Pathfinder Adventure Path #180: The Smoking Gun (Outlaws of Alkenstar 3 of 3)

4.00/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #180: The Smoking Gun (Outlaws of Alkenstar 3 of 3)

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With the chips down and the cards stacked against them, a crew of vengeance-seeking vigilantes must infiltrate Alkenstar's upper crust in order to clear their names and halt a villain's plot to bring the city to its knees. In this action-packed finale, the characters must pull off a daring high-rise heist at a garish gala, shut down a necromancer's shocking schemes in a volatile hydropower plant, and dismantle their last remaining rival's master plan aboard a luxury gearboat, all before an explosive conclusion destined to blast the city apart!

"The Smoking Gun" is a Pathfinder adventure for four 8th-level characters. This adventure concludes the Outlaws of Alkenstar Adventure Path, a three-part monthly campaign in which a band of outlaws unravel an explosive criminal plot in the heart of the City of Smog, Alkenstar. This adventure also includes a breakdown of the world's largest arms manufacturer, the Gunworks; new feats, items, and rules options perfect for gunslingers, gearheads, and grenadiers; and new steampunk creatures and mutant monsters 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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-427-7

The Outlaws of Alkenstar 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 (963 KB PDF).

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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Going Out With A Bang

5/5

This is a fun conclusion to the AP, and (to my view) the strongest book to the series. This book displays all of the usual Paizo strengths - beautiful art and maps, interesting NPCs, some cool new monsters. But this book also does a couple things particularly well.

First, it has some really cinematic and kick-ass scenes. Big, dramatic, block-buster feeling scenarios, like fighting above a giant cannon, trying desperately to fight off a horde of enemies swarming over the horizon.

Second, it does a nice job of providing lots of ways to get around encounters besides fighting through them, and in fights keeps a good mind to alternate "win" conditions - enemies who will surrender, or flee, or what have you, at a certain point.

Third, more than any other AP book to date, it sets up interesting combats - combats which build in the staggered arrival of enemies, combats with moving components, combats with battlefield effects that can really change the feel of the combat. Really fantastic work here. Well done!


2/5


Saving the best till last

5/5

Initial skim through looks very promising!

Breaking into the offices of Shieldmarshall Loveless is reminiscent of Shoalsgate Station in Thief 2, and infiltrating the Tombend gala is straight up Dishonored. Finally, OoA is hitting the right notes!

The mana storm is FAR better implemented than the one in the previous volume, and will certainly make for a fun combat.

A fight atop the barrel of an enormous gun? Getting strong FF7 vibes and I love it.

The finale unfolds aboard a luxury gearboat. Rather than stage a frontal assault, the party must remain undetected until they have neutralised several devices hidden aboard the vessel. This entire chapter promises a harrowing infiltration, where a single slip-up could trigger an explosive end to the campaign.

After two disappointing books, I was ready to write off OoA, but 'The Smoking Gun' is a fantastic conclusion to an otherwise sloppy campaign. Five stars!!!


A great adventure, poor art direction

4/5

A great adventure brought down by horrible art direction and thoughtless execution. Also no gazetteer whatsoever of Alkenstar in the Alkenstar AP.

That said, this is definitely one of the better short form adventure paths and I highly recommend it.


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Silver Crusade

I highly doubt that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
mimp wrote:
Based on what I've read of book 2 and what I'm hearing about this one I'm probably just gonna take my players off rails once they finish book one in a week or two. I think there are probably enough plot threads to weave something together.
I have to admit I’m pretty underwhelmed by Outlaws of Alkenstar, and it breaks my heart.

What are the main issues you have with it, out of curiosity? I’m planning to run it but haven’t had time to give it an in-depth read.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've not read book 3 yet, but I will merrily list (some of) my (many) gripes with books 1 & 2;

PROBABLY SPOILERS, MAYBE?

Adventure Path spoilers:
1: It does not feel like the city of Alkenstar and the wider setting of the Mana Wastes were used to their full potential. Sure, both books contain trap-laden workshops, but there was so much more that could have been done with this setting. I was expecting something akin to the clockwork mansion from Dishonored 2. In book 2, you confront one of the two main villains in... an underground thieves den. What, like every other underground thieves den in every other urban adventure ever written? Yeah, like that one.

2: You spend book 1 trying to contain/suppress the secret formula of Pyronite. You spend book 2 trying to contain/suppress the secret formula of Pyronite. As far as I can tell, you spend book 3 trying to contain/suppress the secret formula of Pyronite. Yawn.

3: Book 1 introduces the kooky inventor behind Pyronite. Book 2 does not mention him again, because some other kooky inventor (who looks like he got lost on his way to Strength of Thousands) has replicated the formula and run off to hide in a cave. But this is not just any cave!! No sir!! This cave is a forgotten temple to the goddess of time itself, where Kooky Inventor #2 plans to travel back in time to stop Pyronite being invented by Kooky Inventor #1. Now that does sound pretty sweet! Except it is all just one big bait and switch, the cave does not facilitate time travel and he's just chilling in a big quartz ball, waiting to be rescued.

4: Something about an impossible bridge?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
mikeawmids wrote:

I've not read book 3 yet, but I will merrily list (some of) my (many) gripes with books 1 & 2;

PROBABLY SPOILERS, MAYBE?

So. Maybe use spoiler blocks so people can opt in to being spoiled? The formatting instructions are below the textarea where you type posts.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
willfromamerica wrote:


What are the main issues you have with it, out of curiosity? I’m planning to run it but haven’t had time to give it an in-depth read.

I posted a review of the first one. My current Outlaws of Alkenstar is currently "on hold" while we swap out some characters -- we went in with outlaws, and they don't really work well.

I am confident that we'll continue it at some point, but the crop of characters we brought into it just didn't seem to click.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Back cover text:
A BULLET IS BEST

Vengeance-seeking vigilantes must infiltrate Alkenstar’s upper crust, master a potent combination of eldritch magic and clockwork engineering, and wield the awesome power of black powder to stop their archenemy’s plot to upend the city. In this action-packed finale, the party members face their greatest challenges yet. Can they clear their names and settle their gunmetal grudges? Or will the forces of evil draw first? The Outlaws of Alkenstar Adventure Path concludes with “The Smoking Gun,” a complete adventure for 8th- to 10th-level characters.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Threw some things behind a spoiler tag and removed harassing and off topic posts. Keep the conversation friendly and on topic, please.


Are goiung to have a foundry version for this one as well?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
dmfourhire wrote:
Are goiung to have a foundry version for this one as well?

yes, the foundry module is finished and will likely be released later today. I hope that many can enjoy the work the team and I put in!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
mimp wrote:
Based on what I've read of book 2 and what I'm hearing about this one I'm probably just gonna take my players off rails once they finish book one in a week or two. I think there are probably enough plot threads to weave something together.
I have to admit I’m pretty underwhelmed by Outlaws of Alkenstar, and it breaks my heart.

At least villains and their motivations are fun/great x'D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Drental wrote:
dmfourhire wrote:
Are goiung to have a foundry version for this one as well?
yes, the foundry module is finished and will likely be released later today. I hope that many can enjoy the work the team and I put in!

Awesome i love this so much thank youu and the rest of the team for the hard work. i dont plan on running this adventure cause im not into western theme too much but i love using the art and maps and the audio. i want to support this product line of vtt ready to go and hope this happens to king maker.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
dmfourhire wrote:
Drental wrote:
dmfourhire wrote:
Are goiung to have a foundry version for this one as well?
yes, the foundry module is finished and will likely be released later today. I hope that many can enjoy the work the team and I put in!
Awesome i love this so much thank youu and the rest of the team for the hard work. i dont plan on running this adventure cause im not into western theme too much but i love using the art and maps and the audio. i want to support this product line of vtt ready to go and hope this happens to king maker.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #180: The Smoking Gun (Outlaws of Alkenstar 3 of 3) (Foundry VTT) is live, see link above. Generally , our target go-live time is 11 AM on Release Day.


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

Finally got to reading through a friend's copy and, man. There's the skeleton of a really cool adventure here, with a lot of great ideas and characters, but it doesn't quite come together imo.

Also the clockwork reanimator archetype is sick.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
willfromamerica wrote:
keftiu wrote:
mimp wrote:
Based on what I've read of book 2 and what I'm hearing about this one I'm probably just gonna take my players off rails once they finish book one in a week or two. I think there are probably enough plot threads to weave something together.
I have to admit I’m pretty underwhelmed by Outlaws of Alkenstar, and it breaks my heart.
What are the main issues you have with it, out of curiosity? I’m planning to run it but haven’t had time to give it an in-depth read.

mikeawmids pretty much summed it up (except for the weird comment about "getting lost on the way to strength of thousands"???).

books 2 and 3 spoilers:
The AP bills itself as being a revenge story against Loveless and Mugland, which I think would have been great. It's a wild west setting, westerns are all about revenge. In practice, it's an 8 chapter save-the-world plot to stop the spread of the pyronite formula, which the party ultimately fails to do, pursuing several dead ends in the meantime.
What really pains me is the there's SO MUCH POTENTIAL here, and so many great ideas, but I don't think they get used to their full potential. There's even a climactic battle aboard a flaming, exploding riverboat. That's cool as f@@~. I am determined to run that someday.

Also I agree with CorvusMask, the villains are all great. I'm gonna rework the whole adventure when I have more time and probably run it after Blood Lords.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, the most interesting part that I have gotten to read so far is actually in the continuing the campaign section.

book 3 spoilers:
The Salt Boom caused by the discovery of Pyronite. A frigging Gold Rush drawing the attention of the Blood Lords and the Arclords of Nex, with the Spellscars native mutants rising in strength and recognition with the chance of a new nation being formed. Where was that adventure?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
VerBeeker wrote:

Honestly, the most interesting part that I have gotten to read so far is actually in the continuing the campaign section.

** spoiler omitted **

I have to agree. The Continuing the Campaign section felt absolutely stuffed with Impossible Lands goodness... more than the AP itself.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
VerBeeker wrote:

Honestly, the most interesting part that I have gotten to read so far is actually in the continuing the campaign section.

** spoiler omitted **

We've had sequel hooks in APs before. They might be laying the groundwork, gauging interest. This might have been the Alkenstar AP, but there's plenty of room for a Mana Wastes AP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps I'm going mad, but I don't see the foundry link to buy the smoking gun pdf etc even though there are posts from Wednesday saying it's now live? Could somebody please provide a link if one exists?


Still not seeing the foundry version link for book 3 anywhere? Would love to pick it up :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here you go

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is that art of Loveless available somewhere as a separate image? I'm about to run Book 1 and that cover art is way cooler than the art in book 1

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Coridan wrote:
Is that art of Loveless available somewhere as a separate image? I'm about to run Book 1 and that cover art is way cooler than the art in book 1

If you have the PDF of book 3 you can use Token Tool to save the separate image.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cori Marie wrote:
Coridan wrote:
Is that art of Loveless available somewhere as a separate image? I'm about to run Book 1 and that cover art is way cooler than the art in book 1
If you have the PDF of book 3 you can use Token Tool to save the separate image.

I was gonna wait until we get through book 1 before deciding to buy the others.

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