Pathfinder Adventure Path #61: Shards of Sin (Shattered Star 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #61: Shards of Sin (Shattered Star 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "Shards of Sin"
by Greg A. Vaughan

The Shattered Star Adventure Path begins with a thrilling new adventure from fan-favorite author Greg A. Vaughan! In Varisia’s bustling frontier city of Magnimar, the Pathfinder Society’s newest lodge recruits a team of rookie Pathfinders to track down rogue agent Natalya Vancaskerkin—who also happens to be one of the Varisian criminals known as the Sczarni. Yet when these heroes track down the missing woman, they find far more than a Pathfinder on the run, becoming embroiled in a swiftly expanding hunt for a fragmented artifact from the ancient empire of Thassilon—a quest that will take them to some of the most dangerous corners of Varisia.

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Shattered Star Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Shards of Sin,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan.
  • An exploration of the ancient Sihedron artifact and its ties to powerful Thassilonian magic, as well as details on the mysterious skymetals that fall to Golarion, by James Jacobs.
  • Forays into the even seedier underbelly of Riddleport in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Bill Ward.
  • Five new monsters, by Benjamin Bruck, Craig Campbell, Adam Daigle, Amanda Hamon, and James Wilbur.

Each monthly full-color softcover 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 world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-452-8

Shards of Sin 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 (512 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 13 ratings)

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Good adventure, even better for grognards

****( )

I ran a group of 4 players through this adventure on roll20 and we had a blast. The excellent maps by bigrin42 over on DeviantArt in combination with roll20 dynamic lighting made this dungeon romp an awesome experience. Without the tedious slowdown of the GM having to sketch down the room you have just entered. The overall flow was excellent and we really got to delve into the scraps of story and lore scattered across the interesting dungeon described in the adventure.

Unfortunately, that's just what they are: scraps of story. There is not much of story going on, but our group had fun regardless. There are a few critters in this book that people probably haven't seen in a long time and the general look-and-feel of the module is very old school.

So if you want a fun time-travel to the good old days of gaming or just itch for a well-made dungeon that is easy on the GM, snatch this one up.

As an introduction to the Shattered Star adventure path, I think it does a good enough job. The major allies are established and the quest becomes clear. It does not go beyond that, but that is all we really needed.


A solid start to Shattered Star

****( )

Greg Vaughn's AP chapters have rarely disappointed me and the starting volume of the Shattered Star is no exception. The first part of the scenario, in Magnimar, is a good way for the PCs to start knowing each other before they move on to tackle the full exploration of the large dungeon that is the meat of this chapter.

Although it sometimes felt a tad long, the dungeon's exploration is varied, and the dungeon's ecology mainly makes sense. The many little touches of Thassilonian knowledge scattered throughout all the great boon to convey more information on Thassilon to the PCs.

My group and I had quite a lot of fun playing through this chapter!


Urban Dungeon Romp

*****

Not sure what Matt is talking about but Shards of Sin is the type of Roleplaying Dungeon adventure my group is looking for, with a detailed city, home base and roleplaying elements to support the party as they delve the secrets of the dungeon.


The Urban Adventure That Wasn't

*( )( )( )( )

Skip this one. After reading through it, I found a promising urban-adventure prospect that dispensed with the urban part as quickly as it could in order to become a super-dungeon.

Video games handle this style of adventure better than this book does.

EDIT: Reviews that solely act as replies to other reviews are silly reviews. What is this, Metacritic?

-Matt


Pulling my hair out over the maps...

****( )

1 square = 10 ft... really? Since when?

I am not sure of the rationale behind it, but it is wreaking havoc on my ability to reproduce the map in a reasonable way that doesn't undermine what at first glance seemed like some fun and interesting maps...

I haven't made it through all the dungeon levels yet for my group, but I would otherwise probably rate it a 4/5 thus far based on writing and design.


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Hey, I think I want to start my AP subscription with this adventure, but the only applicable choice when I try to sign up is AP #60, From Hells Heart, which comes out at the same time. Am I just going to have to wait until after it comes out to subscribe?

Edit: Also, is there a better place to ask this? Don't want to keep posting these questions where they shouldn't be.

Paizo Employee Web Product Manager

Mechalibur wrote:

Hey, I think I want to start my AP subscription with this adventure, but the only applicable choice when I try to sign up is AP #60, From Hells Heart, which comes out at the same time. Am I just going to have to wait until after it comes out to subscribe?

Edit: Also, is there a better place to ask this? Don't want to keep posting these questions where they shouldn't be.

Post this in the Customer Service forum, they'll be happy to help :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:
Will the article on skymetals include what they can be crafted into as well as what if any special abilities items made out of them will have?

Yes.

Adamantine is a skymetal, and it appears in the Core Rulebook. The other six skymetals will have an entry similar in style and content to that. (Note: not all skymetals are equal—some don't make good weapons and/or armor but are good at other things.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
(Note: not all skymetals are equal—some don't make good weapons and/or armor but are good at other things.)

Does that mean no Djezet skinsuit armor? How am I going to fight the Shrike?

(But seriously, that would be awesome.) :)


Since this ships with the #6 pirate arc is this back ordered like #6?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Can't wait to find out more about the sky metals.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

selunatic2397 wrote:
Since this ships with the #6 pirate arc is this back ordered like #6?

No... we always print more copies of the first volumes of an AP, so there's still stock of this one.


Cool! Thanks a bunch.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
doc the grey wrote:
Will the article on skymetals include what they can be crafted into as well as what if any special abilities items made out of them will have?

Yes, they have this kind of info.


Reckless wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Will the article on skymetals include what they can be crafted into as well as what if any special abilities items made out of them will have?
Yes, they have this kind of info.

This is very good to hear. Skymetals are one of the things I've long wanted more information on.

Liberty's Edge

I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)


Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Love that the Skvader is now an official Golarion monster. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)

Not a typo. If the party figures that mystery out, the party earns 1,200 XP.


James Jacobs wrote:
Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)
Not a typo. If the party figures that mystery out, the party earns 1,200 XP.

The typo isn't the experience. It's written almost like the mayor is giving it away like an actual object or something. :P

"I've got 1,200XP for anyone who can figure out where these people are going!"

"...What did he just say?"


Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)

Huh?..I...wha..?

Mechalibur wrote:

The typo isn't the experience. It's written almost like the mayor is giving it away like an actual object or something. :P

"I've got 1,200XP for anyone who can figure out where these people are going!"

"...What did he just say?"

It's just written in the format of any other side quest. None of it is even set up like read-aloud text. The 1200xp is just listed in Rewards where it should be. You don't read the entire adventure to the players from cover to cover including all the credits, table of contents, support articles, fiction and advertisements...do you? Should we? I...feel like I'm taking crazy pills here :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mechalibur wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)
Not a typo. If the party figures that mystery out, the party earns 1,200 XP.

The typo isn't the experience. It's written almost like the mayor is giving it away like an actual object or something. :P

"I've got 1,200XP for anyone who can figure out where these people are going!"

"...What did he just say?"

Yeah... those sections aren't written to be things you read to or hand out to the players. It reads fine to me as a result! ;-P


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:


This is very good to hear. Skymetals are one of the things I've long wanted more information on.

You and me both! Also, I now feel compelled to drop some armor made of abysium in the next game I GM. What fighter could resist full plate crafted from glowing green metal?

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, the treasures that await for fans of skymetal!


Still waiting on my order. Just like a kid - so impatient.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Holdenvie wrote:
Still waiting on my order. Just like a kid - so impatient.

Your not the only one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Love the rabbit based monsters but still waiting for the Almiraj.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Azure_Zero wrote:
Holdenvie wrote:
Still waiting on my order. Just like a kid - so impatient.
Your not the only one.

I think perhaps there might be a delay in one of the subscription items (either that or the shipping folks are rushed off their feet with Gencon coming up). I got the preliminary "In the next week or so ..." email notification just over a week ago now, but nothing since then.


JohnF wrote:

I got the preliminary "In the next week or so ..." email notification just over a week ago now, but nothing since then.

Same here. I got mine 8 days ago, so I'm still well within "or so..." but the wait is agonizing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
Love the rabbit based monsters but still waiting for the Almiraj.

If the one in the Tome of Horrors Complete doesn't do it for you... you're going to be in for a long wait.

Silver Crusade

C'mon GenCon.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I did actually bother the customer service folks about this - this has been a very complicated month with ordering various things, combining orders, etc., and I thought there was a possibility I'd tripped over an unexpected corner case. But Erik found time to drop me a reply today, and it sounds as though everything is progressing through the pipeline as expected. Back to waiting ...

Paizo Employee Sales Associate

For those of your still awaiting your order, Sara's post on the CS messageboard is relevant to your interests.


If I wanted to run this AP with kids as players, how much editing / tweaking would I need to do?

Or to put it another way, if adult elements exist, are there sections where that content is either pervasive or integral to the plot?

(I don't mean this to start a debate on what constitutes "adult content," so I'm satisfied with any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.)


Arma virumque wrote:

If I wanted to run this AP with kids as players, how much editing / tweaking would I need to do?

Or to put it another way, if adult elements exist, are there sections where that content is either pervasive or integral to the plot?

(I don't mean this to start a debate on what constitutes "adult content," so I'm satisfied with any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.)

There's not really much adult content. Near the end of the dungeon, however, you've got

Spoiler:
horrible experiments being performed on still-living captured citizens.

The details are pretty much as greusome as the GM wants them to be. It should be no trouble at all to be vague about what's really going on down there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arma virumque wrote:

If I wanted to run this AP with kids as players, how much editing / tweaking would I need to do?

Or to put it another way, if adult elements exist, are there sections where that content is either pervasive or integral to the plot?

(I don't mean this to start a debate on what constitutes "adult content," so I'm satisfied with any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.)

Given that the second book in the AP focuses on recovering the Shard of Lust & the curse associated with said shard described in the Shattered Star article in Shards of Sin, I suspect much of that book is going to require editing if you intend to run this AP for children.


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Given that the second book in the AP focuses on recovering the Shard of Lust & the curse associated with said shard described in the Shattered Star article in Shards of Sin, I suspect much of that book is going to require editing if you intend to run this AP for children.

Huh. I can't find anything like that on the website description for "Curse of the Lady's Light," so I'm glad you warned me. Many thanks for the heads-up.

As an editorial comment, I can understand why Paizo finds it more profitable to cater to mature gamers (read: lots of disposable income), but I wish there were easier-to-find exceptions that are good for kids. I had high hopes for this AP, since its "back to basics" dungeon-crawl, Indiana Jones-style adventure would have been a perfect narrative structure for the little ones.

Dark Archive

Arma virumque wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Given that the second book in the AP focuses on recovering the Shard of Lust & the curse associated with said shard described in the Shattered Star article in Shards of Sin, I suspect much of that book is going to require editing if you intend to run this AP for children.

Huh. I can't find anything like that on the website description for "Curse of the Lady's Light," so I'm glad you warned me. Many thanks for the heads-up.

As an editorial comment, I can understand why Paizo finds it more profitable to cater to mature gamers (read: lots of disposable income), but I wish there were easier-to-find exceptions that are good for kids. I had high hopes for this AP, since its "back to basics" dungeon-crawl, Indiana Jones-style adventure would have been a perfect narrative structure for the little ones.

We don't know for sure but with things said Irnk made a reasonable guess. The AP is about recovering the 7 shards. Each one has a curse on it(you can read about the shards and their curses for free by DLing the free Shattered Star players guide) Paizo has said that when the PC's go to retrive the shards they will run into NPC's suffering from the curses. To what degree we don't know. I would say reading about the curses in the players guide might give you some idea.

But really I would recommend waiting to run any AP until it is all the way out anyways. From what I can remember Kingmaker is pretty PG.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Not to derail the thread:

Kingmaker is very family friendly, and you can move kingdom building to the background for the youngins.

Jade Regent is also pretty close to G and I think would make a great Disney Movie.

Serpents Skull is a scary PG, but a bit of creative editing from the GM might help that out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)

Not a typo: his name really is "Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras."

Huh?:
What do you mean, "That's not what the question was?"

Silver Crusade

Vic Wertz wrote:
Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)

Not a typo: his name really is "Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras."

** spoiler omitted **

And man, does he have a lot to grob.


Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Zahariel wrote:
I'm wondering if this is one hilarious typo, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras is giving away 1,200 XP for solving the mystery? (from the internal front cover)

Not a typo: his name really is "Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras."

** spoiler omitted **

Them's some ambitious parents I tells you.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am very happy to see creatures from Bestiary 3 and the Tome of Horrors Complete in this issue (and I assume future issues).

I am very excited to run this one day. My plans for it may take a while but I am enjoying it very much.

Contributor

Arma virumque wrote:

If I wanted to run this AP with kids as players, how much editing / tweaking would I need to do?

Or to put it another way, if adult elements exist, are there sections where that content is either pervasive or integral to the plot?

(I don't mean this to start a debate on what constitutes "adult content," so I'm satisfied with any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.)

Though I haven't read through the final product with an eye to this issue, I can say with some confidence that Curse of the Lady's Light is no more "adult" than any PG-13 film. Some innuendo here and there, a couple references to "lewd" murals, an NPC refering to Sorshen as "the Grand Whore of Thassilon." That's about it. As always, read it for yourself when it becomes available, but my understanding is that Paizo shoots for nothing beyond PG-13 content in all of its products. That's what I was shooting for when I wrote it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

After my first cursory look through, I get that feeling of adventure. It makes me want to run and play this one. Very cool.

Also, I think we should all applaud Paizo for taking the comments concerning weak player reasons in AP stories and offering a strong raeson that connects the entire AP. It may be straightforward, but it is elegant and fits the bill. If you notice, the APs that get dissed are those that are usually easilly "fixed" by adding a strong reason for players to go with the storyline from the get-go. Kudos!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
C'mon GenCon.

Same here can't wait to get my hands on paths of prestige and potentially this hope they have some left by the time i get a chance to hit the booth (8 slots gm'ing doesn't leave much time for it T-T). Now can anyone drop some info on the new metals I've been looking forward to that for near 2 years now and really want to know the kind of range of abilities and equipment types they can make.

Scarab Sages

Looking forward to the new AP. ;)


Mike Shel wrote:
Though I haven't read through the final product with an eye to this issue, I can say with some confidence that Curse of the Lady's Light is no more "adult" than any PG-13 film. Some innuendo here and there, a couple references to "lewd" murals, an NPC refering to Sorshen as "the Grand Whore of Thassilon." That's about it. As always, read it for yourself when it becomes available, but my understanding is that Paizo shoots for nothing beyond PG-13 content in all of its products. That's what I was shooting for when I wrote it.

Thank you so much for chiming in! Nothing beats getting an opinion straight from the source.

I applaud Paizo's general PG-13 stance; I think it's fantastic. In my particular case, the kids I'm dealing with are younger than 13, which is why I'm being extra-careful.

Judging by the tone of your post, it sounds like the PG-13 elements, even though they're present, are not pervasive and can be removed without having to substantially reinvent the plot. If that's true, it's great news for me, because I don't have much time for prepping between sessions.

Thanks again for speaking up.

Liberty's Edge

Is it too late for me to become a Pathfinder AP subscriber and get this at 30% off plus pdf? Or if I started today would it only apply starting with the 2nd one this AP?

Dark Archive

marv wrote:
Is it too late for me to become a Pathfinder AP subscriber and get this at 30% off plus pdf? Or if I started today would it only apply starting with the 2nd one this AP?

If you sign up now you have a choice to get the current AP or the next AP. If you wait till the 2nd AP comes out in about a month it will be to late. Just when you sign up make sure you choose this AP as your starting point as it will give you a choice.


Was the PDF date moved down more? I thought it came out this Thursday.

Dark Archive

Odraude wrote:
Was the PDF date moved down more? I thought it came out this Thursday.

Vic posted this in another thread.

Vic wrote:
Due to shipping delays, the retail release date for all of our August products is now August 23; the PDF onsale date is the same.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just downloaded the PDF and page #3 is all messed up. Icky jagged edges around the star - I'm using a Mac to view the PDF - it's also messed up when I view it on my iPad and on my iPhone as well.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tiessa wrote:
I just downloaded the PDF and page #3 is all messed up. Icky jagged edges around the star - I'm using a Mac to view the PDF - it's also messed up when I view it on my iPad and on my iPhone as well.

Paizo are aware of this & are going to get it fixed as soon as they can.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Tiessa wrote:
I just downloaded the PDF and page #3 is all messed up. Icky jagged edges around the star - I'm using a Mac to view the PDF - it's also messed up when I view it on my iPad and on my iPhone as well.

I'll point our PDF-makin' robot at your post... in the meantime, I bet it'll look fine if you use Adobe Reader to view it on your Mac. (The PDF rendering engine in Preview and in the iOS is somewhat lacking.)


My copy is sitting in my local gaming store but they can't sell it to me yet. I am really looking forward to next Thursday when I can pick it up and start getting ready for running it.

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