Pathfinder Adventure Path #151: The Show Must Go On (Extinction Curse 1 of 6)

3.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #151: The Show Must Go On (Extinction Curse 1 of 6)

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The Extinction Curse Adventure Path begins! The Circus of Wayward Wonders has just arrived in the remote town of Abberton, and the player characters are the stars of the show! When the ringmaster turns up dead, the fate of the traveling circus and its entertainers hangs in the balance, and the heroes must scramble to put on a successful show and find the killer—all at the same time! Investigations only lead to more questions, and the heroes find themselves center stage in a dangerous, prehistoric plot that threatens not just Abberton, but every inhabitant of the Starstone Isles!

"The Show Must Go On" is a Pathfinder Second Edition adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Extinction Curse Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes lead a traveling circus as they unravel a plot to eradicate all life from the Starstone Isles at the heart of the Inner Sea. The adventure also includes advice on how to run a traveling circus, new circus-themed rules, and a menagerie of monsters both wondrous and wicked.

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: 978-1-64078-201-3

Note: The Life in the Circus article in this volume references a feat from the Extinction Curse Player's Guide. That feat isn't in the player's guide, but can be found here.

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

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3.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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Welcome to the circus! Hope you enjoyed it, now it's time to leave until book 2.

2/5

I had high hopes for this book but it doesn't quite come through in the end. The opening is jarring-- you're thrust into the adventure in media res and immediately must manage a circus of performers you've never interacted with before. Before you're allowed to even share a split-second with an NPC you're immediately urged to investigate their murder. Somehow the circus camp is chock full of monsters and the investigation becomes a string of combat encounters against level 1 staples-- bears, snakes and rats.

I think I would like this book a lot more if it didn't immediately leave the circus after Part 1. The only reminder of you being a circus performer is a trick-off against two rival performers and Pennywise's stunt double in Part 2; otherwise it's a quick ramp up to two back-to-back dungeon crawls (one demon themed, one troglodyte themed).

I think the weirdest part about this adventure is that it shares so much in common with The Fall of Plaguestone. From elemental animals to a bare-fisted barroom brawl to the encounters against the same woodlands creatures to the primary impetus of Part 1 to the adventure taking place in a farming village... Every time it detours from that feeling, it swerves back around.

The combat encounters appear much more balanced than the other low-level PF2e adventures-- there are only 8 Severe encounters in the book's 50~ish encounters as opposed to Plaguestone's 9 in 32. Weak-adjusted monsters and Trivial encounters are great and I'm glad there's more than 0!

If you're hard up for some new PF2e content, or are a GM who's invested in adding a lot of your own content to the book, this will satisfy. Otherwise I'd wait for a bit until more of these books are out and you can read reviews on where this AP is going.


Roll up, Roll up (your characters)

4/5

Thus begins the circus/dinosaur adventure path. That is such a cool premise, right there. So awesome!

However, book 1 is just... OK. The first three quarters of the book feel like padding to get you to the Aeon Tower and the main story arc.

Also, your circus is kind of boring. The GM will have to put some work in here to flesh out some memorable NPCs. There's some really cool art for different acts you can showcase, but nothing in the adventure, other than the mechanics for slotting them into the circus management mini game.

Speaking of; the rules for running a circus feel like they will be a total ball ache to implement. This could actually top the caravan rules from Jade Regent for 'most unrewarding waste of your valuable time'. Fortunately, the adventure states they can be completely ignored.

The art and general aesthetic for the adventure is really vibrant and fun. I think sheer novelty value boosts this book from 3 to 4 stars.


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Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Life in the Circus article in this volume references a feat from the Extinction Curse Player's Guide. That feat isn't in the player's guide, but can be found here.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
The Life in the Circus article in this volume references a feat from the Extinction Curse Player's Guide. That feat isn't in the player's guide, but can be found here.

Can I suggest putting that fact in the actual product description? That way it's easily findable for anyone who visits the product page.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Has this shipped for anyone yet?

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:
The Life in the Circus article in this volume references a feat from the Extinction Curse Player's Guide. That feat isn't in the player's guide, but can be found here.
Can I suggest putting that fact in the actual product description? That way it's easily findable for anyone who visits the product page.

Done!


Gotta ask again; anyone willing to share what monsters are in the bestiary and the toolbox stuff in general?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Rulebook Subscriber
Benjamin Tait wrote:
Gotta ask again; anyone willing to share what monsters are in the bestiary and the toolbox stuff in general?

Someone may be... Once anyone actually has it.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Ron and I had a great time talking about "The Show Must Go On" last Friday on Twitch, and that video uploads to YouTube today. During the chat, we had a question about integrating alchemists into the circus.

So I am creating 9 circus tricks for every class, starting with the alchemist! Maybe y'all will find some of them useful.

https://twitter.com/doctorcomics/status/1218247246023557120?s=20


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason Tondro wrote:

Ron and I had a great time talking about "The Show Must Go On" last Friday on Twitch, and that video uploads to YouTube today. During the chat, we had a question about integrating alchemists into the circus.

So I am creating 9 circus tricks for every class, starting with the alchemist! Maybe y'all will find some of them useful.

https://twitter.com/doctorcomics/status/1218247246023557120?s=20

Linkified!

This is a great idea, Jason! Bravo!


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

Ohh, those are awesome, thanks!


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

There seems to be some leftovers from volume #150 on the table of contents of this book. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The interactive maps were not in the single file zip, but are in the file per chapter zip.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Tondro wrote:

Ron and I had a great time talking about "The Show Must Go On" last Friday on Twitch, and that video uploads to YouTube today. During the chat, we had a question about integrating alchemists into the circus.

So I am creating 9 circus tricks for every class, starting with the alchemist! Maybe y'all will find some of them useful.

https://twitter.com/doctorcomics/status/1218247246023557120?s=20

This absolutely rules! LOVE the idea of a Gas Chamber, and the Alche-mime is VERY clever!


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I worked in circuses and ran a circus school for nearly fifteen years. I am so keen to see this AP (and am going to try really, really, really hard not to be THAT guy about it...).

Im playing in Age of Ashes so this will be the first PF2 AP i get to read properly. :)


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

For those looking for the interactive maps, you can find them in the multi-file download.

Silver Crusade

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

Oh, gas chambers, we used to have quite a few in Europe at one point.

What, too soon?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Interesting use of "we" here.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

I worked in circuses and ran a circus school for nearly fifteen years. I am so keen to see this AP (and am going to try really, really, really hard not to be THAT guy about it...).

Im playing in Age of Ashes so this will be the first PF2 AP i get to read properly. :)

I am going to do my level best not to open the book because I want to play this one. I peeked at the pdf, admired the vibrant colors, and closed it again immediately. If we decide not to continue AoA after Hellknight Hill (the players seem not interested in maintaining a citadel) I can probably steer to this AP instead, but would much prefer to play it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is one campaign where you character should not have a flaw involving coulrophobia.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
pennywit wrote:
This is one campaign where you[r] character should not have a flaw involving coulrophobia.

Or if you're a player with it...

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Interesting use of "we" here.

That's just Bagsy being his grumpy ol' self! ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It looks like a few people already have the PDF. Does anyone know when it shows in your downloads? is it when it ships?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Phaye wrote:
It looks like a few people already have the PDF. Does anyone know when it shows in your downloads? is it when it ships?

Yep, it’s added to your downloads once the order ships!


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

It will also say on the product page once it's ready for you to download.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm sooo jealous of those of you who have the PDF! I got an email on 1/13 saying my order would ship in "1 to 10 days," but it hasn't yet, so no PDF for me.

Ordinarily, this would be no big deal, but I was hoping to start running the adventure tomorrow....

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I was sceptical but it looks like a good adventure.

Saddened by the reimagining of the two demons, now my minis won’t match their new look :(

Dark Archive

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

Holy heck I was unsure of this one but the first pic onwards has me utterly sold (Please tell me Lini wears that outfit through the entire Ap?)


Cat-thulhu wrote:

I was sceptical but it looks like a good adventure.

Saddened by the reimagining of the two demons, now my minis won’t match their new look :(

???

Which two?

???

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Maybe the little flaming goat ones got turned into flaming sheep. Like, little floofballs of PURE FLAME AND FIGHT.


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

Got mine! Let's see what we have...

Okay, I wasn’t sure about this AP when it was announced, but if it keeps up with this dinosaur to demon ratio, it will be immensely enjoyable. Plus that circus article in the back matter is begging to get ported over to Eberron.

Good stuff!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Say NO! wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:

I was sceptical but it looks like a good adventure.

Saddened by the reimagining of the two demons, now my minis won’t match their new look :(

???

Which two?

???

Spoiler:

Abrikandilu and Vermlek. The latter isn’t a big change, I could see both edition’s art as different individuals of the same species (especially since they’re demons). The former is recognizable, but got a decent revamp. Much improved IMO.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
FallenDabus wrote:
Say NO! wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:

I was sceptical but it looks like a good adventure.

Saddened by the reimagining of the two demons, now my minis won’t match their new look :(

???

Which two?

???

** spoiler omitted **

Hmm...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, the agony of waiting is killing me! It's been 11 days since I got my order notice, and nothing! Can people who've already got the book at the very least spare me some tidbits about archetype(s)?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I've at least gotten the names of them from people, Juggler and Staff Acrobat.


15 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Still reading, but one thing that stood out for me is the addition of a treasure summary right under the chapter synopsis, listing all the permanent and consumable magic items available in each chapter.

Really nice touch there.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

Still reading, but one thing that stood out for me is the addition of a treasure summary right under the chapter synopsis, listing all the permanent and consumable magic items available in each chapter.

Really nice touch there.

That does sound very convenient for GMs. Hopefully this continues for future books as well.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Having read through the history of Aroden and the aeon orbs, I have to say:

Commentary on Aroden's actions:
Aroden was an arrogant d*ck.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Feros wrote:

Having read through the history of Aroden and the aeon orbs, I have to say:

** spoiler omitted **

Duh, he was known as the Last Azlanti after all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean if you didn't think that after what happened with Arazni and Xopatl...you really should now.

Kind of says something about him being the Paragon of Humanity, and their God.

Honestly, I'm glad Iomedae took his place.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

still waiting for this to ship. i might end up getting the pdf before it ships anyway because the anticipation is driving me mad.

Dark Archive

My budget situation means I'll get this on next month, but really feels bad in meanwhile :D I've been really looking forward to this one(well not as much as I'm currently looking forward to agents of edgewatch since that one I want to play in xD So having to wait whole year to get all parts out feels bad since campaigns I'm playing in currently are ending soon)

Contributor

11 people marked this as a favorite.

It's been pleasant surprises to see little things I wrote for PF1 being converted to PF2: some alternate race traits here, a weapon there. But if you had asked me to guess the first bigger thing I wrote to be converted, I would not have picked Juggler.


looks like a ton of fun so far and I love the idea of an interactive map pdf. One question though, why are the maps on the interactive pdf such low rez?


Humm, the monsters seem to be missing the Recall Knowledge DC?


domyalex wrote:
Humm, the monsters seem to be missing the Recall Knowledge DC?

What do you mean?


The text in page 86 seems to reference abilities that the monster in that page doesn't actually have

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
AlephOzone wrote:
The text in page 86 seems to reference abilities that the monster in that page doesn't actually have

I didn't write the monster, but I'm guessing the Berserk ability had similar elements to sentences 2, 3, and 5 of the Haywire ability, while Berserk Slam had elements of Haywire's sentence 4.


AlephOzone wrote:
The text in page 86 seems to reference abilities that the monster in that page doesn't actually have

Usually the monster's stat blocks list the Recall Knowledge DC to know info about them (ie: http://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=381 -> Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 16 ), but the monsters entries in the AP are missing this.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Just ran the first part last night. The circus mini game was absolutely the highlight of the session and the players loved it! I did have to adjust some of the numbers to make winning possible, but over all it worked quite well.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
domyalex wrote:
AlephOzone wrote:
The text in page 86 seems to reference abilities that the monster in that page doesn't actually have
Usually the monster's stat blocks list the Recall Knowledge DC to know info about them (ie: http://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=381 -> Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 16 ), but the monsters entries in the AP are missing this.

Ah.

No, that's automatically generated but no new information. It's just applying "creatures of the Animal type use Nature" and "level 2 means DC 16" (regular existing rules).

The Giant Viper entry in the Bestary also doesn't have this. Monster entries in the Age of Ashes AP doesn't have this.

So it isn't a mistake and it isn't an omission. Instead, it's a freebie courtesy of Archives of Nethys! (It isn't a negative, it's a positive! :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zapp wrote:
domyalex wrote:
AlephOzone wrote:
The text in page 86 seems to reference abilities that the monster in that page doesn't actually have
Usually the monster's stat blocks list the Recall Knowledge DC to know info about them (ie: http://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=381 -> Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 16 ), but the monsters entries in the AP are missing this.

Ah.

No, that's automatically generated but no new information. It's just applying "creatures of the Animal type use Nature" and "level 2 means DC 16" (regular existing rules).

The Giant Viper entry in the Bestary also doesn't have this. Monster entries in the Age of Ashes AP doesn't have this.

So it isn't a mistake and it isn't an omission. Instead, it's a freebie courtesy of Archives of Nethys! (It isn't a negative, it's a positive! :-)

Ah, got it! Thanks!

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