Pathfinder Adventure Path #88: Valley of the Brain Collectors (Iron Gods 4 of 6)

4.30/5 (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #88: Valley of the Brain Collectors (Iron Gods 4 of 6)
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After unearthing clues pointing them toward the legacy of a mysterious prophet, the heroes of Numeria must brave a remote canyon known as the Scar of the Spider, where they hope to uncover ancient knowledge to aid them in defeating the sinister Iron God of the Silver Mount. But the heroes aren't the first visitors to the distant valley—alien monstrosities from the darkest reaches of space have colonized the canyon, and hold their own horrific agendas. Can the heroes escape with their brains intact, or will they become the latest additions to a sinister, otherworldly collection?

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

  • "Valley of the Brain Collectors," a Pathfinder adventure for 10th-level characters, by Mike Shel.
  • A treatise on the galaxy-spanning horrors known as the Dominion of the Black, by Mike Shel.
  • A study of the technology used by four alien cultures, by David Schwartz.
  • A hero's solemn return home in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Amber E. Scott.
  • Four horrendous new monsters, by Mike Shel.

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: 978-1-60125-704-8

"Valley of the Brain Collectors" 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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Average product rating:

4.30/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Wonderfully alien

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Overall, Valley of the Brain Collectors is a very good adventure and it would be great for PCs (or players) who think they've seen it all. It does a particularly good job of making its aliens truly alien, while still providing them with personalities and motivations. At its barest, this is an adventure where the PCs explore an area of wilderness and fight monsters there, something done many times before in countless other adventures. But nevertheless, this adventure is unlike any other adventure out there. As much as I've always loved brain collectors, I haven't seen an adventure before that effectively uses them. This adventure rectifies that.


good ideas, lots of filler

3/5

Blah blah blah, horrors from beyond the stars.

Look, there's some fun stuff here. There's some great information on an important faction in the AP, and one side encounter that's just creepily well conceived. Unfortunately there's just so. much. filler. The entire book takes place in one geographic location, and most of the action exists to justify that, rather than advancing the overall plot of the AP.


They Came for Our Brains!

5/5

ALIENS! They came from outer space to harass my PCs, and harass they did! The adventure had some excellent flavor around every corner. They made lasting allies that they carry to this day, and were well and truly bothered by some of the alien activity happening right on the ground with them. If you were hoping for an adventure of the third kind, this is the book for you!

They found some foreshadowing for later adventures, clever toys to play with, and even turned an alien into a fuzzy animal for their fun and friendship.


Unfortunately what i expected

4/5

First of all i have to say that i don't like the lovecraftian things, either in their pure form or in the form that PF uses them.
For some reason when Lovecraft makes his appearance in PF the encounters are going to be weak (extremely so), that was the case with Shattered Star 5 Into the Nightmare the Rift and that's the case with Valley of the Brain Collectors, fortunately the encounters aren't as weak as they were in the Into the Nightmare Rift but they are still weak and you need to beef them up considerably in order to not have the game being a walk in the park.
This book is the conclusion of act 2 where the heroes learn more about their enemy and finally gather the means to go and confront the evil that's about to befall the world.
The overall story is there, although it's lessened by the sandbox-ish nature of the book.
The technological aspects and themes are well presented albeit at a much lower ratio than in previous books.
To sum up, i didn't very much liked this module and i would have rated at 3 stars (or less) but the article on alien technology and the article on Dominion of the Black were both superb, so the final rating of the book bumped up to 4 stars.


Hold onto your brains

4/5

Short Version: If you like Giger, you'll probably like this. And I like Giger.

This adventure really showcases the Dominion of the Black. Even if it weren't for the excellent back matter, the Dominion would be the star of the show.

But the way the adventure is structured, I never really felt any Dominion threat. They're hella creepy and super dangerous, but they really just sort of happen to be in the PCs way.

That said, I think this is one of those adventures that can easily slide from merely average to one of the best adventures your group has ever had. It all depends on the GM's ability to pull the players into the atmosphere of the adventure.


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Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mike Shel wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:

*Gets the mop to clean up head explosions.*

Sneaks into janitor's closet, squeezes goop from mop head into a bucket, tip toes out of Paizo offices with bucket, having animated conversation with self

*sigh* Not again....


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Damiel: "Why did I agree to be the bait!?"

Lini: "Because Alain wasn't available."

Amiri: "Enough talking, let's do this!"

Lirianne (laughing wildly): Pew pew pew! I love this gun!"


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

Well it's official: I'd hereby like to extend my invitation to the Dominion of the Black to come to Earth and take my brain. Guess that makes me a Night Herald...


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

Dominion of the Black info! alien tech! That cover! So excited.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quite the awesome cover/NPC you've got there!


They're not collecting MY brain, that's for sure!


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

They can have my brain when they take it from my cold dead hands. :-)


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

I do believe that is the idea

Dark Archive

Gray wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gray wrote:
And would he be wearing an aurumvorax pelt?
SHE is indeed wearing an aurumvorax pelt!
Very nice! And fashionable!

Also a nice nod to S3

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:

They can have my brain when they take it from my cold dead hands. :-)

Your proposal is acceptable.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

SOOOOOO COOOLLLL!!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Auxmaulous wrote:
Gray wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gray wrote:
And would he be wearing an aurumvorax pelt?
SHE is indeed wearing an aurumvorax pelt!
Very nice! And fashionable!
Also a nice nod to S3

Careful... there's enough nods to S3 in this AP that you might get whiplash.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Gray wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gray wrote:
And would he be wearing an aurumvorax pelt?
SHE is indeed wearing an aurumvorax pelt!
Very nice! And fashionable!
Also a nice nod to S3
Careful... there's enough nods to S3 in this AP that you might get whiplash.

I think that by this point, we've stopped nodding and gone into full-blown headbanging.

Dark Archive

Misroi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Gray wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gray wrote:
And would he be wearing an aurumvorax pelt?
SHE is indeed wearing an aurumvorax pelt!
Very nice! And fashionable!
Also a nice nod to S3
Careful... there's enough nods to S3 in this AP that you might get whiplash.
I think that by this point, we've stopped nodding and gone into full-blown headbanging.

IDK about that - still don't have artifact examination tables (glitch table is nice though), rampaging (insane) robots and a few other things.

It's still early though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Auxmaulous wrote:

IDK about that - still don't have artifact examination tables (glitch table is nice though), rampaging (insane) robots and a few other things.

It's still early though.

Well...

Spoiler:
The entire AP plot is kinda about insanity...
.

And I thought about putting in the artifact examination flowcharts for a bit, but decided against it. Those things are fun the first 2 or 3 or 4 times... but they get old quick.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's S3?

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Generic Villain wrote:
What's S3?

Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, thanks Liz. Well in the case of this particular adventure, I'm getting more of a "The Gates of Firestorm Peak" vibe. Which just so happens to be one of my favorite vibes...


More tech *purrs like a walrus*


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is TORTURE waiting for this Adventure Path.

I'm curious just how much of the Dominion will be revealed. Obviously not every single aspect of it, but hopefully enough to pay off for all that foreshadowing in previous prints.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

While there are still and will always be thousands of questions floating out there in the ether regarding the Dominion of the Black, I think that you will have a much clearer idea of their motivations and organization after reading this volume.

I hope we hit the high bar you've raised. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adam Daigle wrote:

While there are still and will always be thousands of questions floating out there in the ether regarding the Dominion of the Black, I think that you will have a much clearer idea of their motivations and organization after reading this volume.

I hope we hit the high bar you've raised. :)

Mr. Daigle, this Adventure Path is only halfway out and you guys shattered the bar I put up there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This has been my favorite AP since Carrion Crown (Carrion Crown being my all-time favorite). Not sure if Iron Gods will overtake it, but it certainly has a shot.

Speaking of which; anyone get their confirmation yet? They're scheduled to start sending today.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

...Nevermind, everything's been pushed back a week. Subscriptions won't start until 11/10 now. Crud.


Double Crud!


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

Speak for yourselves. I need this time to try & re-infuse my bank account!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When it comes out, would someone please specify _which_ four alien cultures are described in the technology article by David Schwartz?


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

Every time I read about this adventure I cannot help but thinking about this Brains!

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
When it comes out, would someone please specify _which_ four alien cultures are described in the technology article by David Schwartz?

How about now?

Spoiler:
We featured technology from Vercites, Eoxians, Neh-Thalggu, and Mi-Go.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Bellona wrote:
When it comes out, would someone please specify _which_ four alien cultures are described in the technology article by David Schwartz?

How about now?

** spoiler omitted **

This pleases me immensely. If nothing else, it's this stuff that makes me love this game.


Man! I want this now! NAAOOWWW!!!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just ten more days......


Awesome, can't wait to see stuff for those four guys.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anyone have there copy yet?


No, not yet:(


Something tells me it's gonna be at least another day before us subscribers get it. Not that I'm complaining, I'm dead tired and I'd rather be able to get this tomorrow when I'm not a zombie :>


They'll be closed on Veteran's Day, so I suspect not until the 12th. Not a subscriber, but I tune in to hear their reactions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bellona wrote:

When it comes out, would someone please specify _which_ four alien cultures are described in the technology article by David Schwartz?

Adam Daigle wrote:

How about now?

** spoiler omitted **

Very nice! Those are all alien cultures of interest to me (although I'm getting slight Arkham Horror flashbacks about "piñatas", which is how we referred to members of the last race listed). :)

(And thank you!)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
Bellona wrote:
When it comes out, would someone please specify _which_ four alien cultures are described in the technology article by David Schwartz?

How about now?

** spoiler omitted **

Lovely - would be nice to sprinkle some of those things in Illmarsh >:3

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Anyone have there copy yet?

As above


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just got my download link, downloading now.

I've only skimmed it, but it reminds me a lot of Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown). Lots of Lovecrafty stuff, which I'm not the greatest fan of. :s

Will have to read through in more detail. My initial reaction after 60 seconds of flipping through is "meh".

The artwork for the Dominion of the Black article is pretty cool / gruesome. :p


I rather like what I've seen so far (only skimmed it as well). Varying mileages and all that. :)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What are the new technological items?


The new tech items are:

Compact AI core
Fleshnet cannon
Memory facet

In addition, there are two magic items:
Staff of the Dark Tapestry
Touch of avolition


What are the new monsters?


What's the scoop on the DOMINION ???


Dragon78 wrote:
What are the new monsters?

Reclamation robot (construct) (CR 12) - a four-legged robot with a bell-shaped head and multiple arms.

Shipmind (ooze) (CR 13) - an ooze bubbling in a tank.

Ugothokra (aberration) (CR 7) - spiderlike creature, part organic, part robot.

Yah-thelgaad (aberration) (CR 14) - Tentacled thing with a pincer-tipped tail and six blisters on its back containing brains.


Where the hell is my PDF. I am literally dying due to jealousy and envy from you guys.

*brain begins to leak from ears*


Neongelion wrote:
*brain begins to leak from ears*

Yeah, that does sound like the kind of thing that'll happen in this installment of Iron Gods.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

From the Office of Expectation Management:

If brains don't leak from ears, we're not doing our job!

;)

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