Pathfinder Module: Cradle of Night

3.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Cradle of Night

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Shrouded in Shadows

A desperate refugee emerges from the earth's depths in shadow-cloaked Nidal with an urgent plea. A new faction in the subterranean dark folk city of Lyrudrada—a wicked cult called the Reborn—seeks a fabled artifact called the Cradle of Night. Vanished demigods of the Shadow Plane once used this artifact to craft the elusive caligni race, and the Reborn want to use it to shroud the world in darkness once more. Cursed with the stain of shadow, the heroes must battle their way through the tomb of an ancient horselord chieftain before descending to Lyrudrada. Plots and schemes run rampant in this city riven with political upheavals and back-alley bloodshed, and the heroes must collect allies and information to confront the Reborn in their fortified fane. With the mysterious masters of the caligni race arrayed against them, can the heroes hope to shed their shadowy curse and claim the Cradle of Night?

Cradle of Night is a deluxe adventure for 8th-level characters written by veteran authors James Jacobs, F. Wesley Schneider, Neil Spicer, and Greg A. Vaughan. Featuring horrifying new monsters, lore about the vanished demigods of shadow called the Forsaken, and a stunning full-color, double-sided poster map of the city of Lyrudrada, Cradle of Night provides a wealth of secrets and dangers—if the heroes can survive the shadows that seek to overwhelm them!

ISBN: 978-1-60125-991-2

Cradle of Night is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download.

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

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Average product rating:

3.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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Player experience

4/5

The module is fun and challenging but the PC's *need* to have access to magic (caster PC's etc) and ability damage healing.

I played as level 7 wizard (lvl 9 at the end) and had a blast! A cunning and resourceful party can prepare, bypass and overcome a lot of the challenges in creative ways. We had fun trying to think ways to even the odds.

But I can imagine that a party with little magical ability is going to have a bad time (then again, it *is* lvl 7+ module)

SPOILERS

Spoiler:
The main bad thing was the end boss. We had prepared with Cold protection so the boss was forced to melee since they had no other ranged attack type. The minibosses were much more interesting encounters than the main boss of the last dungeon.

The shadow corruption thing was awesome! Also the PFS chronicle boons were super thematic and cool!


Tempted to give 5 stars

4/5

Positive:
Easy to incorporate into Pathfinder Society / Other campaigns
Dark Folk and their society
Interesting and challenging combats
Engaging and captivating NPC "cohort" for the players (Aiyana)
The "Threat" of the module is easy to keep relevant to the players properly applied, makes keeping up a horror-theme quite easy.
Allowing Creative Solutions in second and third part comes naturally and enables players to tackle the opposition somewhat how they want.
More dark folk (and their mysterious patrons. Both the Forsaken and the Owbs)
The boons for Pathfinder Society are quite possibly the coolest boons I've ever seen! Especially the Bonus Sheet, despite not being terribly powerful, is something I am eagerly looking forward to using!
Theme and Atmosphere is awesome, and tastefully balanced.

Negative:
One combat can easily spill into a huuuuge and potentially very slow slugfest with tracking many combatants.
Second part eats way more time than first and third.
Third can be quite a drudge if your players live by the "Kill all enemies, get all loot and xp" mentality. Don't count xp, just go with the story and solve problems in smart ways and you'll be fine.
Boss monster, despite having a CR well above the paygrade of the PCs, is not terribly strong/interesting. The "lieutenants" are much more interesting.

Ran this module in a single weekend, spending around 27-30 hours on it with 4 players. I may be biased because Dark Folk are some of my favorite monsters/NPC's, and because I've been itching and waiting to run this since I learned about it back in December. I'm really glad it was sanctioned for Pathfinder Societ before the 2nd edition comes - it had been sitting on my shelf for a long while, and I would have been disapointed had it not been included in PFS1.

SPOILERS!

Background and plothook:
Background and plot hook for the adventure fits PFS perfectly, and makes this adventure super easy to incorporate into just about any adventure. The Aiyana, the Caligni that hires the PC's is interesting and engaging - I got a friend to help me by playing her so that I didn't need to worry about her actions, or without needing to think how much info she'd provide to the PC's. I think this decision made the adventure (and Aiyana) feel much, much more alive.
Since this was for Pathfinder Society, and since this adventure has... Some interesting consequences/mechanics/fights, I asked my players to bring a character they enjoyed roleplaying, but also warned them that they would face a very real chance of having to retire their characters. I think this worked very nicely and kept them on their toes, enhancing the horror element.

First Chapter:
The first chapter is a pretty straightforward, basic dungeon crawl. The location is thematic, but suffers from the "every room is an encounter" syndrome. Since most of the encounters are somewhat similar (despite being very thematically unique) in mechanics (incorporeal and ability damage), a party is either going to have either a very rough time in or relatively easy delve into the tomb.
I felt that the monsters and their abilities gave me, as the GM, a lot of flexibility in handling the encounters - it was pretty easy to adjust the difficulty based on how well the PC's were doing by adjusting tactics.

Journey to second chapter:
There are two different plothooks that drive the PC's from first part to the second part. Again, tying this to Pathfinder Society gave the PC's a good reason to follow Aiyana (It's their Job 'cause Ambrus Valsin told them so >.>), but the pressure from internal plot hook worked just as well, and properly presented, the NPC (Aiyana) also works as a great hook.

The Second Chapter:
The second part is easily the longest in the book. It has the potential to take up more time than the first and third chapters combined, despite the fact that the PC's could, if they just wanted to, walk straight into the third part. The second part is probably the reason why I couldn't give this 5 stars despite wanting to.
Firstly, I have mixed feelings about the first dungeon in the second part. On one hand, is quite realistic, and utilizes realistic NPC responses in a manner that you don't often see in scenarios - NPC's getting help. On the other hand, despite our group getting the jump on the boss and completely subduing him, they nearly got overwhelmed by what feels like an endless stream of very sturdy mooks. The "dungeon" has a chance, depending on PC's, of turning into a slugfest with nearly 20 combatants with enemies having hp total over 1500. And if it does devolve into such a melee, running the combat through several sessions could be problematic. After we were done, we took a break, went for a walk, and debriefed ourselves about it.
Luckily, the next portion of chapter 2 was roleplay heavy, allowing players to get deeper into the setting and providing the GM with opportunities to highlight the surroundings and society of the darkfolk.
The last part of the second chapter is another "dungeon", but since the group had a clear goal, they used magic to perform a surgical strike that was both enjoyable and fun for the whole group, although they did skip most of the spires. (They teleported right into the prison partly by chance, but mostly through good logic and guesswork, and saved the NPC's with a timely emergency force sphere).
The second dungeon would have a few boringish, fillerish encounters (looking at the beasts, the alchemist and Owb would have been interesting) that they managed to skip, which is another reason I didn't give this 5 stars - the module involves quite a few combats that don't serve a purpose you can't fulfil with roleplay(like the random street patrols - you can achieve the same effect (the noose is tightening, you need to find a safe haven) with just describign and roleplay, although having stats for such a patrol is useful). For smart players and characters that do stuff other than "hit things with a big sword", though, avoiding these is possible and recommended.

Third Chapter:
The third part is a huuuuuge dungeon.
For a group that's determined to crawl through it, killing each and every NPC and looting each and every corner, this will likely take several play sessions and lots and lots of time.
For a roleplay oriented group who are focused on their mission, it provides a sort of a puzzle challenge - how to accomplish what they want without starting a quite literal war of attrition by assaulting a literal fortress.
I had the NPC's that they saved, help scouting
Our group spent some time scouting and preparing, then teleported in. I used the NPC's to point out "prominent targets" that the PC's should take care to prevent a backlash against the general populace of Lyrudrada. Another surgical strike (started by a semi-random teleport) saw the main enemies (including the Huge one) dead in about 5 hours or so. My only complaint is that the boss, despite being seemingly though, has poor time adapting to PC tactics which made the actual boss fight a bit too easy for a well prepared party.
Don't dismiss the conclusion of the adventure either. It have significant impact on characters depending on the choices they've made.

All in all, I'm bad at writing reviews, but this is one of my favorite adventures so far!


A very flavourful module

4/5

I have not yet run or played this but I am in the middle of prepping it and I find that I cannot agree with the first review in pretty much anything.

The three parts of this each bring something different to the tabe. Part 1 ooks like an excellent dungeon crawl filled with suitable levels of terror and mayhem. Part 2 is more freeform, investigation the goings on in a very atmospheric location while Part 3 brings a suitably dramatic conclusion to the whole thing.

The entire module is packed full of interesting new lore on a group that hasnt receved that much attention in the past. The art style is a bit different to other modules but that is hardly a bad thing, just different.

Overall I really rate this module and I am looking for ward to unleashing it on my players.


Sad Ending to a Once-Great Product Line

1/5

What a sad send-off to the Modules line for PF1. This once-great line has been progressively ignored by Paizo, culminating in this bland adventure - shockingly so, given the subject matter.

Pros:
- The Owb and The Forsaken are amazingly cool creations, with riveting histories.
- The prelude and background to the adventure is compelling and well-written.
- The cover illustration and a few of the interior illustrations are superior, adding to the feel of the module.

Cons:
- The adventure itself falls short, woefully so.
- Descriptive text is banal and uninspired. Compare to descriptive text from Paizo adventures from 2009-2012 for examples of rich, evocative text.
- Much of the interior artwork is subpar - amateurish efforts that result in cartoonish, overly saturated illustrations that do not reflect the tone, feel, or energy of the module, instead detracting from it. The Darklands should not feel bright and shiny.
- The execution of the plot is amazingly poor, with laziness abounding. Character actions don't matter in any serious way and the entire setting feels as if it simply exists for the characters to conquer. NPCs do not act logically or in self-interest, with one powerful NPC sorceror cowering while assassins try to kill him and the PCs, despite he having incredible power to bring to bear.

In summary, Paizo mailed this one in. With such a great concept for an adventure, why not do things right, and pay attention to the details? I expect the bulk of Paizo's creative energy is being funneled into PF2 for now, leaving potentially great products like this one to languish, and when Paizo finally gets around to putting the product together, it's in a cursory, rudimentary way. Ironically, the best Pathfinder products are no longer produced by Paizo, but by third party publishers such as Raging Swan Press.

This story deserved better and Paizo customers deserve better.


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Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

Announced for November! Description and image are not final and subject to change.

Silver Crusade

OMG, a new module!! In Nidal! And I was not even expecting a product announcement day this month. It feels like Christmas!

Sovereign Court

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

That description is incredible. I'll have to give this one a look.

Sovereign Court

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

No author?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nidal? Sounds interesting!

Silver Crusade

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

MODULE!

NIDAL!

SQUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEE!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mmmm....Nidal....sounds interesting...


The synopsis sounds epic!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Any word on who is the author for this?


Sweet. Now my dreams of running a Nidalese campaign are beginning. ;)


the rebirth of a shattered god?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Nidal? Darklands? Caligni? Plane of Shadow? Sold!

Dark Archive

An 8th level Darklands adventure module?

Incredible!

My guess is Thurston Hillman. ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:
the rebirth of a shattered god?

Count Ranalc ?


Don't usually do modules.....but this one I will get just for the Caligni info :P


Wow! This months releases are just chalked full of awesome. I've been curious about Nidal for awhile, so I'm glad to see some more info on the place.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I assume the page count for this one is 64, like the previous few?

Silver Crusade

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

Should be, yep.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

VERY interesting!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any updates as to who is writing this?


HMM, this releases when I might be able to use this in my Ironfang AP game.

VERY nice!!

Tom :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nidal? Sign me up. Shattered god being reborn? also super interesting. Darklands? Eh. I can deal with that in return for the Plane of shadow stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, color me intrigued...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Shattered god? Would that be Zon-Kuthon or possibly Aroden?

I am AFB at the moment, but aren't the caligni also known as the darkfolk or something like that? (With many variants, each with their own Bestiary entry?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grumpus wrote:

Any updates as to who is writing this?

James Jacobs posted elsewhere that he is "writing the bulk" of this product.


Bellona wrote:

Shattered god? Would that be Zon-Kuthon or possibly Aroden?

I am AFB at the moment, but aren't the caligni also known as the darkfolk or something like that? (With many variants, each with their own Bestiary entry?)

Yes, the Caligni are Darkfolk ;)

Dark Archive

Any particular reason why this has been moved from november 15 to january?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Any particular reason why this has been moved from november 15 to january?

There are of COURSE particular reasons this and the Construct book ended up being delayed. Those reasons aren't required to be public.

We'll get them out as we can, but we don't want to release sub-par products.

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
There are of COURSE particular reasons this and the Construct book ended up being delayed.

There's a construct book? How'd I miss that announcement?


My guess? Busy with other products that are not Pathfinder...grrrrrr.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
My guess? Busy with other products that are not Pathfinder...grrrrrr.

Dood, chill.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
My guess? Busy with other products that are not Pathfinder...grrrrrr.

The modules line schedule has always been more erratic than most. I suspect it's one of the weaker sellers and hence impacts fewer people and would naturally tend to be where Paizo look for "slack" if necessary.

I'd also hazard a guess that there's less tie-in with other product lines as a general rule (barring the occasional flipmat) in regards to staff roles. A standalone product will presumably contain the "ripple effect" more than one they're hoping to release concurrently with two or three other titles.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

MODULE!

NIDAL!

SQUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEE!

Ditto!

The Exchange

I'm not sure another 8th level module is what I need right now, but since it's a ways off I'll wait and see what develops.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

yay more modules.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Would LOVE to see another Adventure Path done in the Darklands! YES, I know we have plenty to explore above! We are now going off world to explore. SO, why not BELOW! Even the Pathfinder Society, would send explorers down into the depths to find ancient civilizations there!

Dark Archive

Hm, this and "Construct Builders Guide" are the only (intended) january 2018 products which havn´t been updated...

Web Production Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Unfortunately, this product is not going to be releasing in January 2018. Since a date is necessary in our system to set on delayed products, it now reflects late 2018. When we have more information regarding this product, we'll let everyone know!

Silver Crusade

Thanks for the update!

Silver Crusade

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

Okies, Thankies for the head’s up Roobit.

*offers hugs*

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, we're currently at two years estimated between modules?

If Paizo don't want a modules line, why not just cancel it?

It's less frustrating and annoying.

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

That's a big If statement right there.

Silver Crusade

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

Man, that's like telling Nintendo they should just give up and announce that Metroid is dead because it is 7 years since the last major game.

Sovereign Court

TOZ wrote:
That's a big If statement right there.

Actions speak louder than words.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Indeed, like the action of not canceling the line and announcing products instead.

Example.

Grand Lodge

TOZ wrote:

Indeed, like the action of not canceling the line and announcing products instead.

Example.

I'm still hoping for a PDF of that.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

2 people marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:

Indeed, like the action of not canceling the line and announcing products instead.

Example.

Oh I dunno.

I'm one of Paizo's biggest fans, but things like that module that aren't part of any subscription and aren't listed in the product releases and I end up missing out on just irritate me. Seems like it kinda defeats the purpose of being a superscriber.

And a third-party, out-of-print, impossible to get ahold of module certainly is no indicator about the health of Paizo's module line.

Silver Crusade

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

It was a special for Gencon's 50th Anniversary, that was the only place you could get it I believe.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Actually, I've ordered it via this website and it's on my shelf now. I'd still like a PDF, though

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh really? Kickass!

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