which is the best episode 3


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


Having played to various degrees 7 APs, the third book of each has seemed pretty poor......which is great shame as they are in the level 5-10 sweet spot of PF for me

What's your feelings


my feeling is you're being unneccesarily negative about it. Please list your complaint with each AP you've played, rather then blanket statements. Also you say PLAY in them, mayhaps your GM is tweaking things. Until you list specific spoilered examples i cant help you


Well gmed as well......it's all play after all in my book....it's the whole groups game

Also check reviews, I think the 3s come out worse....JR3, SeSk3.

Even say KM 3 , which was not bad, just didn't add to the AP

I guess if you stretch every story to 6 episodes a lot of filler creeps in

It's why I asked for what the best 3 was.....initial soundings make MM3 sound interesting

If something disappoints me, of course I will be negative about it

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's a strange thing that often times the Book 3 of the AP ends up being something of a weird digression that doesn't really advance the metaplot of the campaign. These aren't bad adventures in and of themselves, they just don't relate to the overarching story.

For example:

Kingmaker Book 3: Varnhold Vanishing:

The neighboring town to the East has everyone disappear and it's all because of a cyclops lich who has recently awakened. It doesn't really bear any relation to the overall plots of the fey, of mass combat and kingdom building in any significant way.

But it's a great adventure. Of all the AP modules, this works fantastic as a stand-alone adventure that could be dropped into any campaign. It has a memorable tribe of predominantly female centaurs in the Nomen Tribe, has a particularly spooky/challenging exploration of a town and player-led siege of a small fort filled with wicked Spriggans. It's got a great dungeon crawl with some really horrific traps in Vordekai's tomb. Plus it's really expandable.

Click here to see how I expanded this adventure and tied in some fey elements to provide a more significant foreshadowing of First World elements that would become important later.

The value of Varnhold Vanishing is to let the players breathe after the heavy kingdom building stuff they were doing in book 2, and will have to focus on in book 4-6.

Jade Regent Book 3: The Hungry Storm:

The characters need to cross the Crown of the World to reach Minkai, but a half-fey half-demon dedicated to a demon lord in torpor gets in the way with her hungry storms. Again this adventure doesn't really tie into the overarching plots of the campaign, there's barely anything relating to the metaplot of the Five Storms, and many of the encounters are determined at random.

Once again though this is still a solid adventure in and of itself, this is kind of the "boss fight" for the caravan rules. Sadly those rules needed significant rewrites in order to function.

There's an awesome battle with a White Dragon in her ice crevasse lair, there's a villainess who comes back as a ghost to wreak her vengeance on the PCs at the end of the adventure, and there's a significant amount of time (roughly 5-6 months of in-game time) for the PCs to grow their relationships with NPCs.

I've only just started this adventure, and we've gone through a month of travel time (travelling through the unmapped area between the Stormspear Hills and the Rhimethirst Mountains. We've had some significant roleplay opportunities, the party hunted some wooly rhinos (and the party druid met the Spirit of The Wooly Rhinos), in game they celebrated "Winter Fest" and the my rewritten Caravan Rules seem to be working as intended.


my experiences with buying anything online is to always, always take reviews with several pounds of salt, especially RPG books, i will expand on my thoughts on book 3's for the APs i have later if i have time, they aren't, in my experience as bad as the reviews say (even City of Seven Spears wasn't that bad, though the lack of city artwork and lack of maps was annoying)

also with adventures they sometime read different then they play (after first read i wasn't impressed with Racing to Ruin from Serpent's Skull, but when we ran it it was super fun, especially the end dungeon/ziggurat)

right now my favorite part 3 is Asylum Stone, its playing way more fun then it red (i'm using the Ardoc arc from the gangs of Kaer Maga article in the back tho)


I enjoyed Armageddon Echo, when I ran Second Darkness.

SD book 3:
The PCs are part of an assault on a drow-held ancient ruined city as a self-contained squadron in an elven army and then end up in a semi-real pocket dimension of the same town centuries ago just before Earthfall and must complete their mission and escape before the meteor hits.

The Exchange

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I think Escape From Old Korvosa should be a strong contender for best book 3. I initially didn't like it much, but once I warmed up to it's more dungeon crawly parts, I came to really appreciate it. I'm running it now and having a blast. What it does REALLY well is advance the story of the campaign in the perfect way for a 3rd adventure.

Armageddon Echo is also all kinds of awesome, I think, it's disadvantage being that it follows two other adventures that do no set it up all that well.

Other then that, I'm actually surprised to find myself somewhat agreeing with the OP. Many of the APs have a weakest 3rd adventure.


well i guess thats something for Paizo to work on:) i just didnt care for the derogatory tone his first post projected, which in all fairness to himself he clarified:)

but some book 3s i really liked are
Broken Moon
Maiden, Mother, Crone
The Hookmountain Massacre
The Asylum Stone
The Hungry storm
The Varnhold Vanishing

all those i had a blast running, i have vfery high hopes for when we start Tempest Rising at some point this summer

i guess i disagree with you but to each their own, and it is something for Paizo to explore:)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Then there is The Hook Mountain Massacre.

Some people love it.

Spoiler:
I am not one of them, because I found it too grotesque.

And, it is where the real plot of the Rise of the Runelords begins.


If its any consolation I have had an AP published and part 3 was the hardest to write..and the one I dislike....maybe its a trilogy / third book /third album kind of thing

I just think some ideas do not stretch well to six volumes.....Id love an AP to end with a climatic battle at 9th level say

If it helps, I have found the 5's to be about the best....well the 1's are normally pretty good too


....and if the third level of the superdungeon sux I win a prize?!?


Lord Fyre wrote:

Then there is The Hook Mountain Massacre.

Some people love it. ** spoiler omitted **

And, it is where the real plot of the Rise of the Runelords begins.

Oh i agree 100% Hokkmountain is F#%&ed up!! but when an adventure gives you, the GM nightmares for two days after the first reading!* it is an awesome adventure

also i lived in the backwoods and except for the cannibalism, isn't to far from how some people are there (the hills most definitely have eyes:)

*and i'm a fan of old school horror (not Saw or other gore-porno BS)


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The Varnhold Vanishing is probably my favourite book of any adventure path. I don't see the pattern at all. I think maybe it's just the level range that's your problem, as around about level 7+ is when Pathfinder really starts to get complicated.


Shiftybob wrote:
The Varnhold Vanishing is probably my favourite book of any adventure path. I don't see the pattern at all. I think maybe it's just the level range that's your problem, as around about level 7+ is when Pathfinder really starts to get complicated.

i'm running Kingmaker for kids in my daughters class and they are not too far into varnhold and absolutely having a blast!

it should be noted my list above wasn't in any particular order just off the top of my head:)

in fact before we took a break, the kids started a mining/trade town (named Quicksilver Falls) on the river not too far from the mine they recently found at the base of the mountains, when we left off they just got to varnhold.

Kingmaker is an awesome learning tool for teaching kids civic and financial responsibility and debating (thanks to Grigori:) as well as a whole mess of other valuable skills:)


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Shiftybob wrote:
The Varnhold Vanishing is probably my favourite book of any adventure path. I don't see the pattern at all. I think maybe it's just the level range that's your problem, as around about level 7+ is when Pathfinder really starts to get complicated.

VV is ok as an adventure, just doesn't add to the plot

I'm fine with PF levels until people start doing 4 or 5 things around, insist on rolling 13d6, when average will suffice, etc. Basically when the game becomes more complex than rolemaster it's time to start low level again


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I played KM, and i really liked the Varnhold Vanishing. Yes it doesn't add anything to the fey "plot" but then again only book 5 (in small part) and book 6 are really about the fey "plot".
I played JR and i really disliked the hungry storm. We didn't even use the caravan rules at all in the AP (since we knew they were busted) but i really disliked it, the only part i didn't dislike (but i wasn't crazy about either) was the last part.
I DMed RotRL, and i really liked the hook mountain massacre. Yes it can get too gory and too mature on some points (nothing crazy though) but i liked that.
I am DMing Shattered Star (finished book 5), and i really disliked the asylum stone. Don't get me wrong, the (small) Kaer Maga part was great but the rest of the book felt too weird, disconnected and easy (difficulty) to me.

So for my my best part 3 was the hook mountain massacre.


Ta Leo

Played rotrl part 1 and 2, never got to part 3. Think we got v bored of the manor house, and rest of mod from there so decided not to go any further. Sounds like it could be an standalone


Lord Snow wrote:
I think Escape From Old Korvosa should be a strong contender for best book 3.

I'll second that.

Chapter 3 of Savage Tide, The Sea Wyvern's Wake, is pretty good too, if you're willing to take it back to the Dungeon days.

Sovereign Court

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I really enjoyed:

Council of Thieves - What Lies in Dust.

The story starts to comes together, Its set in a cool location (Abandoned Pathfinder Lodge!) and my group really had fun with it.


thenovalord wrote:

Having played to various degrees 7 APs, the third book of each has seemed pretty poor......which is great shame as they are in the level 5-10 sweet spot of PF for me

What's your feelings

Third book of Weath of the Righteous was where all the campaign traits taken by the players paid off and was a blast for us. Anecdotally it's also the last chance you have to really enjoy Muthic before the wheels start to come off.


thenovalord wrote:

Ta Leo

Played rotrl part 1 and 2, never got to part 3. Think we got v bored of the manor house, and rest of mod from there so decided not to go any further. Sounds like it could be an standalone

Yes i feared that book 2 could be like that, fortunatelly when i run it my players finished the whole murder mystery immediatly (with a couple really good skill rolls) and then when they went to the house i tried to make it funny instead of scary, something like a parody of a horror movie. I don't know if it was the best course of action but everyone enjoyed it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

captain yesterday wrote:

Oh i agree 100% Hokkmountain is F~++ed up!! but when an adventure gives you, the GM nightmares for two days after the first reading!* it is an awesome adventure

also i lived in the backwoods and except for the cannibalism, isn't to far from how some people are there (the hills most definitely have eyes:)

*and i'm a fan of old school horror (not Saw or other gore-porno BS)

There is a certain part of Hook Mountain that, as far as I can tell, every party ends by setting the building on fire. Fire is the great cleanser. So much cleansing...

My group commented, "We don't care about the rain, we'll gut the inside with fire as long as the place burns."


ryric wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

Oh i agree 100% Hokkmountain is F~++ed up!! but when an adventure gives you, the GM nightmares for two days after the first reading!* it is an awesome adventure

also i lived in the backwoods and except for the cannibalism, isn't to far from how some people are there (the hills most definitely have eyes:)

*and i'm a fan of old school horror (not Saw or other gore-porno BS)

There is a certain part of Hook Mountain that, as far as I can tell, every party ends by setting the building on fire. Fire is the great cleanser. So much cleansing...

My group commented, "We don't care about the rain, we'll gut the inside with fire as long as the place burns."

I loved Hook Mountain Massacre! My players loved the game too... precisely because it was such a throwback to 1970s "Hillbilly Horror." I actually amped it up a little.

And, yes, my party burned that place to the ground as well.


Wiggz wrote:


Third book of Weath of the Righteous was where all the campaign traits taken by the players paid off and was a blast for us. Anecdotally it's also the last chance you have to really enjoy Muthic before the wheels start to come off.

It's the last part where Mythic works as written. I've run it, and it's possible to make the later sections work but there is a huge amount of GM leg work. All of the bad guys need much more active tactics and 8+ buff spells precast to stand a chance. Adding huge amounts of mooks also helps if you have a battlemat to keep track of them all.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd be worried about the group that decides not to burn the Graul homestead to the ground...


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Misroi wrote:
I'd be worried about the group that decides not to burn the Graul homestead to the ground...

C'mon! it's a fixer upper! a little Febreeze, just like new.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Dr. Kreiger wrote:
Misroi wrote:
I'd be worried about the group that decides not to burn the Graul homestead to the ground...
C'mon! it's a fixer upper! a little Aqua Regia, just like new.

Fixed that for you...


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Dr. Kreiger wrote:
Misroi wrote:
I'd be worried about the group that decides not to burn the Graul homestead to the ground...
C'mon! it's a fixer upper! a little Aqua Regia, just like new.
Fixed that for you...

i don't get it?


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Aww, come-awns! We jes' wanna play wich'yas!

Now, lemme hear ya squeal like a pig, boy.


Aqua regia


Aqua regia is a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and concentrated hydrochloric acid that has been known since early modern times. It can dissolve numerous materials that are resistant to other acids, including the "noble netals" gold and platinum.

[EDIT: Ah. It would appear that Mr. Orthos managed to submit a post answering Dr. Krieger while I was writing my own text. God show, sir! You did that stealthily, like the Ninja of Japanese legend!]


Orthos wrote:
Aqua regia

man! i knew i knew that from somewhere!

i feel doubly shamed because my dad was a high school chemistry teacher, the mad scientist kind too! plus god knows how many mobster/crime movies i've seen!
*walks away, head bowed like charlie brown*


Professor Stuffington wrote:
Aqua regia is a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and concentrated hydrochloric acid that has been known since early modern times. It can dissolve numerous materials that are resistant to other acids, including the "noble netals" gold and platinum.

so it would seem.


And when the ashes have blown, and the Graul homestead is a blackened skeleton of a few standing beams... THAT is when the immolated corpses of the inhabitants start to stir in a new existence...

Liberty's Edge

Book 4 or 5 is usually the weakest to our group. Book 2 usually the best.

Best book three us probably Hook Mountain Massacre. Zenith Trajectory also fantastic as us Escape from Old Korvosa.


Bit of middle book syndrome, maybe?

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