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

4.00/5 (based on 4 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

Online Resources: Rules and mechanics from this book can be accessed for free on Paizo's official online resource: Archives of Nethys. Click here!

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One of the best second legs of an AP

5/5

This is a great addition to the AP - probably my second-favorite second part of an AP (just behind Seven Days to the Grave). It's fantastically focused and interesting - no grinding for XP here. A full levels-worth of social encounters and role-playing scenes, a couple levels worth of hexploration with very challenging fights and a narratively compelling goal, and some great locations which are rich enough to be a lot of fun, but short enough to not turn into dungeon-crawls. Throw in a few potentially very entertaining encounters, and you get one of the best AP modules Paizo has produced. 5+/5 stars.


Still not all that great

1/5

Really was not a fan of this one, still had some of the layout problems it had in the first book, Also not a fan of the Bestiary section needing to use space to put back in monsters that were already available in 1E (You would think they would have made sure such monsters were in the first hardback Bestiary leaving the ap one free to introduce new things rather than retreading old ground)

However the thing that really tanks the score is that this book has managed to offend one of my group

Spoiler:
One of my players is an identical twin and he found the part where you replace a villain if he gets killed with there identical twin brother very offensive (Paizo has moved away from some stereo types so he finds it very annoying they would keep the Identical twins are the exact same person with the same personality goals and motivavtions and would act exactly the same way. In his own words "If I were to suddenly to disapear one day I would not consider it okay for everyone to just replace me with my brother"


A huge step up

5/5

This module is so mutch better then the first one it's insane, the first part parts all diplomacy with no combat. Incredibly likable npcs, and a cool local makes it such a great start, then the second part is exploration with a bunch of fun combats, my favorite is the taldor explorer who's baskly a indiana jones villan. Then theres the mine you explore, then the final dungeon and both areas feel open enough your players can try diffrent things, wanna sneak in go agead, wanna knock out cultists and wear their outfits like a bad pulp movie? Go ahead. Then you got a really fun final boss, and i got to mention how well this adventure gets you excited for the ap as a whole with good set up. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first moduel it being mostly just a mega dungeon but this one was a great read. Also the arts great


I don't normally review adventures before I had chance to run or play them...

5/5

...But in this case I don't think that matters. Even if it turns out this adventure has mechanical problems that need fixing that you only notice during playing the thing, the content and design of it is something I absolutely love in adventures. In otherwords, multiple solutions to a problems and having mixture of activities along with combat :D

Besides book having nice amount of downtime(such as castle building) and exploration(hexploration :D) activities PCs can do while adventuring, the book itself doesn't start with combat, but with series of social encounters with Ekujae. I'm not gonna get into full detail, but I just have to say that I liked pretty much each event that is part of it and took liking to Nketiah(and other named Ekujae) just based on conversations with them :D Which is rare since I usually take liking when NPC is unusual(like Greta from Reign of Winter, Laori from Crimson Throne or Isuma from Iron Gods) or during the actual play from roleplaying with them.

So the part 1 which is the social interactions with Ekujae is followed by part 2 which is hex exploration aka another of my favourite things :D

Now I'm not gonna go into full detail on encounters(since that'd be spoilers), but while there are of course lots of combat as well, there is also lots of opportunities for sneaking or conversing/roleplaying with foes. There are three moments of those that really cemented this as my favourites. Buuut I'll think I'll write about those in GM reference thread in case someone reading the review is tempted to check spoiler tags :D (but yeah, for devs, my three favourite moments(after the Ekujae interactions) are related to Hezle, Belmazog and Kyrion)

And finally, I love how final 1e APs and 2e APs have more detailed maps. They aren't as detailed as Starfinder maps and I don't like Age of Ashes' style as much as I liked War for the Crown's, Return of the Runelord's and Tyrant's Grasp cartographer style, but it is still great style and good second place favourite among all Pathfinder APs :3


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

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.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook 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...

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

2 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, 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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, 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

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