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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RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

spectrevk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what the "hook" is for this AP. We had the Pirate AP, the "return to Varisia" AP, the dark fairy-tale AP, and now...the giant demon war AP? Is there something I'm missing here?

Have you somehow overlooked the gaping Worldwound where this demon war has been ongoing through four separate crusades spanning centuries in the Golarion campaign setting? The "hook" for this AP should fall right in line with fighting the good fight for the sake of doing something good for the world.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
spectrevk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what the "hook" is for this AP. We had the Pirate AP, the "return to Varisia" AP, the dark fairy-tale AP, and now...the giant demon war AP? Is there something I'm missing here?

There's a couple hooks:

1) The mythic adventure path.

2) The big demon themed AP.

3) The "great choice for paladins and other good guys" AP.

4) The Big War AP.

Also, an AP set in the Worldwound has been the #1 request for an AP for a few years, so there's that too.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, the Worldwound has SO screamed out for an AP!

Webstore Gninja Minion

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Christina Stiles wrote:
Yes, the Worldwound has SO screamed out for an AP!

Screaming for Vengeance, even.


The synopsis for part one sounds familiar. After a bit of thought I realized why - it sounds at least superficially like the plot of The Demon Within, which I expect is long out of print.
Intentional overlap?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what the "hook" is for this AP. We had the Pirate AP, the "return to Varisia" AP, the dark fairy-tale AP, and now...the giant demon war AP? Is there something I'm missing here?

There's a couple hooks:

1) The mythic adventure path.

2) The big demon themed AP.

3) The "great choice for paladins and other good guys" AP.

4) The Big War AP.

Also, an AP set in the Worldwound has been the #1 request for an AP for a few years, so there's that too.

Okay, that definitely answers my question. Thanks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Serendipity wrote:

The synopsis for part one sounds familiar. After a bit of thought I realized why - it sounds at least superficially like the plot of The Demon Within, which I expect is long out of print.

Intentional overlap?

The first installment of Wrath of the Righteous actually assumes the events of "The Demon Within" took place a few years ago, in fact. There's also a fair bit of ret-con going on—"The Demon Within" made a few mis-steps in how it represented the Worldwound and the wardstones, alas (such as by setting it up so that no teleportaiton works at all in the Worldwound—that's too restrictive and un-fun).

"The Demon Within" is not out of print, in any case.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Serendipity wrote:

The synopsis for part one sounds familiar. After a bit of thought I realized why - it sounds at least superficially like the plot of The Demon Within, which I expect is long out of print.

Intentional overlap?
The first installment of Wrath of the Righteous actually assumes the events of "The Demon Within" took place a few years ago, in fact.

D'oh! I forgot all about that module. I'll have to re-read that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm already looking forward giving my players a cut scene-like introduction by paraphrasing Demon Within to them. I really liked the atmosphere of that module!

Ruyan.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Christina Stiles wrote:
Yes, the Worldwound has SO screamed out for an AP!
Screaming for Vengeance, even.

Or...that may just be the screaming sound of crusaders being torn limb from limb by demons on the battlefield. YMMV, of course. ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Neil Spicer wrote:
Or...that may just be the screaming sound of crusaders being torn limb from limb by demons on the battlefield. YMMV, of course. ;-)

Either way there's screaming involved. And in the end isn't that all that truly matters?

-Kcinlive


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Along the lines of "there is no such thing as bad PR", I assume.

Ruyan.


So... many... potential... characters... in... head... for... this! Aaaggghhh!!!


Will there be options to use Mythic Rules in future/past AP's? I know a lot of people who did CC were annoyed that they didn't get to face off against the Whispering Tyrant.

Maybe a section in the Appendixes, after the main adventure (Mythic isn't for everyone after all!)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mirrel the Marvelous wrote:

Will there be options to use Mythic Rules in future/past AP's? I know a lot of people who did CC were annoyed that they didn't get to face off against the Whispering Tyrant.

Maybe a section in the Appendixes, after the main adventure (Mythic isn't for everyone after all!)

We don't intend to "redo" any previous APs as Mythic Adventures but you can certainly play mythic PCs in them. One interesting option would be to play an AP with only 1 or 2 characters who were mythic. Alternatively, the GM could power up an AP on their own to challenge mythic PCs.

But if we're going to do a mythic adventure or Adventure Path, we'll go all out with it as we are with Wrath of the Righteous.


I really meant at the end of each AP, in "Continuing the Adventure" part of the appendices, where often you state that there may be an "Even Bigger BBEG!" That part could well be in the scope for Mythic PC's.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Continuing the Adventure section is a good place for mythic elements to show up now and then, and I suspect they'll even show up here and there in the adventures themselves... but it's not gonna be an all the time thing.

Furthermore, note every CR 26 or higher monster is technically Mythic.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the fiction portion to this AP a sequel of sorts to Robin D. Laws' book "The Worldwound Gambit" or is it an entirely different story with new characters?

I for one would like to see the further adventures of Gad and Vitta.

Reminds me to go review the above mentioned book...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

dot


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oi, Mikaze. Saw this pop up on my Facebook feed and thought of you.

Irabeth.

Silver Crusade

Foghammer wrote:

Oi, Mikaze. Saw this pop up on my Facebook feed and thought of you.

Irabeth.

Just got pointed to this. Thanks! I really needed to see this right now. :)

This has me wanting to play Wrath of the Righteous ASAP that much more now. I really hope WAR is selling prints at this year's GenCon. :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
spectrevk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what the "hook" is for this AP. We had the Pirate AP, the "return to Varisia" AP, the dark fairy-tale AP, and now...the giant demon war AP? Is there something I'm missing here?

er... demons are bad?

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
mikeawmids wrote:
spectrevk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand what the "hook" is for this AP. We had the Pirate AP, the "return to Varisia" AP, the dark fairy-tale AP, and now...the giant demon war AP? Is there something I'm missing here?
er... demons are bad?

"Man, @#$% demons" should be a campaign trait.


Will buy the first one at least.
I'm a sucker for seige scenarios.
It's one of my favorite tropes.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Updated product with final cover and description.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow! Hot 1/2 Orc FTW!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

cover

:)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh snap, an Amber E. Scott adventure.

*hands Mikaze the bucket* There M, it's no shame to yield to an instinct.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I kinda expected Mikaze to be bouncing off the ceiling in excitement. This seems understated. :p


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Nice color scheme :)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@ Gorbacz & magnuskn: Trust me, that post doesn't even convey a tenth of the feels I'm having right now. :)

Now for the hard part...not visiting WotR threads any more until I've played it. I really want to read this one, but I also really want to play it even more. This is going to be tough.


Will there only be demons in the Bestiary? Or will these AP's also have other creatures from real-world mythology that are called demons by real-life humans? Like Bauk, Mahaha and Asag?

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There will be at least two demons in each volume. The other monsters will be our usual mix.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Adam Daigle wrote:
There will be at least two demons in each volume. The other monsters will be our usual mix.

That's 12 new demons from this AP, plus new ones from the Worldwound Campaign setting book, and new demon options from Demons Revisited.

The options for demons for homebrew and future adventures are going to be quite robust. That's a diverse mix of style, CR, and role.


Jim Groves wrote:
That's 12 new demons from this AP, plus new ones from the Worldwound Campaign setting book, and new demon options from Demons Revisited.

Gotta love it. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

And by at least 2 new demons per volume, he means at least one new demon and one demon lord. ;-P

Paizo Employee Developer

I was being cagey. :)


Wow, I wish the good, law, chaos, and some of the other evil(Azura, Oni, Qlippoths, and Rakshasa) outsiders got at least half as much love as demons are getting this year.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
Wow, I wish the good, law, chaos, and some of the other evil(Azura, Oni, Qlippoths, and Rakshasa) outsiders got at least half as much love as demons are getting this year.

If we do an Adventure Path where those types of creatures featured as prominently, we would do so. This is hardly new though—we did a lot of divs during Legacy of Fire, for example, and a lot of devils during Council of thieves.


Oni got a lot of love too in Jade Regent.


I'm thinking this AP will make a subscriber out of me - I can't wait.

I loved the menacing threat of Iuz in the Greyhawk setting, so I fell in love with the Worldwound from the first time I read of it.

Also, I'm a big fan of (Mr. Jacobs' list of hooks):
1) The mythic adventure path.
2) The big demon themed AP.
3) The "great choice for paladins and other good guys" AP.
4) The Big War AP.

"I used to bull's-eye Iuz-rats in my T-16 back home...but some of them are much bigger than 2 meters!" (sorry to mix genres)

I can't wait! Er, did I say that already?


Ohh I forgot the demon lords, not a huge fan of those, so my collection of monsters will only grow with 3 in each volume, as most of these books will have 4 monsters, well 3 monsters and 1 unique creature/lord.

Well I said that badly, I'm a fan of demon lords, just not in bestiaries. :-p

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Sincubus wrote:

Ohh I forgot the demon lords, not a huge fan of those, so my collection of monsters will only grow with 3 in each volume, as most of these books will have 4 monsters, well 3 monsters and 1 unique creature/lord.

Well I said that badly, I'm a fan of demon lords, just not in bestiaries. :-p

Even if...

Spoiler:
... half of those demon lord stats are in the book because the PCs actually encounter those demon lords?

Shadow Lodge

Hedgehog wrote:
I loved the menacing threat of Iuz ..

Ooh, I look forward to saying, "I spit on the Old One" again...

Do we have a Golarion-based bastard of a half-demon we can apply this salutation to?

(Yes, this is me inviting suggestions)


James Jacobs wrote:
Sincubus wrote:

Ohh I forgot the demon lords, not a huge fan of those, so my collection of monsters will only grow with 3 in each volume, as most of these books will have 4 monsters, well 3 monsters and 1 unique creature/lord.

Well I said that badly, I'm a fan of demon lords, just not in bestiaries. :-p

Even if...

** spoiler omitted **

spoiler:
But most of the new AP's have this part where the main villians and human characters are discribed, why the demon lords didn't suit in that part?.

I love the cover!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sincubus wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Sincubus wrote:

Ohh I forgot the demon lords, not a huge fan of those, so my collection of monsters will only grow with 3 in each volume, as most of these books will have 4 monsters, well 3 monsters and 1 unique creature/lord.

Well I said that badly, I'm a fan of demon lords, just not in bestiaries. :-p

Even if...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
But most of the new AP's have this part where the main villians and human characters are discribed, why the demon lords didn't suit in that part?.

Because...

Spoiler:
... those adventures still have NPCs described, and by having the demon lords take up a new monster slot in the Bestiary, we can save 2 pages for adventure content, since if we move the demon lord out of the Bestiary we'd have to replace that slot with another monster anyway, due to our commitment to never go below 4 new monsters per volume.

And because the demon lords ARE new monsters. The characters we put in the NPC Gallery at the end of the adventure are generally not new monsters, but unique characters with class levels and/or more HD than normal.


I can hardly wait for this to come out!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wait a sec... Is this the first half-orc to be featured on an Adventure Path cover (as in, the front figure; not in the background).

And a righteous demon-slaying one at that?

:D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mechalibur wrote:

Wait a sec... Is this the first half-orc to be featured on an Adventure Path cover (as in, the front figure; not in the background).

And a righteous demon-slaying one at that?

:D

Given that unlike the CRB Iconics, none of the APG Iconics were ever featured on AP covers, I do believe you are correct!

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