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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1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Stand Against the Darnkness" That darn kness has to be stopped!

Dark Archive

I do find it interesting how it seems each of the six books focuses on helping different one of six core races


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mwangi elves! I'm so excited for this!

Dark Archive

Traveling through portals to unknown locations and following clues to a "treasure of the gods" while competing with elves, mercenaries & draconic creatures was my very first role-playing campaign.

I guess release date is august 28th.


That's no green dragon... Or at least it doesn't appear as one. Is that a new dragon creature? Or is that a half-breed?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gold,

Unclear but regardless, that is a Mwangi Elf on the cover.


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

I guess PF2 elves are no longer as freakishly tall and skinny as PF1 elves were.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

She looks more like a Half-elf like Fola Barun, a Half-elf wildborn that acts like an envoy for the Ekujae.


I just want to know if that's a new dragon or an existing one... It has such a cool look. Why isn't it August already?

David knott 242 wrote:

I guess PF2 elves are no longer as freakishly tall and skinny as PF1 elves were.

The ekujae have always been depicted as more muscular elves. They aren't your common elf after all. But that could indeed be an ekujae half-elf.

Dark Archive

Come to think about it, she doesn't have huge irises so she would indeed probably be half-elf ._. Unless the artist again forgot about pathfinder elf large irises


I'm still going with full elf until proven otherwise.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Considering the Gozran on the cover of Extinction Curse #1, I agree that is the new elf look for PF2.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
logic_poet wrote:
Considering the Gozran on the cover of Extinction Curse #1, I agree that is the new elf look for PF2.

That one is placeholder art though. I mean it has Strange Aeons picture on the background :p

Also Merisiel still has 1e elven eyes, so unless its artist mistake, the character on cover seems more like half elf

Silver Crusade

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

This is what Merisiel looks like in 2e, so the above and one from EC are most likely half-elves.

Edit: ninjaed by Corvus

Paizo Employee Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.

She is a half-elf. Her name is Nketiah (pronounced something like nn-kesh-ah).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Eleanor Ferron wrote:
She is a half-elf. Her name is Nketiah (pronounced something like nn-kesh-ah).

Nice! Thankies for the clarification.

Silver Crusade

Hooray. i have wanted to play a Mwangi Elf for years (specifically a Magaambyan wiz sort of person, and this looks like it'll be ideal.

Any chance of an appropriate background, Eleanor? I'm looking forward to your adventure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Hooray. i have wanted to play a Mwangi Elf for years (specifically a Magaambyan wiz sort of person, and this looks like it'll be ideal.

Any chance of an appropriate background, Eleanor? I'm looking forward to your adventure.

We'll have lots of info on the Ekujae elves here, but no backgrounds in the adventure. Those'll show up elsewhere.

Also, having read (and developed) Eleanor's adventure, I just wanna say here that it's particularly awesome. Especially Harriet.

Also also, the monster they're fighting on the cover is a jungle drake.


James Jacobs wrote:
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Hooray. i have wanted to play a Mwangi Elf for years (specifically a Magaambyan wiz sort of person, and this looks like it'll be ideal.

Any chance of an appropriate background, Eleanor? I'm looking forward to your adventure.

We'll have lots of info on the Ekujae elves here, but no backgrounds in the adventure. Those'll show up elsewhere.

Also, having read (and developed) Eleanor's adventure, I just wanna say here that it's particularly awesome. Especially Harriet.

Also also, the monster they're fighting on the cover is a jungle drake.

New drake! *-*

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Hooray. i have wanted to play a Mwangi Elf for years (specifically a Magaambyan wiz sort of person, and this looks like it'll be ideal.

Any chance of an appropriate background, Eleanor? I'm looking forward to your adventure.

We'll have lots of info on the Ekujae elves here, but no backgrounds in the adventure. Those'll show up elsewhere.

Also, having read (and developed) Eleanor's adventure, I just wanna say here that it's particularly awesome. Especially Harriet.

Also also, the monster they're fighting on the cover is a jungle drake.

New drake! *-*

Not really. See page 100 of Bestiary 5 for a preview, I guess...


James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

Hooray. i have wanted to play a Mwangi Elf for years (specifically a Magaambyan wiz sort of person, and this looks like it'll be ideal.

Any chance of an appropriate background, Eleanor? I'm looking forward to your adventure.

We'll have lots of info on the Ekujae elves here, but no backgrounds in the adventure. Those'll show up elsewhere.

Also, having read (and developed) Eleanor's adventure, I just wanna say here that it's particularly awesome. Especially Harriet.

Also also, the monster they're fighting on the cover is a jungle drake.

New drake! *-*
Not really. See page 100 of Bestiary 5 for a preview, I guess...

Oh, indeed... I suppose that's because I couldn't relate the illustrations.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

That is understandable yeah since Bestiary 5 jungle drake looks like one of those leaf lizards/bugs


CorvusMask wrote:
That is understandable yeah since Bestiary 5 jungle drake looks like one of those leaf lizards/bugs

The one from B5 looks almost friendly to me. This one looks like it's going to kill me on sight.

Dark Archive

That is mostly because you can't see scale of it in that picture, so it looks like tiny sized creature instead of large.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Acording to a post by James Jacobs on the product page of the next volume, this one will include rules for castle building & repair.

Maybe that should be put into the product info?

The first sentence also got a typo: "darnkness" instead of darkness. ;-)


I'm curious to know if there will be a deity article in this volume just as there was in the majority of the second volumes of 1E APs. I hope that's the case.

I also hope to know more about the ekujae, so an article about them or their settlement would also be great!

I was surprised when the elf gates were included in the fifth volume, as we are going to interact with them and the elven people in this volume.


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

Dank is the marsh.


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

I just got an email saying my Second Edition downloads are now available, and the list given included this book. That can't be right, can it?


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

It's in my pending orders!!!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm curious to know if there will be a deity article in this volume just as there was in the majority of the second volumes of 1E APs. I hope that's the case.

I also hope to know more about the ekujae, so an article about them or their settlement would also be great!

I was surprised when the elf gates were included in the fifth volume, as we are going to interact with them and the elven people in this volume.

There's an article on the Ekujae. No deity article.


Anyone know what the new monsters in this one are?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Anyone know what the new monsters in this one are?

Quite a few

Asanbosam - Giant vampire ape with cold iron claws

Bida - Like a boa constrictor mixed with a dragon. Can turn small villages invisible to keep control of its slaves.

Biloko - Crocodiley fey with a penchant for cannibalism. 3 different versions included.

Charau-Ka - Like in the previous book, but contains 3 variants.

Grippli - 3 new variants

Kishi - Murderous fey that hide a second hyena head behind their humanoid one.

Living Sap - Exactly what it sounds like. A sappy ooze.

Mokele-Mbembe - Giant Mwangi dino that can make a sonic boom with its tail.

Sabosan - Creepy bat humanoids.


Mechalibur wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Anyone know what the new monsters in this one are?

Quite a few

Asanbosam - Giant vampire ape with cold iron claws

Bida - Like a boa constrictor mixed with a dragon. Can turn small villages invisible to keep control of its slaves.

Biloko - Crocodiley fey with a penchant for cannibalism. 3 different versions included.

Charau-Ka - Like in the previous book, but contains 3 variants.

Grippli - 3 new variants

Kishi - Murderous fey that hide a second hyena head behind their humanoid one.

Living Sap - Exactly what it sounds like. A sappy ooze.

Mokele-Mbembe - Giant Mwangi dino that can make a sonic boom with its tail.

Sabosan - Creepy bat humanoids.

Ok thanks


Mechalibur wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Anyone know what the new monsters in this one are?

Quite a few

Asanbosam - Giant vampire ape with cold iron claws

Bida - Like a boa constrictor mixed with a dragon. Can turn small villages invisible to keep control of its slaves.

Biloko - Crocodiley fey with a penchant for cannibalism. 3 different versions included.

Charau-Ka - Like in the previous book, but contains 3 variants.

Grippli - 3 new variants

Kishi - Murderous fey that hide a second hyena head behind their humanoid one.

Living Sap - Exactly what it sounds like. A sappy ooze.

Mokele-Mbembe - Giant Mwangi dino that can make a sonic boom with its tail.

Sabosan - Creepy bat humanoids.

What are their level, traits and alignment?


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

I believe the Paizo staff doesn't want too much detailed information being given on products before the release date, so I was intentionally terse with my description.

The levels range between 1-9


Mechalibur wrote:

I believe the Paizo staff doesn't want too much detailed information being given on products before the release date, so I was intentionally terse with my description.

The levels range between 1-9

I wonder how many of these monsters appear in the AP Book itself. I enjoyed seeing most (if not all) of the monsters at the back of Hellknight Hill in the book.

These seem like really interesting monsters. I do hope my players will have to fight them. :)


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

Most of them! Only the living sap and asanbosam don't appear in the adventure itself.

It would be pretty easy to add them, though. This adventure features Kingmaker-esque hex-grid exploration.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Going forward we're hoping to have ALL the monsters in the Bestiaries play roles in the actual adventure. The transition from the philosophy from 1st to 2nd will take a few volumes to iron out though.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Going forward we're hoping to have ALL the monsters in the Bestiaries play roles in the actual adventure. The transition from the philosophy from 1st to 2nd will take a few volumes to iron out though.

Wait, wait. Didn't you (or someone on the staff) mention Age of Ashes was supposed to have a

spoiler:
Tarrasque
in the bestiary section?

...Are we going to fight a

spoiler:
Tarrasque
in this adventure path?? :D


Opsylum wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Going forward we're hoping to have ALL the monsters in the Bestiaries play roles in the actual adventure. The transition from the philosophy from 1st to 2nd will take a few volumes to iron out though.

Wait, wait. Didn't you (or someone on the staff) mention Age of Ashes was supposed to have a ** spoiler omitted ** in the bestiary section?

...Are we going to fight a ** spoiler omitted ** in this adventure path?? :D

Don't think so. Pretty sure he meant the bestiaries in the AP volumes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Opsylum wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Going forward we're hoping to have ALL the monsters in the Bestiaries play roles in the actual adventure. The transition from the philosophy from 1st to 2nd will take a few volumes to iron out though.

Wait, wait. Didn't you (or someone on the staff) mention Age of Ashes was supposed to have a ** spoiler omitted ** in the bestiary section?

...Are we going to fight a ** spoiler omitted ** in this adventure path?? :D

I did say that.

Spoiler:
There'll be a Spawn of Rovagug in the adventure path, but not Tarrasque. That said, we couldn't do a Bestiary entry for the Spawn without Tarrasque.

In any case, this is another example of the growing pains between editions. Extinction Curse got the advantage of learning a lot from Age of Ashes' transition to the new edition.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Mechalibur wrote:


Kishi - Murderous fey that hide a second hyena head behind their humanoid one.

That is awesomely creepy!


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

The art certainly is creepy!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


I did say that.

** spoiler omitted **

Is it a

Spoiler:
Spawn we've seen statted out in 1E or the Pre-1E days? Or is it an entirely new Spawn?

By the way? I really like the new Downtime actions. Are downtime and Exploration going to be as big a component of the following APs as they are in this Module?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Stratagemini wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


I did say that.

** spoiler omitted **

Is it a ** spoiler omitted **

By the way? I really like the new Downtime actions. Are downtime and Exploration going to be as big a component of the following APs as they are in this Module?

It's a spawn that we've statted up before.

Downtime and exploration are integral parts of the game now, and that means they'll be integral parts of adventures, as needed. There's downtime and exploration stuff in every volume of Age of Ashes to one extent or the other, for example.

Media Specialist, SmiteWorks USA (Fantasy Grounds)

Hi, all! So you know, this is now available for purchase from Fantasy Grounds or on Steam. Sync your account first to get it a discount equivalent to the PDF Price ($17.99)

Pathfinder 2 RPG - Age of Ashes AP 2: Cult of Cinders
Publisher: Paizo Inc.
Type: Adventure
Get it on Steam

Silver Crusade

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

Uh, does the FG usually drop the day before streetdate?


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

Put my money down for a giant burning bug spawn as the likly candidate. Feels like it would fit the whole theme of this book, and we are returning to Katapesh, so it just feels right to me (also never got an official PF1 stat for him, as it was a 3.5 AP)


the living sap looks similar to the ambergrim in pathfinder #116, just pointing it out.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So this is a great book ._. And I love that you can, among other things, 1) save your enemies and as result avoid later combat 2) redeem enemies you'd think wouldn't be redeemable 3) have a nice chat with non evil creature belonging to usually evil creature type(they are kind of a dork and I love that :D)

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