Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG)
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add PDF $24.99

Print Edition Unavailable

Non-Mint Unavailable

Facebook Twitter Email

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).

Product Availability

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Print Edition:

Unavailable

Non-Mint:

Unavailable

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


See Also:

11 to 12 of 12 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

great on paper, less great in practice

3/5

I have finally finished running this. It is a good project overall, but I'm having some serious issues with some of the levels.

#5 is a great example--written by Sean K. Reynolds, recycles the same stat block three different times.

Spoiler:
Is building a level 5 summoner so difficult that you couldn't even give their Eidolons different appearances? Or did it somehow seem like good level design to make the "boss" creature the first, middle, and last fight of the level? I just ... what? Why?!

#9, by Tim Hitchcock, frankly just sucks out loud.

Spoiler:
Morlocks? Really? For a level 8 dungeon? A bunch of morlocks ... and three fights that are essentially optional? That's it? What the crap, Hitchcock?

As for the final level, by James Jacobs Himself ...

Spoiler:
Man, that boss fight could not have been more anti-climactic. The advanced shining child in the next room was a bigger challenge. I was really excited about it when I read through it at first, because ZOMG LORE THIS IS AWESOME, but from a system perspective, it was lame. But then ... it was written by James Jacobs Himself, after all. :/

Finally, I'm really bummed about the way this was sanctioned in PFS. You're only allowed to run it in PFS mode, with PFS-legal characters. Which means all the side quests are useless as the experience for them means nothing and many of them stretch over multiple levels, the politics of the town are irrelevant, and the gold is set in stone. Plus, items that are supposed to be rare--limited to one or two per party, at least at first--are available to everyone for purchase as soon as they appear, which completely negates the way these levels work together, as a dungeon. This could all be fixed by a simple statement from Paizo: "Okay, you can also run it in campaign mode." Instead they specifically aren't allowing that, which sucks, because make no mistake--this is not just a dungeon, it's a campaign, and it could be beautiful.

PS: Also, WTF is up with Godhome's chronicle sheet? This is a great level with a variety of options, all of which are essentially negated by the PFS sanctioning, because ... muderhobos? I don't know. But it sucks--and can completely mess up your advancement if you're trying to play through with one character, thanks to the necessity of going slow on certain levels.


a spoiler-free review

5/5

I've only read through it, not started running it yet. I don't often write reviews, but felt people would appreciate at least one for this (weren't any when I started typing this).

Contents:

159 pages (not counting covers), including:

* New artwork all over the place
* 1 page "holy cow, I can't believe we did it!" intro
* 1 page quest list
* 11 pages detailing Fort Inevitable
* 6 pages of overview/background of the Emerald Spire, including a very helpful cross-section of the entire place

* The Emerald Spire, 16 dungeon levels (averaging 6 pages of text and 1 map page for each level)

* Beastiary (2 pages of encounter tables, 9 pages of new monsters)

I'll go over each section. There will be no spoilers.

1 page "holy cow, I can't believe we did it!" intro

About what you'd expect. Paizo is rightly proud of this beastie. Regarding the artwork--throughout the book, it's very evocative, occasionally downright creepy, and always fires the imagination. There were some nods to the old-school days, and some more modern art styles. No "meh" splash pages, in my opinion.

1 page quest list

It doesn't sound like much, but I found this to be one of the most useful text sections. Essentially, there are "unlockable" quests at various points in the dungeon delve--some above ground, some below. This indexes and summarizes all of them (they are expanded in their relevant sections of the dungeon/environment descriptions). I really, really liked this method. I hope they do it in future products. It makes the GM's job of weaving narrative into the dungeon crawling very simple.

11 pages detailing Fort Inevitable

Page for page, this clobbers Thornkeep's environment. The authors are clearly in love with Fort Inevitable, packing a remarkable amout of detail and nuance into its function, buildings, and background. Ideas for adventures spring up just from this section. It gave me the "new territory rush"...you know, where you look at the overland map, forests and lakes and buildings and ruins and...your imagination takes off.

6 pages of overview/background of the Emerald Spire, including a very helpful cross-section of the entire place

The ancient history of the place is interesting, and for me nothing beats a good cross-section map for a mega dungeon. It's what puts the whole thing in perspective for a GM, and gives the sense of how epic a delve this really is. Because let's face it--if all you have is each level map, it kinda starts to feel like levels of a parking garage. This section helps avoid that. Yay!

The Emerald Spire, 16 dungeon levels (averaging 6 pages of text and 1 map page for each level)

Diverse. That's the word to describe the 16 levels of this dungeon. The only thing players can be sure of is map size. Veteran PFS players especially are well-attuned to how much dungeon you can put on a standard flip-mat design, and are pretty canny at assessing how much may be left. Beyond that meta-game insight, it's safe to say there's a lot of surprises in this place. One wonders how much coordination went on between each level sometimes, but such is the nature of a mega-dungeon. In several levels, it kind of leaves you feeling like "where did that come from?" However, there are plausible (for fantasy gaming, anyway) reasons why each is what it is. There isn't always a way for the players to find that out, but it's there.

I won't spoil any of the level goodness, so I'll leave it at that. As some have observed, there's no level guideline per floor. In my opinion, that's a good thing.
/*Begin old man gamer rant*/ In my day, you didn't need anyone to tell you the chromatic dragon wasn't meant for level 2 characters, but by Crom if they wanted to stick their noses in there, that's their business, and welcome to it. That they last for less time than a fish in Gollum's mouth is their problem. It's not like there aren't warning signs that an area is out of their league. /*end rant*/

beastiary

I really dislike add-on monsters. Thus, I hate to see beastiary sections in adventure modules. I'm fine with them detaling NPCs, but just new monsters...ugh. But, they have 'em, about 10 of 'em, so there you go. They are all kinds of weird, but given all the creatures already in Beastie Books I-IV, they'd have to be, right?

To summarize: Lots of good material for a campaign here, whether you use it as a mega-dungeon or break it apart into component pieces. I'd give it 4.5 stars, a -.5 rating for the beastiary. Other than that, lots of craziness and several new ideas make for a dungeon delve sure to surprise, delight, and occasionally slaughter, your players.


11 to 12 of 12 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
401 to 419 of 419 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
ElterAgo wrote:

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?

1. Absolutely, provided your group (Or at least the wizard, most likely) has a taste for Azlanti shenanigans. Most of the overarching story is Azlanti in nature, until you get to one of the lowest floors. There are a lot of subquests in between then that might satisfy your group's want of investigations/mysteries, but more or less all real social stuff is going to be in town and made up by the GM, as there are several minor hooks around town that the GM can use if they're feeling creative. (Most of them are fighting high-level monsters that can easily gank an entire party if they find them at too low a level, old-school superdungeon style...)

2. The PCs don't have to be the bad guys, but being good (Especially chaotic good) is going to be incredibly tough in a staunchly Lawful Evil town. Knights in shining armor (And indeed, adventurers in general) aren't held in very high regard by the Hellknight militia. Also, to adventure in the area without the Hellknights persecuting them your PCs will need a warrant from the town leader, which has a VERY steep tax of 30% of ALL the PCs wealth found in the Emerald Spire dungeon.


Ok, thanks Ashram. I will let them know. But it sounds like this may be a go for us.


Then again if they are Chaotic Good, they could break the law.


David Neilson wrote:
Then again if they are Chaotic Good, they could break the law.

And risk getting the long, ironshod boot of the law up their butts, considering there's nothing to go on if the PCs want to, say, start in Thornkeep instead. A Chaotic Stupid character going around breaking laws is just going to piss the Hellknights off and make things hard for the rest of the group.


Joseph Wilson wrote:
bignate013 wrote:
How many players is it for?
All of Paizo's adventures, with the exception of PFS scenarios, are written for the standard 4 players.

Is the 4 player number correct? Looking to start it for PFS this week, but with 5-6 players.

Thoughts?


Emerald Spire Paper Minis are now available.


Plotty Fingers wrote:
Joseph Wilson wrote:
bignate013 wrote:
How many players is it for?
All of Paizo's adventures, with the exception of PFS scenarios, are written for the standard 4 players.

Is the 4 player number correct? Looking to start it for PFS this week, but with 5-6 players.

Thoughts?

The first level has a gameplay mechanic that can make for tough going if the party is not prepared for a campaign taking place primarily underground. Are you planning to play with the same group for multiple sessions?


Vic Wertz wrote:

Please see this post to find out why we don't do full-size battle mats for our AP volumes.

Plus, you can now see that 16 maps that each cover a space of 120x150 comes with a cost of $80—and some of the individual maps in our APs would need to be 4 times the size of one of those.

Would it be possible to print the maps onto battle mats the same size as the flip mats?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

yoc the xorn is brilliant. well done, wes!

Silver Crusade

How is it possible for a single character to get all 16 parcels? I must be missing something. Based on the rewards of the parcels, it would appear "(for every 8 parcels you own)" that it should be possible.

Silver Crusade

Never mind...got my answer. I completely forgot about the possibility of characters going in Slow mode.

Sovereign Court

Are the maps in the pdf good enough for pbp, or do I need the map-pack?


Has there been any official word on whether or not level 1 chronicles can be applied multiple times? I've GMed this twice and would like to apply a second chronicle if possible.


I'm pretty sure that The Tower Ruins is eligible for infinite L1 playthroughs.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg18 wrote:
All Tier 1 and Tier 1-2 adventures can be replayed an unlimited number of times with a 1st level character for credit.
Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg38 wrote:
Adventure: Adventures collectively refer to scenarios, sanctioned modules, and sanctioned Adventure Paths.

Since the first level is a 1-2 adventure, it can be replayed for credit, either as a player or GM.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg18 wrote:
All Tier 1 and Tier 1-2 adventures can be replayed an unlimited number of times with a 1st level character for credit.
Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg38 wrote:
Adventure: Adventures collectively refer to scenarios, sanctioned modules, and sanctioned Adventure Paths.
Since the first level is a 1-2 adventure, it can be replayed for credit, either as a player or GM.

That second part is what I was missing. Thanks a million!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pg. 145 - Alien vivisectionists

These creatures are using a unique new weapon called a dart gun, which is to be "treated like hand crossbows". This combined with the fact that they've been made keen means that a crit range should be listed in their ranged attack line. Not to mention mentioning the poison on their darts. Therefore, ranged attack line should read as follows:

Ranged +1 keen dart gun +14/+14/+9 (1d4+1/17-20 plus shadow essence poison)

Also, this weapon can fire an extra dart per round as if the wielder had Rapid Shot. Based on the stat block, it also means they suffer the attack penalty of using Rapid Shot, so it may have been intended that the Rapid Shot feat can't stack with this feature, and should have mentioned that. Lastly, the "darts" these guns fire don't seem to have any stats, and that we're presumably to treat them like crossbow bolts in terms of pricing.

Grand Lodge

Something I just noticed in Level 11. Says Yarrix will use bleeding touch, in her tactics. But she doesn’t have the Death domain. She has Void. Is she supposed to have Death?


Sold out.

401 to 419 of 419 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.