Pathfinder Adventure Path #107: Scourge of the Godclaw (Hell's Vengeance 5 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #107: Scourge of the Godclaw (Hell's Vengeance 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Hell to Pay

Now bound to Queen Abrogail by infernal contracts, the villainous adventurers are tasked with destroying the Glorious Reclamation's headquarters in the former citadel of the Hellknight Order of the Godclaw, where they face a gold dragon ally of Iomedae herself! Only if they can survive the terrible onslaught of this fearsome foe and secure the citadel from the revolutionaries can the vile characters succeed at their quest—to perform an evil ritual, using the dragon's head to craft a legendary weapon capable of defeating the Glorious Reclamation's army of valorous knights once and for all.

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Scourge of the Godclaw," a Pathfinder adventure for 13th-level characters, by Larry Wilhelm.
  • An exploration of how Cheliax's neighbors respond to the current uprising, by Alex Greenshields.
  • A look into the faith, dogma, and worshipers of the archdevil Geryon, lord of Stygia—Hell's fifth layer—by F. Wesley Schneider.
  • Dark secrets revealed in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Josh Vogt.
  • Five new monsters both dangerous and helpful, by Benjamin Bruck, Paris Crenshaw, Jason Keeley, Greg A. Vaughan, and Larry Wilhelm.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-842-7

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

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Very diverse but a lot of work for the GM!

4/5

GOOD:
Good illustrations, four very different locations which all have good maps, strong (but mostly not too strong) enemies, good roleplaying opportunities, 2 good minor artifacts and a nice new poison, the "beyond the borders" article where the reaction of the six neighbouring states and 3 organisations is summarized, the very interesting Geryon article with new spell and obediences and a bestiary with 4 (out of 5) cool monsters: Hammer Archon, Nehushtan (tiny NG snake/advanced familiar), Spellgorger (superdeadly) and Zana (fey).

BAD:
The size and build of the "Godclaw Citadel" make it complicated to handle for a GM, lots of enemies with spells, spell-like abilities and extraordinary abilities make it hard to remember everything, You need ALL 5 Bestiaries!
The Duergar Antipaladi sucks as does the Ez-Azael from the bestiary section.

UGLY:
In part 3 the GM has to handle an entire adventurer party of 3 casters and a 4th member with lots of special abilities - that is too much.
The plugging of the "NPC Codex" for one battle only is needless.
The same is true for the "Occult Adventures" book, which you need for only one enemy caster with lots of occult spells you have to read.

All in all the second half of "Hell´s Vengeance" continues to be much better than the first.
It is however an immense workload for the GM, which only expert Gamemasters can handle easily.
If you are a traveling GM and use physical copies, you´d have to carry 13 hardcovers with you!
A little less "bookload" would have been more.


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

I have a question regarding the Hellfire Halo on page 36

Spoiler:
One of the effects of the minor artifact is that it allows you to negate a use of smite good, which seems like an odd effect considering the generally evil bent of the item. Is this intended, or should it be smite evil?


7crown wrote:
I kind of expected the Gold Dragon to be older

If he can drink 10,000 year old beer without dying I think he's old enough. :p ;)

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So its nice to have good aligned snake creatures :P Those are almost as rare as good aligned spiders

Dark Archive

AnimatedPaper wrote:

I have a question regarding the Hellfire Halo on page 36

** spoiler omitted **

Maybe? Or it could be correct since it's an angel's halo protesting the death of its previous owner. It does make it marginally less desirable though if it's on purpose.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Just wanted to comment that that I love the Archduke articles we've been getting in these books.

All the stuff that Mr. Schneider's been revealing about Hell's backstory is frikkin' cool.

Dark Archive

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

Just wanted to comment that that I love the Archduke articles we've been getting in these books.

All the stuff that Mr. Schneider's been revealing about Hell's backstory is frikkin' cool.

Indeed, I crave more! Wouldn't mind Belial...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zhangar wrote:

Just wanted to comment that that I love the Archduke articles we've been getting in these books.

All the stuff that Mr. Schneider's been revealing about Hell's backstory is frikkin' cool.

I was about to ask "What Archduke articles? We haven't really learned anything at all about the Archdukes of Cheliax."

Then I realized that you were talking about the actual Archdukes of Hell.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anyone read the article on Geryon yet ???
If so how was it ?


Wait, isn't the name Hammer Archon copyrighted by WotC? Or am I wrong on that? If I am indeed wrong on that, what other celestial bestiary names can Paizo make use of?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

@ Berselius - I suspect that as long as the Paizo Hammer Archon is a completely different creature from the WotC Hammer Archon, they can just re-use the name. Paizo's been doing that with some of the agathions/guardinals without issue.

Archon ain't exactly a word you can copyright.

@ nighttree - It's nifty. Geryon's backstory was more interesting to me than his faith, but his faith is amusing(?) - I think Josef Mengele and Ed Gein would both right at home in it.

(The faith's attitude towards taboos is go commit them to find out if there's any practical basis to them..) The faithful assume that everything they have not personally verified are lies.

Which, means, for example, that you should never assume that a person has a heart.

You can only know for sure by cutting them open.

Sovereign Court

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

Also, some of the celestials may have been printed in other, OGL-friendly sources. ^_^

For example, Paizo can use Orcus - just as he appears in D&D - due to his inclusion in the Tome of Horrors. (They can also use Juiblex... as long as they misspell his name.)

In contrast, the name Demogorgon has historical roots, so they can use it... but the baboon-headed tentacle monster is entirely D&D intellectual property.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

Also, some of the celestials may have been printed in other, OGL-friendly sources. ^_^

For example, Paizo can use Orcus - just as he appears in D&D - due to his inclusion in the Tome of Horrors. (They can also use Juiblex... as long as they misspell his name.)

In contrast, the name Demogorgon has historical roots, so they can use it... but the baboon-headed tentacle monster is entirely D&D intellectual property.

I always liked the hyena headed version better anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
... but the baboon-headed tentacle monster is entirely D&D intellectual property.

As long as it´s not Umbrella corporation IP or something like Monsanto^^ :D

Also Uakaris look way more impressive than baboons.


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

I f%#*ing hated Mind Flayers, WotC can keep them. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:
I f*%+ing hated Mind Flayers, WotC can keep them. :-)

Agreed. Evry evil plot in the underdark being propagated by either the drow or illithid was tiresome.


What does the Tathlum do? The preview showed Glorious Reclamation troops getting rekt by Nightwalkers; but what are the extent of it's abilities and how do the PCs utilize it?

Dark Archive

The Tathlum isn't statted up in this, so it's unclear what the extent of its capabilities are. Stats for it are going to appear in Part 6.


Zhangar wrote:
@ Berselius - I suspect that as long as the Paizo Hammer Archon is a completely different creature from the WotC Hammer Archon, they can just re-use the name. Paizo's been doing that with some of the agathions/guardinals without issue.

Oh, really? Awesome, so that means that Paizo can still do the Warden Archon (if they just make it an Archon in charge of Heaven's Jails) and the Throne Archon (they can change them to being seated on flying heavenly thrones). Maybe the Sword Archon as well (perhaps an archon with an aura of swords surrounding it)? :D


But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?


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

What?


Axial wrote:
But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?

No, you exterminate the GR garrison that's already holding the Citadel.

Spoiler:
More specifically, you infiltrate/invade the castle and start purging it defenders while having the opportunity to rally the surviving Hellknights of the God-Claw. Your actual goal at the Citadel is to kill the gold dragon residing there and take its head to begin the destruction of the tathlum, but destroying the rest of the GR forces at the castle will be welcomed and useful.

After the big opening act of the throwdown at the Citadel, you then go on three "lesser" missions - defiling a sacred site to Iomedae, killing and harvesting blood from 100+ good-aligned civilians in one day (Cheliax deliberately allows small, good aligned communities to exist in its borders so they can serve as fodder when needed), and then destroying a secret library - to prepare the dragon's severed head for conversion into a doomsday weapon.

Book 5 ends with the tathlum's construction. The tathlum itself will be used for wrecking the GR's main army at Westcrown early in Book 6.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zhangar wrote:
Axial wrote:
But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?

No, you exterminate the GR garrison that's already holding the Citadel.

** spoiler omitted **

OH MY GOD:
Wouldn't that be an excellent backstory for a PC in Hell's Rebels? He/she was the sole survivor of a good-aligned village in Cheliax systematically sacrificed to fuel some diabolic ritual, and then escaped to Kintargo. It would definitely give him/her a reason to have vengeful, unstoppable wrath towards the church of Asmodeus and House Thrune.
Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

AnimatedPaper wrote:

I have a question regarding the Hellfire Halo on page 36

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Yeah, that should be smite evil.
Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Axial wrote:
But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?

No, you exterminate the GR garrison that's already holding the Citadel.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

That actually would be a really crap backstory for Hell's Rebels, because

Spoiler:
at the point where the PCs ultimately strike a deal with Thrune which results in both sides parting their ways more-or-less peacefully, that one PC should ragequit the party in order to carry out his or her no-compromise no-step back vendetta.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Axial wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Axial wrote:
But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?

No, you exterminate the GR garrison that's already holding the Citadel.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

That actually would be a really crap backstory for Hell's Rebels, because

** spoiler omitted **

Mmmm, sweet, sweet nourishing delicious drama...


Tammy calls negotiator for Thrune!

:
That way she can bring the before and after portrait of their village to share.


Axial wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Axial wrote:
But don't you exterminate a GR army attacking a Hellknight castle?

No, you exterminate the GR garrison that's already holding the Citadel.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I'll note

Spoiler:
If the party does the blood harvest perfectly, they could kill half the town with the other half not actually understanding what's happening.

They'd experience it as half the town just dissappearing without a trace over the course of the day.

Of course, the CG adventuring party that just happens to be in town during the blood harvest could put a pretty decent wrinkle in things. Unless, of course, the PCs sniff them out and disappear the adventuring group too.


7crown wrote:
I kind of expected the Gold Dragon to be older

I am actually quite curious about this dragon. What makes this one in particular so special aside from being the Big Good the villans have to slay? The only reason I ask is because I lack access to the PDF at this time.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
SilentSage wrote:
7crown wrote:
I kind of expected the Gold Dragon to be older
I am actually quite curious about this dragon. What makes this one in particular so special aside from being the Big Good the villans have to slay? The only reason I ask is because I lack access to the PDF at this time.

Spoiler:
mainly his partnership with Iomedae when she was mortal; his age is due to being in a sort of suspended animation after a misguided battle with an older dragon.

That, and you get to fight him in a Final Fantasy second battle (go straight mode)


Anyone else having problems with the Interactive Map? Whenever I set it to player view without the grid (or GM view without the grid) it just sort of... disappears. That, and I lose my option to toggle all three options once I first toggle them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They just sent out an email addressing the map issues, as well as being able to download it like normal. Download it again and the new one should be fine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just to confirm: I downloaded it and found the issues mentioned resolved.

Thank you, Paizo.

Ruyan.


Yeah, this was after I redownloaded it last night. Old file got trashed when I saw the email.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't even think about entering the 5th layer... Don't even think about the 5th layer...

nighttree wrote:

Anyone read the article on Geryon yet ???

If so how was it ?

Spoiler:
Imagine a bunch of ranas, demagogues and gigas warlords. Ok, now, imagine some snacks. I meant it. Snacks, not snakes. Snacks. Now, imagine there is no difference between them. You have started to think as Geryon.
Silver Crusade

Branding Opportunity wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

Would anyone be able to summarize the reactions of neighboring nations? Do any of them raid or invade Cheliax?

Here's the abbreviated version:

Rahadoum retakes Khari no matter which side wins. Andoran declares war on Cheliax's slave trade, but the Supreme Elect can't convince enough members of the People's Council to declare full-scale war. Isger pledges loyalty to Cheliax but sends no troops, and quickly starts negotiating with its other neighbors for an alliance, afraid that it can't survive on its own. Molthune sends troops to help House Thrune, but they mysteriously disappear near the town of Finder's Gulch. Nidal retreats and closes its borders until hostilities end. Sargava is too busy with its own internal problem to take advantage of Cheliax's momentary weakness.

Whats the status of the Godclaw order post-Scourge?


That depends on how that adventures plays out, but isn't discussed in the article you're asking about, I think.

Spoiler:
There are surviving Godclaw Hellknights you can rescue, and depending on whether/how you use them to retake the citadel enough could survive to rebuild the order afterwards.


Yeah it's likely they'll rebuild themselves but they won't be the powerhouse they were pre-Glorious Reclamation.

Dark Archive

Can anyone tell me what size/age category the gold dragon is? I don't have this book yet so I can't check it myself.

Spoiler:
I'm assuming it's gargantuan from either ancient or wyrm based on a comment above saying it made friends with Iomedae when she was mortal (at least 800 years ago by my calculation).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoiler:
PARNONERYX is a CR15 Male adult gold dragon, size is huge. He becomes a CR17 ghost later on.

Ruyan.

Dark Archive

RuyanVe wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Ruyan.

Interesting. Thank you!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hope to play this AP as a player. But I am already sad: there are no chronicles for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play for this AP! Maybe it can still be sanctioned, despite being about evil villain protagonists? Some kind of Infamy\Disrepute mechanics?

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