Pathfinder Adventure Path #44: Trial of the Beast (Carrion Crown 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

3.60/5 (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #44: Trial of the Beast (Carrion Crown 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 2: "Trial of the Beast"
by Richard Pett

The rampaging abomination known as the Beast of Lepidstadt has been captured! Yet rather than destroy the monster for its countless murders and untold crimes, the city council demands the creature receive a fair trial. Upon traveling to Lepidstadt, the adventurers find themselves caught up in the anger and investigations surrounding the Beast’s judgment. Soon it’s up to them to discover whether the legendary monster is truly a killer or merely the instrument of some greater evil—and either way, whether it’s too dangerous to be allowed to survive.

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Trial of the Beast,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 4th-level characters, by Richard Pett
  • An investigation into the secret society called the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, by Brandon Hodge
  • Revelations on the faith of Pharasma, goddess of birth, death, and fate, by Sean K Reynolds
  • Terror upon terror for Laurel Cylphra in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • Four exciting and deadly new monsters, by Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, and Sean K Reynolds

Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-309-5

Trial of the Beast is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (561 KB zip/PDF).

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

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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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3.60/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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Eat your heart out Mary Shelley...

5/5

This adventure starts slow but ends with one of the greatest cinematic epic battles I have ever ran as a GM. Engaging story line and in depth role-playing. Worth the buy.


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Dark Archive

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Dark Archive

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Same here, just check my email and there it was.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Just curious if this is the same "Beast" as the one in the Classic Horrors Revisted? They look different but I don't know if that really means anything.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Benbo wrote:
Just curious if this is the same "Beast" as the one in the Classic Horrors Revisted? They look different but I don't know if that really means anything.

It's the same one. Its look got updated/changed for the adventure is all.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Same here, just check my email and there it was.

I'm guessing those on monthly (international) shipments will have to wait a tad longer?


Kajehase wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Same here, just check my email and there it was.
I'm guessing those on monthly (international) shipments will have to wait a tad longer?

Well, I got my email on April 7th (the same date as the others received) and I live in Brazil, so I supose it would take about the same time to start shipping the orders, regardless of the destination.

BTW... I'M LOVING THIS AP!!!! Seriously, I loved Kingmaker and SS, but this one is the true love of my life!!!

Cheers,
Pedro Sampaio

Dark Archive

Kajehase wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Same here, just check my email and there it was.
I'm guessing those on monthly (international) shipments will have to wait a tad longer?

The pending email which is the one we are talking about. Is not the one that tells you it shipped. The pending one basically is designed to let you know the charge is coming next week. It should start shipping likely Monday or Tuesday.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Same here, just check my email and there it was.
I'm guessing those on monthly (international) shipments will have to wait a tad longer?

Even the deep dark woods of Germany were graced by the arrival of the "pending" email yesterday.

Dark Archive

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Just got the email.

It's coming! It's coming!

Woot!

Me too. A big hearty thank you to Sara Marie for clearing up a minor hurdle.

Dark Archive

Aaaannnddd... it's shipping! Downloading right now.

Once again, thanks to the awesome Customer Service!

Dark Archive

Got mine too, but haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

no pdf as of yet and my AP is still "Pending"....

Dark Archive

the Haunted Jester wrote:
no pdf as of yet and my AP is still "Pending"....

It normally takes about 3 days for them to do everyone. So if it started on Monday, it won't be done till Wed or maybe Thurs. I know I have been one of the last people to get mine before too. Sucks but sometimes you just end up at the end.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
It normally takes about 3 days for them to do everyone. So if it started on Monday, it won't be done till Wed or maybe Thurs. I know I have been one of the last people to get mine before too. Sucks but sometimes you just end up at the end.

Thanks for the heads up Dark Mistress, i didn't know it takes roughly three days. Game on!!!

Dark Archive

the Haunted Jester wrote:

It normally takes about 3 days for them to do everyone. So if it started on Monday, it won't be done till Wed or maybe Thurs. I know I have been one of the last people to get mine before too. Sucks but sometimes you just end up at the end.

Thanks for the heads up Dark Mistress, i didn't know it takes roughly three days. Game on!!!

No worries, and you're welcome. :)


So is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde making an appearance in this adventure?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
So is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde making an appearance in this adventure?

+1

That would be nice to know, as we have a possible Master Chymist based on that idea.....


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So we get a new 'multiplying skeleton' for animating.

The four arm skelly is just for reanimating mudras(or any base creature with four arms)?

skeletal mount and armored skelly seem awkward here. They seem like prebuilds of stuff you could make following the normal skeleton rules.

also: What's a mudra?
edit:nvm it's from classic horrors.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I am very happy with this AP issue. It looks like it's got a lot going on, some great RP, and varied encounter-types while still sticking to a theme. Kudos to Pett for another great module.

Liberty's Edge

Loving some of the new stuff in this, but question - what happened to the Yanakeion and Amzranei psychopomps that were listed as additions to the Summon Monster lists for Pharasman clerics on p.69? I've text-searched both terms in the PDF and that page is the only time I see the creatures mentioned (though the parenthetical text that follows them implies that they should be in Trial of the Beast).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Areteas wrote:
Loving some of the new stuff in this, but question - what happened to the Yanakeion and Amzranei psychopomps that were listed as additions to the Summon Monster lists for Pharasman clerics on p.69? I've text-searched both terms in the PDF and that page is the only time I see the creatures mentioned (though the parenthetical text that follows them implies that they should be in Trial of the Beast).

Same question came up in another thread, it is a type, they are either in AP 43 or 44 can't recall which


Erik Freund wrote:
I am very happy with this AP issue. It looks like it's got a lot going on, some great RP, and varied encounter-types while still sticking to a theme. Kudos to Pett for another great module.

Darn it. I knew I was going to regret having to cancel my AP subscription. I really wanted this one too...

Incidentally, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye really sounds like an interesting group.

Dark Archive

Dark Sasha wrote:
Erik Freund wrote:
I am very happy with this AP issue. It looks like it's got a lot going on, some great RP, and varied encounter-types while still sticking to a theme. Kudos to Pett for another great module.

Darn it. I knew I was going to regret having to cancel my AP subscription. I really wanted this one too...

Incidentally, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye really sounds like an interesting group.

Yeah i think you will. I think with just the first two out, this might be my new favorite. Of course serpent started off strong but waned a little at the end. Still good but not as good as the first four parts. This AP is also starting off very strong.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

So, it seems like people really like this? I bought Harrowstone because I really liked the idea but I'm waiting to see how this AP plays out before I buy the rest. I'm really jonzing to run my first AP in between my regular homebrew campaign but I'm going to give the players a choice between SS, KM, or CC. Definitely going to flip through it at the local FLGS. Paizo should be happy to know that I'm buying a whole new bookcase to store all my Pathfinder books. After a few years of staying true to my vow of not buying anymore RPG stuff (figured 3 editions were more than enough) I'm making up for up it now.

Dark Archive

John Benbo wrote:
So, it seems like people really like this? I bought Harrowstone because I really liked the idea but I'm waiting to see how this AP plays out before I buy the rest. I'm really jonzing to run my first AP in between my regular homebrew campaign but I'm going to give the players a choice between SS, KM, or CC. Definitely going to flip through it at the local FLGS. Paizo should be happy to know that I'm buying a whole new bookcase to store all my Pathfinder books. After a few years of staying true to my vow of not buying anymore RPG stuff (figured 3 editions were more than enough) I'm making up for up it now.

I am, but to be fair I am a huge fan of gothic horror.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Dark_Mistress wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
So, it seems like people really like this? I bought Harrowstone because I really liked the idea but I'm waiting to see how this AP plays out before I buy the rest. I'm really jonzing to run my first AP in between my regular homebrew campaign but I'm going to give the players a choice between SS, KM, or CC. Definitely going to flip through it at the local FLGS. Paizo should be happy to know that I'm buying a whole new bookcase to store all my Pathfinder books. After a few years of staying true to my vow of not buying anymore RPG stuff (figured 3 editions were more than enough) I'm making up for up it now.
I am, but to be fair I am a huge fan of gothic horror.

Me too, but some of the guys I play with are also writers/editors so it's hard to surprise them. They're more likely to drop the beast and move on (half metagame/half I've seen this I'm not the villain but really a hero schlock before). I game with my best friend since 1st grade who is also a part time author. In elementary school/middle school we played a lot of MERP (Middle Earth Roleplay Game) and then Rolemaster because his mother forbid him to play D&D due to the "satanic" influences. We've been always highly competitive in a friendly way. We used to tick each other off with our own special NPCs. His was a druid based on that jerk from the Terry Brooks series and mine was Sir Robin the Brave from the Muppets' "Frog Prince." So now we both instinctively hate each others' NPCs. If I tried to introduce a friendly golem, he, out of force of habit, would try to drop him no questions asked. After 24 years of friendship, we're still working through those issues :) I'm borderline on subscribing to the AP line. Not a money issue, but a space issue. Once I get that new bookcase, though...I think they are really going to want to play Jade Regent which sounds incredible. Still, based on recommendations, I'm likely to buy this. Paizo products tend to give me the fantasy fix that a lot of the Tolkien ripoffs don't provide me.

Dark Archive

I am guessing you mean Allanon from the Shannara series.

AP spoiler:
As for the "good" ghost, there is nothing stopping the PC's from killing her. It makes the adventure harder but it isn't game breaking. Plus this isn't like your typical NPC, she can help the PC's very little if at all, beyond buying them extra time.

Dark Archive

I am guessing you mean Allanon from the Shannara series.

AP spoiler:
As for the "good" ghost, there is nothing stopping the PC's from killing her. It makes the adventure harder but it isn't game breaking. Plus this isn't like your typical NPC, she can help the PC's very little if at all, beyond buying them extra time.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Dark_Mistress wrote:

I am guessing you mean Allanon from the Shannara series.

** spoiler omitted **

Yup, I won't even read the books because I hated that guy so much as a NPC. While we are opening old wounds, my friend also used to mock me with an elf wizard from the old "Magic Candle" game he had for his Commodore 64. Most useless wizard ever!

Spoiler:
Yeah, my PCs would see her and say, "Well, she's a ghost in a haunted prison. Get her!!!" I blame myself really. They've spent a lot of time in the current campaign exploring a dungeon with nary a NPC to talk to.

Sovereign Court

Dark Sasha wrote:


Incidentally, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye really sounds like an interesting group.

I bet they're going to be a Pathfinder Society faction.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
John Benbo wrote:
So, it seems like people really like this? I bought Harrowstone because I really liked the idea but I'm waiting to see how this AP plays out before I buy the rest. I'm really jonzing to run my first AP in between my regular homebrew campaign but I'm going to give the players a choice between SS, KM, or CC. Definitely going to flip through it at the local FLGS. Paizo should be happy to know that I'm buying a whole new bookcase to store all my Pathfinder books. After a few years of staying true to my vow of not buying anymore RPG stuff (figured 3 editions were more than enough) I'm making up for up it now.

All three are very good. KM is fun if you want to build your own kingdom. I just really like SS, and I am playing through it now. CC is awesome, and I would rank it as one of my favorites.


Liking this and will be running it once we've finished Harrowstone, but has anyone come up with a rationale as to how a bunch of 2nd level town guards have managed to take the Beast Prisoner?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

andro101010 wrote:
Liking this and will be running it once we've finished Harrowstone, but has anyone come up with a rationale as to how a bunch of 2nd level town guards have managed to take the Beast Prisoner?

The beast isn't a bad guy. He probably had guilt or fear or whatever that stayed his hand—he's smart enough to know that killing guards would not increase his popularity as well.

Not that that's the type of evidence that lots of locals would understand, alas.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
John Benbo wrote:
So, it seems like people really like this? I bought Harrowstone because I really liked the idea but I'm waiting to see how this AP plays out before I buy the rest. I'm really jonzing to run my first AP in between my regular homebrew campaign but I'm going to give the players a choice between SS, KM, or CC. Definitely going to flip through it at the local FLGS. Paizo should be happy to know that I'm buying a whole new bookcase to store all my Pathfinder books. After a few years of staying true to my vow of not buying anymore RPG stuff (figured 3 editions were more than enough) I'm making up for up it now.
I am, but to be fair I am a huge fan of gothic horror.

Huge Gothic horror fan, so yes I'm biased but Carrion Crown gets 5 stars thus far.

Contributor

James of course sums it up splendidly, the beast is not evil.

The point however about rationale Andro is a good one, and comes back essentially to the word count and the 'what to leave in and what to leave out and what to let groups fill in themselves.'

Someone made a very interesting point that it would have been great to run the trial with PCs full on centre stage, and in the first draft that's exactly what happened. The gaps within the adventure as I initially wrote it at that stage however left too much work to do (basically the PCs had the option to take over from Kaple). To do the trial with PC's running it would have meant much more word count on it (to explain the whole process and make it realistic). So we had a more trial less adventure situation, and some groups won't want to have the trial centre stage, but will prefer more action. However, I'd love to see someone out there tackle the PCs doing the trial full blown so that if groups want to go in that direction they can, and I'm sure someone will.

Despite the lovely Paizo fellows allowing this adventure to come in slightly longer than normal (37,000 words instead of 35,000) there was still an awful lot of crunchy stuff I wanted to keep and was of course necessary. That's what I love about these boards though, because the fine people out there who post wil inevitably share ideas and takes on different aspects and raise points that different styles of players will have.

Rich

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Richard Pett wrote:
That's what I love about these boards though, because the fine people out there who post wil inevitably share ideas and takes on different aspects and raise points that different styles of players will have.

To support Rich's point, one of the coolest aspects of working with Paizo (in terms of adventure design and storytelling) is that they always take our turnovers and trim, refine, and embellish in just the right ways so they'll have maximum appeal to the maximum number of gamers/customers who buy the APs. So, hopefully, it reaches...and inspires, really...more than just one play-style or type of gamer.

But, in addition to that, it's the online community here and the pooling of ideas from so many people who play and run the games that widens the actual play experience in ways that transcend the written module. And, if someone happens to build upon an idea we had to summarize in the final manuscript (even though we may have spent a larger amount of words on it in the original turnover that had to be cut), that's really neat for us as writers to see.

In fact, I'd dare say all of us have had a wider story we imagined or tried to tell in our designs. But there's only ever so much room within the word count to tell it. The Paizo editors and developers do a great job squeezing as much awesome into those pages as they possibly can. And, occasionally, they may even provide some snippet from the cutting room floor here in a blog post or something...or maybe participate in a forum discussion about how to enhance the adventure with extra material or approaches they didn't have room to fully explore. And that, in itself, is just as awesome.

My two cents,
--Neil


Thanks for the notes. FYI my rationale is that the Beast was controlled, got the statuette, had to get to a Whispering way cultist in order to hand it over, then was 'driven' to a separate location in order that he wouldn't splat the cultist and finally was so confused when he recovered that the guards were able to chain him.
See you in the wild wolven woods,
Matt


My group is currently going through Harrowstone at a rather slow pace, so it ought to be a few months before we get to this one. However, being that my play-group contains two (2) lawyers, I think I'm going to have no choice but to let the trial take centre-stage of the module.
To be honest, I'm tremendously frightened I'll be snowballed by their knowledge. I've even debated handing off the DMing duties within the court to one of them, and letting the other handle the case for the defense. Either way, I'm very interested in the original draft you mentioned Mr. Pett, and wonder if there's anything you could share with us that might help to really re-focus the adventure into the legal drama I expect/dread.

Contributor

Hello there Drakir,

we never got as far as working on the exact court proceedings and much of the original timings remain in the final printed adventure. However, in my view you could go one of two ways here, the first is that the PCs - as strangers - are ruled by the court of Lepidstadt, not the other way round, so regardless of any outside knowledge your players will have, they don't know Lepidstadt justice - only you do - shouting strangers correcting the judges are likely to get shouted down not only by the watching mob, but also by the justices, so in many ways yours is the control anyway.

Of course you'll want your players to have fun however.

It would be great to have the whole trial if players are keen, BUT the crucial thing is the prosecution, because if you're going to play the whole set up, then someone has to present the evidence and that's where you might come unstuck, unless you have plenty of time to write up the prosecution and be prepared to play the witnesses - which might not be easy with 2 real lawyers on their case.

If you have some time however you could work up a court routine, with a few speeches for the relevant NPCs and a set format for your players to work too, this could in many ways be like the script for the Sixfold Trial (I'm begining to get a little paranoid that two adventures I've been lucky enough to write recent have trial in their title, but no matter:)). You could have fun by throwing in a few legal phrases and do a little research to make the thing play as big a part as you wish.

Plus, there may be some people out there willing to help out - if you check out this section of the website there is already some legal opinions and there may be some help. Try here to start

For what it's worth, my advice would be to go with the adventure as written but perhaps expand the role for the PC's giving evidence.

Whatever you decide, please post up what happens, it'll be useful for others coming to this adventure in the future.

Have fun!
Rich

Liberty's Edge

cappadocius wrote:
Dark Sasha wrote:


Incidentally, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye really sounds like an interesting group.
I bet they're going to be a Pathfinder Society faction.

I realize that I am late to the party. I got these seires of APs a wile back and selved them as I was running other games at the time. With the in mind, I am enjoying reading about The Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. Why is that? Well it is because I am (cue the conspiracy theory music) a Free Mason and I was looking for a way to incorpoarate that into my gaming. I must say your company got a lot of things right(though I am forbidden to go into detail as to what they are and why) and you have also played on the myths as well but have done it in a tasteful way. Well done Paizo...well done!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dont know if its already been discussed buit if it has and i missed this , then apologies. I had ONE story problem with Trial of the Beast. BUT its kind of a BIG one.....+ spoiler+ Just in case it metters to those that might play it , im about to get specific here so dont read furher if u care.. LOL

Spoiler:

Auren Vrood is the big mastermind of evil in the campaign. he is super powerful. The ENTIRE reason that this chapter was written is because the BEAST of Lepssdtdt is captured. BUT my problem and a few of my players problems were ..... WHY? why does Auren Vrood use the beast at ALL to break into the university and get the seasage effigy? he goes to a LOT of trouble to trick Alphon caromarc into sending the beast after them to a meeting where they THEN assault schloss caromarc , capture the Dr. and also find the bondslave thrall etc etc , THEN use the beast to BREAK in to the university etc etc etc.. A LOT of trouble..WHY wouldnt vrood just find a minion or he himself Teleport or find some magic other way to get onto the school, grab the effigy ( even in the daytime using invisibility?) , .. IDK..w/o the beast getting used and caught u dont even have this chapter of the adventure path , but i cant see WHY Vrood used the beast at all??
Not trying to be a jerk!! :) because i like the story a LOT! i had to make some stuff up on the spot when my players asked me this question!! hahah So i had to give the cheesy answer..." well it is Protected against teleportation , and invisibity ( even during daytime hours!?) And so no one can get in that way! " LOLOL

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Added a spoiler tag to the above post.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Goblinlover wrote:

Dont know if its already been discussed buit if it has and i missed this , then apologies. I had ONE story problem with Trial of the Beast. BUT its kind of a BIG one.....+ spoiler+ Just in case it metters to those that might play it , im about to get specific here so dont read furher if u care.. LOL

** spoiler omitted **

There was some discussion on the big plot hole over on the Carrion Crown forums. I recommend you take a look over there about how some GMs got around it.

Spoiler:
For my part I re-wrote the crime scene as having powerful protections and traps as the items there are rare and possibly magical and/or dangerous. I wrote most of the traps as electrical in nature but with some others as well... Rather than risk his own skin, or setting off alarms (and then having the item relocated) in a failed attempt because the minion/rube/cats paw died, the villain needed to have someone who could make the attempt and succeed first time. Being a bright chap he remembered a certain someone who had expertise with a creature with certain immunities... cue the rest of the adventure.


Unseen Servants question:

Is there a way to make so many permanent unseen servants? o.o Because I love that idea for an adventure house or dragon horde cave/castle!

Dark Archive

Spirit Ally feat in the Haunted Heroes Handbook. Prerequisite: Caster level 8t, this acts as a constant unseen servant spell

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