Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG)
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Secrets None Will Survive!

For ages untold, a gemstone monolith has pierced the heart of the Echo Wood. Now, as civilization intrudes upon this enigmatic splinter, a strange life once again stirs in the depths—one with ties to undying evils and a might beyond time itself. The promise of wealth and power calls to glory-seekers from across the Inner Sea region, tempting them into a labyrinth of monster-haunted vaults, defiled tombs, arcane laboratories, and worse, as they seek to unveil the secrets locked below the legendary Emerald Spire.

Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is the largest adventure ever set in the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Designed for characters of a wide range of levels, this megadungeon opens with challenges appropriate for 1st-level characters and can carry parties to 13th level or higher. Within this deadly super-adventure, you'll find:

  • Lethal dungeon levels crafted by the creators of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and a host of fantasy gaming's greatest authors and designers.
  • A gazetteer of Fort Inevitable, a bastion of merciless order near the Emerald Spire serving as a base for exploration or a launchpad for more adventures.
  • Insights into the region and plots taking central stage in the upcoming Pathfinder Online massively multiplayer online RPG.
  • A bestiary of the Emerald Spire's myriad monstrous menaces and inscrutable inhabitants.
  • Dozens of new treasures, maps, side-plots, and more!

The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can be used in any fantasy game setting.

Emerald Spire Essentials!
Don't miss out on the Emerald Spire Superdungeon Multi-Pack to get all the maps you need to run this deadly dungeon, and the Emerald Spire Superdungeon Campaign Cards for quick reference to quests, NPCs, and notable items!

Written by Keith Baker, Rich Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Ed Greenwood, Tim Hitchcock, James Jacobs, Nicolas Logue, Erik Mona, Frank Mentzer, Chris Pramas, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Michael A. Stackpole, Lisa Stevens, and James L. Sutter
Cover Art by Jesper Ejsing

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-655-3

The Emerald Spire is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (859 KB zip/PDF).

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9545


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4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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An amazing story to be told, in a complex and rich dungeon

5/5

We just finished this adventure, and what a ride. It is quite difficult, we lost a ton of characters, but almost everything felt fair.
I completely disagree with the "lack of RP" there are plenty of opportunities and tons of lore for the fans of Golarion. (The end level was... just amazing, what a reveal!)
Some levels are really mean, and it will frustrate players no doubt, but if they want to be challenged, and you like playing to the will of the dice gods, they will have a blast.
We loved the characters on Fort Inevitable and it is most fun when paired with Thornkeep. We ended up doing a lot of sidequests and meeting very interesting NPCs (Dremagne, Iliara Starcloak, Oritian, Abernard are some of my favorites) *When I say interesting NPCs, I mean that they have a lot of potential, not that they come fully fledge and with 3 pages of backstory as some GMs might expect from a written adventure. (I'm fond of the simpler NPC, so I can have fun making them my own)
I was going to give a rundown of the levels, but I feel it would had too many spoilers and I liked the feeling of surprise that we had with every new step we took towards the bottom.

Number of Sessions; 26 over 1 year 1 month.
Hours of Playing; 165+
Major NPC Deaths; 2
Character Deaths; 11 (Strix Medium, Aasimar Cavalier, Gnome Inquisitor (2 times), Undine Hellknight, Fetchling Wizard, Grippli Monk, Human Armiger, Half-Orc Oracle, Aasimar Warpriest, Suli/Elf Tecnomancer)
The final party that completed the Spire were; Grippli Monk, Aasimar Warpriest, Suli/Elf Tecnomancer, Human Gunslinger)

Spoilers:
Hardest Enemy; Lady of Thorns and Lady Estrekan of Almorain Blue
Hardest Level; 13 Throne of Azlant; for Abadar, Lady Estrekan and the Abraxas trap destroyed our group. We ended up with just 1 survivor. An incredible way to finish the Crowned Skull Quest
Best moment of the Campaign; Klanky (Controlled by our Tecnomancer) defeating the final boss of the Spire

I Completely recommend this adventure. Is not just a Superdungeon, it's an amazing story to be retold over and over.


Not for the faint of heart

5/5

I had blast playing this for PFS. We finally finished it. Some levels are crazy hard if the DM runs it correctly. You could be fighting 2-3 encounters at once.

We had a couple players refuse to come back and play. They couldn't handle the pressure. Another player packed his stuff up like every other session crying for mommy :). We made our diplomacy rolls and so he stayed.

I played a paladin. I loved it. Talk about being heroic. I probably saved a dozen player deaths during the sessions with paladins sacrifice.

I would make sure you have some strong players and a well-built group. I would say you need a tank, healer, and rogue. Don't be afraid to max the table out and enjoy the beat down.


My precious

5/5

One of the most "rail-free" modules for pfs - as gm you may put amazing roleplay opportunities there - there are enough backstory for npc`s (town and dungeon alike) to make them alive and have motivation. Combats are neat, exploration are neat, layouts are neat. My favorite module.


Good for earning XP and GP for PFS

3/5

A huge dungeon crawl with minimum roleplay. I can't say the fights are easy... however most PFS gruops of The Emerald Spire are power gamers that put all source on combat. Just not challenging enough.

If you prefer roleplay or investigaion, skip this. It's made for buttkickers that want to build high-level PFS characters(with more gear than average).

I would not recommend this, but for who enjoy "draw a dungeon, than kill them all, get the treasure", that's what you're looking for.


Fun dungeon crawl but needs better editing

4/5

I am running it for a group of players and everyone is having a blast. This module could have definitely been a five star rating if it weren't for all the errors such as wrong monster stats and conflicting tactics.


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Shadow Lodge

I'm considering running some of these levels at our local PFS lodge as soon as the chronicle sheets come out. Does anyone who already has the product have an idea if the first couple levels would fit into a 5 hour block (ala thornkeep) or are they more module length, and would need two scenario length blocks?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Just started reading it but it seems to be missing some important things.

A map of the area the Emerald Spire is located:

It would have been nice to see an area map in the actual module showing where it is located in comparison to everything else in the river kingdoms.

I noticed that too. I haven't look at the Thornkeep book yet because one of my players is planning to run that one.

Dragnmoon wrote:

Expected PC level for each level of the dungeon:

This seems to be an important thing missing from the module.

The first I can say for fact is not in the module, I have not seen the second. Did they really forget to add the expected level of the PCs per level of the dungeon or did I just miss it?

Again, I also noticed that was missing as well. I did see that they included a take-away block for running with 5 and 6 players. i don't think they've done that before.

I also think this product suffers from "all level maps must fit on a flip-map." That seems like unnecessarily restrictive. Flip-maps are nice when their generic locations, but the dungeon ones are less useful.

-Skeld


Have there been previous in setting discouragement of murderhoboism or is this the first time there's been consequences?


Skeld wrote:
I also think this product suffers from "all level maps must fit on a flip-map." That seems like unnecessarily restrictive. Flip-maps are nice when their generic locations, but the dungeon ones are less useful.

I was afraid that might have been the case, after reading the details about this product. Can't say I'm surprised.

Another reason why I don't do flip-map products. Good to know that what I suspected is true.

Liberty's Edge

Dragnmoon wrote:

Just started reading it but it seems to be missing some important things.

A map of the area the Emerald Spire is located:

It would have been nice to see an area map in the actual module showing where it is located in comparison to everything else in the river kingdoms.

Expected PC level for each level of the dungeon:

This seems to be an important thing missing from the module.

The first I can say for fact is not in the module, I have not seen the second. Did they really forget to add the expected level of the PCs per level of the dungeon or did I just miss it?

The Map is in the Thornkeep book but I've seen it online in a few places, such as:

http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/203135/echowoodregion.jpg

Dark Archive

i hope we can run this in campaign mode for pfs credit....


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
Skeld wrote:
I also think this product suffers from "all level maps must fit on a flip-map." That seems like unnecessarily restrictive. Flip-maps are nice when their generic locations, but the dungeon ones are less useful.
I was afraid that might have been the case, after reading the details about this product.

Yes, I was afraid of this as well. That's a shame.

Editor-in-Chief

Hobbun wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
Skeld wrote:
I also think this product suffers from "all level maps must fit on a flip-map." That seems like unnecessarily restrictive. Flip-maps are nice when their generic locations, but the dungeon ones are less useful.
I was afraid that might have been the case, after reading the details about this product.
Yes, I was afraid of this as well. That's a shame.

For my piece, I didn't feel any more or less restricted in my mapping for this project than any other. Paizo only publishes dungeon maps in adventures as either full-pagers or half-pagers—there are always those specs on projects, you simply don't see us printing round maps or page-and-a-half-sized maps. If adventures feel like the designers have complete control over their medium, I rather think that speaks to the strengths and professionalism of the designer, not to their having carte blanche to do as they will. As I recall, the only additional specs added on for the Emerald Spire maps were to use 5-foot squares and to create a single level (no split levels), which didn't feel that outlandish. Heck, I seem to recall we even got graph paper of the proper size.

As with any project featuring this many participants you might be able to notice designers' particular strong points from level to level. Some designers are amazing storytellers, or encounter designers, or trap builders, or cartographers. As such, you might notice their particular strengths contrasted by their fellow authors' strengths. In effect, that means you're going to see the work of some awesome map makers next to the work of designers whose strengths lie elsewhere, or whose tastes are radically different. You're going to see some real old-school work in here—as there are a few real old-school authors—next to the work of those with more radical sensibilities. Readers are sure to find their favorites in the mix. But, at least for me, that's actually part of the appeal of an exquisite corpse project like this. It's the variety that makes experiments like this so interesting.

For folks who haven't seen the maps yet, I'll ask Owen to preview a couple in this weekend's Emerald Spire blog. I've also just posted the sketch I did for my dungeon, level 10, the Magma Vault, on my personal Tumblr here. It's not Jason Engle's awesome final map, but it suggests what you can expect in the awesome final piece.

(You can also check out more about this level, the Magma Vault, and some art from it in this past weekend's Emerald Spire preview on the Paizo blog.)

Overall, I think the breadth of talents featured in the Emerald Spire will make it rather difficult to generalize on any level. I think some folks are really going to love that and, beyond using it as a fascinating adventure, will find it chocked full of adventure design insights. For those who like the formality and unified tone of a single author adventure, though, might I recommend...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ok, thanks for the explanation, Wesley. I still would love to see Paizo find some way to use the nice vinyl maps, but I understand what has been said so far on why you can't.

Either way, I am looking forward to getting my Emerald Spire Superdunegon book and maps. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Module itself looks like a lot of fun! Looking forward to taking the time to really read it over the next few days.

Small issue with the PDF: I think there needs to be another page between the front cover and the table of contents. When you print the PDF, the left/right page layout is skewed.

Wasn't that big a deal for me (I have free grayscale printing at work), but if I'd paid to have Kinko's print this out for me, I would have been annoyed.


anyone who read it yet .....how's the continuity. I really want to like this but I'm waiting for a hundred or so reviews before I buy due to the overwhelming disappointment with Thorn keep.

Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Haladir wrote:

Module itself looks like a lot of fun! Looking forward to taking the time to really read it over the next few days.

Small issue with the PDF: I think there needs to be another page between the front cover and the table of contents. When you print the PDF, the left/right page layout is skewed.

Wasn't that big a deal for me (I have free grayscale printing at work), but if I'd paid to have Kinko's print this out for me, I would have been annoyed.

Heya, since this is a hardback book, we don't have inside covers or anything that would normally create balanced spreads. I agree this is a bit of an issue and I'll see if I can get a blank page inserted in the Single File version to get this behaving normally as soon as I get a chance.

Shadow Lodge

mogmismo wrote:
I'm considering running some of these levels at our local PFS lodge as soon as the chronicle sheets come out. Does anyone who already has the product have an idea if the first couple levels would fit into a 5 hour block (ala thornkeep) or are they more module length, and would need two scenario length blocks?

To answer myself now that I've given Level 1 a read-through: Yes, at least Level 1 could easily be run inside a 5 hour block for PFS.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Module itself looks like a lot of fun! Looking forward to taking the time to really read it over the next few days.

Small issue with the PDF: I think there needs to be another page between the front cover and the table of contents. When you print the PDF, the left/right page layout is skewed.

Wasn't that big a deal for me (I have free grayscale printing at work), but if I'd paid to have Kinko's print this out for me, I would have been annoyed.

Heya, since this is a hardback book, we don't have inside covers or anything that would normally create balanced spreads. I agree this is a bit of an issue and I'll see if I can get a blank page inserted in the Single File version to get this behaving normally as soon as I get a chance.

Thanks!

I don't think I've ever printed out the PDF of a hardcover before. I usually just buy the book. But I prefer running games with the module printed out and in a 3-ring binder. That way, the book lays flat on the table when open.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Heya, since this is a hardback book, we don't have inside covers or anything that would normally create balanced spreads. I agree this is a bit of an issue and I'll see if I can get a blank page inserted in the Single File version to get this behaving normally as soon as I get a chance.

The same is true of all your hardcover books, by the way. A blank page inserted both after the cover and Before the back cover would help with display tools such as OS X Preview.


Will there be a player's guide for this?


sooo, is it just me or I can't find a section that lists recommended character levels for each level of the spire?

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CRobledo wrote:
sooo, is it just me or I can't find a section that lists recommended character levels for each level of the spire?

Not just you

Sovereign Court

Sugerence for PFS:

Give 2 XP a level.

16 levels * 2 XP/level= 32 XP. Almost eleven level-ups.


arrggh im stuck waiting with pending order..sigh..cant wait to read it


watchmanx wrote:
arrggh im stuck waiting with pending order..sigh..cant wait to read it

I feel your pain sir. I'm stuck waiting on both this and the map pack, and desperately hoping that it'll make it to Australia in time for my campaign to kick off :P

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

We wrote the dungeon levels to specific character levels. It shouldn't be too difficult to add that breakdown to an upcoming preview.

Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:
We wrote the dungeon levels to specific character levels. It shouldn't be too difficult to add that breakdown to an upcoming preview.

Top... Men.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Naturally.

Editor-in-Chief

Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a player's guide for this?

There are currently no plans to do a player's guide for this product.


I would imagine the Dungeoneering Handbook would be a good choice though.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a player's guide for this?
There are currently no plans to do a player's guide for this product.

This sounds like a community project if I ever heard one!

Challenge... accepted.


Does anyone have the hardcover yet? my orders still pending

Webstore Gninja Minion

watchmanx wrote:
Does anyone have the hardcover yet? my orders still pending

We've just started shipping this week—if you ordered a hardcover, you should be getting them very soon!

Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a player's guide for this?

Since I plan on running this and want something to give to my players, I'm working on this:

Emerald Spire Player's Guide

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jester David wrote:
Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a player's guide for this?

Since I plan on running this and want something to give to my players, I'm working on this:

Emerald Spire Player's Guide

Thank you for including the Community Use Policy declaration! ^_^


Can someone tell what monsters are in the Bestiary?

Also what is the page count?

I didn't know this was a hardcover book, I might get this one.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a 160-page hardcover (the biggest Pathfinder Modules ever!).

The bestiary has :
Bone Priest
Caustic Stalker
Emerald Automaton
Lava Lurker
Moon Spider
Shadowfire (a template)
Xiomorn
Mythic Xiomorn


Thank you Mr. Stephens for the information.

Scarab Sages

@Jester David - Consider that stolen. 8^)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a player's guide for this?

Since I plan on running this and want something to give to my players, I'm working on this:

Emerald Spire Player's Guide
Thank you for including the Community Use Policy declaration! ^_^

My pleasure.

However... the Emerald Spire superdungeon doesn't seem to be on the approved products list. Oversight?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Jester David wrote:

My pleasure.

However... the Emerald Spire superdungeon doesn't seem to be on the approved products list. Oversight?

Quite possibly. I will send a message to the Powers What Be. :D


James Jacobs wrote:
In Golarion, the megadungeon I'm most eager to some day detail is Hollow Mountain. But Viperwall and the Crimson Citadel are close seconds.

Consider Viperwall an automatic pre-order for me!

Liberty's Edge

Where's the $50 or $60 signed edition...?

I'd bet there're a slew of us who'd happily pay quite a bit for signed editions (I would pay quite a bit for a signed edition).


If I order this now and have the module subscription, do I still get the free pdf. Or is it too late.


Is this built by the standard '15 point buy, 4 PC' set-up? We have 6 players who'd like to play which is an unusually large group for us, but the GM has no desire to have to modify every encounter to do it.


I have a couple of quick questions. (I don't have access to the product yet.)

#1. Are all of the rooms flushed out for encounters or is this like some other mega-dungeons leaving that to the DM?

#2. While I understand that PC levels are not mentioned for the corresponding dungeon levels, is the dungeon designed to played straight through? Or, are PCs expected to return once and a while?

Thanks for your help with these questions everyone.

All the best.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Crazyriver wrote:
#1. Are all of the rooms flushed out for encounters or is this like some other mega-dungeons leaving that to the DM?

Yes, everything is fully encounter-ready.

Crazyriver wrote:
#2. While I understand that PC levels are not mentioned for the corresponding dungeon levels, is the dungeon designed to played straight through? Or, are PCs expected to return once and a while?

It's actually set up to be able to be handled either way!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:

Where's the $50 or $60 signed edition...?

I'd bet there're a slew of us who'd happily pay quite a bit for signed editions (I would pay quite a bit for a signed edition).

Let's be real here... you're talking about the $200 signed edition. With a dozen authors, a case of books would need to be shipped back and forth several times. The bigger the case, the more expensive it gets. Also, I seem to recall Mr Logue is in Hawaii, which can't be cheap.

But... I'd probably pay it. There are some names here I'd be honored to have in pen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anyone know if will there be official Pathfinder Pawns set for Emerald Spire?


Or a Paper Minis set?


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Crazyriver wrote:
#1. Are all of the rooms flushed out for encounters or is this like some other mega-dungeons leaving that to the DM?

Yes, everything is fully encounter-ready.

Crazyriver wrote:
#2. While I understand that PC levels are not mentioned for the corresponding dungeon levels, is the dungeon designed to played straight through? Or, are PCs expected to return once and a while?
It's actually set up to be able to be handled either way!

Thank you!


I'm interested in this, just curious if there are roleplaying opportunities in this or is it more of a hack/slash/problem solving piece?
I know dungeon delves usually are. But I like to add some character bits in there where possible- even if it's not the emphasis.

(e.g. In Return to the Tomb of Horrors- one of my all time faves- I got great mileage out of the Necromancer School and the City surrounding the tomb before the PCs got to the tomb itself.)

Liberty's Edge

Robert Carter 58 wrote:

I'm interested in this, just curious if there are roleplaying opportunities in this or is it more of a hack/slash/problem solving piece?

I know dungeon delves usually are. But I like to add some character bits in there where possible- even if it's not the emphasis.

(e.g. In Return to the Tomb of Horrors- one of my all time faves- I got great mileage out of the Necromancer School and the City surrounding the tomb before the PCs got to the tomb itself.)

It's mostly hack-and-slash but there are a couple levels focused around some RPing, and a few other notable NPCs.

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