What is your favorite book?


Age of Ashes


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My party is about to finish Hellknight Hill and I've been rereading through Cult of Cinders. It's been crazy to me how different the books are from each other.

Which would you say has been your favorite book to DM? Which book has been your player's favorite?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

We're only nearing the conclusion to 4, but thus far the clear group favorite has been Tomorrow Must Burn (3).

It's had the most consistent plot trail of all the chapters we've played, with the Triad being the enemy at every step of the way, which led to strong motivations to pursue the investigatory leads. Some of the other books suffer for having empty sections of dungeon-crawl fighting random selections from the Bestiary for no real reason other than that's the obstacle they've been presented with. Tomorrow Must Burn keeps a tighter focus on who the enemy is, and how you need to hunt them, and doesn't get bogged down in too much distraction showcasing the system/bestiary.

It had strong NPCs and NPC integration into the storytelling that the other installments have lacked. Nolly's the only scripted NPC (so far) since Alak who actually actively helps the party and puts her neck on the line. One of the big complaints my group has is that they always end up in these urban centers full of people who, for balance purposes, cannot materially help with the major calamity occurring under their noses, but Book 3 bucks that trend. Nolly fights with you, Halleka can heal you whenever you need him, Laria Longroad has agency in her own escape, Lady Docur took care of her own business during the attack. They are important NPCs with agency and strength and interesting personalities and motivations, which leads to a lot of roleplay development and story engagement by players. Access to uncommon archetypes after the book's conclusion was also a much more meaningful reward than just another item. It really makes these particular NPCs actual, long-term allies. My group will never go back to Akrivel to talk to the Ose twins, but they've been to see Docur and wouldn't leave Kintargo without Nolly and Halleka relocating to the citadel.

It had opportunities for creative roleplay and skill usage outside of scripted challenges. There are multiple ways to handle the warehouse and interacting with Sedranni. The way Cypress Point and the quarry play out is entirely up to player decision-making and there's a ton of latitude for creative exploration or interaction. It's just a good mix of investigation, setup, and execution of set pieces.

And the enemies are fantastic. Laslunn's been in the background since book 1, so it's satisfying to finally have a showdown, with a very creative trap that adds some severe urgency to the encounter. Barushak's encounter is designed to have him escape, which gives the party extra juice to hunt him down and slay him later. Fighting the Bullbutcher and his pirates on the deck of a ship is fun. Fighting a Triad boss on a rooftop with drakes is fun. Killing slavers who are in the middle of enslaving is a great romp. I never needed to add extra motivation for the party to move forward with extreme expediency. I never needed to remind them of the plot's twists and turns to keep them on the path. They were entirely engaged and self-motivated, all due to the very strong cohesion of the adventure.

Tomorrow Must Burn gets an A+ from me.


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tl;dr: 4 > 5 = 6 > 2 >>> 3 >> 1

The story in 1 is just silly, with the call for heroes, goblins a few miles from the town unable to contact anyone. the big boss ralldar comes out of nowhere (but is cool) and the real boss is a wimp (and also kind of comes out of nowhere).

3 would be good with some more roleplaying/investigating stuff, but as it stands, it's a (mostly) linear sequence of battles. Quarry was fine, though.

2 is welcome change of pace, with both RP opportunities, hexcrawling, and cool combats (the dreaded mine especially).

6 is fun, the gauntlet at the beginning is challenging, the intrigue in promise a nice culmination, mengkare one of the best villains of Pathfinder, and the final chapter just OK (Dahak being way underpowered, though).

5 is great. It fleshes out Katapesh nicely (much better than Kintargo in 3 was), subquests there are fun (especially the camel one), and Red Pyramid is a well-designed dungeon.

4 is even better - Saggorak/Kovlar is an amazing place and the intrigue there well designed. Veshurimix is a cool villain too.

My players' opinions vary. Each one of them preferred a different book (including 3, 4, and 2 - but I changed a lot in 3 as a GM).


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Holla, I'm new aboard! My favorite one is book 4. The paladins have to survive at the cost of their life, and it seems to me that this book has the most scenes where it emphasizes sacrifices and friendships. Glad to be here!


PatriciaWilliams wrote:
Holla, I'm new aboard! My favorite one is book 4. The paladins have to survive at the cost of their life, and it seems to me that this book has the most scenes where it emphasizes sacrifices and friendships. Glad to be here!

Overall, I recommend reading "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury because it is my favourite book from other categories than comics and games. I read the free book summary, and I got the idea that if humankind advances to the point where society loses its humanity, then humankind may as well cease to exist. https://freebooksummary.com/category/the-pedestrian is the source that explains the novel's themes, like conformity versus individualism or nature opposite the city. It is interesting to get into this book's adventures. The narrative threads here are associated with a game for me.


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PatriciaWilliams wrote:
Holla, I'm new aboard! My favorite one is book 4. The paladins have to survive at the cost of their life, and it seems to me that this book has the most scenes where it emphasizes sacrifices and friendships. Glad to be here!

Hello, i think you are mistaking something, this is the forum for the RPG Pathfinder Second Edition, in this case the question of the topic was regarding the Age of Ashes adventure path, does not have any relation with the AGE OF ASHES book series...

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