Pathfinder Adventure Path #150: Broken Promises (Age of Ashes 6 of 6)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #150: Broken Promises (Age of Ashes 6 of 6)

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The Age of Ashes Adventure Path concludes! The heroes have defeated the Scarlet Triad, but in doing so have learned a shocking truth—the Scarlet Triad has been financed all these years by the enigmatic ruler of the island nation of Hermea, the gold dragon Mengkare! After a devastating manifestation of a violent dragon god erupts from the portals the heroes have been using the entire campaign, they must travel to Hermea to confront Mengkare about the Scarlet Triad and find out what the gold dragon's plans actually are. Does he seek to save the world... or to end it in a devastating Age of Ashes?

Age of Ashes is the first Adventure Path using the brand new rules for the Pathfinder RPG. This sixth and final adventure was written by Luis Loza for 18th-level characters, and also includes a gazetteer of the utopian city of Promise, advice for GMs on how the events of this campaign can change the world, a wealth of new options for player characters to discover, and more than half a dozen new monsters!

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

ISBN: 978-1-64078-195-5

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

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And they stick the landing

5/5

Part 1 of this volume is neat, but it's just a spree of combats.

Part 2 and 3 are an excellent climax to this adventure path. Extremely well-written and interesting. I know my players are going to love it.


One of the best AP parts finales

5/5

So uh, I managed to skip my reviews for books 4 and 5 I still intend to do but haven't because of being busy and tired, but this book was too much in my alley to not review right away.

So long story short without spoilers: Book contains intriging investigation, a deception and chance to redeem someone who thinks they are good while they are doing evil. And AP actually gives good reason for PCs to do latter besides just being goody good guys(I like being good good person, but pragmatic people need options too!) and not least of all being "this edition's rules mean they would actually be tough to defeat" :D Book does give good job of giving characters chances to learn their backstory and feel empathy for them.

There are great roleplaying moments through all the book until finale(yes even in part 3, its not just warming up to final boss fight at level 20) and mechanical options for level 20 by hermean training are also cool and actually really great. I also like idea of rare backgrounds unlocked by beating APs so we'll see if paizo does more of those :D

Interestingly, I think I noticed that Paizo has taken notice of conversations on forum about bad guy redemption, because beyond the campaign option raises the possibility that even if villain is redeemed, some people might want to punish them for their wrong doings and future for the villain seeking redemption is uncertain.

Promise article has some really chilling stuff to it.

And best if all, even in this AP Dahak is petty overgrown child capable of destroying worlds :D

Do I have any bad things to say? Eh there is picture of random pit fiend with new design for them, I much prefer 1e reptilian pit fiend design to one that gives them more human like face. Reptiles are cool! Stereotypical red devils with pitchforks not so much.

(also since there was conversation on forum about dcs being too high for calming down citizens and putting off fires compared to first book... I think its justified because of the apocalyptic storm going on you know :P)

What else... Jonivar was really cool character for me for some reason even if he was mostly for explanation of ritual and Inizra's love interest(I like Inizra a lot too!) and I'm glad Kyrion finally came back! Though if eel like we need whole NPC article for him because seriously, I want full write up detail on what makes Kyrion tick, sure we know his backstory and personality but I like that dragon :D There were also cool 1e AP callbacks, such as Mengkare hiring brine dragon twins to help with security once they heard of Karzoug coming back in Promise article and other stuff in adventure itself. I also liked the payoff to castle building downtime hobby of PCs.


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Dark Archive

Porridge wrote:
Reckless wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Why is there (apparently) a spawn of rovagug in this book anyway? Does it feature itself in adventure or is there article about big monsters in the book?
The Toolbox/Bestiary features 2 of them, not related to the adventure to my knowledge.
One of the two spawn plays a role in the adventure. In particular, the party ends up facing ** spoiler omitted **

I was about to say "three???" then realized that in 3.5 that one was cr 20 so its actually plausible to win xP

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What are the player options if I may ask?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are post-campaign backgrounds, 20th level class feats (one per class) and 10th level focus spells (bard & druid).


Cheers! And what can we find in the bestiary?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Lots of creatures that are so bad they are good :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like a lot of the class feats, although some are more interesting than others (the champion one for example is pretty bland).

The monk feat in particular gives 20 unconditional fast healing (which isn't even its only benefit). Pretty awesome :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Before tomorrow burns, will you see the Ashen Man?"

I'm so glad they are keeping the tradition of little quotes after the credits in the final volume of each AP! :)

Dark Archive

Wait a sec, Ashen Mans appears in this one too?

Daymn, that guy sure gets around! First he appeared in Doomsday Dawn, then has cameo in Sandpoint's market and now he is in APs too? Is he gonna be in every existential threat level ap? :D


CorvusMask wrote:

Wait a sec, Ashen Mans appears in this one too?

Daymn, that guy sure gets around! First he appeared in Doomsday Dawn, then has cameo in Sandpoint's market and now he is in APs too? Is he gonna be in every existential threat level ap? :D

I think he is, especially considering the next AP is an existential one, I'd be surprised if he didn't show up making life hell for the cleaners with his ashes.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

He doesn't show up in this AP, it's just the line that appears at the end of the credits for book six. Similar lines can be found in book six of other APs.

Scarab Sages

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

That said, it would be unsurprising if he makes additional cameos in either of the coming APs. It seems like they're building up to including him at some point.

Silver Crusade

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

He's here to break the Cycle.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mach1.9pants wrote:
There is no interactive maps file in the Single File DL?

I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned this. Did I miss the memo? Is Paizo dropping the interactive maps file or was this an oversight?


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I posted this in a different thread...if you download the multi-chapter file, the maps are there (or, they were for me).


Is this the first AP volume 6 credits quote that is made up by Paizo rather than being a literary or cultural reference?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AJCarrington wrote:
I posted this in a different thread...if you download the multi-chapter file, the maps are there (or, they were for me).

Yeah. Saw that, too. So - oversight, likely.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
AJCarrington wrote:
I posted this in a different thread...if you download the multi-chapter file, the maps are there (or, they were for me).
Yeah. Saw that, too. So - oversight, likely.

That would be my guess as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
Is this the first AP volume 6 credits quote that is made up by Paizo rather than being a literary or cultural reference?

We don't have "rules" we follow for these hidden message. Sometimes they're literary quotes. Sometimes they're cultural references. Sometimes they're in-world hints of events to come—for example, the very first one we dropped back in the day for the last volume of "Rise of the Runelords" was "The runelords will retrun."

It's generally the lead developer for an Adventure Path that decides what that hidden message will be.

In any event, nope, it's hardly the first one with a quote that we made up. :-P


logic_poet wrote:
That said, it would be unsurprising if he makes additional cameos in either of the coming APs. It seems like they're building up to including him at some point.

Maybe in AP #156 The Apocalypse Prophet. Fit the theme and and the level

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
mach1.9pants wrote:
There is no interactive maps file in the Single File DL?
I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned this. Did I miss the memo? Is Paizo dropping the interactive maps file or was this an oversight?

I had a thought and double checked; the interactive maps ARE there if you download the "file per chapter" version. (Just not in the "single file" version.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now I'm extremely curious. Can someone please tell me what is in the bestiary?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Valantrix1 wrote:
Now I'm extremely curious. Can someone please tell me what is in the bestiary?

Bestiary:

Aiudara Wraith
Dragonshard Guardian
Spawn of Rovagug
. Tarrasque, The Armageddon Engine
. Xotani, The Firebleeder
Tzitzimitl
Vazgorlu
Wyrmwraith

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The more I see that title for the Tarrasque the more I see it as an apocalyptic hotrod.

Or a combination of monster and hotrod.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:

The more I see that title for the Tarrasque the more I see it as an apocalyptic hotrod.

Or a combination of monster and hotrod.

Well, those big spikes on its back could be used as handle bars, I suppose...for a titan.

Man, I would not want to be anywhere near that rodeo...


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I had them tweak the engine for the new edition.


Rovagug, The Rough Beast wrote:
Yeah, I had them tweak the engine for the new edition.

Hopefully, the tweaks were worth it, because as the DM, I am petrified to see how that encounter will occur. Because one does not kill a tarrasque, they run for their very lives.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Killing Tarrasque was super easy in PF1, let's hope this version is less prone to cheesy ways of taking him out despite all the invulnerabilites.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Just got my copy and am gobsmacked by some of these statblocks. I can't wait to see how my players react during these "WTF?" moments. I haven't been this excited about certain fights since I read through the last chapters of Wrath of the Righteous. And the 2nd edition at first glance looks like it will keep high level play fast paced. Very excited!


The PF2 Tarrasque... Now, how much was the whole AP again?

If the whole path's reception was good enough, maybe I could wait for a future compiled hardcover version, though honestly.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucas Yew wrote:

The PF2 Tarrasque... Now, how much was the whole AP again?

If the whole path's reception was good enough, maybe I could wait for a future compiled hardcover version, though honestly.

The people waiting for hardcover versions of Iron Gods, Reign of Winter and Skull 'n' Shackles have some bad news for you.

Silver Crusade

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

Reviews only mean so much.

Well received mostly translates into “people bought it a lot”.

No buy? No hypothetical hardcover collection decades down the line.


Let’s be honest the next hard cover after Kingmaker isnoikely to be Wrath of the Righteous.


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

It reminded me of Reign of Winter with dragons and slavers instead of Baba Yaga and witches.

Also without the crazy locations though.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm a bit shocked no one's talking about spellstrike showing up.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shisumo wrote:
I'm a bit shocked no one's talking about spellstrike showing up.

Interesting indeed, and on a divine spellcaster. Weird.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Heh, I was wondering when someone would mention it. It was my attempt to replicate the ability in 2E. Whether we use that as the framework for a theoretical spellstrike in the future is unknown. But I hope it allows GMs to homebrew their own magi and possibly even use them for their own NPCs or players


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I'll just say it again, but the Adventure Toolboxes we've been seeing are fantastic and I hope to see them continue.


What's with the new backgrounds?

Silver Crusade

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

They’re tied in to the end/the main player characters for this AP, but they’re not super powerful compared to the other backgrounds or anything.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I know it probably wouldn't work, but I stayed up till midnight waiting to see if I could finally get the final part of the adventure. Thought it might be released cause it's technically "tomorrow." Not really disappointed, just sad and tired.


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

It's currently technically tomorrow (i.e. Wednesday) on the US East coast. It's not tomorrow on the west coast (where Paizo is) for another three hours. :-)

Silver Crusade

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

It's still 9pm Paizo time, it should go live in 3 hours.

Edit: ninjaed

Dark Archive

Well this is awesome book :O Gotta... Gather... Energy... For... Review backlist completion

Dark Archive

I have only leafed through the book, but i did not like what i saw
(for the most part).
You fight one big Monster after the other on mostly very bland maps.

The book reminds me a lot of D&D 4th Edition.

Part 3 also reminds me a lot of part 3 of the last book of Second Darkness, which was a fight-fest too.

Now this is only from reading the stat blocks of the creatures and looking at the battle maps and skimming the text a little and could change, but the first impression isn´t good, sorry.

Dark Archive

Marco Massoudi wrote:

I have only leafed through the book, but i did not like what i saw

(for the most part).
You fight one big Monster after the other on mostly very bland maps.

The book reminds me a lot of D&D 4th Edition.

Part 3 also reminds me a lot of part 3 of the last book of Second Darkness, which was a fight-fest too.

Now this is only from reading the stat blocks of the creatures and looking at the battle maps and skimming the text a little and could change, but the first impression isn´t good, sorry.

I skimmed it too, but one of part 3 encounters is really cool roleplaying encounter that becomes combat if you either murderhobo it or don't manage to support character vs self doubt.

There was lot of roleplaying in this book overall, so umm. Not sure what to say since I skimmed it as well besides that we'll see if your opinion changes after skimming it again?


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

I would say Age of Ashes is one of my least favorite adventure paths.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh wait, are we rating AP as whole now then?

Spoiler:

Yeah as whole 6 part story its not THAT great since its by very nature "Let's show newbie players(who are likely not even know about final book's location) six different places on Inner Sea" newbie adventure. Like, its good for newbies, but its not that good from veteran perspective mostly because while invidual books are pretty good, its more of six different adventures with common theme. The standalone thing also results in earlier book introducing cool friendly aps which ap doesn't do much with in later books. Still missing that Curse of the Crimson Throne style recurring NPC cast.

Like I think it would work at complete story better if it was all set in Hermea rather than Hermea being surprise plot twist in fifth book. It also contains bit of "Well we need to get plot moving" moments like Scarlet Tried trying to recruit PCs(through the classic criminal method of kidnapping a hostage for negotiaton... I've seen that tactic in movies, but does it actually work even if both sides are cold blooded criminals? :P) and in doing so extra motivating them to investigate lead from previous book about them.

Besides that it also has the early edition advenure(like council of thieves, dead suns in some respect and even 5e's hoard of the dragon queen...) syndrome of mechanics being bit off because final guidelines weren't out yet. So in this case it contains stuff like scaling dc for tasks that would have been easier in earlier books.

Invidually, I feel like first book is pretty weak goblin themed adventure since effort to portray local goblins as nice mean they never really do anything particularly goblin like. It does have cool stuff to it, could have used more art for the anadi npc's spider form though. It could work if it played up the role reversal of goblins being good guys more, but it seems to be kinda regular thing in Breachill already.

Second book is cool though and one of my favorite standalone ap parts. Also does good job of elf theme really well.

Third book is criminal investigation in Ravounel. It has cool stuff to it, but overally no strong opinions about it as standalone. The halfling theme.. Barely comes clear, sure one of your helpers is bellflower network member, but the elf spy feels like they did more in the plot.

Fourth book has dwarven ruin exploration. I feel refhresed by that because I haven't played D&D material and PF1e for most part skipped lot of classic D&D dungeon crawling scenarios. So I liked the part a lot and more than part 3(which I liked more than part 1 butnot as much as part 2) as standalone. Very dwarfy even if its mostly dungeon crawling

Fifth book I again loved as standalone. It did have lot of sidequests and such to be done in order to defeat bad guy group, but I liked it about as much as fourth book. Gnomes aren't really heavily featured in this one besides you helping some.

I would say overall that most adventures in this AP feel kinda like D&D style "hey, let's have series of modules that take place over levels 1-20" like Sunless Citadel -> The Forge of Fury -> The Speaker in Dreams -> ... ->Bastion of Broken Souls linked modules from 3.0 times. Main difference being that each module is linked to overall plot unlike those modules were only like three of them(each written by Bruce Cordell) are linked to each other by having characters mentioned in earlier ones show up. Its kinda the nature of whole "Let's explore drastically different settings!" plot, you get lot of cool scenery, but none of them get explored in super well detail. The overall theme of showcasing different core ancestries is cool too, but not all of them get show cased as much compared to other ones and they kinda feel after thought in some books.

Book 6 is the human themed one and the grand finale where there is npc trying to mislead you and npc that you can convince they are in the wrong. Lot of nice moving parts and such and I can see the overall human theme, though the dragon in draconic AP really takes the spotlight. I haven't read it in detail yet, but my first impression was great again as standalone. Only real problem here that surprise villain works best if you know who they are, but this is first time they are featured in adventure so only gms and lore hungry people are to be affected by the twist.

Another thing about thing with each book feeling pretty self contained with common themes, is that I think AP could use more heavy Dahak themes. In general I think campaigns were invidual parts are essentially series of linked standaloneswork better when the linking themes feel really strong, but Dahak themes show up occasionally, Hermea related themes not really before final book, dragon themed stuff does keep popping up occasionally most often yeah, but Ancestry theme is book by book casis. Books 1, 3 and 5 don't really feel gobliny/halflingy/gnomey while book 2/4/6 feel suitably elfy/dwary/humany. Small ancestries with less importance to overall setting kinda got the shaft here.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dude, spoilers.

Dark Archive

Umm, oops? I can't edit spoiler tags into that post anymore. That said, most of stuff I said was in each book's shop summary and once that weren't are from beginning of the books, and one that could be spoilers were really vague. Still should have played it safe and used spoiler tags

Dark Archive

And reviewed.

I'm kinda amazed at how much I love this ap and how critical I can be when I talk about it as whole vs individual parts of it. I genuinely think this is one of best final AP parts in any AP and I love multiple books of the AP, but I somehow make it sound like I enjoy it much less when I write on it as whole .-.

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