Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

3.80/5 (based on 11 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 4: "Wake of the Watcher"
by Greg A. Vaughan

No one goes to Illmarsh. An ugly town, unfriendly to strangers and squatting amid the nastiest stretch of swamp in Ustalav, Illmarsh seems to breed rumor and madness, and those who speak of it always whisper of strange disappearances, misshapen shadows, and sacrifices to things terrible and forgotten. But when the trail of the death cultists known as the Whispering Way leads to Illmarsh, it’s up to the PCs to learn the secrets of the sickly village. There they’ll find a desperate people, caught in a war between beings from beneath the seas and invaders from the darkest corners of the cosmos. Can the heroes save Illmarsh from its tradition of terror? Or will they be the next victims of the horror from beyond the stars?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Wake of the Watcher,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 9th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan
  • Blasphemous secrets of the foul faiths known collectively as the Old Cults and sanity-shattering gods such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and Cthulhu, by James Jacobs
  • A giant bestiary filled with eight classic monsters inspired by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft and the tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, by James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan
  • Laurel Cylphra’s discovery that the dead aren’t the only dangers in Ardis in a new entry into the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider

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: 978-1-60125-311-8

Wake of the Watcher 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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Near Masterpiece

5/5

A near masterpiece of an adventure, as a standalone. Eldritch horrors, finely crafted theme, story, plot, and ambiance. Challenging foes, and less politically correct narrative than more current PF products. Brilliant adventure, especially for anyone seeking to evoke an H.P. Lovecraft feel into their PF campaigns. Highly recommended.


Wake of the Watcher or Look we can do Lovecraft too!

1/5

By now, it appears the writers have forgotten that they are writing a story about the Whispering Way and just want to toss any old horror setting into a book to just show they can. I’ve seen various groups playing this AP and often they don’t even remember the Whipsering Way any longer and DM’s have to constantly remind them. The Cthulhu aspect is not terribly done and enjoyable if that is the focus of the campaign or one off. But when taken with the return of the theme of the adventure it makes no sense to have it in here other than to just say “We can do Lovecraft in Pathfinder”.

The module is rather enjoyable by itself and does add in a fun creepy factor that people like with the Lovecraft theme but alienates itself completely with the Adventure Path. This departure from over all theme has been reflected in the rating. Take by itself, it’s a five but as a part of the greater whole, it’s a one.


Cthulhu Dungeon crawl

3/5

Overall an enjoyable adventure but not a strong entry in the CC AP. The adventure starts off strong with investigation and memorable setting and NPCs. However, it then quickly slips into a hackfest as the party must essentially clear out 3 locations (albeit 3 interesting and well-written locations). There are some great encounters, lovecraftian references that help mitigate this but the adventure still feels like a missed opportunity in using the mythos. Additionally, the background is a muddle and needs to be streamlined. For DMs running this as part of CC I suggest you look on providing the party more motivation to be following the Dark Rider (perhaps some more fleshed out clues as to the Raven's Head) as a DM sticking to the written content may find players wondering why they're going to all this trouble.


Very portable

5/5

Due to some player vacationing, I subjected my Serpents Skull group to this. Even though they were higher level (12-13) than the book would recommend, they still had a great time. The dungeon at the end is creepy and mind warping enough to slip in anywhere. Obviously I can't speak for the overall story plot line, but if your group enjoys some Cthulhu in its D&D, you will enjoy this book.

Spoiler:
The idol that communes with Dagon is a personal favorite, my players have carried it around for months debating whether to use it or not!


A good try but a grindy finish

3/5

Excellent and very creepy first part but once the characters go looking for the source it grinds horribly, and on top of that the writer tries to jam in as many different mythos monsters as they can to the point it feels like you are going down an index of the Necronomicon.

The optional sanity rules could use some work but overall they could add another fun dimension as a one off if you really wanted to stress the 'otherworldiness' of the things encountered... and the last one is all but guaranteed to blow someones mind.

Not bad at all but needs some re-writes.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What IS that thing on the cover??


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Painted Oryx wrote:
What IS that thing on the cover??

Read the awesome short story "Shadow Over Innsmouth," and all shall be made clear. Horribly, horribly clear...

Liberty's Edge

Oh my players would love this story! I thinking more and more that I might run this AP after I finish RothRL.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The final cover's giving me flashbacks of this song...

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

this AP keeps getting better!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Idle speculation time. I'm going to spoiler tag the whole thing, just in case.

Spoiler:

Will the Deep Ones in this adventure be skum, as they were in the PF module "From Shore to Sea"? I don't think so. Skum are LE and have always been tied to the aboleth. The Deep Ones in this adventure will be worshipers of the CE demon lord Dagon who, as far as I know, has no connection to aboleths. Thus, my guess is that the fish-folk in this adventure will be a brand new creature - probably quite a bit tougher than skum.

Of course, it may be a little odd having two races of ichthyic humanoids who sneak into fishing villages to mate with the populace. Maybe the Deep Ones will be a CE offshoot of skum?

*Addendum: I made the super smart move of comparing the fish thing on the cover to the skum illustration, and it's a dead ringer. So I'm reversing my opinion and saying the Deep Ones are skum.

Idle speculation over!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

Idle speculation time. I'm going to spoiler tag the whole thing, just in case.

** spoiler omitted **

Idle speculation over!

Idle response time!

Spoiler:

Yup; they're skum. The thing on the cover is a skum, in fact. Skum are really what we're using for our deep one analogues anyway; they pretty much do the exact same thing and fill the exact same role. They sub in for kuo-toa well also.

As for the skum in this adventure... let's just say that they're not the normal lawful evil aboleth minion type...


James Jacobs wrote:
It will likely NOT have stats for Cthulhu, though—we don't have our epic rules worked out yet, and we'd need them to stat up something like a Great Old One.

How hard can it be to work up stats for Cthulhu?

"Cthulhu attacks!" "What happens?" "You go insane. Then Cthulhu eats you. The end."

That said, I am really looking forward to this book; you can never have too much cuddly Lovecraftian creepiness in my fantasy games. But that cover art -- what is that, Marlon Brando as a Deep One?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Will there be an option to pick this up at Paizocon?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chris Ballard wrote:
Will there be an option to pick this up at Paizocon?

Assuming everything arrives from the printer on time, our intent is to allow subscribers to pick up their June shipments at PaizoCon, and non-subscribers will be able to buy the new releases there as well.

We'll be formally announcing the PaizoCon convention pickup option shortly after the May subscription shipments go out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It will likely NOT have stats for Cthulhu, though—we don't have our epic rules worked out yet, and we'd need them to stat up something like a Great Old One.

How hard can it be to work up stats for Cthulhu?

"Cthulhu attacks!" "What happens?" "You go insane. Then Cthulhu eats you. The end."

Don't forget the 1d4 investigators he kills per round.

Dark Archive

I am so psyched for this, Carrion Crown as a whole is right up my alley since I love horror games, and Lovecraftian horror games are even better!


Giant......bestiary.....sweeeeeeeeet.

Liberty's Edge

This the first time a DnD product has had stats for cthulu monsters, ect since the old first printing of dieties and demigods?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
This the first time a DnD product has had stats for cthulu monsters, ect since the old first printing of dieties and demigods?

Nah, there were a lot of Cthulhu statblocks in the mean time, starting off with Call of Cthulhu d20.


A giant beastiary! will it have a larger page count for this "giant" beastiary?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
A giant beastiary! will it have a larger page count for this "giant" beastiary?

Instead of 2 support articles and a bestiary, this issue has 1 support article and an extra large bestiary.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
A giant beastiary! will it have a larger page count for this "giant" beastiary?

The normal format is:

Module
2 Articles
Fiction
Bestiary

If I am reading this right the page count is the same you just get:
Module
1 Article
Fiction
Bigger Bestiary

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Galnörag wrote:

If I am reading this right the page count is the same you just get:

Module
1 Article
Fiction
Bigger Bestiary

This is correct. There's 10 or 11 monsters in this volume's bestiary... can't remember exactly how many.


How easy is it to interconnect this adventure with Carrion Hill?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Coltaine wrote:
How easy is it to interconnect this adventure with Carrion Hill?

There's a half-page of advice in this volume that covers exactly that topic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There's a half-page of advice in this volume that covers exactly that topic.

Cool. Any chance we'll learn something more about what lurks beneath Carrion Hill? I know the town was originally slated to appear in "Rule of Fear," but was cut for space. I'm hoping that information will eventually surface elsewhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
There's a half-page of advice in this volume that covers exactly that topic.
Cool. Any chance we'll learn something more about what lurks beneath Carrion Hill? I know the town was originally slated to appear in "Rule of Fear," but was cut for space. I'm hoping that information will eventually surface elsewhere.

Nope; not really much more to reveal about what's under Carrion Hill at this point.


I just looked over a portion of the pdf from Broken Moon giving teasers for this volumes and I almost had a heart attack with pure; evil joy!

Dark Young, Mi-Go, Dimensional Shamblers, Spawn of Cthulhu + 7 more Lovecraft monsters in Pathfinder stats!

Info on the Cults of old ones!

And you say there will be info to tie this into Carrion Hill!?!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Grand Lodge

Pretty sure Deep ones are covered somewhere as well...

Ghouls/Ghasts you could probably use straight out of the current books with an appearance change.

Gotta say, this AP looks like something I have to get and I Hastur get Pt 4 at the minimum.

Eric Hinkle wrote:
FenrysStar wrote:
weirmonken wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:

For those interested Paizo have published the following Chtonic monsters that I can remember:

PF #4 - Hounds of Tindalos
PF #6 - Denizens of Leng
PF #11 - Gugs
Bestiary - Shoggoths, possibly others

PF #10 also has a horrific beastie from beyond human ken, but I'm not sure if it's specifically something Lovecraft wrote.

Thanks everyone for compiling this list. Too bad all of these are fairly low on my to-buy list (other than the Bestiary, which I already own), but I'll certainly pick them up at some point in the future.

Denizen of Leng - Bestiary 2 page #82

Gug - Bestiary 2 page #151

Hound of Tindalos - Bestiary 2 page #158

Leng Spider - Bestiary 2 page #176

Serpent People - Bestiary 2 page #242

Shantak - Bestiary 2 page #244

The Qlippoth look Lovecraft inspired as well. Bestiary 2 is quite the pleaser.

It's a great list -- but no offense, weren't the Spiders of Leng basically just your everyday Colossal Monstrous Spiders?


Helaman wrote:

Pretty sure Deep ones are covered somewhere as well...

Ghouls/Ghasts you could probably use straight out of the current books with an appearance change.

Gotta say, this AP looks like something I have to get and I Hastur get Pt 4 at the minimum.

Eric Hinkle wrote:
FenrysStar wrote:
weirmonken wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:

For those interested Paizo have published the following Chtonic monsters that I can remember:

PF #4 - Hounds of Tindalos
PF #6 - Denizens of Leng
PF #11 - Gugs
Bestiary - Shoggoths, possibly others

PF #10 also has a horrific beastie from beyond human ken, but I'm not sure if it's specifically something Lovecraft wrote.

Thanks everyone for compiling this list. Too bad all of these are fairly low on my to-buy list (other than the Bestiary, which I already own), but I'll certainly pick them up at some point in the future.

Denizen of Leng - Bestiary 2 page #82

Gug - Bestiary 2 page #151

Hound of Tindalos - Bestiary 2 page #158

Leng Spider - Bestiary 2 page #176

Serpent People - Bestiary 2 page #242

Shantak - Bestiary 2 page #244

The Qlippoth look Lovecraft inspired as well. Bestiary 2 is quite the pleaser.

It's a great list -- but no offense, weren't the Spiders of Leng basically just your everyday Colossal Monstrous Spiders?

It's been said already but Skum are the equivalents of Deep Ones in Pathfinder.

Grand Lodge

There is an actual PF write up of deep ones using the name 'deep ones' somewhere... cant recall where I saw it though...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Helaman wrote:
There is an actual PF write up of deep ones using the name 'deep ones' somewhere... cant recall where I saw it though...

Not sure you saw that in a book published by Paizo. The skum are pretty much our version of the deep ones.


I imagine the old Call of Cthulhu D20 book had Deep Ones listed as such but that's not a Paizo book.

Scarab Sages

FenrysStar wrote:
I imagine the old Call of Cthulhu D20 book had Deep Ones listed as such but that's not a Paizo book.

Well Cthulhu d20 was based of of d20 modern/3.0, so those stats could all stand a bit of a revision.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scion of Yig wrote:
FenrysStar wrote:
I imagine the old Call of Cthulhu D20 book had Deep Ones listed as such but that's not a Paizo book.

Well Cthulhu d20 was based of of d20 modern/3.0, so those stats could all stand a bit of a revision.

Actually... you have it reversed.

d20 Modern was based on Cthulhu d20.

Cthulhu d20 was the first non D&D game that WotC tried out—they chose CoC intentionally because it's such a different game than D&D that if they could pull it off, it'd be proof that the d20 system was super-robust and capable of doing anything.

d20 Modern came out some time thereafter.

I remember building my own post-apocalyptic RPG using the d20 rules at about the same time they were building CoC d20—I initially used 3.0 for my game, but when Cthulhu d20 came out I adapted my game to use its rules. Then I adapted it again to work with d20 Modern. And when 3.5 came out, I switched back, since I still think those rules were the most elegant of them all.

Actually, that's not true today. I think Pathfinder's the most elegant incarnation of those rules. And yes, I've updated my post-apocalyptic RPG "Unspeakable Futures" to be Pathfinder now—six folks get to try it out in a few weeks at PaizoCon, in fact.


And when do we get to see it in print James?


It's coming soon I hope, The pdf of Broken Moon isn't doing much for me. I'll be reading it cover to cover as I usually do, but out of all the books in the Carrion Crown AP this is the one I'm looking forward to the most. But I'm an old Lovecraft fan so that's no surprise.


I can't wait. I am consoling myself with a lovely little song while I wait. (For those of you suspicious already, it is not the song about fishmen. Well, not that song about fishmen; it's another one.) :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


I remember building my own post-apocalyptic RPG using the d20 rules at about the same time they were building CoC d20—I initially used 3.0 for my game, but when Cthulhu d20 came out I adapted my game to use its rules. Then I adapted it again to work with d20 Modern. And when 3.5 came out, I switched back, since I still think those rules were the most elegant of them all.

Actually, that's not true today. I think Pathfinder's the most elegant incarnation of those rules. And yes, I've updated my post-apocalyptic RPG "Unspeakable Futures" to be Pathfinder now—six folks get to try it out in a few weeks at PaizoCon, in fact.

I love Pathfinder, but I've always wanted to try a version of CoC d20 using the character classes from the Trinity Universe d20 books and their associated 'background feats' (which are, in themselves, an adaption of the Storyteller system version of the Trinity Universe books).


oh this is gonna end badly for my players....


MythicFox wrote:
I love Pathfinder, but I've always wanted to try a version of CoC d20 using the character classes from the Trinity Universe d20 books and their associated 'background feats' (which are, in themselves, an adaption of the Storyteller system version of the Trinity Universe books).

You should give Delta Green a try. Every time I ran that game, my players died by the end of my campaign. the intro to the next group of players was usually them cleaning up something unspeakable left behind by their previous characters.

mind you, the time they killed a gibbering mouther-like critter by using two kilos of cocaine as a bomb was interesting enough...but obliterating a shape shifting assasin by using a zombie serum was sheer brilliance.


Helaman wrote:
There is an actual PF write up of deep ones using the name 'deep ones' somewhere... cant recall where I saw it though...

IIRC, the 20th level "capstone" of the sorcerer's Aquatic bloodline in Advanced Players' Guide is called "Deep One" -- could that be what you're thinking of?

Cheers, JohnH / Wanda


James Jacobs wrote:
Scion of Yig wrote:
FenrysStar wrote:
I imagine the old Call of Cthulhu D20 book had Deep Ones listed as such but that's not a Paizo book.

Well Cthulhu d20 was based of of d20 modern/3.0, so those stats could all stand a bit of a revision.

Actually... you have it reversed.

d20 Modern was based on Cthulhu d20.

Cthulhu d20 was the first non D&D game that WotC tried out—they chose CoC intentionally because it's such a different game than D&D that if they could pull it off, it'd be proof that the d20 system was super-robust and capable of doing anything.

d20 Modern came out some time thereafter.

I remember building my own post-apocalyptic RPG using the d20 rules at about the same time they were building CoC d20—I initially used 3.0 for my game, but when Cthulhu d20 came out I adapted my game to use its rules. Then I adapted it again to work with d20 Modern. And when 3.5 came out, I switched back, since I still think those rules were the most elegant of them all.

Actually, that's not true today. I think Pathfinder's the most elegant incarnation of those rules. And yes, I've updated my post-apocalyptic RPG "Unspeakable Futures" to be Pathfinder now—six folks get to try it out in a few weeks at PaizoCon, in fact.

I still have my books for D20 Modern. I could probably use the two together without much fuss.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are this month's orders being shipped normally to those not attending Paizocon? I ask because by now I expected to see a "PDF Will Be Available on [Date]" listed for June's products (rather than the "Preorder expected mid-June 2011" that's listed now).


Hybrid children watch the sea , pray for father ROAMING FREE!!!!

Im hyped about this.


I'm going to have to do this module up right when I run this. I have a friend I'm running through this who loves Lovecraft. He finds every movie based on Lovecraft. Enjoys the stories. And is a big Lovecraft fan. I'll have to make sure to make this module memorable.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Generic Villain wrote:
Are this month's orders being shipped normally to those not attending Paizocon? I ask because by now I expected to see a "PDF Will Be Available on [Date]" listed for June's products (rather than the "Preorder expected mid-June 2011" that's listed now).

They will be shipped normally; we just haven't put the final shipping schedule into the system (we're waiting to find out whether the Chase Cards are going to make this shipment or the next).


James Jacobs wrote:
Coltaine wrote:
How easy is it to interconnect this adventure with Carrion Hill?
There's a half-page of advice in this volume that covers exactly that topic.

Fantastic. I'm deliberately plotting this AP out for Slow XP progression instead of normal just to add in other details and stories and Carrion Hill is something I especially want to include when I run this for my group.


the more I think about it, the more excited I am to get my copy of this book. I'm running Kingmaker right now, and the players...actually, one sec, i'll make this a spoiler:

Kingmaker:

they just cleared Candlemere island and went kind of bonkers when the Druid (who was the only one who spoke Aklo) found the inscriptions to Yog-Sothoth inscribed in the foundations of the tower. I also altered the island in my campaign and put a Hound of Tindalos in a short dungeon I'd created for the site. One of the players expressed an interest in summoning/binding lovecraftian creatures based on some old books/scrolls they found in the Hound's lair.

Dark Archive

Email!


Auxmaulous wrote:
Email!

yup.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

praise be to the new system - I knew I had an email before checking my email!

Dark Archive

THE STARS ARE RIGHT !


Alright, I know I'm probably going to catch hell for asking this, but why is Cthulu always regarded as the end-all-be-all ultimate evil and grand terror of Lovecraft? Frankly, I was a bit bored by the actual "Call of Cthulu" story, and I thought some of his most chilling tales were the ones written before the whole Cthulu Mythos.

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