Cutting Out Prisoners of the Blight


Ironfang Invasion


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I'm preparing to start Ironfang Invasion and really enjoy the plot progression through books 1-4 of the AP. Book 6 looks very creative and is well packaged as the finale of the AP also. My problem (not only with this AP but many of Paizo's) is that the focus of the campaign shifts too far from the goals of the players as the story progresses. Book 5 is a great example of this.

Why would the party spend the time and risk so much when diving into the Fangwood? I just don't think that the history of this scarey fey-filled land would lead many to believe the denizens would get involved in the war. The side quest of gaining the aid of anything within this forest is lending more to the production of the necessary number of volumes for the AP and the publisher's requirements rather than fortifying the great classic story of the Ironfang Invasion.

What would you recommend changing to make the story work when slicing out book 5 (other than CR modifications in book 6)?

Am I missing something and making a big mistake in the narrative by shortening the AP?

If anyone else has done this or is considering it, what have you done to make dropping book 5 work for your group?

Thanks for your feedback!


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We are in book 3
Quite a few pointers about the blight so have been trying to stop them from charging straight to It!
Haven't given it a thorough read yet so not sure how off the plot it is.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DenverGamer wrote:

I'm preparing to start Ironfang Invasion and really enjoy the plot progression through books 1-4 of the AP. Book 6 looks very creative and is well packaged as the finale of the AP also. My problem (not only with this AP but many of Paizo's) is that the focus of the campaign shifts too far from the goals of the players as the story progresses. Book 5 is a great example of this.

Why would the party spend the time and risk so much when diving into the Fangwood? I just don't think that the history of this scarey fey-filled land would lead many to believe the denizens would get involved in the war. The side quest of gaining the aid of anything within this forest is lending more to the production of the necessary number of volumes for the AP and the publisher's requirements rather than fortifying the great classic story of the Ironfang Invasion.

What would you recommend changing to make the story work when slicing out book 5 (other than CR modifications in book 6)?

Am I missing something and making a big mistake in the narrative by shortening the AP?

If anyone else has done this or is considering it, what have you done to make dropping book 5 work for your group?

Thanks for your feedback!

well.... the book makes it clear that if the evil in the Fangwood isn't stopped, something even more terrible than the hobgoblin invasion might be unleashed upon the people of nirmathas.

plus, it's a fun diversion after fighting hobgoblins for so long. there's some really fun evil things in there, and a couple of nasty surprises for the heroes.

that being said, yeah, you can throw some other stuff at the characters - there's lots of nasty things hanging around the nirmathas/molthune border including an urgathoan menace which was statted out somewhere.


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I'm a big fan of all things fey, but I agree that by Volumes 4 or 5, a lot of parties are starting to suffer campaign fatigue. It's a particular risk in this AP, since the PCs will be reaching power levels high enough to make them think they can charge right in and defeat their adversary.

Volumes 5 and 6:
I don't have the modules in front of me, but I believe Vol. 5 is a fetch-quest to obtain the Sardonyx Shard, which PCs will need in order to access the Vault in Volume 6.

You might need to modify the end of Volume 4 to give them something equivalent to the Shard. Make sure they still need to return to Phaendar before they access the Vault, though -- it's immensely satisfying for PCs to return to their hometown after all this time.

Maybe then all you need to do is drop them into the Vault at a much more distant point, and have their "Volume 5" experience involve fighting their way up to the Onyx Citadel? Or else -- as you suggest -- just adjust the CRs in the Citadel down a few levels, so they stand a chance of winning at 15th level.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Sharplin wrote:

I'm a big fan of all things fey, but I agree that by Volumes 4 or 5, a lot of parties are starting to suffer campaign fatigue. It's a particular risk in this AP, since the PCs will be reaching power levels high enough to make them think they can charge right in and defeat their adversary.

** spoiler omitted **

that might be pretty fun. there's the gazeteer of the vault in 6, and you could do some weird earth-fey creatures to keep some of the feel of 5 w/o losing the feel of the vault.


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Great suggestions and advice guys. I really do appreciate it!


Dot!

Liberty's Edge

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DenverGamer wrote:

I'm preparing to start Ironfang Invasion and really enjoy the plot progression through books 1-4 of the AP. Book 6 looks very creative and is well packaged as the finale of the AP also. My problem (not only with this AP but many of Paizo's) is that the focus of the campaign shifts too far from the goals of the players as the story progresses. Book 5 is a great example of this.

Why would the party spend the time and risk so much when diving into the Fangwood? I just don't think that the history of this scarey fey-filled land would lead many to believe the denizens would get involved in the war. The side quest of gaining the aid of anything within this forest is lending more to the production of the necessary number of volumes for the AP and the publisher's requirements rather than fortifying the great classic story of the Ironfang Invasion.

What would you recommend changing to make the story work when slicing out book 5 (other than CR modifications in book 6)?

Am I missing something and making a big mistake in the narrative by shortening the AP?

If anyone else has done this or is considering it, what have you done to make dropping book 5 work for your group?

Thanks for your feedback!

I completely understand your sentiment. Now, me, personally, I would replace the 5th book of Ironfang Invasion with the 3.5 Module Red Hand of Doom (leveling up and converting a lot of the enemies in that book appropriately). Because I think if the players are dealing with and attempting to stop an invasion of Hobgoblins, many of them are going to want to actually stop the invasion of Hobgoblins. I have a copy of that module and was going to use particular elements in it for my game at the appropriate juncture, so there is an idea for you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Campaign Outline Spoiler:

Book 1 - Party flees Phaendar and becomes a group of survivors trying to reorganize.
Book 2 - the party searches for the chernasardo rangers and defends the chernasardo region
Book 3 - the party defends the city of longshadow
Book 4 - the party goes to Kraggodan to investigate the onyx key and they prove the ironfang legion stole the key and not Molthune. The PC's ask for Kraggodan's help and they tell them no because of the seige, and they don't have the resources. They tell them that they fey may help if the Queen of the Fangwood were to be helped.
Book 5 - Rescue the fey queen, who offers her assistance to the PC.
Book 6 - war council (Longshadow, Chernasardo Rangers, Kragoddan, Fairy Land, the Capital City, and a suprise organization shows up) and then they go after the onyx citadel.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I went back last month and really read through Book 5 - and it's completely amazing when you dive deep into it.

There's this massive rotting fungal forest which is continually spewing out twisted and evil fairy creatures, and our heroes must descend into it to rescue the fairy queen. It's pretty hardcore - although I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of the hook which lures the PCs in. DMs should spend time emphasizing the ruinous evil of the Blight, the grime and rot, and the utter stench of the place.

If anything, were I to ever run Ironfang, I'd spend more time and effort in Books 1-3 (particularly 2) foreshadowing the cancer in the heart of the Fangwood. If you do this, then it makes sense that the PCs go there - the Ironfang has been dealt a blow and is busy fighting the Molthunis at the moment - and if you don't, it won't matter if you beat the hobgoblins, because much, much more terrible things will happen if you don't excise the sarcoma in the weald.


As suggested above, I've made a point of throwing in reminders about the darkblight all through book three. Whenever, there is an encounter with fey or those concerned with such matters, they make mention of the darkblight and its effects. At this point, the players are becoming pretty invested in battling the darkblight, or at least preventing it from spreading much further.


Am in the middle of this now.
I think it is really good fun, and so do the players. There is an awful lot to chat to if the PCs are inclined; and somewhat early on you can mention the hobgoblins that have been seen in the wood to keep the PCs in the campaign theme

Plus

Spoiler:
it has a Jub Jub bird and a Bandersnatch. So tempted to add the lesser Jabberwocky from KM#6.

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