Pathfinder Adventure Path #181: Zombie Feast (Blood Lords 1 of 6)

4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #181: Zombie Feast (Blood Lords 1 of 6)
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Something gnawing at you? The undead nation of Geb gains most of its international trade from the export of food grown on zombie-worked farms, but lately one farm has been the site of a series of strange occurrences. Dispatched to investigate the problem, the player characters discover a grave threat to Geb's minority living population, bringing them to the attention of the insidious Blood Lords who rule the land in the name of their undead wizard-king. Defeating the wicked forces behind the plot is the first step on a long road to gaining influence and power in Geb, but if the investigators can't solve the problem to the Blood Lords' satisfaction, their first step may be their last!

Zombie Feast is a Pathfinder adventure for four less-than-good-hearted 1st-level characters. The adventure begins the Blood Lords Adventure Path, a six-part, monthly campaign in which the characters rise from skilled troubleshooters to join the Blood Lords who rule a land of the dead. The adventure also details the Great Factions of Geb, whose favors are key to rising in political influence, and provides a complete gazetteer of the town of Graydirge, where the adventure takes place. New monsters, spells, undead companions, and more round out the bountiful buffet of "Zombie Feast"!

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: 978-1-64078-446-8

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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Foundry Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Archives of Nethys

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

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4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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Well-written mystery with a distinct locale

5/5

When I first read this volume several months ago, I was fairly underwhelmed. Now, having run it myself, I have to admit I judged it far too harshly. This is a very fun introduction to Geb as a nation, with lots of fun NPCs to interact with and chances to delve right into what the country is all about. The investigation at the core of the volume does a good job dropping hints along the way without making anything too obvious, as well as setting up the long-term plot of the AP.

My only gripe is that some plot threads are set up with explicitly no conclusion, such as the pool of viscera in the manor’s basement and the lower floors of the bank. I appreciate the opportunity for GMs to get creative there, but with an uncreative GM like myself, it can lead to players getting too interested in questions I haven’t come up with any good answers to.

Overall though, excellent start to an AP, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Mike Kimmel contributes in the future!


A creepy module that encourages smart play

5/5

The good:
—A lot of encounter set-ups that explicitly encourage smart play — relying on hit-and-run tactics, luring mindless enemies into traps or away from where the party wants to go, employing environmental features to the player’s advantage. A great way to make combats more interesting and engaging.
—A lot of good “zombie movie” aesthetic fights in various places. Really helps to nail the mood.
—A lot of tasks, combats and interactions with NPCs which really highlight that the adventure isn’t taking place in your ordinary generic fantasy-land locale (Greyhawk, Waterdeep, Absalom, etc), but rather in Geb, where everything, even ordinary every-day stuff, is infused with a kind of twisted and horror-style vibe.
—The article on the city of Graydirge in back has lots of nice touches. The Death Ranches are a particularly nice touch — *really* creepy, but also utterly logical.

The bad:
—Not really “bad”, but a little disappointing this adventure didn’t make the “free archetype” option, restricted to undead archetypes, the default option. But easy enough for any GM to slap on.
—Also not “bad”, but the Greydirge bank chapter felt more like a standard dungeon crawl, and felt a little less immersive and different than most of the module. But it was fine.

The ugly/pretty:
—The cover looks a little “flat” and static, despite the entertaining scene it's depicting.
—The art and maps in the rest of the book are, as usual, very well-done. The page borders in particular are a wonderful gruesome addition that add a lot to the aesthetic feel of the book.

Overall, a great start to a creepy AP!


Overtuned

3/5

Not sure why this is getting 5-star botted. It has some issues.

Anyways -- it's an okay intro. Berline Haldoli is a standout NPC. But the bank is a real death-trap. Very dangerous. The last fight with the haunt involved can also be very hard if you don't knock out the cauldron immediately.

Things that can happen at the farm
- Murder cow. Yes, you're warned about it. But they also put it RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, like the second thing you encounter.

Things that can happen at the bank
- Summoning rune that brings forth a CR 3 Cockatrice
- Petrification (from the cockatrice)
- CR 4 zombie horde that is I think one size too large
- Bone landslide trap that will probably insta-kill you at level 2
- Haunt with a very high DC

Things that can happen at the Crooked Whatever
- Ghoul Fever
- TPK at the last encounter

A+ art on this one. Geb's architecture is something else. Love how it feels halfway between Mesoamerican architecture and Dio De Los Muertos.

Some things failed to land for me, like the Arghun the Annihilator hand.

The bank was so frustrating that we nearly dropped the AP. Tight corridors, no real opportunities for strategy or bypass - just a lethal grind. At level 2 it will clobber you senseless. Consider giving the group level 3 before the bank, even though that's not what the AP recommends.

Hoping the next one is a little less combat-grindy.


Rip Tanner is a Bot or a troll

5/5

I haven't played this yet but I am giving it 5 stars to counteract rip Tanner, who is clearly a Bot or a troll of some sort. Keep up the good work Paizo.


5/5


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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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This actually sounds killer. Looks like my hopes for faction-based intrigue are being answered!

Grand Lodge Pathfinder Society Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.

No zombies were harmed in the writing of this adventure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looks great! New undead companions really peeks my interest.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Valantrix1 wrote:
Looks great! New undead companions really peeks my interest.

Pedantic note: interest is “piqued,” not peeked! One of those weird obscure homophones.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
This actually sounds killer.

Haha! Killer... Zombies...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, finally, Geb!


I do feel contractually obligated to say: there are some very fun potential Inquisitors one could hypothetically make for this AP, even factoring in the ban on channeling positive energy.

...wait, is that going to be a problem for living parties?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I say all skeleton party seems warranted for once so why not go for it? ;D

Silver Crusade

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Hehe “grave threat”.


no zombies were harmed yeah right ... :D. so excited to run a a vampire a lich a two ghoul player's through this. this is the AP I'm waiting for and it's 1-20!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Looks great! New undead companions really peeks my interest.
Pedantic note: interest is “piqued,” not peeked! One of those weird obscure homophones.

Thank you. I knew it wasn't right, but for the life of me I couldn't remember the proper way. Being blind doesn't help when you are trying to look it up either.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I hope this comes with at least a GM suggestion of how a follower of Arazni can get at least some betrayal in. I'm on board for the non-good alignment campaign,
it's hype, but I've always wanted to get some revenge in for my favorite evil goddess. I would die to haunt the Blood Lords in her name.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I could not be more excited for this! Undead are some of my favorite entities in fantasy and being able to play them is something I always crave. The only problem is I don't know if I want to run it, or convince someone else to do so!


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

Very cool!


So this is the one where all those hints about Nex's return have been leading, right?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hehe "Dispatched"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Based on Jason Tondro's twitter posts I thought Paizo had sworn off writing Chaotic Neutral/Evil themed AP's, but I'm happy to be surprised in this case. Guess I'll keep my adventure path sub all year this year.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It's non-good themed, not evil themed. You can still play as evil, mind, but it's not HV2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Grankless wrote:
It's non-good themed, not evil themed. You can still play as evil, mind, but it's not HV2.

I would expect a lot of Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil, and Neutral Evil getting played in this one - and a lot of undead PCs.


I will LOVE GMing this but this one I want to be a player in first, now on the hunt for a GM on Roll20!! Ha Ha

Tom

Paizo Employee Director of Community

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post (and a quote) that replied in an unrelated, aggressive, way to a post in the thread.


Damn, I was hoping Geb would finally get tired of brooding and launch an all out offense against the archmage Nex and all the other major powers of Garund thus forcing the PC's to develop an alliance of nations and kingdoms to finally bring an end to the ghostly necromancer king!

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we're getting another Adventure Path but sadly it's one I'm not really interested in playing due to the nature of needing "less than good" PC's.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:

Damn, I was hoping Geb would finally get tired of brooding and launch an all out offense against the archmage Nex and all the other major powers of Garund thus forcing the PC's to develop an alliance of nations and kingdoms to finally bring an end to the ghostly necromancer king!

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we're getting another Adventure Path but sadly it's one I'm not really interested in playing due to the nature of needing "less than good" PC's.

Nex still hasn't returned (though it does seem imminent, and may even happen in this AP), but this one has pretty firmly been "you're on the side of the Gebbite state" since it was first announced.

But hey, it'll still have cool stuff to loot, even if you don't run it - the Holomog material we're getting in a later volume has me giddy.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Ye! Love the Backmatter articles.

Also Nex's return from the Worldscape would cause more fear than anything. I'm not saying Geb is the lesser of two evils here, but I'm also not not saying that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Ye! Love the Backmatter articles.

Also Nex's return from the Worldscape would cause more fear than anything. I'm not saying Geb is the lesser of two evils here, but I'm also not not saying that.

Geb is seemingly bound in terms of where he can travel, and has managed to avoid starting any wars of conquest for a remarkably long time; his nation is undoubtedly evil (the whole 'eating living people at a massive scale' thing), but remains a pretty peaceful neighbor.

We have every reason to believe a returned Nex would show no such restraint, and would likely pop out of the Refuge with a blasting wand in each hand. I imagine just about everyone with any shred of power in the region wants to keep that from happening - this might be the AP where that comes up.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

On sidenote though, if Nex IS this AP's final boss, that would take out Geb as well since his reason for staying connected tot his world would get done.

But if Nex is involved here and Worldscape stuff is canon, releasing Nex's "collection"(likely including such as Count Ranalc) would have lot of implications :D


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

On the matter of Nex, I am still highly upset that the Crux and Refuge of Nex aren't collectively known as "the Nexus".

Thank you for coming to my Nex Talk.

Grand Lodge Pathfinder Society Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:

On the matter of Nex, I am still highly upset that the Crux and Refuge of Nex aren't collectively known as "the Nexus".

Thank you for coming to my Nex Talk.

The Pathfinder Society was similarly upset, so they named their lodge in Quantium "Nexus House" to maintain proper balance in the universe.

Anyway, I can't wait until everyone gets a chance to see the guts of this delightfully disgusting adventure.

Horizon Hunters

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I can't wait for the Player's Guide for this one to come out.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yea. I'm sure they said "less-than-good-hearted" because there are likely themes a LG paladin or similar good character would struggle with. And suggesting a less-than-good character will maximize the opportunity for fun times.


Is this first module still on track to hit in Mid July still?

Thanks

Tom

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
firelark01 wrote:
I can't wait for the Player's Guide for this one to come out.

Look for it in late June.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.
TRDG wrote:

Is this first module still on track to hit in Mid July still?

Thanks

Tom

*Looks at you with the justin timberlake stare gif.* Tom. Why do you ask these questions when you know international shipping chaos is beyond the oracles' and precogs' knowing? ;)

The release date is still targeted as 7/27.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Look, only the two most important Chinese ports are/will be shut down for weeks/months, I'm sure it's fine.


@ Aaron :)

Well, if one just might be trying to set up a game for this and I want to be a player instead of GMing it at first. So looking for a Free GM and 5 other players on a certain VTT site posting.......

And from hard earned experience with doing these types of things many times before, finding the right 5 of a 6 party group fairly easy. A good free GM, not so much as it needs lots of lead time as possible to find and Discord voice vet em, just "saying" So any scrap of info for those in the know is quite vital for things like this bud.

See my thought process a bit better now on the intent of the post above?

(WINK)

Tom

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TRDG wrote:

@ Aaron :)

Well, if one just might be trying to set up a game for this and I want to be a player instead of GMing it at first. So looking for a Free GM and 5 other players on a certain VTT site posting.......

And from hard earned experience with doing these types of things many times before, finding the right 5 of a 6 party group fairly easy. A good free GM, not so much as it needs lots of lead time as possible to find and Discord voice vet em, just "saying" So any scrap of info for those in the know is quite vital for things like this bud.

See my thought process a bit better now on the intent of the post above?

(WINK)

Tom

I tease. Your desire to know to valid. But we will not know if any product is on track until it is in our warehouse, for the foreseeable future. When we know it is off track, we update the preorder date. I hope that helps.


Yep, yep, I teased ya back bud, plus a chance to see what I'm thinking about when I ask questions some might go "WTF, is'nt it so obvious?" kinda thing.

All is well in the world, as long as Roll20 follows through and has it day 1 with the hi Res maps you give em :)

I really think and hope this might be a huge groundbreaking take on Paizo AP's. Ya I know I should'nt get my hopes (and dreams) up to high, but ya know, that can be half the fun waiting for cool new product themes never really done this way before :)

And to be a player instead of GMing this!! Ha Ha

Tom

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Ya know, I'm curious if we will have cameo of blood lord that is the dhamphir necromancer evil iconic's parent. Either way book of the dead is making me excited to see more Geb content :O


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I’m super curious about the outset of this AP, in terms of how the characters are actually employed. Are the Blood Lords formalized and centralized enough to have an organization of troubleshooters at their command, or are the PCs working for a specific one? Is there a government agency in Geb with adventurers on the roster?


Intriguing. Is the goal to play undead?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Intriguing. Is the goal to play undead?

They’ve said both living and undead PCs work; they just recommend a non-Good alignment.


So this is kindalike a 2e Hell's Revenge.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Not really, Hell's Vengeance was an evil AP, this one is more of "Neutral, morally ambiguous, fine with working for an undead country" kind of vibe.

Pathfinder Development Manager

5 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:

I’m super curious about the outset of this AP, in terms of how the characters are actually employed. Are the Blood Lords formalized and centralized enough to have an organization of troubleshooters at their command, or are the PCs working for a specific one? Is there a government agency in Geb with adventurers on the roster?

They're working for a specific one. She's on the cover!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ron Lundeen wrote:
keftiu wrote:

I’m super curious about the outset of this AP, in terms of how the characters are actually employed. Are the Blood Lords formalized and centralized enough to have an organization of troubleshooters at their command, or are the PCs working for a specific one? Is there a government agency in Geb with adventurers on the roster?

They're working for a specific one. She's on the cover!

I cannot wait to see this cover mate!

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