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)

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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).

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.

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

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a bad first impression...adventures need not apply

2/5

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


The best I've read yet!

5/5

So I've only been playing pathfinder for a couple years now but i have read a lot of the adventures but this in my opinion is the best start to a advenchuer yet! Great plot, and good mix of role play and even a great dungeon for pepole that enjoy them. Good npcs and pretty mutch everything. This is a great begining and i cant wait for the rest.


Holy Holy Cow-Cow!

5/5

Quite possibly one of my favorite APs since ROTR or Iron Gods; the only negative going for it right now is that it isn't approved for PFS play yet or I'd already have my weekly tables at the comic shop playing it.


The Immaculate Adventure path

5/5

I have been an off-and-on Adventure Path subscriber over the years. Always coming and going as the descriptions and product contained within takes me. As some-one who runs half a dozen different gaming systems each week. (Truthfully, no lie there.) It takes a lot for something "pre-made" to really impress me anymore. Furthermore, I have blatantly chosen to avoid the ultimate Intrigue book, because the extra social rules sounded little more than burdensome from the reviews I read. When I decided to subscribe to this module, I expected to read it then decide to cancel my subscription and go no further...

All that being said, I am completely enamored with this first module. The book calls out that the social rules are a simplified version from Ultimate Intrigue. If this was the standard version, I would be happy. Just enough meat on the bones to be worth including. Not so much as to bog things down too much. Not to mention, in the situations from the book, it just works so very well.

The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. (Which is worth noting, as there are many of them.) The challenges diverse and engaging. The new monsters range from interesting to flat out awesome. While I am trying to avoid to many spoilers here, I will say that I can certainly imagine this adventure path leading to very strong paranoia about certain types of NPCs in my players going forward. Which is precisely how any well-written intrigue story should be.

As it sits, I intend to ride this path out to its conclusion, even if the next five books are absolutely terrible. Because this one alone was worth the price of admission, and should the rest of the path be forgettable, I can easily run this part whole-sale by itself to start my own campaign. As such, the team involved in bringing this together is deserving of all the praise I can give. Bravo.

Final Note: To the discerning eye for those who own the module. My title is a nod to one of the most interesting/entertaining characters in the module. At least from my point of view.


Un Tour De Force!

5/5

Development Leads • Crystal Frasier and Joe Pasini
Authors • Thurston Hillman, with Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, and Adrian Ng
Cover Artist • Hugh Pindur
Interior Artists • Miguel Regodón Harkness, Oksana Kerro, Katerina Kirillova, Valeria Lutfullina, Irina Nordsol, and Will O’Brien
Page Border Design • Taylor Fischer
Cartographers • Rob Lazzaretti and Damien Mammoliti

Remember those names.

Tour de force (definition):
"a particularly adroit maneuver or technique in handling a difficult situation: The way the president got his bill through the Senate was a tour de force. a feat requiring unusual strength, skill, or ingenuity. [...]"

In my humble opinion, the definition above encapsulates this book. Within the very first pages of this chapter of this new War for the Crown adventure path, the nation of Taldor is brought to life. Not in small evolutionary increments, but more like the big bang or a lightning bolt hitting a pond of primordial soup. Immediately, the reader realizes that this nation of Golarion will no longer be overlooked, set aside, saved for later or just plainly ignored. Dramatic revelations abound, and it immediately dawns on any fan of Pathfinder and Golarion that the continent they all know and love has been shaken, and what they previously 'knew' about this continent was just a highlight of what really is. I now understand why Paizo waited to reveal Taldor so late. Like a magician pulling a cloth from a table to reveal a flight of white doves, Taldor takes to the air and mesmerizes everyone.

I will not go into any detail whatsoever out of respect for Golarion fans out there, and to ensure those who will have the chance and privilege to play this AP from the perspective of a player will not be spoiled in any way. The secrets within this tome are just too precious to share or spoil... and my advice to anyone on these boards discussing this tome is to please save all the secrets for your players. The strength of the AP lies within the generosity of GMs out there I think: to sacrifice themselves and run this for their players, while having the fortitude to keep all the juicy revelations for themselves is no small feat.


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Silver Crusade

That cover is not finalized is it? I can see old art from the Taldor companion book...


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

Correct, that isn't the final cover.


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

All I know is that the Red Raven better darn well be one of the iconics for this one! :P

Silver Crusade

Nate Z wrote:
All I know is that the Red Raven better darn well be one of the iconics for this one! :P

I hear they plan to go with the shifter and it's upcoming "political animal" form of the Major! [resumes ducking stance... :P]


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

Will the events of Tomb of the Iron Medusa have any effect on this AP?


Nate Z wrote:
All I know is that the Red Raven better darn well be one of the iconics for this one! :P

I guess is that the Red Raven, Alain, Kess, and Lem will be in this one.


The phrase "players drag a once-grand nation kicking and screaming into the modern day" kinda worries me. I really hope it doesn't have too many modern day political influences. Really kills the immersion when people bring that stuff into the game. But hopefully it just turns out to be What Jade Reagent should have been and have alternate routes for those that don't necessarily want to be the new monarchs Lapdogs.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.


Rysky wrote:

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.

Lol of course I just meant id be annoying to have today's political climate influence the campaign. I just think that kinda stuff should probably be kept out of an Adventure Path. And that 'kicking and screaming into the modern day" kinda sets off a red flag.

Although now I want HotRods to be introduced lol.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

*shrugs*

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.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jam412 wrote:
Will the events of Tomb of the Iron Medusa have any effect on this AP?

Spoiler:

Yes, per the AP panel at PaizoCon.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.

Hotrods? OK, Grandma Rysky. ;)

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.

Hotrods? OK, Grandma Rysky. ;)

Vroom vroom m%+$%#+&#!&#s.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.

Hotrods? OK, Grandma Rysky. ;)
Vroom vroom m$@#!#&!$%$!s.

Spoiler:
Yep, it probably has a spoiler, it's a hotrod

This looks potentially interesting, though I too want to know if it will be using a bunch of weird subsystems.

If one could order an AP sub to start with the next AP I would be considering it right now. I wish they would do that because I can't see any benefit to starting on part 5 or 6 of an AP.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You should be able to start a subscription starting with this one some time in January, so not much longer :3

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:

Modern day Golarion, not Earth, we're not gonna be getting smartphones and hotrods in Pathfinder.

Yet.

"Lets make Taldor great again ok" JK

I am making it more of a old Spain Taldor and can not wait to start with first book.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Count de Monet: "It is said that the people are revolting."

King Louis XVI: "You said it! They stink on ice!"


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks like we've got updated cover art on this! And it looks like Hagrid let some of those "Book of Monsters" get away. LOL!

Silver Crusade

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

Sweet cover!

Liberty's Edge

AND THIS IS WHY ARCANE AND ROYAL LIBRARIES SHOULD BE NOT TREATED AS A TRIVIAL AFFAIRS. if the players want to get some new spells, or special scolls of secret knowledge, THEY MIGHT NEED TO FIGHT OF OVERLY AGGRESSIVE PAPERBACKS, SCROLLS TRYING TO THROTTLE YOU AND (potentially) THE MORE POWEREFUL SPELLBOOKS OF ANCIENT LICHS OR DARK WIZARDS TRYING TO COME BACK TO LIFE OR JUST DICK SOMEBODY OVER WITH EXPLOSIVE RUNES, SIGILS OR ENTRAPPED DEMON POSSESSION.

Thats not counting the potential traps and wards probably arrayed around the place. the regular libraries, it might take time to locate what your after(if its even there). the more powerful libraries, oh the knowledge is there. you just might have to fight for it first.


Monstrous books, I like that.


Cavalier, Rogue, and Investigator, who’s the fourth iconic?


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

It's the Monster Book of Monsters!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Amazing cover that screams HERE'S JOHNNY!!!

Edit: what's going on with that double pipe tho? :P

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Tis a groovy pipe, fit for an emperor. Though I don't think what he is smoking is very calming.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The revenge of the Monster Book of Monsters.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Milozilla wrote:
The phrase "players drag a once-grand nation kicking and screaming into the modern day" kinda worries me. I really hope it doesn't have too many modern day political influences. Really kills the immersion when people bring that stuff into the game. But hopefully it just turns out to be What Jade Reagent should have been and have alternate routes for those that don't necessarily want to be the new monarchs Lapdogs.

Modern day in Avistan apparently means hereditary monarchies where no monarchs are married or have any legitimate (or even known) children. I'm serious; every monarch in the Inner Sea is single and has no known children, except for Stavian, which is kind of immersion breaking for me because of how dangerous that is for such a type of government. There was a reason Henry VIII went through six wives and it wasn't just a wandering eye.

On a more serious note, I will probably keep my subscription up for this AP for the non-adventure articles & monsters. I will likely never run it though because so far it seems like it will require an extensive re-write to scrub out the Whig history.


Right now, we need more book monsters.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Creon Vizcarra wrote:
On a more serious note, I will probably keep my subscription up for this AP for the non-adventure articles & monsters. I will likely never run it though because so far it seems like it will require an extensive re-write to scrub out the Whig history.

What exactly do you mean by "Whig history", and why do you feel you'd need to scrub it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raynor Cordite wrote:

Amazing cover that screams HERE'S JOHNNY!!!

Edit: what's going on with that double pipe tho? :P

LOL! I just noticed that. Ole Stavian needs to learn how to puff, puff, pass.


I agree, could use more book monsters. Could also use (more) monsters based on clocks, ink, paper, furniture, paint, paintings, weapons, armor, pottery, jewelry, gems, plates, cutlery, etc.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Creon Vizcarra wrote:
I'm serious; every monarch in the Inner Sea is single and has no known children, except for Stavian, which is kind of immersion breaking for me because of how dangerous that is for such a type of government.

This is a very interesting point, I hadn't thought about it before. I can't off-hand recall the other monarchs, but I believe Abrogail of Cheliax and Ruby Prince of Osirion are indeed single with no known children. I'll have to pay more attention to this in the future.


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

The same seems to be true for King Eodred of Korvosa, Queen Telandia Edasseril of Kyonin, and Queen Galfrey of Mendev. Interesting.

Silver Crusade

Zaister wrote:
The same seems to be true for King Eodred of Korvosa, Queen Telandia Edasseril of Kyonin, and Queen Galfrey of Mendev. Interesting.

Uhhh...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
Uhhh...

You known, default setting assumes no APs have taken place.

Silver Crusade

Zaister wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Uhhh...
You known, default setting assumes no APs have taken place.

He and Ileosa have been married for awhile before the AP takes place (ISWG mentions this and even has art of her).


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

Ah you're right. OK so he's not single, but still no offspring.

Dark Archive

It is plot relevant though. Actually, is he only monarch were lack of heir is presented as something they are worried about?

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

It is easier for PCs to marry the monarch this way :-D


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

Good point! :)

Liberty's Edge

Samy wrote:
Creon Vizcarra wrote:
I'm serious; every monarch in the Inner Sea is single and has no known children, except for Stavian, which is kind of immersion breaking for me because of how dangerous that is for such a type of government.
This is a very interesting point, I hadn't thought about it before. I can't off-hand recall the other monarchs, but I believe Abrogail of Cheliax and Ruby Prince of Osirion are indeed single with no known children. I'll have to pay more attention to this in the future.

I am quite certain that the Ruby Prince has children...

Liberty's Edge

Zaister wrote:
The same seems to be true for King Eodred of Korvosa, Queen Telandia Edasseril of Kyonin, and Queen Galfrey of Mendev. Interesting.

Unless I am misremembering the Elven Queen/King is elected. So heirs are not really a thing there.

Liberty's Edge

There are story explanations as I remember it for why Queen Galfrey is not pursuing having an heir.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Samy wrote:
Creon Vizcarra wrote:
I'm serious; every monarch in the Inner Sea is single and has no known children, except for Stavian, which is kind of immersion breaking for me because of how dangerous that is for such a type of government.
This is a very interesting point, I hadn't thought about it before. I can't off-hand recall the other monarchs, but I believe Abrogail of Cheliax and Ruby Prince of Osirion are indeed single with no known children. I'll have to pay more attention to this in the future.

Prince Audard III of Ustalav, too.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
graywulfe wrote:
There are story explanations as I remember it for why Queen Galfrey is not pursuing having an heir.

Yeah, she's a regular Sun Orchid Elixir user and about 100 years old. If she'd had any children, they might even be dead already. :)


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

I do recall reading a couple of medieval romances where a monarch would agree with his nephew or other heir presumptive not to marry and produce an heir with a better claim than the current heir. Maybe one or more of these single heirs made such agreements?

At least in the case of Cheliax, we know that the Thrunes have no fixed line of succession, so having a child does not actually affect the succession in any way. We have yet to see a king or queen from that house die of natural causes anyway.


Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs makes no mention of Khemet III being even married. The ones next in line are his younger twin half-siblings, Jasilia and Ojan.

Unless it has been changed since Elves of Golarion, Telandia Edasseril is looking for an elf from outside Kyonin without political ties to father an heir. She, however has no intention to marry.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Creon Vizcarra wrote:
Milozilla wrote:
The phrase "players drag a once-grand nation kicking and screaming into the modern day" kinda worries me. I really hope it doesn't have too many modern day political influences. Really kills the immersion when people bring that stuff into the game. But hopefully it just turns out to be What Jade Reagent should have been and have alternate routes for those that don't necessarily want to be the new monarchs Lapdogs.
Modern day in Avistan apparently means hereditary monarchies where no monarchs are married or have any legitimate (or even known) children. I'm serious; every monarch in the Inner Sea is single and has no known children, except for Stavian, which is kind of immersion breaking for me because of how dangerous that is for such a type of government. There was a reason Henry VIII went through six wives and it wasn't just a wandering eye.

Does that logic even still apply in a universe where people can be constantly resurrected from death and have their lifespan lengthened considerably?

Why bother fathering/mothering a bunch of brats to continue the dynasty when I can just live forever as an Immortal God-King/Queen.

Death is poor people after all.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

10 people marked this as a favorite.

In most cases, just because someone's spouse and/or offspring isn't mentioned doesn't mean they don't exist, just that their names and ages and whatnot have been canonized yet. Rather than spend 100 words talking about who the king or queen married and how many kids they had, general nation overviews can provide two or three potential plot hooks in the same space. When there's a narrative reason to give a ruler a wife or husband, we'll do so. But in most cases, stable lines of succession make for less adventure than potentially volatile political upheaval.

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