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

3.70/5 (based on 9 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

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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3.70/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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2/5


Very good idea, but hard to get going

3/5

I think the beginning is relatively difficult, what is required of the player characters at level 1 on the first evening... And in my opinion the motivation of the traveling circus is somehow disturbed, which is why they now want to help the city with its problems. I'd be more interested if the city wanted to blame the traveling circus for recent events and the circus wanted to clear their reputation.
Fortunately, my group was professional enough not to question the motivation.
Once you get into the topic, you feel more and more comfortable. While exploring the city is still questionably difficult in some situations for level 1 characters, you don't have to go through everything in one breath.
The dungeons in the second and third parts of the Adventure Path are solid, but now they don't throw the cart over so badly that you're completely thrilled. But the finale was okay and the reward makes you want more.
The first circus show was nice to do something different and has a great role-playing aspect to it. However, the rules at level 1 are quite frustrating. You're basically penalized for rolling a critical hit because that only makes it harder to achieve a perfect show, and it's very hard to catch up at level 1. However, I think that the rules become more tactically interesting as the player characters level up. The option of expanding his circus and recruiting more artists also sounds very exciting for the future. And walking in the footsteps of the dead god Aroden also sounds very tempting to me.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars, simply because the AP itself didn't have any notable wow moments, we had a hard time continuing to play at level 1 and the first circus show was great from the role-playing game, but frustrated by the rules . BUT, after much deliberation by the group, we continue anyway. Just to see how the circus develops (the circus element was the main reason for the decision to buy) and maybe the campaign will pick up speed now.
you play yourself in Escadar


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.


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Dark Archive

18 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally the players can make clowns of themselves! ;-)

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What is this placeholder art from? O_o Like, I recognize the Strange Aeons moss art, but not the character art


CorvusMask wrote:
I recognize the Strange Aeons moss art

That's actually the anima mundi from Rise of New Thassilon.

Dark Archive

HTD wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
I recognize the Strange Aeons moss art
That's actually the anima mundi from Rise of New Thassilon.

Yes, that is the joke, because anima mondi is basically scary moss :p I was trying to avoid specific spoilers

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I will be sorely disappointed if the killer is not a bard called Freddie Quicksilver! ;)


Starstone Isles, in the plural?

It sounds like something dire happened to the isle of Kortos (... it probably has something to do with the end of Tyrant's Grasp, now that I think of it).


Isn't there another island by Kortos? Maybe they're referring to both.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Isn't there another island by Kortos? Maybe they're referring to both.

Correct! The Isle of Erran.

Collectively, the Isles of Kortos & Erran are the Starstone Isles.

That said, I don't know how the final part of the Tyrant's Grasp AP ends, so... who knows? Maybe the number of isles gets expanded in P2...?
<shrug>

Carry on,

--C.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

IN any case, first in Council of Thieves, PCs got to be actors. Now they get to run a circus. Maybe next edition, they'll get to run an entire brothel! ;)

Developer

28 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
IN any case, first in Council of Thieves, PCs got to be actors. Now they get to run a circus. Maybe next edition, they'll get to run an entire brothel! ;)

*furiously scribbles notes for the next AP*


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
IN any case, first in Council of Thieves, PCs got to be actors. Now they get to run a circus. Maybe next edition, they'll get to run an entire brothel! ;)

No, no...dance hall!

;)


Feros,

Why not both?

*also glad that Ron is taking my notes seriously*

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
IN any case, first in Council of Thieves, PCs got to be actors. Now they get to run a circus. Maybe next edition, they'll get to run an entire brothel! ;)
*furiously scribbles notes for the next AP*

Woohoo!

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Feros wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
IN any case, first in Council of Thieves, PCs got to be actors. Now they get to run a circus. Maybe next edition, they'll get to run an entire brothel! ;)

No, no...dance hall!

;)

*STAB*

Liberty's Edge

This sounds far more entertaining than the Hells Knight AP coming out :) Pity it comes after the story for the first part sounds most amusing

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Talley 759 wrote:
This sounds far more entertaining than the Hells Knight AP coming out :) Pity it comes after the story for the first part sounds most amusing

Age of Ashes isn’t a Hellknight AP, the first adventure just takes place in one of their citadels.


Yeah Ages of Ages has about much Hellknights stuff as Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Also still think Dance Hall/Brothel works.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A traveling circuse ap..... Im sold


6 people marked this as a favorite.

This... concept doesn't really work for me. Hrm. I'll have to see if I want to get this one.


Marco Massoudi wrote:
Finally the players can make clowns of themselves! ;-)

I actually got my players reading through the play in "six trials...", anybody else?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You guys have got to get Logue and Pett on this one. They did some of the original horror circuses and theaters in Golarion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope you stick with the circues the entire ap


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder who the villan is going to be in this


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Anybody want to do this with an all-Bard party?

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Actually, I'd want to be a barbarian and lift many things. Or that act where you spit alcohol over a torch. Maybe I'd claim I came from Sarusan and had to throw dinosaurs at other dinosaurs to survive!


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Anybody want to do this with an all-Bard party?

. I think that bard is one of those classes that could do it and not be left wanting. An all fighter party for example would be hard as would most classes... Of course I am thinking in 1st edition terms.


Elrond halfelven wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Anybody want to do this with an all-Bard party?

. I think that bard is one of those classes that could do it and not be left wanting. An all fighter party for example would be hard as would most classes... Of course I am thinking in 1st edition terms.

You can do all Fighters just fine. One can Multiclass as a Cleric, one Multiclass as Wizard, one MC as Rogue and one all fighter. There, perfectly viable all Fighter party

only half in jest

Dark Archive

This 2nd AP explores the Starstone Islands, the 3rd one "Agents of Edgewatch" let's the Players be members of the citywatch of Absolom!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Finally the players can make clowns of themselves! ;-)

Too late, the writers of Tyrants Grasp already made clowns of the players.

Anyway the AP.
The oddest thing about this AP is I find myself not at all gripped by the spoilers for the three books advertised so far. Normally something jumps out and I think
"yay that will be cool"
even if later it turns out to be not what I was hoping.

I'm going to let you guys get this one when it comes out and I'll be interested to see what you make of it before I get it myself.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
NotBothered wrote:


The oddest thing about this AP is I find myself not at all gripped by the spoilers for the three books advertised so far.

On the flip side, my players have insisted that I not run Age of Ashes, so that they can jump into the AP where they get to run a circus as soon as it is released.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Saleem Halabi wrote:


On the flip side, my players have insisted that I not run Age of Ashes, so that they can jump into the AP where they get to run a circus as soon as it is released.

Interesting, you'll have to let me know how it goes and whether it lives up to their expectations.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm super excited for this AP.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have pre-ordered the "Age of Ashes" AP, but i am going to wait for the updated description with this one, whereas i am going to order "Agents of Edgewatch" asap.
Traveling the backwater settlements of the Starstone Isles excited me not at all, neither does being Circus performers beyond one adventure, sorry.


Any idea when the players guide pdf's usually drop?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Usually around the street date, but more often than not after street date.

So, in this case, in late January 2020 - probably...

...

...You're a little early for this AP, aren't you?

I guess I can understand your enthusiasm for it, so...

Carry on.

--C.


This looks very interesting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This looks very interesting.

I had my players do the play in Council of Thieves, I think Paizo should make this a musical, with karaoke backing tracks included in the PDF, and sheete music available.....


When will the player's guide be available? december? please?

Dark Archive

Aleix Duarri wrote:
When will the player's guide be available? december? please?

Highly unlikely, the players guide drops very close to the release date and that is january 29th.


My group is very excited for this! We're going to be running Age of Ashes for a bit to learn the system, but we'll be hopping over to this as soon as it's available.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Full size final cover looks neat! I wonder what the owl-like talisman on that staff is supposed to be.

Silver Crusade

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay, I ADORE the title text.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That is one mean looking halfling druid...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Okay, I ADORE the title text.

Agreed. The title text/logo can be a little perfunctory and forgettable, but this one is great, tells a lot about the adventure and is incredibly eye-catching. The graphic designs/art team really outdid themselves on this.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Will Huston wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Okay, I ADORE the title text.
Agreed. The title text/logo can be a little perfunctory and forgettable, but this one is great, tells a lot about the adventure and is incredibly eye-catching. The graphic designs/art team really outdid themselves on this.

I agree on all your points. That title logo and the cover illustration are fantastic, making this probably (IMO) the best AP cover ever! :)

Silver Crusade

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

I'm loving everything about this AP so far, both the premise, the individual adventures and the trade dress are all awesome.

Liberty's Edge

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

This is looking to be one of the most fun APs in a long time!! The question is...

Will it give us a clown archetype? ;)

Silver Crusade

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

More importantly, will it include NPCs speaking the lines:

"When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Witzmacher?"
"Have you ever danced with a dergoloth in pale moonlight?"
"How about a magic trick? I'll make this glaive ... disappear *TAADAA*"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully they don't forget to offer a continuous stream of new recruits - more and more exotic circus performer NPCs for the PCs to interact with as the whole circus levels up :)


And a possibly stupid question:

I was asked if Extinction Curse required four players.

I didn't believe it, but I came here to find out the range of players recommended. I could not find anything.

Now, I'd assume this AP is just as easy (or hard) to run for five players as any other AP. Please tell me that's the case.

Thx

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