How Is Tyrant’s Grasp?


Tyrant's Grasp


I know the final book hasn’t been released yet, but for anyone who has played through, ran through, or just read through the first five books, how is this AP so far?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

(Sorry for the errors in my post, English is not my mother language ;w; )

I've only played the first half of the first book, and red the first 3 books and skimed through book 4 and 5 so far, but I'd say this AP is pretty good so far !

The combats seem quite dangerous if your players are not careful, which makes for challenging fights, which is to be expected coming from an AP that categorizes itself as a survival horror (but may need the GM to add one or two batch of healing potions at the start of the adventure, especially if your party doesn't have heal bots). You have some classic creatures (such as Mites) mixed with some rarer ones (Ostovites, Sahkill). Almost all of the battles and monsters have a reason to be where they are and to act how they do story-wise (from the top of my head, in the first 3 books, I can only think of the Venedaemon and the Xenopterid from Book 2 that seemed out of place to me), and not every conflict is black and white. Plus, most of the battles against intelligent foes have a pacifist route, which is cool in my book. Also, the first two final bosses are well crafted. They are foes to the players, sure, but they have their reason to be ; and it's particularly hard to hold a grudge against the first boss.

The story also has a good bunch of twists and turns. I found myself being pleasantly surprised at what clever and unexpected ideas they had for this AP. It really feels like the authors did their best to always surprise the players. Plus, there is just enough foreshadowing for my taste. If you pull it well enough, this can have quite an effect on your players. Here are some of my favorite exemples (beware, those are heavy spoiler for big plot points, don't read those if you intend to be a player) :

Spoilers for book 1:

The players don't remember that they died, nor how they did. And they have a whole dungeon to explore without having a single clue about what is going on, until they leave the tomb and see Groetus in the sky. During all the duration of the first part of the first book, my players were sure they had been kidnapped by some cult because of their likeness to the Red Shrikes.
And to foreshadow this, they wake up... in sarcophagi. Because they're dead.

Spoiler for book 3:

The destruction of Vigil. It's surprising by itself, since Vigil and Lastwall are among the most important places in the Whispering Tyrant's story, and as such I would not have expected them to nuke it. To make it even more surprising, it happens halfway through the scenario. I would expect such major plot points to happen only at the end of a scenario ! I knew before reading that Vigil would be destroyed, but I wasn't expecting it so soon !

Spoilers for the first half of the story:

Arazni is a perfect exemple of foreshadowing done right. She's first foreshadowed in Roslar's tomb, right at the beginning of Book 1 with her being depicted everywhere and being at the center of the altar's puzzle. Lady Grive then talks about her, but at this point the PCs can't connect the dot between the ex-herald now Harlot Queen and "a mysterious masked woman with a foreign accent and the scent of spices".
She then remakes an appearance at the end of Book 2 as the masked woman, asking the players to go to Vigil and to put a stop to the Whipering Way's plan. This is just enough to remind the players about her, and not too much so that the players start having suspicions about her true identity.
In Book 3, there is an entire part dedicated to exploring an old temple dedicated to Arazni, which allow the players to learn a bit more about her.
And then, she makes her grand entrance in Book 4, revealing her true identity and allowing the players to connect the dots.

There are tons of little details in the scenario that I find enjoyable and funny, and which make the scenario coherent with itself without being too "in your face". Here are some from book 1 to make you understand what I am saying :

Minor spoilers for Book 1:

- The whole problem the PCs encounter in part 2 comes from the fact that Umble and Thoot can't access Roslar's Coffer. Why ? Because they were chased by the inhabitants, which, I assume, never happens. Why ? Because Thoot looks like a skeleton, and the villagers... come from an anti-undead military country which is used to fight against skeletons. So this is the logical course of action.
- If the players ask Umble if they can talk to a certain someone, she answers that this should usually take number of centuries, but since they are special, they might be in luck and just need tens of years ! Hurray !
- Mictena can't come see the PCs herself because she is busy taking care of a bandit camp who died in a mudslide
- All the fairy typed monsters encountered through this scenario are here because Salighara f-ed up.

The AP seems hard, but it also seems quite generous on the loot your players can get.

Finally, there are some simple but fun puzzles from times to times, which allow your players to think a bit between two encounters. The scenario provides some alternate skill checks if your players don't like puzzles so that they don't end up stuck.

But... this AP is not perfect. Althought I find them minor compared to the whole quality of the first half of the AP, it does have some problems in my opinion.

For the books released so far, PCs will be able to sell and buy equipement only in book 3 and 5 (and they might have difficulties doing so in book 5). Sure, this is coherent with the fact that it is a survival horror, a genre where you have to manage your ressources carefully. But this makes the party heavily dependant on the treasures they find. And they will find even less loot if they choose the pacifist route. Plus, the loot is heavily themed around specific classes and quite uneven in terms of non-consumable : book 1 and 3's most interesting weapons and armors are best for warriors, paladins and heavy martials who can use any martial weapons and heavy armors, with not much love for casters and nimble martials, and book 2 is mainly dispatched between martial caracters (with a tendency for heavy martials, but at least more interesting things for nimble martials than on the other books) and profane casters. You might need to change some of the loot depending on your party.

As stated by Serisan in the GM Thread, the first book is deadly. Most of the battles are APL+1 (challenging), and there are a bit too much of APL+3 (epic) in my opinion. My party only has a druid and someone with the Word trait, and they were mostly down by the end of the first level of the first dungeon, and got one of them almost killed by one shot twice after clearing most of the first floor of the first dungeon from part 3. There are also a lot of DR in this book which stretches the battles. If your party does not have a dedicated and good healer and a heavy hitter, or if your party is repeatedly unlucky with their heal rolls, you may need to add some extra healing items. Now, having deadly ennemies in a real-time game where you can dodge or parry is fine, but it's way more difficult to protect yourself against those in Pathfinder.

Roleplaywise, the player's guide heavily encourages the players to be followers of Iomedae (because Lastwall) or Sarenrae (because the priests in Roslar's Coffer are mainly sarenites and there was a temple of Sarenrae there some times ago). But I find that sarenites don't get much love compared to iomedians. Having an acolyte of Sarenrae might be of use only in the second book, and that is if your character is old enough to have clear memories of before the orc raid - which would need this character to be at least 25-30 years old, where most humans tend to be old enough to go to adventure from 16 to 27 years old. Gorum doesn't get anything, even though he is one of the main deities of Lastwall.

Some bits of mecanics are a bit confusing. In book one, there is one skill check which becomes way harder if you don't succeed on your first try, and one of the puzzles is confusing. On the third book, you have to find three things and bring them back somewhere to have the best ending, but you can only find four of these things and, if you're not careful, you might miss the best ending because two of those things are near the point of no return in the scenario (which locks you out of the possibility to bring back those things) ; you also get rewards each times you bring back one of those, which is nice game-wise, but a bit strange and not realistic story-wise. Luckily, those confusing parts are very rare and can easily be handwaved.

The maps are pretty and the layouts are nice, but as usual the grid is not even. This makes it hard to import them on virtual tabletops softwares.

And... I know this might sound petty, but... Mictena's illustrations. She has 3 completely different illustrations, and none of them seems correct to me. I heavily rely on pictures in my games, so it was a bit of a pain. Luckily, the other illustrations in the first 3 books seem mostly correct.

I hope this quick review helped you :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cuup wrote:
I know the final book hasn’t been released yet, but for anyone who has played through, ran through, or just read through the first five books, how is this AP so far?

Having only read the adventure path so far, and thinking about it from the perspective of the people I'd run it for, I'm not a fan. There's room for me to be wrong here, but nothing about the campaign so far has made me motivated to run it.

spoiler:
The campaign starts with the players getting a TPK by a plot device and the adventure begins. This sets the most recurring theme I've noticed in the books. The PCs spend the campaign winning the battle and losing the war. Repeat this for six books. As long as your players are okay with constantly being just a little too late, or just not quite clever enough, and if you like hearing 'If only...' then you have a campaign full of interesting puzzles, dungeons, locations, and encounters.

And in book 5 it implies that the only way for the PCs to win is also TPK with a plot device (only this time in your favor.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My table's experience has been very positive. It's led to some interesting RP along the way as they've dealt with the situations. I'm entering the final act of book 2 at this point.

The planar aspect of book 1 is ambiguously handled, which can lead to significant GM confusion. That said, when understood well and planned for, it becomes a novel and interesting modification to run - the PCs have some of their expectations about how the world works subverted and start getting creative. My players had to hunker down in the first section of book 1, barricade a door, and spend 3 days resting to allow the hunter to cast Cure Light Wounds enough to heal them all. This gave them a legitimate reason to introduce themselves to each other and establish relationships in an otherwise in media res introduction.

Kasoh's feedback is sort of the flip side of mine. Many of the APs have a similar setup, else there would feel like a seemingly unending series of unrelated events occurring, but TG definitely feels more like the PCs are constantly behind. It's supposed to feel more like that, though, and this is something that's mentioned repeatedly. The first book even identifies the genre as "survival horror." You have to expect going in that there will be significant barriers to success at every turn, just like if you were watching The Walking Dead for the first time. The lack of shopping until book 3 is another great example of these problems. You have what you can scavenge, and that's not much. So far, my players have enjoyed that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm running my campaign with a twist, so YMMV.

I wasn't happy with a lot of the hand-waving that occurs throughout the AP. In this respect, it is a lot like Kingmaker. But that's also a good thing because it allows the GM to customize the AP to their party's liking.

My campaign quirks:

The biggest problem I had was with the PCs getting a positive benefit out of the obols while everyone else is TPK'ed at the start of book 1. I found that to be heavily contrived. So I incorporated the use of an artifact found on p 68 of Last Watch - the Grace of the Last Azlanti. This item was on Gen'l Arnisant's person when he slew the WT and absorbed some of the shattered shield. I ran a short module before the start of the AP where the PCs find this and are charged with bringing it back to Vigil. The PCs have it in their possession when they stop for the night in Roslar's Coffer. The interaction with the artifact and the Radiant Fire is what separates the PCs from everyone else, and also gives them something to research to better understand what happened to them. In my campaign, I'm also going to give them a mythic level every time they are exposed to the RF... basically all that energy is building up inside them. It makes - imho - a better explanation for the final battle and makes the PCs less squishy overall.

Grand Lodge

Zi Mishkal wrote:

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm running my campaign with a twist, so YMMV.

I wasn't happy with a lot of the hand-waving that occurs throughout the AP. In this respect, it is a lot like Kingmaker. But that's also a good thing because it allows the GM to customize the AP to their party's liking.
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
What short module did you use?

I used this module. And reskinned the temple to be one devoted to Aroden.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Awful. It reads as if it's been written by the author of a novel who has no concept of player satisfaction. The story rules over every consideration and the ending goes against every rule in the book for creating an adventure.
I understand Paizo have received a lot of criticism for this AP and bk 6 in particular but I feel it's earned. If you are not prepared to sacrifice your villain then you are writing a story not an adventure and then to ask the PC's to do what the writer will not is a personal insult to the players of those characters.

Silver Crusade

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

I don't see performing a heroic sacrifice as insulting.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
I don't see performing a heroic sacrifice as insulting.

And nor would it have been if you'd actually acheieved something.

The real problem here was the choice of BBEG. In making it one the company were never going to allow to be killed off they made the players sacrifice nothing more than a holding action.

Not good enough.

The players are the heroes of the story, they are ones about whom the story revolves, not the DM, not the writer, and certainly not the too precious NPC villain.

Everyone in the game from Gygax through the late great Aaron Allston and more have written about the differences in books and game adventures and noted not being too precious with your monster. This AP is the ultimate in being precious with the monster.

Ending aside though, it's generally quite terrible, easily the worst AP Paizo have produced.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NotBothered wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I don't see performing a heroic sacrifice as insulting.

And nor would it have been if you'd actually acheieved something.

The real problem here was the choice of BBEG. In making it one the company were never going to allow to be killed off they made the players sacrifice nothing more than a holding action.

Not good enough.

The players are the heroes of the story, they are ones about whom the story revolves, not the DM, not the writer, and certainly not the too precious NPC villain.

Everyone in the game from Gygax through the late great Aaron Allston and more have written about the differences in books and game adventures and noted not being too precious with your monster. This AP is the ultimate in being precious with the monster.

That's actually a fair point.

The 'ultimate sacrifice' would probably be a better fit with a BBEG who is permanently stopped (as much as can happen in a fantasy world) like

Spoiler:
Deskari in Wrath or Unity in Iron Gods; either of whom, unstopped, would have killed or enslaved everything on Golarian.

Blowing them up with some mythic magic, and either sealing the Worldwound or preventing the ascension of an all-powerful robot god would be a worthy use of that ending. In this instance, maybe it's really just a problem of the location of that sacrifice?

Like... if I were to run Tyrant's Grasp, I'd put the climax not in some ruin in the countryside, but right on the bridge to the Starstone Cathedral in Absalom. If you make that change, as Tar Baphon and a host of evil have breached the city walls and are marching on the Starstone, rampaging through the streets, battling with high level good guys and just wrecking the whole place, and your heroes have to hold the bridge against him and his villainy... I think that would be MUCH COOLER and really fix the concern about the 'holding action.'

I get why Paizo did what they did (the AP after Age of Ashes is set on Kortos, and I assume they wanted to add a 'Tyrant's Grasp' region to the island) but as a DM, I'd toss that out for a truly epic finale

Thoughts?


Yakman wrote:

That's actually a fair point.

The 'ultimate sacrifice' would probably be a better fit with a BBEG who is permanently stopped (as much as can happen in a fantasy world) like

** spoiler omitted **...

Yes. Without wishing to break your spoiler, your first idea is excellent, and I may well steal it for when I get around to that AP.

Silver Crusade

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

1) You deprive the Tyrant of his nukes.

2) you stop him and his armies from marching on Absalom and thus preventing the thousands and thousands of deaths that would follow.

3) You keep him from becoming a god.

That's a fair amount to achieve.

NotBothered wrote:

Ending aside though, it's generally quite terrible, easily the worst AP Paizo have produced.

For me, that distinction belongs to Hell's Vengeance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

1) You deprive the Tyrant of his nukes.

2) you stop him and his armies from marching on Absalom and thus preventing the thousands and thousands of deaths that would follow.

3) You keep him from becoming a god.

That's a fair amount to achieve.

NotBothered wrote:

Ending aside though, it's generally quite terrible, easily the worst AP Paizo have produced.

For me, that distinction belongs to Hell's Vengeance.

It's still a temporary repreive thing.

If you're going out you should be taking the bad guy with you. By the end of bk 6 you're among the best Golarion has ever seen and you deserve to go out doing something no one else has done before. Not just delaying the threat ending it.

Really Hell's Vengeance? It's not the finest AP but I wouldn't have put it bottom. I'd ask what you disliked so much but that probably counts as derailing the thread, but I'll catch you some somewhere else and ask in the future, you have me curious.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
NotBothered wrote:
By the end of bk 6 you're among the best Golarion has ever seen and you deserve to go out doing something no one else has done before.
The same could be said of every other AP.
Quote:
Not just delaying the threat ending it.
Reading the Continuing the Campaign section in plenty of APs shows the threat wasn't immediatley ended, and/or other isses. Such as
Spoiler:
Strange Aeons and Ruins of Azlant
Quote:
Really Hell's Vengeance? It's not the finest AP but I wouldn't have put it bottom. I'd ask what you disliked so much but that probably counts as derailing the thread, but I'll catch you some somewhere else and ask in the future, you have me curious.

I did a review of the first adventure I believe on the store.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
NotBothered wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I don't see performing a heroic sacrifice as insulting.

And nor would it have been if you'd actually acheieved something.

The real problem here was the choice of BBEG. In making it one the company were never going to allow to be killed off they made the players sacrifice nothing more than a holding action ... This AP is the ultimate in being precious with the monster.

Ending aside though, it's generally quite terrible, easily the worst AP Paizo have produced.

Regarding this topic, i feel the same, regarding the Whispering Tyrant role over the entire story. While he's the ultimate instigator of the plot, as a character he's quite stagnant. I'll try to elaborate, by english is not my first language, so i could sound a bit dull.

Basically, my critic is that he's too detached from the main plot, and most importantly from the characters themselves.

He's also driven by very generic motivations: revenge, pride and pure destruction. He doesn't seem to want to "reclaim" Ustalav, nor he seem to plan much far ahead, since he leaves much of his current strongholds in the region barely occupied, to throw himself literally against one of the greatest cities of the world (and i might add, using a level of mobility never showed during the shining crusade), just in the hope to overwhelm it and "get stronger" by gaining divinity through the Starstone.

While he's a menace, and an horrifically powerful one, he certainly lacks any inventive or charisma that is shown during the adventure itself, or that the Pcs can testify.

And there may be is a reason for it, which may be easily be overlooked: he's enraged, perpetually enraged by his imprisonment, and most importantly, by the energies of his own obol.

For centuries, he suffered from a "magic draining artifact" fused with his soul, that he could not remove without, probably, either losing his magic or destroying the whole of Gallowspire from the inside. And while it's remarkable how he has changed the cause of his demise into a gamebreaking ability, this is - in my view - never properly "hyped" by the campaign itself. Nor is the Tyrant's shard, and its effects over Baphon, even be described. On this topic, when book 6 cover was out, i was lead to believe by the quite different artwork of the WW that we would have witness some kind of "change" in the WW, who could have got some side effects from repeatedly using the Radian Fire, but there were none of those.

But returning over the WW lack of involvement, this become apparent in book 5 ...
(continue into next post)


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
Basically, my critic is that he's too detached from the main plot, and most importantly from the characters themselves.

So, in book 5, when he loses one of his most icon minions (the black dragon ravener) ... nothing happens!

Let us make some parallelism. Book 5 of Tyrant Grasps is a breather of a book, which is - as many book 5 - build around a "needed change of scenery" to allow the pcs to "get stronger" to face the challenges of the final book, by also gaining a macguffin. In some ways, it reminds me of Book 5 of Runelords, in which the pcs are directed to a secret demiplane, in order to grind a bit and gain a few weapons directly made to kill wizards. In this book we get the grinding, and the macguffin (thought, its a bit weak one, i might add). However, in Runelords we also get a few words with the main villain, that uses high magic to possess a golem and try to fell the pcs just when they got the weapon upgrade that will make fight him more easily.

In Tyrant Grasps, Tar Baphon sends a powerful minion to "gain lore over the tree from which the Shield of Aroden was made". Immediately, it become clear - to me at least -what's TB endgame here: to discover the tree properties, in order to mass produce fake shards, hoping to keep the entire world under pseudo nuclear threat. This is grave news, but it's not made explicit. There is not a "we must hurry, so that the WT doesn't get +1000 uses of radiant fire" threat in the air. But this is beside the point.

My point is that, after the ravener demise, we get it's gold, artifact level, plating rotting away, depriving pcs of further loot ... and then nothing. There is not reprise from the WW, who just lost one of his first and greatest slaves, and the ability to possibly gain more uses of the radiant fire, not linked by necessity to the few shard he has. He doesn't even scry on the scene to gain insight over the status of operations ... silence.

While the pcs and Tar Baphon are in the exact situation, both having a shard of the artifact inside, there is no other relation between them. They don't get to feel when Baphon activates the radiant fire, nor can they perceive any of his impressions or emotions.

Just think what could have been. What if, in book 4, when the pcs with the simulacrum of Tar Baphon, such construct could have called them by name, saying how "They" (alluding at the horrific possibly dozens of more "tyrant simulacri" being around) "heard their cries". Had the "shard-bearers" be more connected, able to feel or perceive each other state, that could have been a great scene, with the Tyrant just mildly amused how somehow someone survived from his widespread destruction, maybe even taunting them, calling them Araznis pawn, and even declaring his intentions just because he's certain they are gonna become undead under his control in a few minutes.

However, my biggest problem with this ending is ...
(continue to post 3)


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Obviously, the main problem of this ending is how much uneven it seems.

The pcs get obliterated, body and soul, from the explosion of the radiant fire. No afterlife, no judgment. Nothing. This is because they got a shard of wood that drains magic inside their body that has stitched their soul to their bodies. This shard is "super charged" with positive energy, and for now gets them able to overcome negative energy effects with ease, but in the long run will ... i dunno?

Regardless this point, which could be interesting in another topic, the main complain is that Tar Baphon is in the exact situation of the Pcs, but when his shard, stitched to his soul/body is destroyed, he's not obliterated. He just "regenerates after 1d10 days".

Now. He's a mythic lich, so he's got is artifact level phylactery (which may or may not be the Jewel of everlasting gold), and therefore simply obliterate his main body does nothing to his soul, normally ... but in this case, when got a very rare "soul erasing" weapon, which detonates "inside" one's soul/body.

Yet, no prediction (or mention) is made of how this defeat weakens the WT. By the pcs ability to perceive things, they sacrifice themselves in order to stop (or postpone) Baphon's siege of Absalom, removing the head of the army for "a bit" (5 days medium). While it's clear how much the tyrant's assault on the city is made "in haste" (I'm unaware if the society scenarios prove something different), while stopping the undead threat is a great victory, it doesn't really impede the lich to "try next week to get his ticket to godhood, this time with more wraiths".

I mean, what's stopping him on day 10 after his destruction to just open a gate in front of the Starstone Catedral, blow up all the bridges, and then mythic wish to "not get perceived" while he tries the test?

Moreover, while the pcs sacrifices removes the Tyrant's option to use the radiant fire forever ... by this point, TB's got around 5-6 shots left. Which still is an horrible prospective, but in reality - numbers at hand - he cannot put the world in hostage. He can certainly destroy 4 to 5 capital cities (Absalom, Sothis, Oppara and Highhelm maybe?), but after that ... he's done. He'll face the unite force of the inner sea region (which now consiste also of heavy guns such as Sorshen) and he'll get wrecked.
And he knows this. This is why he's trying to siege Absalon asap, to gain godhood and become personally untouachable.

What - to be - should have been made clear, is that with the tyrant's temporary demise 2 things happens:

1) All his minion directly controlled by him suddenly become independent. This causes ... everything to happen. They either start fighting each-other over grudged repressed from centuries, try to rush the Tyrant's hideout to neutralize him and become the next tyrant, of simply commit suicide - an action forbidden to them by the tyrant. This sudden freedom should have been explored a bit, but since the pcs souls get obliterated, their players don't get an epilogue in which they can weight down the effect of their sacrifice. This possibility should have been made clear by Gildais, which "through abuse and necromantic domination" has been forced to serve Baphon: should the WT be out of commission, even for an hour, all his forces would immediately devolve into hateful anarchy, as happens inside the castle were the two thirds of the book take place.

2) Tar Baphon soul should have been shredded. He should have suffered the same fate as the pcs, only to somehow, very slowly and painfully, getting back together thanks to the phylactery plus other contingencies, in a process that should have required not days, but months or years. This is his first true defeat since he's become a lich, and it should impact him WAY MORE personally that the defeat at the hands of Arnisant. To me, this should have made clear: the pcs are giving themselves up to stop Baphon from becoming a god (even thought he's to yet set food on Absalom) and "use the obols" (not just "be near him when he triggers the explosion) to "destroy his shard, and possibly his soul", aware that there is a chance that the lich will never return, suffering their same fate. Why this doesn't happen it's another story, possibly related to Urgathoa's intervention.

To make this more intriguing, Pathfinder 2E should have kept the information regarding Baphon's survival a secret, such as the ultimate fate of Arazni. After all, any grim looking skeleton can put on the Horns of Naraga and claim to me "The Whispering Tyrant" and set shop on the Isle of Terror. The fear of Baphon's return, while not backed up by proof, is on the long run more effective to any creature trying to feel the WT shoes (boots of teleportation, to be precise), Tar Baphon included.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The number of repetitive complaints about the ending is bordering on trolling at this point. We get it. Some people don't like the ending. You know what? It's an RPG you can change it. No one is going to come to your house in the middle of the night and change it back.

I imagine these people knocking on Tolkien's door in the 1960s demanding that Isildur destroy the ring because otherwise the whole story is stupid.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
by this point, TB's got around 5-6 shots left. Which still is an horrible prospective, but in reality - numbers at hand - he cannot put the world in hostage.

Having a 5 mile nuke plus his other spellcasting powers plus his armies? He very much can hold the world hostage at that point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree that Tar Baphon should take many months to reform. That said, while he might have reformed within 10 days, the fact he seems to be settled down in one area may suggest there was something about his ending here that has weakened him somehow so that he doesn't dare leave his island kingdom... or can't leave it. His minions can. And they're raiding areas. But for some reason he didn't just march immediately upon Absalom once more.

Ultimately it's up to the GM as to what happened to Tar Baphon. If you want to have him be destroyed as well? You can! Or if you decide that the force of being brought back from a state of utter destruction stripped his Mythic aspect away? Go for it! As a level 20 Wizard Lich he is already massively powerful and I've no real idea how you would depict him using 2nd edition rules, for those people who plan on using them.

The game, and the Adventure Path, is yours. Modify it as you will. :)

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

For those of you saying "just change it", "you have that power", etc, etc, ad nauseam, you do remember that this will be sanctioned for PFS one day and legally you CAN'T change it for that. So there's that. Always remember that. Not everyone has the freedom that the rest of you scoff is so readily available, because SHOCK, not everyone has access to home games and have to play scenarios as-written, no exception. Although I'm sure few of you care, will toss more excuses, scoff more, tell everyone they're just being trolls for having opinions and expressing how they won't be looking forward to it, "you don't have to play it", etc. That's fine. Maybe we'll get lucky and certain aspects of the modules will have contingencies for PFS players so they don't just immediately lose their high level character. However, those players will have to wait until the sanction officially comes out and see what the specific rules say. And John Compton has promised it will be sanctioned. Just a matter of when.

Silver Crusade

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

... PFS players will have to wait for it to be sanctioned at all, not just the contingencies.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
... PFS players will have to wait for it to be sanctioned at all, not just the contingencies.

I think you were thinking faster than you were typing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:
You know what? It's an RPG you can change it.

Sure, the GM can modify it however they wish. How a GM changes the AP is not especially helpful when the question is 'How is the AP?' because if the answer is 'After I changed the setting, the premise, several of the locations, and added a dozen NPCs, my group had a fantastic time.' then I think we're getting a little far afield.

The AP's premise as written is something to consider when picking it up at all, because that determines how much effort you might be willing to put into it to salvage it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... PFS players will have to wait for it to be sanctioned at all, not just the contingencies.
I think you were thinking faster than you were typing.
Quote:
Maybe we'll get lucky and certain aspects of the modules will have contingencies for PFS players so they don't just immediately lose their high level character. However, those players will have to wait until the sanction officially comes out and see what the specific rules say.

The Sanctions come out at the same time, so the second sentence is redundant, which prompted my comment.

Or was there a misunderstanding?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Isn't Pathfinder Society busy moving to 2nd edition? So why would they sanction this for 1st edition PFS? That would encourage the 1st edition to remain in the system for longer rather than push everyone to 2nd ed.

Silver Crusade

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

Because people are still playing 1e PFS, who have built up boons and stories and the like. Paizo has stated they aren’t abandoning PFS1.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Zi Mishkal wrote:

The number of repetitive complaints about the ending is bordering on trolling at this point. We get it. Some people don't like the ending. You know what? It's an RPG you can change it. No one is going to come to your house in the middle of the night and change it back.

I imagine these people knocking on Tolkien's door in the 1960s demanding that Isildur destroy the ring because otherwise the whole story is stupid.

The number of repetitive dismissive remarks to just change the ending is bordering on trolling. We get it. You can change it if you don't like the ending. But it's an AP that many have legitimate complaints about and have every right to complain considering it's a product you buy. And to let others know how the AP is by default. I know I'm being snarky copying your post in such a way, but equating complaints as trolling ain't helping. I too feel the AP is badly written that others have explained already, better than I can. It should've been a novel, IMO.

Grand Lodge

Rysky wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... PFS players will have to wait for it to be sanctioned at all, not just the contingencies.

The Sanctions come out at the same time, so the second sentence is redundant, which prompted my comment.

Or was there a misunderstanding?

No, I just didn't understand your sentence, as it wasn't a complete one. The "at all" is what's throwing me. The sentence seems to be missing a word or has too many. Not sure which.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... PFS players will have to wait for it to be sanctioned at all, not just the contingencies.

The Sanctions come out at the same time, so the second sentence is redundant, which prompted my comment.

Or was there a misunderstanding?

No, I just didn't understand your sentence, as it wasn't a complete one. The "at all" is what's throwing me. The sentence seems to be missing a word or has too many. Not sure which.

Replace “at all” with “in the first place”.

The PFS players won’t have to wait for the Sanctions for alterations since those will come out the same time as sanctioning for the whole AP to be run for PFS credit.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I've realized that i've written much regarding the ending, while the topic of this thread was about "how his" the Ap.
While I've made clear why i find this Ap ending weak, overall I find the first 4 modules quite appealing.

Dead roads is a pleasant out of body experience, quite interesting and with much dept.
Eulogy is also, to me, well crafted and gives players motivations and a sense of dread and mystery that helps build around the pc's peculiar conditions, but also the effects of a weapon such as the Radiant fire.
It's in book 3, however, that we reach the peak of this adventure, in which the characters got a clear goal, and they achieve it, only to be overwhelmed by a tragedy they could have not stopped, and yet they still fight to make the difference.

In those three modules, the pcs are still not only the central stage, but also the primary forces of the plot. They interact with npc who are either in need of their intervention or in conflict with them. Those bonds and those grudged will matter.

The situation, however, switches to me in book 4. While I like the concept of the involvement of Arazni, and her presence is well foreshadowed, I find her quest puts the pcs on a level of conflict which derails a bit their quests (namely survive, regroup and then "figure something out", possibly by gaining intel). They ability to teleport entire armies of quick spawning undead through teleportation cycles, for example, is to me as much as deadly that the radiant fire itself, yet is somehow overlooked in this book. The Libertine council dynamic is also a bit off to some, since it contradicts previous canon (a god queen being jailed by her own knights, the leader of which does indeed posses a "divine blessing" from Arazni herself), and further derails the focus of the plot from the pcs actions.

This choice also puts the pcs away from any useful interactions with others npc from Lastwalls, and while their action in book 3 come to matter at the end of book 4, much of whatever was built (which is also "what the pcs are fighting for" at this point, which is not given, to me, proper focus).

Book five also force a radical tone shift, since it's basically a (necessary?) forced trip to another country, far away from both the story and the setting that was until them established. And while the pcs actions will matter in the long run in the nation of Xopalt, the immediate payoff is a bit weak since (necessary soul destruction aside), what they get is a minor boots. Again, in this book the pcs solve someone else problem, losing sight of their main goal (the fight in Avistan) while giving them a bunch of (quite interesting) npc interaction that will necessary conclude at the end of the book.

Book 6 is also somehow uneven. The first 2 parts of the book are quite dynamic, well crafted and with good roleplaying actions (I love the oathammer, and find it way more epic that a certain raven headed mace), but the moment the Pcs reach Absalom they get into "a war without faces", except for 2 npc (which existence is mostly due to buff the pcs against an apparently AP 8+ challenge, with a DC 39 un-makable save) and possibly a well crafted undead which doesn't get to show off much.

While this is realistic, cause war is poetic only in fiction, this also weakens the story to me. There are almost no maps, except from Sunscarab keep, which seems something that could have been well "recycled" from the book before (a step pyramid with an hole on hit, which strongly reminds that of book 5). This is certainly due to page limit and, most of all, the necessity to run this module and the PFS ones that detail the other side of the attack. The full lore is there, yet - as an event comic - is divided between the mediums.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Now this? This is constructive criticism. Thank you, Pnakotus Detsujin, for articulating what works and what doesn't work beyond just a generic "the permadeath of the PCs is unfair."

(It will be quite a few years before I run this in all likelihood. My group is half a year into Reign of Winter and has only in the last game reached Waldsby and started interacting with folks there. Then again, we also only meet every other week and they are very much into roleplay rather than rolling dice so...)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Zi Mishkal wrote:

The number of repetitive complaints about the ending is bordering on trolling at this point. We get it. Some people don't like the ending. You know what? It's an RPG you can change it. No one is going to come to your house in the middle of the night and change it back.

You know what, this is a message board for people's opinions, including those other than your own, but no one is going to come to your house in the middle of the night and make you read them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It would be nice to be able to use this set of boards as a reference, which is very difficult right now from all of the “just saying blah blah blah” crap. We get it, you don’t like it.... take this bs to reddit with the rest of them, because we’re trying to run games!

Not looking for argument, just get over yourselves a little.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Twisted_Fister wrote:

It would be nice to be able to use this set of boards as a reference, which is very difficult right now from all of the “just saying blah blah blah” crap. We get it, you don’t like it.... take this bs to reddit with the rest of them, because we’re trying to run games!

Not looking for argument, just get over yourselves a little.

That goes both ways. Both sides are going “blah blah blah.” You’re not helping things by stirring the pot.

Regardless, check out Pnakotus Detsujin‘s review. It’s harder to read, but it conveys everyone’s feelings the best for why exactly this AP could have been better.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Twisted_Fister wrote:

It would be nice to be able to use this set of boards as a reference, which is very difficult right now from all of the “just saying blah blah blah” crap. We get it, you don’t like it.... take this bs to reddit with the rest of them, because we’re trying to run games!

Not looking for argument, just get over yourselves a little.

Taking anything to Reddit also runs the risk that people engage Less and Less on these Boards, and more on others...until there isn't anyone left to discuss anything HERE.

Have you taken a look at Paizo.com's Alexa ratings and trajectory over the last few months? Really, we want people coming here - to voice opinions, etc - be them good, bad, controversial, etc.

On an old "What are you going to miss in 1E" thread - mine was the liveliness of the message boards - posted when Book 6 of the AP was coming out and the entire AP had a paltry 489 posts at the time (or something like that). That's not good. There are long term posters I'm used to seeing that just aren't posting anymore, it seems.

"Take it to Reddit?" Be careful what you wish for...

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Tyrant's Grasp / How Is Tyrant’s Grasp? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Tyrant's Grasp