Pathfinder Module: Cradle of Night

4.00/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Module: Cradle of Night

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Shrouded in Shadows

A desperate refugee emerges from the earth's depths in shadow-cloaked Nidal with an urgent plea. A new faction in the subterranean dark folk city of Lyrudrada—a wicked cult called the Reborn—seeks a fabled artifact called the Cradle of Night. Vanished demigods of the Shadow Plane once used this artifact to craft the elusive caligni race, and the Reborn want to use it to shroud the world in darkness once more. Cursed with the stain of shadow, the heroes must battle their way through the tomb of an ancient horselord chieftain before descending to Lyrudrada. Plots and schemes run rampant in this city riven with political upheavals and back-alley bloodshed, and the heroes must collect allies and information to confront the Reborn in their fortified fane. With the mysterious masters of the caligni race arrayed against them, can the heroes hope to shed their shadowy curse and claim the Cradle of Night?

Cradle of Night is a deluxe adventure for 8th-level characters written by veteran authors James Jacobs, F. Wesley Schneider, Neil Spicer, and Greg A. Vaughan. Featuring horrifying new monsters, lore about the vanished demigods of shadow called the Forsaken, and a stunning full-color, double-sided poster map of the city of Lyrudrada, Cradle of Night provides a wealth of secrets and dangers—if the heroes can survive the shadows that seek to overwhelm them!

ISBN: 978-1-60125-991-2

Cradle of Night is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional rules for running this module are a free download.

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

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4.00/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Player experience

4/5

The module is fun and challenging but the PC's *need* to have access to magic (caster PC's etc) and ability damage healing.

I played as level 7 wizard (lvl 9 at the end) and had a blast! A cunning and resourceful party can prepare, bypass and overcome a lot of the challenges in creative ways. We had fun trying to think ways to even the odds.

But I can imagine that a party with little magical ability is going to have a bad time (then again, it *is* lvl 7+ module)

SPOILERS

Spoiler:
The main bad thing was the end boss. We had prepared with Cold protection so the boss was forced to melee since they had no other ranged attack type. The minibosses were much more interesting encounters than the main boss of the last dungeon.

The shadow corruption thing was awesome! Also the PFS chronicle boons were super thematic and cool!


Tempted to give 5 stars

4/5

Positive:
Easy to incorporate into Pathfinder Society / Other campaigns
Dark Folk and their society
Interesting and challenging combats
Engaging and captivating NPC "cohort" for the players (Aiyana)
The "Threat" of the module is easy to keep relevant to the players properly applied, makes keeping up a horror-theme quite easy.
Allowing Creative Solutions in second and third part comes naturally and enables players to tackle the opposition somewhat how they want.
More dark folk (and their mysterious patrons. Both the Forsaken and the Owbs)
The boons for Pathfinder Society are quite possibly the coolest boons I've ever seen! Especially the Bonus Sheet, despite not being terribly powerful, is something I am eagerly looking forward to using!
Theme and Atmosphere is awesome, and tastefully balanced.

Negative:
One combat can easily spill into a huuuuge and potentially very slow slugfest with tracking many combatants.
Second part eats way more time than first and third.
Third can be quite a drudge if your players live by the "Kill all enemies, get all loot and xp" mentality. Don't count xp, just go with the story and solve problems in smart ways and you'll be fine.
Boss monster, despite having a CR well above the paygrade of the PCs, is not terribly strong/interesting. The "lieutenants" are much more interesting.

Ran this module in a single weekend, spending around 27-30 hours on it with 4 players. I may be biased because Dark Folk are some of my favorite monsters/NPC's, and because I've been itching and waiting to run this since I learned about it back in December. I'm really glad it was sanctioned for Pathfinder Societ before the 2nd edition comes - it had been sitting on my shelf for a long while, and I would have been disapointed had it not been included in PFS1.

SPOILERS!

Background and plothook:
Background and plot hook for the adventure fits PFS perfectly, and makes this adventure super easy to incorporate into just about any adventure. The Aiyana, the Caligni that hires the PC's is interesting and engaging - I got a friend to help me by playing her so that I didn't need to worry about her actions, or without needing to think how much info she'd provide to the PC's. I think this decision made the adventure (and Aiyana) feel much, much more alive.
Since this was for Pathfinder Society, and since this adventure has... Some interesting consequences/mechanics/fights, I asked my players to bring a character they enjoyed roleplaying, but also warned them that they would face a very real chance of having to retire their characters. I think this worked very nicely and kept them on their toes, enhancing the horror element.

First Chapter:
The first chapter is a pretty straightforward, basic dungeon crawl. The location is thematic, but suffers from the "every room is an encounter" syndrome. Since most of the encounters are somewhat similar (despite being very thematically unique) in mechanics (incorporeal and ability damage), a party is either going to have either a very rough time in or relatively easy delve into the tomb.
I felt that the monsters and their abilities gave me, as the GM, a lot of flexibility in handling the encounters - it was pretty easy to adjust the difficulty based on how well the PC's were doing by adjusting tactics.

Journey to second chapter:
There are two different plothooks that drive the PC's from first part to the second part. Again, tying this to Pathfinder Society gave the PC's a good reason to follow Aiyana (It's their Job 'cause Ambrus Valsin told them so >.>), but the pressure from internal plot hook worked just as well, and properly presented, the NPC (Aiyana) also works as a great hook.

The Second Chapter:
The second part is easily the longest in the book. It has the potential to take up more time than the first and third chapters combined, despite the fact that the PC's could, if they just wanted to, walk straight into the third part. The second part is probably the reason why I couldn't give this 5 stars despite wanting to.
Firstly, I have mixed feelings about the first dungeon in the second part. On one hand, is quite realistic, and utilizes realistic NPC responses in a manner that you don't often see in scenarios - NPC's getting help. On the other hand, despite our group getting the jump on the boss and completely subduing him, they nearly got overwhelmed by what feels like an endless stream of very sturdy mooks. The "dungeon" has a chance, depending on PC's, of turning into a slugfest with nearly 20 combatants with enemies having hp total over 1500. And if it does devolve into such a melee, running the combat through several sessions could be problematic. After we were done, we took a break, went for a walk, and debriefed ourselves about it.
Luckily, the next portion of chapter 2 was roleplay heavy, allowing players to get deeper into the setting and providing the GM with opportunities to highlight the surroundings and society of the darkfolk.
The last part of the second chapter is another "dungeon", but since the group had a clear goal, they used magic to perform a surgical strike that was both enjoyable and fun for the whole group, although they did skip most of the spires. (They teleported right into the prison partly by chance, but mostly through good logic and guesswork, and saved the NPC's with a timely emergency force sphere).
The second dungeon would have a few boringish, fillerish encounters (looking at the beasts, the alchemist and Owb would have been interesting) that they managed to skip, which is another reason I didn't give this 5 stars - the module involves quite a few combats that don't serve a purpose you can't fulfil with roleplay(like the random street patrols - you can achieve the same effect (the noose is tightening, you need to find a safe haven) with just describign and roleplay, although having stats for such a patrol is useful). For smart players and characters that do stuff other than "hit things with a big sword", though, avoiding these is possible and recommended.

Third Chapter:
The third part is a huuuuuge dungeon.
For a group that's determined to crawl through it, killing each and every NPC and looting each and every corner, this will likely take several play sessions and lots and lots of time.
For a roleplay oriented group who are focused on their mission, it provides a sort of a puzzle challenge - how to accomplish what they want without starting a quite literal war of attrition by assaulting a literal fortress.
I had the NPC's that they saved, help scouting
Our group spent some time scouting and preparing, then teleported in. I used the NPC's to point out "prominent targets" that the PC's should take care to prevent a backlash against the general populace of Lyrudrada. Another surgical strike (started by a semi-random teleport) saw the main enemies (including the Huge one) dead in about 5 hours or so. My only complaint is that the boss, despite being seemingly though, has poor time adapting to PC tactics which made the actual boss fight a bit too easy for a well prepared party.
Don't dismiss the conclusion of the adventure either. It have significant impact on characters depending on the choices they've made.

All in all, I'm bad at writing reviews, but this is one of my favorite adventures so far!


A very flavourful module

4/5

I have not yet run or played this but I am in the middle of prepping it and I find that I cannot agree with the first review in pretty much anything.

The three parts of this each bring something different to the tabe. Part 1 ooks like an excellent dungeon crawl filled with suitable levels of terror and mayhem. Part 2 is more freeform, investigation the goings on in a very atmospheric location while Part 3 brings a suitably dramatic conclusion to the whole thing.

The entire module is packed full of interesting new lore on a group that hasnt receved that much attention in the past. The art style is a bit different to other modules but that is hardly a bad thing, just different.

Overall I really rate this module and I am looking for ward to unleashing it on my players.




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Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
Actually, I've ordered it via this website and it's on my shelf now. I'd still like a PDF, though

Now you're just rubbing it in :)

And your tags are still different than mine for no apparent reason, too!

Curiouser and curiouser ....

(checks the Product Catalog & Schedule again just in case)

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
And a third-party, out-of-print, impossible to get ahold of module certainly is no indicator about the health of Paizo's module line.

Thankfully, we are in this product description thread, which does indicate a commitment to continuing the line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure how I feel about this latest delay.

When I started off w/ PF subscriptions, I was in for the AP, the Campaign Setting, and the Players Companions. I later got the Modules and PF Tales. But then I felt like there was too much product being rushed out in the CS and PC lines, so I dropped them (reluctantly) and started getting things on a case by case basis. Which is fine I guess. But currently, w/ the Module and PF Tales lines moribund (I understand at least part of the reasons for the latter's issues), I'm feeling a bit...well, not sure of the right word. "Uneasy" about the state of affairs.

On the one hand, I have enough materials to last the rest of my natural life. On the other hand, it's fun to get new stuff. I guess I'll just continue to hang in there, and hope it all works out for these lines.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
gbonehead wrote:
And your tags are still different than mine for no apparent reason, too!

Not really different, I just have some more. Or am I missing something?


Wait, this is being put off for like a year?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As I understand it, Paizo don't know exactly when it'll be released, but they need to input a date in their system.


what the point here

Sovereign Court

Just MHO but maybe this line is suffering form personal to work on it because so much has been diverted to Starfinder.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

^ Exactly what I fear has been happening ever since they announced Starfinder. Not a fan. It appears PF has suffered in some ways ever since. Like it's become the stepchild or something. Ugh.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I chalk it up to employee churn taking a lot of institutional knowledge out of the company, personally.


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

I haven't found a down turn in quality of the pathfinder products I've gotten since the release of Starfinder.

Ruins Of Azlant is way better then i thought it would be, Potions And Poisons looks like fun, and I've already killed a character with the Traps And Treasures pawns I got for Christmas.


I had preordered this from an online gaming store :(

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's the worst selling PF line, and you start conserving ammunition with the worst selling lines, simple.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
captain yesterday wrote:

I haven't found a down turn in quality of the pathfinder products I've gotten since the release of Starfinder.

Ruins Of Azlant is way better then i thought it would be, Potions And Poisons looks like fun, and I've already killed a character with the Traps And Treasures pawns I got for Christmas.

So, like, did you throw it at him or something? ;)


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

Yes.


Fourshadow wrote:
^ Exactly what I fear has been happening ever since they announced Starfinder. Not a fan. It appears PF has suffered in some ways ever since. Like it's become the stepchild or something. Ugh.

Same thought has crossed my mind.....but I keep chalking it up to grasping for a reason....and it may simply be convenient timing.

I have not looked into Starfinder...not my cup-o-tea.

I would assume the quality is comparable to Pathfinder materials of late ?


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Module line has been the most expendable for years, since before Starfinder was a twinkle in James Sutter's eye. Even its intended frequency has steadily declined, from 12 per year to 6 per year to 4, even as release dates slipped fairly often within that schedule. Its problems clearly predate Starfinder.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whacked in the head by a trap, literally. What a way to go.

I've been buying old modules and I'm not done, either. The Harrowing and Academy of Secrets are up next, getting shoehorned into CoCT. If this one makes it out this year, we'll probably run through it as well.


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

The Harrowing is amazing, I highly recommend it!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joana wrote:
The Module line has been the most expendable for years, since before Starfinder was a twinkle in James Sutter's eye. Even its intended frequency has steadily declined, from 12 per year to 6 per year to 4, even as release dates slipped fairly often within that schedule. Its problems clearly predate Starfinder.

Pretty much this.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That is what happens when things don't sell well. Then you stop making them.

I like the modules. I'm not creative enough to do my own stuff, and I don't want to use single books from APs or non-Golarion material during periods we aren't actually running an AP. The modules fill in the gaps nicely. Heck, as I've already said, I'm tying several in to our CoCT campaign, too.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
And your tags are still different than mine for no apparent reason, too!
Not really different, I just have some more. Or am I missing something?

I believe we have the exact same subscriptions, but yours are called out separately for some reason ... but I checked with customer service and supposedly Charter covers the lot.

Most puzzling.

If I were you I wouldn't ask about it, you might lose the extra ones :)

Now to be a bit more relevant:

taks wrote:

That is what happens when things don't sell well. Then you stop making them.

I like the modules. I'm not creative enough to do my own stuff, and I don't want to use single books from APs or non-Golarion material during periods we aren't actually running an AP. The modules fill in the gaps nicely. Heck, as I've already said, I'm tying several in to our CoCT campaign, too.

The modules have always been the least useful thing for me (okay, maybe the Map Folios, but they're pretty darn cool), primarily because I do write pretty much all my own content - thus, only the last couple pages of a module and any cool unique items are about all I use.

I suspect in fact suffering of the module line is because it's really hard to come up with that many good new module ideas and a lot of what might have been developed into the module line instead ends up as PFS material - which is fine by me.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The death of RPGSS might have played some part too


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hey, at least this has a new release date!

Dark Archive

So just realized that this might be final 1e module if it gets released ._. Do have to say that premise is worth of being final one :D


Maybe the "Shattered God" will finally be Orgesh? lol, I know it's probably not, but one can dream.


So given the shift in focus to 2E....will this still be happening ?
I was REALLY looking foreword to more Caligni info.....


I wouldn't worry. They have Pathfinder 1st Edition products scheduled well into 2019, Return of the Runelords and Sandpoint, Light of the Lost Coast (October 2018) coming to mind.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:

So given the shift in focus to 2E....will this still be happening ?

I was REALLY looking foreword to more Caligni info.....

Yes, this is still in the works.


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

I for one am GLAD to see this back on release. I fact anything the has to do with the Darklands is of interest to me! Would LOVE to see another full Adventure Path some day done in the Darklands.


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

Is it still unknown who is (will be?) the author of this adventure?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Wes Schneider outlined the adventure.

Neil Spicer started work on it and did the maps and a bit of the pre-work but had to back out for scheduling reasons.

I wrote about the first 3rd of the adventure from Wes and Neil's notes and expanded upon the rest of it in a detailed outline.

Greg Vaughan wrote the final 2/3 of the adventure based on all that came before.

Ron Lundeen is developing what resulted, and adding a few touches of his own.


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

Thanks for detailing this, James.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

When will we see a final cover to this module?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Any idea when we will see an update and final cover of this?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sometime soon. It's been shipped to the printer, but the website's got a lot of plates juggling up in the air and I'm not sure how high-priority the cover reveal is yet. Certainly in a few months as we get closer to release date, though, we'll hopefully at least have some preview blogs.

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Sometime soon. It's been shipped to the printer, but the website's got a lot of plates juggling up in the air and I'm not sure how high-priority the cover reveal is yet. Certainly in a few months as we get closer to release date, though, we'll hopefully at least have some preview blogs.

A few months? If "early September" is the preorder date, what's the street date?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kevin_video wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Sometime soon. It's been shipped to the printer, but the website's got a lot of plates juggling up in the air and I'm not sure how high-priority the cover reveal is yet. Certainly in a few months as we get closer to release date, though, we'll hopefully at least have some preview blogs.
A few months? If "early September" is the preorder date, what's the street date?

Probably late September, assuming that they don't have to push the dates to the right for some reason.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

We've sent the file to the printer. Which more or less ends my involvement with the process—I'm sure we'll get the preorder and street date and other info live as soon as we can, but that's handled elsewhere in the company from me. I just wanted folks to know that a SIGNIFICANT milestone to getting the adventure out has been passed.

Dark Archive

If previews are coming "in a few months", this is either pushed to november or december or even early next year.

But it's great of you to let us know that it has been finished, James.
Thank you. :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Marco Massoudi wrote:

If previews are coming "in a few months", this is either pushed to november or december or even early next year.

But it's great of you to let us know that it has been finished, James.
Thank you. :-)

Me saying "a few months" for previews does not have any impact on its release date.


Will the cover be updated soon?

Grand Lodge

Hurudithya Griffontamer wrote:
Will the cover be updated soon?

Probably after things return from the printer.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

THANK YOU! Mr. Jacobs. Can not wait to see the final product when it is released.

The Exchange

My preorder says "Pending"! Woo-hoo!

Dark Archive

Zeugma wrote:
My preorder says "Pending"! Woo-hoo!

I think that is an error, as this has been moved to december and also isn't part of the september 2018 new releases...

Dark Archive

Great cover & even greater product description!
I am really looking forward to the map of Lyrudrada and hope it has street names and numbers or names for the most important buildings.
Do we know who the artist is?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Love the cover! Thanks for posting it up. Made my day here in the hurricane-drenched Carolinas.


Wow, yes, great cover art and product description update. It will be nice to finally see this module in print form.

Dark Archive

Huh, so shadowplane has its own demigods category since the shop blurb mentions plural?

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