What are the best urban adventures ever


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


What would you rank as the best published urban adventures. I am looking for either a mini-campaign or couple adventure arc, low to mid level. Can be from any addition, from 1st edition to pathfinder, but I am looking for something that has an old school feel. Thanks for any you can offer.

Sovereign Court Contributor

The Grey Citadel by Necromancer for 3.5 is pretty good and definitely old school.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My favourites are Nicolas Logues Eberron adventures from Dungeon. As well as Murder on Oakbridge.

Hangman's Noose was pretty good level 1 adventure.

Crimson Throne is pretty much the best Urban AP.

Oh and The Styes from Dungeon...


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I really enjoyed Paizo's first AP Shackled city.

Silver Crusade

I second the Shackled City AP. Even though it is a full 20-level adventure path, the first few chapters can be run as a much shorter mini campaign from say level 1 to 5 or so. Those chapters don't rely much on the big overall plot.


There's an urban AP by 0one games: Road to Revolution. I hear its quite good. They also have lots of shorter urban stuff including a few modules.

Kobold Press' city of Zobeck books are set in an urban noir setting. The 2 adventure anthologies received high praise.

Ptolus is an urban mega campaign technically.


Slightly OT but for city setting books check out the following threads:
looking for a good fantasy city
city supplements


If non-PF adventures are acceptable, The Enemy Within campaign for WFRP has two really classic ones:

Shadows over Bogenhafen has all the classic tropes of conspiracy, investigation, heading down the sewers, various contacts, corrupt officials, dark secrets, etc, all in the pretty well-contained package.

Power Behind the Throne, on the other hand, is massively ambitious, tracking over a dozen major NPCs across a dozen locations over the period of a week, figuring out everyone's intentions, goals, secrets, and winning enough people over to your side to avert disaster. Meanwhile rooftop chases and lots of interesting stuff not related to the main adventure. Very tough on the GM (and not easy for the players either), but very rewarding if you pull it off.


Oh my god, nobody's mentioned it...

Lankhmar.

The maps alone are worth getting it.


It's hardly 'old school,' since the setting has tiefling industrialists and enchanted steamships, but The Dying Skyseer - the second adventure in ZEITGEIST: the Gears of Revolution by EN Publishing - has a three-thread murder mystery plot involving dark magic, a thieves' guild, a cursed mountain in the middle of the city, and druids who are at odds with the urban world.

You might want to check it out. It wouldn't be too hard to reskin the 'industrial revolution' stuff with magic.

It's highly rated by two reviewers, if you want more info: http://paizo.com/products/btpy8pg6?ZEITGEIST-Adventure-Path-2-The-Dying-Sky seer

Shadow Lodge

Cheeseweasel wrote:

Oh my god, nobody's mentioned it...

Lankhmar.

The maps alone are worth getting it.

Seconded. I'm not sure if they ever updated it for 3.X, but even with outdated crunch, this is worth it's weight in gold.

I would go one step farther and recommend reading as many of Fritz Leiber's "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser" stories as you can stand. I'm fairly sure they're all collected. Lankhmar is template for Greyhawk, Waterdeep, and pretty much every other urban RPG setting ever conceived, homebrew or published.


Freeport?

Silver Crusade

Ptolus.


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If you really need published modules for urban adventures...

I've had better experiences getting urban plotlines by reading the local news and thinking, "How would this play out in a fantasy setting?"

Shadow Lodge

John-Andre wrote:

If you really need published modules for urban adventures...

I've had better experiences getting urban plotlines by reading the local news and thinking, "How would this play out in a fantasy setting?"

That's a great idea. Movies work well too. Years ago, I ripped off 2/3 of Goodfellas for a campaign. I swapped out all the mafia tropes for urban RPG tropes, and none of my players (all fans of the movie) noticed.


John-Andre wrote:

If you really need published modules for urban adventures...

I've had better experiences getting urban plotlines by reading the local news and thinking, "How would this play out in a fantasy setting?"

I should give a little background as to why I am looking for published stuff. We are going to be trying an ambitious campaign. Three different storylines all leading to Slumbering Tzar. Same players will each have a character in three different groups. Groups will join up when tackling Tzar, to improve survivability and so deaths will not mean having to come up with replacement characters for the player. One will be in a modified Red Hand of Doom, One will be a modified Temple of Elemental Evil, and I wanted one to be an urban adventure to shake things up. This is very labor intensive for the friendly neighborhood DM, so any way I can cheat on prep will help a lot.


Thumbs up to Jeff Erwin's suggstion: Gray Citadel (starts at 5th level) is very good.

Liberty's Edge

dotting for later

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Cheeseweasel wrote:

Oh my god, nobody's mentioned it...

Lankhmar.

The maps alone are worth getting it.

I came into the thread intending to advocate for Lankhmar as well.

An interesting side bet on the Lankhmar thing is that with the Winter AP coming out, and all of that Baba Yaga stuff could fit in quite well, particularly with Fafhrd's side. I forget which of their two "mentors" it was, as it has been years since I read Fritz Leiber, but one of them was very Baba Yaga-ish to me, AND Leiber himself had F&TGM travel to Earth (albeit in ancient times), so having them travel to WWI Russia doesn't break the Lankhmar mythology to me either.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Ptolus and Freeport were good, but Ptolus frankly seemed TOO ambitious, and Freeport was more of a home base for piratey adventures, and not really a city to adventure in itself. Just my thoughts.

Greyhawk though!


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Yeah, necromancing and all that...

As I want to hear more suggestions I would add a small but good one to the list

Tavern Tales—Mini Adventure: The Troubleshooters
by Dire Rugrats


My all-time favorite urban adventure is The Speaker in Dreams.


Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Ptolus and Freeport were good, but Ptolus frankly seemed TOO ambitious, and Freeport was more of a home base for piratey adventures, and not really a city to adventure in itself. Just my thoughts.

I'm quite fond of Freeport myself. The original Freeport Trilogy (v.3.0, updated by yours truly to v.3.5) was largely set within the city itself, except for the sunken temple and lighthouse in the third part (Madness in Freeport).

Several of the adventures in Tales of Freeport (v.3.0) are set wholly within the city. The adventures "Fury in Freeport" (from the various Freeport Companions) and "The Ironjack Legacy" (in the new PF edition of Freeport: The City of Adventure) are both city-based as well.


I'm hoping the whole run of CoT then HV/HR are pretty good as I'm just about to start that now


DM. wrote:

Yeah, necromancing and all that...

As I want to hear more suggestions I would add a small but good one to the list

Tavern Tales—Mini Adventure: The Troubleshooters
by Dire Rugrats

Thanks for the shout-out, DM! I enjoyed writing it and am happy to hear you enjoyed it.


I'm pretty fond of Hell's Rebels in Kintargo. It's a full AP but it'd actually pretty easy to run just the first 4 parts and stop around level 12.


Parts 5 and 6 are still fun though, and still have some urban flair to them, even if book 5 can be theoretically skipped, either due to being really weirdly juxtaposed or just real easy to resolve at that level. (the end bit feels like filler to me to bridge between levels)


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Parts 5 and 6 are still fun though, and still have some urban flair to them, even if book 5 can be theoretically skipped, either due to being really weirdly juxtaposed or just real easy to resolve at that level. (the end bit feels like filler to me to bridge between levels)

Yep, fully agreed. Just saying, if one wants to stop at mid-level it is possibly the single easiest path to do it with and have people feel satisfied.


I enjoyed CoT but I'm not sure how much the DM added to the original content. He likes to weave in PFS scenarios and such so it's possible the things I liked most aren't even really part of the adventure. Don't let that stop you from playing it though; it's a good urban-focused AP. There are plenty of opportunities for social interactions and skill use; the opera in particular was wonderful!


Curse of the Crimson Throne and Shackled City both Rock hard ran both to completion and my players loved them!!


Council of Thieves as this bloke envisions it.


Tend to find ones that develop organically from play and player input are the best way to do urban. Never quite found a great published one. Much moreso than dungeons they need to be player driven.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Off the top of my head...

Paizo: City of Korvosa: Curse of the Crimson Throne

Paizo: City of Kintargo: Hell's Rebels

Green Ronin: Freeport, the City of Adventure: The original Freeport Trilogy

0One Games: The Great City: The Sinking

Kobold Press: City of Zobeck: Streets of Zobeck

And for a more horror-themed city...

Frog God Games: City of Castorhage: The Blight (Note: Not yet released, but soon!


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Ptolus is one the best I have every seen. A GM's dream come true.


The Dungeon Magazine Eberron adventures Chimes at Midnight, Quoth the Raven, and Hell's Heart all read like they'd be pretty fun, but I haven't ran or played them.

The Exchange

If you can find the old dungeon adventures set in the styes, then you have some really good urban adventures!

The first three books of Crimson Throne adventure path are also really good urban adventure.

Nearly the entirety of the first ever adventure path Paizo created for their dungeon magazine days is set in a city inside the crater of a volcano. The first 14 or 15 levels of game play in that are pretty much urban adventure and really well done! (Don't remember its name sorry).

If you want a cool setting or source book, check out Sharn: city of towers, from the Eberron setting. It's an awesome city with a ton of adventure hooks inside its pages.


I'll throw in the unofficial Kaer Maga Trilogy consisting of The Godsmouth Heresy, The Seven Swords of Sin and The Asylum Stone. All three are set in the incomparable city of Kaer Maga aka the Asylum Stone. With it's unique troll augurs, Duskwardens and golem building Ardoc family, Kaer Maga ranks up there as one of the all time great fantasy settings.


Wrath wrote:

If you can find the old dungeon adventures set in the styes, then you have some really good urban adventures!

The first three books of Crimson Throne adventure path are also really good urban adventure.

Nearly the entirety of the first ever adventure path Paizo created for their dungeon magazine days is set in a city inside the crater of a volcano. The first 14 or 15 levels of game play in that are pretty much urban adventure and really well done! (Don't remember its name sorry).

If you want a cool setting or source book, check out Sharn: city of towers, from the Eberron setting. It's an awesome city with a ton of adventure hooks inside its pages.

That'd be the Shackled City AP, with Cauldron being the town in question. Which I thought was really well done for being the first AP.


Hell's Rebels and Curse of the Crimson Throne are both excellent city-based APs. Freeport is an excellent setting with some okay adventures, but the setting permits pretty much anything to be ported in.


Bard's Gate by Frog God Games


Also, for the Lankhmar fans, Savage Worlds Lankhmar books contain a ton of Lankhmar fluff and most of the mechanics can be easily adapted. They also have maps of the city available as separate items from the books if I remember correctly.


The large lankhmar map for SW is beautiful and gives an instant feel just by looking upon it. So does it's job well

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