Slumbering Tsar Saga (PFRPG) PDF

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The Sleeper Awakes!
At last, after languishing in its crypt for an age, the secrets of the slumbering city of Tsar burst forth in all their macabre glory. Poured forth from the eldritch furnaces and crucibles of the Necromancer and Orcus himself comes Frog God Games bringing you at long last The Slumbering Tsar Saga.

Something Stirs in the City of Evil
Over the distant northern hills, beyond The Camp, and past the Desolation stand the pitted walls of Tsar. A hundred armies have crushed themselves against this bulwark in futile attempts to breach the city. Even the combined might of the Heavens and Earth were unable to break through in the final battle of Tsar. So why was the city suddenly abandoned on the verge of victory, and what waits for those foolish enough to enter the Temple-City of Orcus?

The Black Gates Await
Only the bravest and most powerful of heroes dare the depths of the Desolation and live to tell of it. But what happens when they penetrate that blasted landscape and look upon the gates of the very center of evil on the earth. Can even heroes of such renown breach the Walls of Death and live?

The Slumbering Tsar Saga began its journey years ago as a single mega-adventure for the masters of Third Edition rules and First Edition feel, then became a trilogy of adventures, then a trilogy of mega-adventures, and now finally comes to you as a monthly series culminating in a massive book with over a half million words of pure First Edition-style adventure. Updated to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to accommodate today’s audience of the classic fantasy roleplaying games, The Slumbering Tsar Saga brings you 14 chapters, each chapter the size of a full adventure in its own right (30-50 pages), but in the Hardcover compilation (and NOT in the PDF) you will get something you can't get anywhere else—the final fifteenth chapter!

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A massive book that's worth every dollar

5/5

Disclaimer: I purchased a physical copy of this book and got the PDF with it.

Okay, before we go anywhere, we need to make one thing clear - The Slumbering Tsar Saga is not an Adventure Path. There is a plot here, but it's more of a setting than anything else, a reason for why things are the way they are. This book is better described as an adventure setting - if Rappan Athuk is the ultimate dungeon crawl, then Slumbering Tsar is the ultimate ruined city crawl. (For a city adventure taking place somewhere that's still fully active, you'll want to look at The Blight, forthcoming from Frog God Games.)

The series starts off in The Desolation, the ugly wasteland that was once a battlefield as the forces of light assaulted Tsar. Most notably, players are quickly introduced to The Camp, which is the safest place for them to rest on excursions throughout the area. (Note that "safest" does not actually mean "safe"... just not quite as dangerous as everywhere else). Before the players can even get into the city, though, there's danger and death to be had. In the Lost Lands Campaign Setting, Tsar was not the site of a skirmish or a battle - it was a war, with the unholy city besieged by a force of over 140,000 (including outsiders, representatives from many species, and a significant number of the world's heroes). Great powers were used by both sides... and the ruins left behind are what the players have to make their way through. One way or another, everywhere they go they'll see the remnants of battle - from storms of deadly bone dust to an enormous chaos rift, players could spend quite a few sessions just trudging around and learning what happened.

Sooner or later, though, they'll want to start making forays into Tsar itself - and while the city may be ruined, it's far from deserted. There are multiple dungeon-sized regions players can stumble through just by walking around (and indeed, they'll have to if they actually want to get into the Temple of Orcus, which is massive even by Frog God Games' standards (comprising over 400 locations). There are waaaaaay too many things here to even begin covering all of them in detail - suffice it to say that if your players enjoy seeing what's in the next building and exploring the world they're in, this book will not disappoint. (If you prefer a more structured adventure, you can trim out some of the locations and insert a plot of your choosing. The book provides a very good mechanism for delivering information.)

Following the three main sandbox adventures is a bunch of extra material, ranging from new monsters (the Battlehulk, in particular, is fun to throw at players) to unique magic items and even a pair of prestige classes. Players may or may not take levels in either of these - one is for the devoted of Orcus (who is quite possibly *the* villain of the Lost Lands setting), while the other is sort of a Paladin on steroids. Lots of extra power (crit-focused builds, in particular, will WRECK evil monsters), but extra restrictions as well (like needing Atonement for things that weren't even your fault). It should be noted that the Justicar of Muir can easily be reflavored to fit the champion of any other appropriate deity, should the GM be willing to permit that. If normal Paladins are the elite crusaders of a church, the Justicars are a lot like divine champions, likely to be known the whole world over. (...As you may have guessed, I rather like this prestige class. XD) There are also a few hierarchy charts, some new spells, and over a hundred pages of maps. The PDF version of this book is very valuable here, since you can simply print out whatever you need to use.

Slumbering Tsar is massive (clocking in at over 900 pages of content, most of which is solid adventure), and depending on the speed of your group, it could easily take them months or even years to finish going through this. That makes it a good choice for stable groups, and... a bit harder for anyone else. As with most of Frog God Games' products, though, it's fairly easy to drop individual sections into your own campaign world. For example, you could pull individual parts of The Desolation and drop them in somewhere, which breaks the series into manageable chunks that are good for shorter adventures and smaller time commitments.

Again, though, Slumbering Tsar is not inherently an adventure path - if you want a true story, you'll have to step up as GM and come up with something that fits for your group. This book essentially demands an active GM'ing style if you want to get the most from it. Obviously, I can't recommend this to everyone - many groups would find this difficult to play (if only because of how big it is), but if it's something that works for your table, then you're going to get a massive amount of content for your investment. Yes, this is one of the most expensive RPG books you're ever likely to see, but on a per-page value, its cost is actually pretty low. There are just so many pages. It might literally take you weeks of reading just to go through it the first time and start preparing to run the game. XD

For those tables that can use this book, I think it's a solid 5/5. It really does require commitment, though - if you're not truly serious about exploring this region, you may be better off looking for a shorter book instead. (Off-hand, I suggest The Northlands Saga Complete - that actually is an Adventure Path.)


Worth every penny

5/5

This is an entire adventure path in a single, massive tome. Is it expensive? Yes, but it is worth every penny.

Let's take a look at the physical product:

-The binding is tough and durable.
-The pages are thick, quality paper.

I've carried this puppy around a lot and it is none the worse for it.

What's inside?

-the maps are clear and easy to read
-the illustrations are plentiful and serviceable
-layout is clear and easy on the eyes
-statblocks are mostly in-line for ease of play

But what about the adventure?

-Tons of memorable characters
-A story that feels like a real life legend
-side stories that feel like real life legends
-A location redolent with history and sorrow
-really mean traps
-amazing locales
-the most detailed ruins I've ever seen in a supplement

This product deserves every five star review it's gotten.


What everybody says about Tsar being amazing...

5/5

It's all true. The Slumbering Tsar is absolutely amazing. I'm not going to bother writing a huge review of it - there's plenty of those out there already.

Consider this a giant +1 for all the reviews already out there saying that the Slumbering Tsar Saga is fantastic. It is epic, twisted, wonderful and genius.


Slumbering Tsar lives up to hype

5/5

I've waited more than a month after getting the PDF of Slumbering Tsar, the epic Greg Vaughan mega-campaign, to offer any kind of review.
I knew when it came that the adventure read well. There were tons of fun, twisty (and twisted) plot elements. Nice bit of foreshadowing.

And I had the sense that the sandbox elements -- which allow players to really broadly dictate the direction of play -- were solid.
But I wanted to see how it flowed at the table and how my players reacted to the story-line and the texture.

First, a few bits of background. In SS, the adventurers begin by arriving at a dreary Camp on the edge of a massive, war-scarred desolation. Over time, they explore, learn more about their horrible surroundings, and hopefully progress toward exploring a ruined, haunted city.

I should say that I love making slight mods to any adventure I buy and this campaign setting allows that to happen smoothly. You can run it entirely as-is, or you can slide in 10% of your own material and ad nuances of your own.

My group has spent four game-sessions in the campaign so far, two entirely in the camp and another two venturing out into the desolation proper. At our last session, I asked the group for a blunt, no holds barred review and it was the most positive response I've ever had to a campaign.

Basically, they loved that the desolation seems so bloody horrible and dangerous -- lots of battle. But they also loved the fact that there were bits of story and role-playing. Vaughan manages to create something like the feel of a 1st edition dungeon (or wasteland) crawl, but with constant nudges of actual narrative and motivation.

There are also just gobs of cool wow moments here. (SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT) It's not just an undead: it's a hung man who haunts the camp at night. It's not just a tavern brawl: it's a conspiracy of homicidal little gnomes. Bottom line? Vaghan is a great writer, a great storyteller, and he knows that at the gaming table RPGs are about big cool moments. He delivers all those.

I do have one idea that I think GMs should consider before running this adventure. (And you should buy it and run it...) Here it is: SS offers a remarkable measuring stick for power creep in Pathfinder. An adventure that was ridiculously deadly when written is now only moderately dangerous - and sometimes encounters that would have been deadly fierce in August 2009 are fairly easy in September 2014.

I'd suggest looking closely at these encounters, especially ones that should be real tentpole moments and tests. If your party is going to sweep through them, consider adding a minion or two, or giving the NPC some kind of strategic advantage. This isn't always called for. Some moments in SS are supposed to be relatively easy -- a chance to sort of plow through the bad guys. But if you're not careful, a few of the BBEG's in this adventure will topple far too easily.

It's worth noting that some parts of SS are still extremely deadly as written. In four gaming sessions, we've had two PCs die, and two more brought to the absolute brink where one bad roll would have killed them. Granted I've done a bit of tweaking, but that's a much higher risk rate than any campaign I've ever run. And I should end by saying my players are loving it. I told them in advance to create back-up characters, so they knew going in that the tone would be bloody and high body count. So long as you get that kind of buy-in from your table, I think your group will love the Tsar.

--Marsh


And I don't care.

5/5

I held off getting this for months because I figured I’d never run it. Then I remembered that I’ve enjoyed lots of RPG items over the years I’ve never run, just read. So I did my homework on other’s reviews. They all said the same thing: what a total joy to read.

So, I plunked down the full price to the Frog Gods for the hardcover book and the PDF. Then 2 weeks later Paizo had it on sale for $50 off for their GM’s day promotion. And I don’t care.

It’s so huge I don’t know if I could ever actually run it. And I don’t care.

I’m going to lose a whole year reading this thing, and I don’t care.

I’m only on page 52 and having a fantastic time. The reading is easy, flavorful and fun. Like a novel, you really can’t wait to read the next location or situation. Its steal-ability factor is sky high, either just for situations, NPCs, encounters or monsters and flavor. It is also a cohesive set of mini stories all tied to one terrible location. The maps may not be gorgeous but they are clear and easy to follow – so I don’t care.

What I do care about is value for money and this is a prime example of it. If you were/are a huge fan of Necromancer Games’ 3rd edition material like I was, it will remain a treasure on your shelf. My hat is off to Greg Vaughan for sticking with it all this time and Bill Webb for making it happen.


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Shadow Lodge

Taffer wrote:


I'm a little confused here. I bought the book through Paizo. I've been waiting for the pdf to become available on Paizo. I've been checking "My Downloads" on Paizo daily for it.

It seems to me that you're saying I'm either not going to get it (because I bought it through Paizo), or that I'm going to have to log into this Bytes Interactive website to get the pdf.

I think they're trying to avoid a repeat of the minor fiasco of when the Tome of Horrors Complete PDF was available to the Paizo customers before those who bought it directly from Frog God Games.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:
Mactaka wrote:
Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:


Chuck, out of curiosity, just how big is the Slumbering Tsar master pdf? Are we talking 200 - 300 mb? Larger?
454mb

That's a hefty file, but still oh-so-worth it. If only the link would show up. I wonder if the Bytes Interactive guy that's gonna upload this thing can feel my voodoo pins...

sorry all, i didn't read the question correctly. i didn't even know there would be a single file. the number i quoted was the sum total of all the individual pdf's 1-14.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really like the formatting of the hardcover better than the PDFs. Having the maps appear in-line (rather than appendiced) is very nice. Also I like the grouping of monsters (there's so many, it feels like I bought a bonus Bestiary!)

Though it is a bit weird that 180 pages are spent on printing every map in the book three times. :-/

Hey, whatever, I'm satisfied. Now just to figure out how to get a group to run through this monster...

Frog God Games

Erik Freund wrote:
Though it is a bit weird that 180 pages are spent on printing every map in the book three times. :-/

I agree, it is weird. However, we asked the fans, and that is what they wanted, and it did not increase the cost of the book. So its utility is greatly improved, and I think it's a win for everyone. Anyway, that's why we did it as strange as it seems.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmm... If we subscribed via froggodgames (and got the pdfs as they were released) will we get the large compiled pdf uploaded to bytes interactive?

And the whole thing? FANTASTIC :) ~ thank you for a very fun adventure.

Frog God Games

chavamana wrote:

Hmm... If we subscribed via froggodgames (and got the pdfs as they were released) will we get the large compiled pdf uploaded to bytes interactive?

And the whole thing? FANTASTIC :) ~ thank you for a very fun adventure.

We are waiting for the Bytes Interactive, A+ Downloads person to come back from vacation so it can be uploaded. Chuck has informed us the file's been sent.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Just wanted to say it was a great idea to print the maps in the back for the simple reason of now a time pressed GM has a ton of maps to choose from and customize for a homebrewed adventure. I'm using the the tunnel map on pg. 820 tonight for a Kingmaker game to flesh out the 3rd part before the PCs get to Vordakai's tower. Saves me a lot of time!


Just got my copy (Adelaide, Australia) from Paizo (un-numbered - was late to the party).

Like several others before me I foolishly placed this on my book shelf, where it proceeded to devour my other RPG books!

Cunning sales plan Paizo/FGG, now I have to re-purchase all my rulebooks.
:)

Dark Archive

Not sure if this was brought up anywhere but, what is the XP advancement track that is used in Slumbering Tsar?

I assume the fast track, but possibly medium?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

srd5090 wrote:

Not sure if this was brought up anywhere but, what is the XP advancement track that is used in Slumbering Tsar?

I assume the fast track, but possibly medium?

I wondered that too, but then I realized: it's a sandbox. You choose how fast you want to go through it. Think about it, the plotpoint to "leave the Desolation" is "kill the tar dragon." How quickly do you want your PCs to get there? Fast? Medium? Slow?

It's not really required go anywhere in the Desolation at all except to gain levels and treasure. The majority of the City is also optional (though you do have to cover it in more detail than either of the other two places). You don't even have to visit the upper two-thirds of the Citadel at all if you only are pursuing the main quest.

How much do you want to "cut ahead to the good stuff" versus "savor everything Greg has written"? There's no right answer.

Dark Archive

Erik Freund wrote:
srd5090 wrote:

Not sure if this was brought up anywhere but, what is the XP advancement track that is used in Slumbering Tsar?

I assume the fast track, but possibly medium?

I wondered that too, but then I realized: it's a sandbox. You choose how fast you want to go through it. Think about it, the plotpoint to "leave the Desolation" is "kill the tar dragon." How quickly do you want your PCs to get there? Fast? Medium? Slow?

It's not really required go anywhere in the Desolation at all except to gain levels and treasure. The majority of the City is also optional (though you do have to cover it in more detail than either of the other two places). You don't even have to visit the upper two-thirds of the Citadel at all if you only are pursuing the main quest.

How much do you want to "cut ahead to the good stuff" versus "savor everything Greg has written"? There's no right answer.

Really, I'm more worried about the PCs xp growth outpacing the adventure. If I run it as Fast track when it was written with Medium in mind, the PCs will become more powerful earlier than maybe was intended.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

My suggestion would be to go with the Slow XP progression. Then, when it feels like the right time and they do not have the appropriate level, you can just give them a story XP boost.

Dark Archive

From another thread regarding the maps included with the hardcover, is Paizo going to make the full PDF available for download? (Do they have have it?)

In that hardcover there are player-versions of maps that would be good to handout but those versions aren't with the individual files. I could always try to use a copier machine but printing from PDFs would be better.

Contributor

Once the full PDF is available on Paizo's servers, I'll send out an email notifying customers of the update.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I have a question on how to run this module.

PCs are going to die. A lot. More than there are backup NPCs to take over. How do you recommend that I handle equipment for new PCs? If I were running this in 1st ED, I just wouldn't bother with loot, but in 3rd ED, the Christmas-Tree is needed to be able to handle challenges effectively, especially at the levels this module runs at.

I'm worried that a new character who comes in and simply purchases his loot based on some sort of WBL calculation will come in with an unnatural synergy that places him as more powerful than the PCs who have been relying upon the treasure found in the module. (Which can trigger the degenerate "let's all suicide so we can loot up" mindset.)

When PC-death happens in a home game, I usually come up with a custom solution and audit loot on a case-by-case basis. However, I feel it's going to happen so often in this module that I'm going to need a "policy" to handle this sort of situation. (Sure, I'll make exceptions to the policy, but I want some sort of common starting point.)

Greg, since you designed the module deliberately with this feature, maybe you've thought through this situation already. (And you just know a lot about balancing dungeon-crawls in general.) Let me know your thoughts please!

Thanks in advance.

Frog God Games

Posted from Disney World--
Erik I left it very open to the individual GMs to tailor to what would fit their group. In general my players just worked to have their PCs resurrected. In the cases where they did not and did not use the NPCs provided, I let them roll up a new PC one level lower than the party and equip them as normal. This was not overly pleasing to my players, so they avoided the temptation to do the suicide strategy as you mentioned. If I had gotten the sense that they were trying to abuse the situation, I would have either limited starting equipment (which I did in the case of one PC who was a rescued captive) or destroyed the deceased PC's equipment (which I also did in one case involving an elder black pudding).


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

When/if I'm ever able to run this, I will probably have my PC's new characters be able to get a couple basic items fitting their class, then have them roll randomly for the rest. My group has an unhealthy love for random tables though..

The Exchange

After a bit of confusion I have my hard copy, signed and numbered, and it's fantastic. I couldn't be happier and I'm hopefully going to start running it soon.

(insert advertisement for potential Redmond, WA peoples interested in some deadly gaming)

I'm not completely satisfied with my plan for dropping the adventure into Golarion. I'm hoping some of you awesome people will be able to give me ideas (either modifications to what I've got below or wholly new suggestions) to make my brain meats less hurty.

Currently the best I've thought of is several hundred (or more) years before the current setting books, in north-eastern Varisia. I'd basically plop Bard's Gate over Kaer Maga and have Tsar be in the Cinderlands, near the Wyvern Mountains. The Forest of Hope would replace one of the other forests, Ashewood or Sanos Forest. The change in time gets me some leeway for changing and removing settlements and trade routes, and allows worship of Aroden (something I've always thought would be one of the neatest parts of a historical Golarion game).

Speaking of the pantheon, I'd replace Iomedae with Muir, remove Urgathoa so that Orcus can rule as lord of the undead, and add Thyr as an ally of Aroden, Abadar, and Muir.

I want to get straight to The Camp and the bulk of the adventure, so I'm going to start at level 7 and give the players WBL (with some restrictions) to equip their characters.

Again, ideas would be awesome. I'd also be interested to hear what other GMs are doing for putting this campaign in Golarion or any other world.

Dark Archive

w0nkothesane wrote:

After a bit of confusion I have my hard copy, signed and numbered, and it's fantastic. I couldn't be happier and I'm hopefully going to start running it soon.

(insert advertisement for potential Redmond, WA peoples interested in some deadly gaming)

I'm not completely satisfied with my plan for dropping the adventure into Golarion. I'm hoping some of you awesome people will be able to give me ideas (either modifications to what I've got below or wholly new suggestions) to make my brain meats less hurty.

Currently the best I've thought of is several hundred (or more) years before the current setting books, in north-eastern Varisia. I'd basically plop Bard's Gate over Kaer Maga and have Tsar be in the Cinderlands, near the Wyvern Mountains. The Forest of Hope would replace one of the other forests, Ashewood or Sanos Forest. The change in time gets me some leeway for changing and removing settlements and trade routes, and allows worship of Aroden (something I've always thought would be one of the neatest parts of a historical Golarion game).

Speaking of the pantheon, I'd replace Iomedae with Muir, remove Urgathoa so that Orcus can rule as lord of the undead, and add Thyr as an ally of Aroden, Abadar, and Muir.

I want to get straight to The Camp and the bulk of the adventure, so I'm going to start at level 7 and give the players WBL (with some restrictions) to equip their characters.

Again, ideas would be awesome. I'd also be interested to hear what other GMs are doing for putting this campaign in Golarion or any other world.

I do not know where it would fit best but when I was running a Necroworld themed game I stuck it just above the Malgorian Mountains in Varisia. I stuck Tomb of Abysthor in the Fogscar Mountains and Rappan Athuk in the Sanos forest.

I substituted Reme for Magnimar and Fairhill for Sandpoint. I just added Bards Gate along the Yondabakari River.


w0nkothesane wrote:

I want to get straight to The Camp and the bulk of the adventure, so I'm going to start at level 7 and give the players WBL (with some restrictions) to equip their characters.

Again, ideas would be awesome. I'd also be interested to hear what other GMs are doing for putting this campaign in Golarion or any other world.

I would suggest doing WBL and NOT giving them restrictions. (Although what I'm doing from a story perspective is to have them have "found" the items they want in their previous adventuring life rather than being able to purchase.) This adventure is a meat grinder as it is - I'd recommend letting them start with what they want (as it's not likely to help anyway :) ).

As for what I'm doing, I'm simply using the Necro World (based on Tsar's intro and the Bard's Gate sourcebook). Fitting it into Golarion is a square peg in a round hole for me. I'm also using the Tsar/Bard's Gate pantheon instead of the Golarion one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I placed Bard's Gate at the far eastern edge of Taldor and placed the camp, the Desolation and Slumbering Tsar just off the map. I set it roughly during the time that Iomedae was running the war against the Whispering Tyrant and the two front war is partially the cause of the troubles the Army of Light had in the Desolation. I set Thyr and Muir as gods with an eastern influence, Bard's Gate being the farthest west they were worshipped, and I had them as allies of Aroden. When Iomedae became a goddess and Aroden died, Thyr and Muir faded into the background with few worshippers as Iomedae gained in influence across Golarion.

Others have suggested placing the Desolation in the Worldwound.

Basically any reasonable explanation works. It's your world. You can change it as you see fit.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Dark Sasha wrote:

I placed Bard's Gate at the far eastern edge of Taldor and placed the camp, the Desolation and Slumbering Tsar just off the map. I set it roughly during the time that Iomedae was running the war against the Whispering Tyrant and the two front war is partially the cause of the troubles the Army of Light had in the Desolation. I set Thyr and Muir as gods with an eastern influence, Bard's Gate being the farthest west they were worshipped, and I had them as allies of Aroden. When Iomedae became a goddess and Aroden died, Thyr and Muir faded into the background with few worshippers as Iomedae gained in influence across Golarion.

Others have suggested placing the Desolation in the Worldwound.

Basically any reasonable explanation works. It's your world. You can change it as you see fit.

This is more or less what I have done with a few changes.

ST background:
I placed the Lyre Valley off eastern edge of Inner Sea Map, east of Taldor.

Brief Background sketch:

Aroden/Iomedae
Worship of Aroden and Iomedae has dwindled in the region of the Lyre Valley. The impact of Aroden's fall was the same here as it was elsewhere in the Inner Sea. Also, the fact that Iomedae chose to fight in the west against Tar-Baphon, still troubles the people of the Lyre Valley. The destruction of the Army of Light led to her followers thinking that she had turned away from them, and consequently over the years her worship has dwindled to only the most devout.

Historical
It was rumored that Tar-Baphon and Orcus had struck a deal. Whatever the case, the near simultaneous wars on both the western and eastern fronts destroyed the best the Inner Sea had to offer, and contributed to the inevitable crumble of the Taldan Empire.

Lyre Valley Settlements
These started out as Taldan excursions/colonies. Primarily traders and merchants looking for a trade route to both the kingdoms to the east and to the north.

PC Hooks/ Storylines
Aroden/Iomedae churches would like to know the true story of Battle of Tsar. What really happened to their warriors and holy men? Only in knowing the truth can a narrative of redemption be woven that will bring these churches out of the shadows.

Timeline (borrowed from these boards w/ some edits)
AR 3007 - Cheliax founded as the western most territory of Taldor
AR 3333 - The founding of the Temple-City of Orcus north of the Stoneheart Mountains along the northern trade road.
AR 3752 - Good and neutral powers allied with the Emperor of Taldor to form an army to remove the Tsar.
AR 3753 - The armies of light march on the Temple-City and war begins.
AR 3754 - Iomedae, a Justicar of Aroden, leaves to fight the Whispering Tyrant.
AR 3755 - Garrant is struck down and entombed. Orcus's followers rain terror upon the army of light.
AR 3756 - The Citadel falls and the Army of Light pursues the fleeing into the Forest of Hope. It was a trap, the Army of Light was lost to a man.
AR 4030 - Userer reborn in his current state.
AR 4711 - Present

God replacements (this is a work in progress):
Set = Achaekek
Hecate = Asmodeus
Hel = Urgathoa
Arden/Cuthbert = Sarenrae
Muir = Iomedae
Thyr = Aroden
Freya = Erastil

Nerull = Norgober
Tsathogga = Gogunta

I hope this is useful. I appreciate the creative effort to place the Necro world in Golarion and look forward to more of these efforts.

Cheers!

Sovereign Court

Tried to find answers within this thread but tbh, it was filled with too much chatter and it was a case of TLDR past the first 150 posts.

My question is- how well goes this adventure path fit into Golarion, if at all.

My second question is- if you're not a big fan of Orcus, how feasible is it to replace him with another deity?

My third question is- is the 15th chapter essential to bring the campaign to climax or is it more of a "bonus" section, fun but not necessary?

Thanks in advance.

Frog God Games

1 - People are fitting the adventure into the Golarion setting, some have expressed that it isn't too difficult and there are suggestions in a few threads that talk about what gods equate to other gods.

2 - Shouldn't be hard at all to replace Orcus with another evil being of great power. The only thing in the adventure that would be specifically tied to Orcus would the level that takes place in the "Wand of Orcus" in the enormous statue-dungeon-building. Any staff, rod, weapon or whatnot could substitute that level out. (The Mace of Flapdoodle, the Staff of Belkor, The Pommel of Pazuzu).

3 - The 15th chapter is a teaser chapter to the adventure "Sword of Air". It's not even intended to be played by the characters who made their way through The Slumbering Tsar Saga, but with fresh, low-level characters.

Sovereign Court

Thanks for the prompt responses Chuck. I'll likely be purchasing this book then, before my senses kick in and remind me I have too many games already.

Sovereign Court

A further question- i've read the first chapter is suitable for 4 to 6 players. What number of characters and point buy does the Saga assume? 15 point buy and 4 characters?

Frog God Games

The saga assumes characters rolled up with 4d6 and the lowest dropped (obviously very swingy, and a 15-pt. buy should be no problem). It works equally well with 4 or 6 PCs, but it'll be really tough if there are only 4.

Sovereign Court

Would five PC's on 20 point buy be a pretty reasonable compromise?

Do encounters tailor to the number of players at all?

Dark Archive

Question for Greg: I'm about to start running ST in 3 hours. I don't think they will get there, but how are the characters expected to traverse the Chaos Rift?

I know there is a certain spot for going to the bottom, but all the other varying depths are a hard distance to reach on the 'y-axis'.

Am i missing something?

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Here some help

Spoiler:
Fixed Encounter C-1 Outer Fissures can be an access, they can be as little as 30' deep, Also C-3 Otis and Lortis on pg 69 there is a elevator that goes down, as long as they pay the toll.

There might be a few other ways but that was on the top of my head.

Dark Archive

Dragnmoon wrote:

Here some help

** spoiler omitted **

There might be a few other ways but that was on the top of my head.

Spoiler:
Yeah I read about C-3, and C-1 helps get to certain areas (I assume a gradual decline). But there are others with what is supposed to be a straight drop several hundred feet...

Hm.

Frog God Games

srd5090 wrote:

Question for Greg: I'm about to start running ST in 3 hours. I don't think they will get there, but how are the characters expected to traverse the Chaos Rift?

I know there is a certain spot for going to the bottom, but all the other varying depths are a hard distance to reach on the 'y-axis'.

Am i missing something?

It's no cake walk. By that level I expect PCs will be able to climb and/or fly reasonably well (my guys did a lot of group feather falls) and, if not, have the resources for building to achieve those proficiencies. The Chaos Rift is as much an environmental hazard as it is a number of encounter areas.

Frog God Games

Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:

Would five PC's on 20 point buy be a pretty reasonable compromise?

Do encounters tailor to the number of players at all?

The CRs of the individual encounters are accurate, which are based off of parties of 4 I believe, so they should give you an idea of what your group with 5 can generally handle.

Honestly depending on how you want to run it, I think you can do as many or as few PCs as you want. My group ran from 5-6 PCs (most of the time) to as many as 14 PCs for parts of it, and it remained challenging throughout simply by adjusting my style and (sometimes) encounters to fit the group dynamic (14 PCs slowed things down really badly, though, so I don't recommend it).

Sovereign Court

I'm angling my questions so I can avoid having to modify encounters too much basically, i'll be running it via PbP if I do so and I want to keep my prep time minimal so my existing games don't suffer too much.

Seeing as the product has such a brutal reputation, suspect 4/5 PC's on 20 point buy should be ok.

Frog God Games

I would think so. I always give the "modify to taste caveat" because groups and GMs run things differently, and one guy's cake walk is another guy's death trap. But, yeah, I think you'd generally be okay at that range. I hope you have fun with it. :-)

Sovereign Court

I've purchased the .pdf's- i'll be recruiting for the game in a month or three on these forums I expect, assuming my uni schedule is as light as I hope it is. I'll let you know how it plays out in PbP if I do find the time :).

Dark Archive

Just finished my first session of GMing Slumbering Tsar. A staggering 8 hours of gameplay.

Spoiler:
Party explored the Camp a bit, dealt with the Bender Brothers, the hangman, got the diplomat from Bard's Gate to run the boarding house in their absence, found the remains of the lost caravan, killed the fiendish pyrohydra, and are plotting on assassinating the Usurer. Unfortunately for them they don't know nearly as much as they think they do about him....

Suffice to say, a lot of fun for everyone so far!


Any news on when the compiled PDF will be available?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Jaynay27 wrote:
Any news on when the compiled PDF will be available?

For FGG purchasers, it is. I just logged into my existing account and found it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

If you bought it from God Frog Games it is already available at A+ interactive.

I don't know if you bought it from Paizo.


I had planned to run a different module/campaign setting for me Wednesday gamers. However, I might ask if they will consider tackling this monstrosity. That will keep us going for a couple of years.


Looking forward to starting this on Sunday!


Thanks for the replies Anguish and Shem, but yeah - I got it from Paizo.

Just made sense for me due to shipping with my AP sub (saving money), and the original discounted price (saving money).

With 20/20 hindsight, and knowing what I know now, I could have just got it with my Rappan Athuk kickstarter pledge (for cheaper).

Not that I am dissatisfied with Paizo mind you.

But yes - My original question relates to when the compiled PDF will be available via Paizo.

Seems a long delay as I understand the people who purchased from FGG have had access to it for some time now.

Frog God Games

Frog God subscribers have had access to the individual chapters for a while, but not the compiled book pdf. That only became available last week.

Dark Archive

Dawn R Fischer wrote:
Frog God subscribers have had access to the individual chapters for a while, but not the compiled book pdf. That only became available last week.

'

A week can seem like an eternity to a fan. =)

Dark Archive

Chuck Wright wrote:
Shouldn't be hard at all to replace Orcus with another evil being of great power.

Shouldn't be... but why would you tempt the ire of the great one with such blasphemy?

Frog God Games

Matthew Winn wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:
Shouldn't be hard at all to replace Orcus with another evil being of great power.
Shouldn't be... but why would you tempt the ire of the great one with such blasphemy?

That's his problem, not mine.

:D


I just don't understand how the pdf still isn't available here if it has been available for a week at other places. We paid for it the same as any other group of people.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's the difficulty of buying one companies product through another companies storefront.


I agree. It also makes the company that does not provide the material to the other company look bad.

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