Pathfinder Adventure Path #146: Cult of Cinders (Age of Ashes 2 of 6)

4.00/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #146: Cult of Cinders (Age of Ashes 2 of 6)
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Stand Against the Darkness

The citadel atop Hellknight Hill has been claimed, along with the ring of ancient portals in its basement. What dangers lie beyond this magical portal, and what do the cultists who've used it before have in store? There's only one way to find out: the heroes must travel through to the lands beyond, where they will make new allies, face new enemies, and do much, much more! The Age of Ashes Adventure Path continues with "Cult of Cinders"—a complete adventure for 5th–8th level characters.

ISBN: 978-1-64078-188-7

"Age of Ashes" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (761 kb zip/PDF).

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

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sometimes unnecessarily difficult if you don't have a perfect group

4/5

The first chapter takes a little getting used to. I can imagine that groups who want some action get bored quite quickly at first. Dear DM, talk to your group if they want action or role play! My group went for the RPG and we really enjoyed having the entire first book without a real fight.
But then came Chapter 2. What I really like is the exploration mode. Revealing the map piece by piece is always a nice game idea. But some challenges are pretty deadly, to say the least. Although the group always has full resources, it has had to withdraw here and there. The problem for us is that my group is not a 1A perfectly coordinated group. Unfortunately, this is particularly noticeable in this part of the campaign, which can lead to frustration again and again.
Part 3 is also really quite challenging, since you only have limited rest periods when the fortress wants to be invaded. It doesn't actually make any sense, but a complete march through is also not possible. And then the finale. I'm not sure if it was me, the dice, or the design. But the final fight was just plain boring, which somehow didn't go with the previous threats.
Anyway, looking forward to the third book.


Excellent adventure that really feels like an adventure

5/5

This AP volume was really fantastic. The NPCs, especially the three main Ekujae, were extremely fun to play and had excellent characters and motivations. There's a ton of excellent lore. I loved how the Ekujae didn't need the heroes to come save them or anything, even from the BBEG of the campaign. If it gets down to it, they know what they're doing and they'll take the steps they need to stop it. The whole time spent in Akrivel was a great time. The scenarios were really well done. I enjoyed it a lot.

I really didn't think I'd enjoy the jungle hexcrawl. And it certainly wasn't perfect. There were too many towers, and doing them all could be a slog (if you're running this, don't have the PCs do all of them. Have them do like 5 or 6).

But even then, the scenarios were terrific. It felt like there was something interesting to do everywhere in the jungle. It really felt alive. And the scenarios were good at signposting a lot of the plot-heavy locations.

All in all, this was a fantastic module that really brought a cool region and culture to life. Highly recommended.


1/5


Solid Fun

5/5

If I were to do this one over again, I might cut some of the dragon pillars out, I think there are more of them than are really necessary which makes knocking out the last couple a bit of a slog. A few sample random encounters might have been a nice touch as well to help with prepping the hex crawl.

Those are my only complaints, otherwise the jungle setting is fun and there are some memorable fights and NPCs. I enjoyed that the first part was entirely RP without any encounters. My group overall seemed to enjoy it and I enjoyed running it, so I don't think much else really needs to be said.


Here's what you can expect

5/5

Warning: spoilers ahead.

This 64-page adventure is set in Akrivel — a settlement founded by Ekujae elves to safeguard a magical artifact of terrifying potential — and portions of the Mwangi Jungle. The village of Akrivel itself is a strangely festive place considering its proximity to danger, which speaks to the character of its residents. Locked in a restless conflict with an ancient foe, the Ekujae elves have learned to balance caution with fun, living life to the fullest at every opportunity. PCs earning these elves' trust will be invited to grand hunts, feasts, dancing, storytelling, and for the helpless romantics, maybe even a little matchmaking between starcrossed lovers — all from the elevations of a scenic treetop paradise. Yet dangers belay this idyllic home, as threats from the jungle beyond soon manifest in a terrible curse, and PCs must contend with a brazen cult hellbent on bathing the world in fire — coming to the aid of kobolds, celestials, and even a reformed red dragon — all while exploring this sandbox, hexploration-based adventure.

This magical story was written by Eleanor Ferron — thanks for the good times Eleanor!

What's in the back?? Eleanor Ferron gives us a peak at the fascinating history and culture of the Ekujae peoples, including information about the story of their conflict with the dragon god Dahak, their faiths and traditions, fashion, societal makeup, art and music, philosophy, and relations with the outside world. Inside the adventure toolbox, you'll find rules for surviving in jungle biomes (along with diseases), a magical charm and weapon, and rules for administrating and reconstructing the PC's home base acquired in the previous adventure.

Following this are articles for major NPCs found in this adventure, including a boggard cultist who hears the voice of an imprisoned god, and a well-traveled elven lorekeeper with a chip on her shoulder, and a debt to repay. Finally, you'll find a new collection of creatures: the Asanbosam, Bida, Biloko, Charau-ka, Grippli, Kishi, Living Sap, Mokele-Mbembe, and Sabosan. These articles were masterfully composed by Eleanor Ferron, Leo Glass, James Jacobs, Jason Keeley, and Owen K.C. Stephens.

Age of Ashes is an Adventure Path for PCs from humble roots aspiring to greatness, and starry-eyed explorers eager to travel the wide world and uncover relics of the ancient past. All throughout this hundred-page AP you'll find yourself utterly submerged in gorgeous, evocative art, giving context and telling stories of its own about the people and places found within. Witness the legend of the Age of Ashes with your own eyes, and save the future from a dragon's fantasy yet to be fulfilled.


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So, there is apparently a Soulbound Doll that has to be fought in game. It says that the doll can be found in the 6th Bestiary. Does anyone have any advice as to how to translate it to the 2E?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ShadowKni9ht97 wrote:

So, there is apparently a Soulbound Doll that has to be fought in game. It says that the doll can be found in the 6th Bestiary. Does anyone have any advice as to how to translate it to the 2E?

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
ShadowKni9ht97 wrote:

So, there is apparently a Soulbound Doll that has to be fought in game. It says that the doll can be found in the 6th Bestiary. Does anyone have any advice as to how to translate it to the 2E?

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

Please use page references! I know its cleaner and saves space, but it can be a pain to figure out. Or perhaps use some sort of index?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
ShadowKni9ht97 wrote:

So, there is apparently a Soulbound Doll that has to be fought in game. It says that the doll can be found in the 6th Bestiary. Does anyone have any advice as to how to translate it to the 2E?

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

That is genuinely confusing... looking it up in the book with the explanation, it makes sense. However, intuitively, it does not. I thoroughly appreciate the page reference for the creatures in the adventures a ton because it allows me to immediately look them up without too much searching. It is a wonderful benefit, even if it does only save a few minutes. As a layman's suggestion, I would advise either completely removing the page referencing where the rules for elite creatures are because it creates that layer of confusion, or specify that the secondary page number is where the rules are at. For example,

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, Elite Rules 6)

That would have cleared up a lot of the confusion because it would not leave the reader with any room for misinterpretation. I originally wanted to put down "Modifiers" instead of "Rules", but then the word "Modifiers" with the number 6 could be misinterpreted as a modifier in and of itself. But the above use of words in the Adventure Path would have assisted me in understanding what the second number was for.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

I suspect someone at Paizo already suggested to, but would adding a page marker not help on that issue?

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary p. 6, 304)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3Doubloons wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

I suspect someone at Paizo already suggested to, but would adding a page marker not help on that issue?

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary p. 6, 304)

That would work as well, but I'm not sure that's our editorial style—that's a question for the editors to look at.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
ShadowKni9ht97 wrote:

So, there is apparently a Soulbound Doll that has to be fought in game. It says that the doll can be found in the 6th Bestiary. Does anyone have any advice as to how to translate it to the 2E?

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

No no no, have to say, the page reference and book reference is extremely useful.

That being said, the high number first is probably less confusing. Once I understood the italics though? had no issues.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

It's an elite soulbound doll, and the rules for elite are found on page 6 of the 2nd edition Bestiary.

We're trying to figure out how best to indicate this in future stat blocks. My preference would be like this:

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary 304, 6)

OR maybe we just don't cite the page reference for a creature at all...

I suspect someone at Paizo already suggested to, but would adding a page marker not help on that issue?

Elite Soulbound Doll (Pathfinder Bestiary p. 6, 304)

That would work as well, but I'm not sure that's our editorial style—that's a question for the editors to look at.

Not that this will be used, but in my personal notes I am uinsg: PF2eB1 pg6,304

Mainly because I know there will be a B2..3...4.. I also use PF2eCRB pg250


My players and I appreciate how African this feels.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just curious, was this product released in a file-per-chapter format? All of my other AP issues show up both in single file and file-per-chapter format, but this one did not.

Did I just miss something?


Zandari wrote:

Just curious, was this product released in a file-per-chapter format? All of my other AP issues show up both in single file and file-per-chapter format, but this one did not.

Did I just miss something?

Same for me, I suppose this is normal then.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

On the main Paizo page, this is listed as an upcoming release. (I assume it was suppose to be book 2 of Strength of Thounsands)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TAVelcro wrote:
On the main Paizo page, this is listed as an upcoming release. (I assume it was suppose to be book 2 of Strength of Thounsands)

Noticed that too. Perhaps a reprint run? Seems unlikely.

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