Pathfinder Adventure Path #78: City of Locusts (Wrath of the Righteous 6 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #78: City of Locusts (Wrath of the Righteous 6 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Chapter 6: "City of Locusts"
by Richard Pett

The Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path concludes with “City of Locusts,” a thrilling climax by fan-favorite author Richard Pett! The heroes of the Fifth Crusade have risen to heights of power undreamed of and have dealt blow after blow to the demonic armies of the Worldwound. As they return to Golarion from the Abyss, though, they find that their enemies are no longer sending minions after them—they've drawn the attention of not only the leaders of the Worldwound, but that of their demonic patron, Deskari, Lord of the Locust Host. The method for closing the Worldwound permanently lies within the heroes’ grasp, but in order to do so they must venture where no crusader has ever returned from intact. They must enter the crumbling City of Locusts to defeat its demonic ruler, but even this is but a stepping stone to the final battle against Deskari himself!

“City of Locusts” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 18th-level characters who have gained nine mythic tiers. The adventure utilizes rules from Mythic Adventures in order to portray a campaign of truly epic potential. An exploration of the apocalyptic cult of Deskari, along with an article filled with suggestions for how to both continue this campaign and to launch a new one in the transformed Worldwound after the heroes succeed (or perhaps fail) round out this volume, along with a bestiary of several monsters (including the final demon lord to be presented during the campaign!) and part six of Robin D. Laws's Pathfinder Journal novella!

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: 978-1-60125-587-7

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

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A somewhat anti-climactic end to an epic AP

2/5

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.

For the conclusion to an epic AP, the story of this leg of the AP feels oddly uneven. Parts feel appropriately epic -- the PCs fighting the Storm King, and working to permanently close the Worldwound. But other parts feel oddly out of place -- the players are supposed to spend a while working through a demonic brothel whose entire staff and clientele combined couldn't come close to threatening a single mythic PC at this level, and the lead-up to the finale is... a dungeon crawl filled with a number of high level mythic opponents on a par with the Storm King, who I guess were just sitting around for some reason?... An unfortunately anti-climactic way to wrap up the story in this AP.

As with the previous legs of this AP, most of the encounters in this AP are far too easy for mythic PCs. Happily, the gap here is a bit less than it was in books 4 and 5 -- for the first time in this AP we get a couple encounters that are probably too difficult for non-mythic PCs. Unfortunately, these encounters are still trivially easy for mythic PCs.

--Fun of playing this leg of the AP, as written: 1/5
--Fun of the story of this leg of the AP: 4/5
--Total score: 2.5/5 (rounded down)


An Impressive Ending For A Great Adventure Path

5/5

City of Locusts was a satisfying and exciting end for a fantastic adventure path. Its pace is quite fast, so PCs had better be ready to fight, and fight hard.

Drezen will be pretty much under constant attack, so the more troops and allies PCs have managed to make, the better off everyone will be. Even NPC companions from the first adventure can be of help in this final installment.

Encounters with the final villains of Wrath of the Righteous may prove to be emotional for players. The battle with the Storm King was deadly and horrifying. He may be one of the most powerful opponents ever encountered in an adventure path. Areelu was also a dangerous foe, and her destruction will be satisfying for any PCs who have been personally hurt by her actions. The saddest and most unexpected battle was against the fallen spirit of Terendelev. Our players were heartbroken to know their rescuer had been suffering this whole time.

By the end of the adventure, players will be very pleased with all they’ve managed to accomplish. At 20 levels and 10 mythic tiers, characters will be as strong as they could ever hope to be. The module even offers advice for what such mighty characters may want to do next, such as start their own kingdoms, organizations or religions.

I love adventures written by Richard Pett. His vivid descriptions of locations, characters and bizarre treasures are always a delight.

Highly recommended!


Great Climax

5/5

This was a solid finish for one of the best APs they've put out yet. Challenging PC's of this level isn't easy, but the Storm King made us sweat. This final adventure has so many nasty ideas stirred into the mix, yet it still moved the story forward to the satisfying conclusion.

I was sorry to read that there won't be anymore Mythic APs. My disappointment is only deepened by how well Wrath of the Righteous came to its end. This is one of our top campaigns. Only Shattered Star and Crimson Throne come anywhere close.


Don't waste your time (or that of your players)

1/5

I loved this Adventure Path. From the first book, I was hooked. That's why I find it so disappointing that it sputters out with the most boring, impossibly un-epic finale like this. Let me save you curious folk some time:

The players faff about in a brothel that's too low-level for them. Then they go to a tower and solve a mystery literally every single one of them should have already figured out, find a magical macguffin, fight ANOTHER succubus queen (as if the last four weren't enough) and then... don't even fight Deskari. Worldwound closes, peace and eternity I guess, Queen Galfrey, like, retires?? Just steps aside so a real man can do the job a lady couldn't handle or something. Meanwhile, Deskari derps around in a pocket dimension. Too bad fighting him was "beyond the scope of the path"!

You know what I - and especially my players - would have rather done than go to a wildly out of place succubus brothel? Fight Deskari. That would have saved you some precious page room, Paizo. And gah, that brothel! WHY? A brothel out in the ruined wastelands that supposedly caters to "only the most elite of the elite" and "has something for everyone, even the rarest taste" - except it has 5 chicks, with 1 disguised as a dude I guess. Really? I mean, Paizo is really progressive in a lot of ways, but there's starting to be a clear, sorta creepy hang-up about having anything sexual being exclusively portrayed by women (roughly a ratio of 99% at this rate). I dunno, I just find it really, really, really hard to believe that anyone at level 15+ could give a single fig about this brothel, much less two.

And it's out of place, so much so that the whole pace ground to a halt and people in my play group had to constantly ask me what they were supposed to do, why were they there, why weren't they out doing more productive things? They were too powerful for any of the brothel encounters so they weren't afraid of fighting, and too good to be inclined to consort - at all - with some clearly, CLEARLY evil demons. I'm so mad, because if this had been in Midnight Isles, it would have still been a remarkably lame, tame, and boring brothel, one you could take your grandmother to it's so conventional (hardly fitting for "the exclusive delight" of the entire Deskari host), but it would have made sense. Well, at least, more sense than popping up and grinding the entire campaign to a halt.

Then some other encounters happen, nothing noteworthy or meaningful, then you fight Arelash or whatever and she's basically the exact clone of any succubus boss ever (one you may have fought twice already, if your players - like mine did - angered Nocticula). Then that's it. The macguffin saves the day, your players don't even need to solve a single puzzle, the end. It's remarkable how unsatisfying an ending this book is to a campaign.

tl:dr - Even if you bought every other book in the campaign, don't buy this. You can use random monster generators to make better encounters and there is nothing at all that matters in this book.


Awesome ending to an Ap

5/5

Really loved this book, The enemies are suitably epic in feel and the plot itself for me at least worked really well (Also a lot better than the goddess incident from the previous book which is always a plus.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Abhremoch wrote:
Was it Wayne Reynolds that drew the art of Areelu Vorlesh on page 59 of the AP?? I really want to know cuz this is the most stunning succubus I have seen in a long while; the look, the posture, the dress, the imposing and slightly charming / horrifying impression she gives away. Quite stunning.

Wayne did her illustration for the cover. I'm not sure who did the one on page 59, but I agree it's quite good.

Liberty's Edge

I fond the lady on the black dragon quite stunning. And it reminded me a lot of mr. Reynolds art.


James Jacobs wrote:
Abhremoch wrote:
Was it Wayne Reynolds that drew the art of Areelu Vorlesh on page 59 of the AP?? I really want to know cuz this is the most stunning succubus I have seen in a long while; the look, the posture, the dress, the imposing and slightly charming / horrifying impression she gives away. Quite stunning.
Wayne did her illustration for the cover. I'm not sure who did the one on page 59, but I agree it's quite good.

I'm sure you guys have people in your art department who would know the answer to that question. Honestly, I would really like to know. Thanks!!

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Abhremoch wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Abhremoch wrote:
Was it Wayne Reynolds that drew the art of Areelu Vorlesh on page 59 of the AP?? I really want to know cuz this is the most stunning succubus I have seen in a long while; the look, the posture, the dress, the imposing and slightly charming / horrifying impression she gives away. Quite stunning.
Wayne did her illustration for the cover. I'm not sure who did the one on page 59, but I agree it's quite good.
I'm sure you guys have people in your art department who would know the answer to that question. Honestly, I would really like to know. Thanks!!

I just asked Andrew. The artist is Roberto Pitturru.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Abhremoch wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Abhremoch wrote:
Was it Wayne Reynolds that drew the art of Areelu Vorlesh on page 59 of the AP?? I really want to know cuz this is the most stunning succubus I have seen in a long while; the look, the posture, the dress, the imposing and slightly charming / horrifying impression she gives away. Quite stunning.
Wayne did her illustration for the cover. I'm not sure who did the one on page 59, but I agree it's quite good.
I'm sure you guys have people in your art department who would know the answer to that question. Honestly, I would really like to know. Thanks!!
I just asked Andrew. The artist is Roberto Pitturru.

Many thanks Mr. Daigle! You guys are awesome! I will look up this artist with great interest!!


Hooyah..

Lord Snow just wrote a rather middling review of City of Locusts.
Whaddya all think...?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abyssal Lord wrote:

Hooyah..

Lord Snow just wrote a rather middling review of City of Locusts.
Whaddya all think...?

That the weather is really crap today.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

He's not wrong about the module.


Still waiting for my copy to arrive at my FLGS. Grrrr. Stock deliveries are slow this time of year. And still looking forward to it, with crossed fingers that it's as excellent as the rest of Mr. Pett's large body of work. I'm having trouble imagining anything less.


Mine hasn't arrived yet either.


Taking the situation in Numeria into account if the protagonists should in fact fail, has anyone wondered if we'll eventually get cybernetically augmented demons? Or maybe even devils, daemons, divs, asuras, etc etc?


Or has anyone statted up some already?

Grand Lodge

This has been out for a while. Any word on how many people have actually finished this?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Finished it, several other people have and in the AP forums posted their opinions.
Nice plot, shame that mythic is absolutely broken by this level. if you have to give the boss 12,000hp so he lasts more than 2 rounds there is a problem


Dunno if necroing this thread is the right place to post this, but I was looking at the Katpaskir (pg 86), and I find it weird that they have improved and greater sunder but can't use those with dimensional manoeuvrers (which allows bull rush, disarm, reposition, or trip), was Sunder released after dimensional manoeuvrers (Correct UK English spelling of Maneuvers)? seems like it was intended for them to be able to teleport around and sunder while doing it with the bonus, but as written they can't really use manoeuvrer at all without provoking (which could get them killed, also means it won't hit as -dmg to attack is big). I would probably ask on the WotR forum or the city of locusts GM thread, but no-one replies to them really (and as the Katpaski afaik doesn't appear anywhere else this seems the best place).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Dimensional maneuvers gives a bonus to certain combat maneuvers while using dimensional dervish, but you can substitute an attack in your dimensional dervish full attack routine for a sunder as normal. And they don't provoke thanks to improved sunder.


not by default - here's the text:

d20pfsrd wrote:
Benefit: While using the Dimensional Dervish feat, you gain a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks to bull rush, disarm, reposition, or trip an opponent.

hence why I asked


I was just looking at "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth" and noticed that it was created it for characters of 15th level with 7 mythic tiers. Is there a convenient way to convert tiers to levels, such as 1 tier equals a level or 1.5 tiers equals a level or something?


Uzziel the Angel wrote:
I was just looking at "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth" and noticed that it was created it for characters of 15th level with 7 mythic tiers. Is there a convenient way to convert tiers to levels, such as 1 tier equals a level or 1.5 tiers equals a level or something?

Not really. There's a reason the modules basically say, "This AP ends early if you don't play mythic."

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dark Midian wrote:
Uzziel the Angel wrote:
I was just looking at "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth" and noticed that it was created it for characters of 15th level with 7 mythic tiers. Is there a convenient way to convert tiers to levels, such as 1 tier equals a level or 1.5 tiers equals a level or something?
Not really. There's a reason the modules basically say, "This AP ends early if you don't play mythic."

They actually don't, and WotR is perfectly manageable by a regular party, since the mythic challenges are underpowered. Apart from two or three really tough fights, there's nothing a moderately optimised party can't handle in this AP.

If you want to run it and keep it mythic, my best suggestion is to hand out 3 mythic tiers across the whole AP - this should keep things just fine without having the PCs zomgwtfbbq steamroll the entire AP as it happens the moment they get four or more mythic tiers on the top of their regular progression.

Bottom line is, the mythic system is fine but it kinda falls apart when trying to challenge mythic PCs using the existing CR/MR system. WotR suffers from that heavily, because PCs quickly reach the ability to one-shot virtually every challenge in the AP.


How is book six of Wrath of the Righteous sold out but the earlier issues aren't? I can understand book one (1) of Reign of Winter, but why only book six (6) of Wrath of the Righteous? Is there some back-matter that makes it especially worthwhile to buy without the other books in the AP, or did it have a very small print run?

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