Pathfinder Adventure Path #90: The Divinity Drive (Iron Gods 6 of 6)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #90: The Divinity Drive (Iron Gods 6 of 6)
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Into the Mind of a God

Silver Mount has long beckoned explorers and adventurers from across the Inner Sea with its promise of otherworldly treasures, but more than riches waits within this towering ruin's alien chambers. Here, the greatest of the Iron Gods dwells, inexorably drawing its plans against the world of flesh and preparing for its final triumphant emergence. With the brutish rulership of Starfall cowed, the time is right for the PCs to mount the most extensive and dangerous expedition ever made into Silver Mount's mysterious interior. What strange perils from beyond the stars await the heroes in one of Golarion's most legendary dungeons, and what insidious traps has the Iron God set for them within those metal walls?

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

  • "The Divinity Drive," a Pathfinder adventure for 15th-level characters, by Crystal Frasier.
  • Dangerous plots to expand your Iron Gods campaign, by Adam Daigle and James Jacobs.
  • A look into the inner workings of robots, by Greg A. Vaughan.
  • The gripping conclusion of the Pathfinder's Journal, by Amber E. Scott.
  • Five dangerous new monsters, by Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Thurston Hillman, and Will McCardell.

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: 978-1-60125-724-6

"The Divinity Drive" 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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A strong end to the AP

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Divinity Drive makes a fitting end to the adventure path. High-level dungeon crawls are not easy to do, but this adventure pulls it off pretty well. There are some flaws, but I do really like that there is an active ecosystem in this “dungeon”. It's more than just a succession of rooms with monsters or robots to fight. That said, there is a lot of combat in this adventure and I wish there were a bit more opportunity for non-combat interactions with the inhabitants of the ship. But a good GM can easily add that in. By the time the adventure (and the adventure path along with it) is complete, I think the players will have many great memories of a great campaign.


To Scale the Silver Mount

5/5

The greatest mystery of Numeria, and one of Golarion's greatest puzzles, is now laid bare. An adventure of alien societies, killer robots, and divine mysteries, the Silver Mount becomes a grand adventure for the incredible climax of the Iron Gods Adventure Path!

Excellent flavor, challenging fights, and one of the best rewards I've ever seen at the end of a campaign make this a grand ending of the Adventure Path.


Great Final Installment

5/5

Short Version: The payoff for Iron Gods.

There's a lot of stuff to like about this adventure. You get the appropriately epic final showdown, enemies that know at least a little of what they're doing, some interesting non-combat encounters, and a chance meddle with the power of the gods themselves.

But it really gives you the payoff of the ideas in its AP more than most final installments. You get to stop the bad guy and save the world from a fate worse than death, but you also get to tackle some of the themes in the AP directly and make some really cool choices that can have a positive impact... or a negative one.

Easy five stars, moves the AP from "undecided" to "should run" for me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to wonder, what happens if the PCs bring back Casandalee from the dead via Miracle or something like that? How would that affect the adventure, if at all?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ericthecleric wrote:
I have to wonder, what happens if the PCs bring back Casandalee from the dead via Miracle or something like that? How would that affect the adventure, if at all?

It wouldn't affect the AI Casandalee at all; she's a "copy" of sorts of the original one.

But in any event, the original Casandalee has long-since been judged by Pharasma, and can't be brought back to life. (AKA: It's been well over the 200 or so years that limit even a true resurrection, much less a miracle, from restoring her to life.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What domains does Divinity grant.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
j b 200 wrote:
What domains does Divinity grant.

If you mean Unity, then Evil, Knowledge, Law, Nobility (with the subdomains of Leadership, Slavery, and Stars).

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, James.


Reading the description of the divinity drive itself and I came across this.

"All teleportation and extradimensional travel within Silver Mount (or within a 1-mile radius if the Divinity Drive is removed from Silver Mount) is suppressed, as if by a dimensional lock effect."

Just curious. Does this mean if one of the party is a Summoner, they should probably stay home?

Dark Archive

Skeld wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
What domains does Divinity grant.

If you mean Unity, then Evil, Knowledge, Law, Nobility (with the subdomains of Leadership, Slavery, and Stars).

-Skeld

He also grants the Thought subdomain...

Silver Crusade

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

GODDESS CRYSTAL! WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT PREPARED!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

This reminds me of my implacable mission to put my players up against a rune giant weretyrannosaurus...

Your thoughts, Mr. Jacobs? :)

Liberty's Edge Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
GODDESS CRYSTAL! WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT PREPARED!

No mortal can ever be truly prepared for cyborg gargoyles and wereraptors. You are forgiven for your weakness.


Does the weredeinonychus have feathers?
In what form do the PCs fight Unity?
What are the NPCs in the NPC chapter?
Are there many heavy weapons in Silver Mount?

Dark Archive

Troodos wrote:


Does the weredeinonychus have feathers?

Yes. Not a ton, but there's a ridge going down the back of his head and some along the end of his tail.

Troodos wrote:


In what form do the PCs fight Unity?

Iron Gods:

The PCs fight unity twice. The first fight is fairly early on and against him in Aggregate form with the Overlord Robot on the cover.

The second fight is at the end, within his virtual realm, The Godmind. There he takes an angelic form based on a Solar.

Troodos wrote:


What are the NPCs in the NPC chapter?

Unity's high priestess, a gargoyle named Ophelia, and Unity himself.

Troodos wrote:


Are there many heavy weapons in Silver Mount?

Iron Gods Treasure:

There's a Timeworn X-Laser, 6 Rocket Launchers, a Nuclear Resonator, and a Railgun.


Crystal Frasier wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
GODDESS CRYSTAL! WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT PREPARED!
No mortal can ever be truly prepared for cyborg gargoyles and wereraptors. You are forgiven for your weakness.

If you don't mind me asking Crystal, exactly what did you write in the Divinity Drive? I'm clueless how the process works between the guy who creates the outlines of the AP (in this case, the t-rex) and the writers. 'Cause this book out of all six of them is by far the most interesting to me, somehow exceeding Valley of the Brain Collectors.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Adventure Path outlines (huge, 30-ish page documents) are written by the developer (in this case, James Jacobs), who then assigns the six different parts to writers who then take that outline and give it flesh.

Crazy, crazy flesh.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
GODDESS CRYSTAL! WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT PREPARED!
No mortal can ever be truly prepared for cyborg gargoyles and wereraptors. You are forgiven for your weakness.

Fantastic, now I have a mental image of Crystal cosplaying Illidan Stormrage. Double glaives of Azzinoth and all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:

Adventure Path outlines (huge, 30-ish page documents) are written by the developer (in this case, James Jacobs), who then assigns the six different parts to writers who then take that outline and give it flesh.

Crazy, crazy flesh.

So If I have this right, 30ish pages of outlines, are turned into 360ish pages of Adventure Paths? Or is each part of the over all adventure path 30 pages? So that would be 180~ turned into 360?

Paizo Employee Developer

The outline size I mentioned is for the entire AP.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Yes, by far the best of the lot in this series. Well done, Crystal! Love it!

Silver Crusade

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

Now, having read it, I think it gives the final adventure of Kingmaker a run for its money. However, given that while Song of Thousand Screams was outstanding, it was barely connected to the rest of AP, so Crystal's adventure wins on the count of being a natural extension of the campaign.

Also, weredinosaurs.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is easily the best AP conclusion yet, and I was thoroughly impressed by the end of Wrath of the Righteous. But when I saw Unity's final form... yeah. That's just flat-out fantastic.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Neongelion wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
GODDESS CRYSTAL! WE'RE NOT WORTHY! WE'RE NOT PREPARED!
No mortal can ever be truly prepared for cyborg gargoyles and wereraptors. You are forgiven for your weakness.
If you don't mind me asking Crystal, exactly what did you write in the Divinity Drive? I'm clueless how the process works between the guy who creates the outlines of the AP (in this case, the t-rex) and the writers. 'Cause this book out of all six of them is by far the most interesting to me, somehow exceeding Valley of the Brain Collectors.

Adventures, like any professional writing work, are usually a team effort.

James or Rob (who are head of AP development) build a general outline for an AP, and tell each author what they need from an adventure, and usually what the Big Bad needs to be (and sometimes the other back-of-the-chapter NPCs as well, especially if they'll have an ongoing campaign role). For example, for this adventure, James told me he wanted a massive, dungeon-crawly-type adventure set in a crashed spaceship, gave me the details of the preceding adventures, and mentioned some sources of inspiration he'd like to see me use (like Expedition to Barrier Peaks, and Tron). He also told me that I'd stat up Unity as one of the major NPCs, but I got input on the other NPC (Unity's high priest). He told me there were a few monsters I needed to use (specifically, a dragon), and suggested a few others that would fit the theme of the adventure. And finally, he mentioned he wanted the ship to have some distinct "regions" with different monster types or political machinations going on. All of this is in the 60-page outline Adam mentioned; about half of which is usually writing guides and AP background, leaving about 5 pages of information on each adventure, detailed how much treasure to hand out, how much XP to hand out, and the basic intro text that eventually gets refined into each chapters "Adventure background" section.

I then turn that around into an outline of encounters I plan to use, mentioning the CR and adding brief (1-2 sentence) write-ups of what's going on, character name suggestions, cool map elements, ect. At this stage I called out what regions of the ship would be relevant to the adventure (Engineering, Security, the Habitat Module, Crew Quarters, Command, Navigation, and the Computer Core), figured out what was going on with each one, and who would be in charge.

I turn this outline over to James or Rob, and they review it, and like any good editor they give me feedback (which sometimes consists of telling me to cut encounters, sometimes consists of telling me to change monsters, and sometimes consists of maniacal laughter). Sometimes we argue over why an encounter should or shouldn't stay, and sometimes we talk out ideas for how to make an encounter stronger or to fix problems I hadn't considered (teamwork in the outline stage is good for everyone).

After that, I take the outline and expand it out into the full adventure, sketch out the maps, work up all the statblocks, and eventually send it all back to James or Rob. They then cut out about 15% of my writing (and my heart), because I tend to overwrite, and usually edit a little to make the adventure flow better with previous chapters. Sometimes they'll rework parts of the adventure that don't work mechanically or are needlessly complicated, and sometimes they'll replace encounters that are too similar to something that happened ina previous adventure (since AP authors collaborate, but don't read each others' drafts as we work). Finally the book goes to editing, layout, and print.

The weredeinonychus was all me. Because dinosaurs are f'ing metal.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

And just to follow up: If people have more questions about the writing process or anything else I've worked on, I'm always taking questions on my personal blog.

Webstore Gninja Minion

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
The weredeinonychus was all me. Because dinosaurs are f'ing metal.

Clever girl.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let me just add my voice to the choir singing the praises of this adventure. Definitely the best AP capstone since Sound of a Thousand Screams. My only disappointment was that

Spoiler:
The Dominion of the Black didn't show up in a greater capacity. Though I got a distinct Dominion vibe from the incredibly eerie Quiet Garden, which was, after all, developed with neh-thalggu technology.

I also loved

Spoiler:
Choek the giant id ooze. Was its illustration an Abyss (1989 film) reference?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

a new fund raising/contest idea: whoever wins gets to sit in on an AP maniacal laughing session with the whole crew:)
really great insight Crystal! love your adventures! :) (tho as a non-subscriber i must wait for this one)


Skeld wrote:

I have my PDF if anyone has any questions...

-Skeld

So for robots, is there a Craft Robot feat, or are they done using a combination of feats? Do you program them using Knowledge (engineering) or Linguistics?

Dark Archive

There's a Craft Robot Feat. It requires Craft Technological Arms and Armor, Craft Technological Item, Technologist, 9 Ranks in Craft (Mechanical), and 9 Ranks in Knowledge (Engineering). You use Craft (Mechanical) when building them; it is the only skill check required to make them.


Any info on Androffa? I have this on its way but I cant hold back my hunger for lore.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KaiserBruno wrote:
Any info on Androffa? I have this on its way but I cant hold back my hunger for lore.

No.

...

Seriously, next to nothing. James Jacobs has revealed far more about Androffa on the messageboards than the text that appears in this adventure. To put it another way, that planet is pretty much entirely incidental to the Iron Gods AP.

Try this (spoilers)

Or this (also spoilers)


Lord Gadigan wrote:
There's a Craft Robot Feat. It requires Craft Technological Arms and Armor, Craft Technological Item, Technologist, 9 Ranks in Craft (Mechanical), and 9 Ranks in Knowledge (Engineering). You use Craft (Mechanical) when building them; it is the only skill check required to make them.

So there's no information on programming/reprogramming deactivated robots? That makes me a sad panda.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Graeme Lewis wrote:
Lord Gadigan wrote:
There's a Craft Robot Feat. It requires Craft Technological Arms and Armor, Craft Technological Item, Technologist, 9 Ranks in Craft (Mechanical), and 9 Ranks in Knowledge (Engineering). You use Craft (Mechanical) when building them; it is the only skill check required to make them.
So there's no information on programming/reprogramming deactivated robots? That makes me a sad panda.

That starts to delve into computer programming and mushrooms from there into how portable computers affect play, viruses, virtual realities, and more. Originally, all of this was a part of the Tech Guide but I had to cut the content for space reasons, and that meant that reprogramming robots and the like went away as well. Maybe someday if we do more with tech stuff we'll add this element.

For now, the robojack from the Tech Guide is your key to seizing control of robots.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

OK, now I feel the need for an Ultimate Technology more keenly than ever.


Hey guys,

I've tried my hardest to keep off of the boards after the pdf was released to subscribers , but I just happened to see that Ophelia is Unity's Priestess....

Darn it, my curiosity got the best of me...

Is that a spoiler....

I am anxiously awaiting my pdf!!!!

Thanks !!

P.S...
No Spoilers please ! :)

is the adventure good??

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Lord Gadigan wrote:
There's a Craft Robot Feat. It requires Craft Technological Arms and Armor, Craft Technological Item, Technologist, 9 Ranks in Craft (Mechanical), and 9 Ranks in Knowledge (Engineering). You use Craft (Mechanical) when building them; it is the only skill check required to make them.

It appears on page 71, in Greg Vaughan's Ecology of the Robot article.


The Ecology of the Robot mentions a heavy repair drone. Whats that like? Are all the robots, even the clockworks with the robot subtype, listed in it?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

KaiserBruno wrote:

The Ecology of the Robot mentions a heavy repair drone. Whats that like? Are all the robots, even the clockworks with the robot subtype, listed in it?

The heavy repair drone is also called a clocktopus, which gives you an idea of its appearance. Eight slam attacks, CR 13.

The robot list mentions just about all of the robots and variants published, but it misses out on some of the variant robots published in that adventure proper, such as

Spoiler:
the pulsepounder, which is a variant cannon golem with a giant laser for a head!


Demiurge 1138 wrote:
KaiserBruno wrote:

The Ecology of the Robot mentions a heavy repair drone. Whats that like? Are all the robots, even the clockworks with the robot subtype, listed in it?

The heavy repair drone is also called a clocktopus, which gives you an idea of its appearance. Eight slam attacks, CR 13.

The robot list mentions just about all of the robots and variants published, but it misses out on some of the variant robots published in that adventure proper, such as ** spoiler omitted **

Is the pulsepounder the actual name or is that just the local nickname given to it by ignorant Numerians? It sounds like the latter, but then again there are gearsman, which is a name I personally love but also believe fits kind of weird with the names of it's kin, if you can call other robots kin.


Tell me more about this "pulsepoundr", it sounds fantastic.


Troodos wrote:
Tell me more about this "pulsepoundr", it sounds fantastic.

Ditto, and any other new robots mentioned please.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Acolyte of Mushu wrote:


Ditto, and any other new robots mentioned please.

Spoiler:
As Demiurge noted, the pulsepounder is a robotofied cannon golem. Stats are mostly identical to the golem, except it has the robot subtype (first introduced in Inner Sea Bestiary, and has popped up a few times since then). As a result, it has an Intelligence score, skills, and feats. Instead of a cannon, the pulsepounder has a big ole' blaster in its chest. I don't have the PDF in front of me, but it's a darn cool variant monster.

The "clocktopus" is a repair drone. It's an animated object with the robot subtype, though its stats and abilities are novel enough that it's pretty much a brand new creature. Its purpose is to repair other robots, though it can throw down if necessary.

There's a robot whose purpose is to make contact with primitive (non-technologically advanced) cultures. The name escapes me. They're nothing too interesting, but are designed to look angelic. This fits in nicely with Unity's delusion that he is, in fact, a celestial messiah.

The director robot is a humanoid/tank centaur (tankotaur?) that directs other robots. Which you might have surmised from the name. They remind me a bit of higher end modrons, in that they can take over the programming of their lessers. It's implied that Unity uses director robots to indirectly keep tabs on the robotic soldiers that he lends out to the Technic League. Unity's reach ends at Silver Mountain, so the directors are his proxies.


Generic Villain wrote:
Acolyte of Mushu wrote:


Ditto, and any other new robots mentioned please.
** spoiler omitted **

I don't suppose the angelic robots are the evaluator robots? Also, despite the name that brings up some ideas, I can't imagine how the clocktopus would look like. Does the entry describe it? I'm thinking either octopus-lower body or Doc Ock style tentacles on the back.


Also, what aliens are encountered? I know of the vortex dragon and I heard about some lashunta. Is there anything else?


Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
I don't suppose the angelic robots are the evaluator robots?

Indeed they are.

Quote:
Also, despite the name that brings up some ideas, I can't imagine how the clocktopus would look like. Does the entry describe it? I'm thinking either octopus-lower body or Doc Ock style tentacles on the back.

Better yet. Artwork is provided!


Heine Stick wrote:
Acolyte of Mushu wrote:
I don't suppose the angelic robots are the evaluator robots?

Indeed they are.

Quote:
Also, despite the name that brings up some ideas, I can't imagine how the clocktopus would look like. Does the entry describe it? I'm thinking either octopus-lower body or Doc Ock style tentacles on the back.
Better yet. Artwork is provided!

Oh sweet, I had thought I read somewhere there wasn't any artwork for it! I can't wait till my copy comes


Oh yeah, are the lashunta encountered friends or foes?


CAN'T wait to get my PDF on wensday!!! This adventure path is one of my favourite! I never though i would like sci-fi be mixed with hight fantasy, but now i'm just addicted to the idea!!!


The Lashunta encountered are foe.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Draks, this AP has been a lot of fun. :)


Love it! There's just one issue, regarding one of Unity's minions...

Bectux:

Bectux is an Ancient Vortex Dragon, meaning that she has the Vortex dragon's special ability Galactic Emissary.
This halves the time of starflight and, more importantly, makes the dragon immune to any effect that bars extradimensional travel.

This means that the Divinity Drive should not be trapping her in the planetarium, and that she's free to come and go as she wishes, regardless of what Unity may desire.

Perhaps this is an additional reason that Unity doesn't fully trust Bectux?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Love it! There's just one issue, regarding one of Unity's minions...

** spoiler omitted **

Easy solution.

Spoiler:
Unity is a deity. His presence prevents the dragon from leaving. It's a bit of deux ex machina... bit I can't think of a better time to do this, since Unity literally IS a god in a machine.

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