Pathfinder Module: The Godsmouth Heresy (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The Godsmouth Heresy (PFRPG)

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An urban and dungeon adventure for 1st-level characters.

Deep below the anarchic city of Kaer Maga, someone—or some thing—has begun stealing corpses from the city’s most prestigious tomb, the Godsmouth Ossuary. Fearing the worst, the clerics of Pharasma in charge of maintaining the crypts quietly call for aid, not wanting to risk their own members in combating whatever horrors may have crept in from the tunnels and hidden chambers of the legendary Undercity. Yet when the PCs venture below the closed-off sections of the crypt, what they find may be more than they bargained for. For beneath the infamous crypt lies a temple from an ancient empire devoted to sin, and a former Pharasmin cleric who’s weathered his goddess’s wrath to create an army of undead minions, their dead flesh standing ready to support his heretical plans.

The Godsmouth Heresy is an adventure for 1st-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. It takes place beneath the cliff-top city of Kaer Maga, an ancient prison colony turned den of thieves and refugees, fully detailed in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: City of Strangers. In addition to the adventure, which features ancient tombs, horrifying sin magic, and a crazed alchemist, this module also contains statistics for the new rune guardian constructs and a map and overview of the Godsmouth Cathedral, the city’s primary temple devoted to the Lady of Graves. Though this adventure is set in the frontier region of Varisia in the Pathfinder campaign setting, it can easily be adapted for any game world.

Written by Rob McCreary

Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes new monsters, treasure, and a fully detailed bonus location that can be used as part of the adventure or in any other game!

ISBN 13: 978-1-60125-280-7

The Godsmouth Heresy is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (236 KB zip/PDF).

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

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****( ) (based on 19 ratings)

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Godsmouth Heresy offers Creative GMs a Chance to Shine!

*****

This module is set in the richest setting of Golarion - Kaer Maga. There are a multiplicity of ways to tie this into other modules and create endless opportunities for roleplaying around the spectacular dungeon crawl presented within.

We played through the first session and over the course of five hours, only just made it inside the first chamber of the Godsmouth Ossuary by the end of the session. The entire day was taken up with the actual journey across Varisia to the foot of the Storval Plateau and up the Halflight Path with the Duskwardens to finding a guide to get them across the city to the Pharasman Cathedral. And all of that happened before page 7 of the module!

The players loved the experience of entering the warrens of Kaer Maga and seeing the bloatmages, troll Augurs, street urchins and necromancers of Ankar-Te with their undead servants in tow.

You have to combine this module with the info in the City of Strangers campaign guide to bring it to life. The material is there for the creative GM to take advantage of, but lazy GMs need not apply for they will only find a vigorous dungeon crawl within with several openings for them to fill creatively. Such GMs might complain of a lack of roleplay - when the onus is on them to make it happen.

If you're up to the challenge, this is one of the best Golarion themed dungeon crawls you're going to find! I used it as a follow up to the Crypt of the Everflame by having the characters go there in search of

Spoiler:
the third piece of Asar's amulet.
That it all fit together without missing a beat is a testament to the strength of the setting that James L. Sutter and the Paizo crew have created.


A well written and dangerous dungeon crawl

****( )

I want to give this module a fifth star, but it uses some combat situations that can be very difficult to deal with, especially for 1st-level characters. It does have a lot of lore to break up the monotony of rolling initiative constantly, but would have been perfect with at least one more roleplaying opportunity.


Long Hard Road... Pharasma is watching!

*****

I've both played and now Gm'ed this Module, and love it to bits.

What I missed in my play through lore-wise, I received as the GM, and the story was mind blowing.

I played it through with a 4 player team, and GM'ed it with a 6 player crew, even though it is set for level 1 characters astute decision making and prudent choices are sometimes needed in the tight spaces.

In both instances we made it to the BBEG, whereas the team I played with made it with some luck and hard work, the Team I had Gm'ing it was killed.

Again, I cannot give it any more praise than what I am now. Another 5 star effort.


Good dungeon crawl

****( )

I ran this for Pathfinder Society. Its quite a long dungeon, so excellent for a full day of adventure.

The adventure has a lot. Lots of flavor and backstory about varisia, Kaer Maga and the Runelords.
Lots of different kinds of fights to keep the players on their toes.
Opportunities to talk their way trough encounters and learn even more about the world.

It makes them work for their rewards, while giving a lot back in terms of fun.

Not a straight 5 star for me, mainly because the dungeon map is too big... It simply does not fit on a flip mat! You can put three of them together, but then you still have to draw things smaller otherwise its just too wide.
With a little bit more thought it would have made it easier to prep and run this for me as GM, as now the map was really cluttered.

A speacial extra large flip mat pack would solve this, but would probably also be really expensive.

So GMs, be carefull when drawing out this dungeon! You will need three flip mats to make this barely fit!


Very disappointed

*( )( )( )( )

We just finished playing this module and were very disappointed.

A large percentage of the fights took place in 5 foot wide hallways where only one player could attack the monster at a time.

Additionally the monsters were often way over powered with stat drain and stat damage attacks. Since this module is labeled to be for First level characters the characters did not have the ability to deal with much of the damage dealt by the monsters.

Several of the encounters has multiple monsters with ACs higher than the players, which made for long slow boring battle.

This was the worst pathfinder adventure I have played in PFS.


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Sounds really fun! Kind of classic, "Hey we're heroes . . . we can handle this!" -type of beginning.

Any plan on arcing this one out?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

This sounds freakin' awesome! More Kaer Maga!

Paizo Employee CEO

The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Any plan on arcing this one out?

If it sells, more will follow!

-Lisa


Lisa Stevens wrote:
The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Any plan on arcing this one out?

If it sells, more will follow!

-Lisa

Cool beans. I am running Curse of the Crimson Throne right now . . . but my next campaign is going to be relying more heavily on the modules.

Keep 'em coming!

Dark Archive

The-Last-Rogue wrote:

Sounds really fun! Kind of classic, "Hey we're heroes . . . we can handle this!" -type of beginning.

Any plan on arcing this one out?

I thought the same; a really classic plot! Fantastic! I would so love to play in this... well, at least I get to run it. :)

Dark Archive

Lisa Stevens wrote:
The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Any plan on arcing this one out?

If it sells, more will follow!

-Lisa

First 'City of Strangers' and now this... and a chance of arcing it out? You guys are totally spoiling us! =)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

As Lisa said above... if it sells good, yes!

In fact, the way we're kind of looking at this is similar to how we handled the Maure Castle levels back in Dungeon. The dungeons under Kaer Maga are VERY large, and filled with all sorts of crazy. We've already detailed 2 of them in "Seven Swords of Sin," and this one (Godsmouth) is another of those many dungeon levels.

There are, in other words, enough dungeon levels under Kaer Maga to keep our module line happy for years if it comes to that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Written by Paizo Staff." You mean by Staff-Sensei? He taught probably 75% or more of the classes at my old university most semesters.

The Exchange

Hmmm.
It came to my attention that previous to this adventure (And not including the RPG superstar module), each of the modules in the PFRPG line was designed for higher levels than the one previous to it - beginning with "Crypt of the Everflame" and concluding with "The Witchwar Legacy". Now, with "The Godsmouth Heresy", we are back to a 1st level module. is this part of a new releasing schedule in which there will be arcs of modules (not necessarily connected by plot or anything) with increasing playing levels? that is, will the next module be for, say, 4th level and the one after that 8th level and so on, until a high level adventure comes to wrap things up followed by a low level adventure


Asgetrion wrote:
First 'City of Strangers' and now this... and a chance of arcing it out? You guys are totally spoiling us! =)

Don't forget this and this.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Snow wrote:

Hmmm.

It came to my attention that previous to this adventure (And not including the RPG superstar module), each of the modules in the PFRPG line was designed for higher levels than the one previous to it - beginning with "Crypt of the Everflame" and concluding with "The Witchwar Legacy". Now, with "The Godsmouth Heresy", we are back to a 1st level module. is this part of a new releasing schedule in which there will be arcs of modules (not necessarily connected by plot or anything) with increasing playing levels? that is, will the next module be for, say, 4th level and the one after that 8th level and so on, until a high level adventure comes to wrap things up followed by a low level adventure

Not really... the method by which we choose levels for modules isn't entirely random, but it's close!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
First 'City of Strangers' and now this... and a chance of arcing it out? You guys are totally spoiling us! =)
Don't forget this and this.

I see what you did there. :shakefist:

Paizo Employee CEO

Lord Snow wrote:

Hmmm.

It came to my attention that previous to this adventure (And not including the RPG superstar module), each of the modules in the PFRPG line was designed for higher levels than the one previous to it - beginning with "Crypt of the Everflame" and concluding with "The Witchwar Legacy". Now, with "The Godsmouth Heresy", we are back to a 1st level module. is this part of a new releasing schedule in which there will be arcs of modules (not necessarily connected by plot or anything) with increasing playing levels? that is, will the next module be for, say, 4th level and the one after that 8th level and so on, until a high level adventure comes to wrap things up followed by a low level adventure

I can see the reason for your confusion. To launch the PFRPG, we did a trilogy of loosely attached adventures starting with Crypt and leaving off at City of Golden Death with Masks of the Living God in the middle. The rest of the modules line is just a random mishmash of really cool ideas pitched to us by various people. The modules line allows us to jump around in levels and in locales in Golarion based on what the adventure pitch requires. We have certainly printed enough modules by now that somebody could easily create their own campaigns from 1st to high level based entirely upon our modules line, but that would be up to the GM to put together. The modules are meant to be plug and play and not a coherent storyline. For the latter, we have the adventure paths.

-Lisa

Dark Archive

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
First 'City of Strangers' and now this... and a chance of arcing it out? You guys are totally spoiling us! =)
Don't forget this and this.

That's so cool! Thanks, guys! :)


Yes please expand on this. I keep my campaign focused in Varisia and adapt the modules to places there where possible. Anything that expands on these lands makes my day.

Thanks

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love cool, heroic adventures ... for 1st level characters!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Want!

The Exchange

Anything else being added to Varisia?


James Jacobs wrote:

As Lisa said above... if it sells good, yes!

In fact, the way we're kind of looking at this is similar to how we handled the Maure Castle levels back in Dungeon. The dungeons under Kaer Maga are VERY large, and filled with all sorts of crazy. We've already detailed 2 of them in "Seven Swords of Sin," and this one (Godsmouth) is another of those many dungeon levels.

There are, in other words, enough dungeon levels under Kaer Maga to keep our module line happy for years if it comes to that.

I hope this turns out a lot better than "Seven Swords of Sin." It was a nice idea that didn't really work out so well.

I wonder if this could be adapted into some sort of launching point for Curse of the Crimson Throne. Hmmm...


Too bad I´ll have to convert this to 12th level...

So who wrote it?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Talon wrote:

Too bad I´ll have to convert this to 12th level...

So who wrote it?

We're still a while away from updating the cover art and product description, but I can tell you that it's by Rob McCreary!


James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, the way we're kind of looking at this is similar to how we handled the Maure Castle levels back in Dungeon. The dungeons under Kaer Maga are VERY large, and filled with all sorts of crazy. We've already detailed 2 of them in "Seven Swords of Sin," and this one (Godsmouth) is another of those many dungeon levels.

That's pretty cool. Are the different dungeons connected (other than being in Kaer Maga, of course)? Would it be somewhat easy finding them on that general diagram in the latter section of City of Strangers?

With what was said above, I'm kinda disappointed that it's only for measly 1st level...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the cover image and description to match the finished product.


Arnwyn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, the way we're kind of looking at this is similar to how we handled the Maure Castle levels back in Dungeon. The dungeons under Kaer Maga are VERY large, and filled with all sorts of crazy. We've already detailed 2 of them in "Seven Swords of Sin," and this one (Godsmouth) is another of those many dungeon levels.
That's pretty cool. Are the different dungeons connected (other than being in Kaer Maga, of course)? Would it be somewhat easy finding them on that general diagram in the latter section of City of Strangers?

Yes, many of them are connected (though some by unconventional means), and so far all the dungeons we've explored in adventures are detailed on the side-view map in City of Strangers. I suspect that there are probably a number of other levels that *aren't'* on that map--the book isn't long enough to be totally comprehensive in that regard, and who knows what else might be down there?--but hopefully the levels we have presented are enough to give you ideas and get you started!

Dark Archive

I like the cover especially seoni and her magical effect.


This looks fun. I've been waiting for a first-level module to try my second go-round as GM. Should be a good little game to run through the holidays.


Rumor has it this will be available for Pathfinder Society play. I'm looking forward to more information about that!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
WelbyBumpus wrote:
Rumor has it this will be available for Pathfinder Society play. I'm looking forward to more information about that!

See today's Paizo blog post, "How About Some Pathfinder Society for the Holidays?," for details. To quote:

Quote:
It's a longer adventure and doesn't conform to many of the standards of Pathfinder Society scenarios, and thus requires additional rules to supplement its play for PFS credit. We've put together a free PDF document that includes these additional rules and the module's Chronicle, which will be available on the module's product page by the end of the week.


I am buying this tomorrow. Sentry Box Calgary, here I come.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Just got this today. Looks like it'll be lots of fun, with a lot of throwbacks to Rise of the Runelords. And since my group played through that, that's a good thing.

But of all the monsters to order art for, why did you have to order a pic for

Spoiler:
the lustspawn?!?

It's as disturbing as the smexy ghoul from PF #18!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I'm thinking about picking this one up to get back into PBP's, so I really only want the PDF. If I order the book will I have access to the PDF right away or will I have to wait until it ships the actual paper version?

Or do these even include PDF versions?


Free PDFs is a perk for subscribers. Non-subscribers will need to purchase print version and PDF separately if they want both.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

And you will only get access, as a subscriber, to the PDF when your order is packaged and ready to ship. However, this is usually a fairly fast turn around time.

So...you can subscribe to the module line, get the module and PDF and after it ships, contact customer service to stop the subscription before the next one ships if you like. I've never been able to stop myself with just one issue though =p.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I also noticed the PDF isn't available until the 29th. I went with the Crypt of the Everflame instead.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Well, most subscribers already have the PDF by now. Paizo doesn't open up sales of the PDF version to everyone else till the retail street date when stores are supposed to be able to start selling the hard copies. That date is usually about 2 weeks after they receive the product and ship it to the distribution chains and their subscribers.

The Crypt was a good adventure though. It had lots of different types of encounters to give players a little taste of everything it seemed.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Mr Baron wrote:
I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.

You and me both! (plus the zillions of other folks)

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
Mr Baron wrote:
I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.
You and me both! (plus the zillions of other folks)

Adam... I am running this New Years day for PFS at my house if ya interested.. All Day until we finish or Drop!!! umm you would have to leave your home early..we start at 9am ;)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Dragnmoon wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Mr Baron wrote:
I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.
You and me both! (plus the zillions of other folks)
Adam... I am running this New Years day for PFS at my house if ya interested.. All Day until we finish or Drop!!! umm you would have to leave your home early..we start at 9am ;)

That sounds like a blast, but sadly, I'm going to be working out of town in Indiana around that time.

Plus, if I WAS in town, I don't see me getting up in time for a 9am game on New Year's Day. Maybe if I slept under the table under which the game was happening. ;)

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:


Plus, if I WAS in town, I don't see me getting up in time for a 9am game on New Year's Day. Maybe if I slept under the table under which the game was happening. ;)

I have no life.. :(, my Wife will be out of town, so if I went out for a Party, I am sure she would not be happy ;)

Grand Lodge

Adam Daigle wrote:
Mr Baron wrote:
I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.
You and me both! (plus the zillions of other folks)

What's the estimated running time for this module?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I notice that this module has a text-excluded replica of the front cover on the inside back cover. I'm not reopening that debate (I concede I'm in the minority) but I did wonder if someone from Paizo could clarify for me - I had thought (from a previous JJ comment) that it was intended for the module line to utilise the inside back cover for maps and so forth, rather than following the policy of other non-AP lines and displaying a clean version of the front cover. Did I understand that wrong?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Some modules simply have fewer maps and thus have less need for two full pages of them. In general, Pathfinder Modules will use this space but it's not something we promise to always do, as every adventure is a different beast.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Some modules simply have fewer maps and thus have less need for two full pages of them. In general, Pathfinder Modules will use this space but it's not something we promise to always do, as every adventure is a different beast.

Cheers, this is pretty much what I expected. I wasn't looking for any guarantee, I just wondered if I'd misunderstood. For my part, there's a lot of utility in the "back cover for maps" format, even if space isn't a real issue (I'd have preferred to have the Cathedral on the back cover, for example, even though it fitted where you put it - purely for ease of use).

It's no serious complaint though - you could cut the included material in half before I'd consider cancelling my subscription given the quality and value for money you provide. This module in particular is terrific, so thanks for that.


Mr Baron wrote:
I just read through it tonight, and it is really good. I am hoping to see more modules take place in the dungeons of Kaer Maga.

Me too! Actually, Paizo should give serious thought to mega-dungeon products. Anyone remember the hardback of Necropolis by Gygax that was re-released for 3.0 about 7 - 8 years ago? A Paizo product available for subscription similar in scope to this would be really sweet. I wanna see a full-color adventure of 250+ pages whipped up Paizo-style. Give me your Moria, your Dragon Mountain, your Gygaxian Necropolis.

And, Kaer Maga would be a nice place to begin volume 1 of this new series. Please, Paizo ... take my money. I'm begging you!!!

Liberty's Edge

Will there be a flip-mat produced for the Ossuary?

Contributor

ziltmilt wrote:
Me too! Actually, Paizo should give serious thought to mega-dungeon products.

Erik Mona has ran several adventures in the Spire of Nex at previous PaizoCons (aka, yes, this product has been considered, but nothing official published).

Dark Archive

Well, I finally got the adventure, and I really, really like it! Adventures written for 1st level characters can be tricky, especially dungeon crawls in a "contained" environment (such as the Godsmouth Ossuary). These are the "standards" I use for judging dungeon crawls (in no particular order):

1) Backstory and hooks
2) NPC/Antagonist/monsters motivations (e.g. no wraiths co-operating with orcs simply because both are evil creatures)
3) Encounter design (variety of interesting monsters; yet see point 2)
4) Attention to details and room descriptions
5) Balanced and interesting rewards (e.g. no +2 swords or 10,000 GP treasures lying around, treasures that make sense, art objects described, hidden treasures for PCs who take their time to search for them, etc.)
6) "Realism" (e.g. no living creatures without food in a sealed room that hasn't been opened or visited in decades or centuries)
7) Map (and I mean that I want the map to be "interesting", i.e. non-symmetrical and evocative in the way that you just can't wait to get to draw the next room)
8) Reasonable puzzles/obstacles (i.e. nothing that would grind the adventure to a halt because the PCs have failed a Perception check 20 rooms ago or because they don't have spells X or ranks in skill Y)
9) Overall quality of writing

In my opinion Rob pulls it off nicely; it's a challenging adventure for beginning characters, but well-balanced and even if the PCs cannot "retreat" to surface, Rob has taken this into consideration.

Rob uses a lot of cool monsters and all of them have their motivations and place in the module; I especially love that he utilizes so many variants from 'Classic Horrors Revisited' (although he originally designed them, so it's no wonder ;)). Rob, I have used almost all of them in my campaign, too! :) Also, this adventure contains lots of juicy details, well-written and evocative descriptions and pretty innovative hazards/traps (some of which even aren't "real" traps).

And the backstory and antagonists in this adventure:

Spoiler:
It all makes sense, and as I said, it's written so well that it should satisfy the needs of both seasoned and beginner GMs. And rarely have I seen such a tragic and complex NPC antagonist as Esme; I'd love to run this module for a party. And I laughed aloud when I read about Svilenius' failed experiments; it's nice to see such attention to minor details! Also, I love the story of Erdikhaan -- a normal, run-of-the-mill skeletal champion from Bestiary -- and how he's "eager to taste the thrill of combat once again" after "millennia of boredom". Great stuff!

The only negative thing for me in this module was the map of the dungeon; it's quite boring, and it's way too symmetrical for my taste. But this is a minor issue for me; I often redraw or modify maps in published adventures anyway. All in all, I can heartily recommend this module to all Pathfinder GMs, beginners and veterans alike.

Well done, Rob! This just became my favorite low-level PF RPG module, and what's even better is that I had already decided to run my next campaign in Kaer Maga! :)

Dark Archive

Asg you should do a official review then. :)

Dark Archive

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Asg you should do a official review then. :)

Asg? ASG? Thou shalt refer to me by my full name, foul succubus! Or else I shall send my imp squad to steal all your underwear! ;P

(alright, alright, maybe I should do it... this adventure surely deserves more attention! ;))

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