Pathfinder Adventure Path #187: The Seventh Arch (Gatewalkers 1 of 3)

3.90/5 (based on 22 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #187: The Seventh Arch (Gatewalkers 1 of 3)

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Gaze through the gate!

Paranormal adventure abounds when an ancient curse at long last lifts from the River Kingdom of Sevenarches. The heroes trek into the ancient forest realm in search of answers, but first they find violent druids, wicked fey hunters, and paranoid townsfolk. Behind it all is an enigmatic bogeyman who pulls the strings from a coterminous plane of spindly shadows. Can the characters unravel the schemes of Kaneepo the Slim? How does the fatal obnubilate curse relate to their missing memories? And what awaits them on the other side of the Seventh Arch? There's just one way to find out!

The Seventh Arch is a Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Gatewalkers Adventure Path, a three-part monthly campaign in which a team of paranormal investigators unravel the mystery behind a mass amnesic episode which left them with lost memories and strange powers. This adventure also includes a gazetteer of adventure sites on the alien world of Castrovel, the Green Planet; new rules options perfect for paranormalist adventurers; and strange new creatures to befriend or bedevil your players.

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.

Written by: James L. Sutter

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-492-5

The Gatewalkers Adventure Path is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle Sheets are available as a free download (1 MB PDF).



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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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3.90/5 (based on 22 ratings)

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5/5


Good start, although the AP as a whole is questionable

4/5

On Gatewalkers the campaign: as advertised, I was expecting Gatewalkers to focus a lot more strongly on paranormal adventures, investigating mysteries, and related horror themes, similar to Dark Archive. However, disappointingly, that feels like its really only a third of the adventure path, where most of it is spent on an adventure that feels like it hops around randomly. While the locales can be interesting and varied, the AP as a whole didn't deliver as much as I'd hoped. So as I've run it (at the time of writing, I've run the first book), I've had to make a lot of modifications, integrating new plot lines and content from other books like Dark Archive. This is the first AP I've run, and while I like how Paizo prepares really thorough material, I feel like knowing what I know now, I would have chosen to run a different AP.

On The Seventh Arch: I feel like this is the strongest of the three books, with the first two chapters being the highlights.

SPOILERS: The first chapter has the players investigate and root out a druid cult. For my players, this was a good intro to PF2e while getting their feet wet in the overall mystery of the world. The second chapter has the players delve into a shadowy fey manipulator, where you can really emphasize the horror vibes as a GM. My players really liked this part. The third book is where things kind of turn upside down as the players find themselves on a different planet. My players reacted lukewarmly to this twist. There's also a bit of "oh no crisis" railroading that feels like a side plot to the main plot. Going back, I'm not sure I would keep this in if I ran it again.

Across the chapters, it also feels like the mystery into the Missing Moment (the whole party motivation) is a bit uneven. There's scattered pieces of information in the first couple of chapters, then a massive lore dump in the third, that is fairly on rails. Feels hard to make this feel "investigative" in a way that is satisfying.

Overall, most of the book felt good to run, but the last chapter felt weaker (and the campaign as a whole has issues).


Player review

2/5

I really liked the themes and conceits presented in the players guide though right away I observed a lot of the awakened powers seemed too much of a gamble for very little benefit.

We ended up TPK'ing on the first boss after the GM misread the encounter (I won't hold that against the AP) and at that point none of us were particularly invested in the plot or in the lackluster design of the encounters.


1/5


2/5


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Paizo Employee Sales & eCommerce Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I ain't afraid of no gate!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sounds fabulous.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

From the brief bits of info I got from friends and folks doing recaps, I was kind of unenthused about this one.

Seeing a Castrovel gazetteer in the back completely changes that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ah, so we already get to see how PF2 handles an amnesiac party. Excellent!


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

Sounds pretty freaking cool so far! The X-Files is my fiancé’s favorite show so she was immediately hooked.


Ooh, nice.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Sweet! Its nice to be going back to the river kingdoms. Also, I'm glad to see James Sutter is writing this one.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

I love the flavour of this, it's giving Strange Aeons vibes, and depending on how "ancient forest with paranoid townsfolk" turns out, could even end up sorta like True Detective.

Plus, 3-book APs are just infinitely more approachable for me than 6-book ones.

Definitely the most excited I've been for an AP in a while.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mmmm... Castrovel...!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

VERY excited for this, especially because I know a friend won't be able to resist running it...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

Appreciate that Paizo seems to be willing to make 3-parters more often.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Leon Aquilla wrote:
Appreciate that Paizo seems to be willing to make 3-parters more often.

They seem to have settled into a schedule of two in the front half of the year, followed by a 6-volume one in the back half. I’m very content with it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
Leon Aquilla wrote:
Appreciate that Paizo seems to be willing to make 3-parters more often.
They seem to have settled into a schedule of two in the front half of the year, followed by a 6-volume one in the back half. I’m very content with it.

Yeah I think it's the best policy for trying to entice the most kinds of GM's possible. I'm partial to three partners myself bc they're that much more likely to actually reach the finish line. Real life is an ever constant threat that can prematurely end a campaign.

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Sutter writing a spooky investiagtion? I’m in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Curious if elves will be allowed in the AP. Or if this will address the Obnubilate plague?

Silver Crusade

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

Really excited about Sutter, I've always loved his writing and adventures.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

21 people marked this as a favorite.

I would appreciate it if my coworkers would stop releasing adventures I desperately want to play, thanks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A “three-parter” is just an old-fashioned TSR trilogy. Paizo took 15 years to reinvent the trilogy. So that’s a fine development because though six-parters are way epicer, not everything in D&D should be about epicness. Now how about a 12-parter again, like in the days of the magazines? A 12-parter to wrap up Second Edition would be especially appreciated in half a decade’s time or so, Mr. Creative Dinorector.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Alex Speidel wrote:
I would appreciate it if my coworkers would stop releasing adventures I desperately want to play, thanks.

Suffer, as I have suffered!


8 people marked this as a favorite.
CULTxicycalm wrote:
A “three-parter” is just an old-fashioned TSR trilogy. Paizo took 15 years to reinvent the trilogy. So that’s a fine development because though six-parters are way epicer, not everything in D&D should be about epicness. Now how about a 12-parter again, like in the days of the magazines? A 12-parter to wrap up Second Edition would be especially appreciated in half a decade’s time or so, Mr. Creative Dinorector.

Pretty sure Paizo isn't interested in committing a whole year of their most important revenue stream to a product that will ultimately entertain just some part of their customer base.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
CULTxicycalm wrote:
A “three-parter” is just an old-fashioned TSR trilogy. Paizo took 15 years to reinvent the trilogy. So that’s a fine development because though six-parters are way epicer, not everything in D&D should be about epicness. Now how about a 12-parter again, like in the days of the magazines? A 12-parter to wrap up Second Edition would be especially appreciated in half a decade’s time or so, Mr. Creative Dinorector.
Pretty sure Paizo isn't interested in committing a whole year of their most important revenue stream to a product that will ultimately entertain just some part of their customer base.

Sounds like it would make for horrible pacing. Yeah just drag out every level to take twice as long to go through, that doesn't sound like obviously terrible idea.


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

Maybe a 12-parter could work in the sense of two 6-parters that tell an interwoven story? I guess that sort of happened with Hell's Rebels and then Hell's Vengeance.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance storylines don't interact with each other at all.

I mean, they don’t touch one another directly, but both are shaking up Cheliax at the same time and inform the context of the other.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance storylines don't interact with each other at all.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The first two three parters did so well they are both getting a combined hardcover rerelease. They are obviously doing well.

Liberty's Edge

I would love a 5th-15th three part AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think a twelve part AP could work after the introduction of Mythic Rules in 2e. But I will say, maybe make it a loose continuation at best. Like two (or three, with two three-part APs) distinct APs (one being Mythic) that happen to have a lot of overlap, but don't need to be played together to work on their own.

More on topic, pretty interested in this. A return to the River Kingdoms, especially on the heels of Kingmaker 2e, seems like a no brainer. I'd be interested to see if we stay in that nation, or the wider Broken Lands region, over the next year.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A 6-parter isn’t a real campaign anyway. It’s just one story. A 12-parter would be closer to the real D&D conception of a “campaign” that basically includes a character’s entire life. It’s silly to think a writer couldn’t think of cool things to do for 12 adventures. Whether that would be financially smart is another question. If done WELL ENOUGH I think it COULD be, but of course doing a good 12-parter is harder than a 6-parter which is harder than a standalone adventure which is harder than a one-shot which is harder than a single encounter. But if anyone could do it, it’d be Paizo.

Grand Lodge

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CULTxicycalm wrote:
A 6-parter isn’t a real campaign anyway. It’s just one story.

So is a 12-parter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah but it’s a longer one, thus closer to encompassing a character’s life. I already said that. It won’t match D&D’s concept of a campaign, but it will get closer than the current ditching of a character after 6 adventures.

Grand Lodge

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Longer is not always better. *looks at Terry Goodkind*


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
CULTxicycalm wrote:
A 6-parter isn’t a real campaign anyway. It’s just one story. A 12-parter would be closer to the real D&D conception of a “campaign” that basically includes a character’s entire life. It’s silly to think a writer couldn’t think of cool things to do for 12 adventures. Whether that would be financially smart is another question. If done WELL ENOUGH I think it COULD be, but of course doing a good 12-parter is harder than a 6-parter which is harder than a standalone adventure which is harder than a one-shot which is harder than a single encounter. But if anyone could do it, it’d be Paizo.

Well, yes. They’ve done it 3 times before: Shackled city, age of worms, and savage tide.

I don’t think the total word count for 12 adventures was any higher than the current 6 parters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yep so I would basically love to see a 1,200-page campaign from Paizo.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CULTxicycalm wrote:
Yep so I would basically love to see a 1,200-page campaign from Paizo.

A 6 parter takes you from 1-20th level what would you do with the other 6 volumes?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

It took my group three years to complete Rise of the Runelords. I dread to think how long it would take to complete something double that size.

The old 12 part 3e AP campaigns from Paizo ran from 1st to 20th, so it is possible, but not necessarily wise.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the perks of the current system is that if you hate the current AP, there’s never more than six months between you and one with a different premise. I completely checked out on the product line for the Extinction Curse/Agents of Edgewatch year, and it was miserable waiting a whole year for s campaign product I actually cared about to come along; any 12-volume behemoth would almost certainly cause this to happen to more people.

This topic probably merits a separate thread from this product page.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
mikeawmids wrote:

It took my group three years to complete Rise of the Runelords. I dread to think how long it would take to complete something double that size.

The old 12 part 3e AP campaigns from Paizo ran from 1st to 20th, so it is possible, but not necessarily wise.

PF2 6-part APs run from 1 to 20, too. Changes to XP system in PF2 mean less encounters per level = less filler fights = faster leveling.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
CULTxicycalm wrote:
Yeah but it’s a longer one, thus closer to encompassing a character’s life. I already said that. It won’t match D&D’s concept of a campaign, but it will get closer than the current ditching of a character after 6 adventures.

What's that "D&D concept of a campaign" that you're referring to? Against the Giants ---> Queen of Demonweb Pits is seven adventures and goes from level 9 to 14. It's the most iconic D&D campaign, and it doesn't either start at level 1, go on for 12 episodes or end at level 20. It assumes that both before it and after it, you're doing other things.

Temple of Elemental Evil - Scourge of the Slave Lords - Queen of the Spiders goes from level 1 to level 14.

What you're describing is "Paizo's concept of a 3.5 D&D campaign published in monthly magazines" but these contained the amount of content that Paizo now puts in 6-part APs, going from level 1 to 20.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

While I can complete a six part AP in about seven-eight months, by the end of it my group is definitely saying "Can we please play something NOT d20 OGL based?" so tag me in the "Thanks but no thanks" crowd re: a 12-parter.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

PF2 can get a party all the way from level 1 to level 20 in 6 volumes, so I am not sure what would be gained with a 12-parter there.

But given where 6-part Starfinder APs cut off, we could really use some 9-parters there.

Silver Crusade

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

All 2E six book paths go 1-20, so uh, what more do you want out of a character? Do you want to play six full books at level 20? I think that'd get pretty boring myself. Mythic rules aren't here yet so that's all you can do beyond a normal six book AP without severely homebrewing rules.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Not to derail the 6 vs 12 part AP campaign argument, but on the original topic, this sounds like a pretty promising AP. I'm definitely interested in checking out (and the tie in also makes me much more likely to pick up Dark Archive too).


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

Agreed! This adventure seems so ripe for a psychic and a thaumaturge in the party.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I have an Elf Psychic in mind (technically from Kyonin, almost certainly actually from Sovyrian) who is /perfect/ for at least this first adventure. Deeply curious to see where the other books lead - more Castrovelian adventure, through the elf-gates to another world, maybe onto the planes?

I’ll consider this book a real victory if we get a cute piece of Lashunta art. I want them as an Ancestry terribly.


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

Yeah, I have an Elf Psychic in mind (technically from Kyonin, almost certainly actually from Sovyrian) who is /perfect/ for at least this first adventure. Deeply curious to see where the other books lead - more Castrovelian adventure, through the elf-gates to another world, maybe onto the planes?

I’ll consider this book a real victory if we get a cute piece of Lashunta art. I want them as an Ancestry terribly.

I'd not be surprised if we were to get some Lashunta rules. Monster stats would be almost a given. They have introduced Ancestries in APs before, so who knows what else we might get.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Evan Tarlton wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Yeah, I have an Elf Psychic in mind (technically from Kyonin, almost certainly actually from Sovyrian) who is /perfect/ for at least this first adventure. Deeply curious to see where the other books lead - more Castrovelian adventure, through the elf-gates to another world, maybe onto the planes?

I’ll consider this book a real victory if we get a cute piece of Lashunta art. I want them as an Ancestry terribly.

I'd not be surprised if we were to get some Lashunta rules. Monster stats would be almost a given. They have introduced Ancestries in APs before, so who knows what else we might get.

Pretty sure they've stated that they specifically won't be including whole Ancestries after what happened with the Shoony. As a result of them being put in an AP, they've received no further support since, basically because expanding their options wasn't accounted for within the schedule. They want to avoid that in the future. The most we are likely to get are thematically appropriate Ancestry Feats or Heritages.

So Lashunta, imo, are most likely to appear in a book covering the other planets in Golarion's star system. Likely alongside other alien options, such as the Kasatha.

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