Pathfinder Adventure Path #96: Shadow of the Storm Tyrant (Giantslayer 6 of 6)

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #96: Shadow of the Storm Tyrant (Giantslayer 6 of 6)
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The Bigger They Are...

The thrilling conclusion of the Giantslayer Adventure Path! Emerging from a fire giant dungeon into a volcano's caldera, the heroes spy the Storm Tyrant's stolen cloud castle floating high above. From there, they must storm the stronghold as it takes off into the sky, engaging in bloody battle with the ruthless storm giant's elite guardians and allies. Finally, the heroes must face the Storm Tyrant himself—alongside his dominated red dragon—to put an end to his megalomaniacal push for power. Will the heroes defeat Volstus the Storm Tyrant, or will all of Avistan bend its knee to the mighty warlord and his giant armies?

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

  • "Shadow of the Storm Tyrant," a Pathfinder Adventure for 15th-level characters, by Tito Leati.
  • High-stakes plots and dangerous foes to continue and expand your Giantslayer campaign, by Jim Groves.
  • A look at the extraplanar giants known as gigas, by Patrick Renie.
  • A final tall tale of hunting giants in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Patrick Renie.
  • Four new monstrous threats, by Benjamin Bruck, Steven T. Helt, Mikko Kallio, and Patrick Renie.

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: 978-1-60125-730-7

"Shadow of the Storm Tyrant" 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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***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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A good ending to a variable adventure path

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I’ve had mixed opinions of the instalments of Giantslayer so far—some have been good, others not so good—but Shadow of the Storm Tyrant works well as the culminating adventure. It’s primarily a dungeon crawl, but has a good sense of urgency and variety that its predecessor, Anvil of Fire, is missing. It also has some epic-feeling encounters and combats appropriate for a high-level party, and it makes good use of its setting, which helps to turn what could have been just a bog-standard dungeon crawl into something much more unique.


Atmospheric end to the AP

***( )( )

As you head to the climax of this AP you will be heading to a cool location which mostly just serves as a big mega dungeon to finish the AP.

I like the location for this last part and there's some variation to the enemies compared to the last part. The final fight can be very epic in feeling and it serves as a nice end to this series. I also found that the bestiary was quite nice in this and even used a few from there in my game.

Even though the final fight is kinda epic the villain is very bland and I would have liked for some variation in his class choice. Otherwise the whole book is one big slog through countless encounters but if your group enjoys that this serves them well.

All in all this whole AP is kinda mediocre with nothing too exciting to write about but if your group wants an old school player vs giants feel then this serves an alright choice.


Follows the Old School feel of the rest of the series.

***( )( )

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 players marginally optimized.

My goal going into this final book of the AP was to run it as written which is a change from how I ran books 3, 4, and 5. However it didn’t work out that way at all as my players ended up bypassing a great deal of it. That being said, let me address this final chapter according to some of the pros and cons as I saw them and as they synergized with my particular style of GMing:

Pros:
- The Setting is really interesting. I love the idea of a flying castle. The chance that this could fall into player’s hands at the end of the game is really quite a nice capstone to the whole adventure as well.
- The final fight with Voltus has the chance to be very cinematic and exciting with the element of a fighting in three dimensions.
- Its very true to the spirit of the AP with its commitment to Old School grinds.

Cons:
- Voltus has a boring backstory and motivation. He is easily the least interesting of all the final villains I’ve ever met in an AP.
- Its one great big grind. There are a couple of opportunities for interesting encounters based on the terrain its fought in but for the most part those challenges are negated by the level of the characters.
- Very few RP opportunities. If memory serves me correctly there is really only 2 encounters.
- No connections to the start of the AP. Trunau??? What is that?
- Like most book 6s, it’s a huge dungeon but after so many mega dungeons it would have been nice for a bit of a change. But then again, if your playing Giantslayer because of that Old School feel, you may welcome this.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced! Product image and description are not final.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A Storm is Coming.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Cool an article about Gigas.

Dark Archive

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

An assault on another flying fortress? Sweet.

Though an underwater base would've been cool, as well!

Dark Archive

I wonder if this is connected to Pathfinder Module: Curse of the Riven Sky?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's too much storming going on here.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Marco Massoudi wrote:
I wonder if this is connected to Pathfinder Module: Curse of the Riven Sky?

It is not. They're both about giants, and both have a flying cloud castle, but the similarities end there. The biggest difference, of course, is that Shadow of the Storm Tyrant is the capstone to and entire Adventure Path focused on giants, and is therefore designed for PCs of significantly higher levels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whoa, Tito Leati! That's awesome!

Dark Archive

Rob McCreary wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I wonder if this is connected to Pathfinder Module: Curse of the Riven Sky?
It is not. They're both about giants, and both have a flying cloud castle, but the similarities end there. The biggest difference, of course, is that Shadow of the Storm Tyrant is the capstone to and entire Adventure Path focused on giants, and is therefore designed for PCs of significantly higher levels.

Thank you for clarifying that Rob.

There seem to be at least 2 cloud castles in the skies over Avistan... ;-)

Paizo Employee Developer

Marco Massoudi wrote:
There seem to be at least 2 cloud castles in the skies over Avistan... ;-)

There are likely many more than that. Just as we don't map every goblin settlement or lizardfolk village or ogre enclave, we just haven't defined where all the cloud giants in the Inner Sea region live.

Dark Archive

Mark Moreland wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
There seem to be at least 2 cloud castles in the skies over Avistan... ;-)
There are likely many more than that. Just as we don't map every goblin settlement or lizardfolk village or ogre enclave, we just haven't defined where all the cloud giants in the Inner Sea region live.

I don´t want to be a jackass but i doubt it very much that are that many more.

These are legendary artifacts and the entry for cloud giants says:

"Good cloud giants build roads from their settlements to connect with other humanoid roads in order to foster trade. It's not uncommon to see a good cloud giant walking among humans, for example, in a human city near a tall mountain range. Evil cloud giants tend not to bother with permanent settlements and instead live on high peaks in crude shelters, only coming down to raid villages for whatever they might need."

"Legends abound of magical cloud giant cities nestled in the very clouds themselves that float with the winds and circumnavigate the world. While most cloud giants recognize this as a fantasy, there are some who not only claim to have seen them but have dedicated the entirety of their long lives to finding them again."

Also i wonder if "Skyborne Keep: A floating cloud castle ruled by a malevolent storm giant, who uses it as a vessel to plunder various merchant ships and trade caravans." from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Castles of the Inner Sea is the same as the one in this adventure... ;-)

Paizo Employee Developer

Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i wonder if "Skyborne Keep: A floating cloud castle ruled by a malevolent storm giant, who uses it as a vessel to plunder various merchant ships and trade caravans." from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Castles of the Inner Sea is the same as the one in this adventure... ;-)

From the Office of Expectation Management: It's not Skyborne Keep.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i wonder if "Skyborne Keep: A floating cloud castle ruled by a malevolent storm giant, who uses it as a vessel to plunder various merchant ships and trade caravans." from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Castles of the Inner Sea is the same as the one in this adventure... ;-)
From the Office of Expectation Management: It's not Skyborne Keep.

Thanx again Andy!

Wow you guys have an office for everything. ;-)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Try to avoid the attention of the Office for Cosmo's Lost Bodyparts, though.

Dark Archive

What's next for the Adventure Path Line? Are we going to see Arcadia, more of Casmaron, Vudra, Sarusan in furture APs? Perhaps a AP set in Azlant's zenith or during the time of the Jistka Imperium(with time travel possiblies)?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Kainius Korvosain wrote:
What's next for the Adventure Path Line? Are we going to see Arcadia, more of Casmaron, Vudra, Sarusan in furture APs? Perhaps a AP set in Azlant's zenith or during the time of the Jistka Imperium(with time travel possiblies)?

Hell's Rebels. We'll have a product page up here in the next few weeks, I suspect. :)


Out of curiosity, what level should PCs have achieved prior to this AP's end-game? If it starts at 15, is the plan for them be 16 or 17 before the climax of the AP?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Phillip0614 wrote:
Out of curiosity, what level should PCs have achieved prior to this AP's end-game? If it starts at 15, is the plan for them be 16 or 17 before the climax of the AP?

Currently, it's planned that the PCs reach 17th level by the end of the AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is that character level 17 for active adventuring in the final part of the this AP installment, or just a case of: "your L 16 characters beat the BBEG and his pals, won/stopped the disaster, and can now retire as L 17"?


Bellona wrote:
Is that character level 17 for active adventuring in the final part of the this AP installment, or just a case of: "your L 16 characters beat the BBEG and his pals, won/stopped the disaster, and can now retire as L 17"?

For The Divnity Drive, it was both: "The PCs should be 17th level before (starting the last part of the adventure)" followed by "The PCs should be 17th level by the end of the adventure."


This looks awesome.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Bellona wrote:
Is that character level 17 for active adventuring in the final part of the this AP installment, or just a case of: "your L 16 characters beat the BBEG and his pals, won/stopped the disaster, and can now retire as L 17"?
For The Divnity Drive, it was both: "The PCs should be 17th level before (starting the last part of the adventure)" followed by "The PCs should be 17th level by the end of the adventure."

This is more or less what we try to strive for in our APs, but the variations on how many words it takes to hand out XP and the like means that in some cases we might fall short, and in others you might actually hit 18th level (as was, I believe, the case for Shattered Star).

Sovereign Court

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

Loving the cover. Guess I will be converting a Reaper storm giant to have a falcata (that will be fun : )).

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Updated with final text and product image!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Awesome, more info on Gigas, and also nice cover.


I would one day like to see an AP that doesn't feature the Runelords themselves, but rather a Rune Giant overlord building a massive force, dominating giants, etc.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ooh, Gigases. I've been hoping to get more info on those.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Major_Blackhart wrote:
I would one day like to see an AP that doesn't feature the Runelords themselves, but rather a Rune Giant overlord building a massive force, dominating giants, etc.

It's not an AP, but a rune giant fighter by the name of Graithzog Ebonrunes is doing just that in the Xin-Shalast chapter of Lost Cities of Golarion. He's essentially picking up the pieces after

Rise of the Runelords Spoiler:
Karzoug got wacked.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I don't usually comment on art, but am I the only one who thinks the giant on the cover is... I don't know, a little feminine? Maybe even delicate? Not at all the face, but the way he's standing, his narrow frame, the oddly revealing armor, the spindly fingers? Hmm.

Dark Archive

I took the posture as being 'floating' and from extension that his lower body and non-sword-arm were slightly atrophied from non-use. Sort of like the giant-equivalent to an accomplished mage, imperious and powerful, but focused more on non-physical attributes.


He has the exposed hips and side that a lot of pathfinder women have. Though if he's the start of a trend it would just indicate that Golarion spellcasters in general need to expose dem hips. If not for spellcasting, for fashion.


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

He's also wearing a, uh. Hmm. A skirt. I mean I guess you could say that's a kilt, if kilts were breezy and diaphanous.

I actually like the art. It's just absolutely not what I was expecting - which is not a negative by any means. Also didn't expect the guy to use what looks like a falcata.


I kind of did. The art for storm giants basically looks like they wield 2 handed falcatas anyway.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I love that cover art. This AP has some of the best cover pieces of all the APs in my opinion, the giant looks great. I think he looks correctly proportioned and I like the idea of the falcatta, and what I assume is the orb of dragon kind. I assume he's flying, hovering in readiness to use his hopefully awesome Magus powers! Kind of makes me wish they make miniatures of the cover Giants, I know I'd but them if only for the foremost giant death knight, fire giant and this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I assume he's flying, hovering in readiness to use his hopefully awesome Magus powers!

What makes you think magus? Was that mentioned somewhere? If you're just guessing, then I could definitely see you being right - I could also see him being a sorcerer/eldritch knight, or even a non-spellcasting class like fighter. His floating stance could be thanks to a magic item or custom ability.


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

Here's a fun Thassilon spoiler unrelated to the adventure itself:

Spoiler:

If you know your Thassilon lore, each Runelord had a champion who wielded one of the Seven Swords of Sin. Runelord Zutha's champion, first mentioned in Artifacts and Legends, was called Ungarato. He now officially has stats (though is not statted):

CE male human graveknight barbarian 12/fighter 7/marshal 4.

That means he is at least challenge rating 22 (and likely 23, if his equipment is PC-quality) - making him quite a bit stronger than Zutha!

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I assume he's flying, hovering in readiness to use his hopefully awesome Magus powers!
What makes you think magus? Was that mentioned somewhere? If you're just guessing, then I could definitely see you being right - I could also see him being a sorcerer/eldritch knight, or even a non-spellcasting class like fighter. His floating stance could be thanks to a magic item or custom ability.

Wishful thinking. I'm just hoping that's what he is.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I assume he's flying, hovering in readiness to use his hopefully awesome Magus powers!
What makes you think magus? Was that mentioned somewhere? If you're just guessing, then I could definitely see you being right - I could also see him being a sorcerer/eldritch knight, or even a non-spellcasting class like fighter. His floating stance could be thanks to a magic item or custom ability.
Wishful thinking. I'm just hoping that's what he is.

While magus would be cool (and thematically fitting), eldritch knight might be easier as storm giants have the martial prerequisites down racially, and might get more mileage out of spellcasting that way.


Ungarato being mythic rank 4 essentially makes me wonder if he's really dead and his essence is trapped within the sword of sin. Now I'm thinking that maybe it's not his essence within the blade at all. That would be interesting, he's still around and kicking 10 millennia later, guarding his third of the gluttonous tome and wielding the sleeping blade.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Major_Blackhart wrote:
Ungarato being mythic rank 4 essentially makes me wonder if he's really dead and his essence is trapped within the sword of sin. Now I'm thinking that maybe it's not his essence within the blade at all. That would be interesting, he's still around and kicking 10 millennia later, guarding his third of the gluttonous tome and wielding the sleeping blade.

The article is intentionally vague on Ungarato's current condition, noting only that he might have been defeated or even destroyed in the past. He also might still be "alive" and kicking, holding both his Sword of Sin and one-third of Zutha's booklactery.

This possibility would contradict the Seven Swords of Sin entry in Artifacts and Legends, which is much more firm about Ungarato (the person) falling and being absorbed by Ungarato (the sword).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aaaand you know I just realized I meant to post the Ungarato thing in the Product Discussion of Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen. The one with the graveknight article and all. Woops.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Generic Villain wrote:
Aaaand you know I just realized I meant to post the Ungarato thing in the Product Discussion of Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen. The one with the graveknight article and all. Woops.

Its alright. ;)

We appreciate the enthusiasm.


Well, the way I would play him is similar to the sword Ovinrbane in kingmaker. Fail a test and Ungarato is reborn, fully restored.


Do you get the keep the cloud island at the end of the module?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

So what are the new monsters in this one?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

^Whoa, didn't realize both were coming at the same time!


No one has the monsters yet?

If you have please share them with us poor folk who still have to wait! :-p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

spoiler:
Abysogh- giant corrupted by Rovagug, they like to through living things instead of rocks.
Gigas, Abaddon- Pig headed gigas that energy drains.
Nixudaemon- blue skinned humanoid shape daemon with tentacles.
Storm Aurochs- lightning based giant bull.


I like the monsters from Part 5 much better than part 6... None of these looks like it will interest me.

But maybe when I see them with my own eyes I will like them.

Spoiler:
What is the Nixudaemon's speciality? As every daemon feeds on some gruesome acts. Dying by electricity maybe?


Can't go wrong with more Daemons and Gigas. The storm auroch sounds cool.

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