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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Ok Adventure but needs Bestiary 3

1/5

The actual adventure is good, but i'm annoyed that a standalone adventure (or at least part of a series) requires Bestiary 3. There is no warning about this on the product text or rear cover, the only note is in the copyright text page on the inside.

If playing the game requires a series of supplements as well they should really be 100% clear about that, otherwise you reach certain parts and find the monster texts are missing.

Even if there was a warning, its still annoying to have to refer to a another book to get a stat block that given how few monsters are in these books, could easily have been included.


The New Old School

5/5

Reminicent of Castle Maure and Sins of the Saviors, this adventure harkens back to what made strapping on a backpack and jumping into dangerous ruins fun in the first place. Wierd magic, check. Strange and powerful oppenents, check. Loot, check. It's just crazy enough for most people without going too far, even if I personally wish there was more.

As a bonus, info on the Grey Maidens and the aftermath of the Crimson Throne adventure path. I really enjoyed these sections as well, I'd consider them a must have for running the old adventure paths to flesh out one of the major opponents of the campaign.

On top of that, this book has some fantastic art.

The only criticism I can think of is that there's not enough of it, a great product all round.


Rekindled My Love For Pathfinder!!!

5/5

I have been running Pathfinder Adventure Paths since issue #1, but I have not been inspired enough to write a review of any product until now. After being somewhat disappointed by several aspects of the last year or so of issues, Mike Shel's "Curse of the Lady's Light" has been a revelation. It reminds me why I fell in love with the Pathfinder line in the first place.

The adventure itself is chock-full of inspired encounters, fantastic locations, and memorable NPCs. Not just another dungeon crawl, the adventure provides a wealth of roleplaying opportunities within the dungeon and its surrounding environs. I constantly giggled to myself as I read the module, marveling at the ingenuity on display here. The traps are clever (especially the one that has already generated lots of buzz on the messageboards), and the challenges can be rather deadly if the PCs are not careful. My group of six experienced gamers almost suffered a TPK against the resident of area K21!

The support articles are solid, as well. I wish I had the article about the Gray Maidens was out while I was running "Curse of the Crimson Throne." There are numerous great NPCs in there to help fill the roster of that previously mostly faceless organization. Special kudos for including the first official appearance of a girdle of gender on Golarion. :) I'll admit that I had very little interest in the god Torag before reading the article in this issue, but now I have a better understanding regarding what he's all about. The monsters in the bestiary are fine foes to face. Torag's herald is particularly awesome.

Be sure to make use of the free web enhancement when running the adventure as well: Jasper Kandemarus is an essential addition to the adventure!

Mike Shel knocked this adventure out of the ballpark, and I'd heartily recommend it to any gaming group. Even if you're not running "Shattered Star," this would make a great stand-alone adventure as well. Paizo, please allow Mike Shel to write more adventure path installments in the future! If you do so, you will make me one very satisfied customer.


An Essential Sequel to Curse of the Crimson Throne

5/5

Let us put aside this product as a member of the Shattered Star AP for a second, you don't need this review if you're looking at this module as a member of that AP. You're probably going to buy it anyway, and why not? It's a pretty inventive and fun Dungeon Crawl, and it fits well into the AP as a whole. If you're running the AP you'll probably run this module.

This Review isn't for those people. This is a review for people who are not planning on running this as part of the Shattered Star AP, this is a review for people who are running Curse of the Crimson Throne (or some other Runelord focused campaign). Be aware, this entire review will be full of spoilers for both this module and Curse of the Crimson Throne. These spoilers will not be marked.

First off, the articles for this module are on Torag, and the Gray Maidens. The Torag article is interesting, but doesn't really bear any relation to the topic of this review, so we'll be skipping it. The article on the Gray Maidens however, is essential both for those intending to run Curse of the Crimson Throne while they are running that path, and as a sort of epilogue to the path. The article comes in the form of a brief explanation of who the Gray Maidens are, followed by a listing of several different prominent Gray Maidens listed by how the fallout from the ending of Curse of the Crimson Throne effected them. Leaders, fanatics, those scarred by their experiences, repentant Gray Maidens, and even those for whom removing the armor has not been an option. This includes gray maidens for a wide range of character levels, from Sabina Merrin, to more humble personages. The characters range from a disgraced priestess of Urgathoa, to a Wizard who was conscripted into the force against her will, to Hellknights both volunteer and conscripted. All of these NPCs can help a DM running Crimson Throne by providing additional (female) NPCs both during, and after the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne. The article also explains the fallout and public perception of Gray Maidens in Korvosa after the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne and includes a Role statblock (similar to those in the new Player companion line products such as the Varisia companion) for making new Gray Maidens.

So that's one part of the module, the next part of the Module that is of relevance to someone who either is running or has run Crimson Throne, is the adventure itself. At its most fundamental level, this is an adventure where you chase after a group of rogue Gray Maidens bent on revenge against Korvosa into the Runelord Sorshen's country house (which happens to resemble a 200ft tall statue of liberty). The Adventure itself is solid, including encounters with "Sorshen" and a strongly flavored Lust-based dungeon that manages to avoid most of the more questionable sort of content that was present in for example, the hook mountain massacre. This modules serves very easily as a stand alone followup to Crimson Throne (for a new party of course), or as an intro or part of a set to a custom campaign involving either Sorshen or any of the other Runelords.

As an aside, all Monsters found within the book are either included specifically or easily found for free within: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/.


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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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