Pathfinder Adventure Path #85: Fires of Creation (Iron Gods 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

4.90/5 (based on 21 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #85: Fires of Creation (Iron Gods 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Dawn of New Gods!

The Iron Gods Adventure Path begins with "Fires of Creation," an exciting new adventure set in Numeria, land of barbarians and super-science! In the town of Torch, the settlement's unignorable tower of violet flame has gone out. The only clue to its disappearance is a newly discovered cave dug nearby. Are the heroes bold enough to unearth the otherworldly secrets that sleep beneath the city and reignite the fires of Torch? Or will their first foray into Numeria's ancient mysteries be their last?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Iron Gods Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Fires of Creation," a Pathfinder adventure for 1st-level characters, by Neil Spicer.
  • A Gazetteer of the Numerian town of Torch, by Neil Spicer.
  • A look into the mysteries of artificial life with an ecology of androids, by Russ Taylor.
  • A bittersweet homecoming for a Numerian explorer in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Amber E. Scott.
  • A host of new monsters, by Neil Spicer, Mark Garringer, and Mike Welham.

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: 978-1-60125-673-7

"Fires of Creation" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (874 KB zip/PDF).

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

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VERY tough dungeon crawl and a great introduction to science fantasy

4/5

I ran a group of 4 experienced, but non-optimizing players through this adventure and did all encounters as written.

After we finished this adventure, I asked my players to give me some feedback on the adventure itself and they all agreed that it was extremely hard, especially in the beginning. And I have to agree: Creatures with 4 attacks at level 1? Hardness 10 creatures vs. a level 2 party? Skill check DCs of up to 30 at level 3?

Sure, there are ways to make the tasks easier and I actually applaud this method: set the DC very high but be generous with circumstance bonuses (up to +10 from a single source) that can reduce it to almost trivial levels. It forces players to think in in-game terms and draws them away from their character sheet and pure mechanics. But not every group is going to like this.

The creature with hardness, however, is a very serious threat and almost impossible to overcome for low-level PCs. Make sure you work with your players and give some friendly tactical advice when they appear to get stuck.

Even though I tried to help them as best as I could without too much handholding, we had a TPK at level 1 and several near-TPKs in the rest of the adventure. If your group is not into that sort of threat level, make sure to tone down the encounters somewhat.

I even have to go as far and subtract a star for the difficulty level because one of my players got so frustrated after his character died that he returned with the strongest character build he could find online. That should not happen! It may be on me as the GM to let it get that far, but the adventure as written should not be so frustrating that you feel you have to choose the powerful over the flavorful options to survive.

Story-wise, it is a very fun exploration of a technological ruin/dungeon. The tech level slowly increases over the course of the adventure, making this a great introduction to Science Fantasy. The descriptions of the rooms are also written from a tech-ignorant perspective. In the beginning, this was a lot of fun as players and characters alike were trying to figure out what exactly the things in front of them did. But by the end of the adventure, when several people have picked up the Technologist feat, some ranks in Knowledge (engineering) and maybe even speak Androffan, the point-of-view of a technological ignoramus becomes a bit annoying because at that point everyone knows that it is a computer screen and it becomes tiring to have descriptions of "glowing glass panels with strange writing"). I know, I can of course paraphrase the boxed text, but I felt like the adventure could have handled this a bit more gracefully on its own.

All in all, we still had a great time with this one but there were a few frustrating moments due to the high difficulty levels. If you have a group of experienced players who have a certain level of system mastery, go ahead and add a star. For us, it was a 4 star experience.


Good, solid start to the AP

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Fires of Creation is the first part of the Iron Gods Adventure Path, which fully embraces the guns, androids, and spaceships part of the campaign setting. This is not the first appearance of such elements, but it is the first to make them a significant focus. As such, it's not an adventure path that will necessarily appeal to people who don't like to mix science fiction and fantasy. However, for those who do, or for those willing to give it a try, Fires of Creation makes a great starting point. It's a somewhat “sandboxy” adventure that introduces standard fantasy player characters to a wider world of technology and science fiction.


Wow!

5/5

Let me first say I haven't GM'ed an RPG (any RPG) in almost 20 years. My kids recommended Pathfinder as a "Classic" Fantasy RPG system that would be most familiar to me. My challenge was to find a beginner's module that would be engaging, relatively well fleshed out, and yet tolerant of a rusty GM new to the Pathfinder system.

Fires of Creation has met those criteria, and more! As someone who has spent a career in robotics and the Space industry, I have always like mixing technology in to Fantasy RPGs. This module allows me to be creative in adding depth and color within a well flushed out system for incorporating technology. There is sufficient backstory to allow the GM to frame the roleplay in an obviously consistent way. The town of Torch is developed well enough to be a reasonable sandbox, yet quite a few "triggers" are built in as the storyline progresses. I also found the campaign "traits" to be very helpful in tying new characters in to the storyline.

In this module, the game mechanics are relatively straightforward enough for me to learn the details of Pathfinder system. As this Adventure Path progresses I am sure that will change, but by then I'll be buffed up! We've had three sessions and my players are eager to find out what happens next. The encounters have been challenging and rewarding for them.

I would highly recommend "Fires of Creation" and am hoping future modules meet the high bar set here!


good stuff

5/5

This is an excellent start to the Iron Gods AP. The events of this book introduce the key players quite well, via an interesting story and a fun adventure. Things are weird, but there aren't any moments that feel like filler.


Will I Dream, Dave? Yes I Will!

5/5

An excellent kick-off to an excellent Adventure Path. This adventure goes from a more orthodox Pathfinder adventure with working with townspeople against a gang of thugs and delving dungeons and fighting cave-dwelling monsters to exploring the fantastical world of technology that only this adventure path could really provide. It's an excellent transition adventure to let players know that we are still in Pathfinder, but we are not completely on Golarion anymore.

Numeria has everything I've wanted in an Adventure Path and this book is an excellent jumping-off point for an adventure unlike any other!


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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:

Technological elements (not elemental, sheesh, more coffee required) have been in the setting since the beginning

Nice one !


This may seem crazy...but will a bow using character be completely sol on loot in this?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sorry to hear your disinterest in this AP Turin22, I hope when they announce the AP after this one it will be more to your interests. (If I remember correctly Paizo tries to do one AP normal and one AP experimental each year, so the next one should be more sword & sorcery for you.) :)


I will take turnin22's spot
this one is for me and my body is ready, paizo

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
zergtitan wrote:
Sorry to hear your disinterest in this AP Turin22, I hope when they announce the AP after this one it will be more to your interests. (If I remember correctly Paizo tries to do one AP normal and one AP experimental each year, so the next one should be more sword & sorcery for you.) :)

That was the case at one point, but we haven't stuck super close to that in recent years. I will say that after Iron Gods we have something that will hopefully satisfy people looking for something more traditional fantasy.


I can't wait for this one and I can't wait to find out what the next one will be.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So I have to ask at this point...is it some sort of contract or something that Wayne Reynolds does the covers for the summer APs? Don't get me wrong, I love his work and will be right clicking when this appears on the Facebooks, but he's literally done every other AP since Jade Regent. I guess I'd just like more variety.

In any case: EEEEE!!! Iconic Gunslinger who's name I never remember how to spell even though she's probably my favorite features in the AP I'm most excited since I became a fan of the line!!!!!! :D

EDIT: Lirianne!


Adam Daigle wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Sorry to hear your disinterest in this AP Turin22, I hope when they announce the AP after this one it will be more to your interests. (If I remember correctly Paizo tries to do one AP normal and one AP experimental each year, so the next one should be more sword & sorcery for you.) :)
That was the case at one point, but we haven't stuck super close to that in recent years. I will say that after Iron Gods we have something that will hopefully satisfy people looking for something more traditional fantasy.

PLEASE not set in Varisia! That's about as standard fantasy as you can get.


I also hope it isn't set in Varisia.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Every time a "D&D" RPG comes at a certain point, it answers with introducing Tech, and that's usually close to the end of it. Dark Sun/Spelljammer AD&D, Eberron D&D ..."

Not quite, for example Original D&D Vol 2 Monsters & Treasure mentions Robots and Androids. Sci Fi has been in from the beginning as, when D&D started, there was no Sci Fi - Fantasy split, it was all just fantasy.

However I am not a big fan of overt Sci Fi in my fantasy, but my kids who I game with love it. They also don't have an internal Sci Fi/Fantasy divide in their heads yet, just pure imagination.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

I envy those kids sometimes. Just loving the thrill of gaming with friends and having awesome adventures based on imagination, while we complain about sci-fi invading our precious Tolkien fantasy and verisimilitude being destroyed.

We could learn a lot from them.


And learnt a long time ago here....Odraude knows I have no problem with "sci-fi" and no Tolkien in my "fantasy".

It's all "Fantastic" after all. Some of it magical fantasy, some of it technological fantasy, and some a mix of the two.


And big ups for the cover, though the heroic vegepygmies seem to beysteriously hidden and obscured and strangely not the main focus of the picture... I like the darkness of them, is that shadow or are they...different?

Anyhoo, love the iconic figure (rocking skin tech-etching and uber-sidearm!), Damiel is channeling my favorite "X-man" Shatterstar and just because he is with his three female friends doesn't immediately make them his harem...

Love the dark cover color too.

Iron Gods!!!!


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
And big ups for the cover, though the heroic vegepygmies seem to beysteriously hidden and obscured and strangely not the main focus of the picture... I like the darkness of them, is that shadow or are they...different?

Could be- it looks like they're in some kind of laboratory. Maybe these are mutant vegepygmies?


Mutant or no, laser guns hurt;)


8 people marked this as a favorite.

The very first adventure ever published for Dungeons and Dragons involved infiltrating an evil temple that had been taken over by high-tech space aliens.

Arguments that science fiction has no place in D&D, or that the introduction of tech spells the end of an edition/product line, are simply, provably wrong.


I have roleplayed since 1989 and i am very excited by this adventure path (Phantasy Star fan, i even have a niece named after Alis). I proudly keep my sub as i have loved every single book Paizo published until now.

Dark Archive

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
And big ups for the cover, though the heroic vegepygmies seem to beysteriously hidden and obscured and strangely not the main focus of the picture... I like the darkness of them, is that shadow or are they...different?
Could be- it looks like they're in some kind of laboratory. Maybe these are mutant vegepygmies?

Well, the original vegepygmies on has their genesis on the crashed starship in S3 - Possibly the fires of creation could be a type of lab and the source of vegepygmies on Golarion?

It's possible that the vegepymies came about as a byproduct of engineering life or part of the process of creating other biomechanical organisms?

Just guesses at this point. I would assume a lab generating life.


Phantasy Star 4 is my favorite of the series.

That would be interesting if the Vegepygmies are not original from Golarion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Might and Magic series also have a setting where a fantasy world was built atop a sci-fi universe in disguise.

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

Androids! Laser-jewel-pistol! Vegepygmies! Arrlrlrhlhllhlh.

I'm so excited!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am a big fan of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction. In everything I do I combine these three elements as much as possible. Traditional fantasy is getting more and more boring for me. I will not have anything to do a zombie or any other type of undead centered property as I prefer Lovecraft flavored horror or splatter punk style stories. Spelljammer, Eberron and Dark Sun are my top three favorite campaign settings for D&D with Ravenloft occupying the #4 spot on that list and probably Iron Kingdoms after that. A heads up to all 3rd Party companies. I can only speak for myself but I will find a way to purchase material supporting this AP. Heck, I'm probably going to go the extra mile and find some way to shoehorn Mythic into this. I did not finish Wrath of the Righteous, I only bought the appetizer entries for Mummy's Mask with no intention of going much further with that AP. But this AP is where my interests lay. This is what I want as a GM to run and as a player this is what I most want to play.


I can't wait to read all the articles in these 6 APs.


Kodyax wrote:
I am a big fan of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction. In everything I do I combine these three elements as much as possible. Traditional fantasy is getting more and more boring for me. I will not have anything to do a zombie or any other type of undead centered property as I prefer Lovecraft flavored horror or splatter punk style stories. Spelljammer, Eberron and Dark Sun are my top three favorite campaign settings for D&D with Ravenloft occupying the #4 spot on that list and probably Iron Kingdoms after that. A heads up to all 3rd Party companies. I can only speak for myself but I will find a way to purchase material supporting this AP. Heck, I'm probably going to go the extra mile and find some way to shoehorn Mythic into this. I did not finish Wrath of the Righteous, I only bought the appetizer entries for Mummy's Mask with no intention of going much further with that AP. But this AP is where my interests lay. This is what I want as a GM to run and as a player this is what I most want to play.

[Emphasis mine] Yup. I'm already looking forward to Legendary Games plug ins…

IRON GODS


Dragon78 wrote:
I can't wait to read all the articles in these 6 APs.

Aaaaaaand Season 6 of PFS is Numeria friendly. Moar awesome content. Extra YAY!

IRON GODS


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Legendary Games, LPJ Designs, I wonder how hard it would be to modify Neo-Exodus to fit this in? Or maybe as I'm mixing my cocktail of material for the one campaign world I have in my head inspired by old 80s cartoons I should make room for Numeria material to slot in perfectly.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...

Can't wait to see the next cover! :)


James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...

Does that mean the iconics will be shown using space technology?


Nick O'Connell wrote:
Does that mean the iconics will be shown using space technology?

One already is on the cover of this issue (Lirianne), as well as on the cover of the Technology Guide. (Again, Lirianne. Between the Iron Gods AP and the picture of her and Alain in Rasputin Must Die! it seems like she gets all the wonderful toys.)

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Lirianne deserves everything she gets!

I adore the illustration of her plugging away with the Maxim. She looks so happy!

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:

Lirianne deserves everything she gets!

I adore the illustration of her plugging away with the Maxim. She looks so happy!

Wait Lirianne is in Maxim now! :D

Paizo Employee Developer

Erm. I should have been more clear.

Dark Archive

Just so you know Adam I was joking.

Paizo Employee Developer

brad2411 wrote:
Just so you know Adam I was joking.

Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

I was just being extra clear for folks who haven't seen the illustration.
:)


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

Maxim's next Issue, Babes of Golarion: pictures, Interviews, and more.

The Issue afterwards will be Hunks of Golarion.

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

And....

I apologize for firing off this off-topic tangent.

... Steers...

I've made it a goal to include at least one robot and one alien creature among the four to five monsters that appear in each volume. There are some fun creatures coming down the line in the months following the release of this Adventure Path volume.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nick O'Connell wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...

Does that mean the iconics will be shown using space technology?

For Iron Gods? Yes. We're already showing that, in fact; note the weapon the gunslinger's using on the cover of "Fires of Creation."


James Jacobs wrote:
For Iron Gods? Yes. We're already showing that, in fact; note the weapon the gunslinger's using on the cover of "Fires of Creation."

<joke>Lirianne has a name, you know.</joke>


James Jacobs wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...

Does that mean the iconics will be shown using space technology?
For Iron Gods? Yes. We're already showing that, in fact; note the weapon the gunslinger's using on the cover of "Fires of Creation."

Nice:)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Turin22 wrote:
I do not want Tech in my Fantasy World - and the only way to not be pestered by in for half a year in my mailbox is to stop my subscription!
and he also wrote:
A different setting for this and I would have just shrugged it off and kept going. But I fear more plots being twisted the Sci-Fi way from now on and I won't support that.

I completely respect your opinion on this, but I do want to address couple of points...

1) Blending sci-fi and fantasy elements has been a part of the genre pretty much since the beginning. Borroughs' John Carter of Mars series. Doc Smith's Lensman. Cherryh's Chronicles of Morgaine. McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. Leiber's Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser series. Vance's Dying Earth. Star Wars. Heavy Metal magazine. Bakshi's Wizards. Gygax' Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

2) Golarion may be a "kitchen sink" game world, but part of the charm is that it's modular. Don't want scisf elements? Don't ever send your PCs to Numeria. The individual areas don't really interact much unless the GM wants them to.

But I totally understand if you want to pass on this AP and its supporting materials. I'm not a huge fan of Asian flavored adventuring, so I don't allow the Asian-themed classes at my table. I waited until Jade Regent was over to start my AP subscription.

Good luck, and hope to see you on the boards!


Why isnt this out yet?!?!?!

I blame... spins Wheel of Blame

..ALTON BROWN for this not being out yet!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
For Iron Gods? Yes. We're already showing that, in fact; note the weapon the gunslinger's using on the cover of "Fires of Creation."
<joke>Lirianne has a name, you know.</joke>

We know that, but that other person who was reading this thread did not.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Freehold DM wrote:

Why isnt this out yet?!?!?!

I blame... spins Wheel of Blame

..ALTON BROWN for this not being out yet!!!

We have a thread for this sorta thing yaknow.


James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Vegepygmies on the cover!

A throwback to the 1980 AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, which first introduced them to the game!

On another note... will Space Amiri appear in this AP?

Nope; Space Amiri isn't part of this AP.

She won't use her sword for much longer though...

Does this imply that Amiri will find Thundarr’s Sunsword? I want the Sunsword!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
...note the weapon the gunslinger's using on the cover of "Fires of Creation."

Drats, I was just about to ask if anyone else noticed Lirianne had a crystal laser gun in volume ONE, but was ninja'd by James Jacobs just a few hours ago.

This may well be the first adventure I allow gunslingers in when I run it (not if, I WILL run this eventually), since I have never wanted to retool an adventure to have appropriate loot for the class.

Oh, and while I am thinking about it: WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT.
This and WotR are why I subscribed.


So will the iconics be shown shown still having their original weapons as well as space tech?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nick O'Connell wrote:
So will the iconics be shown shown still having their original weapons as well as space tech?

It'll vary.


James Jacobs wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
So will the iconics be shown shown still having their original weapons as well as space tech?
It'll vary.

Cool

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