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

3.90/5 (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1 of 6)

Add Print Edition $24.99

Add PDF $17.99

Facebook Twitter Email

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).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 11 to 20 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

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

PZO90127


See Also:

1 to 5 of 15 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

3.90/5 (based on 15 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

2/5


Princess Highground

2/5

Crystal Frasier unfortunately made such a caricature stand-in for her own opinions out of Eutropia Stavian that my group still refers to her as "Princess Highground". God bless the authors that tried to salvage this, but the developer kept trying to smother them.

There are also some odd anachronistic elements in the writing that jumped out at me. "Peace-bonding" weapons in the Senate. Service animals allowed....an editor probably should have caught these.


Excellent and Prescient

5/5

A great mix of intrigue, role playing and combat, and scarily prescient. Tremendous job everyone!


5/5

As a player I had a blast when my GM dropped us into the intrigue from this AP. Another great political scenario from paizo.


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.


1 to 5 of 15 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
151 to 200 of 669 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.

By chance I'm running a homebrew campaign in Taldor right now, but the PCs are four paladins who are busy dealing with Lamashtu-worshiping gnolls on the border of Qadira, and every time I've hinted at the possibility of political intrigue they've scoffed and gone looking for evil to smite.

I think I might just use these adventures as background narrative, so the whole revolution happens while they're busy literally saving the world, like a reverse of that Buffy episode *The Zeppo*.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Cavalier, Rogue, and Investigator, who’s the fourth iconic?

I would hope that the vigilante would be the fourth, but who knows?

Otoh, with Alain already around, adding the vigilante makes me worry for our princess's safety.


Only one “spellcaster,” and that an alchemist, would be weird.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Only one “spellcaster,” and that an alchemist, would be weird.

Why?


Gorbacz wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Only one “spellcaster,” and that an alchemist, would be weird.
Why?

They tend to have balanced parties that include some sort of divine and arcane caster. There are exceptions (Irongfang Invasion) but they are exceptions.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seeing as how it's Taldor and Merisiel is here I wouldn't be surprised if it's Kyra.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Only one “spellcaster,” and that an alchemist, would be weird.
Why?
They tend to have balanced parties that include some sort of divine and arcane caster. There are exceptions (Irongfang Invasion) but they are exceptions.

What's a "balanced" party?

Why does it have to include casters?

And more importantly, why should the choice of iconics be dictated by mechanics?


The cavalier(courtly knight maybe), rogue, and investigator make sense for an intrigue based campaign.

Are there any iconics who have connections to royalty or have political power of any kind?

I wonder who the fourth iconic will be?

The inquisitor, swashbuckler, sorceress, psychic, bard, or magus would be interesting choices.


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

Lady Kessilandrie Anicia Vlastos comes to mind.

Silver Crusade

Kess would be awesome too.

Dark Archive

Is there an ETA for the players guide yet?

Shipping should start around the 13th of february, so i guess around that time?

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a mean-spirited comment and reply.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:

Is there an ETA for the players guide yet?

Shipping should start around the 13th of february, so i guess around that time?

Generaly give or take a day or two (Latest I think was day of street release but normally round about when shipping starts.)


....I'm still waiting for the players guide on this one. This is not a culture I have been interested in.....so it's kind of "iffy" for me....

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Today's political climate is going to influence the campaign for the simple fact that the writers happen to be living in said political climate.

This.

As the author, I can say that there was certainly a large amount of real world influence that went into my thought process for writing this adventure. I sincerely hope that it isn't some kind of "rub it in your face, ha ha ha" material, but as a person living in the modern world, I'm still influenced by it. Heck, study of real world history is essential when writing in a fictional world. When instructed to write a heavily political adventure, of course I'm going to perform a ton of research on modern and historical politics to get a sense of how things could go down and what sort of interactions might be interesting to play with.

That being said, I'm not the only person who worked on this project. Developers, editors, and even more internal staff eyes get to review. If you've enjoyed Paizo products to this point, including the messages we put in our content, then I don't think this will be any different!

Finally, I like to think I'm not new to this whole "political / social adventure" scene. :)


Thurston,

Well you're certainly better at doing political/social adventures than I am... :) Last time I tried running Waterdeep in 2nd edition as kind of politics thing...it ended...poorly.

Lantern Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Today's political climate is going to influence the campaign for the simple fact that the writers happen to be living in said political climate.

This.

As the author, I can say that there was certainly a large amount of real world influence that went into my thought process for writing this adventure. I sincerely hope that it isn't some kind of "rub it in your face, ha ha ha" material, but as a person living in the modern world, I'm still influenced by it. Heck, study of real world history is essential when writing in a fictional world. When instructed to write a heavily political adventure, of course I'm going to perform a ton of research on modern and historical politics to get a sense of how things could go down and what sort of interactions might be interesting to play with.

That being said, I'm not the only person who worked on this project. Developers, editors, and even more internal staff eyes get to review. If you've enjoyed Paizo products to this point, including the messages we put in our content, then I don't think this will be any different!

Finally, I like to think I'm not new to this whole "political / social adventure" scene. :)

I would disagree to a point about real current events having to be factored in to writing a medieval fantasy setting as regards politics I've found that feudal japan offers more relevant political motivations, plots and is less likely to rub player's the wrong way if you favour certain philosophies or views.

However I will say I'll honestly be happy with the campaign so long as it doesn't turn in to Princess Hillary V Senator Trump, because I've got a group of mixed political affiliations and I don't need the campaign bringing up real world tensions.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Golarion is neither medieval fantasy nor feudal Japan.

Heroes will be heroes and villains will be villains.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And Demon Lord of Succubi is still pretty awesome. :)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Ronin_Knight wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Today's political climate is going to influence the campaign for the simple fact that the writers happen to be living in said political climate.

This.

As the author, I can say that there was certainly a large amount of real world influence that went into my thought process for writing this adventure. I sincerely hope that it isn't some kind of "rub it in your face, ha ha ha" material, but as a person living in the modern world, I'm still influenced by it. Heck, study of real world history is essential when writing in a fictional world. When instructed to write a heavily political adventure, of course I'm going to perform a ton of research on modern and historical politics to get a sense of how things could go down and what sort of interactions might be interesting to play with.

That being said, I'm not the only person who worked on this project. Developers, editors, and even more internal staff eyes get to review. If you've enjoyed Paizo products to this point, including the messages we put in our content, then I don't think this will be any different!

Finally, I like to think I'm not new to this whole "political / social adventure" scene. :)

I would disagree to a point about real current events having to be factored in to writing a medieval fantasy setting as regards politics I've found that feudal japan offers more relevant political motivations, plots and is less likely to rub player's the wrong way if you favour certain philosophies or views.

However I will say I'll honestly be happy with the campaign so long as it doesn't turn in to Princess Hillary V Senator Trump, because I've got a group of mixed political affiliations and I don't need the campaign bringing up real world tensions.

God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
And Demon Lord of Succubi is still pretty awesome. :)

None of that in this AP.

Sorry. You'll have to get Succubi time somewhere else. :P

Silver Crusade

>_>


Aw. Well next time I'll ask James Jacobs anyway Thurston.

Meanwhile! I am looking forward to seeing what War for the Crown brings for those of us slightly less skilled in social intrigue Pathfinder stuff.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....

Same here, bu I'm sure you've noticed as much as I have that Paizo can get quite heavy handed with their political messages in APs and aren't the best at subtle references.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ronin_Knight wrote:
nighttree wrote:
God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....
Same here, bu I'm sure you've noticed as much as I have that Paizo can get quite heavy handed with their political messages in APs and aren't the best at subtle references.

Examples?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Ronin_Knight wrote:
nighttree wrote:
God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....
Same here, bu I'm sure you've noticed as much as I have that Paizo can get quite heavy handed with their political messages in APs and aren't the best at subtle references.
Examples?

Ironfang Invasion.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ronin_Knight wrote:
nighttree wrote:
God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....
Same here, bu I'm sure you've noticed as much as I have that Paizo can get quite heavy handed with their political messages in APs and aren't the best at subtle references.
Examples?
Ironfang Invasion.

What about it?

Sorry, if you (or Ronin_Knight, for that matter) think that you can skirt around the topic without revealing what your issue is ... you've picked the wrong bag of law to tangle with.

Of course, you can also give up. There's no shame in that :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ronin_Knight wrote:
nighttree wrote:
God's above I hope not. I do RPG to get away from "real world current events".....
Same here, bu I'm sure you've noticed as much as I have that Paizo can get quite heavy handed with their political messages in APs and aren't the best at subtle references.
Examples?
Ironfang Invasion.

You'll have to be a lot more specific then that.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There was a very, very political foreword in one of the volumes. And I dont have a personal issue here (I'm not a US Citizen)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not to be That Guy but a forward does not make an adventure.

It's a place for the author or developer to say things that are outside the scope of the adventure.

Silver Crusade

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

Or, for that matter, exclusive to US citizens?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Or, for that matter, exclusive to US citizens?

I think we've copyrighted hope. You foreigners don't get to have any.

Also standing up. The rest of you people just get to stand down.


Gorbacz wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Only one “spellcaster,” and that an alchemist, would be weird.
Why?
They tend to have balanced parties that include some sort of divine and arcane caster. There are exceptions (Irongfang Invasion) but they are exceptions.

What's a "balanced" party?

Why does it have to include casters?

And more importantly, why should the choice of iconics be dictated by mechanics?

Those are two very good questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Based on my own experience with D&D ( since 1st. Edition ) a balanced party has a Fighter, a Rogue, a Cleric, and a Wizard for a standard dungeon crawl. A Fighter to swing around Mr. Sharp and Pointy, and provide a shield for the Wizard. A Rogue to find and disable traps, pick locks, and scouting ahead. A Cleric for Healing, Turning those pesky Undead, and casting damage and buffing spells. And a Wizard to cast damage and buffing spells, and Identifying Magic Items using the Identify spell. This is for the standard four-character party. Other party members above the four can fill similar roles, based on the preferences of the players.

A party needs casters because a sword doesn't solve all problems.

Your mileage may vary. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?

Because it was clearly inspired by a paranoid political reaction.

Silver Crusade

Xenocrat wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?
Because it was clearly inspired by a paranoid political reaction.

It's not paranoia the when the causes of the fear are legitimate things happening.

Silver Crusade Contributor

13 people marked this as a favorite.

I see it's going to be an exciting morning for Sara Marie.

Anyway, fingers crossed for a super political AP in all the best ways.

Silver Crusade

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

Above all, an AP where noble (okay, not-so-noble in case of my gaming group) heroes (okay, anti-heroes in case of ...) stop the bad guys from trumping the forces of freedom and justice!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Above all, an AP where noble (okay, not-so-noble in case of my gaming group) heroes (okay, anti-heroes in case of ...) stop the bad guys from trumping the forces of freedom and justice!

Spoiler: the princess and her rival are actually reptoids named Kodos and Kang.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?
Because it was clearly inspired by a paranoid political reaction.

You didn't answer the question, you just threw out an unfounded hypothesis.

I was under the impression that messages of hope and perseverance are universal.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Or, for that matter, exclusive to US citizens?

Because who's in charge makes Very little difference in the US foreign policies for South America.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?
Because it was clearly inspired by a paranoid political reaction.

You didn't answer the question, you just threw out an unfounded hypothesis.

I was under the impression that messages of hope and perseverance are universal.

No, you weren’t. One doesn’t need to have hope and perseverance in response to every event that occurs in life. (“I wanted mustard, they gave me mayo.” “Please accept this message of hope and perseverance in your time of tribulation!”) Stating such a message in response to a political event is obviously a political message.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If your not talking about Taldan politics, your posting in the wrong thread.

Please create a new thread in the War for the Crown message board for further discussion.


Xenocrat wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Above all, an AP where noble (okay, not-so-noble in case of my gaming group) heroes (okay, anti-heroes in case of ...) stop the bad guys from trumping the forces of freedom and justice!
Spoiler: the princess and her rival are actually reptoids named Kodos and Kang.

If this is true, I WILL definitely buy it!

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
How is telling people to not give up hope and stand up for themselves political?
Because it was clearly inspired by a paranoid political reaction.

You didn't answer the question, you just threw out an unfounded hypothesis.

I was under the impression that messages of hope and perseverance are universal.

No, you weren’t. One doesn’t need to have hope and perseverance in response to every event that occurs in life. (“I wanted mustard, they gave me mayo.” “Please accept this message of hope and perseverance in your time of tribulation!”) Stating such a message in response to a political event is obviously a political message.

You’re damn right it is a political statement.

Did you know that Cheliax is a metaphor for fascism? And they’re the bad guys (Boom! Politics!). I’m sick of people saying they don’t want politics in their RPGs. Guess what RPGs are writing, writing is art and art is political.

Have you not noticed that one of the most common themes of the Adventure Paths is rebellion and resistance against authoritarian regimes? Was that metaphor too subtle for you? Hell’s Rebels is literally about fighting a power hungry fascist. Jade Regent is about fighting to free Minkai from a narcissistic demagogue and his cronies.

If you think any AP is apolitical then you’re just bad at understanding metaphors.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Discussing current politics has been specifically banned.
On our forums, be kind to one another (and to yourselves) and help us foster a friendly and welcoming place for gamers.

151 to 200 of 669 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1 of 6) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.