Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1 of 6)

****½ (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1 of 6)

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Everyone Loves a Party

As Taldor's entire capital city gathers to celebrate, few realize that conspiracy and royal rivalries are about to shake the empire to its core! When a high-minded cabal of senators and nobles tries to steer the nation away from disaster, Emperor Stavian III orders a bloodbath in the senate halls, trapping neophyte spies inside layer upon layer of magical security. As tensions rise and the emperor falls, can the heroes escape the forgotten halls beneath the senate and save the heir to Taldor from an assassin's blade? And even then, can anyone prevent a civil war that will tear one of the Inner Sea's oldest nations apart at its rotting seams?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the War for the Crown Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Crownfall," a Pathfinder adventure for 1st-level characters, by Thurston Hillman.
  • A gazetteer of Oppara, crown jewel of Taldor and center of Inner Sea culture, by Eleanor Ferron.
  • A closer look at some of the primary movers and shakers within the Taldan senate, who make for ideal allies, patrons, or rivals to politically minded players, by Thurston Hillman.
  • A collection of some of Taldor's most exotic and unusual threats, from the unsettlingly doll-like fantionette to the freewheeling onyvolan, by Thurston Hillman and Adrian Ng.

IBSN-13: 978-1-64078-015-6

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****½ (based on 9 ratings)

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One of the Strongest Starts to an AP

*****

This is an astounding AP. The new social influence rules are fun and will serve a group well whether they want to roleplay or roll-play. The combats are interesting, the adventure is generous with magic items, and it has what I consider (and my players would likely agree) the best plot hook and twist of any AP.

If you have a group that doesn't particularly enjoy intrigue or social encounters, or have a group of "murder-hobos", you may wish to skip this AP. For everyone else, I would consider this a must-play.


One of the best intros ever

*****

I have received legal advice (from Poland no less) that I should post a review, so here it is (note I haven’t yet run this, it is based purely on reading it):

This instalment has immediately become one of my top modules of all time. As all first instalments of an AP, it serves two purposes – first it introduces the next epic adventure path and second it is an adventure in its own right. As far as the first goes, it is terrific. It makes it clear that the players in this AP will be agents of a political leader/faction and not vying for the throne themselves. It also demonstrates that combat will take a less important role in this AP than many others. Finally, it embeds the story in the Empire of Taldor – there are hints of the vast history of the nation and how that will tie-in later, plus introductions to many of the political factions at work in the Empire during this adventure path.

As an adventure in its own right, I think it is exquisitely crafted. First thing to note is that it is definitely an intrigue/roleplay scenario over a combat-focussed scenario. The first several encounters have incidental combat opportunities at best – rather there is a whole bunch of investigation/research and diplomacy opportunities. When things DO get ‘tactical’ even the dungeon featuring the first few bad guys begins with an intricate puzzle spread over a few rooms before there’s any opportunity to kill things and take their stuff (although those opportunities come up later).

The factions are interesting, the initial patron (likely to continue in that role for the campaign, by the looks) is engaging, likable and has a deep background. She is portrayed as ambitious plus competent and yet still sympathetic. There is a good reason for her involving the PCs (often a matter requiring suspension of disbelief in Aps).

My biggest pleasant surprise of this module is that despite being heavily roleplay focussed in the early stages, I feel like I would be able to run it with anyone – whether they were comfortable acting it out or if they preferred to roll dice and consult DCs. As such, I think it would be a good intrigue/diplomacy adventure for a group lacking confidence in that regard (assuming they wanted to stretch their legs somewhat).

My only criticism is that it takes a long time before the PCs get to really flex their combat muscles. At least for my group, they LOVE getting into combats early so they can see how they gel as a group tactically and can try out whatever tactic/approach they’ve decided to pursue with their new, shiny characters. I think I would definitely run the PCs through a ‘meet the team’ adventure first – complete with lots of stealth/combat/etcetera. That would be easily motivated as a ‘testing ground’ for the patron before she entrusts them with the missions in this module. My worry is that, without that introduction, they’ll spend the whole first half (which is supposed to be subtle investigation/diplomacy) sabotaging the plot by getting into fights they really shouldn’t be starting.

As ever – that’s the kind of thing that depends heavily on your group’s idiosyncracies.

If you’re looking for an intrigue/political macinations module, I can’t think of a better one (in any system or any decade from the 70s through to now). There’s some work on the part of the DM, of course, but that’s the nature of the beast when adventures step outside the ‘usual’ fare of kicking in doors and killing clearly identified baddies.

It’s a thoroughly excellent adventure – hats off to everyone who worked on it!


TALDOGIS

*****

Excellent kick off an AP that is supposed to be about PCs helping drag an outdated male-dominated archaic dumpster hole that Taldor became into better times.

Also, Taldogis.

Also, angry conservatives.

What's not to love?


Unfortunate Language

***( )( )

Despite any good this book may hold, it is all predicated on "striking down primogeniture" such that a female may inherit. This is absolute popycock, primogeniture is the practice of the first-born inheriting and has nothing to do with male or female inheritance. This language gaff (which could've been fixed with the simplest of google searches; the word they were looking for is "agnatic") is only a sad indicator of consistent and recurring issues with the story & NPCs. More often than not important details are left to the DM to fill in on the fly, a trend woefully extended from several adventure paths hence. Couple this with a dearth of useful new mechanics & transferable content (of the monsters included, maybe one is useful outside of the book), this book is not worth the sticker price.


a bad first impression...adventures need not apply

**( )( )( )

sad to say but but i am sorely disappointed with this AP

ill try to keep it breif

pros

- Oppara Gazetteer - an introduction to the city with maps, notable locations and NPC's for use in the campaign and in your own games

- attempt at creating a interaction focused adventure to encourage new party dynamics and storys

- attempt at political based game, much akin to fantasy dramas like GOT and the like

cons

- role-playing is hampered by the new "influence system", heavily relying on dice rolls for interaction for more than half the book

- story progression from role-playing to dungeon is jarring and feels disconnected from the plot

- under developed and two dimensional NPC's, including a focus on one of the main NPC's who's background conflicts with itself and can be described as haveing the personality of a lump of wet paper

- the book relys heavily on "but thou must"and railroading is common

- chapters require heavy improvisation and GM re writes to make coherent

- dungeons and puzzels feel out of place and esoteric, a problem the creators must have known about as they include a side bar about skipping it.

while you can find enjoyment in the book, it will require heavy GM rewrites for plot, and NPC's, especially the main NPC which the whole plot revolves around

disappointing and hopefully not the start of a trend


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Liberty's Edge Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
GM PDK wrote:
Q: has Malphene Trant been taking her mulibrous tincture for 6 months or more. Thank you.

There's no set timeline for Malphene, but her coming out as a young lady is described as "recent," so for the teenage timescale that probably means in the past 2-3 months. Given her... development, she was likely taking doses privately for months before this, so she's probably been taking the tincture for 6-12 months.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you Crystal. IMC she's a young fighter who met another young fighter now. :)

RONDELEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
RONDELERAAAAAAAAA!
Porque mi vida yo la prefiero vivir así!!!

:P


...and the daaAAAANCE continued for the rest of the entire... ... ...social round....

President, SmiteWorks

The Fantasy Grounds version is available for just $7 now if you already own the PDF here at Paizo.com and synced your account.

War for the Crown AP 1 for Fantasy Grounds


What are the monsters in this one? Why nobody asks that anymore?


Awahoon wrote:
What are the monsters in this one? Why nobody asks that anymore?

That's one of the first question people ask whenever a new adventure path installment comes out. This is no exception.

HERE THERE BE MONSTERS

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just about finished with this book (just need to have the final fight and the "wrap-up" scene at the end). Next session should be session #8 iirc, with each session being about 4 hours.

This is just a good AP.

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