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

****½ (based on 21 ratings)
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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****½ (based on 21 ratings)

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Pathfinder or politics?

**( )( )( )

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

*****

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

*****

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

*****

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.


A Thrilling Start To A Fanastic Adventure Path

*****

The World Wound Incursion starts off with an epic event that forever changes the city of Kenabres. PCs won’t need any extra incentive to become heroes in this adventure; before they even know what’s happening they’ll be thrown head first into a dangerous cavern where they must rely on each other and newfound NPC allies to survive.

The NPCs are all very complex and interesting people. They have their own unique personalities, motivations and secrets. They also share interconnected histories that won’t become revealed until the player characters take time to get to know them. The friendships the players build with these NPCs can affect the rest of the adventure path. Having these NPCs be important helps players invest in their well-being and makes things very interesting.

Players will have the chance to help their city, fight evil outsiders, form alliances with noble defenders, and face off against a powerful Oracle and an ancient wardstone with thousands of lives on the line. The stakes are amazingly high for the first chapter of any adventure path, and the rewards for success are equally high; the PCs will get their first taste of mythic power.

Mythic levels will give players high-level abilities they’ve never been able to experience before. Characters become astounding heroes of legend who can go on to battle powerful enemies and accomplish great deeds. This is seriously fun.

I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed this adventure. There are wonderful NPCs, thrilling battles, interesting settings and huge rewards. The artwork is also very high quality and there is a nice chunk of information about the city of Kenabres at the end of the book.

Highly recommended!


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Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced! Cover image is a mockup and subject to change.

Liberty's Edge

And this is why I keep the subscription. So much want.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Color me excited.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Least interesting AP for me, but I will still get it for the bestiary, articles, magic items, etc. though.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is this Amber E. Scott's first AP Adventure?

Been awhile since we have had someone do an adventure for an AP who has not before..


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Can't wait for the proper cover (not that the mock-up is bad or anything).

And I promise to try and only say this once: It's a cool Adventure Path title, isn't it? ;)

Liberty's Edge

I really want to smite something.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

While I am uncertain about this whole "Mythic Adventures" thingy and what it might entail (since I'm not really keen on adding much in the terms of new rules anymore, and at the same time not interested in doing too much extra conversion work), the premise and everything else falls heavily into the "neat-o" category.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Will there be info on how to play it sans mythic?


Dragnmoon wrote:

Is this Amber E. Scott's first AP Adventure?

Been awhile since we have had someone do an adventure for an AP who has not before..

Wasn't that basically the story of Reign of Winter? Quite a few of the authors were on their first AP adventure.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

Is this Amber E. Scott's first AP Adventure?

Been awhile since we have had someone do an adventure for an AP who has not before..

Wasn't that basically the story of Reign of Winter? Quite a few of the authors were on their first AP adventure.

Reign of Winter had 1 new AP author: Jim Groves.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Cheapy wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

Is this Amber E. Scott's first AP Adventure?

Been awhile since we have had someone do an adventure for an AP who has not before..

Wasn't that basically the story of Reign of Winter? Quite a few of the authors were on their first AP adventure.

I hope I don't make the Masters angry by saying this... but there is a house rule...

No more than one rookie per Adventure Path.

They try to have five veterans for the rest of the chapters. This allows new people to be inducted (which needs to happen), but doesn't increase the risk factor as much.

Reign of Winter was my first foray. I might be wrong, but I think this will be Amber's first one. She is, of course, well proven and established in the other product lines..

EDIT: I should use the term rookie carefully here. I don't mean complete inexperience. You can write some monsters, you can write a PFS scenario, you can write a support article.. but from my perception an AP can be a whole other magnitude of 'something'. And I am speaking of myself and in general, not about Amber. And on that note I should be getting back to work.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Joseph Wilson wrote:

Reign of Winter had 1 new AP author: Jim Groves.

Correct. See above.


Apparently I failed my perception check on the number of new authors. Thanks for the corrections!

Which AP adventure did Matt Goodall work on previously?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Cheapy wrote:
Which AP adventure did Matt Goodall work on previously?

The pirate one! :)

Shadow Lodge

HUZZAH!!!


It turns out that searching for "Matthew Goodall" gives different results than searching for "Matt Goodall". Lesson learned! Sorry Matt!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

You people are going to make me bankrupt! ;)


"...portray a campaign of truly legendary potential". Can not wait! So excited!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Might have to sub for this one.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

20 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:

Is this Amber E. Scott's first AP Adventure?

Been awhile since we have had someone do an adventure for an AP who has not before..

Yes.

It's also the first AP adventure written by a woman, which is HUGE. WOO HOO!!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Shalafi2412 wrote:
Will there be info on how to play it sans mythic?

Yes, but doing so will require a fair amount of work on the GM's part, I suspect. The advice on how to "un-mythic" it will probably consist of a sidebar's worth of advice in each volume. That may change as I get into the development... but this adventure path is very much one of the main reasons why we're doing Mythic Adventures in the first place, not the other way around.

EDIT: To make it a little more clear... you can play characters who aren't mythic in this adventure, and that will put very little onus on the player side of the screen, but the GM will need to do a fair bit more work. Mythic Adventures is VERY tied into this adventure path, in that the Worldwound has been intended, more or less from inception, to be a high-level adventuring site. Furthermore, this AP will be the one that spends the most time off the Material Plane yet—the Abyss is going to play a big role!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore, this AP will be the one that spends the most time off the Material Plane yet—the Abyss is going to play a big role!

YES! August cannot possibly get here soon enough!


It may only be a mock up....but that demon on the cover is WAY KOOL...

Liberty's Edge

So want this. The world wound was to be my end game for king maker. may skip shattered star and go to this one.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am really looking forward to this AP. Also way to go Amber!!!
I am curious, who is doing the cover art for this AP?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Agree with nighttree- for a mockup, that's a really cool cover!


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

Let me add "Congrats" to Miss Amber Scott as well, very excited to see her 1st foray into the AP line (and BIG TIME kudos on being the first woman to write an AP chapter). :)

And to echo the Haunted Jester ... I too am curious ... who does have the cover art chores for Wrath of the Righteous?

***Hoping for Steve Prescott.*** :)

Dean


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is going to be a great one. I can hardly wait. Although I know I have too.


Well, I know what campaign I'll be running after Reign of Winter (Which is after I finish Skulls and Shackles).

DEEEMONNNS AND CRUUUSSADDDERRRRSSSS!

Also an entire AP revolving around Mythic rules! Woo!


Interesting! Where can I read more on Golarion's take on the Abyss?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Shalafi2412 wrote:
Interesting! Where can I read more on Golarion's take on the Abyss?

Barring a direct feed into James Jacobs's brain, I suggest reading the The Great Beyond or the Book of the Damned Vol. 2.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
the Haunted Jester wrote:

I am really looking forward to this AP. Also way to go Amber!!!

I am curious, who is doing the cover art for this AP?

Wayne Reynolds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow, I'm loving the vibe of desperation with the heroes holding off a demonic incursion until the cavalry arrives. The adventure path sure starts with a KABOOM! And yes Kajehase, awesome title for the adventure path.

T-Rex Jacobs, I'm getting the feeling that The Worldwound Incursion will be a good excuse for me to dust off my copy of Heroes of Battle. Would that book be useful for this first installment of Wrath of the Righteous?

Oh, and congrats to Amber Scott. Very cool news.


Liz Courts wrote:
Barring a direct feed into James Jacobs's brain...

So, uh, how would one go about establishing such a feed?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

James ... DELIGHTFUL news that the Wrath of the Righteous AP covers will be illustrated by Wayne Reynolds! :)

*Steve Prescott would have been NICE ... but I'll certainly take WAR AP covers anytime. :)

Dean

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can't wait, but gonna have to :(

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Bring it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Heine Stick wrote:

Wow, I'm loving the vibe of desperation with the heroes holding off a demonic incursion until the cavalry arrives. The adventure path sure starts with a KABOOM! And yes Kajehase, awesome title for the adventure path.

T-Rex Jacobs, I'm getting the feeling that The Worldwound Incursion will be a good excuse for me to dust off my copy of Heroes of Battle. Would that book be useful for this first installment of Wrath of the Righteous?

Oh, and congrats to Amber Scott. Very cool news.

While there will be some mass combat elements in this Adventure Path, those elements will utilize our own narrative-style mass combat rules that first appeared in Kingmaker and are being updated/reprinted in Ultimate Campaign.

Whether or not Heroes of Battle will be useful depends on how much extra work you want to do on the AP, but it's not something we'll be using at all, nor will the adventures be specifically built to use its style of mass combats.

Silver Crusade

Also, very eager to play through an adventure by Amber Scott after her previous books.


James Jacobs wrote:
While there will be some mass combat elements in this Adventure Path, those elements will utilize our own narrative-style mass combat rules that first appeared in Kingmaker and are being updated/reprinted in Ultimate Campaign.

Yeah, I figured that'd be the case for any mass combat featured in Wrath of the Righteous. Heros of Battle also details war and battle as a backdrop and how to make an adventure out of those elements and as such, it sounds like that aspect of the book might come in handy as an additional resource for the adventure path.

In any event, August really can't come fast enough.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
the Haunted Jester wrote:

I am really looking forward to this AP. Also way to go Amber!!!

I am curious, who is doing the cover art for this AP?
Wayne Reynolds.

Sweetness!!!

First AP written by a woman
First AP to incorporate Mythic Rules
All Covers drawn by Mr. Reynolds himself

This AP series is going to amazing in so many ways :)


Can't Wait to play this! To fight Demonic Hordes with Mythic Rules! AWESOME!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Woah, now that is a way to start a campaign with a bang. And the next modules will probably be even more epic. Or should I say, mythic?

I see no level range has been given in the summary. Innnnteresting.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Laschoni wrote:
I really want to smite something.

Pretty sure there will be ample opportunity to do just that in this Adventure Path. :D

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Woah, now that is a way to start a campaign with a bang. And the next modules will probably be even more epic. Or should I say, mythic?

I see no level range has been given in the summary. Innnnteresting.

That's not unusual for these mockup descriptions. They normally only have a (provisional) starting level on them, updated once they've gone to the printers.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Shalafi2412 wrote:
Will there be info on how to play it sans mythic?

Yes, but doing so will require a fair amount of work on the GM's part, I suspect. The advice on how to "un-mythic" it will probably consist of a sidebar's worth of advice in each volume. That may change as I get into the development... but this adventure path is very much one of the main reasons why we're doing Mythic Adventures in the first place, not the other way around.

I'm assuming that the mythic adventures won't overun the standard AP. ARe we likely to look at 1 of each per year or will mythic paths be a little more scarce than this?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Shalafi2412 wrote:
Will there be info on how to play it sans mythic?

Yes, but doing so will require a fair amount of work on the GM's part, I suspect. The advice on how to "un-mythic" it will probably consist of a sidebar's worth of advice in each volume. That may change as I get into the development... but this adventure path is very much one of the main reasons why we're doing Mythic Adventures in the first place, not the other way around.

I'm assuming that the mythic adventures won't overun the standard AP. ARe we likely to look at 1 of each per year or will mythic paths be a little more scarce than this?

That kind of choice is probably not even determined yet and would most likely be partly influenced by the reception/feedback of the Mythic book/this AP i'd assume.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Woah, now that is a way to start a campaign with a bang. And the next modules will probably be even more epic. Or should I say, mythic?

I see no level range has been given in the summary. Innnnteresting.

That's not unusual for these mockup descriptions. They normally only have a (provisional) starting level on them, updated once they've gone to the printers.

Correct, they normally always have a provisional starting level on them. Which was left out completely for this module. So I find that interesting.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but the product description says:

Product description wrote:
“The Worldwound Incursion” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 1st-level characters.

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