Pathfinder Adventure Path #131: The Reaper's Right Hand (War for the Crown 5 of 6)

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #131: The Reaper's Right Hand (War for the Crown 5 of 6)

Add Print Edition $24.99

Add PDF $17.99

Facebook Twitter Email

The Grace in Your Eyes

When no one sits upon the Lion Throne, all shall try! As a final act of vengeance, High Strategos Pythareus's agents release evidence that the entire Stavian family line may be illegitimate, and now every noble in Taldor is willing to risk civil war to stake a claim to the crown. Can the PCs discover the remains of the First Emperor's tomb and seek his blessing to prove Eutropia's fitness to rule? And if the spirit of Taldor's founder cannot answer their prayers, can they answer his?

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

  • "The Reaper's Right Hand," an extraplanar Pathfinder RPG adventure for 13th-level characters, by John Compton.
  • A gazetteer of the district of Sayashto, an upscale neighborhood in the infinite city of Axis, by John Compton.
  • A look at Thamir Gixx, the Silent Blade, the wicked halfling god of murderers and assassins, by Jason Keeley.
  • An overview of the major noble lines of Taldor, by Crystal Malarsky.
  • Five creatures born to the absolute law of the planar metropolis of Axis, including the high-minded impariut inevitable and the cosmic majesty of the edict dragon, by John Compton, Nathan King, and Greg A. Vaughan.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-045-3

"The Reaper's Right Hand" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (922 kb zip/PDF).

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

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 5 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO90131


See Also:

Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.


As with my previous reviews of books in this AP, once again I'm torn between wanting to like what's on offer, but being very dispirited by a conspicuous lack of attention to detail.

The Good

This book is overflowing with creative setpieces, monsters, NPCs, and unique scenarios that really couldn't be experienced anywhere else. After 4 books of Taldan intrigue, it feels like a nice change of pace which puts the PCs in a truly unexpected situation, without falling into the usual trap of distracting them from where they really want to be, and what they really want to be doing.

The Bad

For full disclosure, my group did not use the Persona subsystem in this AP. I was lukewarm on the idea, and after discussing it with my players, we decided it would not be fun for our particular group's way of playing. We're not overly keen on subsystems and abstractions, and favor detail and roleplay in all situations. In our case, we did not feel it would be a good fit. That's not a criticism of the system or its use in the AP, well, it wouldn't have been until this book.

Until now, it was largely a background system which would bring good benefits for groups who cared to use, but the content available was sufficient that scenarios could easily be handled without using it. In this book, there are two entire setpieces (and one entire Part) which entirely rely on use of that subsystem. This isn't my complaint in and of itself, since it was my choice not to use it. My complaint is that both of these particular setpieces feel incredibly tacked on for the sake of the Persona system, and actually either bear no relevance to the wider AP, or could have been handled without it.

The first is the section 'Of Landgraves and Landgrabs', where we briefly return to book 2 meta to once again step into a stagnant and neglected part of Taldor and start to try and convince the locals that our way is the best way, and win them over the benefit from local knowledge in order to locate something which could easily be handled in myriad other ways at this level. There's no inherent problem with it, but it's written exclusively for Persona rules with very little in the way of actual detail or any consideration for what happens if the PCs find another solution. Some potentially very meaningful NPC developed is entirely glossed over on route.

The second is 'The Need to Lead', where despite having just arrived on Axis mere hours ago, the PCs can run for office! I don't mean to be disparaging of a setpiece which I'm sure could be a lot of fun for certain groups, but to me this just felt so tacked on for the sake providing a 'novel' experience, and once again fitting into the Persona subsystem. Other reviewers have mentioned this, but the very notion that agents can just casually be brought to Axis and the Persona system can continue unabated honestly beggars belief, and really stretches the intrigue and believability that should be so essential to an AP like this. In short, it feels inauthentic, and tacked on for the sake of novelty. How convenient that there's a governmental role that can only be filled by people who haven't lived here for very long! This belongs in a mod or a PFS scenario, and feels extremely out of place here.

I wasn't a particular fan of the remarkable level of quirkiness on display in this book either. That is a matter of personal taste, but it felt like the writers were going out of their way to subvert what players might expect from traveling to the Plane of Law. I'm absolutely not saying it should have been some dehumanizing mechanical nightmare, but there were things which would have felt much more at home in the mod The Harrowing than a unique opportunity in an AP such as this.

The bestiary was interesting, but the two new inevitables on offer felt very samey and visually unimaginative. I was also not at all enamored with the design of Taldaris. Hilariously, the generic art for the impariut inevitable had a stronger Taldaris energy than his own art.

Finally, and most damning, the issue of The Stabbing Beast [vague Wrath of the Righteous spoilers below]

Once upon a time, Paizo really cared about the developments that could reshape the world of Golarion. In Wrath of the Righteous, a deity's unique herald being messed with and killed was an incredibly big deal to that deity's faith. We were treated insight into the difficulties inherent in the lack of ability for deities to affect the Material Plane, and how a deity would respond when their herald was threatened. It's a big deal to the faith, to put it mildly.

In this book, the PCs are directly confronted and fought by the herald of Norgorber himself. In the flesh. Given the stats of the thing, it shouldn't be unexpected or impossible to imagine that they could slay the creature, since there's no quality heralds have which makes them immortal on their home plane or anything. Given the sinister qualities of Norgorber, the fact that he is a deity on a par in power to Iomedae, that this is occurring in his actual divine realm, one would think that there should be some consequences to openly slaying his herald. At the very least, maybe a couple of words on how the faith is affected, how Norgorber responds in the moment. But no, not a one. Rather, the PCs stand around for some considerable amount of time trying to impress an NPC who is quite incapable of teleporting to safety. In fact, no one can get out fast due to the unique qualities of the realm. Apparently, despite this being in Duskfathom itself, Norgorber is completely okay with this, doesn't take any measures to disrupt their plans, lets them walk out unscathed, and everything just continues as if nothing ever happened.

To me, this is emblematic of a bigger change in Paizo's recent Adventure Paths where there seems to be nonchalant lack of concern for the setting. Very little seems to matter anymore, and something like this just glossed over in favor of the PCs tackling a social encounter. Now, novelty and setpieces trump consequence and meaningful roleplay. Some fairly world changing events also occur in Tyrant's Grasp which are so glossed over at the end that the AP may as well never have existed. I really hope this trend does not continue and is just a consequence of writers being distracted by the pressures of 2E.


Sidetracked

2/5

I wanted to enjoy this adventure, but I have to say I was disappointed by this issue. While it did have some pretty cool parts, especially the bestiary, and other aspects, such as the writing or the Thamir Gixx article were solid if not impressive, this adventure fell flat for me conceptually.

Part 1 was an interesting section, and felt like you were doing something new that also seemed to fit the story pretty well, but traveling to Axis didn't impress me at all. For a plane of law and order, it felt like a needless field trip to a place that instead promoted vigilantism in pursuit of a villain that just didn't resonate with me whatsoever. (I also felt like going to Axis really hurt the networking/reputation subsystem that's been so heavily pushed this campaign. The efforts to allow you to use your network while there just made it feel worse to me.)

The dungeon in Part 3 had a solid mix of enemies, and an interesting moral dilemma, but the big bad seemed absentminded. Overall, I couldn't enjoy the dungeon when I couldn't get behind why I was there in the first place.

I was largely disappointed because the campaign that seemed aimed at civil war, and a contest between people, devolved into another generic 5th module trip to the planes, one that you are punished for in the conclusion of the module.


Down the rabbit hole

5/5

This is a delightful adventure. It's whimsical without being absurd, has quirky and memorable characters, and some great roleplaying opportunities. The villains are no slouches either. What I most enjoyed about Reaper's Right Hand though, is that it grants a welcome reprieve from what has been a fairly tense and serious adventure path. It does not, however, do so at the expense of the War for the Crown AP as a whole. Sure your PCs might be running against a medusa for a political position, or convincing a hivemind cockatiel swarm to give back a ring, but these goals still serve to forward the story. The whimsy ends - mostly - in the third act, however, when the PCs must storm a classic dungeon.

I was worried that an adventure set in the lawfully-aligned plane of Axis would be sterile and boring, but this is not the case at all. To be honest, this adventure felt like it could fit as easily in the chaotic realm of the First World with a few tweeks. The corner of Axis where Right Hand takes place has its eccentricities to be sure, but there are still reminders that this is the plane of ultimate law. An active police force, inevitable guardians, and even a bit of bureaucratic red tape keep things from becoming too out there.

The supplemental articles on Sayashto (the city where the adventure takes place) and the halfling assassin god Thamir Gixx were fine and accomplished everything they needed too. I wasn't blown away, but that's a small quibble. I was a little disappointment with the bestiary section, mostly because none of the monsters really "popped" for me. Again though, these small issues do nothing to detract from the high quality of the adventure itself.


An Ordered Path

4/5

A nice foray into the plane of Law, Axis, as well as the realm of a deity. Combat and creatures were varied (not just outsiders - a couple of which that were not expected). As with most of this adventure path, there was a good balance between social mechanics and combat encounters.

The article about Thamir Gixx was interesting (always great to have some of the nonhuman pantheons given some love). Would have liked to have Gixx's domains listed for quick reference, as well as special servitors and his herald.


1 to 50 of 86 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

Announced for June 2018! Image and description are provisional and subject to change prior to release.

Silver Crusade

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

Now that's a twist I did not expect.


Oh, MAD politics in a Pathfinder adventure. I just knew this AP would find all kinds of ways to BLOW ME AWAY!

Hope Milani being on the early cover of this actually means she or her followers actually show up in a big way. Milani's home realm is in Axis after all.

Dark Archive

Wow, planar adventure in non mythic ap? ._. Is this first bigger non cameo planar visit in AP?

Silver Crusade

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

It's harder to find a Paizo AP *without* planar detours than one with them...

Dark Archive

Huh? I thought it was opposite

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Legacy of Fire and Kingmaker both have one virtually 100% planar adventures. Strange Aeons and Hell's Rebels both have adventures that are 50% planar. Ironfang Invasion finale is largely planar, too. That's just off the top of my head. At some point there were even people complaining that dropping a demiplane or a pocket dimension in every AP gets long in the tooth.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Planning this Adventure Path as a whole was absolutely a blast, and our coming up with this development was one of the delightful twists that we've been keeping quiet for months now.

I'm very excited to be writing it.


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

Wow! This sounds really cool


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

I noticed this and the sixth book of Dead Suns doesn't list the extras included.

No worries, just thought the powers that be (Rick) would like to know. :-)

Also, by slip their mortal bonds, does that mean they're going to die.

Dark Archive

This Pathfinder AP volume & the one from last month also don't have a number listed in the header - it should say #131 & #130 respectively. ;-)


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

Damn my poor grammar!

I blame the phone.


I'm totally stoked for more stuff about Axis! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Axis! Yay! Planer stuff is always welcome and between this, psychopomps, and general soul shenanigans in a couple of adventures, War for the Crown is starting to look pretty Planescapey.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sooooo... are we going to get. Deity on Thamir Gixx in this one? Because that would be awesome!


Dab,

I assume so but I could be wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whoa! the PCs get to meet Taldaris?


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

Dab,

I assume so but I could be wrong.

... I'm just glad you were able to parse what I posted. My grammar's not great at the best of times, but that looks like my brain jumped out of my head.

Silver Crusade

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

Far less exciting than meeting Taldogis.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I just noticed this is set in Axis! SWEET! :D

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FallenDabus wrote:
Sooooo... are we going to get. Deity on Thamir Gixx in this one? Because that would be awesome!

A servitor creature of his is in the first installments' bestiary, so maybe!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dab,

I can understand Yoda. You aren't that much different. ;)

But yeah cheers for Axis!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DeciusNero wrote:
FallenDabus wrote:
Sooooo... are we going to get. Deity on Thamir Gixx in this one? Because that would be awesome!
A servitor creature of his is in the first installments' bestiary, so maybe!

That's exactly what clued me in (and the line about a certain halfling reappearing in this instalment)!

Web Production Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Updated with final product description and cover image!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whoo, Thamix Gixx details! Nice to hear it confirmed he gets info on this one :D

Silver Crusade

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

Edict Dragon?

Hmmmm m'kay :3


Rysky,

I'm pretty sure it's the planar Axis one. So LN to the extreme! :)

Mostly I like what I think is a Marut or some kind of Inevitable on the cover.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The major noble lines of Taldor? With heraldry, perhaps?

*wishes really hard*


Feros,

I only wish for more on inevitables. ;) But that's cool too.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to Gixx - not often we get info on the nonhuman deities other than Calistria and Torag.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Edict dragon... EDICT DRAGON?!

If it's one of the planar true dragons, I hope it's illustrated by the same artist.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusNero wrote:
Looking forward to Gixx - not often we get info on the nonhuman deities other than Calistria and Torag.

You're probably going to like Faiths of Golarion, with a tengu and a gnome deity already confirmed.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:
Looking forward to Gixx - not often we get info on the nonhuman deities other than Calistria and Torag.
You're probably going to like Faiths of Golarion, with a tengu and a gnome deity already confirmed.

!!!


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

Him seems interesting could be pretty great


The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Edict dragon... EDICT DRAGON?!

If it's one of the planar true dragons, I hope it's illustrated by the same artist.

Well I just want to see what edicts it will enforce. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Edict dragon... EDICT DRAGON?!

If it's one of the planar true dragons, I hope it's illustrated by the same artist.

Thomas Seitz wrote:

Well I just want to see what edicts it will enforce. ;)

That sounds like a rather ... cosmic ... dragon. :)


I have to say that while edict dragon sounds like the name of a planar dragon breed, and it indeed comes from another plane, I am a bit sceptical about a true dragon in an AP, even more with it breaking the 5 dragons per "scept" tradition.

I'm hoping for it to be Axis' planar dragon, and that we are luck enough to get the Abbadom and Nirvana dragons in our way to PF2E.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, I got the PDF. After the disappointing third module, I was very apprehensive about this particular part of the AP. But it is very well crafted, with a good mix of politicking, socializing and kicking monster ass. Now let's see in one month how the finale turns out. :)


magnuskn wrote:
Alright, I got the PDF. After the disappointing third module, I was very apprehensive about this particular part of the AP. But it is very well crafted, with a good mix of politicking, socializing and kicking monster ass. Now let's see in one month how the finale turns out. :)

Well magnuskn, seeing as you already have the PDF, mind giving us a peek at the bestiary? ( i.e. the names of each monster, their CR, and monster type) Thanks in advance.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm not magnuskn, but here you are:


  • Axial Monitor: LN Large outsider, CR 15
  • Hykariut Inevitable: LN Large outsider, CR 18
  • Impariut Inevitable: LN Medium outsider, CR 10
  • Planar Dragon, Edict Dragon: LN dragon CR 8+
  • Radiant Essence, NG Large ooze, CR 13

Also, elsewhere: hivemind cockatiel swarm <3


Thanks Zaister! So the Edict Dragon really is a honest-to-Abadar true planar Dragon? Sing a song of Silver, this AP has the best Bestiary section since Rasputin Must Die! What does the edict dragon look like, if you don't mind me asking, and what's the coolest thing it can do?


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

It has a coppery body color and grey wings with blue runes on them (which are, in fact, a single Symbol spell on each wing). The breath attack is a line which deals slashing damage and, if you fail the save, affects you with a Command spell.


Very nice. Got anything on the Radiant Essence? I don't think we've ever had a good ooze before.


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

They're the collected essence of several good outsiders whose spirits merged into a Radiant Essence due to their collective zeal to continue to do good. It's still unintelligent, though, but has automatic Detect Evil and its attacks count as good-aligned.


Thank you magnuskn. Mind telling us what tasks each of the inventables was manufactured for, and what they look like?


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

Impariut: Encourage responsible governance, otherwise intervene. It's a metallic looking bald heavily muscled dude in robes and a longsword.

Hykariut: Quash rebellions and extinguish revolutions. An even more muscled metallic bald dude, this time with a warhammer and he wears bracers, leg bracers and has a shoulder pad bolted to his body. ^^


Thanks magnuskn. Hykariut sound like they'd be a fun addition to a Hell's Rebels game, or maybe a good high level ally for a Galt campaign if you're aiming to end the unending revolution. I can't imagine the likes of Barzillai or Ileosa taking very kindly to Impariut, though. What is an Axial Monitor, anyway?


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

They are tasked with preventing disturbances to order and investigating crimes in the city of Axis.


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

This module made me wonder how it'd be to romance an Axiomite. ^^


magnuskn wrote:
This module made me wonder how it'd be to romance an Axiomite. ^^

Any particular reason for this specific curiosity?

1 to 50 of 86 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Adventure Path #131: The Reaper's Right Hand (War for the Crown 5 of 6) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.