Pathfinder Adventure Path #165: Eyes of Empty Death (Abomination Vaults 3 of 3)

4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #165: Eyes of Empty Death (Abomination Vaults 3 of 3)

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Death lurks in the darkness! The deepest levels of the Abomination Vaults contain massive caverns and a relic left behind by one of the Outer Gods. The heroes must negotiate the ruthless politics of insular drow, vampiric urdefhans, and stranger creatures for the tools they need to vanquish Belcorra Haruvex. Yet even as the heroes grow nearer, the undead sorcerer's power increases, and the heroes must put her to rest before she claims the full might of her malevolent patron.

“Eyes of Empty Death” is a Pathfinder adventure for four 8th-level characters. This adventure concludes 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 expanded look at ghosts in Golarion, an examination of the Outer God Nhimbaloth, and powerful 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: 978-1-64078-316-4

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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4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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3/5


5/5

Having now completed Abomination Vaults, I have to say it's a nearly perfect execution of a big dungeon adventure.

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

The dungeon levels are varied, but make sense together, there's a lot of variety in how you can play out rooms, but it would support a kick the door fight the monster style romp too (though that's not how we played it).

Shout-out again to Otari for being the perfect town to support and inspire the heroes of an adventure like this.

The final volume itself was full of more great encounters, and excellent Darklands themes and locations. And the way the final encounter played out was memorable and exciting.

Delighted to have played and completed this AP. Couldn't recommend enough.


A fitting conclusion to a masterful dungeon crawl

5/5

Given the high bar set by the first two books of this AP, I’ve been anxious about whether the third book would stand up by comparison. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried — the third book is just as well done as the first two, and leads the AP to a fitting conclusion.

This book of the AP shares many of the strengths of the first two. It continues the pattern of providing “environmental cues” for each level, feels organic, has gorgeous art and maps, and plenty of appropriately creepy scenes for GMs who like that sort of thing to lean into.

But let me highlight some of the particular strengths of this book. For one, this book does a great job of recreating the feel of an old-school open sandbox. For example, it throws in some encounters that the party is clearly supposed to run from or avoid — like a classic sandbox, the party shouldn’t be expecting to be able to kill absolutely everything they run into. And it offers a lot of different routes for the party to pursue — like an old school sandbox, there’s way more content here than one should expect the party to go through — giving the party real choice about what areas to explore and which to bypass.

Another particular strength of this book is that it shifts the difficulty level to a more manageable level than the previous APs. There are a lot more “Low” difficulty encounters. There are a lot more encounters with lots of lower level enemies that give spellcasters an opportunity to shine. And the high difficulty encounters are generally paired with foreshadowing, environmental features, or timing which make these encounters more manageable.

Finally, this book cranks up the pressure on the PCs a bit, time-wise, and really shines a spotlight on the main antagonist in a way that prevents them from just being an end boss who the party never interacts with until the final fight. (I’ll avoid saying more to keep this review relatively spoiler free.)

All in all, an excellent conclusion to a masterful dungeon crawl.


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

Announced for March! Product image and description are not final and may be subject to change.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

An examination of the Outer God Nhimbaloth? That is right up my alley!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like the BBEG is a ghost sorceress worshiper of an Outer God. Call me intrigued.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

“Outer Gods”

...

*reads*

Ooo, Nhimbaloth was made by Paizo, interest back on!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sounds awesome! Though (EC spoilers)

Spoiler:
it does sound a bit similar to Extinction Curse book 5, oddly enough.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Outer gods and ghosts! I'm all in.

Sovereign Court

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Is Belcorra Haruvex the most Harry Potter name in Pathfinder?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I know we have the art for this book on that video y'all released, could we get uploaded here? ;)

Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Virellius wrote:
I know we have the art for this book on that video y'all released, could we get uploaded here? ;)

We are working on it!

Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
Virellius wrote:
I know we have the art for this book on that video y'all released, could we get uploaded here? ;)
We are working on it!

And now here it is!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very cool!

Dark Archive

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

GHROSTS

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Ruh-roh!

Wayfinders

This is too spoopy now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Did it got moved back? To April 7?

Dark Archive

LuisESR021199 wrote:
Did it got moved back? To April 7?

Yeah, apparently there was problem with either printer or shipment so all may products got moved to april 7th


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh god she looks so horrifying I love it!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
LuisESR021199 wrote:
Did it got moved back? To April 7?
Yeah, apparently there was problem with either printer or shipment so all may products got moved to april 7th

Shipping delays.


What’s Nhimbaloth’s deal?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
What’s Nhimbaloth’s deal?

Souls are tasty. Mortals ask her for things sometimes, but generally she wants nothing more than to chow down on tasty souls.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Just go my digital copy and I have to say I am disapointed that we still aren't getting high rez maps. We know that you have the capabilites since you included them in sundered waves. Also on Level 9 is the scale supposed to be 10 feet per grid becuase if so then that map is useless as a battle map without major work.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

trevco613 wrote:
Just go my digital copy and I have to say I am disapointed that we still aren't getting high rez maps. We know that you have the capabilites since you included them in sundered waves. Also on Level 9 is the scale supposed to be 10 feet per grid becuase if so then that map is useless as a battle map without major work.

I'm sorry the product did not meet your expectations. The last comment from our Director of Brand Strategy regarding PDFs, JPGs and VTT use of AP's is here.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
trevco613 wrote:
Just go my digital copy and I have to say I am disapointed that we still aren't getting high rez maps. We know that you have the capabilites since you included them in sundered waves. Also on Level 9 is the scale supposed to be 10 feet per grid becuase if so then that map is useless as a battle map without major work.
I'm sorry the product did not meet your expectations. The last comment from our Director of Brand Strategy regarding PDFs, JPGs and VTT use of AP's is here.

Thank you for the answer, it's just frustrating for the community when we know that their is an easier way. I feel that Paizo does everything else first class and the map issue is just a glaring issue that needs to be addessed. They say the squeky wheel gets the grease so I will just keep brining this issue up every release until we get no more "paizo-size" maps.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

For those with a digital copy, what's in the toolbox? New archetypes and monsters?

Grand Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Benjamin Tait wrote:
For those with a digital copy, what's in the toolbox? New archetypes and monsters?

AV 3 Toobox:
Uncommon urdefhan weapons: Shauth blade, Rhoka sword, Shauth lash;

Uncommon advanced ranged weapon: lvl0 repeating xbow 60ft 1-hand L (1d6dmg, no trait beside Repeating, reload 0, 3 actions to change magazine of 5 bolt) 10gp;
Uncommon adventure gear: Bandolier for magazines, hold 3, max wear 1;
Alchemical stuff: Common new negative energy bomb, Uncommon poison, common musk to hide from fungi;
New uncommon spells, and a bunch of unique magic items.
Drow-themed uncommon archetype anyone can take as long as they are trained in hand xbow. No access besides events in the adventure.Some new rare and uncommon monsters, and some new higher level NPC creatures (drow and urdefhan)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Knighttrap wrote:
So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?

Dread Wisps are in the bestiary in the back of the book


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ekaczmarek wrote:
Knighttrap wrote:
So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?
Dread Wisps are in the bestiary in the back of the book

Like I said something easy. Why in the world is it Bestiary 6 then?

Thanks for the help.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
Benjamin Tait wrote:
For those with a digital copy, what's in the toolbox? New archetypes and monsters?
** spoiler omitted **

Also a new cleric domain with new focus spells in the articles

Article spoilers:
The Nhimbaloth article gives her deity stat block, including the new Abomination domain as one of her alternate domains. First focus spell causes those near you to see the world as it truly is, which buffs aberrations and worshippers of outer gods, and potentially frightens anything else. Second focus spell lets you eat a frightened foe's emotions.

I'm not sure if that spoiler is too "spoilery", but I tried to keep it vague enough.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Knighttrap wrote:
ekaczmarek wrote:
Knighttrap wrote:
So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?
Dread Wisps are in the bestiary in the back of the book

Like I said something easy. Why in the world is it Bestiary 6 then?

Thanks for the help.

The rules for elite monsters are in the regular ol' Bestiary on page 6, hence the "Bestiary 6". I think almost everyone has been confused by that one at least once. I hope they start formatting it as like "Bestiary 1 p.6" going forward.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ekaczmarek wrote:
Knighttrap wrote:
ekaczmarek wrote:
Knighttrap wrote:
So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?
Dread Wisps are in the bestiary in the back of the book

Like I said something easy. Why in the world is it Bestiary 6 then?

Thanks for the help.

The rules for elite monsters are in the regular ol' Bestiary on page 6, hence the "Bestiary 6". I think almost everyone has been confused by that one at least once. I hope they start formatting it as like "Bestiary 1 p.6" going forward.

Now that makes since. Thanks a bunch.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Knighttrap wrote:
ekaczmarek wrote:
Knighttrap wrote:
So I got my PDF copy yesterday. While skimming over it(I'm not planning to run it for a while while my players are doing a different AV) I am confused on one of the enemies. There is an enemy called Soul Feeders near the end of the adventure. The stat block reads Elite Dread Wisps (Pathfinder Bestiary 6 page 81). I've done searches for this monster online and can't find the stats anywhere. Am I missing something easy?
Dread Wisps are in the bestiary in the back of the book

Like I said something easy. Why in the world is it Bestiary 6 then?

Thanks for the help.

it is really referring to Bestiary-1, page-6 which has the rules for making a normal monster "elite"


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

Notice the 6 is not italicized and thus not part of the book title. It's a subtle thing that's easy to miss.


Elfteiroh wrote:
Benjamin Tait wrote:
For those with a digital copy, what's in the toolbox? New archetypes and monsters?
** spoiler omitted **

What new critters are these?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just for the record: the PDF for this book also suffers from having the wrong color configuration on export.


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

Looking at my pdf copy now, and I have to applaud the ending of this adventure. Perfect way to close out a super dungeon, and I enjoy how it is tied to completing certain actions (being vague for spoilers).

Well done on this AP. Very well one.

Verdant Wheel

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cart is broken ....


The repeating hand crossbow is kinda cool. 5 bolts, 3 actions to reload the magazine, reduced to 2 actions if you're using the bandolier (and the archetype gives both + modified quick draw in the dedication and first feat). Or you could pick up a feat to reload + shoot once a round for 1 action if you prefer the original hand crossbow. Hoping these portend good things for crossbows in Guns and Gears, preferably a little stronger or more accessible. ~w~

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Benjamin Tait wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
Benjamin Tait wrote:
For those with a digital copy, what's in the toolbox? New archetypes and monsters?
** spoiler omitted **
What new critters are these?

New Critters

Spoiler:

Dragon’s Blood Puffball, lvl 8 Fungus
Reaper’s Skull Puffball, lvl 9 Fungus
Deepwater Dhuthorex , lvl 9 Aquatic Aberration
Dread Dhuthorex, lvl 11 Aquatic Aberration
Dread Wisp, lvl 9 Aberration
Drow Warden, lvl 4 Drow
Drow Hunter, lvl 7 Drow
Drow Shootist, lvl 8 Drow
Urdefhan Death Scout, lvl 6 Urdefhan
Urdefhan Lasher, lvl 7 Urdefhan
Urdefhan Bloodmage, lvl 8 Urdefhan


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Is Chapter 2 really 10 ft grid? I think that might be an error. I ask because

obvious spoilers:
The gauntlight runs through the entire dungeon and scale never changes except in lvl 9. On one hand 10ft grid makes sense for other parts of the dungeon, but it does not there. So which is it?

Thanks kindly in advance.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
redeux wrote:

Is Chapter 2 really 10 ft grid? I think that might be an error. I ask because

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks kindly in advance.

Referred internally for examination.

Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
redeux wrote:

Is Chapter 2 really 10 ft grid? I think that might be an error. I ask because

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks kindly in advance.

Yes, the 10-foot grid for that level is correct.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thank you Ron and Aaron!

Dark Archive

On sidenote, realized this is only AP to not end at max level that doesn't have continue the campaign article :O

(I guess that is because 2e hasn't needed continue the campaign articles so it hasn't been "part of the format", but it still feels weird for level 1-10 ap x'D Ah well at least I'll have free reign to decide how to continue this one)

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

On sidenote, realized this is only AP to not end at max level that doesn't have continue the campaign article :O

(I guess that is because 2e hasn't needed continue the campaign articles so it hasn't been "part of the format", but it still feels weird for level 1-10 ap x'D Ah well at least I'll have free reign to decide how to continue this one)

The "continue the campaign" article is in the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Player's Guide. xP

Dark Archive

Elfteiroh wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

On sidenote, realized this is only AP to not end at max level that doesn't have continue the campaign article :O

(I guess that is because 2e hasn't needed continue the campaign articles so it hasn't been "part of the format", but it still feels weird for level 1-10 ap x'D Ah well at least I'll have free reign to decide how to continue this one)

The "continue the campaign" article is in the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Player's Guide. xP

;P Doesn't continue the same themes though, does it?


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

Off the cuff:

Spoiler:
Option 1: Obviously, there's a shadow version of the Gauntlight in the Shadow plane. And you dealing with the material plane version has caused structural damage to it. While it held up, it was a solid Fetchling stronghold, but now various creatures have seized their chance to invade and try to take over the vaults.

D'ziriak, Shadow Wisps, a Shadow Yai, a family of Umbral dragons, Velstrac, and various undead all vie for individual levels, sometimes fighting the established denizens, and sometimes each other. A Fetchling dream prophet guides you to the lighthouse, begging you to come assist them from being wiped out.

Of course, other factions may try to earn your assistance as well. Playing each group off each other is the only way to survive in the long run, given how far you are from home. Along the way to the final level (passing through the individual layers of protections the fetchlings had used to seal off travel between levels in their hasty retreat), you can also encounter more neutral and even good allies, such as a colony of Fungus Leshies that had become trapped on the 8th level, led by a Shadowy fey.

Option 2: Nhimbaloth has not entirely forgotten you. Well, actually, she has (elder god after all, would you notice an ant?), but her herald has not. Given her herald is a level 23 troop of Dread Wisps (called the Breath of Nhimbaloth), this might prove...interesting when it decides to help and harass your party, as fits its mood.
Feeding it Undead, including advanced Shadow Wisps, might help its mood.

Option 3: No good deed goes unpunished. The complete collapse of the Gauntlight into itself killed a LOT of people. Enough to cause an entire series of undead and haunts, some that have begun to spread out. Someone probably ought to deal with that.

Basically: Round 2, Fight!


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

On sidenote, realized this is only AP to not end at max level that doesn't have continue the campaign article :O

(I guess that is because 2e hasn't needed continue the campaign articles so it hasn't been "part of the format", but it still feels weird for level 1-10 ap x'D Ah well at least I'll have free reign to decide how to continue this one)

The question intrigued me, so I went ahead on reposted my original response into its own thread on the AP forum:

Continuing the Campaign


I am currently prepping this and I just got to the Blood Mage. Its Cantrips are listed as being level 8, is this a typo?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
andreww wrote:
I am currently prepping this and I just got to the Blood Mage. Its Cantrips are listed as being level 8, is this a typo?

Cantrips are always hightened to the level of your highest spell slot as a caster. Or to the highest spell level you would have if you were a caster. So If you are a 15 lvl fighter with a cantrip, that cantrip is at 8th level.

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