Rise of the Drow (PFRPG)

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Rise of the Drow (PFRPG)
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If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Matron Maelora best beware; her plans for total domination of the Underworld are already close to satisfactory completion, while attacks on the Upperworld have become increasingly successful. The other power-hungry drow families of Holoth may despise her but they know a true leader when they see one, and House Gullion has been revealed as the family to lead them all on the path to glory. With the entire Underworld in chaos and the Spider Goddess regularly communing with her chosen Matron, far greater dreams than mere regional conquest are within the grasp of the drow, as Maelora prepares her grand dark elf army for victory!

With other mystical allies standing firm with the Matron, other Underworld races beneath her heel or cowering behind fortified walls, and every drow ready to play their part when she gives the word, what could possibly stop her from achieving her final triumph and fulfilling her destiny?

But even the greatest of plans has a flaw if you look hard enough, and a party of stout heart and strong resolve can make a difference. At first, such a party may well believe it is on a smaller adventure, perhaps to win a few baubles or some small acclaim by rescuing a few kidnapped villagers. Soon, however, those adventurers will realise that much more is at stake, and that they are the ones who will need to make moves against the evil Matron Maelora and her increasing dominance if both the entire Underworld and Upperworld are to be saved. But how will they go about it? Can they ensure their own success when an entire city is standing against them? Only they have the chance to halt the Rise of the Drow!

"Rise of the Drow" is a standalone 'mega module' of almost 500 pages. It is designed for starters of 6th level and takes players up to around 18th level. It can be played in conjunction with "The Darkness Arrives," the prologue to this adventure that support PCs of level 1 to 6, and "The Commander of Malice," an epilogue to "Rise of the Drow" that takes those same PCs to level 20.

"Rise of the Drow" contains:

  • Brand new illustrations by Mates Laurentiu, Rick Hershey, Jacob Blackmon, Jen Page, and Satine Phoenix
  • New and revised maps by three time ENnie award-winning cartographer Todd Gamble
  • Beautiful page design by Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games
  • The dwarven trade city of Embla fleshed out in even greater detail
  • A fully expanded Fungi Forest spanning over 50 pages with new spells and items
  • Three main paths for the PCs to explore with options to take your adventures even farther
  • The dwarven capital of Stoneholme by Kevin Mickelson, author of "The Mask of Death"
  • Jorumgard, the deep dragon lair by Owen KC Stephens of Rogue Genius Games
  • Vethin's Hold, a new underground city of trade and treachery by Jason Stoffa of Fat Goblin Games
  • The foul drow House Invidious by Brian Berg of TPK Games
  • Holoth, the mighty drow city of the Underworld completely revised and expanded by Christina Stiles of Kobold Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Christina Stiles Presents.
  • The gargantuan Temple of the Spider Goddess by Joshua Gullion of AaW
  • House Gullion’s home, Tolgorith Tower which spans across 6 maps and includes over 30 different locations for your PCs to explore
  • Supplemental histories on each member of House Gullion
  • The demiplane of Venom
  • Multiple ways for the PCs to end the adventure and many more ways to continue with the "Rise of the Drow Epilogue: The Commander of Malice" or new adventures in the Underworld!
  • New artifacts like the powerful soul-stealing Vidrefacte
  • New Traps like ochre jelly dust
  • New Special Abilities such as the third eye of fear
  • New Feats including Fused Weapon Fighting
  • New Items like giant green-spored parasol mushroom poison and Fungi Forest kombucha
  • New Magical Items such as the coin of singing and mycelosuits
  • New Mushroom and Drow domains
  • Loads of new spells perfect for adventuring underground
  • New Monsters, too numerous to list
  • and so much more!

Foreword by Ed Greenwood
Written by Stephen Yeardley, Jonathan G. Nelson, Mike Myler, Joshua Guillon, Ed Greenwood, Owen KC Stephens, Christina Stiles, Brian Berg, Jason Stoffa, Kevin Mickelson
Cover Art by Kerem Beyit
Art by Jen Page, Satine Phoenix, Todd Gamble, Kerem Beyit, Mates Laurentiu, Rick Hershey, Jacob Blackmon and more!
Pages: 494, full color

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Video review

5/5


Great campaign, my players loved it!

5/5

Just wrapped up running this campaign with my group. It’s a huge book with gobs of content, all ready to use in the publisher’s setting. It is not overly difficult to drop into any setting tho, as I did for the collaborative shared-world setting I’ve got going on with two other DMs.

There were only a couple of hiccups during our play through, and I can’t blame them on this book. One, the starting point in the book is the small town of Rybalka. That just wasn’t going to fit with our setting, but it was easy to tweak. Two, my group just wasn’t ready to move underground… humans that didn’t bring light sources, that sort of thing. And the fact that large portions of this book takes your PCs underground shouldn’t be a spoiler, given the title!! :)

This book is huge, with gobs of content, art, maps, locations, and NPCs with personality and tactics write ups! I have some of the very old original PDFs from when Rise of the Drow was a pack of separate adventures. The editing, art, and especially maps are greatly improved!

All in all, a very fun, challenging-but-survivable quest, definitely worth the money and the 5 stars!


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive tome of a module is 494 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page designer signatures, 1 blank page inside front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages ToC,2 pages of SRD, 2 pages of backer-lists, 12 pages of advertisements (all in the back), 1 page back cover, leaving us with 469 pages of content...that's A LOT, so I'll better get going!

First, let me preface this review with a disclaimer: I reviewed the original Rise of the Drow-trilogy back in the day, and it already was a very good array of modules then. When this kickstarter happened, I was asked to be a stretch-goal and I agreed. I did receive compensation for my contribution to this book, small as said contribution may have been - an ecology (I'll point out in the review) was penned by me, but I had no influence over any other part of this book. I do not consider my judgment in any way compromised and if you've been following me, you'll have noticed that I'm just as adept at criticizing my own work, so yeah - this book, if anything does not get an easier standing with me. Still, full disclosure in regards like this is a necessity to maintain my integrity. If you are still in doubt, feel free to check my original reviews for the trilogy, posted quite some time before even the announcement of the kickstarter that made this book to verify this.

Next up, since this is an adventure-review, here's the warning - the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should definitely jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right!

If you're familiar with "Descent into the Underworld", Part I of the original Rise of the Drow trilogy, then you'll realize one thing from the get go - you get your money's worth in this tome. The AAW crew has NOT skimped on the art budget, quite the contrary - from a one-page panorama of the starting village of Rybalka to the copious amounts of artworks in lavish detail (and color!), this is more than the sum of its constituent parts - take the keep the PCs are to investigate in the beginning - its whole surrounding area has now been properly mapped and expanded to include some gruesome remnants of the ancient fields of battle - including a couple of rather deadly creatures stalking the place...Have I mentioned that chaotic remnants of magic infusing the area (in case screaming skulls and diseased, mad treants did not drive home the point that this is unpleasantville...) or the rather problematic new residents of the keep?

From a panicked "prisoner" (you'll see...) to the exploration of the creepy place, the PCs have a neat array of threats ahead of them - and intelligence to gather. Rather nice here would be the module actually taking into account that the PCs probably will (and should!) regroup at the village sooner or later - if only to do some legwork. The exploration of the dungeon beneath the keep has also been upgraded with a much needed (and useful!) place - a kind of teleport nexus (hard to use, but players probably will find a way...) of a cabal of drow/undead, the so-called ossuary collaborative. Here, people knowing the original trilogy will look a bit puzzled: Yes, Yul, the nasty drow mhorg can still the "boss" of this dungeon - but the AAW-crew took one of my gripes with the original trilogy, the relative weak tie-in of the first module with the rest, and slew two brutes with one stone - the PCs receive powerful gifts from a mysterious drow female as they explore the complex - the lady Makinnga seems to be looking for an alliance and her extremely powerful items indeed are nothing to scoff at...plus, this alliance may be a shadow of the things to come for your players.

Exploring successfully the dungeon beneath the keep, the PCs are next off to a trip into the bowels of the earth, the wondrous realm called underdark. Or rather, in AAW Games' setting Aventyr (Norwegian for adventure, btw.), the world called underworld - and no, you won't (yet!) find Lethe or the like, but seriously - this is a world in itself. One of my grand disappointments with most 2nd and 3rd edition underdark/world-supplements of our game and, to a lesser extent, Pathfinder, is the lack of claustrophobia, of wonder, of strange horizons unconquered. The good ole' Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, one of the best resources I've ever read, is a rare exception to this - and the second module of the series garnered high praise from me initially, trumping the whole Second Darkness AP in one fell swoop. So AAW could have just left that alone. They didn't - they vastly expanded the whole section. Not only do we get tables of underworld hazards the players will have to adapt to, random and special encounters to face while the explore the vast network of tunnels - this time, they get to save a dwarven caravan from drow raiders and then, explore the vastly expanded dwarven city of Embla. Studded with crystalline Gonjolas, fully mapped and vastly expanded to provide a vast political panoply for exploration, interaction etc. - all while maintaining believability. What do I mean by that? Fungus farms, trade routes - the city feels alive, realistic and still thoroughly fantastic. Embla was great before, but ultimately only a grandiose backdrop - now, it's a vast sandbox to expand, develop and play in - complete with a creation myth, prices for beard-jewelry and trimming (YES!!! Now if that ain't dwarven, what is?), notable NPCs, different stores, taverns, banks and even a recipe for dwarven bread. Now, if your players don't bite, you can guide them through the story-threads rather easily here, but I literally, for my life can't imagine a group of players who wouldn't at least be intrigued by this strange place.

Beyond Embla, a short primer of some interest for the city of Stoneholm (tangential to the module - just there if your players want to check it out - now that's detail!) also can be found herein. While in Embla, the PCs will have to thwart an assassination attempt on the ruling council of the mercantile dwarves (after they've been thoroughly introduces into the intricacies of dwarven hospitality) and then, follow one of three paths to pursue in the aftermath of the drow's cowardly attempt at destroying the back-bone of the dwarves. Or at least, 3 paths are assumed and depicted - overall, the whole chapter is mostly written as a sandbox and thus offers quite an array of tough choices - two of which, though, have dire consequences: Returning to Rybalka to warn the village will see Embla fall to the drow and the PCs consequently will have to navigate either the ruins of the gorgeous city or avoid it altogether - sample encounters and the like are provided. A direct assault on the city is also possible, especially if your players are all about kicking the door in, murder-hobo style - and the battle indeed will be epic. The most detailed of the 3 paths, though, and the one the players should imho choose for maximum enjoyment, would be the one to Holoth's back entrance.

This choice will also change the final adventure in the trilogy, mind you. But back to the exploration trip through the wilderness. This trip, in the original, constituted the very best in underworld wilderness I've seen in ANY Pathfinder module. That was before the addition of the dreadful underworld dragon Nidh-Cthon and his demesne Jorumgard. And before the addition of Venthin's Hold, a truly despicable, extremely dangerous city hidden in the bowels of the earth, where no appetite, no matter how depraved, may be satisfied or the caves of the bat-like humanoids, the ahool. This would also be a good time to mention that the settlements get full settlement statblocks. And then, a gorgeous one-page illustration of a fungus jungle starts with what can be considered a herbarium of giant fungi of the underdark - what for example about a giant fungus that makes perception checks easier when adjacent due to its funnel-like shape? What about moonlight-like-radiance emitting mushrooms that imbue powers to e.g. reverse gravity to those drinking parts of the shrooms in alcohol. Especially impressive here - all fungi and molds herein get their very own full-color artworks (most including a humanoid figure as a frame of reference) and beyond these plants and wondrous hazards, mycelosuits are also introduced. These suits can essentially give you a mushroom suit that coats most of your body, rendering you weird, but also providing some very cool bonuses.

Plus: Seriously, how awesome is walking around covered in a weird suit of fungal fibre? Especially if the fungal suit constantly ejects tendrils and he like to propel you forward in e.g. forested environments? Oh, and then there would be the mushroom domain - one of my favorite domains currently available for Pathfinder. Why? Because you learn to generate explosive caps and kill your foes with force damage dealing mushroom caps. Not cool enough yet? What about entering shrooms and exiting through the same species? Or about the array of exclusive spells introduced? What spells? Well, what about fusing your legs with a mushroom and ride it? No, really. There's a spell here that fusing a hopping shroom to your feet, making you ignore difficult terrain and nigh invincible against most combat maneuvers, but also providing a severe hindrance to your spellcasting? Yes, picture it. Glorious. Especially if you evoke carnivorous shrooms erupting from the floor to eat foes?

What about special weather conditions like fungi sweat and spore storms? Yeah - and then there would be the new, superb map of the fungal jungle and the already by now (at least in my game) cult mushroom harvesting mini-game, with a cool makeover. Oh, and the jungle itself has MUCH more going on inside as well... This section of the module was great before - it's stellar now. Here is also a good place to note one of the smartest layout decisions I've seen in a while: Each of the 3 parts has its own, distinct, unique and gorgeous layout in full color. And I'm not saying the following due to Joshua Gullion (also known as fellow reviewer KTFish7 and a true friend) being responsible: The layout in this book is friggin' Paizo-level, depending on personal preferences even beyond that. Each of the various styles used just is stunning, complements well the full color illustrations and is just downright gorgeous. My girl-friend is professionally involved in layout and LOVES what he's done here - even though she usually has only complaints regarding my RPG-books. Better yet - the herbarium gets its own distinct layout - and in the context of this vast tome, that means if you just want to use the fungal jungle rules, you can immediately see where the section starts - flip it open, done. The same holds true for the 3 modules etc. - rendering this tome rather user-friendly. I am not engaging in hyperbole when I say that the layouts used here are among the most beautiful I've ever seen.

That out of the way - I know what you want to hear about - the vast drow city of Holoth and what is going on there. Well, let's start with a cohesive and concise gazetteer to the city - including detailed houses, power-structure, produce etc., allowing a DM to portray a very vivid depiction of the place. Each noble house (including two shadow houses)gets a full write up to inspire DMs further/expand the place, while each member of the main antagonist-house of Gullion actually gets a massive, full background story - making them come alive and potentially offering smart PCs way to use/trick/defeat the opposition. Speaking of which - roleplaying opportunities to strike deals with demons or devils, staging a slave revolt against dinosaur-riding drow taskmasters.

Chaos reigns in the city of Holoth, as the drow and the vidre wage war around the central fortress containing the dread artifact Vidrefacte - and to stop the threat once and for all, they will have to navigate the spider-shaped temple of the drow and enter via the temple Tolgrith tower. Here, the level of detail has once again been upped significantly - what about a 1-page table of quasi-magical herbs, all with different effects for one or 3 doses? Favorites like the mosaic tile golem or the book golem also make a triumphant return to form here. And the PCs better hurry, for each effect of the vidrefacte demands the power of souls to fuel it - and life is cheap in the underdark. Literally every day the PCs dawdle costs between 200 and 500 HD of creatures their lives...Yes, these drow are capital "N" Nasty genocidal megalomaniacs... If the PCs are smart, though, they'll return to an alliance with the undead-affine Makinnga that, via her magic and items might have helped them time and again (and is a great way to keep players on track): She proposes an alliance to destroy the vidrefacte: If the PCs can get 3 personal items from each family member, Makinnga can use her talents to distract that family member...and delay the collapse of the tower upon destruction of the artifact. The PCs have to essentially create their own ticking clock in the end and are responsible for what happens - greed for magical items versus survival instinct - brilliant. And the PCs better damn well heed this advice and alliance, unless they're buffed up and maxed out to the brim. Why? Because the tower and its foes are BRUTAL. We're talking Frog God Games level, mixed with TPK Games-style boss battles. What do I mean by that? Navigating the tower is brutal in itself - but in order to stop Matron Mother Maelora, the PCs will also have to escape the friggin' demplane of venom (now fully depicted and containing one of the most iconic boss battles I've seen in ages!) and final defeat the mastermind of the genocidal drow in a massive, chaotic free-for-all that lets them reap the benefits of their deeds and puts them in direct confrontation not only with the matron mother, but also her strongest allies and the dread vidre in a deadly free-for-all of epic proportions. A round-to-round breakdown helps the DM track all the complex interactions here and then, the collapse of the tower makes for a truly deadly escape - and, as for magic and the like - unlike most high-level modules, this one actually takes teleportations, flying and similar escape tricks into account and provides sensible explanations why the PCs should better damn well run on their own two legs...

Escaping from a city in chaos, the PCs will probably never, ever forget how deadly those damn drow are...and if even my players did so with PCs either fallen or severely battered and bruised, they still talk about the original module in reverent tones. This one is even better. So go figure! Different results, different end-game scenarios...all provided here...though, if you're like me, you want to go for the high-level epilogue module next!

Beyond the epic modules (at this point, we're on page 394 of the book!), we get the ecology of the enigmatic vidre, written by yours truly. I'm, of course, biased as to how this turned out, so feel free to tell me whether you liked it and why/why not! (And yes, I managed to point towards Rogue Genius Games great research rules in this one as an optional rule...) and also have a strange affliction and power components (inspired by Rite Publishing's 101 Special Material and Power Components) in here, though you need neither book to (hopefully!) enjoy the article.

Now not all is great in here - I'm e.g. no fan of the new drow domain - I consider its crunch somewhat flawed - gaining sight-based powers for negative energy damage falls apart with undead casters immediately and the other spells provided here didn't blow me away either - so this one is a definite "pass" for me. Then again, there is the gloriously whacky (or disturbing, depends on how you play it!) mushroom domain, so one flop, one top evens out for me. We also get a handy page of general drow traits for both 3.5 and PFRPG for the DM and then are off to the crunchy bits, i.e. the statblocks of the creatures and NPCs herein, provided for both Pathfinder and 3.5, each with its own index for convenience's sake and easy navigation - nice!

Part II of my review in the product discussion, post no 85. See you there!


Rise of the Drow - A hardback campaign

5/5

First review here, so hopefully it's an okay one. I haven't played through the entire campaign yet, so most of this are my impressions from thumbing through the Rise of the Drow.

The first statement I want to make is if you like the hardback campaigns of Shackled City and Rise of the Runelords, you want to take a good LONG HARD look at Rise of the Drow.

It didn't hit me until after I got Rise of the Drow that there are some similarities between the title of it, and that of Rise of the Runelords. What's more striking, is that on the shelf, side by side, they look of the same design and make, as well as about the same length.

The cover of Rise of the Drow seems to be a little bit more loose than the one I have on Rise of the Runelords and the Shackled City, but otherwise seems to be of the same design considerations.

Rise of the Drow has an interesting story (no spoilers here, or I'll try not to put any, though there are some obvious ones simply from reading the title), which is probably on par with Shackled City, and has some interesting ideas which can be incorporated into any campaign.

The artwork and design is pretty good, as is the layout. Most of the art reminds me less of Paizo's current offerings (and hence less like the Rise of the Runelords Hardcover) and more like Shackled City (so more like the original Rise of the Runelords paperback AP...though even there, I'd put it even earlier with the original AP's like Shackled City).

It would fall more in line with what I see in my Shackled City campaign book than in the Rise of the Runelords book. This would also apply more in how I'd see the adventure design and how it flows (just reading, not playing through it yet).

The appendixes are also nice, and there is plenty of setting information which probably could be dropped into most campaigns (so specific in nature, but generic enough that it could be used in most campaign settings). It also has 100 monsters in an appendix, though this is misleading as some of those are specific types of enemies rather than the generic monsters you can drop into any other adventure you wish (though there a multitude of those as well).

The stats are for both PF and 3.5 from what I could see, so you could run it in either format.

Overall, it's a very impressive book, on par with the other two hardback campaign/AP types I have (Shackled City and Rise of the Runelords). It is NOT like Rappan Athuk (which I also have for PF), but more in the style of a Paizo type writing, rather than the old style (which I'd say Rappan Athuk is more like).

IF you have and have enjoyed Shackled City or Rise of the Runelord Anniversary edition, I'd say take a good long look at Rise of the Drow as another hardback campaign you may want to add to your shelf.


101 to 150 of 171 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Page count is 494 (the same as the hardcover only), so I would hazard a guess it does not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Does anyone else have problems when looking at the Pdf (Computer seems to really struggle with it.)

I am wondering if part of the problem might be the size of the pdf. I have an older laptop and it has a lot of problems with memory intensive documents in the cache. Can anyone tell me what is the size of this pdf?


49,710 kb


In regards to the question about premium quality--

DriveThruRPG.com has this book in softcover B&W, standard color, and premium color. None of those come close to the print and paper quality of the hardback. This is the book you are looking for if you want the best verson, otherwise go for the softcover versions if you just want the material. I'm not saying the premium quality is bad, it's just not the same as the hardcover version. Hope that helps, tired from Gen Con so my post may not be clear as I stumble over the keys to write this...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I absolutely KNOW this is a great product but I wish it were a little less expensive. I know...you could say that about everything. When it was recently discounted I almost picked up the bundle for $79.95 but just could not do it. For what it's worth, I would love to see this for $50-$60. At that price I'd purchase it NOW.

That's my $0.02...which of course I'd like to see reimbursed from Rise of the Drow ;)


Great looking book! I'll have to ask Santa for a copy! I could pick it up for $50 as well. . .


A buddy of mine is thinking about getting into this and we have some questions:

1) It was mentioned earlier in the discussion that the best place for this to be set in Golarion is Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Without spoiling things, why there? This is an underdark/darklands game mostly, so what benefit does placing this under LotLK grant?

2) Would it be possible, without too much work, to play as Drow PCs that are some sort of disillusioned renegade types looking to topple the current regime?

3) I second wondering if Ultimate Campaign could be used for this game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

1. LotLK simply matches the thematic setting present in Rybalka (Vikmordere/Klavek Kingdom) where the adventure begins. Honestly you could easily start the adventure anywhere as the group quickly heads underground...unless you're running the prologue in which case you'll want an area with a cold climate and no major cities within easy reach of the PCs, basically untamed wilderness- frontier village far from civilization...

2. That would be fairly easy. Grab the Underworld Races: Drow book here on Paizo or from our site at Adventureaweek.com and hand that to the PCs to get them started. If you read up on the story you could have the drow start out on the surface as part of one of the raiding groups, perhaps the group which is transformed into zombies at Krelgar Keep...they could have fled just as this was going down. Now that they're far from their home city of Holoth they've decided to become renegades and topple the current establishment.

3. For sure! We used it in our playtest and it worked great!! (UC)

Apologies for any poor punctuation or grammar, I've had very little sleep the past 3 days.

-Jonathan

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm wondering if anyone has changed the setting to be on Golarion somewhere. If so, where? This is also for the prologue and epilogue, at least for the above ground portions.

Thanks.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Land of the Linnorm Kings, and I placed Rybalka where the Whitegold River exits the Stormspear Mountains (aka northern area).

-- david


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Has anyone figured out when during the adventure that each character level should be given. I really do not like tracking XP, so I use the sidebars at the beginning of each of Paizo's AP chapters to grant levels when suggested.

I am thinking along the lines of:

Prologue levels:

1st level at start
2nd level after Temple
3rd level during Overland trek
4th level ??
5th level ??
6th level by End of Prologue

Main Adventure:

6th level at start
I have not figured out the rest.

Epilogue:

Not even started doing this

Can someone (authors?) fill in the blanks? Thanks

-- david


Is the scale on the two maps of Embla the same? I assume so, but want to check. Thanks,

Also, are there more detailed maps of Embla?

-- david


Hello David,

Please explain "two maps of Embla".

There are no further detailed maps of Embla although we have Gaming Paper & PDF Underworld Encounter Maps which can be used for various encounters in and around Embla & Holoth as well as a series of VTT Map Packs that may help you. One such map pack is this one (meant for Stoneholme but can be used in Embla): LINK!

As far as rewarding XP goes that is entirely up to the GM. I typically award XP after the PCs have progressed through a dangerous area and arrived in a safehaven. For example after Krelgar Keep during the rest in Embla.

I'll let Stephen and Will weigh in on this too for those of you who appreciate firmer guidelines.

Peace in the Underworld!

-Jonathan


The two "high-level" maps on pages 57 & 58 of "Rise of the Drow". I was looking for a more detailed map then those two of Embla.

As far as XP, I did not make myself clear. I do not want to "award" XP or even keep track of XP. I am looking for information like the following on Page 6 of "The Shards of Sin" which is

Spoiler:

PART ONE: A GAME AFOOT IN MAGNIMAR
New recruits into the Pathfinder Society are given their first task: tracking down a missing informant and trying not to get killed in the process.

PART TWO: THE SEEKER’S SHARD
The missing informant has been found, but she’s not too happy about it. The heroes must infiltrate her hideout to find out why she went missing—but they’re not alone in wanting answers.

PART THREE: IN THE CROW’S NEST
The discovery of an ancient artifact—the Shard of Pride—points the way to the second fragment of the Shattered Star, somewhere deep within the ruin known as the Crow.

PART FOUR : A LEGACY OF WRATH
Deep under the Crow, the heroes continue their search for the Shard of Greed, coming up against ever-increasing dangers: devils, derros, and ancient horrors from old Thassilon.

“Shards of Sin” is designed for four characters and uses the medium XP track.

The PCs begin this adventure at 1st level.

The PCs should be 2nd level by the time they recover the Shard of Pride and enter the Crow.

The PCs should reach 3rd level by the time they’re exploring dungeon level 1 of the Crow.

The PCs should reach 4th level during their exploration of the Ancient Laboratories.

The PCs should be well into 5th level by the end of this adventure.

-- david


Hi, Monkeygod, I know this is a month++ later than your post, but in the random encounter cards, there ARE some renegade drow, so the idea is a fine one. What I would say is that a drow PC would almost certainly draw all the initial fire in an encounter; most Holoth residents are very unforgiving. However, the flip side of this is that s/he may well attract other unhappy drow, those disgruntled with Maelora - who knows, maybe the drow is connected to Makinnga, which would make some of the encounters much more intriguing.


Hi David, there are some interesting points here. When I wrote my parts of this, I tended to think in terms of number of encounters rather than XP per se. I'm more of a 3.5E player/gm, so make sure a party of four 1st level characters goes up a level after 13-14 1st level encounters, with a 3rd level encounter being equivalent to two 1st level encounters, and so on. Five PC would need 17-18 encounters, six PCs 20-21 (all roughly), etc

With that in mind, I put in LOTS of encounters, far more than are needed to go up a level for a 1st level party. In the first part of the prologue, there is an awful lot going on at the same time, and it "ought" to be impossible for the party to deal with all of it, as those consecutive events impact on each other - if you go to do A, B takes place and ends elsewhere, but C will still happen. However, if you go to do B, A will conclude with a result and C will be different, and so on.

As all the parts of the adventure path work this way, the suggested starting level for each section is about as good as we could get/agree on. We know that different parties will start at different points, but they will "gain less" as they deal with encounters, and perhaps not be at a particular level by a certain point. I know, I know, this almost certainly isn't "really helping" with what you want to do, but the reasonably rigid-looking way the example is laid out doesn't quite work with the vast sandbox that RotD in particular becomes, and we weren't of a mind to say that a party ought to be at X level before it can begin to tackle Events E, F, and G. If you are really stuck - and you certainy don't read like you are, more that you'd like things speeded up a little - let me know, and I go back and make some suggestions based on number of encounters.

Take care

- Stephen


@DM Papa.DRB

Your spoiler text is quoting an adventure which was not crafted by AAW Games. I sounds like a Paizo adventure path to me. I would post in the thread for that particular adventure. :)

Happy Holidays!

(Big sale on our site and a free subscription for those of you looking to add to your AAW Games collection. The hardback and other books are priced the lowest we've ever gone as well!)


That was an example of what I was looking for.


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DM Papa.DRB wrote:

The two "high-level" maps on pages 57 & 58 of "Rise of the Drow". I was looking for a more detailed map then those two of Embla.

As far as XP, I did not make myself clear. I do not want to "award" XP or even keep track of XP. I am looking for information like the following on Page 6 of "The Shards of Sin" which is

** spoiler omitted **

-- david

It is always exciting to see someone as interested in our work as we are, David!

Unfortunately, the only map of Embla that I am aware of is the one in the book; if we worked at a smaller scale, it would've taken up several pages, and as you already know, we crammed this guy as full of awesome as we possibly could.
If there's a specific building or something you want more salient details about we can probably offer some help there, but otherwise, the minute mapping of the City of Fair Trade is in your hands!

Spoiler:

The PCs begin Rise of the Drow at 6th level.

The PCs should be 8th or 9th level by the time they reach Embla.

The PCs should be reach 10th or 11th level before entering the Fungi Forest.

The PCs should reach 13th or 14th level before entering Tolgorith Tower.

The PCs should be between 16th and 18th level by the time they encounter Maelora, Matron of House Gullion.


MikeMyler wrote:
DM Papa.DRB wrote:

The two "high-level" maps on pages 57 & 58 of "Rise of the Drow". I was looking for a more detailed map then those two of Embla.

As far as XP, I did not make myself clear. I do not want to "award" XP or even keep track of XP. I am looking for information like the following on Page 6 of "The Shards of Sin" which is

** spoiler omitted **

-- david

It is always exciting to see someone as interested in our work as we are, David!

Unfortunately, the only map of Embla that I am aware of is the one in the book; if we worked at a smaller scale, it would've taken up several pages, and as you already know, we crammed this guy as full of awesome as we possibly could.
If there's a specific building or something you want more salient details about we can probably offer some help there, but otherwise, the minute mapping of the City of Fair Trade is in your hands!

** spoiler omitted **

Understand about the maps and no biggie. I can work with that.

For the XP spoiler, THANK YOU, that is exactly the type of information that I am looking for. While I will have to keep closer track of XP than I normally do, the guidelines help tremendously.

-- david


No problem David! Let us know which was your favorite part and do us a solid and rate the book. :D


Is there an updated version of "The Commander of Malice" pdf?

I just started skimming this. Game has not even started yet, so no need for a detailed read, but letters or "double" letters are missing.

I am using Foxit and/or Nitro to view my PDFs and am having this problem, only with this one of the three PDFs.

For Instance:

As darkness ickers around

Chapter 3 - e Hunt

clone. e new

and a lot more. I am assuming "FL"ickers, "TH"e etc.

Anyone else seeing this?

-- david

Edit: It works in Adobe Reader (had to download and install), but I really dislike it. Any chance of fixing it so other PDF readers work?


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My nickname for Naraneus is OGLolth. :)


DM Papa.DRB- I'm sorry I took some time to get back to you on this. May I suggest posting in the Rise of the Drow Epilogue: Commander of Malice thread next time? This will also help others who are looking for a solution for the same problem should they have it in the future.

For now we only guarantee support for our PDF books when using Adobe Reader (Acrobat). I honestly have never heard of the PDF readers you mentioned and am sorry you are experiencing trouble viewing our PDFs with them. We are a small publisher and although we strive to make everyone happy we can only stretch our small team so thin. Revising the PDFs for alternative readers isn't something we can facilitate at this time. Will you be able to use Adobe Reader whilst running that adventure?

-Jonathan


Yes, I can use Adobe when running the adventure (probably several years from now), but I really dislike the bloat from that product. Foxit and Nitro are common PDF readers, and especially Foxit are quite light weight.

At one time some of the Paizo PDFs had this problem, but they "re-created" the PDFs with a new export and the "double letter" issue went away.

What I do not understand is why only the last PDF is having this issue and not all of them. Did you guys change something in the way you exported the document to PDF?

-- david


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@DM Papa.DRB

Honestly, that sounds like a bug that should be reported to the developers of Fixit and Nitro. It's more likely that the issue is on their end.

If you're using an Android tablet, I highly recommend SmartQ Reader. It's the fastest loading PDF reader on Android that I've come across.


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My apologies. I checked this morning, and found that I was to far back level on my Foxit instance, so I upgraded and everything presents properly.

-- david


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Good to hear! Thanks David. :)


Do the maps for this product use 5 foot squares or 10 foot squares? I have not purchased it yet.

Also did anyone get an answer on when the PC's should level up? I can probably wing it, but I would prefer not to.


wraithstrike wrote:

Do the maps for this product use 5 foot squares or 10 foot squares? I have not purchased it yet.

Also did anyone get an answer on when the PC's should level up? I can probably wing it, but I would prefer not to.

There's recommended level up points in a post by MikeMyler under a spoiler tag on Dec 5.


Salazar wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Do the maps for this product use 5 foot squares or 10 foot squares? I have not purchased it yet.

Also did anyone get an answer on when the PC's should level up? I can probably wing it, but I would prefer not to.

There's recommended level up points in a post by MikeMyler under a spoiler tag on Dec 5.

Thanks


wraithstrike wrote:

Do the maps for this product use 5 foot squares or 10 foot squares? I have not purchased it yet.

There are many, many maps but each should have a key and the vast majority are 5-foot squares. :D


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I picked this up last summer (I just missed getting in on the Kickstarter, so was excessively happy to find it right here at Paizo!) primarily to use as an Underdark source book for Pathfinder.

But, now I am getting ready to GM it starting in a couple weeks, and absolutely can't wait! It looks so fun! Just the Keep alone is an epic dungeon crawl that I really want to play a rogue through! It will be hard to conceal my jealousy as the party rogue gets to go through it! And, that Epic Ending! My players are going to love it. I love GM'ing Drow! So much more fun than just normal, run of the mill, shell fodder monsters!


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Well, in early December we finished my campaign, Shattered Star, and last Sunday 02/22, we finished the alternate DM campaign, Serpent Skull, so this coming Sunday 03/01(*) we will start this campaign. The other DM is taking a break so we will be playing this straight thru, starting with "The Darkness Arrives" thru the "Rise of the Drow" and ending with "The Commander of Malice".

The "party" consists of four brand new 1st level characters:
1) Male human monk.
2) Female human druid (saurian shaman) with her T-Rex animal companion.
3) Male ?? fighter (probably human & sword & board).
4) Male ?? sorcerer (probably human & bloodline unknown at this time).

For the most part (except the saurian shaman archetype) they are pretty much core rules characters.

I have created Miah, and he will come with the party back to Embla after they either find some of his gear in the prologue, or his brother Quorron is able to outfit him. When they get underground, his other brother (my creation) Gnok who is an underground ranger (crossbow) will join up with them for a good part of the main adventure.

The guy who is playing the monk also takes notes and publishes character journals here at Paizo, so when we start and he gets the first journal entry up, I will publish the link here if you wish to follow it.

-- david

ps. I am really excited to be running this !!!!

* Unless we get more dang snow here in Upstate New York. We missed three Sundays this month. Two because of snow, and one because it was Valentine's Day weekend.


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Keep us posted, I love hearing how people play through our adventures! :)

-Jonathan G. Nelson
AAW Games
Owner/Publisher


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wraithstrike wrote:
Also did anyone get an answer on when the PC's should level up? I can probably wing it, but I would prefer not to.

Levels:

The PCs begin Rise of the Drow at 6th level.

The PCs should be 8th or 9th level by the time they reach Embla.

The PCs should be reach 10th or 11th level before entering the Fungi Forest.

The PCs should reach 13th or 14th level before entering Tolgorith Tower.

The PCs should be between 16th and 18th level by the time they encounter Maelora, Matron of House Gullion.


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DM Papa.DRB wrote:
* Unless we get more dang snow here in Upstate New York. We missed three Sundays this month. Two because of snow, and one because it was Valentine's Day weekend.

I should not have thrown this out into the universe, because we had snow, sleet and glare ice on Sunday so the game got cancelled for that night. One of the guys is 45 minutes away, and one other is 30 minutes away, so it was dangerous for them to come.

New start of the game is Sunday 8 March 2015 (I bloody hope anyway).

-- david

Cast of characters:
Bear - neutral human male fighter - buckler & scimitar
Bluestar - chaotic good human male sorcerer (celestial)
Chang-Soong Ma - lawful good human male monk
Nirilyx - neutral good human female druid (saurian shaman)
Torx - Niri t-rex companion

Scarab Sages

Is there any idea when this will be back in print? It is allowing backorders instead of just saying it's out of stock, so I assume that means there's actually a plan of some sort since the system is still willing to take money?


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Duiker wrote:
Is there any idea when this will be back in print? It is allowing backorders instead of just saying it's out of stock, so I assume that means there's actually a plan of some sort since the system is still willing to take money?

AAW still has a few copies left for sale on their site.


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I have four books left on AdventureAWeek.com. Reprint is likely in 2016 but no firm date yet. It will be a slightly different version.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Only the PDF is now available through Paizo.com.

Scarab Sages

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Thank you very much for the quick replies, I'd almost ordered the backordered bundle here, which would have made for quite an expensive PDF!

Adventureaweek: you should find that you only have 3 books left now. Looking forward to running this.


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Thanks! :)


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Duiker wrote:

Thank you very much for the quick replies, I'd almost ordered the backordered bundle here, which would have made for quite an expensive PDF!

Adventureaweek: you should find that you only have 3 books left now. Looking forward to running this.

You won't be sorry that you bought one of the last ones. These are QUALITY books!


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This sounds rather promising...


AAW, any chance for a small discount for KS supporters that got the PDFs, but were too lite on cash to go the full distance? I can spring for a printed bundle now, but every little bit helps with the Dwarvenforge KS just kicking off...


Thedmstrikes wrote:
AAW, any chance for a small discount for KS supporters that got the PDFs, but were too lite on cash to go the full distance? I can spring for a printed bundle now, but every little bit helps with the Dwarvenforge KS just kicking off...

I'm not the boss so I can't tell you yes or no, Thedmstrikes, but this book was made with more than the Kickstarter funds and I find it unlikely.

I can promise you, however, that the Rise of the Drow hardcover is easily the finest tome in my collection and I look forward to someday weaponizing it with a chain (because it is that well-constructed), watching my opponents gasp in astonishment at the quality of the beautiful artwork and tight copy that brings about their demise. :D


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We met last Sunday evening, March 8 and the notes are now up in the campaign journal section of these boards.

LINK to the notes.

Into the Darkness a journal by Chang-Soong Ma.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm glad I managed to get one from Paizo, 'cos I added it to an existing shipment, whereas the 50$ shipping direct was a bit steep! Damn you USPS!

But I agree with MikeMyler, this is one of the books I enjoy just opening up and looking at :D

Scarab Sages

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Itchy wrote:
Duiker wrote:

Thank you very much for the quick replies, I'd almost ordered the backordered bundle here, which would have made for quite an expensive PDF!

Adventureaweek: you should find that you only have 3 books left now. Looking forward to running this.

You won't be sorry that you bought one of the last ones. These are QUALITY books!

Just got it today, and I can confirm, it's a gorgeously made book. Thanks again everyone.

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