Pathfinder Adventure Path #139: The Dead Roads (Tyrant's Grasp 1 of 6)

****½ (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #139: The Dead Roads (Tyrant's Grasp 1 of 6)

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In a Land of Bones and Souls

An unknown cataclysm thrusts the heroes into the Boneyard, where souls are judged after death... but the heroes aren't dead! Trapped in a tomb that isn't their own, they must use their wits and might to escape. The grim and otherworldly psychopomps who serve as the shepherds of souls are divided on what to do with these unexplained arrivals. The heroes must negotiate treacherous psychopomp politics and journey through a landscape of gloom and nightmare before walking the Dead Roads that can lead them home!

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path and includes:

  • "The Dead Roads," a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Ron Lundeen.
  • Tips, tools, and tricks drawn from the Boneyard and its grim denizens, by Matt Morris.
  • An exploration of races inevitably linked to death, including dhampirs, duskwalkers, mortics, and shabtis, by Mikhail Rekun.
  • An extensive timeline of the events leading up to the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path, and insight into the true nature of the Whispering Tyrant's new weapon, by Crystal Frasier.
  • A bestiary of monsters drawn from the lands and lore of the dead, including a skeletal tree that protects the spirits of the dead, a voracious extraplanar parasite, a leader among the malicious tooth fairies, and people who straddle the line between the living and the dead, by Ron Lundeen, Kyle T. Raes, and Mike Welham.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-111-5

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

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Morbid Masterpiece!

*****

Let me start by saying that The Dead Roads is not for everyone. Terrible tragedies will occur, and you won’t always be able to prevent them. These events are bound to have a lasting effect on your characters, so players should be prepared to consider and role-play the marks left by the trials you face. Plenty of the imagery and events in this adventure are dark, morbid, and sorrowful. It’s definitely a horror campaign — though not your typical horror. It’s suspenseful mysterious horror, with a touch of survival horror, and a good deal of body horror in the first book, as well. The Dead Roads contains imagery that is inappropriate for children and some adult gamers will even consider an image or two disturbing. It’s definitely not a campaign I could play with my family.

That said, I loved The Dead Roads. Absolutely, positively, adored it.

For starters, it looks great. From cover to cover it’s a wonderful, high quality book filled with nice maps, and beautiful, dark artwork. There’s a lovely map of The Gravelands (Lastwall and parts of Ustalav) on the inside cover. There’s a ton of artwork throughout the book — of enemies, allies, and characters who could become either. I particularly enjoyed the art for Prince Uspid and Mictena. Colulus was the most disconcerting image in the book. If any image is going to bug a squeamish player it’ll be that one. There’s a few characters that I wish had art but don’t (which is expected). Ayuki, in particular, would have been nice to see, as well as the halfling mortic in the bestiary. The maps are really nice. They look great, of course, but they’re also well thought out, executed, and each has a unique feel to it. I particularly enjoyed ‘Roslar’s Tomb’ and ‘Deathbower.’

I wish that the maps of the various Dead Roads locations were given a bit more space, though. Squishing three multi-floor maps for three different locations onto one page is good for page count, but makes some of the maps difficult to read. Part of the eastern end of the ‘Palace of Teeth’ is nearly lost in the creases of the binding, while the entrance to ‘Salishara’s Scriptorium’ is hidden in the creases. If both of those maps were a few grid squares further to the left that would have been less of a problem. Finally, flipping back and forth between the map page and the various locations depicted in it (which is spread out over 28 pages) is a bit irritating. Have a bookmark or post-it note handy and try not to tear your pages. Much to my surprise there was also two player handouts which represent puzzles the group comes across. I’m really glad they’re depicted instead of just described. They’re necessary and a really nice touch.

The Dead Roads starts with a bang (HA!) and doesn’t let up. The entire opening has the feel of an ominous, suspenseful mystery. Your PCs don’t know where they are, how they got there, or what’s going on. Their locations hide clues to both their situation and the history of wider events, which the PCs may or may not be able to uncover. In time they will discover the answers to some of their questions, just as they realize it’s tied to an even bigger mystery.

There’s a lot of wonderful social encounters and NPCs in this adventure. Among them, three particularly stand out amongst the crowd: interacting with the townsfolk of Roslar’s Coffer is poignant and amazing; speaking with Barzahk the Passage; and — my personal favourite characters — Umble and Thoot! This pair of friendly psychopomps are the best!

Many of the creatures and NPCs you come across don’t look friendly — which doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly. Of course, it doesn’t mean they are friendly, either. Which I love! Appearances often have no bearing on what a creature acts like and I appreciate that this adventure used that so effectively. It’s bound to throw players for a bit of a loop and make them feel… off-kilter. Which is great!

There’s a lot of challenging encounters in this adventure and plenty of unique monsters to face off against. I particularly enjoyed that so many can end in ways other than violence. But, don’t let that last sentence lull you into a false sense of security! There’s a lot of combat encounters in this book that cannot be avoided.

The rest of what I have to say is heavier on the spoilers, so read on with caution.

Spoiler:

Through this adventure the PCs will get to interact with psychopomps, a type of outsider native to the Boneyard who work to ensure that the processing of souls is done accurately and efficiently. Typically functioning as guides for the souls of the deceased, the psychopomps are confused over what to do about the mysterious PCs. Some will help them along their way and others with hinder them. Psychopomps aren’t the only enemies and NPCs the players will interact with. The Boneyard is a huge realm, and there’s plenty of creatures living/stranded/invading there. Other major groups of enemies include fey, vermin, sakhil, and nightmarish beings from the Dimension of Dreams. I really enjoyed that they was such an array of different being to tackle, and the reasoning behind them all.

This adventure consists of four main parts: Awake in Roslar's Tomb, where your PCs find themselves entombed in someone else's mausoleum and have to escape and figure out what the heck's going on; Among the Dead, where your PCs realize that their home town was destroyed in an instant and they are the only survivors. They need to head into a phantom version of their hometown and convince the citizens to move on peacefully to the afterlife. This is a great opportunity for GMs and player to get some great, emotional, unique roleplaying in and it's definitely my favourite part of the adventure. From there the PCs need to embark on a journey along The Dead Roads in order to return to the land of the living. Along the way they'll need to get their metaphorical passports stamped at three waystations. Each of these locations is suffering through some turmoil at the moment and is much more dangerous than expected. The Palace of Teeth is a delightfully disturbing castle ruled by warring factions of tooth fairies. It's my favourite section of the Dead Roads. There's also the puzzle-filled Nine-Eaves which has been overtaken by sahkil and the nightmare haunted Salighara's Scriptorium. The Scriptorium is definitely the most 'horror' themed location in this adventure. Finally, the PCs are confronted by the psychopomp Mictena who believes she needs to remedy the PCs death and help them move on to the afterlife. They'll face off against this psychopomp, her gardeners, and her friends. I was happy to see that words can win the day in some of these encounters, potentially even against Mictena (though odds are slim your PCs can make the DC on that).

In addition to The Dead Roads adventure, this volume contains two articles intended for both GMs and players, one article solely for the GM, a campaign outline, and a bestiary containing five new creatures.

Tools of the Boneyard is packed full of new gear and character options aimed at dealing with the dead. There is one alchemical remedy, one alchemical tool, and two alchemical weapons — bone burn is my favourite, so be sure to check it out! There are two new special materials useful for crafting — cryptstone can be used for ammunition and weapons, while spiresteel can be used for ammunition, weapons, and armour. Finally, there are five new magic items. Although I enjoyed a lot of the items, it’s the character options that I found were most exciting. Graveslinger is a gunslinger archetype that specializes in combatting incorporeal undead. Soul Shepherd is a monk archetype that can calm incorporeal undead and haunts with a touch. They also gain some otherworldly resistances and interesting ways to use their ki. Reaper is a new oracle mystery which I really enjoyed. Tightly themed and flavourful it’s capable of both killing the living and destroying undead. There are also six new barbarian rage powers including the psychopomp totem powers.

The second player friendly article is entitled The Half-Dead. This section talks about four races that have a strong connection to death and the undead. In addition to providing details and character options for dhampir, duskwalkers, and shabti, it also talks about the new subtype of creatures, mortics. Dhampir appear alongside two magical items, duswalkers have access to five new feats, and shabti have access to five new feats. I was particularly excited to see shabti included.

The next article, To Exceed Their Grasp, is written by Crystal Frasier and intended for GMs only. This article discusses some of the important concepts, characters, and events of the Tyrant’s Grasp Adventure Path and the role they play in the overarching story. It also contains a timeline. This is incredibly useful for GMs an will likely be referenced throughout the entire Adventure Path.

There are five new creatures in the bestiary. All of them have ties to death and the Boneyard and two of them are featured in The Dead Roads adventure. Bonewrought Willow is an ominous looking intelligent plant capable of growing in Boneyard. Attracted to light and more benevolent than it appears this is a great CR 3 creature I can’t wait to confront my players with. Kaicherak are nasty little fanged worm beasts with ties to Achaekek and a fondness for messily gorging themselves on blood. At CR 4 they are among the most powerful new creatures in the bestiary. Mortics are living beings with strong connections to negative energy which makes them sort of like living undead. There are two mortic stat blocks included in the bestiary — the ghoulish elf-like angheuvore (CR 2) and the incredibly flexible halfling-like jitterbone (CR 4). As previously mentioned, more information on mortics is also included in The Half-Dead article. The final creature is the tooth fairy monarch, a CR 3 version of the lowly tooth fairy.

The last article is a campaign outline that briefly details the events of the upcoming volumes of the Tyrant’s Grasp Adventure Path. Not the sort of thing you want your players peeking at! The campaign outline is incredibly useful for GMs (obviously).

Overall, I loved this whole book. Cover to cover. Adored it. It's dark, morbid, mysterious, emotional, and really unique. Absolutely top notch.


Not Planescape Torment reloaded, but a masterpiece on its own

*****

This book is a masterpiece, but I find its description to be misleading. While you deal with psychopomps several times, a good share of the adventure is classic dungeoneering, with some foes you might not expect in the Boneyard. Further, the campaign is called out to be survival horror - at least from reading I didn't get the impression, have to agree with Marco here.

That said, the book has a LOT of cool ideas and RP hooks. Convince your fellow villagers they are dead now, get advice from a speaking portrait, loot wine bottles from other worlds, face a reluctant foe who tries to frighten you away with dropped notes and maybe convince the final villain to just let you go - this adventure has it all. And while you might consider tooth fairies totally out of place in such a plot, it's impressive how much the author got out of their theme.

I looked forward to this AP due to its theme. The opening is different from what I expected, but it's still pretty good. Even if I never make it to GMing it, there is quite a bit of great inspiration here.

Further, there are several character options: Two archetypes, a mystery, some rage powers, a handful of duskwalker feats and finally four shabti feats. Personally I like the chance to become immune to paralysis as a barbarian (on top of the other immunities during rage, at high level) and the shabti feats.

Finally, the book has the usual Bestiary entries, with the usual high quality. The only flaw is the missing art for the halfling mortic.


3.5 stars - very little survival horror, colorful afterlife characters.

***( )( )

GOOD:
Part 1 does a good job of bringing over the "awaking bodily in the afterlife" feeling.
Part 4 is a good example of "fighting your way out of the clutches of death & has a great map.
All three articles are well done & useful.
Angheuvore mortics have a great backstory.

BAD:
Part 3 with lots of fey & vermin doesn't feel right in the realm of the dead.

UGLY:
The adventure path is advertised as "survival horror", but at least this book has very little of that.

While this adventure isn't bad in any way, it isn't a strong opening either.


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Can someone please tell me the way the party 'gets together' in this ap? I still haven't gotten my copy shipped and I have to start prep.


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They get together because they're dead I think...I dunno. What I am curious about is further elucidation on the mortics. That and the timeline stuff.


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nighttree wrote:
Sounds like we jumped to the assumption that "new race" meant player race.....when they are not actually intended as a player race :P

I'd say that is definitely the case. The description of the subtype and the two examples in the bestiary section don't seem to support the idea of this being a player race at all. Just a new sort of monster.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I need to get my minis ready to run this one. Any indications, with spoilers tag of course, of the creatures in the adventure?

A lot, but not all creatures in this AP will be in the upcoming Pathfinder Battles "Ruins of Lastwall" miniatures set (as you very probably know).

I'll get my print copy on thursday or friday and can post a complete list then, but judging from the cover some sort of skeletons are in it, as seems to be a "Catrina Psychopomp" (Bestiary 4 page 218).
From the description, some greenskinned "Mortics" seem to feature which could be represented by orc or half-orc minis or repainted halflings and humans. ;-)

Thanks Marco. I know a lot will be from that set but several of the minis I’d expect in later modules purely because of CR. I’m hoping I’ll have enough proxies for the rest of the things in this part.

As for the adventure our group is tossing up between this AP, ironfang invasion and return of the runelorde. So I’m curious what people’s first impressions are of this first adventure


Shdieken wrote:
Can someone please tell me the way the party 'gets together' in this ap? I still haven't gotten my copy shipped and I have to start prep.

SPOILER:
They all wake up in coffins in the same tomb.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It would appear that playing a dhampir character would be more difficult than usual, due to the fact that they need negative energy to be healed.

Spoiler:
An obol harmlessly absorbs an amount of negative energy equal to double the character’s number of Hit Dice from any given source or attack (or each round, for ongoing environmental effects).

Sovereign Court

I am missing the "one file per chapter" download in my digital downloads, is anyone else missing it?

This has happened a few time before and got fixed but I want to make sure I am not an outlier and need to contact customer service.

Thanks


Mild spoiler, question about DC error:
On page 31, the secret door in room D5 has two different Perception DCs to find it. Which is correct?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Checks inbox.
Still no Tyrants Grasp.
Sad face. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I never got an email saying mine was shipping, but it is in my downloads anyways as of 2 days ago. Still waiting on the shipping notification.


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

FYI: Paizo had an issue with their ISP and the shipping emails might have been rejected by your email provider, or sent to a spam folder. They're correcting the issue (see details here) but in the meantime you might want to check your digital content to see if it's already there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Saleem Halabi wrote:
I never got an email saying mine was shipping, but it is in my downloads anyways as of 2 days ago. Still waiting on the shipping notification.

Sadly, nothing like that for me. I hope the shipping schedule can recover from the snow catastrophe.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So I got my subscriber copy and skimmed some stuff and holy heck this is kind of a mess. Just from a world-lore perspective the history of the campaign is just weird and confusing, especially the parts about the Shield of Arnisant.

Spoiler:

Why in the hell does this weapon fire shards of the Shield of Arnisant as ammunition??? And how did it fire 4-6 (the number of presumed PCs) at once in a single test-firing? That's almost half the shield in one go. That doesn't even make any narrative sense.

There's also this bit which isn't really spoilery as it's just some background text, but it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the world:

"Before Roslar’s body was placed in his tomb, rumors of his involvement in Arazni’s death surfaced. The Knights of Ozem, reluctant to call shame upon one of their own, conducted a lackluster and inconclusive investigation."

Because you know what an organization run by lawful good paladins is known for? Coverups and deceit of the sketchy actions of one of their own.

Any other group I could understand. But the leadership of the Knights of Ozem (and most members) are both honorable and righteous if not outright paladins with a demanding code of conduct. This flies so hard in the face of that.

I'm literally only 4 pages in and kind of surprised. Maybe the rest of it will be better but like, not off to a stellar start.

That's not even bringing up the kludgey way the PCs are brought together (it's just a coincidence!) but also that it's very similar to the intro to Wrath of the Righteous.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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I had to add: On page 26 there's art of a tooth fairy (this one is Small) with an esobok psychopomp sitting at her side. But the esobok is like... tiny? It's the size of like a small dog. But it's a Medium sized monster and as an outsider isn't subject to spells that could shrink it (reduce person) and that isn't reflected in the text either anyway.

I really had high hopes for the last 1E adventure but this is showing a lot of really rough seams in places it shouldn't, like development and art direction. This might actually be sloppier than Return of the Runelords. I'm worried too much focus was on PF2 toproperly quality control stuff...

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Oh my god I just got to the chalkboard math puzzle.

What am I even reading?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The radiant fire hook is a brilliant solution that completely fits with 900 years of angry planning. I can't wait to run this.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This entire part of the adventure feels like it was cut out of a module that took place in the First World and somebody tried to file off the serial numbers.

I'm actually kind of frustrated here. There's an opportunity to set an entire adventure in the Boneyard and I'm about fifteen pages into a fey-filled romp with weird puzzles and tooth fairies. Like, I enjoy these monsters but the tonal dissonance from this is astounding.

Rather than focus on thematically appropriate outsiders or other related creatures there's a huge focus on fighting fey? I mean the way I'm looking at this... I'm on page 36 and there's been mites, tooth fairies, wasp swarms, yeth hounds, giant fleas, and stirges as enemies that feel out of place. I mean maybe you can make a case for the yeth hound.

None of the above really feels like it meshes thematically with what the adventure is actually trying to sell. There's not even an explanation. The PCs can ask about the fey and it boils down to an answer of "I have no idea dude."

I can't wait to see how this book wraps up.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

archmagi1 wrote:
The radiant fire hook is a brilliant solution that completely fits with 900 years of angry planning. I can't wait to run this.

900 years and the best plan involves blowing 50% of the power source in one go and not considering that the holy relic might backfire? I mean this is a guy who got locked inside his own house, but...

Silver Crusade

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

I think you were expecting Gothic Horror and you got Dias de Muertes meets Tim Burton.

Also it kind of behooves for the Knights of Awesome (Awesome. Ozem. C'mon, the Word of God confirmed that it's how the name came up) to end up, welp, not that Ozem after all. The more "infalliable do-gooders with Smite Evil", the less space for PCs to actually pick up stuff other people botched and make things right.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok the shield stuff isn't quite as wtf after reading the back pages.

Spoiler:

It's a piece of a piece of the shield that's embedded in the PCs, that makes sense. The way it sounded in the intro was that an entire shard of the shield was in each PC and that was mind-boggling. The framing in the back article is worded more clearly and sells the idea better than the intro.

That said there is one thing I'm legitimately excited about:
Huge spoiler

Spoiler:

ARAZNI'S REVENGE.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I need to get my minis ready to run this one. Any indications, with spoilers tag of course, of the creatures in the adventure?

Here are the creatures:

Spoiler:
Ostovite
Bone chariot (variant skeleton)
Bone cobra (variant iron cobra)
Bone chariot horse
Fire beetle
Animate hair
Mite
Giant cockroach
Celedon
Horn caterpillar
Nosoi
Vanth
Unfettered phantom
Witchcrow
Tooth fairy
Necrophidius
Stained-glass angel (construct)
Soulbound doll
Esobok psychopomp
Mimic
Boilborn
Stirge
Esipil sahkil
Yeth hound
Nucol sahkil
Giant flea
Wasp swarm
Giant assassin bug
Wihsaak
Ratling
Scarlet spider
Wyrwood
Giant crab spider
Nightmare ettercap
Guardian scroll
Degenerate nightgaunt
Shabti
Graven guardian
Bonewrought willow
Ahmuuth psychopomp
Giant raven
Gardener
Deathbower ooze (variant giant garden ooze)
Nightmare aranea
Catrina psychopomp

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Gorbacz wrote:

I think you were expecting Gothic Horror and you got Dias de Muertes meets Tim Burton.

Also it kind of behooves for the Knights of Awesome (Awesome. Ozem. C'mon, the Word of God confirmed that it's how the name came up) to end up, welp, not that Ozem after all. The more "infalliable do-gooders with Smite Evil", the less space for PCs to actually pick up stuff other people botched and make things right.

Yeah the selling on this was "survival horror" and I was thinking Dark Souls and got MediEval instead.

As for the Ozem stuff, it just doesn't make internal sense. You can have failures and good people not be as good as you'd expect, but the idea that a group led by paladins with a code of fo duct about honor and honesty would just cover up a guy's involvement in the death of a herald seems super unlikely. Paladin has to mean something with regards to behavior.

Like if they suspected him and didn't just jump to using magic to determine his guilt because they were afraid of his "honor" being besmirched they're not really like, paladins. And that's fine, but you can't build the expectation of how paladins behave and then choose to subvert it like that without the audience feeling a little cheated.

There's way to do what they did, but I'm not sure the way they did it works. Especially not as what amounts to mostly inconsequential flavor text on a location.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Robert Brookes wrote:
Ok the shield stuff isn't quite as wtf after reading the back pages.
Spoiler:
You mean I have to do this whole adventure running around with a splinter in me?!? WHAT FIEND WROTE THIS?
Quote:
That said there is one thing I'm legitimately excited about:
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, I had theorized you-know-who would be involved here AND I WAS RIGHT.
Robert Brookes wrote:
Yeah the selling on this was "survival horror" and I was thinking Dark Souls and got MediEval instead.

I adore both of those so yay! :3

Silver Crusade

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

As for Roslar, I have a feeling this is seeding for a later plot point.

(I'm torn, I really, REALLY want to read this but I also want to play >_<)

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Robert Brookes wrote:

This might actually be sloppier than Return of the Runelords. I'm worried too much focus was on PF2 toproperly quality control stuff...

The fact that you think that Return of the Runelords is sloppy makes me question the accuracy of your review. I'm Running my players through book 3 at the moment and Return is far and away the best adventure path I have experienced, from a player or GM experience.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Robert Brookes wrote:
Yeah the selling on this was "survival horror" and I was thinking Dark Souls and got MediEval instead.

WAIT.

Gallowspire.

Gallowmere.

... O.O


I read the adventure the other day, and personally, there's no chance that I'd ever run or play it. That's primarily due to personal preferences, however. Baseline, I hate puzzles and the like with a burning passion. That was a strike against it for me, and I'm not a huge fan of survival horror to begin with. I'll give a bit more info about what I dislike in spoilers, but it's going to be fairly general.

Spoiler:

So, personally, I found the entire Tooth Fairy bit to be jarring, and I don't really like the overall reaction of the psychopomp in charge (I can't remember her name off-hand). Maybe it makes sense in-setting, but it just feels wrong to me. I like the setup until the characters get to trying to return to reality, mind you.

A far bigger problem, IMO, is the lack of any real ability for the characters to get new equipment in the first volume. I may have just missed it, but an archer isn't going to have any opportunity to get more arrows until after level 5? This aspect of the story concerns me quite a bit.

My other concerns are with the later volumes, as described in the back of the book's summary. The 'scripted failure' of the characters with Vigil bothers me, as does the fact that the characters pave the way for Azranai to confront the big bad, only to apparently fail and get sent to Arcadia... it's too many scripted failures for me to be happy with.

Now, all that being said? I'm going to get the remaining volumes, mostly because I want to have all of the AP, but also so I have additional stat blocks and the like to steal. But as it stands I cannot see myself ever inflicting this on myself or others.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Robert Brookes wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

I think you were expecting Gothic Horror and you got Dias de Muertes meets Tim Burton.

Also it kind of behooves for the Knights of Awesome (Awesome. Ozem. C'mon, the Word of God confirmed that it's how the name came up) to end up, welp, not that Ozem after all. The more "infalliable do-gooders with Smite Evil", the less space for PCs to actually pick up stuff other people botched and make things right.

Yeah the selling on this was "survival horror" and I was thinking Dark Souls and got MediEval instead.

As for the Ozem stuff, it just doesn't make internal sense. You can have failures and good people not be as good as you'd expect, but the idea that a group led by paladins with a code of fo duct about honor and honesty would just cover up a guy's involvement in the death of a herald seems super unlikely. Paladin has to mean something with regards to behavior.

Like if they suspected him and didn't just jump to using magic to determine his guilt because they were afraid of his "honor" being besmirched they're not really like, paladins. And that's fine, but you can't build the expectation of how paladins behave and then choose to subvert it like that without the audience feeling a little cheated.

There's way to do what they did, but I'm not sure the way they did it works. Especially not as what amounts to mostly inconsequential flavor text on a location.

Honestly after the way Iolomdae was presented in Wrath of the righteous and paladins in book 3 of the evil Ap which name suddenly escapes me I cant say I'm all that suprised.


Kevin Mack wrote:


Honestly after the way Iolomdae was presented in Wrath of the righteous and paladins in book 3 of the evil Ap which name suddenly escapes me I cant say I'm all that suprised.

Man, Iomedae's Wrath of the Righteous shenanigans is like a gift that keeps on giving...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can say that again. I mean, having Nocticula come out better in a direct comparison who is more friendly and better at welcoming visitors into her home is kinda a downer for Iomedae fans. ^^

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's been what, 5 years and you guys are still bitter about how one adventure in one AP treated a fictional character? Gee, I wonder how do actual real-life slights go down with you.

Dark Archive

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I mean, to be fair, I can't remember times when CG characters acted obstructing towards PCs, LG characters do it way more often.

Or at least it feels like that when one of my players keep joking about how its apparently LG to attack Order of the Godclaw who are overally LN and include LG paladins of Iomedae among members <_< Like I kinda have started to wish Glorious Reclamation had attacked one of LE hellknight orders just so the jokes would stop xD

Paizo Employee Developer

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DM Shisumo wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

DC question:
I would go with DC 22; it's substantially the same type of secret door as the one found in area D3.
Paizo Employee Developer

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Robert Brookes wrote:
I had to add: On page 26 there's art of a tooth fairy (this one is Small) with an esobok psychopomp sitting at her side. But the esobok is like... tiny? It's the size of like a small dog. But it's a Medium sized monster and as an outsider isn't subject to spells that could shrink it (reduce person) and that isn't reflected in the text either anyway.

You're correct on the mis-sizing of this piece. The tooth fairy depicted should be Small, and the esobok should be Medium (that is, larger).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
It's been what, 5 years and you guys are still bitter about how one adventure in one AP treated a fictional character? Gee, I wonder how do actual real-life slights go down with you.

Well, most real life people who offended me 5 years ago have either gone away and been forgotten by me or have done nicer things since then to improve my opinion of them.

As a fictional character, Iomedae has done neither of those things.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Robert Brookes wrote:

Ok the shield stuff isn't quite as wtf after reading the back pages.

** spoiler omitted **

I'm glad you made it to the end. You also saw, I'd bet, that the fey portion of the adventure is only one piece of it, and the latter bits are much more in line with the nature of the plane and the creatures found there. I didn't want all of the adventure to be wholly grim and oppressive, however, so the first portion is lighter in tone.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
It's been what, 5 years and you guys are still bitter about how one adventure in one AP treated a fictional character? Gee, I wonder how do actual real-life slights go down with you.

Well, most real life people who offended me 5 years ago have either gone away and been forgotten by me or have done nicer things since then to improve my opinion of them.

As a fictional character, Iomedae has done neither of those things.

So if I dress up as Iomedae and appear at your doorstep and say that I'm sorry, will that count?

Paizo Employee Developer

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"Heard you’re still angry ‘bout how I’m portrayed in that one AP
You know I try but I handled things there maybe too bluntly
Asking you questions and blasting trumpets when I disagree
So I’m asking you for a shot at forgiveness

I know that you know that my actions there could be faulted
But as a god my appearances are very limited
And my depictions can sometimes be awfully fluid
So let me, oh let me redeem, oh redeem, oh myself right now

Yeah, is it too late now to say sorry?
I’m asking Sarenrae to absolve me
Oh, is it too late now to say sorry?
Yeah, I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I'm sorry now?"

Paizo Employee Developer

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Robert Brookes wrote:

There's also this bit which isn't really spoilery as it's just some background text, but it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the world:

"Before Roslar’s body was placed in his tomb, rumors of his involvement in Arazni’s death surfaced. The Knights of Ozem, reluctant to call shame upon one of their own, conducted a lackluster and inconclusive investigation."

Because you know what an organization run by lawful good paladins is known for? Coverups and deceit of the sketchy actions of one of their own.

They can be overcautious and still be paladins; in fact, they ended with the right answer about Roslar, as "Eulogy for Roslar's Coffer" makes clear. This version of the tomb is merely an idealized echo of the "real thing" back on Golarion.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
It's been what, 5 years and you guys are still bitter about how one adventure in one AP treated a fictional character? Gee, I wonder how do actual real-life slights go down with you.

Well, most real life people who offended me 5 years ago have either gone away and been forgotten by me or have done nicer things since then to improve my opinion of them.

As a fictional character, Iomedae has done neither of those things.

So if I dress up as Iomedae and appear at your doorstep and say that I'm sorry, will that count?

kinda like deadpool and beckham?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

GRIM HELM p. 64

price 48,000 gp but cost 2,400 gp?

guessing price of 4,800 gp


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
It's been what, 5 years and you guys are still bitter about how one adventure in one AP treated a fictional character? Gee, I wonder how do actual real-life slights go down with you.

Not sure where you read the "bitter" part out of the replies, but you do you, boo.

Paizo Employee Developer

Cthulhudrew wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Sounds like we jumped to the assumption that "new race" meant player race.....when they are not actually intended as a player race :P
I'd say that is definitely the case. The description of the subtype and the two examples in the bestiary section don't seem to support the idea of this being a player race at all. Just a new sort of monster.

That's correct. They aren't player races. We already have LOTS of undead-themed player races, after all!


Ron,

So you're basically saying this is more of a GM plot device race? Kind of like Illithids?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Robert Brookes wrote:

"Before Roslar’s body was placed in his tomb, rumors of his involvement in Arazni’s death surfaced. The Knights of Ozem, reluctant to call shame upon one of their own, conducted a lackluster and inconclusive investigation."

Because you know what an organization run by lawful good paladins is known for? Coverups and deceit of the sketchy actions of one of their own.

I think that's an overstatement. You can not look into something as thoroughly as you should without actually lying about it or covering it up. Even paladins are usually allowed lies of omission.

Moreover, I'm not sure why you'd assume the Knights are paladins anyway. They follow Iomedae, sure, but their prestige class doesn't even require you to be LG, let alone actually have a paladin's oath.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
We already have LOTS of undead-themed player races, after all!

Dhampir is...one? One is not lots. What am I missing?

Wayang is shadow-themed.
Changeling is hag-themed.
Samsaran is reincarnation-themed.
Caligni is darkness-themed.

Those are the closest ones I can think of, but I wouldn't call any of them undead-themed. So what am I missing?

Dark Archive

Ron Lundeen wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Sounds like we jumped to the assumption that "new race" meant player race.....when they are not actually intended as a player race :P
I'd say that is definitely the case. The description of the subtype and the two examples in the bestiary section don't seem to support the idea of this being a player race at all. Just a new sort of monster.
That's correct. They aren't player races. We already have LOTS of undead-themed player races, after all!

Hey Ron, no offense, but i think you are confusing undead-themed with afterlife-themed. ;-)

The Dhampir is imo the only player-race directly connected to undeath.
I think races like the Duskwalker and Shabti are not really qualifying and i can't think of any others atm.

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions about this vole, it's much appreciated. :-)

Paizo Employee Developer

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Marco Massoudi wrote:


Hey Ron, no offense, but i think you are confusing undead-themed with afterlife-themed. ;-)

That's fair. And it's some of the afterlife-themed races that get showcased here.

Mortics aren't really a player race because we wanted to include some in most volumes of this adventure path, and they often appear in the (increasingly higher-level) adventures. You'll see there is a strong "half-undead" theme throughout all of them.

Dark Archive

Ron Lundeen wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Hey Ron, no offense, but i think you are confusing undead-themed with afterlife-themed. ;-)

That's fair. And it's some of the afterlife-themed races that get showcased here.

Mortics aren't really a player race because we wanted to include some in most volumes of this adventure path, and they often appear in the (increasingly higher-level) adventures. You'll see there is a strong "half-undead" theme throughout all of them.

That sounds like a useful tool for GMs, looking forward to more mortics.


I think we're all looking forward to that. Thank you Ron for the explanation. Also was I correct about comparing mortics to say...half illithids?

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