It’s been a long journey but we’ve finally reached the end of the War for the Crown Pathfinder Adventure Path with the release of “The Six-Legend Soul” on Roll20.
The module designed for 16th level PCs who have completed the rest of the War for the Crown adventure, and features an emotional murder investigation, the discovery of an evil organization, and the culmination of the PCs’ heroic work in Taldor.
The following content is included in the $24.99 “The Six-Legend Soul” (War for the Crown 6 of 6) module:
- 5 5-ft battle map with Dynamic Lighting (though one is a repeat from WfC 2)
- 41 unique named NPC character sheets with matching tokens and GM descriptions, including 18 background NPCs (22 w/ pics & player handouts)
- 45 NPC monster sheets with draggable tokens, vision, and separate player handouts.
- 103 Magic Item player handouts (27 w/ pics)
- Alphabetized token page of all NPCs and creatures.
- Journal organized into three parts, each containing DM notes, maps and player handouts
- Extra notes and lore on Taldor’s Ulfen Guard and the Spirits of Six Emperors.
- Rollable tables for optional random encounters in Taldor; rollable tokens for shapeshifters.
Like the previous modules, “The Six-Legend Soul” is dived into three parts, with Part 1 tasking the PCs with investigating the assassination of Princess Eutropia, as teased near the end of “The Reaper’s Right Hand.”
This section is well-organized, directly explaining the timeline of events that happened for the DM, then painting several options and avenues for PCs to discover the killer and the truth – that Eutropia knew about the assassination and transferred her soul right before the attack into a magical necklace, thus drawing the assassins out for the PCs to discover and deal with.
It’s a neat scenario, though I found one major plot element tied to the exhumation of a dead dog completely abhorrent. Hiding a key inside a dead dog’s stomach is like something out of a Saw film, and not something that would ever be at my table.
Eutropia’s revelation is a neat twist that caters to the Princess’ resourcefulness, and I like that the PCs can earn bonus XP depending on which clues and leads they discover. Sadly there are no handouts nor maps for this section, although Roll20 did include an emptied map of the Palace of Birdsong from the second module, which is where the investigation and funeral take place. I wish that tokens were in place but it’s better than nothing.
Their investigation in Part 1 leads them to the Immaculate Circle for Part 2, which includes a decent-size dungeon crawl, something the entire campaign has been lacking in.
In the Imperial Archives in the town of Hyden the PCs can quickly find and confront the assassin, Rhien, along with a lot of traps, clockwork golems, and a creepy otherworldly qolok called Chadirrex. It’s a bit disappointing that finding the killer comes down to a fairly standard battle, with few notes on Rhien’s backstory and motivations.
The real action takes place in The Shadowed Halls beneath Hyden. It’s the stronghold of a classic evil cabal of immortal nobles, secretly running the country from the shadows. They include a vampire, a shapeshifter, and a 3000-year old wizard, none of whom are very friendly.
The residents have all the markings of depravity, including captured, enslaved, and enthralled servants and monsters, dark rituals, and deadly traps. I particularly like the winding snake-like tunnel near the entrance, with secret door off-shoots to four different areas.
The Shadowed Halls make up two separate battle maps in Roll20, making it one of the largest dungeons of the campaign. The use of secret doors, traps, high-level foes, and troves of magical loot is extensive, as they should be for 16-17th level PCs.
The PCs will also learn the sobering truth about Prince Carrius, the miraculously returned long-dead kid brother of Eutropia whom the PCs saved back in the third module.
Carrius’s soul was brought back by the Immaculate Circle into a vat-grown body, but the soul was shredded by the monstrous sahki Thassritoum, and reconstructed by Panivar Lotheed, one of the founding members of the Circle. The Soul Crucible that Lotheed and the Circle used for Carrius can also be used to restore Eutropia, assuming the PCs brought her soul-necklace with them.
The campaign isn’t quite finished once the PCs have dealt with Lotheed and found the Crucible. Part 3 puts another winkle into the story, though one that is smartly teased through the Shadowed Halls. Prince Carrius’ fractured soul, made up of previous Taldoran emperors, has finally become corrupted. He immediately paints the PCs as villains who murdered Eutropia. The PCs return to Taldor branded as outlaws and criminals, even when they have the resurrected Eutropia with them.
The PCs will have to engage in the “Social Combat” rules first introduced in the second module in order to regain the loyalty of the people and the country and gain access to the palace to confront Carrius.
It’s an interesting break in the climax, as the PCs technically defeated the primary villains behind all the wrong-doings in the Shadowed Halls. A series of scripted events take place over seven days leading to Carrius’ coronation in which the PCs’ can drum up support from old allies and deal with new threats in a series of social encounters, decisions, and skill checks.
I can’t say I’m a fan of breaking up the action this way, as the module coasts to a nice high after The Shadowed Hall, only to slow way down as the PCs engage in various activities until the showdown with the possessed prince.
If the PCs don’t manage to gain access to the Palace before Carrius is crowned on the seventh day, it doesn’t end the campaign but does make the final assault more difficult. The adventure does state that at this point very little can threaten the god-like 17-18th level PCs, including paltry palace guards.
Thus the final throne map and sequence is not so much a dungeon crawl as a series of social encounters. This might not be a bad thing considering the PCs had just come out of a big dungeon crawl in Part 2. Even the Prince doesn’t have to battled, as the PCs should have possession of Painver Lotheed’s Ring of the Recalled Soul, which allows them to step into his mind and confront the six different souls battling for control of his body. It’s like an episode of Legion!
Not all of these former emperors are straight-up boss fights, some pose interesting puzzles and challenges, and others can be verbally sparred with. This should allow all kinds of PCs and styles to flourish in at least one of the encounters.
The process leaves Carrius weakened and dying, as his soul returns to its fractured state. There’s a fascinating epilogue where the PCs can choose to either use a portion of Eutropia’s soul to restore him, sacrifice one of their own (killing them permanently) or use a smaller portion of all of their souls (draining 10 levels). Hopefully Carrius left quite the impression on them as this would make for a richly emotional ending.
“The Six-Legend Soul” also includes several notes and leads on continuing the adventure, mostly based on specific storylines from previous modules that may have been particularity memorable for the players. The biggest is Thassirtoum, the being who helped capture and rend Carrius’ soul for the Circle. It’s still out there, holed up in a demiplane called The Palace of Nightmares, and feels like the perfect post-game, high level adventure for the nearly max-level demigod PCs.
- Good balance of dungeon crawling, puzzles, investigations, social encounters, and big narrative moments.
- Uses the major campaign-spanning NPCs of Princess Eutropia and Prince Carrius in hugely exciting ways.
- The Shadowed Halls is a big dungeon crawl with lots of nefarious traps, secrets, and villains.
- For once, this War for the Crown adventure doesn’t involve bumming around a city doing side adventures.
- A major element in the murder investigation in Part 1 involves digging up and searching through the remains of a dead dog. Ugh!
- Spending several days in social encounters to regain the favor of Taldor to reach Carrius feels like breaking up the climax too much between The Shadowed Halls and the battle with for Carrius’ soul.