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

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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

"Crownfall" 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.

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Creative, But Lacking in Facts

3/5

I feel very torn about this AP, because there's so much to like, but there's some really fundamental things which have consistently irritated me while running it.

First of all, I want to echo another reviewer by talking a bit about terminology.

I get a strong sense in this AP that the writer(s) was extremely excited by the notion of kicking back against the patriarchy, ABOLISHING PRIMOGENITURE and really making a strong change in Taldor.

That's fine, lord knows the stuffy nation could use a kick up the backside. I'm British, so I know how that feels.

But, honestly, it would have taken 2 minutes on Google to understand these core, fundamental terms that you're dealing with here. Rather than 'abolishing primogeniture', what you actually want to do is bring in Absolute Primogeniture. It's a lot less exciting isn't it? But still, it's correct. The thing we don't want here is called (as another reviewer noted) Agnatic Primogeniture, which means the first born male inherits. Absolute Primogeniture is when the first born inherits. Princess Eutropia is the first born, and so neatly altering the law to include all heirs is all that needed to happen.

In fact, if you did indeed 'abolish' primogeniture, what you'd have on your hands is a complete and total sh*tshow. There wouldn't be an heir at all! The claim to the throne would come down to a billion other factors and poor Eutropia would probably be pushed out of the running altogether.

It's really simple, but I can't tell whether it was overlooked because it didn't fit the 'punching up' narrative, or whether the writers heard the term, got excited, and did no further research at all. I wouldn't mind, but it's repeated so often throughout the AP, and it just feel like facts and terminology have twisted to fit some imagined narrative.

I understand that Paizo are a US company and that this kind of stuff isn't common in their culture. I admit that even for a British person I'm a little more into this than the norm, but I would have thought that if you were going to write a whole AP about thrones and monarchy, you'd do your research.

Unfortunately, it also shows that the setting of Taldor wasn't really built to withstand this level of noble intrigue. Quite simply, I don't think Paizo really understands how the aristocracy actually functions in the places of the world that have it. The way they handle titles and land ownership is spotty at best, and requires GMs to just run with what they're given in most cases because there's a severe dearth of facts and consistency when dealing with noble families and monarchy. This one has a lot in common with Ironfang Invasion in that it prioritizes style over substance too often, where lots of detail is given to NPCs and their personalities and motivations, and very little to the kind of concrete details GMs need in the heat of the moment.

This brings me to my second issue with this AP as a whole - tone.

In the mission statement for War for the Crown, it was sold very much as more nuanced experience than Hell's Rebels, where the PCs would work within the system to enact change, working with established hierarchies and affecting a steady, non-revolutionary change. Also, it would not be a glory seeking AP where the PCs are great heroes who overthrow the system.

So far so good, I was very interested by that mission statement and had high hopes for a truly complex, intrigue experience. My group was very interested in the idea of playing primarily Lawful characters in this case. We'd had a great time being Chaotic revolutionaries in Hell's Rebels, but this sounded like something very different.

It's not that the AP doesn't deliver on the intrigue side of things, but I couldn't shake the sense throughout that it would much -rather- have been about virtuous and chaotic revolutionaries who constantly seek glory by donning on masks and sticking it to the man. I mean, there's literally an entire subsystem about building cults of personality around the PCs, so I don't think it's fair to say this is about working behind the scenes simply because you're not using your own names.

Within the very first setpiece, there's a strong expectation that the PCs are supposed to lie, cheat, steal, and defraud their way through problems. Of course, GMs are always free to make any changes they see fit, but I feel that there is a constant tension between what the AP said it wanted to be, and what it ended up being.

The first installment was a fun mix of intrigue and challenging combat, and I have no problems at all with how it played out. There's just an irritating lack of care for the details in a story that really just wants to pit a compassionate woman against a stodgy, patriarchal man. There's nothing wrong with that narrative, but let's at least get the facts straight first.


Chooo Chooooo

1/5

Having a plot macguffin teleport the party out while the cool stuff happens is beyond railroading and into Deus Ex. There were options for PCs to feel like part of the fight without taking out the part of the fight that would incinerate them without resorting to this.


One of the Strongest Starts to an AP

5/5

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

5/5

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

5/5

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?


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Rysky wrote:
Chauvinism and infantilizing of women leaders is rarely amusing.

Agreed! Which why my party will strive to be an equal-opportunity infantilizer ensuring that everyone man, woman and child in Taldor's royal court is a feeble-minded meatpuppet under our control. Letting something like chauvinism or sexism make us less effective tyrants is beyond stupid, I say.


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Delightful wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:

I think of it as a smart-mouth chauvinist getting put in his place by his social better without resorting to something as gauche as kicking his butt. ;)

If anyone thinks that the princess is going to be some mush-minded weak Willed pretty thing susceptible to Jedi mind tricks and petty charm or dominate spells ... well, IMO the savvy GM will take care of that if the authors don't.

Besides, I love making stat blocks. It'll be pretty easy to come up with one to file the flavor text off of and swap in. *grin*

Edit: few cavaliers have the ability to use enchantments, so the reasonable supposition is that words will suffice to establish Princess Eutropia's status and attitude. One imagines that Her Highness will be quite capable in the new 'social combat' mechanics, especially when dealing with entry-level characters.

Yeah, your probably right that a I well stated Eutropia will be pretty resilient to jedi mind trick shenanigans. Still though, players might as well try to be the power behind the throne, or else what's the point of trying to save a kingdom from another group of a$#**#+s if you don't get to secretly rule it through a figurehead?

Pretty sure that's on the Evil Overlord list.

*chuckling* Yeah, that'd be on there.

The Kingmaker AP (and coming soonTM CRPG via the just-concluded Kickstarter) is currently the best choice for carving one's own kingdom out of the wilderness. Ruins of Azlant seems to start with something vaguely similar (tiny settlement in the derriere of nowheresville).

Getting in with Her Highness' good graces now, oh yeah. Bonus points for shmoozing her up enough to agree to either a convenient political marriage or straight up becoming her consort/spouse. I have a feeling that her getting permanently killed off would take the AP straight off the rails and into a massive sinkhole.

Silver Crusade

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

Conquering/freeing a nation is also vastly different than running one, I'll take the former any day of the week.

"We're damage control. I'm the damage. You're the control."


Rysky wrote:

Conquering/freeing a nation is also vastly different than running one, I'll take the former any day of the week.

"We're damage control. I'm the damage. You're the control."

Why not both? Having your cake and not being able to eat too is overrated and definitely not fun in my opinion. But, hey, to each their own.

Silver Crusade

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

I was just pointing out that just because someone is good "in the field" does not mean they'll be good in charge. Has absolutely nothing to do with having your cake.

If you can make a character that can do both go right ahead :3

I'm not any good at making politicians.


Rysky wrote:

I was just pointing out that just because someone is good "in the field" does not mean they'll be good in charge. Has absolutely nothing to do with having your cake.

If you can make a character that can do both go right ahead :3

I'm not any good at making politicians.

Ohhh...

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess figured everyone secretly wanted to rule the world deep down.

Silver Crusade

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

No worries ^w^


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Aspiring politicians:

Artistry (literature) to write speeches, Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge (history, local, nobility), Perform (oratory), Profession (barrister) and Sense Motive. Add sufficient Linguistics to pick up the languages spoken in the target nation. You can see where having some highly skilled minions could be quite useful. A freebie level of Aristocrat or Expert could start this off without ridiculous nomm'ing of skill ranks for most characters. If Hell's Rebels is any indication, having these skills at a high bonus (+25 or a bit higher) is going to be of great benefit!

Feats are completely optional.
A couple of good ones though ... Prodigy (choose 2 from among Artistry (literature), Perform (oratory) and Profession (barrister)), Scholar (any two of the three Knowledge skills mentioned)

Tack on Intimidate if evil, although this implies an upbringing as a pawn of the Sczarni, Teamsters or a previous group of PC-pirates from a completed Skull-n-Shackles campaign.

Dark Archive

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Can we cut the blabla and get back to the product please?


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We're a year out from release. Some babbling is to be expected. ;)


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The Mad Comrade wrote:
We're a year out from release. Some babbling is to be expected. ;)

Exactly my Mad Comrade. Babbling and arguments is what keeps people interested in the product even though its months away and there's little info about it.

Anyways, speaking of incoherent babbling, is anyone else hoping that Princess Eutropia is a big time Cayden Cailean worshiper? Shelyn would probably be a better fit for a royal Taldan princess but I think moving away from that stereotype would be neat. Also, the idea of Eutropia secretly being a fun party girl under all that royal posturing makes me chuckle.

Eutropia, the queen you could have a beer with.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

But she's below drinking age! Did anybody think of what damage to our youth would such a role model do?

Dark Archive

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Gorbacz wrote:
But she's below drinking age! Did anybody think of what damage to our youth would such a role model do?

Isn't she like 10 years older than in 2007 when paizo's timeline started? :p

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But she's below drinking age! Did anybody think of what damage to our youth would such a role model do?
Isn't she like 10 years older than in 2007 when paizo's timeline started? :p

i believe so. Wow 10 years. and a lot has happened in those 10 years.

they nearly got hit by another meteorite, dealt with an insane monarch, liberated a city, condemned a nation, faced all manner of creatures, uncovered psychic magic, faced the mythos, fought robots, formed a kingdom, and faced off against the ironfang legion, an undead pharaoh in a flying pyramid, and fought the forces of the worldwound making it just a bit more manageable.

All in all, a great journey so far. lets do our best to make the future even better.

And Make Taldor Great Again.

ps. yes that was a reference, but i am staying neutral in this. Long live Queen Eutropia. and yet i might decide to make a masked maiden vigilante and have her sometimes forget the queens name and spout "Long Live Queen Ileosa, Death to the traitors."


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Are there any special rules being used in this AP such as mass combat or the verbal dueling?

Or Mass Verbal Dueling.

"Go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!"

"Run Away!!!!"

So too early to know?

Shadow Lodge

Why are we assuming that Princess Eutropia is good, wise, smart, or innocent? Isn't that basically the definition of chauvinism?

Hopefully this AP will not be so juvenile, and supporting her will be only an option, one of at least a few possible ones, and she and others are all questionable to fairly equal degrees.


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DM Beckett wrote:

Why are we assuming that Princess Eutropia is good, wise, smart, or innocent? Isn't that basically the definition of chauvinism?

Hopefully this AP will not be so juvenile, and supporting her will be only an option, one of at least a few possible ones, and she and others are all questionable to fairly equal degrees.

How are expectations of wisdom and/or intelligence chauvinist? Chauvinism would presume "groomed to enter a politically-determined marriage and make babies", not "just as able to take the reins of power as daddy".

Shadow Lodge

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Chauvinism is a misused word that has nothing to do with sexism. It instead means soemthing more along the lines of being ultra patriotic, or following a political view or ruler without regard for stances you otherwise disagree with, but because that party or person does, it is okay. Its a blend of tradition for tradition's sake and the idea of voting all Republican or all Democrate, even when you do not agree with everything they stand for.

She is a political figure. Her happening to be born with lady parts shouldn't have anything to do with her being wise or smart, and my understanding is that she has not been groomed for the throne. What I am saying is I seriously hope that this AP does not assumes the party just tags along and supports her because she is just so perfect and the party are mindless lackeys. That isn't interesting to me, nor do I want the AP to be a soap box.

Give her good and bad qualities in fairly equal proportions, just like a real person, and a few other reasonable candidate, male and female, that all have pros and cons.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chauvinism wrote:
excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one's own cause, group, or gender.

Having loyalty to your own gender at the expense of another is chauvinism. Thinking the main woman you're going to be working for in order to save Taldor is incompetent or evil just because she is a woman is chauvinism.

The AP won't assume the party wants to work with Eutropia "just because
", they'll want to work for her because she's the best bet at saving and uniting Taldor, because otherwise would make for a crappy story, but we don't have to worry about that, because Paizo has awesome writers.

We don't even have a writeup for her so we don't know what all qualities, good and bad, she possesses. I'll doubt she be a perfect person, no one has claimed she is in the first place.

I don't want a "few other 'reasonable' candidates", I want a badass and Good Queen. We have that with Eutropia, rather than an assortment of NPCs that would not get the same development and depth as a single one would.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And because the AP is helmed by an awesome lady who has a knack for writing great NPCs and stories.

Silver Crusade

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Gorbacz wrote:
And because the AP is helmed by an awesome lady who has a knack for writing great NPCs and stories.

I was still editing my post before this but yes, this ^

Crystal without fail knocks it out of the f&*#ing park. I've yet to read anything by her that I didn't like.


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The thing about APs is you can't really have multiple branching story paths. There's simply not enough wordcount for major plotline shifts. Choice in an AP as written has to be on a smaller level, like whether or not to kill Devargo Bavarsi in Curse of the Crimson Throne or who to trust in Hell's Rebels. Things like "which potential sovereign do we align with" would be a majorly artificial choice since you'd ultimately have to end up doing exactly the same things regardless of choice, even though on the surface it seems like an important one.

So yeah, we're not assuming Eutropia is the best person for the job because of anything other than that's what the plot will demand she be.


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

It could just be a matter of circumstances conspiring so that the PCs' interests align with Eutropia's -- so even if other people might have a real decision about who to support, something happens in book 1 to ensure that everyone present at some event is assumed to be in her faction and thus a target to all other factions. Then all that is necessary if for Eutropia not to be depicted as an obviously bad choice for the succession.

Shadow Lodge

Rysky wrote:
Chauvinism wrote:
excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one's own cause, group, or gender.
Having loyalty to your own gender at the expense of another is chauvinism. Thinking the main woman you're going to be working for in order to save Taldor is incompetent or evil just because she is a woman is chauvinism.

Spoiler:
Chauvinism is an exaggerated patriotism and a belligerent belief in national superiority and glory. Whereas patriotism and nationalism may represent temperate pride, chauvinism is intemperate. It can be also defined as "an irrational belief in the superiority or dominance of one's own group or people". Moreover, the chauvinist's own people are seen as unique and special while the rest of the people are considered weak or inferior.

According to legend, French soldier Nicolas Chauvin was badly wounded in the Napoleonic wars. He received a pension for his injuries but it was not enough to live on. After Napoleon abdicated, Chauvin was a fanatical Bonapartist despite the unpopularity of this view in Bourbon Restoration France. His single-minded blind devotion to his cause, despite neglect by his faction and harassment by its enemies, started the use of the term.
Chauvinism has extended from its original use to include fanatical devotion and undue partiality to any group or cause to which one belongs, especially when such partisanship includes prejudice against or hostility toward outsiders or rival groups and persists even in the face of overwhelming opposition. This French quality finds its parallel in the British term jingoism, which has retained the meaning of chauvinism strictly in its original sense; that is, an attitude of belligerent nationalism.
In contemporary English, the word has come to be used in some quarters as shorthand for male chauvinism, a trend reflected in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, which begins its third example of use of the term chauvinism with "an attitude that the members of your own sex are always better than those of the opposite sex."

As I said, it's often misused, to mean something about sexism. But, the point is, is it chauvinist to say: "Don't infantilizing her because she is a women" or a joke that actually treats the character as a real person, regardless of her gender? By ANY definition of the word. Would gender swapping that have made it different, or is it all because the subject was a she?


Erm, contemporary usage is being applied and used by far more people than not instead of original usage. Few seem to even know of its definition as intemperate nationalism/patriotism. I didn't until your post! :)

Learn something new every day. Awesome.


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David knott 242 wrote:

It could just be a matter of circumstances conspiring so that the PCs' interests align with Eutropia's -- so even if other people might have a real decision about who to support, something happens in book 1 to ensure that everyone present at some event is assumed to be in her faction and thus a target to all other factions. Then all that is necessary if for Eutropia not to be depicted as an obviously bad choice for the succession.

Seems that is taken care of rather messily based on the summary atop the thread. ;)


This sounds really cool to me. More excited for this. My group is moving more towards homebrew stuff though, so may not get to do it :(.


I like the use of art in this cover.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
I like the use of art in this cover.

Well, it's a placeholder.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
I like the use of art in this cover.
Well, it's a placeholder.

I too like the use of art in the covers, placeholder or not.

The letters are nice too.

Shadow Lodge

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I like it overall. I've always liked the original Taldor cover art, and I like the gray theme. We could really use a lot more knightly character pictures, but especially male ones, (for the message boards).

I do hope overall we get just more knightly and more heavy armored warrior types overall.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Love this AP beginning. I hope it involves conflict with Qadira, putting this great sourcebook to use in their border rivalry. Maybe that is the next AP after Taldor....


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xidoraven,

Eh. I'd rather have something more like Legacy of Fire oriented but whatever.

Silver Crusade

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DM Beckett wrote:

I like it overall. I've always liked the original Taldor cover art, and I like the gray theme. We could really use a lot more knightly character pictures, but especially male ones, (for the message boards).

I do hope overall we get just more knightly and more heavy armored warrior types overall.

Agreed. Most heavily armored classes now have archetypes to trade out the heavy armor for something... it would be nice if there would be more options for the opposite (like they did with the armored hulk barbarian archetype)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I'll be honest: I'm excited for this AP. I really hope the devs will deepen Taldor's background getting it away from its current cartoonish depiction.
I also hope for a competent Eutropia. She doesn't have to be good (to my jaded mind the nature of politics doesn't leave much space for innocence) but determined and driven, on top of her game and not willing to back down from anyone or anything.
All things considered I really have great expectations on this AP!

Silver Crusade

Rogar Valertis wrote:

I'll be honest: I'm excited for this AP. I really hope the devs will deepen Taldor's background getting it away from its current cartoonish depiction.

I also hope for a competent Eutropia. She doesn't have to be good (to my jaded mind the nature of politics doesn't leave much space for innocence) but determined and driven, on top of her game and not willing to back down from anyone or anything.
All things considered I really have great expectations on this AP!

I agree on determined and driven, but I'll be happy if they make her good and naive, but with the guts to follow through her promises, akin to Forgotten Realms' Alusair Nacacia Obarskyr (the Steel Regent of the kingdom of Cormyr, and the youngest child of King Azoun IV and Queen Filfaeril).

Not every head of state NPC should be described as an astute hyper-diplomatic wet noodle. Politics is not for everyone, and maybe it's time that Taldor steps out of its usual bureaucratic personae and adopt a more direct approach.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Raynor Cordite wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

I'll be honest: I'm excited for this AP. I really hope the devs will deepen Taldor's background getting it away from its current cartoonish depiction.

I also hope for a competent Eutropia. She doesn't have to be good (to my jaded mind the nature of politics doesn't leave much space for innocence) but determined and driven, on top of her game and not willing to back down from anyone or anything.
All things considered I really have great expectations on this AP!

I agree on determined and driven, but I'll be happy if they make her good and naive, but with the guts to follow through her promises, akin to Forgotten Realms' Alusair Nacacia Obarskyr (the Steel Regent of the kingdom of Cormyr, and the youngest child of King Azoun IV and Queen Filfaeril).

Not every head of state NPC should be described as an astute hyper-diplomatic wet noodle. Politics is not for everyone, and maybe it's time that Taldor steps out of its usual bureaucratic personae and adopt a more direct approach.

Personally I don't think copying the FR would be a wise idea for Golarion and for Taldor. The nation doesn't look like Cormyr and I like how Golarion seems to be a bit more "adult" than Toril is

Silver Crusade

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That's exactly the mold Taldor needs to break from if you want a bold, exciting adventure.

Politics are fine but I don't want the entire AP focused on that.

The novel "Dagger's Trust" does a good job showing the patriotic side of most Taldans, and how they have to remind Chelaxians and Andorans that the bounty of the Empire and its institutions comes at a cost: loyalty.

One can have an exciting AP set there without the whole mired in politics downside...

Silver Crusade

Sorry I meant to say The Dagger of Trust, available at all reputable webstores near you! :)


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Some of us find politics to be infinitely exciting, so I hope its neck deep in intrigue myself.


I suspect that politics are the motivating force for the intrigue, thus instigating copious usage of the social combat et al subsystems in Ultimate Intrigue. Edit: or set via "default rules" in the script with sidebars inserted to incorporate said subsystems.

Silver Crusade

I guess you can call me guilty of playing the devil's advocate a little bit earlier. Of course I'd be fine with a political AP... or any other type of AP... so that's my point: I don't think it really necessary to build up expectation for one type of AP or another at this point.

A lot of people hold Taldor on some kind of pedestal because of many reasons including that it's been long awaited.

The thing to remember is that we should give the authors a chance to express their own vision of the place and allow for artistic license. Otherwise you end up with a very boring, no surprise left "Age of Ultron."


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Well ill be disappointed if this thing turns into a dungeon crawler as latter end APs tend to do. Hopefully, they can at least avoid that much. I love Taldor for its political intrigue opportunities. I wont be fine if its "I want to be queen gather this list of McGuffins for me to become one" So if they avoid that trap at least I should be content.

Silver Crusade

In my experience the dungeon crawl is a crucial part of this game. This is where the BBEG is and where the adventure culminates. The last book of Council of Thieves (instead of a 'large dungeon crawl') offered a hundred little fires to put down all across the City of Westcrown, and this didn't exactly resonate with everyone's taste, if I recall correctly (ironically, 'thieves' excel *in* a dungeon, apparently... not so much on rooftops).

The dungeon focuses the players on one problem at a time, more or less, and the controlled environment reduces or at least controls the amount of variables. The building blocks of this game are meant to play a role in a dungeon setting, and if you stray away from that you need to make corrections to how the game is played (i.e. the sidebars you mentioned, which *can* be hit and miss... depending on their design/function).

I like a sandbox as much as the next gamer, but when the GM rolls out the dungeon map I feel a certain sense of reward that we've strayed somehow in the right direction... :)


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

I dunno, the last book of Council of Thieves has issues other than a lack of dungeon crawling.

It's still pretty good mind you. :-)


I believe there are a wealth of archetypes and prestige classes that could use environments that work better for them (which means outside the dungeon). There is plenty of room for artistic license in this underused concept. I think its important that Paizo rotates traditional campaigns with non-traditional campaigns. I'm hoping for non-traditional this time around. YMMV.

Sovereign Court

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I'd be down with a palace crawl where you have to talk your way through a huge party to get to the villain.


Looking forward to running this and bring Heroes of the High Court to enhance this. I start players first on Honor's Echo from Pathfinder Society. Anyone have other ideas to start players?


Anyone else thinking Brienne of Tarth from the cover art?


Hmm I hope Princess Eutropia is not another Mary Sue, and we won't get the same dynamic as in Jade Regent.

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