Pathfinder Adventure Path #169: Kindled Magic (Strength of Thousands 1 of 6)

4.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #169: Kindled Magic (Strength of Thousands 1 of 6)
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The Strength of Thousands Adventure Path begins! A magic school like no other! The oldest and most prestigious magic academy in the world is the Magaambya, an ancient institution founded by the greatest wizard the world has ever known. This wizard vanished long ago, but his sinister enemies plot against his school and those who attend it. Over their long academic career, the heroes rise from humble students to become teachers, and they ultimately hold the fate of the school in their hands. Graduates of the Magaambya are among the greatest wardens of the world, but if the heroes can't marshal the strength of thousands who have come before them, the venerable Magaambya might fall! The Strength of Thousands Adventure Path is a six-part, monthly series of connected adventures that comprise a complete Pathfinder campaign.

School's in session! The newest students at the venerable Magaambya school of magic must begin their academic careers with tests of their skill and resourcefulness. The heroes can learn much from their teachers and fellow students, but must beware of mysterious secrets and sinister plots. The rigors facing any Magaambya students are steep, but the heroes must also contend with strange infestations and supernatural intruders in the school's ancient halls. Education is far from easy at the oldest and most prestigious magic academy in the world!

"Kindled Magic" is a Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters by Alexandria Bustion and Eleanor Ferron. This adventure begins the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes rise from students to teachers, and ultimately decide the fate of the Magaambya. This adventure also details other students to become friends or rivals, rules to gain extra lore throughout a year of academic study, as well as new monsters and new spells—including lore of the prestigious Magaambya!

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: 978-1-64078-349-2

The Strength of Thousands Adventure Path is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure and Chronicle Sheets are available as a free download (954 KB PDF).

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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
SoundSet on Syrinscape
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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4.30/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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It's been a fun, original campaign so far.

5/5

The free archetype and the academia system are good additions that flesh out your party without being distracting.


2/5


An Amazing AP for RP-focused groups

5/5

(This is a holistic review that’s been written for the AP as a whole, excepting the 6th book which has been delayed for shipping delays.)

Although I love Paizo APs, there are certain features of them that have always felt a bit awkward .

1. Most APs will bring the PCs from level 1-20 in a matter of months. It’s hard to square this with typical fictional narratives, where one becomes a mighty wizard, or the world’s best swordsman, over decades of study and experience.

2. When it gets to higher level play, many APs at least partially fail to appropriately justify the higher-level challenges that the PCs face in a way that feels appropriately epic. (For one of the most glaring examples of this, the last book of Age of Ashes has the PCs dealing with level 19(!) city guards.)

3. And pretty much every AP is written with the implicit assumption that the PCs will resolve most encounters violently, with enemies fighting to the death, and the PCs expected to wrack up an impressive body count along the way.

In light of all of this, the Strength of Thousands AP feels like a breath of fresh air. Advancement takes place at a narratively satisfying rate. Years can pass between levels, and the players are doing things in the meantime that lend themselves to the fiction of advancement and improving their knowledge and magical abilities.

The higher level books really “amp up” as the party gains levels. The first book *feels* like a book with challenges for students, the second and third books feel like books with challenges for competent teachers, and the fourth and fifth books are appropriately epic — books four and five have the PCs doing more epic things than many book six adventures of other APs.

And the book assumes and incentivizes peaceful resolutions to a much broader range of encounters than any previous AP I can think of. And when violence is likely to occur, the books generally incentivize non-lethal approaches to dealing with enemies.

Add to that a sea of interesting and detailed NPCs for the PCs to engage with, and this is a perfect AP for role-play focused groups, and groups that really enjoy digging into the downtime aspects of the game, and building lives for their characters that stretch beyond their martial prowess.

The Mwangi Expanse was one of Paizo's best lore books. I’m happy to see that it's been paired with one of Paizo’s best APs!


Absolutely Wonderful!

5/5

This adventure path is absolutely wonderful in all the ways I wanted it to be! The NPCs are full of character and many of them are cute or hilarious (sometimes both!) and there's so much detail packed into all the wonderful little details that makes this adventure come alive. The slower pace and the focus on RP, downtime and finding nonviolent solutions may be a downside for some, but for me I absolutely loved it! I usually trim paizo APs since I find they have too much combat for me or my group's taste but this module I think I'll be keeping completely intact. Additionally, the way the module balances telling its own self contained story and dropping hints and foreshadowing elements for later volumes is done really well and I look forward to seeing more! Allie Bustion and Eleanor Ferron did a wonderful job on this first volume and I had a blast reading through it and im absolutely certain I'll have just as much fun if not more playing through it. The NPC gallery and Chapter 2 are particular favorites of mine, and I'm happy to see Vladyslava Hladkova return once again to do NPC illustrations, her work is gorgeous as usual. This is my favorite first volume of any adventure path thus far and I really hope Paizo continues making more APs like this that have a focus on roleplay or incorporate downtime subsystems into not only the story but offer mechanical incentives as well. If paizo keeps this up, I think this AP has the potential to be my favorite of any from 1e or 2e


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Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sporkedup wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
So the July thread is quiet and locked. Can we assume at this time that shipping or customs issues have delayed the release of this book from its original expected date?
The anticipated release date for Kindled Magic is August 4.

I'm neither worried nor complaining. Just wondering if there were an update!

Thanks. :)

That said, the July thread was just updated, "We are still waiting for additional information on the July items [Aug 4]. The last we heard is that they had left LA and are now waiting on available local transportation." - Customer Service


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Anyone else planning to play an Mbe’ke or Taralu Summoner with a Cloud Dragon eidolon? No? Just me?


Ventnor wrote:
Anyone else planning to play an Mbe’ke or Taralu Summoner with a Cloud Dragon eidolon? No? Just me?

My ideal character for this would probably be a Magus, though I’m undecided between a Iobane human or a Kallijae elf - worried the former might clash with some stuff in Volume 5, if my guess about something in it is right :)


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

I want to play a wizard matanji orc, they seem really cool


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lonesomechunk wrote:
I want to play a wizard matanji orc, they seem really cool

When it comes to demon slaying, the most important muscle to exercise is the brain!

Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Anyone else planning to play an Mbe’ke or Taralu Summoner with a Cloud Dragon eidolon? No? Just me?
My ideal character for this would probably be a Magus, though I’m undecided between a Iobane human or a Kallijae elf - worried the former might clash with some stuff in Volume 5, if my guess about something in it is right :)

Talk to your GM, of course, but I think this wouldn't be as much of a problem as you're guessing.

Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
DM Lauguz wrote:

Does anyone know if this AP will be at all “kid friendly”? My daughter is a big fan of the Harry Potter series and I think this could be a good gateway into rpgs for her. I’m happy to do some editing myself but hoping that the general themes are action-

adventure rather than horror/other world abominations.

I would, and probably will, run my kids through this, so I think yes.

BUT!

Anyone, kid or otherwise, who particularly dislikes bugs is likely to find parts of this AP creepier or grosser than people who don't.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'ma play a Gnoll.

Unless we get Jackelware Heritage back.

Edit:... wait, Beastkin???

Edit 2: eh, kinda, but not quite the mark for that character (werejackals in general though it works)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Content Warning
While Pathfinder Adventure Path #169: Kindled Magic contains typical Pathfinder action and adventure, it also presents, in Chapter 3, a few stark depictions of animal cruelty and abuse. Before you begin, understand that consent from everyone at the table, including the players and the Game Master, is vital to a safe and fun play experience. You should talk with your players before beginning the adventure and modify descriptions or scenarios as appropriate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I highly recommend running a homebrew if you're doing it with young children. There are a bunch of positives!

You get the chance to try your hand at creativity with a group that is extremely forgiving of slip-ups, plot holes, over-use of cliches, and other things a veteran might find unsatisfying. Creating your own game is a lot of pressure when people are comparing it against professionally written stuff. Children don't have that prior experience!

Children can often derail an adventure by doing things a rational adult wouldn't. Being able to roll with that type of thing is where homebrew games shine. They also appreciate having the freedom to do whatever they want without big world ending consequences like failing to stop the BBEG.

Running a pre-written adventure path requires either some or a lot of buy-in from the players. There's an unwritten agreement that they'll help the adventure stay a little bit on the rails so they don't create a bunch of extra work for the GM. Children are not prepared to meet you half way and make concessions that experienced players make unconsciously.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
Children can often derail an adventure by doing things a rational adult wouldn't.

To be fair...players can often derail an adventure by doing things a rational adult wouldn't. ;-)

Super excited for this path!


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
Anyone, kid or otherwise, who particularly dislikes bugs is likely to find parts of this AP creepier or grosser than people who don't.

oh god. I've read the mwangi setting book, I saw the sidebar you must be referencing. There's zero chance that this doesn't turn into a "burn it all down" scenario.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ron Lundeen wrote:


Anyone, kid or otherwise, who particularly dislikes bugs is likely to find parts of this AP creepier or grosser than people who don't.

And hear I am, wanting to play an intelligent swarm of bugs who, to interact with the world, need to operate a giant suit. (Android conrasu)

Sorry mate, what did you say your trigger is?...

Fortunately, GM is an entomologist. :)


Aaron Shanks wrote:
Content Warning

Ooh, Paizo's telling of TW(Trigger Warning) thing!

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Yep, they've started with the most recent adventures and products been posting content/trigger warnings. It's greatly appreciated.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any idea on when the players guide will be released for this? I would have expected it out by now

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
J03_M4M4 wrote:
Any idea on when the players guide will be released for this? I would have expected it out by now

The official launch date is on August 4th. I’d be surprised if it was released nearly a fortnight beforehand. I’d expect it to be more within a week of the launch date.


hopefully player's guide should be early next week. I was expecting it this week but as that didn't come to pass I would guess it'll be Monday or Tuesday next week. I'm very excited to see what's in it. I hope the backgrounds are akin to those in the AoE player's guide in that they have some unique elements to them.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KaiBlob1 wrote:
hopefully player's guide should be early next week. I was expecting it this week but as that didn't come to pass I would guess it'll be Monday or Tuesday next week. I'm very excited to see what's in it. I hope the backgrounds are akin to those in the AoE player's guide in that they have some unique elements to them.

edit: whoops

Paul Watson wrote:
The official launch date is on August 4th. I’d be surprised if it was released nearly a fortnight beforehand. I’d expect it to be more within a week of the launch date.

They usually try to have them out a full 30+ days ahead of the street date of the first book. This summer is just a s@*~ show for the whole company though all cascading from the impounded shipping container.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

i hope it doesnt get delayed, this is the most excited ive been for an AP in a while so im super excited to read up on it


Looks like they're estimating subscriber authorizations to start on Monday. That's behind but not way behind!

I imagine they've been sitting on the player's guide to see when the actual first book would be able to go out. My guess is as soon as they're confident they have the full timetable, they will push it out!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

11 people marked this as a favorite.

The Player's Guide is ready for a Monday blog.
Distributors are getting product.
Auths are delayed until Monday.
We appreciate your patience and patronage.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dang ole Player's Guide taking up all the bandwidth and delaying the Authorizations.

Grand Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
Dang ole Player's Guide taking up all the bandwidth and delaying the Authorizations.

Just to note for people without context: knowing Rysky, this is most probably a joke. :P

Actually, the delay to Monday is caused because they found a bug in the process and paused it to be able to fix the software, to make sure the automatic selection of shipping method was the best possible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Really hoping for some knockout Backgrounds in this one.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Dang ole Player's Guide taking up all the bandwidth and delaying the Authorizations.

Just to note for people without context: knowing Rysky, this is most probably a joke. :P

Actually, the delay to Monday is caused because they found a bug in the process and paused it to be able to fix the software, to make sure the automatic selection of shipping method was the best possible.

Indeed, I read it as a joke.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Really hoping for some knockout Backgrounds in this one.

Same! I wonder if we'll also get some more info on the magaambya/nantambu as well? Really excited :D


Lonesomechunk wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Really hoping for some knockout Backgrounds in this one.
Same! I wonder if we'll also get some more info on the magaambya/nantambu as well? Really excited :D

Volume 2 has a Nantambu gazetteer, I believe?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

oh nice! I didnt know it was in volume 2, usually the player's guide has some tidbits on stuff but im just excited in general regardless


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Beautiful Players Guide released! Can’t wait to delve into this AP


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

i cant wait for subscriber's to start getting their books, I wanna get my hands on this one and read up on the campaign summary/background and classmates npcs!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Back Cover Text:

Class Is in Session!

Education is far from easy at the oldest and most prestigious magic academy in the world! The newest students at the venerable Magaambya school of magic begin their academic careers with tests of skill and ingenuity. While all Magaambya students contend with the school’s rigorous course load, these heroes must also investigate the strange infestations and supernatural intruders lurking in the school’s ancient buildings. The Strength of Thousands Adventure Path begins with “Kindled Magic,” a complete adventure for 1st- to 3rd-level characters.


Aaron Shanks wrote:

a complete adventure for 1st- to 3rd-level characters.

Yes! So happy to see that confirmed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

1st to 3rd? Thats odd, other APs first books have gone 1st-4th usually


Quote:
“Spoken on the Song Wind” is a Pathfinder adventure for four 4th-level characters by Quinn Murphy.

That suggests that there is a typo on or the other of these.

Grand Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
vagrant-poet wrote:
Quote:
“Spoken on the Song Wind” is a Pathfinder adventure for four 4th-level characters by Quinn Murphy.
That suggests that there is a typo on or the other of these.

Quite the opposite. Usually, it's 1 to 4, and the next one starts at 5.

Usually, the books are timed so that you gain the last level-up right when finishing the book, so before starting the next. You don't play at that level during that book, so it's not "counted". (They always keep some wiggle room, so if you play with XP and do EVERYTHING and earn ALL the bonus XP, you could level up a little bit before.)

Looking at all the "starting" levels of each book, players are about one level late compared to Extinction Curse, until book 4, where they start at 12th lvl in both AP.
But there is always some variance (like Agent of Edgewatch's first book ends with the players only halfway to 5th level).

IMHO, that must mean the first book is heavily used to set up the students and the school.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
vagrant-poet wrote:
Quote:
“Spoken on the Song Wind” is a Pathfinder adventure for four 4th-level characters by Quinn Murphy.
That suggests that there is a typo on or the other of these.

Most likely not a typo, most likely you actively play your PCs at levels 1 to 3 in the first volume, reaching 4th level at the very end without any time spent playing at level 4. The second book then picks up where the first left off, beginning with the PCs at 4th level.

Note that I'm just speculating based on how I interpreted the information, I don't have any special informaiton about the levels of these adventures, just the same product descriptions we're all reading.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, the back cover of Abomination Vaults book 1 says it's an adventure for 1st-4th level characters, while book 2 is an adventure for 5th-7th level characters. It's the same information and format as always.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lonesomechunk wrote:
i cant wait for subscriber's to start getting their books, I wanna get my hands on this one and read up on the campaign summary/background and classmates npcs!

I got my shipping notice almost 2 hours ago, so hopefully the shipping will swiftly commence.


Jessica Redekop wrote:
Most likely not a typo, most likely you actively play your PCs at levels 1 to 3 in the first volume, reaching 4th level at the very end without any time spent playing at level 4. The second book then picks up where the first left off, beginning with the PCs at 4th level.
Sasha Laranoa Harving wrote:
Yeah, the back cover of Abomination Vaults book 1 says it's an adventure for 1st-4th level characters, while book 2 is an adventure for 5th-7th level characters. It's the same information and format as always.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Briefly glanced through the PDF just now. First impressions are that this AP looks to be quite light on combat, and the combats that are there are not significantly difficult. Also, via the free archetype and a series of branch level bonuses, characters can be expected to be generally much more competent and maybe even powerful than typical.

I'll take a deeper dive later (or possibly just wait for the physical book to arrive), but at a first glance this book, if not the whole AP, appears to be much more roleplay, puzzle, and solvable-encounter driven than the previous.


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

That sounds perfect for me


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Got my copy, and so far it looks awesome! You get a LOT of benefits for your branch. Way more than an extra archetype's worth

especially since one of the benefits is:
, 3 feats worth of the Magaambyan Attendant archetype
and you level it up using a downtime system, instead of going right along with your character level.

Sporkedup wrote:

I'll take a deeper dive later (or possibly just wait for the physical book to arrive), but at a first glance this book, if not the whole AP, appears to be much more roleplay, puzzle, and solvable-encounter driven than the previous.

I may not have read it exactly right, but there is a sidebar that even seems to suggest you shouldn't give XP for fights in this AP, unless the players are particularly clever with how they end/avoid them. Assuming people are using XP in 2021 (nevermind my current game is using it).


How do folks like the students and staff? I know the devs hinted at players wanting to date some of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've heard that theres a majority humans, a mbeke dwarf, a catfolk, an ant gnoll and an anadi but idk about their dateability, I dont have my pdf yet sadly this is just info ive gleaned from a friend


Yeah, I can confirm those. Going 100% off of appearances, plenty of date-ability. I haven't read toooo deep into them yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

nice!!! as a catfolk stan can i know more about this student?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Lonesomechunk wrote:
nice!!! as a catfolk stan can i know more about this student?

Sure,

:
this young dyslexic male slacker enjoys brewing, engineering, and finding new and exciting ways to avoid work! Any time you're studying with Chizire is a good time, as he takes the edge off cramming for your Cascade Bearer class.

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

boyfriend material


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We get to ride something. The text calls them one thing, but those of us familiar with video games call them something else.

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