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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This seems like it'll be a pretty fun AP.

Maybe I'll join as a Cleric of Deskari. What could possibly go wrong?


Is this coming out before, after, or the same time as the mythic book?


Same time (at Gencon).

The Exchange

OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE the half-orc on the cover! Also <3 the demon beating up the dragon in the background.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It just occurred to me the there is a picture of a balor fighting a silver dragon on the cover of a FIRST LEVEL ADVENTURE.

This should be fun.. 0_0


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Great events cast long shadows.


Will subscribers get their digital copy of the AP prior to Gen Con?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Will subscribers get their digital copy of the AP prior to Gen Con?

Subscribers are receiving their PDFs this week.


Joseph Wilson wrote:
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Will subscribers get their digital copy of the AP prior to Gen Con?
Subscribers are receiving their PDFs this week.

for the WW Incursion?


Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Joseph Wilson wrote:
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Will subscribers get their digital copy of the AP prior to Gen Con?
Subscribers are receiving their PDFs this week.
for the WW Incursion?

No, we're getting Book 6 of RoW this week.


That I knew. I don't know why Joseph thought I was asking about that AP when this whole post is dedicated to WotR but I suspect drunken shenanigans are involved.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
That I knew. I don't know why Joseph thought I was asking about that AP when this whole post is dedicated to WotR but I suspect drunken shenanigans are involved.

Because I'm an idiot. :-P


I was just wondering if a player's guide will be released for this AP, and if so when will it be available?

Don't worry - just found an answer in a thread about it. Hopefully the week before GenCon, so less than 2 weeks. Great, can't wait for it!!

Sovereign Court

I know that demons are evil, as do my characters, but I'm still hoping that we'll meet some lovely townsfolk and suchlike so that we have a real touchstone for caring about stuff.

Like how RotRL and CotCT let you build great relationships, compared with the odious elves of Second Darkness.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Is there any intent to have the Wrath of the Righteous AP produce chronicle sheets for players in Pathfinder Society?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

I know that demons are evil, as do my characters, but I'm still hoping that we'll meet some lovely townsfolk and suchlike so that we have a real touchstone for caring about stuff.

Like how RotRL and CotCT let you build great relationships [...]

So we can kill them heinously like in GoT? Count me in.

Ruyan.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:

I know that demons are evil, as do my characters, but I'm still hoping that we'll meet some lovely townsfolk and suchlike so that we have a real touchstone for caring about stuff.

Like how RotRL and CotCT let you build great relationships, compared with the odious elves of Second Darkness.

Recurring NPCs, both allies and enemies, and allies who become enemies, and enemies who become allies, who can play a role in every adventure are an important part of Wrath of the Righteous.

We try to include cool roleplaying encounters and memorable NPCs in ALL of our adventure paths—the fact that you regard the elves of Second Darkness as "odious" is not much more than an error on our part during the writing and development, since this was NEVER the intention.

In any event, there's more NPC stuff going on in Wrath than any previous AP, with the possible exception of Savage Tide.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
In any event, there's more NPC stuff going on in Wrath than any previous AP, with the possible exception of Savage Tide.

This is quite an exciting prospect!


If I start subscribing to the AP today, will I get access to the PDF earlier than August 15 as well?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

I know that demons are evil, as do my characters, but I'm still hoping that we'll meet some lovely townsfolk and suchlike so that we have a real touchstone for caring about stuff.

Like how RotRL and CotCT let you build great relationships, compared with the odious elves of Second Darkness.

Recurring NPCs, both allies and enemies, and allies who become enemies, and enemies who become allies, who can play a role in every adventure are an important part of Wrath of the Righteous.

We try to include cool roleplaying encounters and memorable NPCs in ALL of our adventure paths—the fact that you regard the elves of Second Darkness as "odious" is not much more than an error on our part during the writing and development, since this was NEVER the intention.

In any event, there's more NPC stuff going on in Wrath than any previous AP, with the possible exception of Savage Tide.

Thank you for listening to our feedback, James. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
If I start subscribing to the AP today, will I get access to the PDF earlier than August 15 as well?

If the official release date is the 15th, you normally should have it one week before that. I don't know if the GenCon release is an exception, though.


magnuskn wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
If I start subscribing to the AP today, will I get access to the PDF earlier than August 15 as well?
If the official release date is the 15th, you normally should have it one week before that. I don't know if the GenCon release is an exception, though.

Alright, so it sounds like I'd get the PDF early if I simply begin my subscription before it is sent out the subscribers, yes?

Someone above mentioned the PDF getting to the subscribers this week. *goes and subscribes*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
If I start subscribing to the AP today, will I get access to the PDF earlier than August 15 as well?
If the official release date is the 15th, you normally should have it one week before that. I don't know if the GenCon release is an exception, though.

Alright, so it sounds like I'd get the PDF early if I simply begin my subscription before it is sent out the subscribers, yes?

Someone above mentioned the PDF getting to the subscribers this week. *goes and subscribes*

Yeah, I would recommend that you suscribe early, so that your order can be processed well ahead before they start shipping out the modules.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
If I start subscribing to the AP today, will I get access to the PDF earlier than August 15 as well?

Strongly suggest you read THIS short thread on August subscriptions by Sara Marie.

-- david


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, I suspected as much that GenCon could upset the normal shipping schedule. Thanks for the link!

Oh, well, there goes my dream of getting the PDF of the first Wrath of the Righteous module somewhen next week. ^^

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

I know that demons are evil, as do my characters, but I'm still hoping that we'll meet some lovely townsfolk and suchlike so that we have a real touchstone for caring about stuff.

Like how RotRL and CotCT let you build great relationships, compared with the odious elves of Second Darkness.

Recurring NPCs, both allies and enemies, and allies who become enemies, and enemies who become allies, who can play a role in every adventure are an important part of Wrath of the Righteous.

We try to include cool roleplaying encounters and memorable NPCs in ALL of our adventure paths—the fact that you regard the elves of Second Darkness as "odious" is not much more than an error on our part during the writing and development, since this was NEVER the intention.

In any event, there's more NPC stuff going on in Wrath than any previous AP, with the possible exception of Savage Tide.

Awesome.

To be honest, I just found the elves a bit ignoble and unsympathetic but it seems that some people on these boards really didn't like them. I was trying to reflect a broader view than just my own, plus some hyperbole for stronger contrast, probably... Yeah, odious was a little strong.

I am thrilled that the demon-slaying-heroes AP will also have that engaging NPC interaction.

Liberty's Edge

Here is a question ...

Beyond paladins, which clearly will be vey at home in this AP, are there any other classes that are particularly well suited? Any that will find it overly difficult?

If possible, I'm ideally hoping for more than a 'all classes will be equally happy in this AP' answer :)

Paizo Employee Developer

I can't think of one class that would be bad for this AP. This is a big demon fight, so consider that in character creation. Characters that want to be well-suited to the campaign should understand that they will fight a fair amount of chaotic evil creatures (many of which will be outsiders with the demon subtype). This is something GMs should bring up with their players beforehand. For the most part, a PC doesn't just stumble upon the Worldwound. They should know why they headed to the front lines.


Sounds like a good excuse to pull out that Wizard/Magaambyan Arcanist/Riftwarden build I was playing with a few months back.

Paizo Employee Developer

Sounds good!


I'm aiming for a LN Cleric/Unholy Vindicator of Asmodeus myself, and go with a Law vs Chaos sort of feeling. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I can't wait for this book. I haven't been as excited about an adventure path since Rise of the Runelords.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Sounds good!

While on that topic, given the Riftwarden opposition to the Blackfire Adepts, and the presence, IIRC, of a Blackfire Adept leader as one of the AP bosses, might there be any Riftwarden support in particular in the AP, or support for the Blackfire Adepts?


Is it mid-august already? please?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

When is the Player's Guide going to be released? I've never paid attention to the release schedules on these before, but this one is exceptionally intriguing to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Riftwardens AND the Blackfire Adepts play a part in this campaign. In fact, one of the six campaign traits is one where you're the child of a pair of Riftwardens.

And the Player's Guide will likely be ready close to Gen Con, day 1. Maybe a few days before that. So, some time next week if all goes well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

The Riftwardens AND the Blackfire Adepts play a part in this campaign. In fact, one of the six campaign traits is one where you're the child of a pair of Riftwardens.

And the Player's Guide will likely be ready close to Gen Con, day 1. Maybe a few days before that. So, some time next week if all goes well.

Oh, so late this week at the soonest? Damn, I was looking forward to reading it in the first half. Oh, well, I can wait for a GRRM novel, I can wait for this. ^^

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Paizo are so darn devious to couple so many awesome things (AP about worldwound, with most NPCs since Savage Tide [fond memories!], Riftwardens and Balckfire adepts, James Jacobs writing one of the adventures...) with the debut AP using the mythic rules. Makes this a must have just for the reading experience, even if I'm 99% sure I will run every single other, non mythic AP I have before I run this one...


Odd question but how many of these NPCs are written in such a way as to make good romantic interests in the game?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Odd question but how many of these NPCs are written in such a way as to make good romantic interests in the game?

.

Depends on your idea of 'Romantic Interest'

::waggles eyebrows::


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The non-soul devouring kind I guess.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The Riftwardens AND the Blackfire Adepts play a part in this campaign. In fact, one of the six campaign traits is one where you're the child of a pair of Riftwardens.

And the Player's Guide will likely be ready close to Gen Con, day 1. Maybe a few days before that. So, some time next week if all goes well.

Oh, so late this week at the soonest? Damn, I was looking forward to reading it in the first half. Oh, well, I can wait for a GRRM novel, I can wait for this. ^^

This week is VERY unlikely. Not impossible, I guess, but close enough. We've got a lot more stuff to handle this week...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Odd question but how many of these NPCs are written in such a way as to make good romantic interests in the game?

We don't dwell on the possibility of romance too much, and some of the allied NPCs are already married to or involved with each other, but romantic interests with PCs is absolutely a possibility with some of them. Or with all of them, depending on how things work out!

But it's not "built-in" to the adventure, really. With the exception of perhaps one of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, well. Next week, then. Hopefully early. :D

Paizo Employee Developer

magnuskn wrote:
Oh, well. Next week, then. Hopefully early. :D

That's my goal! :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

For folks who are interested, I can confirm I just saw Adam lugging around a laid-out printout of the Wrath Player's Guide.

It's currently got a lot of placeholder text leftover from a previous adventure cluttering its credits page, though, so it's gonna be a few days till it finishes going through its editorial passes and gets all in ship-shape.


Any chance to get a general gist of the six traits since they're hardwired into the campaign? Not the bonuses or any crunch but the tasty, tasty fluff! We've got characters that are sitting in Limbo right now, waiting for their reason to be here.

THEIR REASON!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ThatEvilGuy wrote:

Any chance to get a general gist of the six traits since they're hardwired into the campaign? Not the bonuses or any crunch but the tasty, tasty fluff! We've got characters that are sitting in Limbo right now, waiting for their reason to be here.

THEIR REASON!!!

We're likely less than a week away from the guide being available. I'd rather build anticipation than spoil the surprise at this point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
ThatEvilGuy wrote:

Any chance to get a general gist of the six traits since they're hardwired into the campaign? Not the bonuses or any crunch but the tasty, tasty fluff! We've got characters that are sitting in Limbo right now, waiting for their reason to be here.

THEIR REASON!!!

We're likely less than a week away from the guide being available. I'd rather build anticipation than spoil the surprise at this point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v16KFXa2njo


Is the artstyle in this demon AP still the same as before? Or is it like the Carrion Crown full of different art-style pictures?

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