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Game review: Pathfinder RPG book: Curse of the Crimson Throne entire adventure path

Posted January 11

Ask around among Pathfinder gamers about the best published adventure path, and a couple paths rise to the top. One of those is the Curse of the Crimson Throne. All six chapters have been expanded and updated in a new hardbound edition by Paizo Publishing.

The adventure begins with player characters visiting the port city of Korvosa. A criminal named Gaedren Lamm who has wronged each player character brings everyone together trying to hunt him down. After dealing with Lamm, the PCs learn of the death of the city's king, which throws things into chaos. A cool aspect to this adventure is the social roleplaying and court intrigue that may not exist in other adventures.

For example, characters will attempt to keep the peace in the city in the wake of the tragedy in order to perform their investigation. The first chapter concludes with an attempt to save an innocent person from death at a public execution as the new queen Ileosa assumes power.

The next chapter of the book presents some interesting problems for the PCs. A devastating sickness 'blood veil' begins to affect the people of the city, and players become detectives trying to figure out how and why this has happened. Gamers will love the detective aspect of this chapter trying to discover the plague's origin. Was it manufactured on purpose? Does it involve the new queen of Korvosa. Only time will tell.

Chapter three continues with intrigue in the city. What appears to be a straightforward fight against an evil presence behind the plagues slowly evolves into the plan of a mastermind. The player characters won't quite know who they can trust, and the plot slowly unveils itself for all to see. Crucial decisions have to be made and strange villains fought. It seems the city's criminal elements are vying for control after all of the tragedy that has struck. However, an underground labyrinth might bring some unexpected allies.

Eventually the real power behind the Crimson is revealed and the PCS will need some help. Their path leads to the northern Cinderlands and the Shoanti people. The only problem is that to receive the help of the Shoanti, the characters must earn their respect. This leads to a whole new set of adventures as quests must be completed and horrible red monsters destroyed. The chapter concludes by earning the respect of the Cinderland people and a new quest for ultimate power.

To defeat the ultimate evil behind the Crimson Throne, the characters must find a powerful weapon in a sprawling adventure location, Castle Scarwall. Castle Scarwall and its environs is simply massive. For those gamers who are up for a massive dungeon crawl, this chapter might stand out as the highlight of the series. A massive multi-level dungeon full of undead, treasure, strange encounters, traps and horrifying creatures awaits. The book does include rules for streamlining this chapter to keep the Crimson Throne campaign running smoothly.

The exciting conclusion of the Curse of the Crimson Throne leads the players back to the city of Korvosa for an assault on the kingdom's castle itself. By earning the support of the city's inhabitants, the player characters will fight the true power of the Crimson Throne and attempt to defeat it. Oh, but there are some diabolical surprises in store. If the characters defeat this adventure, they will deserve the title of heroes most definitely.

The hardbound version of the Curse of the Crimson Throne retails for $59.99 and contains 500 pages of content. It's a bargain considering the expense of collecting all six of the previously published adventure paths, if they can be found. The art, flow, design and presentation are spectacular. This adventure path will keep a gaming group busy for multiple sessions.

This hardcover edition of Curse of the Crimson Throne contains some cool extras and a huge section of seven appendixes (more than 100 pages). There is an in-depth gazetteer of Korvosa and a bunch of detailed new rules options for characters, including traits, spells and magic items. A bestiary featuring nine monsters from the original Adventure Path makes its debut along with never before seen characters and information to flesh out this adventure path into an unforgettable campaign adventure. Thank you, Paizo Publishing!

Email: rmorgenegg@deseretnews.com

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