Pathfinder Adventure Path #74: Sword of Valor (Wrath of the Righteous 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.20/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #74: Sword of Valor (Wrath of the Righteous 2 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 2: "Sword of Valor"
by Neil Spicer

The Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path continues with “Sword of Valor,” by RPG Superstar Neil Spicer. The PCs, now invested with righteous mythic power, are poised to become the greatest heroes of this seemingly endless war against the demons of the Worldwound… provided they can succeed at their first mission. The citadel city of Drezen was once a symbol of the First Crusade’s triumph against the Worldwound, yet when a larger horde of demons attacked, they shattered Drezen’s defenses and captured both the citadel and the crusaders’ symbol of power. Can the PCs help lead an army north to reclaim Drezen and recover this potent relic, or are they marching their comrades and followers to a gruesome demise?

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

  • “Sword of Valor,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 6th-level characters with 1 mythic tier, by Neil Spicer.
  • An exploration of the ways cultists stitch themselves to demonkind, by Jason Nelson.
  • A hoard of legendary relics lost to horrors of the Worldwound, by Ron Lundeen.
  • The search for a rogue demon hunter in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • Four new monsters, by James Jacobs, Jason Klimchok, Jason Nelson, and David Schwartz.

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: 978-1-60125-568-6

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

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5/5

Paizo and Neil Spicer did a great job with this adventure. It has the basic "fights and a boss" structure you'd expect from an AP module, but also a lot more.

The mass combat rules from Ultimate Campaign are used extensively, along with hints of domain management in the next installment. The war background also pushes the adventure towards its conclusion, discouraging overly cautious play, which I really appreciate.

There's also a lot of fairly complex NPCs and possible interactions. This AP could really have been a combat slog, but Paizo really pulled out the stops to counteract that.

If I had a complaint, it would be that the balance between betrayal and redemption doesn't feel quite right to me. Some GMs might need to tune back the betrayal a bit, but that's easy enough to do.

Short Version: A good mix of combat and interaction on a ticking clock.


Great!

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Sword of Valor is really quite excellent. It didn’t wow me quite as much as The Worldwound Incursion, but nevertheless it has all the ingredients for a great adventure. It has a strong plot, but still a large variety of options, ensuring that the PCs don’t feel railroaded, and it has a great, detailed cast of NPCs, both allies and villains. One of the most impressive things about the adventure is that it manages to make an adventure about endless war and killing into an adventure about people, one containing great roleplaying opportunities. Wrath of the Righteous is well on the way to being a superb adventure path.


4.5 Stars or 9 out of 10

4/5

Check out the full review here.

It's in my Recession Review format.


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I don't think there's any specific order it's done in based on when you subscribed etc., I think it more depends on the order the sales software spits out the orders in (I could be wrong, but I thought I'd seen posts from some of the staff to this effect). I know that normally I tend to get my PDFs around 7 days after receiving my first notification email, but in this case I got them on the following business day.

I know that if you add additional stuff to your order during finalisation it can cause delays, though I'm not sure by how much.


How many HD does Shax have and what are its ability scores?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starsunder wrote:
How many HD does Shax have and what are its ability scores?

33d10. Ability scores are Str 33, Dex 39, Con 40, Int 30, Wis 31, Cha 31.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's my semi-loaded question for the AP devs. Is Queen Galfrey a romance possibility for a PC? I know that technically anything is possible but how much of an impact would it have on the story and would it derail it at all?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Here's my semi-loaded question for the AP devs. Is Queen Galfrey a romance possibility for a PC? I know that technically anything is possible but how much of an impact would it have on the story and would it derail it at all?

She's not set up as a romance possibility, but that could certainly work. In fact, romances with ANY of the allied NPCs wouldn't derail the AP, although they might derail some NPC relationships...


magnuskn wrote:

Answers for Lawful GM:

** spoiler omitted **

If he is

:
Level eight, shouldn't he have four Mythic tiers as opposed to just two?

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:
If he is ** spoiler omitted **

Mythic Tiers are tied to trials rather than to level. Although they are capped at 1 per 2 levels, you can have fewer than half your level in tiers without breaking any core assumptions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Exactly.


So with that in mind, is he really all that much of a threat?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:
So with that in mind, is he really all that much of a threat?

Yes... because there's more tools to make a creature a threat than mythic tiers. He's already pretty high level. In the end, it's not mythic tiers that we go on to decide if a creature's a good threat for an encounter—it's the creature's CR that we use. And mythic tiers are a subset of LOTS of things that help to define the final CR.


I can see that. He's probably got some excellent gear and a demon posse to back him up.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:
I can see that. He's probably got some excellent gear and a demon posse to back him up.

Yes he had PC gear and 25 point buy.

Also I haven't yet gotten to his encounter, but I'm sure the circumstances are tilted in his favor as well.


I wonder why Shax can't fly given a pair of nice-feathered wings.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aliasalias wrote:
I wonder why Shax can't fly given a pair of nice-feathered wings.

Ugh. Frustrating typo, that's why.

He should have a fly speed. He did, at least, in my original turnover: fly 50 ft. (perfect).

I think I know where in the development>layout>edit cycle he lost it, and will make sure that isn't repeated in the future if I can.

(Note his fly skill remains intact.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What are the CRs of the non-Shax monsters? What's the CR-adjustment on the template?

Also, question for James... will there be any monsters in the bestiaries for this AP besides Bamophet that have names starting in A, B or C, which would mean they may actually get featured on my Planescape blog sometime this year?

Argg... Hurry up Wednesday, get here faster!


Demon, thoxel - CR 5
Man-eating animal - CR +1 (1-4 HD), CR +2 (5-10 HD), CR +3 (11+ HD)
Vescavor queen - CR 9


Oops, I see. BTW, The bonus to AC and Saves from Unholy Aura seem to be missing on the stat block.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

FallenDabus wrote:

What are the CRs of the non-Shax monsters? What's the CR-adjustment on the template?

Also, question for James... will there be any monsters in the bestiaries for this AP besides Bamophet that have names starting in A, B or C, which would mean they may actually get featured on my Planescape blog sometime this year?

Argg... Hurry up Wednesday, get here faster!

Not sure. That's more of an Adam question... although I do know we'll be doing cambions in #76.


j b 200 wrote:
Axial wrote:
I can see that. He's probably got some excellent gear and a demon posse to back him up.

Yes he had PC gear and 25 point buy.

Also I haven't yet gotten to his encounter, but I'm sure the circumstances are tilted in his favor as well.

That would make him CR 10 altogether am I right?


Lawful GM wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
Axial wrote:
I can see that. He's probably got some excellent gear and a demon posse to back him up.

Yes he had PC gear and 25 point buy.

Also I haven't yet gotten to his encounter, but I'm sure the circumstances are tilted in his favor as well.

That would make him CR 10 altogether am I right?

Minimum CR 10. They might've also given him some special abilities a la Baba Yaga to boost his CR.


I must be fair, i'm not a huge fan of this one.

I don't like it that most encounters are from bestiary 1, I hate tieflings (always have) and the artstyle is good but very annoying to work with as the artwork is missing part of their wings and when you work with them in Paint Shop the artwork has white dots around it very annoying and time consuming to remove those, mostly those dots are from the same artists, they do that to copyprotect I guess but I only use the art for myself...

I really really like Shax the demon lord tho, the man-eating animal art is cool and the wasp monster is awesome, but the wings are missing for a bit...

I hope next part has less bestiary 1 encounters and more bestiary 2,3, and other book encounters.


I have read this one a few times now and every time I come away liking the story more and more. There is really a lot of potential in this AP so far in terms of background, plot and motivations.

I may have a new favorite AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Holy crap. I'm loving the 10 acts of Iomedae listed in her book.


Just now going over this, and have just started part 3, but I have to say I absolutely love the way the Mass combat rules were interwoven into this chapter.

I'm also enjoying the different tactics and ways to use the NPCs in part 3; it keeps them pertinent without overwhelming the PCs roles, gives bonuses to PCs for smart tactical use, and just generally enhances the game all around. I love this! Kudos to Neil Spicer and/or James Jacobs for the idea.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cool; glad you're enjoying the NPC boons and the like. That's something that was a kind of a late addition to the AP and is something I've been working to weave into each adventure during development, so it's good to see it's working out! :-)


I am really a fan of having where you choose to allocate NPC's having an impact (sometimes fairly significantly) on encounters.

There are consequences to how you treat NPC's, which is awesome.

I had a real chuckle reading this adventure knowing that the author had to account for the possibility that some parties might take Horgus with them into Drezen keep itself..

That fact that Neil did shows real thinking going into this path. It's early days still but this path is quickly lining up to take pole position over CoTCT as my favorite if the quality stays this good.


Black Dougal wrote:
I had a real chuckle reading this adventure knowing that the author had to account for the possibility that some parties might take Horgus with them into Drezen keep itself..

Yes- This was a laugh out loud moment for me, as well. I could just envision the rp scenario around this. "Ummm... maybe I should just stay outside...?"

The fact that it is (rightfully so) more beneficial to have that occur only adds to the innovation.

I also like that they are not unlimited boons, but have a quantifiable limit. That helps to impel a sense of urgency to the PCs, plus keeps things more realistic and less ripe for abuse.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Did anyone else think that Arles Jhestander (pg.16) look alot like Sylvester Stallone?


Shax is just ... awesome...


I found myself in love with the Vescavor Queen.

Which is kinda strange since i'm gay, have a phobia for wasps and she would probably kill me twice and eat my bones. :-)

Liberty's Edge

I have a question regarding Mythic Trials and Mythic Tier progression.

Sword of Valor:
I count three trials in this volume, Soltengrebbe, Staunton Vhane, and Eustoyriax. Should players end this at Level 9 Mythic Tier 4? Does every trial result in a mythic tier during the AP? How do you decide if a mythic trial results in a tier boost if not? The descriptive text for volume III Demon's Heresy indicates players should be Level 9 Mythic Tier 3 at it's start.

Thanks.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

In the mythic adventures book you have a table that shows how many trials you need to complete in order to get the next tier.

sword of valor:
In this book, PCs start with one mythic tier.

Defeating Soltengrebbe counts as a trial, and gives the PC their second tier.

To get a third tier, you have to complete two trials: defeating Staunton and defeating Eustoyriax/recovering the sword of valor.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks, I am still debating whether to run a mythic campaign or not. Was still mostly looking at it from a beta rules perspective.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I finally got through a backlog of books to finish reading most of this today. I like the book and how the AP is going so far.

I do have a minor problem with it though. It's not a big deal as they can easily be eliminated without too much disruption. I don't like the concept of the medals that the characters can earn. At best they need many more ways each one can be earned or to just be given out by GM fiat based on what seems sensible. Otherwise they are just too metagamey a concept in my opinion and encourage people to artificially try and do things in the game they might not otherwise do based on quirks of game mechanics just for the sake of earning one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I first heard this adventure path was coming out, I had to buy it, I have a friend who's first pick is always paladin, so I knew he would fall in love with this right away.
I did something a little different. I was only going to have 3 people play so I let them become gestalt characters, it's giving the adventures an even more epic feel to them.

The only question I have, is about when you are presented the army, and the PC's are given the option of leading it. It's stated that they do not get any starting boons. Well considering they most likely grew up in Kenebres, I would think leading armies would be in their everyday experiance. I'm thinking of just letting them get their boons.

I haven't had an adventure where I as a gm have looked forward to running an adventure as the players had playing in it.

Jason


Jason Jensen 431 wrote:
The only question I have, is about when you are presented the army, and the PC's are given the option of leading it. It's stated that they do not get any starting boons. Well considering they most likely grew up in Kenebres, I would think leading armies would be in their everyday experiance. I'm thinking of just letting them get their boons.

I haven't read the adventure yet, but here's my take on your musings. Living in a city like Kenabres does NOT automatically mean you experience what it means to lead an army. You get exposed to a military-minded mindset, sure, and the probably of you joining an army in some fashion is very likely. However, being a part of an army and leading it are two VERY different beasts, I think. Leadership is certainly not an "everyday experience," that the average Kenabres citizen can expect to experience.

Even among those souls destined to rise to glory, such as the characters, leadership is not necessarily something they've experienced prior to their adventures in Wrath of the Righteous. Being a part of a military endeavor, very likely. Leading that military endeavor, not as likely.

Leading men into war is not for everyone. It takes talent, charisma, influence, or zeal (or all four).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yep I understand that, but he has taken points in profession (military), he's a pally, and He may have taken the leadership feat, he's kind of "built" his character for this moment.

He's even tried to be the leader for the party as well. I could understand if one of the other players wanted to just jump in and lead the army, who didn't spend the skill points or feats for leadership, why they wouldn't get the extra boons.

It's going to be a game master exception.


I'm a lil confused. How do my players learn new army tactics when they have no kingdom control DC?


jimibones83, check out page 236 of Ultimate Campaign, the sidebar there will help out a lot!! I just found it yesterday, and I have been searching for a solution for a week, my players will make it to the second book here soon and I wanted to be prepared.

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