Pathfinder Adventure Path #164: Hands of the Devil (Abomination Vaults 2 of 3)

4.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #164: Hands of the Devil (Abomination Vaults 2 of 3)

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Beware when dealing with devils! The Abomination Vaults sprawl far beneath the mysterious Gauntlight, and it's time to take weapons, torches, and wits into the deeper dungeons. Here, vile fleshcrafters labor to create armies of monsters for their long-dead leader, and a force of devils still work to maintain order among the feral and fractious monsters. An unlikely ally can reveal the secrets of the Abomination Vaults, but his price is steep and must be paid in blood.

"Hands of the Devil" is a Pathfinder adventure for four 5th-level characters. This adventure continues 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 a close look at the wicked will-o'-wisps, an examination of Golarion's fleshcrafters, and new rules and monsters!

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: 978-1-64078-307-2

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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Average product rating:

4.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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3/5


Floor 6 is best floor

4/5

There is one key thing I think you should change about this AP: The Devil's deal should be offered much much earlier than it is as written. Then it's in the back of the players minds the whole time they're trudging through these dark cavernous sucky corridors.

Other than that, great AP.


5/5

We completed this second leg of our adventure recently.

Spoilers ahead!

The Carman Rajani storyline was very satisfying, and my players really enjoyed the variety of rooms, and how the levels all felt very different. The Shanrigol Behemoth is very fun to foreshadow and have the players think about and have so many avenues of approach.

This was another excellent adventure, and a worthy successor to Ruins of Gauntlight! Could not recommend this AP enough so far.


A worthy successor to Ruins of Gauntlight

5/5

This book is a worthy successor to Ruins of Gauntlight, and shares many of the strengths of that book. It feels well put-together and organic, with each room having a history and a purpose that makes sense of why it, and its current occupants, are there. There are a number of sub-quests sprinkled throughout that tie to either NPCs in town or to the different factions in the vaults. And there are a number of fun role-playing opportunities, including one epic-looking confrontation that looks very fun to run, and an interesting moral dilemma.

At a more meta-level, this book is even more of a sandbox than the previous book, leaving open the possibility that low-level PCs might run into encounters that are too difficult for them. But the book does a nice job of explicitly advising the GM to appropriately foreshadow the difficulty of encounters, and to let the players know that they should be ready to flee if they get in over their heads. The adventure also does a nice job of foreshadowing some of the more difficult encounters “from a distance”, giving smart players plenty of warning to not rush into those fights, and also provides non-violent ways of resolving some of the more difficult encounters.

At the aesthetic level, the book continues to have gorgeous art and beautiful maps. And the encounters and area descriptions ramp up the creepy horror-vibe befitting of an AP called “Abomination Vaults”, complete with more “Environmental Cue” sidebars to help GMs with aesthetic guidance when describing different parts of the dungeon.

These first two volumes put the Abomination Vaults in contention for the best megadungeon-style adventure in print. I'm left nervously waiting for the third book to come out to see if Paizo can stick the landing!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:

Yeah, I like the "grid only on the walkable places of the image", so I prefer them to the "grid over everything" of the VTT, so I deactivate the visual VTT grid (I keep the actual grid, but with invisible lines). If there's no grid in the original image, I often add one myself.

Also, my program extracts all images, no matter how they are layered, so I don't know the structure in the actual PDF. I only know that they have interesting "rotation masks" for some pictures and that all "transparent pictures" have "transparency masks" that I'm happy that my program applies itself.

What program do you use?

Liberty's Edge

Elfteiroh wrote:

Yeah, I like the "grid only on the walkable places of the image", so I prefer them to the "grid over everything" of the VTT, so I deactivate the visual VTT grid (I keep the actual grid, but with invisible lines). If there's no grid in the original image, I often add one myself.

Also, my program extracts all images, no matter how they are layered, so I don't know the structure in the actual PDF. I only know that they have interesting "rotation masks" for some pictures and that all "transparent pictures" have "transparency masks" that I'm happy that my program applies itself.

I think you will find that with Hands of the Devil, you cannot extract both the gridded and ungridded version of this map from the Interactive Map Pack.

If you haven't actually tried it with this specific PDF volume, then perhaps you should before commenting.

If you have managed to use some product that can access the ungridded version of this map from Hands of the Devil? I would love to know what tool that is. I have tried five of them and none of them work.

I have not seen this behavior in a layered Paizo PDF since PF1.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Steel_Wind wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:

Yeah, I like the "grid only on the walkable places of the image", so I prefer them to the "grid over everything" of the VTT, so I deactivate the visual VTT grid (I keep the actual grid, but with invisible lines). If there's no grid in the original image, I often add one myself.

Also, my program extracts all images, no matter how they are layered, so I don't know the structure in the actual PDF. I only know that they have interesting "rotation masks" for some pictures and that all "transparent pictures" have "transparency masks" that I'm happy that my program applies itself.

I think you will find that with Hands of the Devil, you cannot extract both the gridded and ungridded version of this map from the Interactive Map Pack.

If you haven't actually tried it with this specific PDF volume, then perhaps you should before commenting.

If you have managed to use some product that can access the ungridded version of this map from Hands of the Devil? I would love to know what tool that is. I have tried five of them and none of them work.

I have not seen this behavior in a layered Paizo PDF since PF1.

I got both the gridded and ungridded version extracted with rp tools token tool. Though the image was pretty small but I was able to get an aiupscaler working last night and it came out really good.

Liberty's Edge

trevco613 wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:

Yeah, I like the "grid only on the walkable places of the image", so I prefer them to the "grid over everything" of the VTT, so I deactivate the visual VTT grid (I keep the actual grid, but with invisible lines). If there's no grid in the original image, I often add one myself.

Also, my program extracts all images, no matter how they are layered, so I don't know the structure in the actual PDF. I only know that they have interesting "rotation masks" for some pictures and that all "transparent pictures" have "transparency masks" that I'm happy that my program applies itself.

I think you will find that with Hands of the Devil, you cannot extract both the gridded and ungridded version of this map from the Interactive Map Pack.

If you haven't actually tried it with this specific PDF volume, then perhaps you should before commenting.

If you have managed to use some product that can access the ungridded version of this map from Hands of the Devil? I would love to know what tool that is. I have tried five of them and none of them work.

I have not seen this behavior in a layered Paizo PDF since PF1.

I got both the gridded and ungridded version extracted with rp tools token tool. Though the image was pretty small but I was able to get an aiupscaler working last night and it came out really good.

Yeah I tried token tool as a work around, but that only produces, theoretically, at best a 1000x1000 image (in reality, it's much smaller than that) and it is very difficult to then get that to line up with the gridded version as they are at very different mismatched/resolutions. Going to ESGRAN to simulate something we pay for seems a stretch -- and I am decidedly on the more techie side of the user base.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think extracting the images using photoshop to line things up is already a stretch. This is just going further down the rabbit hole. I was able to extract both maps at the same size so when I upscaled them they were the same size. I got the map in the vtt at 100 dpi but it just doesn't look at good as the previous volumes maps. I am going to mess around with a few other things to see if I can get it any better but if this is what we are working with now they better be making plans to release high res images or I have to rethink my subscription.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

About the un-gridded version, I was talking about the first book. The first book had two of each map, one without a grid, the other with a grid only on walkable spaces.
The second book only has the "grid only on walkable spaces" image, I agreed with you about that. I just said that it's the best outcome for me. I would personally love to have the same format as the first book for everything, because yeah, I got what I needed this time, but not you.
I know the resolution of the maps I extracted was 2560x3229. In fact, I'll need to save it into JPEG because the PNG file-size is a bit too big for Roll20

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
trevco613 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:

Yeah, I like the "grid only on the walkable places of the image", so I prefer them to the "grid over everything" of the VTT, so I deactivate the visual VTT grid (I keep the actual grid, but with invisible lines). If there's no grid in the original image, I often add one myself.

Also, my program extracts all images, no matter how they are layered, so I don't know the structure in the actual PDF. I only know that they have interesting "rotation masks" for some pictures and that all "transparent pictures" have "transparency masks" that I'm happy that my program applies itself.
What program do you use?

It's a command-line program (so it opens in the white text on black console on Windows) that is only named "Image Extractor" that was custom made by someone and posted here a couple of years ago.

I will need to find the link again, I'll get back to you on that.

It's the best one I found, it extracts everything on any PDF. It needs a little bit of manual manipulation, but when you make sure to clean up the "work files" correctly when it asks you to, it's perfect.

[EDIT] Found it again! It was posted on Reddit actually, about 5 years ago, but the link still works:
Image Extractor Post on Reddit


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks I will try that, I can make the gridded maps work as long as they are decent quality


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

There is also an open source command line tool named pdfimages that I use on Linux, it's part of the poppler toolkit.

Dark Archive

Hmm on sidenote I didn't realize that this is first paizo ap to actually note milestones (if you want to use them) in the "expected level by this point" text. I mean I understand why, because this is megadungeon so saying "pcs should level up before this level" doesn't work out when players can skip out the level if they wish to so people who wish to ignore exp have harder time figuring out leveling up, but still feels unusual.

Well either way doesn't matter much to me since I never have liked using milestones xD

Grand Lodge

Just a head's up: The AP's here say part x of 3, but the Interactive Maps for this AP say Part x of 6. That needs to be corrected.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Brilde Phelon wrote:
Just a head's up: The AP's here say part x of 3, but the Interactive Maps for this AP say Part x of 6. That needs to be corrected.

That was noted previously up the thread. Thank you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can we please get versions of the maps for this which dont lave all of the secret doors marked when you extraxt then to use in a VTT. It adds a lot of unnecesary and tedious work covering them all up again and is generally very irritating.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is the release date of this adventure delayed for non direct oreder from Paizo.

I buy them on Amazon, otherwise the delivery costs + postage and South African tax getting the books, from Paizo over triples the cost in dollar terms.

If getting it from Amazon the cost in dollars is close to the list price.

Normally Amazon is spot on with dates, but not always.

So strangely enough it puts the release date on

https://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-Abomination-Vaults/dp/1640 783075 as .

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Hands of the Devil (Abomination Vaults 2 of 3) (P2) (Pathfinder: Abomination Vaults) Paperback – June 8, 2021

Is this an error, I was expecting it to already be in stock.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Any updates on the map issue?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

General Orc wrote:

Is the release date of this adventure delayed for non direct oreder from Paizo.

I buy them on Amazon, otherwise the delivery costs + postage and South African tax getting the books, from Paizo over triples the cost in dollar terms.

If getting it from Amazon the cost in dollars is close to the list price.

Normally Amazon is spot on with dates, but not always.

So strangely enough it puts the release date on

https://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-Abomination-Vaults/dp/1640 783075 as .

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Hands of the Devil (Abomination Vaults 2 of 3) (P2) (Pathfinder: Abomination Vaults) Paperback – June 8, 2021

Is this an error, I was expecting it to already be in stock.

Using Amazon in South Africa is understandable, but sorry, we don't control or have immediate knowledge regarding what decisions distributor or retailers make regarding our products. (We ship our products to distributors who ship to retailers.) In my experience Amazon is typically weeks behind us in non-pandemic times and the pandemic has disrupted international distribution. I'll ask the Sales team to look into it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
andreww wrote:
Can we please get versions of the maps for this which dont lave all of the secret doors marked when you extraxt then to use in a VTT. It adds a lot of unnecesary and tedious work covering them all up again and is generally very irritating.
trevco613 wrote:
Any updates on the map issue?

I just took a look at the pictures I extracted, and the maps from the interactive map PDF are both bigger, and without the secret doors.

Have you tried extracting them from the interactive map PDF?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
andreww wrote:
Can we please get versions of the maps for this which dont lave all of the secret doors marked when you extraxt then to use in a VTT. It adds a lot of unnecesary and tedious work covering them all up again and is generally very irritating.
trevco613 wrote:
Any updates on the map issue?

I just took a look at the pictures I extracted, and the maps from the interactive map PDF are both bigger, and without the secret doors.

Have you tried extracting them from the interactive map PDF?

I got the maps extracted and setup nicely, but I don’t want to have go through this process for every ap.


Aaron Shanks wrote:
General Orc wrote:

Is the release date of this adventure delayed for non direct oreder from Paizo.

I buy them on Amazon, otherwise the delivery costs + postage and South African tax getting the books, from Paizo over triples the cost in dollar terms.

If getting it from Amazon the cost in dollars is close to the list price.

Normally Amazon is spot on with dates, but not always.

So strangely enough it puts the release date on

https://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-Abomination-Vaults/dp/1640 783075 as .

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Hands of the Devil (Abomination Vaults 2 of 3) (P2) (Pathfinder: Abomination Vaults) Paperback – June 8, 2021

Is this an error, I was expecting it to already be in stock.

Using Amazon in South Africa is understandable, but sorry, we don't control or have immediate knowledge regarding what decisions distributor or retailers make regarding our products. (We ship our products to distributors who ship to retailers.) In my experience Amazon is typically weeks behind us in non-pandemic times and the pandemic has disrupted international distribution. I'll ask the Sales team to look into it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Thank you Aaron.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
trevco613 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
SNIP
I got the maps extracted and setup nicely, but I don’t want to have go through this process for every ap.

Oh yeah! I just realized you are both different people, I'm dyslexic so I usually don't look at usernames and base myself on the avatars. >_> I know it's a bad habit, sorry. So My post was actually directed at andreww. Sorry again. orz


Why of why would you provide us with art for only three members of a four man band! Why!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
andreww wrote:
Why of why would you provide us with art for only three members of a four man band! Why!

While Gulzash sadly lacks an individual portrait, there is a picture of all four band members on page 24.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ess wrote:
andreww wrote:
Why of why would you provide us with art for only three members of a four man band! Why!
While Gulzash sadly lacks an individual portrait, there is a picture of all four band members on page 24.

And the individual images were clearly directly taken from that group shot, so I guess the fourth one was omitted for space reason.


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

So, would it be possible to get an update of the PDF of this adventure re-exported with the correct color settings?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

Zaister wrote:
So, would it be possible to get an update of the PDF of this adventure re-exported with the correct color settings?

See my reply to your question in the volume 1 thread.


I have a question about this Adventure Path.
I live in Portugal so, most of time i tend to buy Pathfinder books on the Spanish Amazon website.
I bought the first book of this series and had no problems so, i pre-ordered the second volume which should have come out last month or early March here but, now Amazon tells me that it's been pushed back until the 24 or 25th of June. Is there any problem on Paizo's fault for the delivery of books to Europe or is it the Amazon website that's having a problem?
I'm asking this because of the current situation which might cause delays but, i got the first book on time and without any problems.
The same is happening with the Second Edition Core Rulebook pocket edition but that one is even worst as Amazon refuses to tell me an expected date of delivery and it should have come out ages ago!
So now i don't know what i'll do, either i cancel the orders and buy them elsewere but pay a ton of money for shipping or wait for God know how long until Amazon decides to actually care about their costumers.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you ordered through Amazon then it’s on Amazon, they use a distributor, they don’t buy from Paizo directly.

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