Pathfinder Adventure Path #173: Doorway to the Red Star (Strength of Thousands 5 of 6)

4.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #173: Doorway to the Red Star (Strength of Thousands 5 of 6)

Add Print Edition $24.99

Add PDF $17.99

Facebook Twitter Email

Soar above a planet of adventure! The trail of a long-vanished ally leads to the other side of a magical portal called the Doorway to the Red Star. The heroes must earn the trust of the portal's guardians then travel through it—to another planet of red sands and high adventure! Working to gain allies among scholarly brain-people and shifty ratfolk, the heroes must infiltrate a massive airship and fight to free their ally from an insidious trap on an alien world!

“Doorway to the Red Star” is a Pathfinder adventure for four 15th-level characters. This adventure continues the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the heroes rise from humble magic academy students to become influential teachers, and ultimately decide the fate of the Magaambya. This adventure also details people, places, and monsters of Akiton, the Red Planet, a fabulous setting for sword-and-sorcery escapades!

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: 978-1-64078-382-9

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
Archives of Nethys

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

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 11 to 20 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO90173


See Also:

Average product rating:

4.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

3/5


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 grateful to see that it's been paired with one of Paizo’s best APs!


1 to 50 of 94 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

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


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I was hoping this would actually go to Akiton and not just center on the Door! This is SO exciting; “finally getting a Mwangi perspective” and “more sword-and-planet” stuff were not two wishes I expected the same AP to check off, but here we are.

I’m genuinely delighted - thank you!


Ok, this looks positively bomb! I can't wait to dig into this one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’m really hoping to see that backmatter give enough of a springboard for Akitonian PCs; I know the native humans are pretty under-detailed, and I’m hopeful to see glimpses of the native ysoki and iruxi, too.

Could be very fun to have a red-skinned student at the Magaambya...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I love me some akiton. After we got the shoony, I wonder if we'll get an Ikeshti or Shobhad ancestry here. I really want contemplative, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Albatoonoe wrote:
I love me some akiton. After we got the shoony, I wonder if we'll get an Ikeshti or Shobhad ancestry here. I really want contemplative, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it.

Ikeshti are explicitly referred to as iruxi in other texts, I believe; maybe they’ll be an Ethnicity/Heritage/chain of Lineage Feats?

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.

This is part of why I think its important to detail Golarion's solar system in Pathfinder 2e as well instead of leaving them to Starfinder:

Because in Pathfinder the planets represented completely different genres than in Starfinder, with Akiton being the "John Carter of the Mars" and similar pulp novel sword and sorcery planet in pathfinder instead of just "mostly desert planet with bad economical situation" :'D

Ikeshti are fairly radically different from iruxi so I would kinda prefer them not be "just" heritage since I don't think iruxi are capable of covering "all lizard humanoids" but wouldn't be surprised if that is how they will handle it


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

Agreed. I think it can be a heritage, but starting from scratch with an entirely new Ancetstry seems like it would be better.

Small sized, no claws, no aquatic adaptation, plus a climb speed, desert adaptation, and shed skin seems like it would be an even set of trades, but fairly complex for a heritage.

The shooting blood seems like a good 1st level ancestry feat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Going to Akiton will also dovetail with Guns & Gears too. Shobhad-neh!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder/Starfinder crossover - check!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Ikeshti also have a weird reproduction cycle. Definitely need more than a heritage.

Crazy idea. Hardcover that covers the solar system and rules for all that would entail. Technology, alien ancestries, space magic, etc.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Pathfinder/Starfinder crossover - check!

I don't think going to Akiton counts as Starfinder crossover anymore than going to Triaxus did :P Besides the blog announced pathfinder/starfinder society crossover special so that seems like more accurate description

On sidenote, someone pointed out that Starfinder Akiton should be more space western influenced and I was like "Holy crap yeah, that would have been much better than sand planet with mercenaries" x'D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Really hoping we get some info on Akitonian humans, who we know very little about other than Starfinder calling them the Hylki, and that they have five ethnicities.


Hylki would be a good idea for a heritage.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
Hylki would be a good idea for a heritage.

Do they have any characteristics (other than skin color) that distinguish them from other humans? If not, they are better as an ethnicity than a heritage.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Albatoonoe wrote:
Hylki would be a good idea for a heritage.

Nah, I’m pretty adamant on Humans being differentiated by Ethnicity, not Heritage; the alternative quickly runs somewhere gross.

Grand Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

(Even non-human have ethnicities now too... An Ekujae elf doesn't have a specific heritage either.)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah ancestry guide is full of etchnicities for all non core ancestries not directly covered by heritage

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I could see some sort of "desert human" (probably more creatively-named than that) heritage being added, akin to the wintertouched human from LOCG, suitable both for the Akitonian Hylki and other Golarion desert-dwelling humans, but I'm not betting on it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RiverMesa wrote:
I could see some sort of "desert human" (probably more creatively-named than that) heritage being added, akin to the wintertouched human from LOCG, suitable both for the Akitonian Hylki and other Golarion desert-dwelling humans, but I'm not betting on it.

Considering that most of Akiton is a cold desert, I'd just use that very same wintertouched heritage. For hot desert dwellers on Golarion, the abilities of the 'desert elf' heritage would probably do quite nicely.


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

I can see that I may have some fun customizing this AP. My PC in a previous campaign was a Chelaxian/Mwangi spellcaster from Sargava (later to become Vidrian) who wanted nothing more than to return to her childhood home and become a teacher there. And one place the party went during the campaign was to Akiton.

So I am now looking forward to going through volume one of the AP to find an NPC on the faculty of the Magaambya for my former PC to replace, and then to seeing whether anything in this volume can be tied back to that earlier campaign.

Liberty's Edge

kind of a detour from the magical academy setting, no?


It's still in the Mwangi Expanse (up until it's not), and clearly it will tie in to the plot.

Wayfinders

I mean, a lot of APs have the 5th issue be a detour into another plane (or, planet, as the case may be), it's fine.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
BMO wrote:
kind of a detour from the magical academy setting, no?

The Magaambya has a thriving study abroad program.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
SOLDIER-1st wrote:
The Magaambya has a thriving study abroad program.

It's simply Out of This World!

★★★★★☆

;p


6 people marked this as a favorite.
BMO wrote:
kind of a detour from the magical academy setting, no?

Most of the books are not set in the academy; Magaambyans travel far and wide, and given that the most famous portal to Akiton is both in their backyard and mythologically tied to their founder…


Hoping to see the Iobane in this; I’m very slightly bummed they don’t make an appearance in the Mwangi Expanse book!


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

infiltrating an airship? ooooh color me interested, that sounds very exciting along with traveling to another planet in search of a missing ally! can't wait for this one!


I really like the cover to this.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
I really like the cover to this.

I’m just seeing the placeholder?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

keftiu wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
I really like the cover to this.
I’m just seeing the placeholder?

The mock covers are green. The final covers are a woven yellow/beige.


Preview image on the AP page shows a MUCH more sci-fi airship than I expected. Has Akiton always had high tech stuff?

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Kinda? It was heavily John Carter themed before Starfinder.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Preview image on the AP page shows a MUCH more sci-fi airship than I expected. Has Akiton always had high tech stuff?

If I remember correctly Akiton at the time that Pathfinder was set had technology pretty similar to Jon Carter with a bit of Star Wars thrown in.

They have rifles that are much more accurate and deadly than those currently becoming more common on Golarion, they have moisture farms and solar panels, their ships are described as being magical, though they could have been something comparable to artifice from Eberron in design/make.

The real high-tech worlds were Aballon, Verces, and Eox since all of them even back then had space-faring vessels, though most were partially magical and Verces was deep into cybernetic augmentation.

Though at one point the Azlanti were traveling the stars, which is how Humans got to Akiton, and the Lirgini made a true blue spaceship on Golarion...so tech levels definitely fluctuated a fair bit since the past.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Preview image on the AP page shows a MUCH more sci-fi airship than I expected. Has Akiton always had high tech stuff?

Personally I'm very much hoping not. I was really looking forward to this AP, but not if it becomes a sci-fi + fantasy hybrid AP. Up until now Paizo have done a great job of ringfencing 'high tech' in their setting for those of us who like our fantasy without sci-fi mixed in. I'm assuming that separation will continue. If including sci-fi in the setting becomes a mandatory part of the AP we won't be playing it unfortunately. If there's ways to work around that then no problem.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

… you’re literally going to another planet.

What all you find and can use on said other planet remains to be seen. I’m not sure what exactly “ringfencing” means here but Akiton (and Numeria on Golarion) had that level of tech in P1 as well, with other planets having even higher levels.

That didn’t auto-translate to absolutely everything being sci-fi though.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

… you’re literally going to another planet.

Yes. That can be done equally with magic, it doesn't necessarily imply sci-fi. As has been done in other Paizo content in the past.

Rysky wrote:

What all you find and can use on said other planet remains to be seen.

Totally. This is just a response to the new art, which looks pretty 'sci fi'. The text description (airship) could be done guns & gears steampunk feel, or more high sci fi like the feel of the art.

Rysky wrote:

I’m not sure what exactly “ringfencing” means here

I'm just referring to how Paizo have kept high-tech in specific places (such as Numeria) so that groups who don't want sci-fi mixed into their fantasy can easily do so. It's a great feature of the setting that it can be adapted to different 'fantasy sub-genres' based on including or excluding a few elements. Elements that have been made to be added and removed easily. Guns is similar - they're 'optional' for the setting.

I was just surprised by having sci-fi in this particular AP. I guess from a positioning point of view I'd put it in the 'Amazing new Mwangi setting meets magic school' box, and didn't expect sci-fi to be added over the top of that. I'd made an assumption and built some expectations based on that incorrect assumption.

To be clear, I'm not saying it's wrong. Lots of players like the sci fi. I'm just personally surprised and hoping that there might be a way to still play the AP without having to have any high-tech sci-fi flavour in it, without needing to do a major re-write. But if it's a whole book set on a high-tech planet, then the answer is 'probably not'.

Silver Crusade

“That can be done equally with magic, it doesn't necessarily imply sci-fi.”

The description (and title) flat out say you’re using a magical portal. To me going to another planet is innately scifi. Regardless, Akiton has, from its John Carter theme from P1, fantasy tech.

“This is just a response to the new art, which looks pretty 'sci fi'.”

Which is kinda nebulous point to make. What’s the difference between steampunk airship and fantasy tech airship? High tech to me implies things like AI and stuff. What’s the difference between a fantasy airship and scifi airship? Especially if both use magic.

“ I was just surprised by having sci-fi in this particular AP.”

You need to narrow down what you mean by “scifi” instead of saying it over and over (steampunk is a genre of scifi btw). To me going to another planet is innately scifi, but if by scifi you mean everyone having mechs and laser guns then probably not.

“I'm just personally surprised and hoping that there might be a way to still play the AP without having to have any high-tech sci-fi flavour in it,”

You’re assuming everyone is gonna have laptops and other futuristic tech going forward in the AP while knowing not a whole lot about the adventure and Akiton itself, it’s John Carter, not Cyberpunk.

Also there’s this from the description,

product page wrote:
This adventure also details people, places, and monsters of Akiton, the Red Planet, a fabulous setting for sword-and-sorcery escapades!

Akiton has guns and airships. So does Golarion. They’re both fantasy guns and airships.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:


Akiton has guns and airships. So does Golarion. They’re both fantasy guns and airships.

At some point a gun stops being a fantasy gun and becomes a sci-fi gun. Where that crossover point is is subjective. But most people would agree a blunderbuss is fantasy and a laser gun is sci fi. The crossover happens somewhere between the two.

As for flavours of sci-fi, I'm attempting to use the two big bucket definitions of 'steampunk' (low-tech sci fi, clockwork, breach loading guns), and 'high-tech sci fi' (Starfinder, laser guns, spaces ships, etc). That appears to be the approximate categorisation Paizo works to, hence Guns & Gears not having Numenera equipment in it.

Anyway the point I'm attempting to make is in reference to the original comment above:

keftiu wrote:
Preview image on the AP page shows a MUCH more sci-fi airship than I expected. Has Akiton always had high tech stuff?

It's an aesthetic point - namely how the airship looks. To me (and clearly to keftiue) it looks surprisingly high-tech. Personally it reminds me of something out of Star Wars on Tatooine. Or Starfinder art with Pathfinder iconics in it. That came as a surprise. Again for the sake of clarity: this is a highly subjective judgement, as all aesthetic judgements are.

Silver Crusade

“But most people would agree a blunderbuss is fantasy and a laser gun is sci fi. The crossover happens somewhere between the two.”

1) I don’t consider a Blunderbuss, or any mundane firearm, fantasy.

2) what if the laser gun is powered by elemental gems? What if it connects to an elemental plane?

“That appears to be the approximate categorisation Paizo works to, hence Guns & Gears not having Numenera equipment in it.”

Have they said it won’t?

“To me (and clearly to keftiue) it looks surprisingly high-tech.”

To me it looks like it’s made of metal. Also how is it “surprisingly”? The finale of Agents of Edwatch takes place in a

Spoiler:
giant mech
.

“Again for the sake of clarity: this is a highly subjective judgement, as all aesthetic judgements are.”

I don’t think anyone is calling this into question.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They have explicitly said Guns and Gears won't have Numeria tech because they are considered on different levels.

And for what it's worth I agree with Yossarian here. There's a reason I play Pathfinder and not Starfinder, I'm not much into sci-fi. There's a big difference in the entire idea of the setting between "an unstable portal to another world" and "spaceship travel is the norm".

It's fine if you have no issue with that! People like different things! But lets not pretend this doesn't come across as more sci fi than fantasy.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Yossarian wrote:
As for flavours of sci-fi, I'm attempting to use the two big bucket definitions of 'steampunk' (low-tech sci fi, clockwork, breach loading guns), and 'high-tech sci fi' (Starfinder, laser guns, spaces ships, etc).

The problem you're going to run into here is that Akiton is explicitly out there for "sword and planet" stories, which have always stood very firmly with one foot in each of those buckets. And a third foot in actual fantasy, because there's aliens so they can have three feet. You're not going to be able to pull them apart comfortably.


please stop


8 people marked this as a favorite.

People bewildered by a sci-fi turn in this specific AP have me shaking my head a little; “there’s a portal to Fantasy Mars in the Mwangi that Jatembe, the founder of the magic school this AP is about, famously banished a guy through” is lore that has been around for aaaages. I’m excited about the payoff for deep lore nerds like me!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Also: Pathfinder is a setting that has had crashed spaceships in it forever. Elves are aliens. Androids are playable. We’ve seen black hole worship in both editions, along with alien abductions.

You can not like these elements, but acting like they are some kind of betrayal of Pathfinder’s setting is silly.


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

Yeah, and like, sure, is it kind of strange and weird? Sure! but thats sort of the fun of high-level play! Instead of visiting another plane though we're getting to visit another planet! Its really exciting!!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
silversarcasm wrote:

They have explicitly said Guns and Gears won't have Numeria tech because they are considered on different levels.

And for what it's worth I agree with Yossarian here. There's a reason I play Pathfinder and not Starfinder, I'm not much into sci-fi. There's a big difference in the entire idea of the setting between "an unstable portal to another world" and "spaceship travel is the norm".

It's fine if you have no issue with that! People like different things! But lets not pretend this doesn't come across as more sci fi than fantasy.

*blinks*

We are using the portal to go to another world though, not spaceships.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

This sounds so cool! I have to say SoT is looking really awesome.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

They have explicitly said Guns and Gears won't have Numeria tech because they are considered on different levels.

And for what it's worth I agree with Yossarian here. There's a reason I play Pathfinder and not Starfinder, I'm not much into sci-fi. There's a big difference in the entire idea of the setting between "an unstable portal to another world" and "spaceship travel is the norm".

It's fine if you have no issue with that! People like different things! But lets not pretend this doesn't come across as more sci fi than fantasy.

*blinks*

We are using the portal to go to another world though, not spaceships.

Yes, that's my point! That theres a way this could not stray too far into sci fi, which is what was being discussed in the first place; How easy it will be to keep this feeling fantasy.

The picture raises questions, but we won't really have the answers until it releases

1 to 50 of 94 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Adventure Path #173: Doorway to the Red Star (Strength of Thousands 5 of 6) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.