Pathfinder Adventure Path #73: The Worldwound Incursion (Wrath of the Righteous 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #73: The Worldwound Incursion (Wrath of the Righteous 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 1: "The Worldwound Incursion"
by Amber E. Scott

For more than a hundred years, the demon-infested Worldwound has warred against humanity, its Abyssal armies clashing with crusaders, barbarians, mercenaries, and heroes along the border of lost Sarkoris. But when one of the magical wardstones that helps hedge the demons into their savage realm is sabotaged, the crusader city of Kenabres is attacked and devastated by the demonic hordes. Can a small band of heroes destined for mythic greatness survive long enough to hold back the forces of chaos and evil until help arrives, or will they become the latest in a long line of victims slaughtered by Deskari, the demon lord of the Locust Host?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path and includes:

  • “The Worldwound Incursion,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Amber E. Scott.
  • A gazetteer of the crusader city of Kenabres on the border of the Worldwound, by Amber E. Scott.
  • The search for an infamous demon hunter in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • A complete outline of the Wrath of the Righteous campaign.
  • Four new monsters by James Jacobs, Jason Nelson, David Schwartz, and Jerome Virnich.

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: 978-1-60125-553-2

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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The Standard for AP Openings

5/5

As the title, this book is everything I love about Pathfinder and the best opener of any AP I’ve played. For context, I have played one other AP from beginning to end, 4 books of another, and the first book of another.

There’s challenge! There’s scale! There’s memorable NPCs! There’s such an energy and drive here that has kept me stoked for more. Yes, I am biased by my love of paladiny lawful goodness, but that’s just a small part of what makes this book work so well for me.

As a final note, anyone who wants to whine about LGBT-inclusion can kiss my transgender lesbian ass. This book rocks.


Pathfinder or politics?

2/5

The adventure is fun, if you can get past the writers doing their best to ram the most hot-topic controversial political issues of the day down your throat at every turn. I've had to dramatically modify the fluff of two major NPCs in order to avoid political conversations I don't care to have with my party.

Stick to writing stories, guys. You're not going to attract new fans like this.


A good start

5/5

Just to get this out of the way, let me start with the following obligatory advice:

Advice on adjusting the difficulty level of this AP:
Before running this AP, I was warned that the power of mythic PCs quickly outpaced the difficulty of the encounters the AP provides. Despite taking a number of precautions to mitigate this (having players use a 10 point-buy, applying advanced templates to every mythic creature, etc), I found this to be true.

In light of our experiences, and those reported on the boards, the consensus seems to be that there are two generally viable ways to deal with these problems:

Option 1: Power-down the PCs.

(a) Don't give the PCs mythic ranks.

(b) [Optional:] Use the Hero Point system introduced in the APG, and give the PCs a number of Hero Points per day equal to the number of mythic ranks they're supposed to have. (This makes players a bit more robust.)

(c) More or less play the AP as is. (Though there are a couple of encounters in book 6 that will probably need to be made a bit easier).

Option 2: Power-up the encounters.

(a) Give the PCs mythic ranks as the AP suggests (possibly with the nerfs suggested in Mythic Solutions).

(b) Use the (vastly) upgraded stat blocks presented in Sc8rpi8n_mjd's modified stat blocks document to upgrade encounters, and then further multiply the HPs given in the stat blocks by something like (creature's mythic rank+3)/3. (For more optimized players you may need to multiply HPs even more.)

Our experience, FWIW: We played books 1-4 more or less as is, and (despite my efforts to boost and combine encounters) found books 3 and 4 to be far too easy to be fun. We then adopted something like option 2 for books 5 and 6, and found that to be much more challenging and enjoyable. But we also found that combat can take forever -- don't be surprised if you find yourself needing to spend more than one session to get through a fight.

This is good start to the AP, with an epic event to kick things off, a number of interesting NPCs to roleplay with, and a decent dungeon crawl to work through.

--Fun of playing this leg of the AP, as written: 4.5/5
--Fun of the story of this leg of the AP: 4.5/5
--Total score: 4.5/5 (rounded up).


A Solid Foundation for the Entire Campaign

5/5

The Worldwound Incursion is an extremely good start to an epic campaign. This module of the Adventure Path builds a solid foundation on which the rest of the campaign rests.

The start of the module effectively not only shows what is at stake in the campaign and what will happen if the PCs fail, it also manages to build solid relationships with many of those who will be the PCs' closest allies as the campaign progresses. The NPCs have clear, strong and differing personalities which together with their background stories make for believable and likeable (or at least entertaining) NPCs.

Furthermore the AP manages to shine a light on not only the physical corruption demonic taint brings to mortals and nature itself, but also shows how the corruption of crusaders, mercenaries and in general fallible mortals slowly destroys the very nature of the crusades and crushes all hope of victory.

Add that the story is brilliant, the combats appropriately challenging and the rewards are very good as well, and the module offers plenty of good roleplaying opportunities, whether one prefers the more serious, the over the top and funny (with a touch of the dramatic) or a mixture of both.

The only negative I can add is that for any moderately competent group the mythic rules being introduced in the end pose quite a challenge for the GM in future modules. Mythic is overpowered, there is no way around it, and in my group even the suggested alternative stat increases make for too strong a party if one wants to play the entire AP exactly as written. As the campaign has progressed I've needed to increase the CR considerably to keep combats challenging (or just at a point where they drain PC resources), but luckily the Paizo forums have an amazing reworking of higher ranking enemies/allies/neutrals. Personally I find that those reworked stats and the stronger enemies being allowed to use mythic while the PCs aren't makes for an appropriate challenge, but it would depend a lot on how experienced the players are.

All in all The Worldwound Incursion is a brilliant start to a very, very good campaign, although later modules do need a bit more mechanical tweaks from the GM's side than the average AP. The help found on Paizo's forums helps a lot in this regard though.


Excellent Start

5/5

My group and I finished this book yesterday after playing nine sessions roughly averaging 3 ½ hours a pop. We play online with 6 players.

Story: The story is great. Starts off with the big bad guys making a powerful statement. This gives the GM a chance to play up that the demons are no joke and over the course of the book, the descriptions emphasize just how rotten they can be. The writers rarely miss a chance to speak to their taste in graffiti, vandalism of statues and desecration of monuments. The story really falls into two parts, the first one isolates the PCs from the larger events but that works great to force them to build as a team, the later part of the story opens up the scene to allow the players to explore the destruction and claim some victories. I liked how that worked out

Role-Play: This was also really well integrated into the story. The book has some NPCs thrust upon the PCs right off the bat. They are all well flushed out and easy to adapt and challenge the PCs to interact and help them find their voices with these brand new characters. Later on there are more interesting NPCs presented to the PCs each of them also well flushed out with clear goals and easy personalities to interpret. Also, the story has a number of decision points that should challenge members of the party to consider their own motivations and cooperate and negotiate upon those ideas.

Combat Encounters: These were mostly good. I had to modify a little bit here and there given the size of my group and emphasis upon them to build powerful characters. My intention being to run this without mythic rules means I will frequently be forced to modify encounters so this did not bother me. If it were a standard 4 person party, I think a good amount of the encounters would be challenging.

Extras: The maps of the underground could have been a bit more interesting. As it is they look pretty generic. The maps of the city however are very compelling visually. Give you a really good sense of the damage that was done. Additionally the introduction to Kenabres allows you to set up some stuff before the events of the AP kick off, so if you feel like you need to invest your players into the city more, there is ample material to do so. The monsters at the back are also good. Mostly they flush out the ranks of the demons giving multiple options across all CRs.

Overall: Great start to the AP. I’ve noticed some complaints of this being too railroady, but I don’t think so. In fact there is a large portion of the second half of the AP which asks the PCs to explore the ruins of Kenabres. A GM could easily add or subtract encounters into this portion as he wants. So the characters have room to develop, the plot sets the stakes really high and invests the PCs into the books to come.


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Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Grayn,
The focus of this thread is. In the adventure itself, I don't think you vcan really say that. Both have their own personalities. However, they do mention their 'wife' a lot, just like any other couple in strained circumstances would be worried about how their partner was doing. I really don't think the adventure emphasies things anywhere near as much as the posts on this thread, including mine, might lead you to believe.

Paizo Employee Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd like to request everyone stop sniping at each other and taking this thread off topic by delving too deeply into real world stuff. There are threads other than the product discussion thread to do that. (Well, not the sniping, that's not cool anywhere.)

Thank you. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey everyone, I ran chapter 1 on saturday and we're just getting to the start of chapter 2. So far it has been smooth sailing. My only complaint is that I found all of the fights in part one to be pretty easy and not all that challenging. Granted, the characters are feeling out how combat works and the group dynamic but most fights were whack, splat, done.

Grand Lodge

Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Hey everyone, I ran chapter 1 on saturday and we're just getting to the start of chapter 2. So far it has been smooth sailing. My only complaint is that I found all of the fights in part one to be pretty easy and not all that challenging. Granted, the characters are feeling out how combat works and the group dynamic but most fights were whack, splat, done.

I think in general encounters tend to be more forgiving before level 3 because there's not nearly as much of a cushion for a PC to take a heavy hit and come back. Generally speaking, once healing magic becomes available that can heal a PC back a couple dice at a time, it's a lot easier.

Project Manager

5 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread is about Pathfinder #73. Please keep the discussion on topic. I'm removing a bunch of posts that have gone off-topic and gotten contentious. I've never seen comments along the lines of "you're just looking for reasons to be offended" do anything positive for a thread or a community; please consider less inflammatory/intrusive ways to express disagreement.

We all have differing levels of exposure to and familiarity with different cultures, life experiences, etc. Please be patient with those who might say something offensive out of inexperience rather than malice. No one's obligated to be anyone's teachable moment, but if you're going to try to explain to someone whose intentions don't seem malicious why what they said is hurtful, please do so in a civil manner.

If you have more general questions about LGBT experiences, issues, etc. you might want to go ask in the LGBT Gamer Community thread. Remember when going there, however, that that thread is primarily a social/supportive thread for LGBT gamers, so please be respectful.

If you want to discuss the intersection of LGBT issues with contemporary society, politics, etc. please do so in the Off-Topic forums.

If you want to have a general discussion of treatment of LGBT characters/issues/etc. in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, beyond the more narrow scope of this particular AP volume, please do so in the Homosexuality in Golarion thread.

In short, if it's not a discussion directly related to Pathfinder #73, it doesn't belong in this thread. Thanks!

EDIT: Chris beat me to it with the post cleanup. :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Hey everyone, I ran chapter 1 on saturday and we're just getting to the start of chapter 2. So far it has been smooth sailing. My only complaint is that I found all of the fights in part one to be pretty easy and not all that challenging. Granted, the characters are feeling out how combat works and the group dynamic but most fights were whack, splat, done.

Don't worry there... the initial encounters in the adventure are designed to be relatively easy on purpose... especially with the addition of three helper NPCs. That said, if you're finding that the encounters aren't getting tough enough quickly enough... feel free to add a few more foes to the fights as you go until you reach a point that feels right.

(Remember, the APs are designed for 4 players with 15 point buy stats... if you have more players or better stats, then things will be correspondingly easy and you may need to adjust encounters at your end as the GM as necessary.)


I think that's my problem James in a nut shell. We went, foolishly, with a higher point build and one additional player. I tried compensating by adding addition enemies here and there but they still plowed. In a way the first part helped me gauge how much to throw at them but my big concern is later on when they hit uber status and start getting up in levels. I'm worried I might over compensate and the whole thing ends in a TPK.


I still don't have my paper copy yet and I don't wanna peruse the PDF until I've gotten the physical one. Just something about holding a real ink-and-paper volume! I'm really hoping it gets here tomorrow; I've never had an AP volume take more than 7 days to get to me and tomorrow will make 14.

Grand Lodge

Phillip0614 wrote:
I still don't have my paper copy yet and I don't wanna peruse the PDF until I've gotten the physical one. Just something about holding a real ink-and-paper volume! I'm really hoping it gets here tomorrow; I've never had an AP volume take more than 7 days to get to me and tomorrow will make 14.

I don't have my paper copy yet either, and I'm somewhere around 14 too. I suspect Gen Con messed things up a bit.


Looks like mine should arrive tomorrow-ish.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just finished reading the adventure and I liked it so far, even if I‘m still a little concerned how the implementation of the traits will work out. I thought it was a good start to the campaign. I do have a concern about the devotion points in it. While I think they are a good concept I'm not sure how well some of them can be implemented in the context of how they are supposed to be earned.

Considering the circumstances they are being earned in with a very dangerous situation going down, evil people that need to be stopped, and the characters being on the clock to the point calamity could be imminent from their point of view even if they don't know exactly how much time they have, some of the events needed to earn devotion points felt like the equivalent of having a SWAT team stop in a middle of a very serious and dangerous life threatening raid to reorganize a home's bookshelves when there are very bad guys a few rooms away.

There also didn't seem like too much time for those to be earned afterwards, and even if they could I could see them being accidentally glossed over at the end of the adventure by the party without the GM purposely hinting at what they should do to the point of being obvious.

Even very good aligned characters could make a case that some of them don't seem to reasonable at that moment under the circumstances even if they feel bad by what has happened and otherwise would stop to put right some of the previous events.

I guess I would have liked more guidance on how to show to the players some of the things needed to earn devotion points were important, even important enough to stop in the middle of what was already happening to do them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

One thing that folks might be missing regarding the devotion point thing—

Spoiler:
you don't HAVE to do these things all at the same time while you're doing your initial attack on the garrison. The effects don't come into play until you rest after the destruction of the wardstone. You can finish the final encounter and then take the rest of the day to earn some more devotion points... and you don't HAVE to do every single thing. The final award for 10 or more points is pretty big... but that's the point—if you DO take time during the assault to do things like clean up shrines and the like, you're going above and beyond, and thus gain a better reward.

Only earning 1 devotion point is NOT a failure, in other words.

If your players aren't used to being rewarded for roleplaying decisions like many of the devotion points award, when you start the last part of the adventure, feel free to have an Iomedan PC (or even Irabeth) have a dream the night before where they realize that there's a chance to start turning back some of the evil the demons have wrought on the world by reclaiming the Gray Garrison from its vandals.

Sovereign Court

Phillip0614 wrote:
I still don't have my paper copy yet and I don't wanna peruse the PDF until I've gotten the physical one. Just something about holding a real ink-and-paper volume! I'm really hoping it gets here tomorrow; I've never had an AP volume take more than 7 days to get to me and tomorrow will make 14.

Same here. The 27th marks 14 days since "shipment" and I am about to start using Miniature Market. They've already saved me $15 on a pack of minis and the combat pad and I got my stuff on the 4th day.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DonKeebals wrote:
Phillip0614 wrote:
I still don't have my paper copy yet and I don't wanna peruse the PDF until I've gotten the physical one. Just something about holding a real ink-and-paper volume! I'm really hoping it gets here tomorrow; I've never had an AP volume take more than 7 days to get to me and tomorrow will make 14.
Same here. The 27th marks 14 days since "shipment" and I am about to start using Miniature Market. They've already saved me $15 on a pack of minis and the combat pad and I got my stuff on the 4th day.

I bought S&S through Miniature Market. Free UPS shipping and I had my minis the Friday of GenCon.

Sovereign Court

Skeld wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
Phillip0614 wrote:
I still don't have my paper copy yet and I don't wanna peruse the PDF until I've gotten the physical one. Just something about holding a real ink-and-paper volume! I'm really hoping it gets here tomorrow; I've never had an AP volume take more than 7 days to get to me and tomorrow will make 14.
Same here. The 27th marks 14 days since "shipment" and I am about to start using Miniature Market. They've already saved me $15 on a pack of minis and the combat pad and I got my stuff on the 4th day.
I bought S&S through Miniature Market. Free UPS shipping and I had my minis the Friday of GenCon.

::Heavy sigh:: Unfortunately I just heard about them last week.

Shadow Lodge

Im really considering running a lot of this with a sort of Silent Hill motiff and theme. I thought about switching up the intro slightly and having the party arrive in town, and explore a little bit, maybe change the church scene a little to be more of a combination of a rememberance for a great victory as well as possibly a ritual to envigorate he Wardstone when, at first they might notice small curruptions in reality. Small bits of the Abyss seeping in, but nothing massive and always temporary. Later on, I want to give them a chance to explore and meet nameless NPCs but not too much. Not to be comfortable. Instead of having a straight up invasion (yet), was thinking that people might start to become infected by the Abyss, literally turning into monsters and demons. The initial conflict would be about the city, in a small capacity, beginning to destroy itself, unsure what is causing this to happen, unsure to to protect against it, and leading them to believe have the wrong idea where this is going.

After a short mini adventure of this, he world, or at least small pockets of the city begin to literally become the Abyss. For a few minutes to an hour or so at a tike, random locations will shift, becoming hellish versions of themselves, causing the locals to panic, and beginning to cause many of the knightly factions to distrust each other, each having different plans and theories on the cause.

I was thinking of then having the dragon, still having issues with her curse finally come down to plan to set things straight, when the real demons show up, and kicking things off along the lines of the AP. Instead of watching the battle, the Silent Hill affect kicks in, and the party "wakes up" in the darkness below. Above they can hear distant screams of alaughter and torment, occasionally battle, but it doesnt last long and who wins or what happened is not clear. Plan to really play this up, along with other things that I hope will try to make the characters feel hope slipping away, and believe they are actually in the Abyss. More classic Abyss than the Worldwound version for now. Finally finding light, they will discover over time the other survivors, and continue along the basic plot from there.

It ahould give a very different twist to various parts like the encounters with the Mongrelmen, and I hope to set up a foundation early of playing with the characters a bit, unsure if they are hallucinating or seeing the truth they shouldnt inseeing demons and monsters everywhere.

Thoughts?


I am still rocking out the good old "pending". I was suppose to start the game tonight. Pretty bumbed. It is not often that I am wanting to throw my money at a company and they don't take it. I got the subscription thinking it would be easier... Well maybe not...

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

As a GM, I can always tailor the setting or adventure to be more reflective of what myself and my group want. So putting things in an adventure that I may not be comfortable with either it's guns or social issues can always be altered. Paizo doesn't have final say on my Golarion.

As it stands though, we're all pretty excited about Anevia and Irabeth. Mendev is a place that seems to look past service records, prior loyalties, race, birth place, orientation, and station to ask the same question. Will they help us kill the enemy? It's about overcoming differences to defeat evil. In the face of overwhelming destruction it's the only stance that can be adopted without failure.

It makes sense to me.


Beck's_Crusaders wrote:
I am still rocking out the good old "pending". I was suppose to start the game tonight. Pretty bumbed. It is not often that I am wanting to throw my money at a company and they don't take it. I got the subscription thinking it would be easier... Well maybe not...

Yeah that's my status as well. I subscribed August 12, and I still don't even have tracking information on my package. On the other hand the bundle of five (5!) products I ordered one week ago is set to arrive today. Weird.

Shadow Lodge

Its also a place where the natives are really getting tired of the foreigners and both the various crusader factions and the everpresent Abyssal foes are actively looking for forms of corruption and issues, either to weed out or to plant seeds to grow.

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