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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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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4.90/5 (based on 21 ratings)

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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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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Danubus wrote:
I bought the hardcopy at the Gen Con booth. Was hoping there was a way to get the pdf for free, but not sure that's how it's done. I did have them send me a reciept to my email when I checked out.

We only do free PDFs for subscribers as a bonus for subscribing, as far as I know.

Webstore Gninja Minion

James Jacobs wrote:
Danubus wrote:
I bought the hardcopy at the Gen Con booth. Was hoping there was a way to get the pdf for free, but not sure that's how it's done. I did have them send me a reciept to my email when I checked out.
We only do free PDFs for subscribers as a bonus for subscribing, as far as I know.

Correct. We did have an offer at GenCon that if you bought the hardcover Advanced Class Guide, you could get the PDF for $5, but not for any other releases.


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TripleOZero Two wrote:

I have a group of 5, and we're about to start this adventure path in a couple weeks. Two of the players are new to RPGs completely, so I was looking forward to running people who aren't corrupted by years of min-maxing and Google searching for optimal builds.

While we were chatting 3 more people (good friends) came over and of course they want to play too. Nobody else wants to run the game, and I don't see any possible way to do this with 8 people. With that many players, it seems like skill checks would be moot (since somebody is bound to have the right roll) and combat would turn into a hours-long cluster.

Do you think it's possible to tweak (every) encounter to run this with a large group? I'm leaning towards a loud NO, but I told them I'd take a day or two to consider it. Any thoughts/suggestions?

I used to run a group of 8 in middle school/high school in the 1st Edition days, so I have some experience with that. While not optimal, if breaking the group up isn't being received well, this is a workable situation.

Here's what I did:
1. Fighters and Thieves were the only class I allowed to be Doubled up for PCs. Spellcasters were limited to one wizard and one cleric. I made healing more readily available after tough combats.

2. Keep combats simple. This was easier in 1st Edition, so you may have to munchkin the rules for Pathfinder a little bit. As an example, instead of multiple checks for this or that, if a player wants to do something like bouncing off of tables and walls while swinging on a rope, you make it one roll and it's a success or a fail. Adjust bad guys accordingly and always err on the side of more hit points and more opponents until you get a feel for what the group can take. It's not an exact science once you get that far above the established design levels as the math starts to break down.

3. Make sure EVERYBODY gets along.

4. Make sure EVERYONE is on the same page.

5. Don't sweat the small stuff, just move the game along.

Hope that helps and good luck.


I'm interested in little things... I'm planning on running this, so I think that there would be a big market for non weaponized tech. It's little details like this that bring the world to life. It wouldn't have much impact on the "game" per say, but more as flavor.

Since the tech is much higher than our world... would there be food replicators? I didn't get that vibe from the the text- not necessarily energy to matter converters but.. (somehow a microwave amuses me, but that is almost too low tech...) Something more high tech than a microwave oven, but more low tech than a star trek replicator... Hmm...

I'd like the PCs to find little useless tech items, that they can keep or sell as they see fit that are thematically appropriate. (I would do the same with magic items too, btw... eversmoking pipes, chessboards that move themselves, etc... just junk, but amusing...)

Ideas?

Lantern Lodge

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

NPC gear question::

In Khonnir Baine's entry, is there any specific reason why his spellbook was left out of the gear? I assume he has a spellbook, since the arcane bomber archetype doesn't say it deletes it - in fact, it mentions placing two spells into the wizard's spellbook instead of cantrips.

Is this a typo/error, or am I missing something? If he should have a spellbook in the entry, does it follow the same basic assumptions as wizard NPC stat blocks in NPC Codex?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
xidoraven wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

It's an error. He should have a spellbook and there's nothing unusual about it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Finally finished reading through this today after many stops and starts. I really enjoyed it, although I kinda liked the alternate finish of fighting the final battle in the town rather than as it was presented in the main questline.

That being said, pretty good stuff - and I enjoyed the "ecology of the android" as well.


Getting ready to run this for a small group. We are all new to Pathfinder (including me, the GM).

Any particular suggested classes for this Adventure Path?

Paizo Employee Developer

Check out the free Iron Gods Player's Guide for some advice on character creation for this Adventure Path.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Valerie Williams wrote:
Any particular suggested classes for this Adventure Path?

I'm currently working on a set of eight pregen PCs for a product from Legendary Games called Metal Heroes, and I chose to go with the following mix of races, classes, and archetypes. It might give you a few ideas for getting your group started:

Spoiler:

Android slayer
Human arcanist (blood arcanist [aberrant bloodline])
Human bloodrager (elemental bloodline [air])
Gnome alchemist (preservationist)
Oread cleric of the Goddess of Invention
Human investigator (steel hound)
Human gunslinger (pistolero)
Ratfolk rogue (burglar)

As you can see, we went with a healthy dose of new options from the Advanced Class Guide as well as a couple of PC concepts which make use of firearms (to better take advantage of some of the technology in the AP). I'm hoping to get this out the door in February.

Hope that helps,
--Neil


James Jacobs wrote:
xidoraven wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
It's an error. He should have a spellbook and there's nothing unusual about it.

I was wondering, is there any word on when this adventure path will receive its set of chronicle sheets for PFS play?


Very late to this discussion, having only just recently picked up the first book in this adventure path at the local Books A Million, but I have a couple of off the wall thoughts I thought I would share:

Would it be WAY too geeky of me to combine elements of this Adventure Path with another Sci-Fi game I really enjoyed: The Mass Effect Trilogy? :-)

See, my thoughts are that what if the ship that originally crashed in Numeria wasn't a 'Colony Ship', but one of the "Harbinger Class" Reapers from the Mass Effect Trilogy?

This could mean that ALL the technology used by the citizens of that land derives from a device with the intent of wiping out all 'technologically' advanced life! Maybe it did somehow fall through a wormhole and ended up in the Golarion Universe, where it did in fact encounter the Dominion of the Black and engaged them in combat, eventually losing and crash landing on this world.

Maybe all this time its been changing its 'directives', maybe this time to destroy all life that uses arcane/divine 'technology' instead?

Among other things, this would mean that most, if not all of the rulers of Numeria have been/are being 'Indoctrinated' into the Reaper's new way of thinking, and PCs who spend a lot of time around the technology run the risk of it as well.

I know, this would require heavy re-writes of Numeria as well as probably a LOT of this adventure path, but it seemed like a cool idea to me ^_^


I'm really frustrated with this adventure. there are a number of encounters that seem like they were written by people with no knowledge of encounter design.

Vague Encounter Complaints:
There's a part early on where you have to go through some small caves and deal with a number of weak enemies, but the encounters are all so trivial that it feels like a waste of time to include them.

Same with the wandering encounters in the habitat zone.

But I'm commenting here because there's a map dealing with a warehouse that's supposed to have 2 'indicated doors' and 1 'indicated crate' on the map, and the map doesn't have anything of the like.

Obviously as the GM I can deal with small omissions like that, but it's still frustrating.

Not happy with this adventure path so far, I hope the quality goes up with book 2 :T


Demonskunk wrote:

I'm really frustrated with this adventure. there are a number of encounters that seem like they were written by people with no knowledge of encounter design.

** spoiler omitted **

Obviously as the GM I can deal with small omissions like that, but it's still frustrating.

Not happy with this adventure path so far, I hope the quality goes up with book 2 :T

I just recently finished running this adventure after running most of Ire of the Storm. I really disliked a number of things about Fires of Creation that I will cover in the spoiler below. The encounters are poorly done and feel like filler.

Plot and encounter spoilers:
Given the urgency of an extremely important NPC to the city missing and possibly dead... my party (and I agreed) logically wanted to rescue him as soon as possible. That meant we had to go through the first area (water and caves) through a bunch of weak fights, then through the habitat module (again more trivial encounters), and then through the ship area to find Khonnir. It's a lot of fighting that was expected to be broken up but made little sense to be broken up.

Also, the whole Silverdisk Hall event we skipped because of the above. I think this would have been a neat thing to have done but we did not spend a week in town and we're not going to go gamble when a man's life is at stake lol.

I think this adventure would have benefited greatly from better pacing, a more engaging town (additional quests/interactions/exploration), better designed encounters,
and less emphasis on ridiculous DCs for less tech oriented characters.


Demonskunk wrote:

I'm really frustrated with this adventure. there are a number of encounters that seem like they were written by people with no knowledge of encounter design.

** spoiler omitted **

Obviously as the GM I can deal with small omissions like that, but it's still frustrating.

Not happy with this adventure path so far, I hope the quality goes up with book 2 :T

I'd say go with it if you haven't already. The AP needs a rewrite anyway. It has pacing issues, poorly designed encounters, and a lot of backstory that relies on the players having read the player companion.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You do realize you are responding to a year old post, right?


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

And also incorrect.

We're doing just fine without any player companion.

The encounters have been all sorts of fun.

The pacing is also great so far, so...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah I was kinda scratching my head about the player companion part...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I guess he means the Player's Guide with the information about Torch.

And yes, if you play an adventure path, players should definitely have read the appropriate Player's Guide.


Zaister wrote:

I guess he means the Player's Guide with the information about Torch.

And yes, if you play an adventure path, players should definitely have read the appropriate Player's Guide.

Yeah that's what I meant. That is partially my fault. I was running Ire of the Storm previously and expected to just be able to jump in. Not the case lol. I was rushed a bit into running this.

I really do appreciate the amount of great writing put in to the town and the backstory. Unfortunately the adventure path just didn't work out for my players. I've read about other groups that had a great time doing Iron Gods and their players were more inventive in roleplaying.


The pdfs do not display properly on an iPad. Everything is great except the fiction portion. It has a textured background for only the bottom left quarter of the page. I don't really know where else to post this. It seems to be a problem in all volumes. And I have tested it across multiple iPads, including a brand new 12.9" Pro.


Hi, all! This is now available for purchase from Fantasy Grounds or on Steam. Sync your account first to get it a discount equivalent to the PDF Price ($15.99)

Pathfinder RPG - Iron Gods AP 1: Fires of Creation
Publisher: Paizo Inc.
System: Pathfinder RPG and D&D 3.5/ OGL
Type: Adventure
Get it on Steam

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