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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It kicks off with an earthquake...

5/5

Disclaimer: I'll likely never run WotR due to its' premise being utterly incompatible with my gaming group (good guys, blergh). So, my emotional investment in this AP is close to zero (unlike, say, Reign of Winter). That being said...

You remember Burnt Offerings? How it opened with a bang of a goblin raid on a sleepy coast town? Well, this is similar, except those aren't goblins, those a demon hordes led by a big bad Balor, and instead of getting walked over by a bunch of level 1 adventurers, the Balor <SPOILER> the <SPOILER> and then <SPOILER> in the <SPOILER>. Yeah, that's what he does.

Apparently, this AP is mythic not only in the "uses mythic splatbook" sense, but also it literally turns up everything to eleven.

And how.

There's some dungeon crawling, cool NPCs, really really quick connection to the AP metaplot (Paizo's getting better at this with every year, anybody remember RotRL's "do random stuff for 2/3 of the campaign until you get any major idea of what's going on?"), and if every next authors turns things up ... Sir Pett's gonna have a wild ride in episode 6.

Additionally, Amber Scott is an adorable writer, and apparently writes adventures just as evocative and snappy like here Chronicles of the Righteous were.

Now, somebody send me 4 players who resonate with ideas of "altruism", "selflessness" and "purity". Please?


Gets the Hooks In

5/5

To my mind, the first adventure of a path lives or dies by its ability to hook the players into the path's plot. Well, this one is certainly a doozy.

There's a lot of good variety in the encounters here, along with some interesting NPCs to love and hate. The inner covers, dedicated to stories or locations in previous paths, promise to show the cast of NPCs and what they might be up to each adventure. I'm really excited to see how that turns out.

Another awesome feature is a bit at the end of the adventure talking about how the different traits from the players' guide change under the effects of the adventure and inform the path going forward.

If I could bump the review up to 5.5, I would because of the inclusion of the brazen head item. The network of inspirations there warms my heart and shows an eye to detail I really appreciate.

Short Version: It does what the introduction needs to do and does it with style.


Wrath of the Righteous starts with a bang

5/5

A first adventure in a campaign always had a strain on it to be extra good - to capture the attentions of the players and get them involved with the going-ons of the campaign. It's where some of the most important NPCs will be introduced, and perhaps some of the AP's central themes.
Furthermore, there's an extra strain on the very first moments of the campaign to be a good introduction. To probably feature some event that will unify the PCs into the adventuring group they are destined to become.

On this fronts, the adventure delivers in spades. The literally ground breaking opening shot of the adventure later leads to the PCs finding themselves needing to relay on each other to survive and get to safety. In addition, several interesting NPCs are in the rough spots with the PCS, sharing the adventure with them and hopefully developing meaningful relationships.

Unfortunately the first actual encounters are not very good, just "here are huge vermin, kill them" type of fights. I might change that into something more engaging.

Soon, the adventure turns into a cool sandbox of the PCs moving in the disaster radius of a ruined city. Plenty of cool encounters will keep them busy and ensure they see from up close the horrors that a victory for the demonic horde might bring. Eventually the PCs will help the defenders of the city in what would amount to the most epic fights 5th level PCs ever experienced (CR 11, with the PCs expected to emerge victorious). Excellent adventure and excellent way to start a mythic campaign.

Other than the adventure we get a nice article, a couple of OK monsters... and the stat block of a CR 27 demon lord!! I can't stress enough how cool that stat block is. This guy would wipe the floor with 20th level PCs quicker than you can say "But PCs are really powerful". A truly epic and intimidating beastie, this one. Well fit stat block for one of the lords of the abyss.


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RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

DM Beckett wrote:
You can also go HERE and look at the lower right for a link to the PreGens.

Oh. I guess that's also true, if Warren just wants to use the iconic pregens from Pathfinder Society play. The pregens I referenced earlier are part of the Righteous Heroes set which Legendary Games designed specifically to work with the adventure path itself, including use of the various campaign traits from the Player's Guide and backstories which all dovetail nicely with that part of the setting.

Shadow Lodge

Either way. In all honesty, because Paizo uses the ridiculous character sheet format, for players not familiar with the system are probably going to have to do a lot of checking for skills that they don't have ranks in every time it comes up, and the PF PreGens do use a 20 PB, which is higher than the base assumption for APs, (though shouldn't matter at all for this one).

Taking a look at Legendary Games, I picked up their Gothic Heroes and a few other products and really liked it, so a WotR/Crusader version should be really cool. I particularly liked how, in Gothic Heroes they went out of their way to not use Golarion specific material, but rather things like "the goddess of Dreams", but because it had so much better flavor than Desna and because it would really help in cases like this, with new players coming not only to the setting, but also the system.

Dark Archive

This may of been approached already but with 800+ post I thought I would just ask... Is it possible to run this AP without Mythic rules?


It has indeed been asked before. I believe the rough answer is, yes it's possible but it'll require quite a bit of work by the GM, since the adventure path assumes that mythic play is included in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign.

Shadow Lodge

It was more along the lines of "a lot" of reworking, but yes it can be done.


Indeed it was. That's what I get for posting without a read-through of my post. :)

Dark Archive

Thanks... I assume you could power up the PC with higher ability scores and add some of the cool templates Paizo has that we never get to play with and maybe a little above avergae wealth per level for starters...

I am really interested in running this but with my schedule learning a new Mythic rules would not fit in.

The Exchange

The three hard copies at our local Books a Million were misprinted. Each had different pages missing.


Sidney Kuhn wrote:
The three hard copies at our local Books a Million were misprinted. Each had different pages missing.

That happened with my order from amazon as well - an entire section of the book was missing, but it had two copies of another section.


I like the adventure quite a bit and hope I can do justice to the excellent NPCs as a DM, but am a bit concerned about the beginning.

Basically, it's a flashback to a point where the PCs were bystanders watching the action of the silver dragon dueling the balor. One of my cardinal rules as a DM is to always have the PCs be the center of the action. However, since it's the opening of an epic campaign, it could work with the PCs playing what amounts to a cameo in the opening and it's kind of told via flashback. The PCs are the hobbits running away, while Gandalf faces the balrog in the background.

But, overall, it seems like a cool re-hash of that, "you wake up in the cell aboard a pirate ship..." and then get a flashback of how you got there, or "you wake up in a jail cell recalling the tavern brawl from the night before..." opening, and it could work. I'd have to see how it sounds if I read it out loud.

Overall, very good.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:
Amber Scott did a great job on the AP...hoping to continue to see her continue to write AP volumes

This so much! Not only some great ideas and NPCs (heart Anevia & Irabeth so much!), but imminently readable!

Go Amber!


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
NewJeffCT wrote:
Sidney Kuhn wrote:
The three hard copies at our local Books a Million were misprinted. Each had different pages missing.
That happened with my order from amazon as well - an entire section of the book was missing, but it had two copies of another section.

You should email customer service so that they know about it and can fix the issue.

Webstore Gninja Minion

j b 200 wrote:
NewJeffCT wrote:
Sidney Kuhn wrote:
The three hard copies at our local Books a Million were misprinted. Each had different pages missing.
That happened with my order from amazon as well - an entire section of the book was missing, but it had two copies of another section.
You should email customer service so that they know about it and can fix the issue.

We do ask that you try and get a replacement from where you ordered it from, but I'm plinking CS to make sure they know about the problem.

Dark Archive Customer Service Representative

For misprinted copies bought through a retailer, the first step is to go through the retailer you purchased the book from to refund or exchange your misprinted copy. This is generally the fastest way for you to get a new copy. If they are unable or unwilling to help, please send us an email letting us know: customer.service@paizo.com

Retailers, in-turn, return misprinted copies to their distributor in a similar fashion. If a retailer has issue with their distributor, they are free to email us as well.

Misprints, while rare, do slip through the cracks occasionally and are not unheard of. We are more than happy to assist with making sure you get a correct copy, but we do ask that you go through the original retailer first.

~Justin Riddler
Customer Service


NewJeffCT wrote:

I like the adventure quite a bit and hope I can do justice to the excellent NPCs as a DM, but am a bit concerned about the beginning.

Basically, it's a flashback to a point where the PCs were bystanders watching the action of the silver dragon dueling the balor. One of my cardinal rules as a DM is to always have the PCs be the center of the action. However, since it's the opening of an epic campaign, it could work with the PCs playing what amounts to a cameo in the opening and it's kind of told via flashback. The PCs are the hobbits running away, while Gandalf faces the balrog in the background.

I didn't quite care for the way that it starts so I changed it to have the players in a crowd scene on the plaza and they have been playing out the events of the flashback rather than just being passive observers. Of course, the fall down into the pit becomes even more of a deus ex machina moment this way, but it also allows some involvement on the part of the players. When the combat starts the demons that I'm going to actually have the party go up against are going to be quasits and dretches so that they can actually do something. They're also going to be having NPC support as well because of the makeup of the crowd and the city itself. NPCs will be taking most of the hits from the demons though.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Hadesblade wrote:
I see one can not say anything negative against the LBGT material found in this adventure path otherwise you will be removed. Consider this my subscription cancellation.

I would like to state for the record that it is the kind of inclusiveness that is shown in this AP that makes me want to continue to be a subscriber to the APs, a subscriber to the core books, and a frequent buyer of many Pathfinder products, even though I don't make a lot of money. Also, it is one very big reason I am a loyal customer to Paizo and would not seriously consider going to Wizards for my RPG needs.

Liberty's Edge

I really didn't want to go through 800+ posts to find this... When are the chronicle sheets for Society play going to be released? I have been running this for a group and we are getting anxious!

Liberty's Edge

I just wrote a review of this book. Overall easily 5 stars. I think the scripted beginning was the best way to go content wise, every GM will have a different approach. I may actually run a mini adventure in the city first before even going through that scene to make sure the party knows what they lost.

And I didn’t hold this against the story or author and I haven’t seen it anywhere else but there seemed to be more editorial word mishaps in this AP than I think I’ve ever seen. They don’t ruin the story but in reading I got tripped up nearly every other page by a sentence needing deciphering. I think between necessary rewording and the end editorial result something got missed and needs to have more attention, a book this good deserves that.

Regardless, what a great read!


Has anyone heard any rumors about a paper miniatures set being released for this adventure path? My online group is two weeks away from starting this book and ... yeah, a set of paper minis would be perfect for tokens!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think they generally release those after the the AP is finished, since only then do they have all the NPC/critter artwork

Webstore Gninja Minion

MJinthePitt wrote:
Has anyone heard any rumors about a paper miniatures set being released for this adventure path? My online group is two weeks away from starting this book and ... yeah, a set of paper minis would be perfect for tokens!

No plans for a Pathfinder Paper Minis set at this time.


I'll be running this adventure path pretty soon. Out of curiosity, how are some you approaching character creation, specifically, generating ability scores? I've considered going with purchasing at 20 points for a high fantasy style. Any opinions/comments would be appreciated.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The baseline assumption is 15 point buy. Anything more will make the player characters increasingly powerful—combine that with experienced players and you can turn the AP into a cakewalk. If you DON'T have experienced players, doing a 20 point buy is a good plan. If your players are very experienced, consider having them play on "hard mode" and do 10 point buy.


James Jacobs wrote:
The baseline assumption is 15 point buy. Anything more will make the player characters increasingly powerful—combine that with experienced players and you can turn the AP into a cakewalk. If you DON'T have experienced players, doing a 20 point buy is a good plan. If your players are very experienced, consider having them play on "hard mode" and do 10 point buy.

Thanks for the response! I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking about asking my players if they're up for demons and devil on "hard mode" lol.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm still of a mind that allowing 20 point buy is by far not as disruptive as having more than four players. 20 point buy mostly allows the players to round off the edges and gets them into a mindframe where they will consider going for the MAD classes. Unless you allow rampant optimizing, of course, which I strongly discourage with them.

Grand Lodge

I have a question about the wording at the end of this AP

**Spoiler Warning**

**Spoiler Warning**:
"Touched by Divinity (Hierophant): The PC can select a
second domain granted by his affiliated deity. He can use
the 1st-level spells of both domains as spell-like abilities
a number of times per day each equal to his mythic tier.
By expending one use of mythic power, he may use any
of these two domains’ spells as a spell-like ability, but
may only use spells of a level equal to or less than his
mythic tier."

Does this grant Cleric PC's a third domain? Or are they just able to use the spell-like abilities from that 3rd domain? The words "second domain" threw me off because a cleric already starts with 2 domains and the Hierophant Path is geared towards healing characters, most likely clerics.


Arneroc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The baseline assumption is 15 point buy. Anything more will make the player characters increasingly powerful—combine that with experienced players and you can turn the AP into a cakewalk. If you DON'T have experienced players, doing a 20 point buy is a good plan. If your players are very experienced, consider having them play on "hard mode" and do 10 point buy.
Thanks for the response! I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking about asking my players if they're up for demons and devil on "hard mode" lol.

Keep in mind that with mythic rules in place, the characters will be getting more ability increases over the course of play than they normally would.

EDIT: It's not just the mythic path benefits either. I'm pretty sure there are rather more opportunities to increase ability scores through quest rewards and so forth than usual.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

senshi_shinri_teki wrote:

I have a question about the wording at the end of this AP

Spoiler:
"Touched by Divinity (Hierophant): The PC can select a
second domain granted by his affiliated deity. He can use
the 1st-level spells of both domains as spell-like abilities
a number of times per day each equal to his mythic tier.
By expending one use of mythic power, he may use any
of these two domains’ spells as a spell-like ability, but
may only use spells of a level equal to or less than his
mythic tier."
Does this grant Cleric PC's a third domain? Or are they just able to use the spell-like abilities from that 3rd domain? The words "second domain" threw me off because a cleric already starts with 2 domains and the Hierophant Path is geared towards healing characters, most likely clerics.

This ability enhances the Touched by Divinity trait, not the cleric (or druid or whatever) ability to have domains.

Spoiler:
If you're a cleric who takes Touched by Divinity, you pick your 2 domains normally.

When this cleric gains the trait, he picks one domain granted by his deity, then gains the ability to use that domain's 1st level spell once per day as a spell-like ability. This domain may be one that the cleric has chosen for his cleric level, but it doesn't have to be.

When the cleric then boosts the trait at the end of the first adventure, he picks a 2nd domain and does the same; gains the use of that 2nd domain's 1st level spell as a spell-like ability. He also can expend mythic power to use higher level spells from those 2 domains as spell-like abilities, subject to the limitation of his actual tier.

These abilities sit side by side with actual Domain abilities granted by class features, but do not augment each other.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
I'm still of a mind that allowing 20 point buy is by far not as disruptive as having more than four players. 20 point buy mostly allows the players to round off the edges and gets them into a mindframe where they will consider going for the MAD classes. Unless you allow rampant optimizing, of course, which I strongly discourage with them.

I actually agree.

More players is a much larger boost to group power than raising point buy from 15 to 20.

Also... more EXPERIENCED players is a much larger boost to group power than raising a point buy 5 points. By which I mean, a player who knows how to numbercrunch his character and is allowed to utilize a wide range of books to hyperspecialize in one role is going to get a lot more out of his character than the less experienced player, or the player who doesn't get to use numerous sources to build the character.

But when you combine all of these things, the sum is greater than the total of its parts.

(My personal preference for point buy is 20, my personal preference for table size is 5 players, and my personal preference for experience is to play with experienced gamers... so really, kinda the same environment that you play with, magnuskn—and that does mean that I need to be not only on top of the rules and know them better or as well as the players, but more importantly that I'm able and willing to adjust encounters on the fly as needed to keep things fun.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

I actually agree.

More players is a much larger boost to group power than raising point buy from 15 to 20.

Also... more EXPERIENCED players is a much larger boost to group power than raising a point buy 5 points. By which I mean, a player who knows how to numbercrunch his character and is allowed to utilize a wide range of books to hyperspecialize in one role is going to get a lot more out of his character than the less experienced player, or the player who doesn't get to use numerous sources to build the character.

But when you combine all of these things, the sum is greater than the total of its parts.

(My personal preference for point buy is 20, my personal preference for table size is 5 players, and my personal preference for experience is to play with experienced gamers... so really, kinda the same environment that you play with, magnuskn—and that does mean that I need to be not only on top of the rules and know them better or as well as the players, but more importantly that I'm able and willing to adjust encounters on the fly as needed to keep things fun.)

I'd really like to know if you are also experiencing the same kind of high-level problems I have to deal with every campaign. The low and middle level stuff (i.e. 1-10) are manageable with slight adjustments, but after that combats last only very shortly in-game (1-3 rounds) and there is just as much higher discrepancy in player damage output and monster HP (not even to mention things as to-hit chances and AC's) than before, so that I have to combine sometimes four or five written encounters with substantial monster buffs to make one exciting combat.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
I'd really like to know if you are also experiencing the same kind of high-level problems I have to deal with every campaign. The low and middle level stuff (i.e. 1-10) are manageable with slight adjustments, but after that combats last only very shortly in-game (1-3 rounds) and there is just as much higher discrepancy in player damage output and monster HP (not even to mention things as to-hit chances and AC's) than before, so that I have to combine sometimes four or five written encounters with substantial monster buffs to make one exciting combat.

From what I've read about your high-level problems... no. I'm not experiencing those problems. I've run a LOT of high-level games though, and I know my players pretty well, so that lets me build encounters appropriately. Currently the two high-level games I'm running are older 3.5 modules I'm more or less converting on the fly (since it turns out it's hard to find folks at Paizo who've not read the books WE publish) or that I'm improvising, but combats generally last for 3 to 6 rounds for me. Sometimes less, sometimes more. There are close calls and dangers in most of the fights, and the players don't feel like they're cakewalking the adventures. I rarely if ever come out of a game session frustrated or angry in the ways your posts seem to be... but then I'm also not overly concerned with sticking 100% to every single rule or whatever was written down before the game started. Adjusting encounters on the fly is an important trick for ALL levels of play, as is taking what you learn from one encounter and applying it to how you run the next one.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I'd really like to know if you are also experiencing the same kind of high-level problems I have to deal with every campaign. The low and middle level stuff (i.e. 1-10) are manageable with slight adjustments, but after that combats last only very shortly in-game (1-3 rounds) and there is just as much higher discrepancy in player damage output and monster HP (not even to mention things as to-hit chances and AC's) than before, so that I have to combine sometimes four or five written encounters with substantial monster buffs to make one exciting combat.
From what I've read about your high-level problems... no. I'm not experiencing those problems. I've run a LOT of high-level games though, and I know my players pretty well, so that lets me build encounters appropriately. Currently the two high-level games I'm running are older 3.5 modules I'm more or less converting on the fly (since it turns out it's hard to find folks at Paizo who've not read the books WE publish) or that I'm improvising, but combats generally last for 3 to 6 rounds for me. Sometimes less, sometimes more. There are close calls and dangers in most of the fights, and the players don't feel like they're cakewalking the adventures. I rarely if ever come out of a game session frustrated or angry in the ways your posts seem to be... but then I'm also not overly concerned with sticking 100% to every single rule or whatever was written down before the game started. Adjusting encounters on the fly is an important trick for ALL levels of play, as is taking what you learn from one encounter and applying it to how you run the next one.

My experiences match James'. I have 6 players and high-level fights usually last 3-6 rounds, but occasionally longer. Most of my players are experienced (2e players that moved to 3e, then 3.5, now PF) and dabble with min-maxing, but don't overly optimize. Also, I have them use 15 points at character creation.

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, but then the difference here seems to be that I still run from the baseline "and those are the opposing forces present in the area" which Paizo put into their AP's and rebuild from that premise. I generally don't build entirely new encounters into the pre-written AP, but rather combine and enhance existing ones.

I do wonder however how you guys make those combats last so long. As I've said, in general player character damage output is so high that in combats which don't involve environmental effects which heavily restrict movement, enemies don't survive as long as they should to get to those longer combats. Or do you introduce additional enemies every one or two rounds?


Who's the artist responsible for the half-pagers featured in the adventure itself (and, for that matter, the other adventures in the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path)? My guess would be Diego de Almeida, but I'm not 100% sure.

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