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

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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

Download the Circus Show Sheet!

The Extinction Curse Adventure Path is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (972 kb PDF).

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.

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Good Starting Adventure-- Once You Get Past the First Part

4/5

This is a good low-level module for PF2e. It's quite self-contained, as you're a circus troupe that is investigating a murder, and finds more than they bargained for. The stories are good, the setting is pretty fun, and it ramps up in a believable way to the climax.

I do have a couple of quibbles. The first is that it's pretty generic sometimes. It's a fun module, but there's a certain "coolness" factor that it's missing that some other modules have.

Second, yikes, some of those level 1 encounters. The first part can be extremely difficult, so GMs, don't be afraid to pull some punches.

Outside of that, this is a fun-- but kind of generic-- start to a fun-- but kind of generic-- AP.


A good start if a bit disjointed

4/5

Part 1 has an interesting premise but chapter 4 is very combat heavy and the circus theme is barely there after chapter 2.
Make sure to communicate that to players because this is absolutely *not* a circus themed AP in the long run.


Good

4/5

I running this for two different groups who now at chapter 3, so decided to say something about this book.

Things look good for me:
- lot of circus npc characters, this is best opportunity for roleplay
- good maps
- good begining of story, wich drives PC into action from the first minute

Things is bad for me:
- loose moments in story (PC who want to play more circus forced into a story of xulgath war, but this is likely problem of whole AP and GMs need to work with this part of the story)
- no gazzetier for Abberton

For the whole this book have lot of good things and very tough battles, but to me it looks like a lengthy prologue to next adventures. Some npc artists i think can have some articles about them (such as about members of sideshow), and there can be more info of Abberton. Also Main villian of this book must be Balenni she is really more ineteresting that those who have individual articles about them.


Very, very good

5/5

This adventure flows really well and has lots of fun encounters and the art is amazing.

Chapter 1 starts with a murder mystery that is very different from Plaguestone: you are trying to find the guy that killed your boss by following leads and running into traps on the circus grounds. Depending on how fast they find her, she might ambush them from behind. The circus backstory is well done and bringing up the weird competition of their previous circus is the cherry on top.

Chapter 2 is very well done and the short encounters are fun albeit not very tactical. The demons are super weird and fun to run and I love the bar encounter.

Chapter 3 involves diving into a bigger dungeon that requires you to basically clear it out. Unless a PC took Gozreh as their deity, then they can use a short cut. The final fight is fantastic from a tactical perspective and there are lots of fights that can be moved into a different direction. You can even get a special animal companion.

The maps lack a bit of tactical depth but the last dungeon makes up for all of that. Many chances to climb and really cool extreme weather changes shake up the crawl. The succubus encounter suggest a few very funny ways to run it.

The circus rules are crunchy but I did not spot any obvious issues.

TL;DR: Really good first book 1, even better than AoA and Agents of Edgewatch. Can't find anything to really criticize.


A fun and flavorful start to a circus-themed AP

5/5

The Good:
-A nice tie into various circus-related themes.
-An interesting mystery/intrigue set-up to the module.
-It does a nice job of sowing crumbs about what the AP's endgame will be from the start, making sure the players will get plenty of foreshadowing.
-Some fun, and appropriately grotesque encounters (I'm looking at you, Vermlek Demons!).
-Several climactic encounters that look challenging, but not excruciatingly-difficult; a better balance than in most of the other early-level material Paizo's put out.
-Some really amazing beastiary creatures. The Bone Croupier, the Mechanical Carny, and of course the Vermlek Demons; all just great additions, dripping with flavor.

The Bad:
-It would have been nice to have some descriptions of the other members of the Circus of Wayward Wonders, especially since this kind of flavor is the kind of thing the Paizo writing team excels at.
-A few features of the Circus rules seem a little funny (e.g., the cost of high tier advertising, the lack of incentive for using different skill checks), but any wrinkles here seem easy enough to tweak with a house rule or two.
-The first level of encounters is intended to be worked through in a single night, which might be a tall order for parties who get unlucky in some of the early encounters.

The Pretty:
-The maps are beautiful. The map of the Hermitage of the Blessed Lightning in particular is a pleasure to look at.
-The art in general is really good. Both the stylistic touches of the page layout, and the pieces of art themselves, are really nice.

Overall: 4.5/5 stars (rounded up).


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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.


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 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.

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 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.

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, PF Special Edition 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, Lost Omens, Rulebook 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 Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

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. :)


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


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 Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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, Lost Omens 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!


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

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.

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.

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 Starfinder 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 Starfinder 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

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, Lost Omens, Rulebook 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)?


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

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.

Horizon Hunters

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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