Pathfinder Adventure Path #157: Devil at the Dreaming Palace (Agents of Edgewatch 1 of 6)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #157: Devil at the Dreaming Palace (Agents of Edgewatch 1 of 6)
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Get ready to shine your badge and report for duty—the Agents of Edgewatch Adventure Path begins! In this thrilling new Pathfinder campaign, players assume the role of fresh recruits of the Edgewatch, the newest division of Absalom's city watch. Tasked with fighting crime during this year's Radiant Festival—a grand centennial gathering of exhibitors and wonders from around the world that this year celebrates the grand reopening of Absalom's treacherous Precipice Quarter, long a ruined haven of monsters and criminals. Soon after taking on the new beat, the detectives learn that the fair has attracted not only cutpurses and vandals, but also poisoners, ransomers, and even a sadistic serial murderer, and it's up to the Agents of Edgewatch to crack the case and bring these villains to justice!

“Devil at the Dreaming Palace,” by fan-favorite author James L. Sutter, is a Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters. The adventure kicks off the Agents of Edgewatch Adventure Path, in which the heroes join the city watch to solve a series of crimes across Absalom, the City of Lost Omens, before the crooks can pull off the ultimate heist! This volume also includes an in-depth gazetteer of Absalom's Radiant Festival, thematically appropriate new monsters, and new rules designed to support the Agents of Edgewatch campaign!

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-13: 978-1-64078-253-2

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

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

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5/5


Gross murder porn stuff

1/5

I wrote a long review and the website strangely didn't save it.

Murder porn, police brutality, zombie babies, sex club. 0 warnings on the cover.

0 stars.


Not Perfect - But Definitely Promising!

4/5

I’ll start off by noting that I have not yet ran or played this campaign, but at the time of writing, I have bought all 6 books of the AP and intend to GM it for a group of my regular RP buddies very soon.

Keeping that in mind, I actually thought the first book in this AP was a pretty strong start. I had a few issues with it at the beginning, but otherwise, I was very happy with it. Also, this is the perspective of another white guy, but I thought that the themes of law enforcement are fine for the most part. Cop dramas are pretty popular on TV, and I kind of see Agents of Edgewatch as Paizo’s attempt to create a cop drama in roleplay form. Though, as another reviewer commented, I do not like the mercenary aspect of the Edgewatch Precinct either. I would’ve much rather seen the Precinct pay the players for their service – instead of forcing the players to get paid off by citizens and “confiscated” items. I intend to change this in my own home game, and run it much more like Pathfinder Society – where the players are expected to hand in everything they acquire during missions, and get a general salary for their work. If a player likes a particular piece of treasure, they can pay for it with their wages, and file the proper paperwork to get the original themselves, or pay for the precinct to get an exact copy made for them instead.

Now then, spoilers follow…

So, as far as my issues with the beginning go – I really was hoping that for an AP that’s basically trying to be a cop drama, they would do more at the beginning to set the stage for a cop drama. The campaign could’ve started with something unique, like the players taking the role of rookies having just signed up for the officer’s academy – and let them get to know each other in the first act while they went through basic training and their graduations.

Instead of something like that, Paizo threw us directly into the precinct and the party’s first assignment with absolutely no fanfare at all. Paizo didn’t even think it necessary to play out the opening ceremonies of the Radiant Festival – which is something that I’m definitely adding to my own home game.

Keeping all that in mind, I was still very happy with this AP book overall. The party goes to a number of unique locations like a zoo and a kind of Saw-like murder hotel – and though I’m not normally a fan of dungeon-delves (and I personally think Paizo relies too heavily on them in the first place), the unique nature of the dungeons in this book made me feel more excited for the experience. There’s also a great-looking roleplay segment where the party gets to meet a rogue’s gallery of villainous characters (who, unfortunately, in most circumstances never show up again – unless you write them back into the game yourself).

The two main villains of the book are pretty great too, and I have a feeling that a certain clown-prince of crime might have inspired the lead antagonist. Speaking of that lead antagonist, I’m intending to have him be a reoccurring character in my home game – and possibly even have him replace the ultimate villain of book 6 – because when it was all said and done, I actually liked him a LOT more than the campaign’s actual final villain.

As far as the first books other content, I did appreciate a map and description of the fairgrounds, and I intend to use it religiously during the opening acts of the campaign. The gear in the armory is also kind of cool – and I’m especially a fan of the telescoping nightsticks.

Overall – while this book did have its flaws, I was very happy with the installment.


A Masterclass in Foreshadowing

5/5

I'll spend little time discussing the themes of law enforcement in this book; others have done so better than I as a white person could ever do. Keep those reviews in mind before anything else: what I want to focus on is the excellent use of foreshadowing throughout the book. Spoilers ahead!

From the very start, payoffs are set up that won't come back until much, much later in the AP. Here's a mysterious zoo attack; the perpetrator will come back later. Here's an NPC that'll show up in the final book and help! Here's more who you'll meet later; some obviously antagonistic, some seemingly innocent. Setup for future books which could have completely been omitted as in many other AP volumes makes this a book with a narrative that'll weave in on itself throughout the adventure path. I can't wait for the glint of recognition in my players eyes followed by shock and surprise later on when mystery elements foreshadowed as early as the FIRST ENCOUNTER come back months later. And the fact that the book tells the GM that this will be important later lets them hype and build the scene with the due respect good foreshadowing needs without even having read the next books yet.

Whatever your take on the themes of Edgewatch, Paizo take note: this is how you set yourself apart from other APs!


A wonderful thriller marred by grotesque bits

2/5

Spoilers, in case you were wondering.

I will start this off by saying Sutter has given us an excellent adventure, with the buildup to the main villain and the affect he has had on almost every other NPC in some way, directly or not, being absolutely delicious for both players and GMs alike as all the pieces start to fall in to place.

The Menagerie riot is an interesting step in that while it may give many players red herrings for the time being its a nice little set piece that ties into later parts, more so if the players are able to actually pick up on it.

Midway through when the party has to infiltrate a villain bar and schmooze numerous characters (setting up the rogues gallery for this AP methinks) through various unique challenges and games is an utter delight as well.

That said, this AP does have some pitfalls so I would not in good conscience or taste run/play it as is.

There’s a small bit at the beginning where it says the PCs aren’t cops but mercenaries hired by the force, oof, to save on money and the like. That’s... not good, but it doesn’t seem to be addressed in the adventure proper and the PCs are indeed treated as rookie cops rather than outside assistance with less liability so that was probably left in from an earlier draft, hopefully.

Then there’s the loot. I wish more thought and different actions were taken in order to make sure PCs could stay equipped throughout the adventure but anytime people are dealt with, either criminals or victims, civil forfeiture and bribes/“thank yous” enter the picture and just leave an obscenely sour taste in my mouth. This whole component needs to be rewritten I would suggest.

Then we get to the second act, a workers revolt. Leading/Reading up to it you think there’ll be an intense hostage situation to try diplomacy at (and there is, to a point) when dealing with the workers who have been treated poorly, but sadly and horribly the workers revolting, Kobolds, wanting to set up a union for better rights and pay and chanting slogans they don’t understand but parrot (explicitly said so) immediate devolve into a massacre before the PCs even enter the picture, and the hostage situation itself for those that survived can go even worse very quickly and easily. This is compounded by the fact that the architect admits she was underpaying the Kobolds after, but the book tries to frame her a victim and as someone you should like, even pointing out she’ll be important later on in the AP. So Architect treating workers like crap good, protesters and unionizers deranged and homicidal, gotcha.

(Wip)


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joana wrote:
Noah Cadwell wrote:

Probably a dumb question, but is this for 1E or 2E Pathfinder

All Adventure Path volumes numbered #145 and up are for Second Edition Pathfinder.

It is also safe to assume that any and all upcoming Pathfinder products from Paizo are for Pathfinder Second Edition.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

... well, except for AP-Collection like the Kingmaker Remake (which will be available for PF, PF2 and DnD5E IIRC),
or Pocket Editions for 1E Supplements or Rulebooks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Kingmaker remake is 2E only with a 5E Bestiary.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Grankless wrote:
The Kingmaker remake is 2E only with a 5E Bestiary.

I'm pretty sure it has 1e conversion rules too. But you're right, it's being built for 2e.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Darn, it's been a while since I looked at that.
Yes, the Kingmaker AP Hardcover will be PF2 strictly.
But yes, there will be a Bestiary for DnD5E and a Bestiary for Pathfinder (Legacy / Classic / 1E...)

Back to AoE 1/6: Man do I hope to be on the front of the shipping queue.


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

Player's Guide is out!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Player's Guide is out!

Awesome! Looking forward to it.

Sovereign Court

gagsmith wrote:
Any update on the players guide release date?

The Webstore says it is ready to ship! Well, the first book anyway.


Dang, no one got an early PDF yet, really want to see how this AP unfolds a bit before I commit to running it in the near future.

For me how different is it compared to the other AP's,. Then as this is the first AP with all the core rules at least is it well put together and any mini games?

How are the maps?

Thanks

Tom

Dark Archive

Anyone got there subscriber PDF yet?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Anyone got there subscriber PDF yet?

I've got it, thought I haven't had much of a chance to read it yet! Happy to answer questions, though.

TRDG wrote:

Dang, no one got an early PDF yet, really want to see how this AP unfolds a bit before I commit to running it in the near future.

For me how different is it compared to the other AP's,. Then as this is the first AP with all the core rules at least is it well put together and any mini games?

How are the maps?

Thanks

Tom

The maps (both the city map and the smaller maps) are beautiful -- really nicely done.

No new mini-games that I can see.

As for comparing this AP to other ones: This AP seems to have a lot more opportunities for RPing/using social skills to resolve encounters than the previous APs. This AP also seems to have a lot more of a detective/puzzle-solving angle to it than the previous APs. So if this is the kind of thing your players like, then this AP may be of interest to you.


What are the new monsters in this one?


Cool, thanks Porridge, most of my groups would like that change compared to AoA and EC. Bummer about no mini game so far as those are usually a big hit for my players, something like get X number of investigation points and you get specifc hints or uncover facts . Certain sidequests give a number of these points that unlock XYZ, but still 5 more modules to go!!

And once you have a chance to read is there a lot of cool and meaty NPC's in there as well?

Thanks again kind sir

Tom


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Valantrix1 wrote:
What are the new monsters in this one?

There are four new monsters:

  • Binumir (3): A banshee-like creature formed by a pair of individuals who bear a strong bond to each other.
  • Cobbleswarm (2): A swarm of cobble mites, little (usually harmless) pebble-like creatures who are sometimes inadvertently used in the constructions of roads or buildings.
  • Siege Shard (3): Constructs with a poltergeist-like feel to them, formed by the strong emotions of fear, confinement, and desperation that can occur during sieges and other violent conflicts.
  • Zrukbat (2): Secretive bat-like fey who can shapechange into various common objects, though their lack of common sense often makes often makes them do a poor job.

    TRDG wrote:

    Cool, thanks Porridge, most of my groups would like that change compared to AoA and EC. Bummer about no mini game so far as those are usually a big hit for my players, something like get X number of investigation points and you get specifc hints or uncover facts . Certain sidequests give a number of these points that unlock XYZ, but still 5 more modules to go!!

    And once you have a chance to read is there a lot of cool and meaty NPC's in there as well?

    Thanks again kind sir

    Tom

    The toolbox has a two page spread for three key NPCs in the adventure. Spoilers below, so *don't* read if you're intending to play this AP!

    Key NPCs:
    Grospek Lavarsus (7): The PC's city guard commander, and a classic "mean boss".
    Hendrid Pratchett (6): A clever, charming serial killer, and the main antagonist of the adventure.
    Ralso (4): An ex-con from a hard background, consumed by the tragic death of her sister, and a tragic antagonist of the PCs.

    But the book has short cameos from a *lot* of other interesting/entertaining NPCs for the party to interact with -- many more than one usually finds in Paizo APs.


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

    Spoiler:
    Ahh, there's another Vancaskerkin here. What is it with this family. LOL!


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Hm, at first glance this reads much more linear in terms of storytelling than, say, the first module of Hell's Rebels. Also quite a bit more dungeon-based (or "large building" based) than I would have expected for this kind of topic.

    And, of course, the theme of "PC's as city watch guardmen" is handled, as far I can see from a quick look-through, thoroughly respectfully, as one would expect from Paizo.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

    Anyone happen to know when this is supposed to be released on Fantasy Grounds? I see Roll20 has promised to release it on July 30th but curious about Fantasy Grounds (as I generally prefer it for home games).


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Ohhh I want to play this one sooooo bad, must resist reading the book


    Can anyone share which Bestiary 1 and 2 creatures are in book 1?


    Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    GM Facepalm wrote:
    Can anyone share which Bestiary 1 and 2 creatures are in book 1?

    Here you go:

    Spoiler:
    goblin warrior

    skeleton guard
    cockatrice
    owlbear
    rust monster
    hyena
    giant viper
    flash beetle
    ankhrav
    kobold scout
    bloodseeker
    hunting spider
    kobold warrior
    kobold dragon mage
    gelatinous cube
    ghoul
    caligni creeper
    mimic
    redcap
    soulbound doll
    attic whisperer
    animated statue
    ochre jelly
    wight


    Thank you!

    Dark Archive

    I'll guess I'll buy the first part even though I'm not planning to read this since I want to play this ap... Might not buy the parts after this mostly to avoid temptation of spoilers. Actually I'll consider it further because I can't currently buy Legends book...

    Dark Archive

    Hnggghhh.... I really want to buy this but I really want to play this too.... I'll guess I'll delay buying it for now at least :'D


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I have to say, I'm enjoying the Victorian flavor and art.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I have to say I find the name of the main villain... unfortunate, especially in combination with the City Watch theme.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    JamieTH wrote:
    I have to say I find the name of the main villain... unfortunate, especially in combination with the City Watch theme.

    I found that approximately 0% coincidental.


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

    "A man is not dead while his name is still spoken."

    Exo-Guardians

    Should probably add a mature content warning on this adventure. When they say "sadistic serial murderer" they mean "makes Curse of Strand look like Candyland".

    Spoiler:
    I was a little surprised at the sheer amount of detailed horror and depravity in one chapter, and while there's a sidebar addressing it, I was really expecting cheeky and amusing buddy cop hijinks mimicking the Watch novels rather than twisted gore horror.

    (Which to be fair it was... Until it wasn't.)

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Asethskyr wrote:

    Should probably add a mature content warning on this adventure. When they say "sadistic serial murderer" they mean "makes Curse of Strand look like Candyland".

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Yeah, the last chapter is such a massive tonal shift, content warnings are well required.

    I would probably make massive changes to that final chapter,

    Spoiler:
    because I would want a little less Saw, and a little more Scooby Doo
    .

    Grand Lodge

    9 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

    Good to know the people worried about Paizo "toning it down" had unfounded fears.


    Guess I gotta read that last part, but, nope, not now. Prepping for this evening, in the best part of Curse of the Crimson Throne where the FUN beguns. Y'know, if you consider module two of the AP as fun. ^^


    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Asethskyr wrote:

    Should probably add a mature content warning on this adventure. When they say "sadistic serial murderer" they mean "makes Curse of Strand look like Candyland".

    ** spoiler omitted **

    So I guess you didn't pay attention to the table of contents page?


    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Sporkedup wrote:
    JamieTH wrote:
    I have to say I find the name of the main villain... unfortunate, especially in combination with the City Watch theme.
    I found that approximately 0% coincidental.

    How so?


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Zaister wrote:
    Sporkedup wrote:
    JamieTH wrote:
    I have to say I find the name of the main villain... unfortunate, especially in combination with the City Watch theme.
    I found that approximately 0% coincidental.
    How so?

    That they found a way to name-drop

    Spoiler:
    Terry Pratchett
    ? Just seems like an homage, despite what the character actually is like in the AP.
    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Spoiler:
    A bunch of his Discworld novels concern the City watch, he even has one named Guards! Guards!.


    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Rysky wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **

    Ah ok, that makes sense, then. I never read more than his first two books many, many years ago and decided that that's not really a kind of fantasy I like.

    Exo-Guardians

    Zaister wrote:
    Asethskyr wrote:

    Should probably add a mature content warning on this adventure. When they say "sadistic serial murderer" they mean "makes Curse of Strand look like Candyland".

    ** spoiler omitted **

    So I guess you didn't pay attention to the table of contents page?

    The table of contents page warning isn't here on the store page, is it? It should be noted before purchase.

    Spoiler:
    The adventure goes well into X-Card territory in Chapter 4, much moreso than any other adventure they've published that I know of. Like the other person said, it's more Saw than Scooby Doo with the graphic descriptions of sadism.

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    It's at the beginning of the free Player's Guide.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I mean, book 1 pretty much exactly pits them against

    Spoiler:
    H. H. Holmes, right?

    Exo-Guardians

    Rysky wrote:
    It's at the beginning of the free Player's Guide.

    That's great, but it should still be mentioned in this store page.

    Spoiler:
    "even a sadistic serial murderer" doesn't suggest that there's going to be around 20 pages of detailed depravity. The first three chapters aren't anything like the fourth.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Finally got around to finish reading it through.

    First thought, in regards to this discussion at hand, this is not Saw levels much at all. It's intense, more Penny Dreadful than Supernatural, but almost all of it is very easily glossed over or rewritten as needed (and the AP itself offers a sidebar on exactly which points need some attention).

    But more importantly, this book absolutely rocks. The writing is great, the variety of encounters is terrific, and it feels absolutely connected to future events! That's my favorite bit. The last two first-books in APs seemed to be removable by design, but this one absolutely is dialed in from minute one. I really appreciate that.

    Between the heavily lawful elements of the campaign and the grotesque horror that apparently will be a part of it as well... I will have to work at what table I put together. But a good table for this literally feels like a whole level higher than Extinction Curse or Age of Ashes.

    If this quality keeps up, I see a future classic just started.

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