Pathfinder Adventure Path #75: Demon's Heresy (Wrath of the Righteous 3 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #75: Demon's Heresy (Wrath of the Righteous 3 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 3: "Demon's Heresy"
by Jim Groves

The Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path continues with “Demon's Heresy,” by Jim Groves. After reclaiming the city of Drezen and recovering the lost sacred banner known as the Sword of Valor, the heroes have established a significant foothold behind enemy lines. With the demon armies still concentrating their attacks to the south, the heroes must now set off into the heart of the Worldwound to seek out powerful new allies and strike a mortal blow against the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth—but in doing so, they discover a disturbing truth about the crystalline source of mythic power the demons have been using against the crusaders. Will the heroes survive the terrors of the Worldwound long enough to end the demons’ increasing attacks?

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

  • “Demon’s Heresy,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 9th-level characters with 3 mythic tiers, by Jim Groves.
  • A study of the Green Faith, an ancient philosophy revolving around nature, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • A look at the unnatural horrors known as worms that walk, by Amanda Hamon.
  • A journey to a crusader outpost inside the Worldwound in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Robin D. Laws.
  • Four new monsters, by Jim Groves, Amanda Hamon, and James Jacobs.

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: 978-1-60125-577-8

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

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A fun, if unchallenging, third leg

3/5

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.

The story of this AP was pretty good -- with a sandbox exploration of a demonic landscape, and a very memorable NPC who can join the party -- but it didn't have as epic a feel as the second leg of this AP.

We found the encounters in this AP to be far too easy for mythic PCs, especially given the 1/day encounter-rate that hexploration lends itself to. (I combined all of the encounters at Arueshalae's Redoubt into one encounter, and combined the Ivory Sanctum encounters in 3 big encounters, and the PCs still had little difficult plowing through them.)

--Fun of playing this leg of the AP, as written: 2/5
--Fun of the story of this leg of the AP: 4.5/5
--Total score: 3.25/5


Character's Backstories Come Alive

5/5

Wrath of the Righteous continues to be a fantastic story. Demon’s Heresy isn’t as intense or as high stakes as the two previous chapters in the campaign, but it is still equally engaging and offers big opportunities for story and character development.

Wrath of the Righteous character traits pay off in big ways I never expected. I was playing a PC with the Touched By Divinity trait who was shocked and delighted to learn the news of her heritage. What a wonderful twist that was! Other characters also had interesting revelations about themselves depending on which traits they’d chosen. I was really impressed by the way each PC was given a personal story arc in this chapter that fit in so well to the overall adventure path. It was so enjoyable to play through.

This chapter also introduced Arueshalae, my favorite NPC of the entire campaign. What a strong, complex, loveable character she is! Her heartfelt desire to redeem herself is truly inspirational, and the love she shares with her chosen PC is really sweet.

Once again the artwork through the book is fantastic. There are interesting and challenging villains who are a pleasure to defeat. Lots of unique and pretty magical items, too.

Highly recommended!


a Hexceptional adventure!

3/5

Well, we get to the third part of the campaign. The PCs already saved a city and conquered a fortress, they blasted wardstones in the face of thousands of demons and retrieved a long lost artifact.

And now, they are reduced to roaming the worldwound and hoping something interesting would pop up in front of them.

I have now read 5 out of the 6 adventures in the campaign, and I feel like I have a good picture of it's general shape in mind. And I must say that this is the adventure where I feel the story maybe lost it's direction a bit.

The two previous adventures were about starting things off, and they did a really good job of it. By the end of the first adventure the scene was set for a new crusade, with the PCs standing firm in the front lines. By the second adventure the PCs already took an active part in the new war. But now? now nothing much is happening. Even though a war is supposedly raging in the near vicinity, the environment around the PCs does not really seem to react to it. This adventure is really kind of just a tour of the worldwound, more than it really is part of the campaign.
By the end of the adventure, the PCs spent their time walking around and bumping into numerous little encounters without getting anything important accomplished. Eventually they just happen to run into an encounter that is important, but really all the intermediate little stories could have been skipped. In later adventures the PCs will run around doing very important things, but the larger picture is missing. So much story momentum is lost here that I feel the entire campaign is a bit awkward after it.

Maybe it's my personal dislike of sandbox adventures, maybe not, I just feel that the players are going to spend so much time touring and sightseeing in this third part of the AP that by the time the actual story of the campaign kicks back in they might be a bit cold for it.

All in all, the weakest part of the AP, if for no other reason than it's non-significance from a story telling point of view. For those who like a sandbox, though, this one is as good as any Iv'e ever seen.


4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Demon’s Heresy is a welcome change of pace for the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path. After the urgency of the first two volumes, it allows the PCs to breathe a little (just a little) as they secure their hold on Drezen and the surrounding lands. While they do this, the PCs also have the opportunity to make a powerful new ally and score a major blow against the demon forces. All things considered, Wrath of the Righteous continues to surprise me with just how good it is.


Great book, great adventure

5/5

This is a great addition to the adventure which is fantastic. I'm having a problem with the interactive maps in the PDF though, since they won't print with the grids, and stangely this one for once has a map with a hex grid rather than the standard squares. I have to say it does have by far my favorite NPC, I just have to make sure I lay the proper ground work for her introduction.


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fix the imagen please, when you click to enlarge, the old cover appears and not the new


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes please fix, cuz I really want to see that awesome worm that walks in large version!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I too, am kindly waiting for the large version of the cover image to be fixed. =D

Though the small version certain has me excited.


Please?

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Should be fixed now.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Try again—it's full of squirmy fun! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh man, Worms That walk details. You guys just keep making me want this AP more and more


Very nice! Thank you!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Looks like this one's going to vrock!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The number of worms that walk showing up in APs was already close to overtaking the number of liches. This one might just push them to the #1 spot for creepy, evil undead(ish) mages. Not complaining of course - the WTW is an amazingly cool beasties.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's an incredibly awesome cover. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
The number of worms that walk showing up in APs was already close to overtaking the number of liches. This one might just push them to the #1 spot for creepy, evil undead(ish) mages. Not complaining of course - the WTW is an amazingly cool beasties.

Considering I have honestly been a Lovecraft Geek for very nearly as long as I have been a DnD Geek, these proportions don't bother me in the slightest, although to be honest I can only recall one other AP that definitely had a WtW in it. Which ones were you referring to?


Happy happy! I'm gonna get myself a new Worm-that-Walks picture for my collection of self-made pawns! And it looks BOSS!

Hope the Vrock also gets a new picture in there, cuz the current vrock picture is kinda old and weary :-p

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

The cover looks splendid!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:


Considering I have honestly been a Lovecraft Geek for very nearly as long as I have been a DnD Geek, these proportions don't bother me in the slightest, although to be honest I can only recall one other AP that definitely had a WtW in it. Which ones were you referring to?

Yeah, it turns out I was a bit off there...

Liches and Worms that Walk in APs:

Liches!
AP #5: 1 lich
AP #11: 1 demilich
AP #33: 1 lich
AP #48: 2 liches, 1 forsaken lich
AP #65: 1 demilich

Worms That Walk!
AP #36: 1 WTW
AP #48: 1 WTW
AP #72: 1 WTW (optional encounter - not statted out. Also more approptiately a cockcroach that walks, but same template)
AP #75: ??? WTW

So yeah, liches still have a healthy lead. Though given that the lich template has been available about twice as long as the WTW, our squishy friends are doing well for themselves.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.


Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

She's going to find out in a hurry, isn't she? :D

Shadow Lodge

Someone didn't put ranks in Knowledge (Planes).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

She's mythic Seoni, she laughs at their pitiful Immunity to electricity.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

Seoni, why are you showing off how your mythic lightning can hurt demons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

Reminds me of the chapter opening in the CRB that uses the art of the fight with Akatas, where Seoni comments on how the weird monsters "still knew how to burn". Akatas have massive fire resistance.

At least in this case there's a good reason. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shadar Aman wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

Reminds me of the chapter opening in the CRB that uses the art of the fight with Akatas, where Seoni comments on how the weird monsters "still knew how to burn". Akatas have massive fire resistance.

At least in this case there's a good reason. :)

Matching fiction to rules is a really tricky problem. As is matching art to rules. We do our best, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

Reminds me of the chapter opening in the CRB that uses the art of the fight with Akatas, where Seoni comments on how the weird monsters "still knew how to burn". Akatas have massive fire resistance.

At least in this case there's a good reason. :)

Matching fiction to rules is a really tricky problem. As is matching art to rules. We do our best, though.

Oh I know it's difficult. It just entertained me because the fire resistance was the most memorable thing about the Akatas (from a player's perspective), so specifically mentioning fire in the fiction gave me a chuckle. Burning is the one thing Akatas have no idea how to do. :P


Shadar Aman wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Seoni why are you using lightning, that doesn't work on demons.

Reminds me of the chapter opening in the CRB that uses the art of the fight with Akatas, where Seoni comments on how the weird monsters "still knew how to burn". Akatas have massive fire resistance.

At least in this case there's a good reason. :)

Matching fiction to rules is a really tricky problem. As is matching art to rules. We do our best, though.
Oh I know it's difficult. It just entertained me because the fire resistance was the most memorable thing about the Akatas (from a player's perspective), so specifically mentioning fire in the fiction gave me a chuckle. Burning is the one thing Akatas have no idea how to do. :P

Oh, I disagree. There is no problem that cannot be solved with the application of fire. The question is how much you're applying.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alleran wrote:
Oh, I disagree. There is no problem that cannot be solved with the application of fire. The question is how much you're applying.

.

Valeros: "Fire isn't working!"

Seoni: "More..."
Lights up Mythic Meteor Swarm

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product description updated.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Redeemed Succubus has always intrigued me, and I wonder what she looks like. (the character with the associated trait is thinking about making their relationship a romantic one.) Do you think we will get to see a picture of her in the blog by any chance?

Webstore Gninja Minion

zergtitan wrote:
The Redeemed Succubus has always intrigued me, and I wonder what she looks like. (the character with the associated trait is thinking about making their relationship a romantic one.) Do you think we will get to see a picture of her in the blog by any chance?

I have zero control of what shows up in the Paizo blog. You should ask James Jacobs. :D


Worms that walk and the green faith, sounds much more interesting then last two.


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Alleran wrote:
Oh, I disagree. There is no problem that cannot be solved with the application of fire. The question is how much you're applying.

.

Valeros: "Fire isn't working!"

Seoni: "More..."
Lights up Mythic Meteor Swarm

I approve.


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

My wish list for the worm that walks article:

-An illustration of Jatembe's nemesis, the King of Biting Ants.
-More info on the King of Biting Ants.
-A less powerful version of the template. Seriously, DR 15/-- and fast healing equal to CR is a pretty horrifying combination for a high-end spellcaster.
-Actually, just go ahead and stat the King of Biting Ants.
-Ants!
-That!
-Bite!


product description wrote:
but in doing so, they discover a disturbing truth about the crystalline source of mythic power the demons have been using against the crusaders.

Wait, I think I got this one: It turns out, they've been using chunks of the Starstone!


Axial wrote:
product description wrote:
but in doing so, they discover a disturbing truth about the crystalline source of mythic power the demons have been using against the crusaders.
Wait, I think I got this one: It turns out, they've been using chunks of the Starstone!

It was revealed in Sword of Valor, IIRC.

Spoiler:
The crystals that get turned into the Nahyndrian elixirs (which are what provide the ascension to mythic status) are made from the ground up bits of murdered demon lords.

Since they're mining the Midnight Isles for the stuff, one wonders how many of those dead demon lords were killed by Nocticula.

Generic Villain wrote:

My wish list for the worm that walks article:

-An illustration of Jatembe's nemesis, the King of Biting Ants.
-More info on the King of Biting Ants.
-A less powerful version of the template. Seriously, DR 15/-- and fast healing equal to CR is a pretty horrifying combination for a high-end spellcaster.
-Actually, just go ahead and stat the King of Biting Ants.
-Ants!
-That!
-Bite!

I agree.

Also include more stuff on Jatembe and the Ten Magic Warriors in the process!


That looks like something that should be spoilered...


Well, it's already been revealed in #74 (and the Midnight Isles bit is in the product description for #76, I think), so if the secret is a different one then it doesn't say anything that isn't already known.

I'd spoiler it out of courtesy, but the edit-timer has expired.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Alleran wrote:

Well, it's already been revealed in #74 (and the Midnight Isles bit is in the product description for #76, I think), so if the secret is a different one then it doesn't say anything that isn't already known.

I'd spoiler it out of courtesy, but the edit-timer has expired.

You can use the flagging system to indicate when a post should be spoilered (which it has been).

Liberty's Edge

My subscription order for this just got pushed out to December along with the rest of my subscriptions and huge sidecart (I always have my orders held for monthly shipments.) Is there a last minute 2 month delay for this issue, or did my order become a victim of computer gremlins?


Brutal Ben,

This happens almost every month during the order spawning process.

Once all the orders and spawned, you should see your subscriptions back to normal.

Check THIS THREAD for specifics and updates.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is it here? >checks< PENDING< No. >Cries<


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*pats Lazaro on the back* 'I feel your pain...'


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just 5 more days till any subscriber would receive anything. 15 for the rest of us. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zergtitan wrote:
Just 5 more days till any subscriber would receive anything. 15 for the rest of us. :(

Actually subscriptions are starting this week (technically today, though with the October authorization issue, I don't know how much got done). Paizo is giving themselves two weeks to get all the subscriptions out because of the popularity of Bestiary 4.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

None got done today, everything got put on hold til tomorrow due to authorization issues.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

>Checks order history. Still pending. Curls into a ball crying< :'(

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lazaro wrote:
>Checks order history. Still pending. Curls into a ball crying< :'(

I would look for all of today's shipments to be unlocked as part of one batch in a few hours. I do believe that some orders were supposed to start today.

EDIT: and it makes you feel better, I wrote the thing and I haven't seen the PDF either.

We'll get there friend! We're gonna make it through this!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

True. I was just hoping to have this, and the Bestiary 4 for my Halloween game tomorrow.

Dark Archive

It would be brilliant if subscribers could access the .pdfs in the meantime, since shipping is proving to be such a hassle. :'C


Christopher Harmon wrote:
It would be brilliant if subscribers could access the .pdfs in the meantime, since shipping is proving to be such a hassle. :'C

I agree that it would be nice to be able to download the pdf once the order has been finalized and can't be cancelled, but I'm sure the good folks @ Paizo has a good reason for holding it until the physical book ships.

Still, I was really hoping to be able read it this weekend :(

Patience young padawan (paizowan?)


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

Oh, as much as I howl & whine, I'll live. But I'm really looking forward to this issue. I've come to the conclusion that I love Worm-that-Walks' more than Liches as 'Unkillable Evil Arcane Big-bads' & I have always been interested in the Green Faith, so not being able to find out more about those two things is like a perpetual nails on the chalkboard irritant on my soul.

My Soul I say!


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

Personally, I'm on the side of wanting to see how those campaign trait plothooks are going to start resolving themselves. Should be very interesting.

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