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:

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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 Webstore Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

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

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

HYPE

*ahem*

I’m very much looking forward to this AP!


VERY curious to see what this AP has in store for us indeed!!

Tom


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Can't wait for the Harry Potter AP!


So all PCs have to be some sort of wizard? Or how will the AP handle non magical PCs?


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ixal wrote:
So all PCs have to be some sort of wizard? Or how will the AP handle non magical PCs?

I would think that all classes would have opportunity in and around a magic school.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ixal wrote:
So all PCs have to be some sort of wizard? Or how will the AP handle non magical PCs?

I think I remember in the announcement stream something about martial classes getting some free magic to fit in. They stressed that you could still play martial classes and it would work with the story.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yep, they’ve said there’ll be ways to get non-spellcasting classes involved!

I don’t know how this fact interacts with the details of the AP at all, but also keep in mind that canonically the Magaambya accepts people without magical aptitude, as mentioned in Lost Omens Character Guide.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Beyond ecstatic for this adventure path! The roster of students sounds interesting too! Will be really cool to have recurring NPCs that you can form different relationships with!

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Pretty sure they said something to the effect of “free spell casting archetype”, so martials get a bit of magic and spellcasters are better spellcasters.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Intrigued by the idea that the PCs will rise from pupils to teachers over their careers. Suggests a long timeline baked into the AP which I really want to see.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Seems like 2021 won't be my year because that will be the third AP in a row I'm not that interested in. Though maybe I can turn this into an Acadamae-based AP, which would increase my interest a lot.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've been wishing for something like this since I first got into Pathfinder a year and a half ago or so! There is a ton of cool, untapped stuff in Mwangi in general, but the Magaambya is a gem of a setting and seems to be brimming with unique and interesting things for players to experience!

Pretty hopeful for this one. Especially coming off the back of the Mwangi Lost Omens book and Secrets of Magic!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice! I can't wait. I'm really getting sick of Absalom and its surrounding area.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Mullen wrote:

Yep, they’ve said there’ll be ways to get non-spellcasting classes involved!

I don’t know how this fact interacts with the details of the AP at all, but also keep in mind that canonically the Magaambya accepts people without magical aptitude, as mentioned in Lost Omens Character Guide.

So to use Harry Potter references while the spellcasters eventually become teachers the martial characters can play the janitor?

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
Andrew Mullen wrote:

Yep, they’ve said there’ll be ways to get non-spellcasting classes involved!

I don’t know how this fact interacts with the details of the AP at all, but also keep in mind that canonically the Magaambya accepts people without magical aptitude, as mentioned in Lost Omens Character Guide.

So to use Harry Potter references while the spellcasters eventually become teachers the martial characters can play the janitor?

Jatembe's apprentices were called "Ten Magic Warriors", so presumably eldritch knight shenanigans are considered valid style in the academy

Dark Archive

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
Andrew Mullen wrote:

Yep, they’ve said there’ll be ways to get non-spellcasting classes involved!

I don’t know how this fact interacts with the details of the AP at all, but also keep in mind that canonically the Magaambya accepts people without magical aptitude, as mentioned in Lost Omens Character Guide.

So to use Harry Potter references while the spellcasters eventually become teachers the martial characters can play the janitor?

Or Hagrid, keeper of magical beasts, which sounds more fun.

Given the schools focus on preserving local culture, fostering good governance in the area, otherworldly threats, etc. there seems like there'd be room for storytellers and diplomats and historians and naturalists and planar travelers and the like, both magical and mundane. Although spellcasting classes like Rangers, Bards, Investigators, Juju Oracles, Clerics of popular local Empyreals, Druids, Shamen, Magi, etc. would seem likely to be as popular as Wizards, for their relevant expertise.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
WormysQueue wrote:
Seems like 2021 won't be my year because that will be the third AP in a row I'm not that interested in. Though maybe I can turn this into an Acadamae-based AP, which would increase my interest a lot.

Aside from some basic rules structure of a school as an organization I don't think there's going to be much that you'll be able to do with this to that end. My understanding from the announcement stream is that this will be a very heavily Magaambya and Mwangi Expanse focused AP.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ember1 wrote:
Aside from some basic rules structure of a school as an organization I don't think there's going to be much that you'll be able to do with this to that end. My understanding from the announcement stream is that this will be a very heavily Magaambya and Mwangi Expanse focused AP.

Sure. Pathfinder APs are generally steeped in setting lore, and I wouldn't have it otherwise. But then I'm used to do heavy rewrites of APs to make them fit other settings, and if I can do that with the Realms or Eberron in mind, I'll probably be able to do this within Golarion as well.

Anyways, I'll still enjoy just reading it, and if I find I don't want to run it, I'm sure that I still can steal tons of material to use in another context. So it's all good, I was just surprised that after those two three-parters that I have no use for for different reasons, the next AP is also one I'm not immediately "Huzzah!" about.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

One great thing about this adventure path is that there's always a perfect explanation for why your characters learn new spells when they level up!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I am so unbelievably pumped for this! I've actually got a game going Wed night where the PC's are Pathfinders traveling to Magaambya to learn/steal knowledge and (hopefully) build up the relationship between the Society and Academy.

Last session they had to help the Academy by going to the observatory where a ratfolk sorcerer-in-training had accidentally opened up a portal to the Plane of Water, flooding the entire complex and triggering the automatic Animated Brooms to deploy around the observatory to clean up. It wasn't until I started playing the song that they got the reference lol.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

"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."

Xanderghul, Sorshen, Tar-Baphon, Nex, Geb, Arazni, and Aroden's eyes all collectively twitched a bit when they heard this. Jatembe is certainly high-ranking, but methinks there's some pro-Magaambya bias partisanship behind this statement.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:

"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."

Xanderghul, Sorshen, Tar-Baphon, Nex, Geb, Arazni, and Aroden's eyes all collectively twitched a bit when they heard this. Jatembe is certainly high-ranking, but methinks there's some pro-Magaambya bias partisanship behind this statement.

Wasn't it in Legends where they are talking about Baba Yaga, how she thinks Tar-Baphon is a fool and doesn't really rate Sorshen... but about Jatembe, she says absolutely nothing it all?

That to me says that good ol Old-Mage has/had some serious, serious chops.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, in the case of Aroden, he became a literal god, so he's more notable for that than wizardry. And regardless of whether he was the most powerful wizard, Jatembe was definitely a very, very important one (on Golarion) since he rediscovered arcane magic after the Age of Darkness.

Dark Archive

Also didn't Aroden kind of accomplish lot of things through various artifacts he found rather than research per say? Aka traditional adventuring wizard lifestyle xD

(Also, with all pre earthfall wizards, you can't literally say they discovered arcane magic on their own since all of them(and their various styles) were built on top of previous research(and in case of Azlanti, handed over by aboleths at its core)


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

So, I'm relatively new to Pathfinder, having only picked it up in the last couple of years and voraciously absorbed as much lore as I can in the meantime, but I feel like there's a pretty solid difference between Jatembe and all the other wizards mentioned a bit further up:

All those other wizards have gotten their butts kicked. Sorshen and Xanderghul both lost to adventuring parties as part of AP's, the various ways that Arazni has come out the worse of certain fights is well-recorded, Tar-Baphon got blasted into lichdom by Aroden, and Aroden himself got murdered fairly recently. Nex fled Quantium when Geb flooded it with deadly fog, and while it seems like Geb is still going strong after Arazni stopped running his kingdom for him, he's a ghost now, so not exactly a full-on wizard.

Jatembe showed up, pulled the art of wizardry itself out of the wreckage of the Azlanti culture, set up a school to generate heroes and wardens of the world that has lasted all the way up unto the present day, did a bunch of cool folk hero stuff, and peaced out. I have no qualms whatsoever with agreeing that Jatembe is the greatest wizard to ever live.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
obfuscatingDeity wrote:
he's a ghost now, so not exactly a full-on wizard.

I'm not sure that's a valid construction. Why can't a ghost be a "full-on" wizard? What does "full-on" mean in this context?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
obfuscatingDeity wrote:
he's a ghost now, so not exactly a full-on wizard.
I'm not sure that's a valid construction. Why can't a ghost be a "full-on" wizard? What does "full-on" mean in this context?

Yeah, I'll admit that that's my shakiest point, because I couldn't really think of anything else to say about Geb. I suppose being a ghost doesn't invalidate him from being a full-on wizard.

I suppose if I had to point to one thing that put Jatembe over Geb, it was that Jatembe did it first. If I read the dates correctly, Jatembe figured out wizardry more or less by himself in the Age of Anguish(-3502 AR) through various communiques with powerful outsiders, including(potentially) the skull of a near-dead god, which already marks him as having done some dope stuff before he even became the father of modern wizardry.

Geb, on the other hand, doesn't come into the historical picture until -929 AR, over 2,500 years after Old-Mage Jatembe pioneered wizardry from the ruins of Azlant. Geb came from 2,000+ years of Osirioni magecraft tradition, at least some of which was probably filtered east from the Magaambyan's influence. Jatembe didn't have any of that, and managed to create the oldest living magic school on Golarion.

IMO, Jatembe takes the crown easy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Andrew Mullen wrote:

Yep, they’ve said there’ll be ways to get non-spellcasting classes involved!

I don’t know how this fact interacts with the details of the AP at all, but also keep in mind that canonically the Magaambya accepts people without magical aptitude, as mentioned in Lost Omens Character Guide.

Somebody's got to wash the dishes and empty the chamber pots. :-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wonder which of those rivals my players will end up with a crush on. I know it’s inevitable.

Liberty's Edge

"Greatest" can mean so many things.

Vigilant Seal

I plan on using the Dual-Class/Free Archetype variants for this one.

Shades of the old Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric combo!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CrazyDave wrote:

I plan on using the Dual-Class/Free Archetype variants for this one.

Shades of the old Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric combo!

I think it’s been said that this AP uses Free Archetype, though I could be wrong on that.

Vigilant Seal

keftiu wrote:
CrazyDave wrote:

I plan on using the Dual-Class/Free Archetype variants for this one.

Shades of the old Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric combo!

I think it’s been said that this AP uses Free Archetype, though I could be wrong on that.

Yes, I remember something like that, as well.

Dual-class would be great, though. Having everyone as a spellcaster + whatever makes sense in a magic school.

Grand Archive

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

My personnal guess is that you'll get a free "spellcasting archetype", no matter your base class, so that non-magical classes get some, and magical ones get more.


So this would be a July 28th street date release as far as we know at this time correct? Loved the Panels on this gang last weekend, going to be a blast!! Then just waiting for Secrets to street date drop Aug 25th then its time to go "Back to School" and hit those magic books :) Hope those final exams are not to life threatening...... LOL

Tom

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

TRDG wrote:

So this would be a July 28th street date release as far as we know at this time correct? Loved the Panels on this gang last weekend, going to be a blast!! Then just waiting for Secrets to street date drop Aug 25th then its time to go "Back to School" and hit those magic books :) Hope those final exams are not to life threatening...... LOL

Tom

Those the the release dates as I understand them too. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
My personnal guess is that you'll get a free "spellcasting archetype", no matter your base class, so that non-magical classes get some, and magical ones get more.

At the PaizoCon panels, they apparently said that you get your choice of Druid Dedication or Wizard Dedication. If you are a druid or a wizard, you automatically get the other archetype.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Could someone post the actual cover that (I believe) was presented during PaizoCon?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
My personnal guess is that you'll get a free "spellcasting archetype", no matter your base class, so that non-magical classes get some, and magical ones get more.

At the PaizoCon panels, they apparently said that you get your choice of Druid Dedication or Wizard Dedication. If you are a druid or a wizard, you automatically get the other archetype.

Do you know which panel this was? I missed it and need to go watch it now haha


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
xNellynelx wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
My personnal guess is that you'll get a free "spellcasting archetype", no matter your base class, so that non-magical classes get some, and magical ones get more.

At the PaizoCon panels, they apparently said that you get your choice of Druid Dedication or Wizard Dedication. If you are a druid or a wizard, you automatically get the other archetype.

Do you know which panel this was? I missed it and need to go watch it now haha

I heard it too. I think it was the mwangi panel, but not sure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GGSigmar wrote:
xNellynelx wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
My personnal guess is that you'll get a free "spellcasting archetype", no matter your base class, so that non-magical classes get some, and magical ones get more.

At the PaizoCon panels, they apparently said that you get your choice of Druid Dedication or Wizard Dedication. If you are a druid or a wizard, you automatically get the other archetype.

Do you know which panel this was? I missed it and need to go watch it now haha
I heard it too. I think it was the mwangi panel, but not sure.

It was.


Thanks Aaron (Waves hand at Aaron just like in the panels, LOL)

Just wanted to make sure as I have to plan way ahead if I will be a player in this then run one of my other groups through it once we are far enough along it won't spoil anything for me :)

Tom


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

I plan to run this adventure path! Anyone else looking to open up the free archetype choices? I want a wizard who joins to not necessarily have to take on druidism, and vice versa.

I think my rule will be something along the lines of having to have some amount of prepared casting by level 2. Thoughts?


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

I plan to run this adventure path! Anyone else looking to open up the free archetype choices? I want a wizard who joins to not necessarily have to take on druidism, and vice versa.

I think my rule will be something along the lines of having to have some amount of prepared casting by level 2. Thoughts?

At the moment, I would also allow the Magaambyan Attendant archetype. Though I can understand the possible plot reasons why they aren't doing it (it's supposed to be for full members, and these are literally students), it doesn't make sense to lock someone in to something they may not want.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I plan to run this adventure path! Anyone else looking to open up the free archetype choices? I want a wizard who joins to not necessarily have to take on druidism, and vice versa.

I think my rule will be something along the lines of having to have some amount of prepared casting by level 2. Thoughts?

I'd probably allow Sorcerer and Witch MCs too, so long as they were Primal or Arcane. Seems like the occult/divine side of the casting classes aren't emphasized nearly as well as the arcane/primal side.


A bit worried as some of the potential players are looking at for a Cleric type free multi class, Guess I might have to open that up as well and hope that won't break anything.....??

Yep the Fighter/cleric vibe was quite strong or Ranger/Cleric

Tom

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