I ran this entire AP when it was initially released. The opening adventure, The Whispering Cairn, is simple but one of the best starting adventures I've run. The rest of the AP doesn't quite get that good again, but is consistently good. A solid recommendation.
I ran this years ago....but it was by far the best the best adventure adventure path I have ever ran. I really wish they would release it updated for Pathfinder and in a hardcover!! Money could not get there fast enough
It's been a long time since I played in this one but what I remember is that there were some issues with some areas of the adventure being way too difficult for the stated level of the adventure. High DC death saves at ~lvl 5? Having to roll a twenty to deactivate the bad guy’s spell of summoning the great worm thing? The constant threat of being turned into a worm possessed monster and being poor due to hired spell services to fix all of the maladies (i.e. death) that befell the party. Maybe my DM jazzed things up to be nigh impossible in places, but overall my experience was that some areas were too hard and others were not challenging. I would give it a ‘2’ but I will err on the side of caution and a remembrance that the story line was actually pretty good.
Overall I really enjoyed running the Age of Worms adventure path from Dungeon magazine. My biggest issue was with the first scenario, which is a pretty standard run-of-the-mill dungeon crawl that feels displaced from the rest of the scenarios. I tried running it once, scrapped it, and then restarted the campaign with a different scenario, moving into the third (Encounter at Blackwall Keep) without any issues. Lots of great roleplaying moments in the entire campaign from then on, including the gladiator scenario (The Champion's Belt) and the social ballroom scenario (The Prince of Redhand). The showdowns with the dracolich and the giants were fantastic, and the final bout against Kyuss himself is still talked about to this day.
Age of Worms turns a group of people from an armpit of the world town into the saviors of the world. The adventure path consists of chapters that contain dungeons, exploration, puzzles, arena combat, heavy role play, and epic monster combat. Under 5e the combat flows very well, and some of the annoyances of 3.5, such as undead being immune to sneak attacks, no longer exist. So every class has an equal opportunity to contribute.
Lots of good content that can still be modified as the DM wishes.With bounded accuracy and encounter building guidelines, conversion to 5e is very straightforward.
Campaign guides for the main cities and handouts for all of the chapters are included.
Certain editing mistakes slipped through, especially in chapter 2, but it is easy to determine what was meant after a little rereading.
Descriptions of certain 3 dimensional areas might take a couple of readings to understand.Conversion
As with all conversions of 3.5 there is a bit of work involved.
1. Determine how much magical treasure will survive the conversion: 3.5 is much more magic item heavy than 5e. In the end I decided to keep everything except +X items on unnamed/generic NPCs.
2. Convert remaining magical items: Many of the items are in the 5e DMG, but some items like wands will need a conversion in line with the 5e take on the type of item. Early on there is a wand of Shatter. In 5e, this wand would have only 7 charges that recharge each day, using 2 charges per casting of the 2nd level spell. +1 and +2 items become +1, +3 and +4 become +2, and +5 and above become +3 items.
3. Convert encounters: Take the encounter level of an encounter, determine the XP budget necessary for a Medium encounter for a party of that level and as many PCs as your party has, and use that budget. This will give a range of Easy, Medium, Hard, and Deadly encounters. An encounter level of 9 for a 7th level party would be made by making an encounter using the called for creatures with an XP budget of 4400-6400. That XP range puts it squarely in the Hard difficulty for the 7th level party.
4. Convert monsters: when possible, reskin and slightly change a creature in the 5e Monster Manual if the exact monster does not exist. For example, I used the modified the Chuul to take the place of the Octopin.
5. Convert NPCs: This takes a bit more work. Consult the 5e DMG for information.
A great adventure path, both for old-school players (there are plenty of veiled references to old-school Greyhawk locations and events, which can be made explicit if you choose to set the series in that world) and new players alike. One bonus: while the adventures don't take into account all the changes in D&D 3.5 since their creation, the path does seem to deliberately make choices to make life more difficult for those who choose to 'optimize' their characters, making this a particularly newbie-friendly (though still challenging) series of modules.
This is one of the beautiful artifacts of the lost age know as "pre-edition wars", when Wizards and Paizo collaborated. Here, the Paizo editors and writers (many of whom were at the time in the employ of Wizards or former staff) worked to craft an excellent tale thick with Greyhawk lore. The Wind Dukes of Aaqa, the Horned Society, Bandit Kingdoms, Vecna cultists, Dragotha the dracolich, Kyuss, and many classic locations and much more are packed into this adventure. The adventure quickly gains an epic feeling. Even at low levels everything seems important and urgent. The heroes have many moments to shine and some spectacular battles. There is plenty of work to be done by the DM to make this a 5-star experience, as the quality varies and too often the encounters fall into 3E design traps, such as boring rooms with little of note beyond the adversary. But, most of the time it is spectacular. This is one worth owning, stealing from repeatedly, and running more than once.
(Disclaimer: I haven't played or read the entire AP.) The Age of Worms starts with the outstanding "The Whispering Cairn", one of the best modern-day low-level dungeon-based modules. Unfortunately, what follows isn't quite in the same league. The first half of the modules range from average to good but after that it just gets tedious. The AP suffers from its focus on all things undead and everything that entails, being based in 3e mechanics. While the story continues to be excellent, the execution is lacking. It's also at times very deadly - definitely only recommended for a well-optimized, experienced group. I could imagine the AP would get better by migrating it to 4e or 5e. Then you could probably add a star to its rating.
Best starting dungeon ever - while it is a little removed from the rest of the story, it makes perfect sense to go from there and already puts the PCs through a lot so they will be at attention. It can also be tied in with the Rod of 7 Parts. It is a bit deadly at points, but this is easy to adapt to the level of the group. But it needs an experienced GM to know how and where.
I ran this entire AP when it was initially released. The opening adventure, The Whispering Cairn is a classic adventure that ranks as one of the all time greats. The other adventures are mostly solid but there are some issues in continuity between them.
I've begun it twice now. The first time as it was being published and again just recently stalling this summer after spending over a year and a half. The 12 adventures are typically adventure path in design, meaning linear by event or combat encounter or both, but each can be run openly. However they require a lot of work if you run them openly together than as 12 separate installments. This last go around I tried running the first 3 as a sandbox in the Cairn Hills, the next 3 as the Grey Hawk City region, 3 as missions as discovered, and the last 3 as a linear gauntlet to the final battle. ...But I've never gotten to the end. It takes too long.
The best parts of the adventure are the references to Greyhawk and other D&D lore. Dragotha is in there, so is the Rod of Seven Parts, the Isle of Woe sunk in the Nyr Dyv, and much, much more. Some adventure are neatly designed too. As mentioned by other reviewers, the first adventure has a good dungeon and interesting components. But all the adventures have their flaws too. In general it is hit or miss when it comes to design, but there are some truly inspirational style selections here. As well as top notch pieces, like NPcs, magic items, and perhaps most often, combats.
However combat is also one of the biggest drawbacks to the design as this was an era for Paizo when they heavily inflated the encounter CR to make the game challenging as many players were mastering CharOp in '05 & '06. Inflating the PCs a level or two is a good idea. A problem I had was the starting town is practically a double adventure in itself, about 25 pages as an extra support PDF, which vastly increases the amount of difficulty running the game. There is simply too much to remember and keep track of. This "overload" document needed to cover aspects of running all 12 adventure not just the first couple.
I don't really care for adventure paths, but I do like Greyhawk and interesting scenarios full of inspiration. You will find more than enough here. My best advice is to chop up the adventures as needed to run your game than following the design as is. I know the first time I started the PCs in the first half of module 3 (a poor one). If you follow the adventures as a plot the transitions need work, some are hard to notice in the reading while others are heavy handed. The plot itself zigzags back and forth continually pointing at potential new enemies, which is thrilling for an adventure path. It gives the illusion of solving what's going on. But it's a bit "your queen is in another castle" as a sandbox.
I was a player in this AP Every night we played you never knew if your character was going to make it out alive. We had a table full of optimized characters and still struggled with some of the encounters. This was a great way for me to finish up playing in WOTC owned settings. I will always remember my Age of Worms Campaign
This AP has an excellent start in the small town of Diamond Lake. A connection they ought to have done more with. The later scenarios are generally very good, but some are boring dungeon crawls.Brilliant Greyhawk stuff.
The second adventure path after Paizo learned the ropes after Shackled City, Age of Worms has the most classic feel, flow and theme of any adventure path. Nominally set in Greyhawk, Age of Worms brings that venerable setting to life in a fun, action packed way, with lots of interesting and notable NPCs along the way.
This AP is a meat grinder no doubt about it, the only time that my group ever had a party wipe (several...several PC deaths). The story starts out good, but never really gets great, in fact it's always surprised me that this AP was so popular at the time. I wouldn't recommend it today as there are several better adventure path offerings out there now, maybe if you only play 3.5 then give this one a try.
This campaign was overall a great campaign. Alas it suffered a bit from 3.5-ism due to over focus on undead ( and the inability for some 3.5 classes to be effective against undead ). The plot and story were, overall, very good. Some chapters seem like wild tangents flavors of the month, however. A lot of fun was had a my table, and player recruitment was easy whenever a player needed replacement. The release of the campaign also coincided with some fair amount of bloat for the 3.5 edition at the time, which detracted a bit from the campaign in the case of some players.