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


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


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!


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


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


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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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This keeps looking better. Now I don't plan on running this whole AP as written but using everything that comes up to support it to make a kind of space opera using Dragon Star as the main inspiration. I get the feeling this piece is going to be crucial to what I'm planning.

Lord Gadigan wrote:
Graeme Lewis wrote:
Any word on what the new Memory Facets do?

Compassion: Gives a bonus to Will saves, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive. It also gives the AI an attack bonus against things that have hurt individuals the AI has formed an emotional bond with.

Ingenuity: Gives a bonus to Disable Device, the Tech-crafting feats, and a 1/day-per-target repair-robot touch-action.

Thanks! These sound quite interesting.

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have it now and have read it cover to cover and I am already wanting more. This whole AP has been a breath of fresh air from Pathfinder and I'm beginning to feel the pain knowing after this it will be an eternity until we go back to Numeria if ever. I am collecting everything I can in support of it to make an outer space campaign in Pathfinder. I supported the Clockwork Gnome KS about outer space and I hope that despite everything else it still manages to come out. Thanks to everyone at Paizo that worked on this, you have gotten me more entertained than I have been since the company made APs.

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

I'm currently running this adventure path and we just finished this module. One of my players wants to salvage the tank that held The-Stars-Whisper (the shipmind in the decomposing dropship) as part of some elaborate plan. As part of the rotting ship, I decided that it's in just as bad a shape as the rest of the vessel, and now questions are coming up as to what spells might be used to restore it. Since the module provides very little information on Dominion biotechnology, I'm not sure how to answer him. I assume that since it was never truly a creature, that raise dead or resurrection won't bring it back to life, but what about spells that stop decomposition or fix objects? Will gentle repose arrest the decomposition? Or, is it, despite it's organic nature, still just an object, and therefore subject to make whole? A combination of both? What keeps Dominion biotech "alive" in the first place? If repaired, will hooking it up to a power source keep it from decaying? I can, of course, just make these answers up, but I'm hoping, perhaps, some of you fine folks might have some insight so that my ruling might be more well informed.


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