Pathfinder Adventure Path #95: Anvil of Fire (Giantslayer 5 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #95: Anvil of Fire (Giantslayer 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Forged in Flames!

The heroes delve into a subterranean dungeon complex beneath the caldera of a dormant volcano in the Mindspin Mountains, where they must infiltrate the elite military academy that trains officers for the Storm Tyrant's giant army. If they can survive the giants, dragons, and extraplanar menaces that have assembled under the Storm Tyrant's banner, the heroes will have an even larger challenge before them—facing off against the fire giant general-king Tytarian before the Storm Tyrant sets out to conquer all of Avistan!

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Giantslayer Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Anvil of Fire," a Pathfinder adventure for 13th-level characters, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • A look into the faith and worship of the fire giant god Zursvaater, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • Advice and new options that allow you to harness the destructive power of volcanoes for your game, by Russ Taylor.
  • A case of poor judgment turned dangerous in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Wendy N. Wagner.
  • Five new monsters, by Benjamin Bruck, Mikko Kallio, David Schwartz, and Jerome Virnich.

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: 978-1-60125-729-1

"Anvil of Fire" 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 (1.1 MB zip/PDF).

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

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Bad, but the support articles are pretty good

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Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Anvil of Fire is one long dungeon crawl with battle after battle after battle—with almost every encounter being virtually identical to the one immediately before it. There is very little opportunity for pause (except if and when PCs decide to retreat from the dungeon to recover) and even less opportunity for interaction with NPCs in any way other than combat. There is so much of the same in this adventure, I can’t imagine any group of players not being completely bored by the end. Even the most avid “hack’n’slash” players will likely be dismayed at the lack of variety in the combats.


Just avoid this part

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First of all the premise of going into a war academy of fire giants in a dormant volcano sounds like it could be an decent adventure but it's not one in this one.

The positives in this are that there's a few fun monsters in bestiary and you can even talk to a few NPC:s. If you want to take your players through this I suggest that you change a lot of things or the players will be bored out of their mind.

If you go by the book you will fight the same kind of encounter again and again with just some variation in the numbers of enemies or with perhaps a lieutenant or captain giant mixed in. The maps to the whole book are all bland caves that offer no variation and they are too big to draw in a flip-mat anyways. You'd except some kind of hazards in a place like volcano but they are not included well in this.

All in all I suggest that you give your players a cinematic experience of this book where they can give you a plan how they fight through a wave after wave of fire giants.


Way too samey...

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I run these adventure paths as a framework from which I cut and expand as I feel matches the needs of the game. I ran this online with a group of 5 marginally optimized.

This one is second to book 3 in terms of the amount of edits I had to implement. In fact this one I cut the entire first half of the book. For me, the idea of going through a medium sized dungeon at the end of book 4, this one being a massive dungeon, and the final book also being a massive dungeon felt like too much grinding. So I instead inserted some mass combat using the Ultimate Campaign rules set which seemed to work as a fun first half. That said, let me address some of the pros and cons:

Pros:
- As usual, there are a few really interesting NPCs to build around. I especially liked Thoon and the Queen. In a massive dungeon grind, they helped to break up the monotony.
- The levels of the dungeon, and even rooms are quite modular which made it very easy to customize.
- Some good new monsters such as the Iron Rhino!

Cons
- Many of the encounters were way too similar
- Way too grindy without enough interesting things to do aside from kill everything
- The setting is interesting but felt underutilized. I’d have liked to have seen more lava dangers, ground shaking, etc.
- There is no art for this volcano. This may be particular to running this online, but its such an interesting site yet there is no art to show what this volcano looked like from the outside. Within the back matter there is a picture of a volcano but its not Ashpeak and its surrounded by tropical fauna so can’t be.
- As I said before, the back to back to back dungeon grinds was just a bit too much.


Fight after fight after fight...

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THE GOOD:
A good tactics section for the giants.
"Thoon"
The Iron Rhino and the Magnetic Golem are cool monsters.

THE BAD:
Most caverns feel more or less the same - gigantic areas of fighting of which most are too large to be drawn even on the "Bigger Basic Flip-mat".
4 magic items that are underwhelming and a minor artefact that sucks for the whole group and is unusable (stuns everyone in a 90 foot radius for 1 round including the wielder if a fortitude DC 15 check is failed - no problem for almost every giant but hard for everyone but a martial character).

THE UGLY:
There is ONE possibility to make roleplay in the entire book. The rest consists of endless fighting.
A magic rod which is created by craft wondrous item instead of craft rod (another rod is statted rightly).

I suggest the DM cut HALF of all the rooms and make some of the creatures neutral and willing to parley otherwise the players will soon tire of fighting fire giant after fire giant.

Sadly this is the low point of the AP and could easily be left out.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced! Cover image and description are not final and subject to change.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the sound of "volcano-themed class options"!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

An adventure by Sean! YAY! :D

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
the heroes learn about the Storm Tyrant’s plans to invade Belkzen and lead an army of giants and orcs to conquer the nations of Avistan.

Aaaaand there's the big hook for orc PCs. :)

Good ones already have a motive, but throw this in, and suddenly it becomes a fight to keep your race from being enslaved and turned into someone's cannon fodder again(especially if you're trying to sway them towards a better future already). And you just know even some evil orcs still chafe at the memory of Kazavon... >:)


I'm pumped for this. I've been waiting for an adventure that has fire giants in greater depth and it appears that this certainly quenches that hunger.

Volcano themed class options? I can't wait.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Volcanic themed classes... interesting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Excited to be fighting fire giant king Snurre Ironbelly - I mean, Tytarian! :p This sounds less like Giant Training Camp C and more like a lively and exciting adventure location, so that's good. :D


Hmm... very very interesting. Volcanic themed stuff... yes please!


The storm tyrant, the fire giant tytarian. Paizo running out of names and titles or is there a theme I'm missing?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I am still waiting for "Bob the Destroyer";)


I'm going to be very surprised if this "Storm Tyrant" turns out to be a Storm Giant (who are supposed to be chaotic good).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I hope the storm tyrant turns out to be a unique titan or a dragon in disguise.


Or a monstrous rune giant that mastered electricity. Or a runelord.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or the Storm King having mysteriously survived WotR and now Hellbent on revenge.


Oooo...a Thanatotic Titan or a powerful Rune Giant! Those are BOTH good ideas. Especially since Rune Giants practically enslave other giants!


A Thanatotic Titan is CR 20+, so probably not gunna happen in a non-mythic AP. I'm personally hoping for some shadow giants in here somewhere.


Quote:
A Thanatotic Titan is CR 20+, so probably not gunna happen in a non-mythic AP.

The Clockwork Reliquary was CR 20+ too but the campaign that featured it wasn't Mythic either. I think a CR 23 monster is okay for six 20th level PC's (provided there is a clear way to defeat it and there aren't any other monsters in the encounter).

Quote:
I'm personally hoping for some shadow giants in here somewhere.

That would be pretty cool yeah. After all, their the second most powerful giants with evil alignments. Considering this is going to take place somewhere in or around the Mindspin Mountains I'd imagine introducing Shadow Giants allied with Nidal would certainly be possible.


Berselius wrote:
Quote:
A Thanatotic Titan is CR 20+, so probably not gunna happen in a non-mythic AP.
The Clockwork Reliquary was CR 20+ too but the campaign that featured it wasn't Mythic either. I think a CR 23 monster is okay for six 20th level PC's (provided there is a clear way to defeat it and there aren't any other monsters in the encounter).

AP is written assuming 4 PCs, and usually tops out at 17th level +/-

Paizo Employee Developer

A GM who feels her players could handle a titan could always add one to the campaign if she so desired, so even if there isn't one in the AP, there can be one at your table!


Quote:
AP is written assuming 4 PCs, and usually tops out at 17th level +/-

Is that stated specifically for this particular AP? I thought Paizo Publishing announced that all future AP's and Modules would be fitted for parties of SIX PC's instead of just FOUR?

Quote:
A GM who feels her players could handle a titan could always add one to the campaign if she so desired, so even if there isn't one in the AP, there can be one at your table!

True enough but it would have to fit into the over all adventure path somehow.


"And then a Thanototic Titan attacks!" is sort of a running gag in my campaigns.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
True enough but it would have to fit into the over all adventure path somehow.

Have it just muscle its way in.


Quote:
Have it just muscle its way in.

That's hardly fitting for an end game boss to an adventure path.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
Have it just muscle its way in.
That's hardly fitting for an end game boss to an adventure path.

See the comment was how he would. "fit in". . . The joke is he'd fit in by. . . Ah, never mind.

Back to patiently waiting for updated cover art.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Berselius wrote:
Quote:
AP is written assuming 4 PCs, and usually tops out at 17th level +/-
Is that stated specifically for this particular AP? I thought Paizo Publishing announced that all future AP's and Modules would be fitted for parties of SIX PC's instead of just FOUR?

Adventure Paths are designed for four PCs, Giantslayer included. There are no plans at this time to increase the assumed player numbers to six.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
AP is written assuming 4 PCs, and usually tops out at 17th level +/-

Is that stated specifically for this particular AP? I thought Paizo Publishing announced that all future AP's and Modules would be fitted for parties of SIX PC's instead of just FOUR?

That was just for Pathfinder Society Scenarios.


Joseph Wilson wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Quote:
AP is written assuming 4 PCs, and usually tops out at 17th level +/-

Is that stated specifically for this particular AP? I thought Paizo Publishing announced that all future AP's and Modules would be fitted for parties of SIX PC's instead of just FOUR?

That was just for Pathfinder Society Scenarios.

Well, that's disappointing.


Cherufe, pretty please.

Dark Archive

I would have guessed that the Fire Giant King is not named Tytarian but Orynox Marchelin from the Kingdom of Kragnaroth (Campaign Setting Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes page 48-49).

But i guess the Mindspin Mountains could contain a second Fire Giant Kingdom...

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
But i guess the Mindspin Mountains could contain a second Fire Giant Kingdom...

Indeed! Just like the Mindspin Mountains forms the border of five different human/humanoid nations, giants stake their own claims.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Updated with final text and product image!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Nice cover.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Time to turn up the heat!

Looking forward to Zuursvater.


Yes...VERY nice cover ;)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yes. Yes! YES!

Can't wait!


I'm curious how Zursvaator will be shown in worship, as well as his relationship to other giant gods, AND humans as well. I'm curious if he has a following among humans or other races the same way Minderhal does.

Also curious if he emphasizes law over evil or vice versa. A part of me says the way fire giant society seems to work, a combination of absolute loyalty combined with slavery and violence makes me guess that it's more evil than lawful, but who knows.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

So, what are the monsters in this one?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Likewise, the monsters in the APs are my highlights for the APs even if I never get to run them, I can still use the monsters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
So, what are the monsters in this one?

Let me see, there's a small fey bug woman (Calpina), an alien dream stealer (Ikelos), a really cool Iron Rhinoceros and a magnetic golem.

EDIT: Oh, and some sort of magma tadpole thing.


What are the rules and customs of Zursvaator? Is he worshipped by non fire giants? Also, rules and abilities for sentinels?


mikeawmids wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So, what are the monsters in this one?

Let me see, there's a small fey bug woman (Calpina), an alien dream stealer (Ikelos), a really cool Iron Rhinoceros and a magnetic golem.

EDIT: Oh, and some sort of magma tadpole thing.

Is one of those the herald of Zursvaatar?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What are the new volcanic options given in the AP?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have a quick question about an item that the party may gain in this adventure

item spoiler:
The Hammer of Thunderbolts is a Large Warhammer. That means a medium sized character has to wield it two handed, barring any archetypes, and takes a -2 penalty due to inappropriately sized weapons. Has that always been intended? I saw a thread that discussed it and the consensus seemed to be just get Enlarge Person cast on you. Does the artifact negate the traditional -2 penalty?


mikeawmids wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So, what are the monsters in this one?

Let me see, there's a small fey bug woman (Calpina), an alien dream stealer (Ikelos), a really cool Iron Rhinoceros and a magnetic golem.

EDIT: Oh, and some sort of magma tadpole thing.

They sound awesome, but i'm suprised there are still no mythology giants in this AP...

Hope Part 6 makes up for it.


Any idea when the hard copy street date is so the hobby store can order to get in in? Wish I was going to GENCON and grab one there but no such luck :(

Thanks

Paizo Employee Developer

July 29th is the street date. It's the same as the PDF date in the product description.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Product Description wrote:
Advice and new options that allow you to harness the destructive power of volcanoes for your game, by Russ Taylor.

This. What is this.


zergtitan wrote:
Product Description wrote:
Advice and new options that allow you to harness the destructive power of volcanoes for your game, by Russ Taylor.
This. What is this.

Yes, seeing as how I'm going to run a oneshot next month taking place near a volcano which is a portal to the Nine Hells, this interests me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The article talks about Volcanoes, some particularly famous Golarion Volcanoes, and the dangers of such locales. There are 2 archetypes the Cinderwalker (Ranger), the Pyroclast (Summoner) and an Oracle mystery the Volcano mystery.


There is a article talk about volcanoes but no Cherufe in the bestiary....

Must be in Bestiary 5.

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