Pathfinder Adventure Path #62: Curse of the Lady's Light (Shattered Star 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.70/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #62: Curse of the Lady's Light (Shattered Star 2 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 2: "Curse of the Lady's Light"
by Mike Shel

Varisia’s newest heroes have stumbled across a powerful relic from the ancient empire of Thassilon—yet the artifact has been sundered into seven fragments. The third of these fragments lies in the swampy Mushfens south of the city of Magnimar, hidden within an ancient, towering lighthouse known as the Lady’s Light. With squabbling boggards, troglodytes, and other swamp monsters dwelling around the ruins, approaching the Light will require either stealth or bravado. But the threats posed by slimy and scaly humanoids pale in comparison to the exiled Gray Maidens who have claimed the interior of the Light as their new headquarters, or to the sinister curse that afflicts the powerful, ancient caretaker of the ruin.

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Shattered Star Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Curse of the Lady’s Light,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 5th-level characters, by Mike Shel.
  • The sadistic secrets of the Gray Maidens, a militaristic order once fiercely loyal to an evil, deposed queen, by F. Wesley Schneider.
  • The secret ways, peerless techniques, and ancient traditions of Torag, stern god of the forge, protection, and strategy, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • Alchemy and housebreaking in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Bill Ward.
  • Four new monsters, by Levi Miles, Sean K Reynolds, and Mike Shel.

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: 978-1-60125-459-7

Download the Web Enhancement! - (1.9MB zip/PDF)

Curse of the Lady's Light 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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4.70/5 (based on 13 ratings)

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Brilliant dungeon crawl

5/5

I ran a group of 4 players through this module as part of the Shattered Star adventure path using roll20 and the excellent maps from bigrin42. It was an awesome experience!

Trying to keep in tune with the generally old-school feel of Shattered Star, our group is essentially the classic four, but each member has a unique twist:

Daario Vanderale, happy-go-lucky male human rogue, an outcast of the aristocratic Magnimarian family, currently residing in the body of Sorshen.

Carmelizzia, female human fighter (cad) / shadowdancer, a Varisian dancer skilled in using her bladed scarf.

Iozif, male human bard / cleric of Shelyn, Carmelizzia's husband and bodyguard, brilliant fiddle player.

Jasmin, female human transmuter, adaptation of the insane cleric of Groetus Jasper from the web enhancement.

The group had a great time with this module, which does an excellent job of bringing its backstory to life. Almost the entire adventure takes place in a single dungeon but never gets boring. The place itself drips ancient history and all the creatures that can be encountered have a motivation to be where they are and can interact with other rooms without giving the GM a headache trying to keep everything together.

The difficulty is fair and challenging, and the final encounter can range from deadly to cakewalk depending on how well the players try to use the history of the place to their advantage. Very rewarding!

I fully recommend this adventure to everyone interested in a brilliant dungeon crawl, even outside of the Shattered Star adventure path. The entire adventure can be fit into any other campaign with only a few seconds of work.


Amazingly Good Dungeon

5/5

I'm neither one to enjoy dungeon crawls nor write reviews, but the quality of this adventure has me putting in my 2 cents. This is an exemplary adventure: from the use of entertainingly malicious traps, puzzles for the players, and role-playing opportunities mixed throughout the combat encounters, Curse of the Lady's Light finds my dungeon crawl sweet spot and dances on it for the length of the adventure. Mike Shel has created what is, for me, the perfect synthesis of modern game adventure and old-school module. It feels like what my best friend in junior high would have written if he had been a professional game designer. Good show Paizo!


A dungeon made right

5/5

My group and I had a real blast running through the Curse of the Lady's Light. Although this chapter of the AP, just like the others, features a prominent dungeon, the story is full of opportunity for roleplay: dealing with the tribes in the marshes, the encounters with the Gray Maidens, the possibility to have to Gray Maidens' leader join the PCs, etc. The final encounter is tough and tense, but not necessarily over the top if the players are smart.

That one famous trap in the dungeon is also a wonderful opportunity for great gaming if your players tag along, and mine sure did! Its repercussions through the rest of the campaign are going to be fun to play.

Bottom line? Keep Mike Shel on the payroll, he sure knows how to invent a dungeon with a twist!


Brilliant Dungeon - Fun Enemies

5/5

Curse of the Lady's Light follows in the steps of Shards of Sin, presenting an adventure mostly comprising of one big dungeon crawl. Like Shards of Sin, it suceeds in presenting an interesting array of characters, encounters, and tricks. If the players are paying attention, they can gradually begin to uncover the truth behind the dungeon's denizens and leader, using her real identity to their advantage in what should be a climactic and entertaining final encounter.

The NPCs have all been fun to interact with, and they all truly feel like they belong in the Lady's Light. Clever PCs can find clever ways to bypass encounters, especially if they make use of a particularly devious trap early in the dungeon.

Overall, this has been a pleasure to run, and possibly the best dungeon I've ever seen in an adventure path. I hope Mike Shell is here to stay as an AP author.


Dungeon Crawl Done Right

5/5

Read my full review on my blog.

In Curse of the Lady’s Light by Mike Shel, the second instalment of the Shattered Star Adventure Path, the player characters set out to find the next piece of the titular Shattered Star, the Shard of Lust. This quest takes them to the Lady’s Light, an ancient monument to Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust. Like Shards of Sin before it and the rest of the adventure path still to come, it is primarily a dungeon-based adventure. As I mentioned in my review of Shards of Sin, I can be somewhat critical of dungeon crawls. However, when they’re good, I give them the praise they deserve. Curse of the Lady’s Light is definitely one of those good dungeon crawls. While the actual dungeon itself is somewhat linear, the events that can occur within are surprisingly non-linear, with a wide variety of options for how things might progress. Most importantly, it has a selection of interesting and compelling NPCs. In fact, its two principal villains are amongst the best villains I’ve seen in an adventure path instalment: one sympathetic and tragic, the other irredeemably evil yet uniquely insane. This adventure is definitely a step up from the competent, but not-particularly-awe-inspiring Shards of Sin and could prove a good sign for the rest of the adventure path to come.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

One thing I wish we'd seen was beyond Mike's control.

** spoiler omitted **
And it would likely have been Valeros, since he seems to be the art butt monkey.

Fan art, anybody? :D


Mikaze wrote:
OH HAI VAMPIRELLA

I can sort of see the resemblance but the differences stand out to me more:

Sorshen's hair: a bit curtained and feathered compared to Vampirella's straight hime cut.

Sorshen's bust: her cup size looks rather small for all the talk of being voluptuous, and is certainly smaller than Vampirella's.

Sorshen's robe: while Sorshen has more inspired fashion sense, her drape-y top hides rather accents her curves.


Pathfinder's Journal: Light of a Distant Star Reveiw Part 2

Light of a Distant Star Part 2: New Professions
Our heroine, Taldara has reunited with old friends. Yet she questions her choices. Is she a thief or is she a scholar? Could she be both? This tale is written in First person, past tense.

In this installment, we learn more of her current assignment from the Pathfinder Society. She also is working for Sheila Heidmarch. She is translating a dying dwarf's library while investigating to find out if he has a journal that the Society wants. Since Taldara is half-elven, she and the dwarf get along less-than-swimmingly.

This episode was full of tension. Taldara is still trying to find herself and this conflict extends to her actions. The conflict of scholar vs. thief especially is apparent. The beardless dwarf shifts from pitiable to sinister without even being present, though much of this is due to Taldara's perceptions. Mystery abounds in this episode. What is this box with the ten-armed, Sihedron-like star on it? Why does it draw Taldara so strongly?

It will be interesting to see how these elements develop.

-Aaron


Stratagemini wrote:


I've found if you take too long between opening up the review panel to type a review and clicking "Submit" it times out. Just copy paste the review before you hit submit, or hit back on your browser to get it back.

I thought that was it myself, first thing I tried. Nope, it just wouldn't accept the submission. But it's fixed now, so, as someone who has been a helpdesk guy, pffft, computers!


I just read this one at a bookstore and I really do like the strange bit where

Spoiler:
one of the PCs might end up in Sorshen's body, or her clone anyway.
For me it just has a very old-school feel to it, back when dungeons had all sorts of weirdness in them, some of it just plain incomprehensible.


That's what makes it fun. It's also part of what TTRPGs have over video games.


The parties thief...has died 5 times since 1st level...has been a male

dwarf, a kobold of undetermined gender (due to a VERY short career),

a 9 foot 10 inch male oriental half ogre, a female wood elf...used

girdle of gender change to regain his manhood, and then blew a save

versus "The Trap"...

Her first words...after several choice curses..."I'm in a clone of the

rune lord of lust? Great...now I'm a ****" You can fill in the last

word on your own.

Moral for the day...prepay for your raises and resurrection, and don't

let the group get a handy druid/mage tocast reincarnation on the cheap.

This is in my 1st edition campaign...running since 1978!


I have a question that has a built in spoiler. Stop reading if you don't want to know...

The trap in the sarcophagus was played in a way that I had to extemporize a fair amount, and I'm curious to get other player's experiences and thoughts.

I think it was in Part 1 that a character picked up a clockwork servant. Great. Kinda cool.

But this player was smart enough to let his clockwork servant activate the trap in Curse of the Lady's Light.

In this trap, the person who triggers it is killed and resurrected as the Sorshen clone.

Uh...

Okay, so now I have what? A sentient clockwork servant? Effectively, a kind of "birth" of a new character altogether? That's how I played it, and figuring out what class to make this new character was a trick.
(Personally, I wanted to go with Oracle, but could not get up to speed fast enough on that class type. :-( )

I used Part 3 of Shattered Star and the experience with the Ardoc family (clockwork builders) to help "legitimize" and flesh out this new character. It made for an interesting deviation from the linear tale we were running.

Are there rules for this kind of thing? Did anyone else have the clockwork activate the trap? Any thoughts on how I could have handled it?

One other question...

Since this was a clockwork servant, dedicated to fighter (Luxar), I played the new Sorshen as a bit loyal to Luxar - where else to go?
But then the Glass Golem (among others) then followed Sorshen out
of dedication to the former Runelord. So effectively, I'm picking up a *lot* of additional NPCs to the party, and it seems fairly natural, but it gets unwieldy and eventually, a group that gets bigger gets pretty powerful. How does one manage the balance of additional NPCs (or often, PCs) to keep the characters personal lives interesting and fleshed out, but not accumulate a large army of N/PCs?

For example, another player, based on the above experience, built a clockwork mage through his craft skills and rapport w/ the Ardoc family, and another established a relationship with an NPC from Parts 1 & 4 (Koriah).

I've got a small army now. It's cool, but we are crushing the Giants in Part 5, and I just struggle to keep a balance of cool, interesting, great story and still challenging.

Any thoughts? Pardon the long post, it's been percolating in my mind for some time.

Thanks in advance!

Best.

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