Slumbering Tsar 4: The Temple-City of Orcus, Part 1—The Tower of Weeping Sores (PFRPG) PDF

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Having won through the Desolation, the players find that the worst is yet to come as they discover that the Black Gates of Tsar are protected by the legendary Kirash Durgaut—the Tower of Weeping Sores. Never broken in battle, this bastion stands firm after centuries. Can it still be inhabited after all this time? Only the brave or the foolish dare find out. For 11th-level PCs, The Tower of Weeping Sores provides the spring board for the exploration of the city beyond by providing the details of The Tower of Weeping Sores as well as the Black Gates of Tsar and the Walls of Death.

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Excellent first part of the epic temple-city exploration

*****

This installment of the epic Slumbering Tsar series is 54 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page of SRD, leaving 50 pages of content, so let's take a good look at the very first part of the epic Slumbering Tsar saga that had never been released under any other system, introducing the dark and dread temple city of Orcus!

This being an adventure review, the following contains massive
SPOILERS
so please, potential players, stop reading NOW.

Having survived the manifold and dread dangers of the Desolation, the PCs, at the beginning of this module, finally start to delve into the legendary temple-city, which is introduced via both an interesting background information and a nice idea that ensures the PCs won't get respite from the dangers of the Desolation or the City - the true citadel of Orcus is hidden between the planes and to explore it and end the sinister threat, they'll have to find 9 statues, the so-called 9 disciples while avoiding the alignment-warping effects of the city. But to enter the city, the PCs will have to brave the black gates of Tsar, i.e. Kirash Durgaut and the tower of weeping sores or find some other way into the city.

And wow, the Black Gates are not easily penetrable - the PCs will be assaulted by several siege undead (and we're not talking 6, we're talking about quantities of 50+) as well as a deadly "boss"-fight against a new creature, the dokkalfoer, which is essentially an intelligent animated tower that contains deadly yet illusory defenders and is HARD to destroy, even without other enemies. Alternatively, the PCs might try to use the sunken gates, gates to the city that have been submerged in a swamp-like environment, featuring not only plenty opportunities to drown, die by the hands of bog mummies and even a living swamp. Finally, the PCs might try to scale the walls or enter via the broken gates, both of which are not truly better options, as the walls are patrolled by undead and the broken gates still contain the remains of another potential boss battle with a battle hulk. However, if they act smart, the PCs might use this hulk to their advantage. We get an 1-page overview map of the city and 2 detail maps of 1 page respectively, one for the black gates and one for the sunken gates.

There is a reason, though, why the black gates never fell to the onslaught of the army of light - the siege castle Kirash Durgaut! The legendary siege castle features three floors of the castle, its maps spanning 6 pages, 2 per floor and one page of maps for the upper floors that make up the tower of the weeping sores. A quick glance at the maps shows you the siege weapons and details that will make the fortress hard to infiltrate, even for the PCs - they better have magic, good plans, stamina and their dice on their side, otherwise e.g. animated portcullises, iron maiden golems, strategically planted siege and regular undead (if you consider e.g. Athach-skeletons or Grey Render fast zombies regular...) will get the better of them. They can also meet a devilish thief and catch him in the act and will have to fight their way through the demonic/undead troops left in the fortress up to the tower of weeping sores and its torture chambers where they'll have to defeat General Myrmac, the deadly skeletal host general of the tower and his diabolical seneschal.

The pdf closes with two monsters ( both get their own artworks) and a magic item.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a clear and printer-friendly b/w-two-column standard and the maps are nice, have a parchment-look and come with grids. I would have loved key-less player-friendly maps to cut up and show to your PCs, but oh well. The b/w-artworks spread throughout the book are beautiful, often disturbing and capture the feel of Tsar. The encounters are cool and old-school, featuring some the PCs will easily walk over and some where the PCs will have to play it smart to prevail. In a nutshell, this installment of ST continues to provide the excellent quality and iconic locales we've come to expect from Greg A. Vaughan's magnum opus and Frog God Games. The pdf is extensively bookmarked, making it rather easy to use on screen. In the end, I don't really have any good points of criticism, this installment of ST keeps the excellent quality of the series and for people who don't want all of the books/don't have a subscription: If you need a dread siege castle or some ideas how to make your villain's evil fortress more impenetrable, you are at the right place. My final verdict subsequently has to be 5 stars.
Endzeitgeist out.


Dark Archive

Reviewed.

Frog God Games

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reviewed.

Sweet! Thanks, DM! Wait I better read it first before I gush. :-) But thanks for reviewing it!


I am interested in learning more about this series and where it is headed. Greg, would it be alright if I sent you an email? Thanks!


You can also check out Tales of the Frog God for more info on the series.


I am going to parrot Dark Mistress here, this adventure has a very transportable dungeon-like adventure. With a few tweeks to suit a particular DM's storyline, it can be modified to fit very easily. It also makes a very nasty hurdle for those who wish to enter Tsar by the front gate.


Nice review DM. I have to say the way this is coming together is making me very anxious to see it finished so I can look into starting to run it!

Frog God Games

Dosgamer wrote:
I am interested in learning more about this series and where it is headed. Greg, would it be alright if I sent you an email? Thanks!

Sure thing, Dosgamer. You can reach me at gregATtalesofthefrogDOTcom

Frog God Games

P.S. For Vic or Gary, or whoever handles the titles of these products in the blog.

The product title on this one should actually read:

Slumbering Tsar 4: The Temple City of Orcus, Part 1—The Tower of Weeping Sores (PFRPG) PDF

The Western Front was the last one we did. Thanks!

Frog God Games

James Keegan wrote:
You can also check out Tales of the Frog God for more info on the series.

What James says. And he knows, cuz he's been illustrating the thing. :-)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

...and you can never have too many James Keegan illustrations.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:
...and you can never have too many James Keegan illustrations.

What if you had so many, that they fell over on you and buried you alive. trapping you under them for days until you finally died from trying to lick the paint off them? Would that be to many?


Email sent (to talesofthefroggod.com since it wouldn't send to talesofthefrog.com). Thanks!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
...and you can never have too many James Keegan illustrations.
What if you had so many, that they fell over on you and buried you alive. trapping you under them for days until you finally died from trying to lick the paint off them? Would that be to many?

Nah, but only because events would play out a bit differently. If I became trapped under a mountain of Keegan prints, I would, after stopping my pointless wriggling and squirming, slowly and carefully chew little strips of paper in an effort to press and form them into a super-powered papier mache robot suit around my near-lifeless body. If I survive the hardening process, the illustrations embedded in my new artPower Suit would grant me inhuman super powers, which I think would be pretty cool.


James Keegan wrote:
You can also check out Tales of the Frog God for more info on the series.

Thanks, James! I just checked it out and it is very helpful.

Frog God Games

Dosgamer wrote:
Email sent (to talesofthefroggod.com since it wouldn't send to talesofthefrog.com). Thanks!

D'oh! Yeah, that would be right.

Note to self: time to learn own e-mail address.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:

P.S. For Vic or Gary, or whoever handles the titles of these products in the blog.

The product title on this one should actually read:

Slumbering Tsar 4: The Temple City of Orcus, Part 1—The Tower of Weeping Sores (PFRPG) PDF

The Western Front was the last one we did. Thanks!

Updated. (I also hyphenated "Temple-City," since it's hyphenated on the cover.)

Frog God Games

Thanks, Vic!


My sketch up of the main character of this book.

DM only:


Awesome! Thanks for that, Russ!


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Pale wrote:
Awesome! Thanks for that, Russ!

+1


Reviewed here, on RPGaggression, and sent to GMS magazine. I'll be catching up with the city over the next couple of weeks. Cheers!

Dark Archive

Nice review End.


And again, thank you, D_M! I'm looking forward to what you're up to and hope rl has been kinder to you than it was to me. :)

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:
And again, thank you, D_M! I'm looking forward to what you're up to and hope rl has been kinder to you than it was to me. :)

Thanks and don't know. Have had job, money and family issues of late. A never ending circle of them it seems. But that seems to be how life works, things go well for awhile then everything goes wrong for awhile.

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