Legendary Planet: The Scavenged Codex (PFRPG)

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Hope for the Homeward Road

Marooned on an alien planet with few friends, your heroes discover a ray of hope—a possible way home! While wary of the corrupt denizens of Argosa, they must investigate such a promising lead, even if it takes convincing an inhuman crime boss to use his interplanetary gate to reach the desolate world of Rythes. Once there, the PCs face a harrowing journey across the wasteland peninsula of the Broken Baronies to locate the pieces of the Opus Aeterna. With mutant barbarians, misguided zealots, and savage predators challenging every step of the way, the PCs must use every ounce of luck, strength, skill, and guile to survive and in the process begin to unravel the mystery of the ancient Patrons and the nature of the Weave between worlds. With treachery on every hand, can they survive long enough to reclaim the wisdom of the ancients and their only hope of returning home lies in the pages of "The Scavenged Codex?"

"The Scavenged Codex" is an adventure for 5th to 8th level characters using using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The latest chapter in the amazing Legendary Planet Adventure Path, a spectacular sword-and-planet saga from Legendary Games blending sci-fi and fantasy, magic and machine with an exciting pulp sensibility and style. "The Scavenged Codex" includes not only a massive interplanetary adventure but also brand-new monsters, magic, technology, including new rules for vehicles, races, and chases, a full gazetteer of the planet of Rythes, and an ongoing fiction series. Here you will find amazing adventures that span the stars and plunder the planets in a campaign that takes your heroes to 20th level and beyond! Grab this exotic epic today and Make Your Game Legendary!

This 116-page product contains the following:

  • "The Scavenged Codex," a Pathfinder adventure for 5th to 8th-level characters by Mike Shel and Mike Welham
  • A "Planetary Bestiary" by Mike Shel and Mike Welham, featuring the psychic sarlu worms, the ravenous sand glutton and chag beetle, the insidious beghedhi, and the the mercenary krang, oulbaene, and syaandi warriors.
  • A collection of "Alien Treasures" by Mike Shel and Mike Welham, including mundane and magical items from the Bellianic crown and energy leech to the whisper stone and chrome scorpion.
  • A gazetteer of the planet Rythes, "The One-Way World," by Mike Shel and Jonathan H. Keith.
  • "Legendary Vehicles," an article detailing vehicular combat; alien vehicles like the warwagon, sand skiff, deadcrawler, and drogue chute; and running vehicular races and chases, by Tim Hitchcock and Jason Nelson.
  • A downloadable PDF art and map folio, featuring unkeyed player-friendly maps and more.
  • And last but not least, "Fixer," the second chapter in a 7-part short story by award-winning author Chris A. Jackson

This adventure is a sequel to Legendary Planet: "To Worlds Unknown."

The Legendary Planet Adventure Path includes the 1st-level prequel adventure The Assimilation Strain and the following adventures:

#1: To Worlds Unknown (2nd to 5th level)
#2: The Scavenged Codex (5th to 7th level)
#3: Dead Vault Descent (8th to 10th level)
#4: Confederates of the Shattered Zone (11th to 14th level)
#5: The Depths of Desperation (15th to 16th level)
#6: Mind Tyrants of the Merciless Moons (17th to 18th level)
#7: To Kill a Star (19th to 20th level)

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Railroading into working with unsavory types does not work for some groups

2/5

My group has completely destroyed the first section of this module.

They hated Mr. Sarlu so badly that they absolutely refused to work with him. The module provides no hints as to how to deal with this eventuality (and given the circumstances, it's not an unlikely thing for players to have reservations about), leaving the blindsided GM with little to do but insist, "But you have to!" And to scramble to come up with *something* to make continuing the adventure possible. While I've got some ideas, I'm not sure my players are going to want to continue at this point, given they might have to encounter this kind of situation again in the future--and I'm not sure I want to have to *run* something like this again in the future.

Perhaps the rest of it will be good if we push through and get to it, but if the intro section throws you off, that's not much good.


The Scavenged Codex - After the Apocalypse Never Tasted So Sweet

5/5

The Scavenged Codex is Volume 2 of the Legendary Planet AP, intended for PCs of level 5 to 8. There are also optional Mythic Tiers that can be provided to the PCs as well.

The Scavenged Codex is a wonderful Sword and Planet romp by veteran authors Mike Shel and RPG Superstar 2012 winner Mike Welham. Volume 2 picks up more or less where Volume 1 left off, with the PCs still “marooned” on the Gate-hub planet of Argose with no way back “home” – wherever “home” is.

Relstanna, the NPC rescued at the end of Volume 1 in the AP provides the setup for Volume 2. There is no gate on Argose which can reach the homeworld of the PCs, but Relstanna believes that a recently revived gate on Argose can provide access to a world where the Opus Aeterna, an ancient manual for gate recalibration and operation can be found. Just do a deal with the gangster who has sole access to the recently revived gate to pass through it, locate and recover the Opus Aeterna on the other side, and come on back to Argose with the gate manual. Relstanna and her allies should be able to handle the rest. How hard can it be?

Actually, on that front, the answer is that it probably can be a lot harder in many instances. The problem with CR balance in The Scavenged Codex is not huge, but it can be a real issue which arises because of the adventure’s spread out design. Like many APs which take places in a large and diverse number of areas with plenty of wilderness travel between zones, The Scavenged Codex features lots of small encounter maps (about 25 of them in total). The problem is, the vast majority of these maps feature only one or two hostile encounters on each battlemap and notionally, the region maps are separated by days of travel.

Accordingly, the maps are mini dungeons or encounter areas (a “vignette”, hereafter) which present a small selection of foes, environmental hazards and traps. So there is no need for the PCs to husband their resources carefully with such “vignette” encounter zones. If the PCs spam their spell and healing resources on the small number of foes presented in each these vignette encounter zones, they will blow most of these encounters with ease as there is no need for the PCs to reserve resources.

We have seen this problem in many Paizo APs before (Kingmaker was famous for it, but it is an issue which has become common to many Volume 2 AP installments in Paizo’s many published APs. ) There are a number of potential fixes for it – but the greatest underlying mischief is to recognize the problem for what it is before it causes issues.

The Scavenged Codex, like To Worlds Unknown, makes use of a large number of stat blocks available in other Paizo products to provide added depth to NPCs while keeping space requirements in the adventure to a minimum. Whether the resource to be consulted is the GameMastery Guide, NPC Codex, or Monster Codex, this is an excellent approach and should be used again. Big Thumbs Up.

There are, of course, custom NPC, race and monster stat blocks in The Scavenged Codex. This volume of the AP also uses monsters which appear in Green Ronin’s Advanced Bestiary as well as the Southlands Campaign Guide by Kobold Press, which was a nice departure from just falling back to the Tome of Horrors to change things up. If you do not have these books, the stat block are on d20PFSRD (hotlinked from within the PDF), and of course the stat blocks themselves are reproduced in full in the text of The Scavenged Codex.

The overall length of the adventure is in the “very long” category, with the adventure text proper ending on p. 71 of the book – instead of at about page 50 or so as with most Paizo AP products. This is one of the things I love most about the Legendary Planet AP. You get your money’s worth and then some.

One particularly noteworthy encounter involved a timed event with waves of Gnoll attackers pursuing a trade caravan at speed across the desert. The encounter sets the scene for the art on the front cover of The Scavenged Codex. Eleven pages of additional rules for running a vehicle combat/chase appear in the back matter of the AP to supplement the rules provided for in Ultimate Combat. This is a welcomed development. This encounter is sure to be the exciting centrepiece of Volume 2 of the LP AP, so taking the time to get this complicated fight / chase right is well worth your time.

The AP finishes off with some custom monsters, races, equipment as well as a brief Gazeteer on the Broken Baronies – the planet the PCs will be visiting in The Scavenged Codex, which channels 2 parts of Post –Apocalyptic Mel Gibsonesque Road Warrior mixed with 1 part of the monasteries featured in “The Name of the Rose”. It’s a cool vibe.

In terms of artwork and map art, this volume of the LP AP delivers in a manner similar to that of To Worlds Unknown. It’s not at the polished level of a Paizo product, but it is in full color and gets the job done.

Overall, The Scavenged Codex is a hella-fun interplanetary romp which should provide many sessions of entertaining play during the sweetest spot of Pathfinder’s level progression. Being able to show off the Broken Baronies to your players is one of the best reasons to run the Legendary Planet AP. Mike Shel and Mike Welham deliver a caravan full of goods here. You really do need to run or play this adventure. Recommended.

-Steel_Wind


5/5

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter campaign for Legendary Planet and received a copy of this PDF as one of my rewards.

So, are you ready to continue your exploration of the universe? I sure hope so, because The Scavenged Codex isn't staying put on Argosa for long... but before the players head out to their next destination, there's something they're going to have to take care of... and it's here that the adventure really starts to shine. Unlike some of the previous parts of the adventure, violence may not always be the best option, and I appreciate seeing times where the players are pushed to roleplay through problems instead of just smacking them upside the head.

From here, however, the adventure truly continues - and the PCs are thrust into a situation that I'm not going to spoil here. Suffice to say that I encourage GMs to have a lot of fun with it. I really can't say anything else about the plot without spoilers, but suffice to say that I'm personally quite happy with the way things are going. One more thing to note - The Scavenged Codex is 20 pages longer than To Worlds Unknown, and basically all of that extra space goes to the adventure. That's a lot of extra content.

Past the adventure itself is, of course, the rest of the material in the book. This particular tome features nine new monsters the PCs will encounter, ten new items, a gazetteer of the new world, rules for vehicles (and using them in fun ways!), and the next chapter of the included fiction, "Fixer". To Worlds Unknown was a fun, fresh experience, and with The Scavenged Codex, Legendary Games has managed to stick the landing. If you're looking for an experience your players won't see coming, this is the adventure path you want to get (starting, of course, with the earlier parts!).


Community Manager

Now available!


The Legendary Planet saga continues!

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

It does indeed! The way home is never easy!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You know what is easy, though? Writing a review for you guys. ^^

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

GM Rednal wrote:
You know what is easy, though? Writing a review for you guys. ^^

Aw shucks, glad you enjoyed!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Excellent book well worth the wait.


When I am not too busy running my Legendary Planet games, I'll try and get a review up... suffice to say, this adventure keeps up the high standard set by 'The Assimilation Strain' and 'To Worlds Unknown'... the adventure itself is great - sterling work by Mike Shel and Mike Welham - whilst the associated articles are fantastic. And, for going ahead and publishing at 116 pages rather than stripping back the content, thanks... we get the Director's Cut rather than the studio edit :)

I'd also like to say I'm really pleased to see how the bestiaries of the Legendary Planet AP are doing a lot to make this campaign feel properly alien (rather than simply reskinning a load of existing PF races)... the high quality of the bestiaries is a common theme in all of the adventures so far...

And, final point, I cannot wait for my groups to meet Mr Sarlu...

Liberty's Edge

When will the bundle be ready?

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

ERRATA:

On p. 81, in the Sarlu monster description, several SLAs for some reason got printed in white. You can just barely see them in the printed version, and you should be able to mouse over and highlight the paragraph to see them in the PDF. But, to save you the trouble, the missing SLAs are:

At will - seek thoughts (DC 16), sow thought (DC 14)
3/day - babble (DC 15)
1/day - mass daze (DC 17)


Potential errata: the first paragraph on page 43 should probably say "he also repacked the eastern wall, using a wand of stone shape..."

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Zesdead wrote:

When I am not too busy running my Legendary Planet games, I'll try and get a review up... suffice to say, this adventure keeps up the high standard set by 'The Assimilation Strain' and 'To Worlds Unknown'... the adventure itself is great - sterling work by Mike Shel and Mike Welham - whilst the associated articles are fantastic. And, for going ahead and publishing at 116 pages rather than stripping back the content, thanks... we get the Director's Cut rather than the studio edit :)

I'd also like to say I'm really pleased to see how the bestiaries of the Legendary Planet AP are doing a lot to make this campaign feel properly alien (rather than simply reskinning a load of existing PF races)... the high quality of the bestiaries is a common theme in all of the adventures so far...

And, final point, I cannot wait for my groups to meet Mr Sarlu...

I hope your group enjoyed their encounter with him! Mine may be meeting him again soon!

Also, if you have time to write up your review (and copy-paste it over to Amazon and/or other sites), we would be most appreciative!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Do we know if this will be getting made into a StarFinder conversion like the first book did? and if so, When?

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