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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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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I thumbed through this at the local Books a Thousand, and I really liked it! I'm gonna have to drop some cash for the PDF eventually, because there are some floors that I really want to harvest :)

Contributor

It's BEAUTIFUL!!!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

As far as the Creative Director is concerned, Emerald Spire is 100% Golarion canon, and I'm frankly kind of boggled that the PFSRD lists it as a 3rd party product... the ONLY reason I can think of for this would be some weird arcane legal reason,.

Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.

Perhaps so that the location can be mentioned in the MMO?

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.

What if we got you a team of commandos and a black helicopter?


rknop wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.
What if we got you a team of commandos and a black helicopter?

They already ha-ohgodtheyrerightbehi-

Paizo don't have a crack team of commandos and military-spec attack helicopters to deploy across international borders in violation of treaties and law in order to execute kill-orders. That would be silly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

logic_poet wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

As far as the Creative Director is concerned, Emerald Spire is 100% Golarion canon, and I'm frankly kind of boggled that the PFSRD lists it as a 3rd party product... the ONLY reason I can think of for this would be some weird arcane legal reason,.

Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.

Perhaps so that the location can be mentioned in the MMO?

Nope. That's not a good reason for it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just skimmed most of the thread here to not spoiler it, but have some quick questions, since i´m gonna play this myself before gming it.

As a superdungeon, it seems to me playing a rogue could be a good thing.
Are there enough traps and sneak attackale foes and stealth possibilities to make it worth?

Also, i wanted to evolve into a shadowdancer (for the first time in Pathfinder, one of my favorites in D&D before!). How are the later level foes, will it be a good choice to have a shadow companion? I guess there are some undead around, even mightier ones, which will be immune to the shadow´s attack probably. But that´s only one or two levels right?

Alternatively i´m thinking about taking a swashbuckler and making it into a shadowdancer later.

Please tell me if the Emerald Spire is a good scenario for some classic rogue action!

Dark Archive

Any news on the chronicle sheets?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just played through the first level with a halfling rogue.
I had high hopes for this.
The adventure itself is really nice and wel written, no doubt.
Problems are somewhere else.

The power gap between some races never hit me that strong.
If you want to play most of the core or more normal races and classes like a rogue, you have to be highly frustration-resistant.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks for the help everyone. I suspect that I will get my helms now. (Which are WAY powerful as written by the way.)

Alleran wrote:
rknop wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.
What if we got you a team of commandos and a black helicopter?

They already ha-ohgodtheyrerightbehi-

Paizo don't have a crack team of commandos and military-spec attack helicopters to deploy across international borders in violation of treaties and law in order to execute kill-orders. That would be silly.

Oh what silly ideas people have! Paizo uses slayers, not commandos. ;D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Loving this super dungeon so much that I am even keeping an in character journal of it: http://www.bubblews.com/news/4790753-journey-through-the-emerald-spire-part -1 if you are interested. Needless to say, spoilers!

Silver Crusade

Gonna get this. I am DMing for our group now and they are playing in the River Kingdoms. Gonna have to bring them to Thornkeep and Emerald Spire at some point.

Lantern Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:

As far as the Creative Director is concerned, Emerald Spire is 100% Golarion canon, and I'm frankly kind of boggled that the PFSRD lists it as a 3rd party product... the ONLY reason I can think of for this would be some weird arcane legal reason,.

Whether or not any one group allows it in their game is not a choice I can make, though.

If they see Goblinworks as a subsidiary of Paizo it could be listed as a second party game, but definitely not a third party. It could also do with it being Kickstarted. Either way it seems contrived as Paizo is the publisher, which automatically makes it a first party product, even if Goblinworks is considered the developer.

The Exchange

Ravingdork wrote:
Is this a 3rd party product? I wanted to craft myself a few cyclops helms, but the PFSRD has it listed as being from a 3rd-party product, which our group doesn't allow.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
It's published by Paizo and Goblinworks together, with authors like Lisa Stevens and Erik Mona. Your group is going to have to decide if being an official Pathfinder Module, published by Paizo in cooperation with another company, and being set in Golarion proper is good enough for your group, or if any involvement by a not-Paizo group makes it a 3pp product in their opinion.

It is an error on our part, but not one of intentionally categorizing it as a 3pp product so much as one of "it got moved where it shouldn't have just because other stuff in that area was also being moved.." Meaning, Dale McCoy from Jon Brazer Enterprises was adding a bunch of vehicles to the site and one of us (almost certainly me) moved some pages around to get things where they needed to be. We didn't previously have a 3pp Vehicles section, which is what Dale needed. If you notice, the helm, which is most certainly NOT a vehicle, is under 3pp VEHICLES, and specifically those by Jon Brazer Enterprises. It's too late tonight for me to fix (3:30 am, just got home from game session) but I'll move it tomorrow.

So, long story short, no, d20pfsrd.com does not consider the Emerald Spire to be 3pp. That was a placement oops.


Will there be a pawn box set for this?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
William Edmunds wrote:
Will there be a pawn box set for this?

Highly unlikely. At best, we'll get a set of pawns like they put out for the APs.


It feels like a Pawn Set would be good for the Emerald Spire - and that it would go well with the map pack and cards produced for the Superdungeon... I suspect we won't see it though, I think that the majority of enemies encountered are probably available in Bestiary Boxes.

...Still hoping though!!!!

Grand Lodge

I really doubt we will get pawns. Paper minis are more likely but I don't know if they are likely to make those either. Paper minis have been made for Dragon's Demand and a second set for the people of Belhaim in Dragons Demand.

http://paizo.com/companies/pathfinderPaperMinis


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A small curiosity for everyone.
Don't know if it has already been said, however the octagonal fort presented in the module exists for real: it is obviously been inspired by Castel del Monte, in Apulia, Italy.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Castel_del_Monte_-_Apuli a.JPG


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

News about the transformation to PFS?


What all do you have to have to run this dungeon? Just the Emerald Spire book and the Core Rules book?

Or do you have to have all the bestiaries? Or are all the stats from the bestiaries online?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Emerald Spire uses all 4 Bestiaries, but they are all available online at the PRD.

Liberty's Edge

I'm thinking about playing a druid or some other nature-based class but I'm concerned ... does most of this take place within the spire / dungeon? I'm wondering if a class such as druid will feel useful or not ...

Thanks!


Unless your GM uses lots of custom stuff, 90-95% of the campaign will take place underground. That said, I think a Cave Druid would feel very much at home in Emerald Spire. :)

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is now sanctioned in its entirety for Pathfinder Society Organized Play. You can find the download either on the product page or in the right-hand banner on the Additional Resources page.


Awesome, time to start setting up game days.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Level 1 is replayable?


Odd question time, how much at all does this module relate to the River Kingdoms, especially the Kingmaker AP? Do they have anything to do with each other or are they completely separate? And does it have any further setting information for the River Kingdoms?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Level 3 down, loving it so far.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Odd question time, how much at all does this module relate to the River Kingdoms, especially the Kingmaker AP? Do they have anything to do with each other or are they completely separate? And does it have any further setting information for the River Kingdoms?

The discussion of Fort Inevitable can be seen as fleshing out corners of the area, but Emerald Spire very much focuses on the superdungeon itself, and largely doesn't tie in to current River Kingdoms issues.


Thank you, Mister Stephens.

Sczarni

Hello! I had noticed that the module was made PFS-legal, and ran the first level for our local PFS group. I went to report the session, and the module does not appear amongst the options for available scenarios/modules. Is this something that will open up later for reporting?

Sovereign Court

So where can I find more information on how this works with XP/level progression? Is it realistic to play a character both in the spire and outside in PFS, or should I make a dedicated character?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You can find the expected level progression for the adventure in the chronicle pack here. Playing the same character through the entire Spire as well as outside of it would be rather difficult considering the wealth of material and number of levels. Slow track would have to be used to play every level as well as outside scenarios.

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:
You can find the expected level progression for the adventure in the chronicle pack here. Playing the same character through the entire Spire as well as outside of it would be rather difficult considering the wealth of material and number of levels. Slow track would have to be used to play every level as well as outside scenarios.

Whoa, danger, danger, spoilers/chronicle sheets.

But thanks, that table was exactly what I needed to know.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Irish202 wrote:
Hello! I had noticed that the module was made PFS-legal, and ran the first level for our local PFS group. I went to report the session, and the module does not appear amongst the options for available scenarios/modules. Is this something that will open up later for reporting?

Any word on when the modules will be available to select on the PFS session creation page?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Allar Westdorp wrote:
Irish202 wrote:
Hello! I had noticed that the module was made PFS-legal, and ran the first level for our local PFS group. I went to report the session, and the module does not appear amongst the options for available scenarios/modules. Is this something that will open up later for reporting?
Any word on when the modules will be available to select on the PFS session creation page?

I am also wondering this?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Level 1 is replayable?

If it is then it can keep it. Level 1 is frankly obnoxious and we were only fortunate that 5 of our 6 party members had darkvision. Without it, well... I felt rather sorry for our elf wizard who got to do virtually nothing the entire session.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
andreww wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Level 1 is replayable?
If it is then it can keep it. Level 1 is frankly obnoxious and we were only fortunate that 5 of our 6 party members had darkvision. Without it, well... I felt rather sorry for our elf wizard who got to do virtually nothing the entire session.

We ran two tables of level 1, not my table but the other had a Human Oracle of Battle with the lame curse. So he couldn't see, or move more then 5" per move...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The terrain and lighting are extremely frustrating, particularly as the goblins aren't impaired by either of those. I'm running it now with only two characters out of six with darkvision--and those two are a dwarf and a wayang, so they're only moving 10' a round. I already had one player ask if the other levels were going to be like that.

ETA: If/When I run the first level again, I'll try to let the players know if they're bringing in a character who just won't work well. Like a melee combatant with no darkvision and a 5' movement speed.


Not sure if you guys have already seen it but there's a lively thread on Emerald Spire over in the Pathfinder Modules forum, the thread can be found here.

There is a loot of good advice on how to run, modify, and/or improve the Emerald Spire module there, including a few suggestions on how to handle the darkness effect on level 1. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Kudaku wrote:

Not sure if you guys have already seen it but there's a lively thread on Emerald Spire over in the Pathfinder Modules forum, the thread can be found here.

There is a loot of good advice on how to run, modify, and/or improve the Emerald Spire module there, including a few suggestions on how to handle the darkness effect on level 1. :)

I'll check it out, but in our case we ran it for PFS so we ran it RAW.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Same here--not much individual discretion in PFS. I'll check out the thread later, though. Thanks for the link.

Sovereign Court

I'm a bit lost as to where I can download chronicle sheets for this. I have a GM set to run it for a group at the store I coordinate for and I promised her I'd provide the paper copies.

Thanks!


The Human Diversion wrote:

I'm a bit lost as to where I can download chronicle sheets for this. I have a GM set to run it for a group at the store I coordinate for and I promised her I'd provide the paper copies.

Thanks!

There's a link in the product description, towards the end:

Quote:
Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download (859 KB zip/PDF).

If you click on the link it automatically starts downloading.

I believe they would also be linked from the Additional Resources page.

Enjoy!

Sovereign Court

d'oh! thank you, right in the description. I appreciate it.


Have played a few levels and am really not a fan. We are a PFS group and this is just a side quest to get some levels between Carrion Crown mods. We did levels 3-5. 3 was ok. 4 was very short and unsatisfying. 5 just made me want to ditch the town. Really, most of us have no desire to play it anymore. Seemed like the writers got lazy. Totally not impressed with this expensive purchase our DM made.

What's with the PFS XP and shorting group for playing good guys? That doesn't seem to make sense. Why isn't there some sort of skill challenge or something for the other XP to be gained in a non-evil fashion? Leaving that to DM's kind of defeats the purpose of them buying the thing.

Lastly, what's the advantage to buying land? I really can't see it. There is one for you to gain back 2 PP that you spent to get it (big woop - no benefit). There are a few that give you 1 PP and 1 fame (another woop) and then several for means of increasing your daily job roll. By buying 8 pieces of land (16 PP) and getting the last "big" parcel for another +2 job check bonus you can have about +5 on your job check (being approx). Let's look at this now. Even if this increases your amount of gold from 50 to 100 each game session, that's not very substantial. 8 sessions at +50 gp is an additional 400 gp. Spending those PP on wands or potions worth 750 gp, and averaging about 2 PP a session / level = WAY more gold than buying land is worth. I must be missing something because I really don't see the value. Can anyone explain this to me before I just convince my group to follow suit and boycott it?


Well you do get to show that you are minor landed gentry. I have seen most groups have at least a few takers in terms of land, and I think some of the later chronicles give you some bonuses based on property owned.

I have to say the first level went okay for the group I sent through it. The goblins had the home team advantage, but they also had the disadvantage that they were goblins.

Liberty's Edge

Hello Everyone - I am excited to say that I am going to be running the Emerald Spire starting tomorrow. One big question I have is where is the Fort located in relation to Thornkeep? I ask because, I may use a few of the encounters from it for the Spire campaign.

I would like to run a few minor quests prior to them reaching the dungeon (party of 6,) as some of my players can not start this weekend (I found out on short notice). Does anyone have some idea's I can use.

Thanks All,

Old School GM "Arbarth"


Ok, My group is considering this for our next campaign. (I will be the GM if we do it.) There have been a few concerns raised based on comments heard/read.

Superdungeon! Kool for the retro feel. But most of my players have become used to a certain amount of mystery/investigation/social/etc... aspects of the game. They certainly like good combat scenes. But they aren't too interested if it is just combat. They really aren't too into the murderhobo scene. (Well, one guy is. But he's trying to get over it.) Is there enough story to satisfy a fairly average group?

Bad Guys? One of the players heard that the PC's almost have to be the bad guys in this one. I've got a couple of players that tend to have a problem with that. They want to be the shining heroes coming to the rescue. Not the ones that people need to be rescued from. Are the PC's really the bad guys in this?

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