Pathfinder Adventure Path: Ironfang Invasion Player's Guide PDF

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The Ironfang Invasion Player's Guide gives players all the spoiler-free information and information they'll need to create characters ready to hit the ground running in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path.

Within, players of this campaign will find everything they need to create backgrounds tied to personalities and events vital to the Pathfinder Adventure Path's themes, along with new campaign-specific traits to give brave heroes the edge they'll need to take on the dangerous threats faced in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path. This player's guide also includes a glimpse of the nation of Nirmathas, as well as various class options and advice for characters ready to take up arms against the Ironfang Invasion.

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Sets the stage

*****

The Ironfang Invasion Player's Guide does exactly what all AP player guides ought to do: it gives players some idea about what to expect during the AP, it spells out which races, classes, and other character options would make the most sense in the campaign (both from a backstory perspective and in terms of usefulness during gameplay), and it provides a quick overview of the territory where the characters will be adventuring. It also gives players a basic explanation of how the new militia rules described in this AP will work. Some of the previous AP players guides offer little more than cinematic or thematic flavoring, along with a few broad suggestions, as opposed to the recommendations in this book, which are useful, detailed, and specific. This is a great player's guide, possibly the best one yet, and I hope it sets the standard for all future AP player's guides-- five out of five.


Maybe the best players guide ever!

*****

GOOD:
Great reasons for characters to be where they start are given.
6 classes are named that have it easiest in the (beginning of the) campaign.
13 Archetypes are named and 7 prestige classes, all of which make for a viable playing option imo. There are 5 bloodlines, 5 mysteries and 8 patrons suggested. 18 familiars and animal companions are given (with more being in AP #115!) and 19 companions or mounts.
The top 4 favored terrains and 4 favored enemies.
8 languages, 4 human ethnicies and a whopping 13 other races are suggested as viable - among them even some monstrous ones!
The 6 most widespread religions are named, 8 skills and even a small selection of feats which would make much sense are given.
11 traits from the APG and 8 from "Heroes of the Wild" (a book that has a lot of options for this campaign) are named along with 9 new powerful campaign traits.
A short overview of Nirmathas rounds out the guide, in addition to the "militia sheet" that was missing from "Lands of Conflict".

BAD: All of the new campaign traits are very powerful, they are essentially like strong feats. One trait is so powerful that it is overpowered imo (unbreakable survivor).
These traits are still okay to take in this campaign, as they are specially tailored for it, but could cause problems in other adventures.
The box on page 7 has a very minor error: Races of the Inner Sea is actually called "Inner Sea Races", but i think everybody knows which book is meant.

UGLY: nothing.

You can see that the writer of this Players Guide (Crystal Frasier) has put a lot of work in it - and it absolutely shows.
There are almost no spoilers for the campaign, yet the reader gets a very good sense of what to expect in the AP.
This feels like the most complete players guide to date.
I now want more books written by her!


Community & Digital Content Director

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Now available!

Silver Crusade

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

Yay!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's HERE!

Yay!

--C.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Horray!!!


and some very strong traits in there


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Blight-Burned = Spidey-sense. Awesome.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hey, have you guys ever thought about including the animal companion stats you introduce in the 1st book of an AP's bestiary in the player's guide? These creatures seem like things that are supposed to be viable options for PCs to take and exposing them to these options in the Player's guide for the AP might be a good way to get them thinking about picking up a Switchback Jackel or Ringhorn animal companion or a Lich Newt familiar.


So the Ironfang Legion turned against the Molthune Army and massacred a bunch of them at Fort Ramgate?

That makes sense as being their villain-establishing moment and to show how they broke free of Molthune's command. And the illustration of it is pretty extreme.

But according to what I've heard elsewhere, Molthune doesn't care about the Ironfang war and doesn't really do much to bother them throughout the adventure path.

So Molthune's hobgoblin mercenaries turn traitor, kill hundreds of their soldiers...and the country doesn't care at all? Sure, if they immediately went to war with Nirmathas, I could see how they might be like "Good, our enemies are fighting each other. Let's wait it out."

But such a lawful and duty-bound country like Molthune surely wouldn't want the deaths of it's soldiers to go completely unavenged, would they? This isn't Cheliax, it's an LN, honorable (if imperialistic) country built on strong military values. Anyone knows that if you kill a bunch of soldiers in a country like that, especially without provocation, the people get angry and the government hits back HARD.

Maybe this is justification for playing a Molthune PC. A survivor of the massacre would want vengeance and might even be willing to work with Nirmathas in order to do it.

Or maybe a conspiracy of military officers forms and quietly sends aid/soldiers over the border to help the PCs kill Ironfangs. It would be great if, by the end of the AP, the decades-old enemies of Nirmathas and Molthune are united in rage against the Ironfang Legion.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Replied to this in the other thread you asked it in.


Sorry, I assumed a bunch of things. My basis for such was:

*Cover image shows a bunch of Molthunis being killed by Hobgoblins with a unique banner, and the background looks like a fort.

*Ironfang Legion used to mercs of the Molthuni army.

*"Turning against their masters" is a standard monster/mercenary villain trope.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:

So the Ironfang Legion turned against the Molthune Army and massacred a bunch of them at Fort Ramgate?

That makes sense as being their villain-establishing moment and to show how they broke free of Molthune's command. And the illustration of it is pretty extreme.

But according to what I've heard elsewhere, Molthune doesn't care about the Ironfang war and doesn't really do much to bother them throughout the adventure path.

So Molthune's hobgoblin mercenaries turn traitor, kill hundreds of their soldiers...and the country doesn't care at all? Sure, if they immediately went to war with Nirmathas, I could see how they might be like "Good, our enemies are fighting each other. Let's wait it out."

But such a lawful and duty-bound country like Molthune surely wouldn't want the deaths of it's soldiers to go completely unavenged, would they? This isn't Cheliax, it's an LN, honorable (if imperialistic) country built on strong military values. Anyone knows that if you kill a bunch of soldiers in a country like that, especially without provocation, the people get angry and the government hits back HARD.

Maybe this is justification for playing a Molthune PC. A survivor of the massacre would want vengeance and might even be willing to work with Nirmathas in order to do it.

Or maybe a conspiracy of military officers forms and quietly sends aid/soldiers over the border to help the PCs kill Ironfangs. It would be great if, by the end of the AP, the decades-old enemies of Nirmathas and Molthune are united in rage against the Ironfang Legion.

Actually the Ramgate Massacre was against the Nimrathi that were besieging and sabotaging the fortress. The Molthune were the ones who paid them to do it. The big problem was that they killed Nimrathi noncombatants, an act against Molthune's policy which just got them dismissed but privately praised by the commander of the front.

Potential Ap Spoilery stuff:
The way it's kind of pitched so far in book 1 is that no one is aware of the Ironfang throughout book 1 and the initial invasion steps are a surprise to everyone. After that, the Molthune look at it as a Nimrathas problem and a boon to their war effort, with the Ironfang's expansions being primarily on the Nimrathi side of the border and the destabilizing effects it will cause allowing Molthune to snatch back more territory from the Nimrathi and likely eventually recoup control of the Ironfang lands from the hobgoblins before they get a chance to really dig in.


Okay, I see.

Here's my issue: why would there be Nirmathi non-combatants at an active siege of a military fortress in Molthuni territory?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
doc the grey wrote:
The big problem was that they killed Nimrathi noncombatants, an act against Molthune's policy which just got them dismissed but privately praised by the commander of the front.

Can you give me a reference for this? I can't find it.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Joana wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
The big problem was that they killed Nimrathi noncombatants, an act against Molthune's policy which just got them dismissed but privately praised by the commander of the front.
Can you give me a reference for this? I can't find it.

Lands of Conflict, pg. 40: Ft. Ramgate, column 2, paragraph 5. They call the unit the Bloody Fortune there but my guess is it is either a typo or the original unit's mercenary name when they were only 34 members strong and changed it after being dismissed.

Book also talks about Molthune has a policy against killing noncombatants, a practice Nimrathas does not share.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, okay. I don't have Lands of Conflict. It comes across very differently in the first book of the AP.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:

Okay, I see.

Here's my issue: why would there be Nirmathi non-combatants at an active siege of a military fortress in Molthuni territory?

See section listed above. The noncombatants were medics, fletchers, and noncombat scouts who were aiding the Nimrathi but not actively sabotaging the fort or killing others.

As for why noncombatants would be there, if the above doesn't explain it battlegrounds often have many noncombatants with either army, often serving in service positions that help their side but don't actively engage in combat like medics, guides to the battlefields, cooks, porters, stablehands to watch animals, prostitutes, merchants if they're there long enough, slaves, carpenters to repair gear and defensive installations, etc. Armies need A LOT of staff to operate at efficiently and often have many noncombatants to fill those roles.


Thanks for the guide!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Joana wrote:
Oh, okay. I don't have Lands of Conflict. It comes across very differently in the first book of the AP.

Yeah. The AP kind of underdescribes the whole Ramgate Massacre and buries the event amidst the Goblinblood Wars stuff and her prep after disappearing. Lands of Conflict dedicates about 2-5 paragraphs to it on a page all about the Fort proper. Now, the stuff about them picking up other legions is introduced in IF but for the rest of it right now LoC is the place to go unfortunately.

Contributor

doc the grey wrote:
Hey, have you guys ever thought about including the animal companion stats you introduce in the 1st book of an AP's bestiary in the player's guide? These creatures seem like things that are supposed to be viable options for PCs to take and exposing them to these options in the Player's guide for the AP might be a good way to get them thinking about picking up a Switchback Jackel or Ringhorn animal companion or a Lich Newt familiar.

From the guide:

"In addition to the animals mentioned here, the bestiary in Path nder Adventure Path #115: Trail of the Hunted features a selection of animals native to Nirmathas that PCs may select as animal companions or familiars. Talk to your GM about these possibilities."

That's a solid alternative, I think.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
doc the grey wrote:


As for why noncombatants would be there, if the above doesn't explain it battlegrounds often have many noncombatants with either army, often serving in service positions that help their side but don't actively engage in combat like medics, guides to the battlefields, cooks, porters, stablehands to watch animals, prostitutes, merchants if they're there long enough, slaves, carpenters to repair gear and defensive installations, etc. Armies need A LOT of staff to operate at efficiently and often have many noncombatants to fill those roles.

Even fantasy armies need logistical support. Logistics professionals! We literally run the world (although we do not rule it).

It's also important to note that these noncombatants were not actually at Ft Ramgate, but hiding in the woods nearby.


Hooray

Dark Archive

So I'm surprised that this player guide does actually suggest monster races being viable in campaign O-o; I'm pretty sure this is only one that does that even if its unspecific and doesn't point any specific one out

I mean, it doesn't do it directly, but if I read correctly it does point out that starting place has refugees even from races considered monsters by society

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
races considered monsters by society

Tieflings, dhampirs, skinwalkers, grippli...

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
races considered monsters by society
Tieflings, dhampirs, skinwalkers, grippli...

Wait, it mentions grippli?

Also you forgot changelings xP But yeah, seriously, I have bit trouble of seeing races that can easily disguise themselves as humans count even if they probably are what text intended


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Curiously, this document refers to Inner Sea Races as "Races of the Inner Sea".

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Curiously, this document refers to Inner Sea Races as "Races of the Inner Sea".

That´s a very minor mistake (the only one as far as i´ve seen) in the PG.

I think everybody knows which book is meant.
Still you are right.
I´ve pointed it out in my review. ;-)

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

GERMANS.

Silver Crusade

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

LOVE the traits in this one, as well as those in Strange Aeons, keep up the great work with them!

Sovereign Court

Great stuff.

Could we get a fillable pdf version of the militia tracking sheet?


VERY happy to see this come out as my fellow players and I are chomping at the bit for almost 2 months now. Love the traits and actually to me are not that overpowered, especially with the buzz is for those who have the first 2 modules is that this is going to be hard for parties.

I say bring it on!! Ha Ha Ha

Our GM has not gotten his early PDFs but its gotta be soon we hope

OOPS, my only little thing might be it would have been nice to have a basic overall map of Phaendar, like they did for Reign of Winters Heldren, but small quibble

GREAT job Crystal


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A good player's guide - with a few outstanding campaign traits:

1) A scar alarming you of certain creature types nearby.
2) A trophy that gives you a morale bonus - as long as the CR of the creature is higher than your class level (guess it means character level). So you are always motivated to hunt for new trophies...
3) A small scaling bonus for recovering HP with the Heal skill and cure spells you actually cast (not for wands etc.).
4) More love for another neglected option: Aid another for +4 AC instead of +2 AC.

It's nice to read that the militia system is completely optional - even it's good (I don't know yet), GMs and players should have the choice.


Sweet!


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The healing one is a must have for the "half-time healer" types, IMO. I have learned the evil that is "full-time healer" and agree, they are unnecessary. A small bump to cure spells goes a long way for witches, shamans, bards, investigators (with fusion), warpriests, etc. I may begin allowing this in other campaigns, too.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
doc the grey wrote:


As for why noncombatants would be there, if the above doesn't explain it battlegrounds often have many noncombatants with either army, often serving in service positions that help their side but don't actively engage in combat like medics, guides to the battlefields, cooks, porters, stablehands to watch animals, prostitutes, merchants if they're there long enough, slaves, carpenters to repair gear and defensive installations, etc. Armies need A LOT of staff to operate at efficiently and often have many noncombatants to fill those roles.

Even fantasy armies need logistical support. Logistics professionals! We literally run the world (although we do not rule it).

It's also important to note that these noncombatants were not actually at Ft Ramgate, but hiding in the woods nearby.

Lol yeah I caught that after writing this. That said, I still think it would be a nice touch. Putting the AC stats right in the hands of the player rather than making it something that's just in the back of IF 1 makes it immediately apparent to them what these options bring to the table and helps make them more attractive. And since this is a pdf only book the worry of book size is less of an issue here.

Ohh! And it helps remove the page stress they do experience when they have to put these things to print! Just put em' all in the player's guide.

Now I really wanna see them slap some vermin companion stats in here for the new bugs presented in book 2.


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Good to have some free invasion guide stuff out there. ;)


In the players guide, The Ironfang Survivor campaign trait mentions maybe being a survivor of the Ramsgate Massacre. That event occurred in 4715...the campaign starts in 4709? Survivor/time traveler attempting to prevent it? Background story for my character haha jk

Dark Archive

cdb3rr3tt wrote:
In the players guide, The Ironfang Survivor campaign trait mentions maybe being a survivor of the Ramsgate Massacre. That event occurred in 4715...the campaign starts in 4709? Survivor/time traveler attempting to prevent it? Background story for my character haha jk

The campaign should start in 4717, as the last two digits of Golarion time are always the same as in real live when it's published. ;-)

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