Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlight (Abomination Vaults 1 of 3)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlight (Abomination Vaults 1 of 3)

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Enter the megadungeon! When the mysterious Gauntlight, an eerie landlocked lighthouse, glows with baleful light, the people of Otari know something terrible is beginning. The town's newest heroes must venture into the ruins around the lighthouse—and delve the dungeon levels far beneath it—to discover the evil the Gauntlight heralds. Hideous monsters, deadly traps, and mysterious ghosts all await the heroes who dare to enter the sprawling megadungeon called the Abomination Vaults!

"Ruins of Gauntlight" is a Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Abomination Vaults Adventure Path, a three-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes explore a sprawling megadungeon to stop an ancient evil from renewing her monstrous vengeance. This adventure also includes an extensive gazetteer of the town of Otari, the heroes' home base, as well as new monsters, new rules, and new artifacts—including the dread Gauntlight itself!

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: 978-1-64078-301-0

The Abomination Vaults 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 (983 kb PDF).

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds 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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Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlig

5/5

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlight
System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed
Producer- Paizo
Price- $24.00 here https://paizo.com/products/btq023hs
TL; DR- 92%

Basics- Strange lights in the mist! The old lighthouse calls! The local crazy calls forth a group of adventurers to see what horrors her harrow cards have foretold! A dungeon crawl for characters level one to four.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is a straight up dungeon crawl. There is a dungeon lighthouse in a marsh. You are told to check it out. Overall, its slick quick rooms with lots of fights. There are some things I think are a bit rough like some things are listed with different names, so that made the experience a bit harder to dig through as a GM. However, the players have solid fights with fun things to discover. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- This is a dungeon crawl. There is a town and it gets a full write-up in both the player guide and the first adventure, but honestly, it's background. The adventure literally just starts you at the foot of the dungeon. I would like a bit more lead up for my players. Otherwise, this megadungeon ends up like the random generated dungeons where I just mindlessly kill orks on my phone. The dungeon is nice and atmospheric, so the story beyond the start is built on show don’t tell. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Kind of. The writing is good, the layout is nice, and the flow is quick. The book has bookmarks in the PDF, but it doesn't have clickable links in the parts. That would help as this is over 60 pages and hopping around is a pain. What I absolutely LOVE is the maps. There is a separate map file given with the PDF. That map lets you add and remove things like secret doors and the grid. That makes life SO much easier to run and align online or digitally. Paizo knows how to make a solid book. 4.75/5

Summary- Been looking forward to this one for a bit. Some hack and slash is fun, and having some Pathfinder hack and slash is a blast. Now, the one thing I think I would like different is a bit more story to the carnage. Some lead in as my players need to know why they are killing things. The crunch is good, but a few things are just slightly off enough to annoy the GM. Players won’t notice. The book itself is solid and something I loved to read. This adventure is a solid start to a good old fashioned kick in the door and kill the bad guy campaign. 92%


A Perfectly Executed Dungeon-Crawl

5/5

Dungeon-crawls aren’t really my thing. But this is the best dungeon-crawl style adventure I’ve seen.

It has an overarching plot driving the exploration, giving the adventurers a sense of purpose and urgency. It’s filled with sub-quests tied to the different factions in dungeon and to the people in the nearby town (which is fleshed out in the backmatter). It presents a number of entertaining NPCs and role-playing possibilities for the players to take advantage of. (Make sure the party has someone who can speak Undercommon and Aklo!) And it weaves in some mystery-solving, with a scattering of clues about the dungeon’s history (and about the main plot) well-distributed throughout.

It does a nice job of explicitly presenting the dungeon in a dynamic way, describing some of the likely movements of various occupants of the dungeon over time. It introduces “Environmental Cues” to the sidebar descriptions of each level, providing some nice aesthetic guidance for the GM to elaborate on. And unlike the early PF2 APs, it’s pitched at a more reasonable difficulty level.

But the most impressive feature of this dungeon is how organic and well put-together it is. Each room has a history, a reason for why it’s there. The occupants of each room make sense, and tie into the history, and the other occupants of the dungeon, in natural and organic ways. The levels are nicely integrated with each other. It all just makes sense.

I tend to dislike dungeon-crawl-style adventures because they often seem to consist of a bunch of random rooms, filled with random monsters; and if you’re lucky, the monsters on a level might be thematically related to each other, although the levels themselves rarely are. This adventure is the exact opposite of that. And even though dungeon-crawls aren’t my thing, it’s hard to deny that this one is a masterpiece.


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Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Feros wrote:
Joey Virtue wrote:
When did APs move to 3 adventures? I knew they had done it in Starfinder had not heard for Pathfinder.

This is an experiment, with this AP covering levels 1-10 and the next AP covering levels 11-20.

They will resume their normal 6 part 1-20 nature with the AP after that.

Yes, and we are very much interested in seeing how people respond to these shorter Adventure Paths.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Feros wrote:
Joey Virtue wrote:
When did APs move to 3 adventures? I knew they had done it in Starfinder had not heard for Pathfinder.

This is an experiment, with this AP covering levels 1-10 and the next AP covering levels 11-20.

They will resume their normal 6 part 1-20 nature with the AP after that.

Yes, and we are very much interested in seeing how people respond to these shorter Adventure Paths.

I like the long ones, but a few short ones here and there will be welcome at my table. Especially when you have new people that are afraid to commit until they decide if they like the system.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have never had a campaign last that long. My longest campaign was 1-8, so a shorter APs are very welcome in my case.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I definitely like having shorter ones. For me, the perfect scenario would be two long two short two long two short etc. as a pattern going forward.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think it would be a good idea to make a short AP go from Level 3-13. Maybe to use after something like the Beginer Box or Troubles in Otari. I just finished the Beginer Box adventure and I am going to run Trouble in Otari but once this AP comes out I am planning on running it but I will have to modify it slightly since the PC's will not be starting at level 1.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
trevor hayden wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to make a short AP go from Level 3-13. Maybe to use after something like the Beginer Box or Troubles in Otari. I just finished the Beginer Box adventure and I am going to run Trouble in Otari but once this AP comes out I am planning on running it but I will have to modify it slightly since the PC's will not be starting at level 1.

Honestly I would just run it as is and adjust the XP. MAYBE add an extra couple of encounters, but probably not. 1st levels of APs are deadly anyways, the extra levels would soften that blow considerably and let you plow through many combats in a row. Especially if your group is PF2 beginners, that cushion could be useful as they learn better tactics.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Me and my players are fiending for the player's guide, haha! I am checking daily to see if it dropped. I guess it will either be tomorrow or the day after?

Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
trevor hayden wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to make a short AP go from Level 3-13. Maybe to use after something like the Beginer Box or Troubles in Otari. I just finished the Beginer Box adventure and I am going to run Trouble in Otari but once this AP comes out I am planning on running it but I will have to modify it slightly since the PC's will not be starting at level 1.

We considered this, but it puts a big roadblock in front of anyone trying to play this Adventure Path: "first, you must go buy and play this other thing." That doesn't seem like a great selling point generally, and it's especially unhelpful for people who might be looking at this as their first Adventure Path ever: it puts extra work in their way.

As noted above, you can roll your Beginner Box characters right into this adventure. They might find the first level's encounters a little bit easy, but the difficulty will ramp up for them in no time!

Verdant Wheel

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Players Guide today?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
kayman wrote:
Players Guide today?

The PDF exists, the blog is written, now we need a product page to make it go live.

Verdant Wheel

Aaron Shanks wrote:
kayman wrote:
Players Guide today?
The PDF exists, the blog is written, now we need a product page to make it go live.

Tomorrow?

Sorry for being such an annoying person....kkkk

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How come the map of area A & D didn't make it into the interactive map pdf? They are on the inside covers and got missed. Also would like the Otari city map to be added as well, if you could update the file?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Grumpus wrote:
How come the map of area A & D didn't make it into the interactive map pdf? They are on the inside covers and got missed. Also would like the Otari city map to be added as well, if you could update the file?

Seconding this! I opened the maps first to see the layout of a four-level dungeon, but only two levels are there!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sporkedup wrote:
Grumpus wrote:
How come the map of area A & D didn't make it into the interactive map pdf? They are on the inside covers and got missed. Also would like the Otari city map to be added as well, if you could update the file?
Seconding this! I opened the maps first to see the layout of a four-level dungeon, but only two levels are there!

I have referred this issue to the Webstore Team and am working with the Store Manager to get the Player's Guide live. Thanks

Verdant Wheel

YES!!!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Abomination Vaults Player's Guide product page is live and the blog will post tomorrow. :)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Grumpus wrote:
How come the map of area A & D didn't make it into the interactive map pdf? They are on the inside covers and got missed. Also would like the Otari city map to be added as well, if you could update the file?
Seconding this! I opened the maps first to see the layout of a four-level dungeon, but only two levels are there!
I have referred this issue to the Webstore Team and am working with the Store Manager to get the Player's Guide live. Thanks

Indeed some maps were missed. Art has added them and the Store Manager will upload them when she can catch a breath. :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know if this is intentional or not but the "Cover" page of the Maps PDF says 1 of 6.

Not sure if that's a carry over from 6 volume APs or indicative that the maps will be split up.

I really appreciate the buttons to hide the grids, numbering, etc. on the maps (I realize there was some ability to do that before) but making it clear the function exists in the PDF is appreciated.

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Grumpus wrote:
How come the map of area A & D didn't make it into the interactive map pdf? They are on the inside covers and got missed. Also would like the Otari city map to be added as well, if you could update the file?
Seconding this! I opened the maps first to see the layout of a four-level dungeon, but only two levels are there!
I have referred this issue to the Webstore Team and am working with the Store Manager to get the Player's Guide live. Thanks
Indeed some maps were missed. Art has added them and the Store Manager will upload them when she can catch a breath. :)

Update: Maps have been updated! Feel free to refresh your downloads and try the maps again. Keep in mind, sometimes it takes the site instances a while to catch up so you might need to wait a bit or try the "trouble downloading?" link.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is there a good way to tie this into Troubles in Otari?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Hayato Ken wrote:
Is there a good way to tie this into Troubles in Otari?

We have no predetermined bridge over than they take place in the same area at about the same time in our default setting. One could simply take the characters from Troubles in Otari and play through the first volume of the Abomination Vaults at a higher level than needed.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Wouldn't that impact the follow-on volumes as well?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
Wouldn't that impact the follow-on volumes as well?

Honestly, not as much as you might think; since PF2e grants XP based on the difference between the challenge's level and the party's, the initial encounters will give a fraction of the XP they would to a level 1 party.

it would probably end up a cakewalk as the PC's stomped through the early chapters for tiny XP rewards as the difficulty ramped up to be level appropriate, probably around the time they finished the volume.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That sounds good!


I'm confused about how people have access to maps files but the pdf is listed as available on 1/27. Is there a way to get the pdf sooner?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Lauguz wrote:
I'm confused about how people have access to maps files but the pdf is listed as available on 1/27. Is there a way to get the pdf sooner?

Qualifying subscribers get their free PDF when their print copy ship. Learn more on our subscriptions page.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Learn more on our subscriptions page.

Subscriptions page linkified


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

Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.

It’s not olive green to you?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.
It’s not olive green to you?

No, it appears more light green, similar to Jade Regent. Take a look.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I just want to say that this is my favourite AP so far. I started my adventure with Pathfinder with Extinction Curse, but both EC and AoE were very non-standard and I am very happy to see a much more classic campaign with a lot of variance being done. I love the dungeon, I love its inhabitans. Reminds me of classic modules, but we have very interesting adversaries and story as opposed to fighting some regular goblins and orcs. 10/10, I now feel the need to start a new group and use this.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but what's the lead time for the prefab to pop up on roll20? I have a bunch of players ready to go after the PDF came in yesterday.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.
It’s not olive green to you?
No, it appears more light green, similar to Jade Regent. Take a look.

Fascinating. I wonder if that was a printing error where the same color looks different in print than on a screen? I've heard of that happening before.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Is there a good way to tie this into Troubles in Otari?
We have no predetermined bridge over than they take place in the same area at about the same time in our default setting. One could simply take the characters from Troubles in Otari and play through the first volume of the Abomination Vaults at a higher level than needed.

That said, one of my takes is that a new player learns the game and learns the setting in the Beginner Box adventure, then when they like that taste, they switch over to the Core Rules and start up a new character with more options in a game set in an area where they're already familiar with the setting.

You could certainly take your 3rd or 4th level characters into this adventure, and for a few levels you'll be earning XP slowly and will have an easier time in the encounters, but the way 2nd edition XP works, you'll eventually "catch up" to where you should be.

Personally, I like the idea of starting over with the Core Rulebook... even if I were making the same character I played in the Beginner Box (ESPECIALLY in this case) being able to further customize and expand those options would be pretty attractive.

You don't have to play a different character if you start over from 1st level.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Senonu wrote:
Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but what's the lead time for the prefab to pop up on roll20? I have a bunch of players ready to go after the PDF came in yesterday.

I believe our Director of Licensing said they are working on this AP, targeting a go-live on the street date of Jan 27. But all our VTT partners do what they think is bast and take as long as they need to. Those include Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Astral Tabletop, and D20Pro.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Is there a good way to tie this into Troubles in Otari?
We have no predetermined bridge over than they take place in the same area at about the same time in our default setting. One could simply take the characters from Troubles in Otari and play through the first volume of the Abomination Vaults at a higher level than needed.

That said, one of my takes is that a new player learns the game and learns the setting in the Beginner Box adventure, then when they like that taste, they switch over to the Core Rules and start up a new character with more options in a game set in an area where they're already familiar with the setting.

You could certainly take your 3rd or 4th level characters into this adventure, and for a few levels you'll be earning XP slowly and will have an easier time in the encounters, but the way 2nd edition XP works, you'll eventually "catch up" to where you should be.

Personally, I like the idea of starting over with the Core Rulebook... even if I were making the same character I played in the Beginner Box (ESPECIALLY in this case) being able to further customize and expand those options would be pretty attractive.

You don't have to play a different character if you start over from 1st level.

Thanks^^

That's a good idea and most likely what we will be doing.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.
It’s not olive green to you?
No, it appears more light green, similar to Jade Regent. Take a look.
Fascinating. I wonder if that was a printing error where the same color looks different in print than on a screen? I've heard of that happening before.

Weird. Does anyone have the print version yet? How does it look?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Senonu wrote:
Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but what's the lead time for the prefab to pop up on roll20? I have a bunch of players ready to go after the PDF came in yesterday.
I believe our Director of Licensing said they are working on this AP, targeting a go-live on the street date of Jan 27. But all our VTT partners do what they think is bast and take as long as they need to. Those include Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Astral Tabletop, and D20Pro.

Thanks for your answer! Looking forward to it.


If it says the PDF is available on the 27th, at what time can I download it? I live in Germandy btw :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My account was charged for pre-pay on the subscription about a week ago. Still no shipment. I'm anxious to check this one out. I hope Fantasy Grounds puts it up for purchase on their VTT pretty soon too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zaister wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Interesting that the adventure and player's guide have different color schemes. I don't think we've had that before.
It’s not olive green to you?
No, it appears more light green, similar to Jade Regent. Take a look.
Fascinating. I wonder if that was a printing error where the same color looks different in print than on a screen? I've heard of that happening before.
Weird. Does anyone have the print version yet? How does it look?

Just got my physical copy and it's olive green like the thumbnail, not the bright slimer green of the pdf.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Poboy wrote:
If it says the PDF is available on the 27th, at what time can I download it? I live in Germandy btw :)

PDFs generally go live at midnight Pacific time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jam412 wrote:
Just got my physical copy and it's olive green like the thumbnail, not the bright slimer green of the pdf.

That's really strange, that the PDF looks different.

Verdant Wheel

1 person marked this as a favorite.

3 days....


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kayman wrote:
3 days....

The adventure is great! Classic vibes with a lot of fresh air and unique encounters!

Verdant Wheel

GGSigmar wrote:
kayman wrote:
3 days....
The adventure is great! Classic vibes with a lot of fresh air and unique encounters!

Thank you... i am super exited for this AP... I want to become a subscriber but the shiping cost to Rio de Janeiro Brasil (Brazil ) is to high...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Can you start releasing higher resolution map files for us that aren't embedded into a locked pdf?

I know they exist because FG gets them and they are higher res than the ones I can rip from the pdf.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Can you start releasing higher resolution map files for us that aren't embedded into a locked pdf?

I know they exist because FG gets them and they are higher res than the ones I can rip from the pdf.

VTT's like FG get higher res images because they are a licensed partner. We have an internal VTT task force looking onto direct-to-customer options.


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

I think the images in the interactive map PDF are higher resolution, but I might be wrong.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Can you start releasing higher resolution map files for us that aren't embedded into a locked pdf?

I know they exist because FG gets them and they are higher res than the ones I can rip from the pdf.

VTT's like FG get higher res images because they are a licensed partner. We have an internal VTT task force looking onto direct-to-customer options.

I thought that was already a thing. Wasn't there a blog a few months ago about providing us with non pdf maps?

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