Doom Comes to Dustpawn: Pathfinder Module Review

I had a little time off recently so got to knock some of my material off of the “reading” pile.  One of these things was the Doom Comes to Dustpawn Pathfinder module.  This module is part of the Pathfinder module subscription and is the last module in its format (being around a 30 odd page module) as they revamped the format for The Dragons Demand making them much more substantial modules and release once every three months.

Cool Godzilla like moment!

The module is created by last years winner of the RPG Superstar competition (jealous) and involves using the details from the Distant Worlds campaign supplement (even more jealous) incorporating the planets near Golarion’s own setting.  The premise: a ship of space faring elves crashes back to Golarion attracting a great deal of interest from treasure hunters and the like.  The accident was no accident though, it was engineered by a strange being in the cold dark reaches of space that wishes to come to the planet and begin its domination of the world.  And as luck would have it there is a group of cultists on Golarion that want the very same thing and they arrive in the town to prepare the way for the Dark Emissary.

There is more to the adventure than that one paragraph but it is a neat summary.  There is plenty to like in this adventure too apart from the innovative inclusion of the extra campaign material.  For a start, the adventure is broken up into five parts and takes a very non-linear approach to the way that the players move through the sections.  The first and fifth part are book ends to the adventure but the second through to the fourth could likely be done in any order meaning that the players will feel well in control of the adventure.  It is cleverly designed though so you actually need to hit all the sections to wrap the adventure up so your players should get full value out of the adventure.

There are some really nice uses of creatures in this module and I was really jealous of the way that these rather different creatures were clearly justified in their use.  I always struggle to include unusual creatures in some of my adventures and the reasons I give seem false, like I just wanted to use the cool creature.  In this module though the reasons are flawless.  There is a new creature template added in as well as the cultists are turning people into their more baser natures and so there is some cool creatures part humanoid, part animal to contend with that are definitely not were creatures.

There is little not to like about this module but I did find that the plot and dark plans seemed not to be overly emphasised.  There are some good roleplaying moments, and even the chance that the players will end up helping the big bad, but no real tension drawn into the adventure.  I can see when my players approach this adventure that they will head direct for the spaceship for looting and may even not care about the rest.  There has to be better buy in than their currently is.  For the “good” side and for the adventure to play out fully the players need to make a decision that they have to help out because quite honestly the bad guys are the ones that pony up the real cash for assistance.  If I were playing this module I would likely help out the bad guys although it would end badly for me in the end because they put the serious money on the table and are willing to talk it out.

Fun, fun, fun!

There is a good level of magical items through this adventure and they are all useful and appropriate.  The encounters are well balanced and the town itself is outlined nicely making it a good little place for the players to build perhaps longer lasting relationships.  The area though is a bit out of the way and you may need to do some work to actually have this adventure show up at the right time as it is aimed at 9th level characters and is well out of the way of a lot of stuff so you may ned to move the adventure to somewhere more local to the characters.

I like this adventure and could see it as a nice side adventure for the party.  It does need some work so that the players are more likely to fight the evil guys rather than join them!  Apart from this it is nice and tight and could probably be run in one 3-5 hour sitting of Pathfinder.  My overall feel for the adventure is that it is a great little adventure that covers some of the less explored areas of the Golarion universe which should be of interest to players!  My rating would be 4 out of 5 stars.  Try it out and keep rolling!

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