenerated Characters(5 pages): This contains 4 pregens, 2 Ironborn, 1 Jotun Paragon and 1 Wyrd – all of which are cool races and make nice NSCs, too.

Conclusion:
If there has ever been a premium product, this is one. Formatting and editing is top-notch, wording is concise, I didn’t notice any typos or glitches, the full-color artwork is just beautiful and in some cases even on Paizo-level. The prose as well as the crunch is extremely imaginative, chockfull of brilliant ideas and the whole book just oozes creativity, originality and, most important, fun. The plane of dreams and its mutability are fully utilized to provide some awesome battlefields, cosmopolitan (or rather cosmoplanar) encounters, adversaries and allies.

Patrons also got a several map packs and paper minis for the opposing teams – I’m not entirely sure whether they are included in this deal or not.

The maximum amount of replayability and the sheer amount of potential ways the whole storyline can be portrayed by the DM with the information contained herein is another major plus for me.

I tried very hard to be nitpicky with this one, I really wanted to find some fault. The only possible criticisms I could offer is that some maps are used for more than one encounter and beyond that, (because I’m a sucker for those) that I’d love to have seen a fully written dinner-scene within, not just some guidelines and seeds and ideas for the DM to develop.

If you for example liked the adventure in Malhavoc Press’ “Hyperconscious”, you will LOVE this – it just goes one step further. If you are looking for a new way to carry your campaign beyond the AP-lvl 15-cap, this is a perfect way to do so. If you just want to play something completely different, this is for you. If you don’t want to stat x high-level villains, give this one a shot. And finally, if you just like scenarios that have not been done x times before, check this out. There are not that many modules featuring Lillend-liches, Solstice-Kings and so many more interesting characters. This is not only an excellent resource for DMs, but also a great module. What else is there left to say but “Buy this now?”

My final verdict is 5 stars. Not 4.5, not 4.75, but round 5 stars. One of the best modules/supplements out there.

Dark Archive

Thats a really long and informative review End.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

5 star reviews make me feel all tingly and giddy inside. Thanks for the thorough review Endzeitgeist. :)


I am looking forward to reading my copy when it gets here.


Major thanks End 5/5 snoopy happy dancing

oh and map packs and paper minis sold seperatly.

Dark Archive

I added my review, it is not nearly as indepth as End's though. :) I also posted my review over at Enworld as well.

Sovereign Court

Do we have a release date?

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