When a queen turns against her people, committing atrocities in her hunger for eternal life, it is only a matter of time before heroes rise against her. The Crown of Fangs covers a major turning-point in the Curse of the Crimson Throne, as the protagonists seeking to assassinate Queen Ileosa Arabasti find new allies, and soon come to find the situation is far more difficult than they might have imagined.
Being a tried and true fantasy setting embracing just about every possible storytelling trope in existence, Crown of Fangs is undeniably clichéd. However, the beauty of the work stems from how it turns these clichés into strengths, using them so effectively that the charm which made them so entertaining in the first place is retained. As such, even in its most played out moments, it's hard not to become engaged with the story, or the rather vocal use of spell casting in the midst of battle. The characters themselves, while often playing towards the stereotypes fantasy is known for, prove to be consistently distinct and backed with solid dialogue. Each even retains a definitive character arc throughout the tale without it ever cluttering the story, giving events a much greater sense of weight as a result.
Despite its very obvious strengths, there is one very notable failing which holds back this audio drama from being a total success. While the story does a good job of explaining the powers and rules of the setting to newcomers, it's often difficult to accept it taking place in the middle of a fight, and the script never seems to know when to let the sound effects do the heavy lifting.
Still, when all is said and done, Crown of Fangs proves to be an extremely entertaining romp and retains the best qualities of any tabletop RPG styled storyline. You can see many of the common player types and ideas in the characters, but with a strong narrative and great acting, the audio drama pulls off this sort of charm. Tabletop gaming enthusiasts should definitely give this one a look.
PATHFINDER LEGENDS: CURSE OF THE CRIMSON THRONE - CROWN OF FANGS / WRITER: DAVID BRYHER / DIRECTOR: JOHN AINSWORTH / STARRING: STEWART ALEXANDER, TREVOR LITTLEDALE, IAN BROOKER, KERRY SKINNER, EVIE DAWNAY, SEAN CONNOLLY, IMOGEN CHURCH, KATE BROWN / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW