Pathfinder Adventure Path #3: The Hook Mountain Massacre (Rise of the Runelords 3 of 6) (OGL)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #3: The Hook Mountain Massacre (Rise of the Runelords 3 of 6) (OGL)

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Them Ogres Ain't Right...

The Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path continues! The notorious Hook Mountain ogres, known for their violent and savage ways, have slaughtered the soldiers of Fort Rannick. The few surviving rangers need heroes to help them retake this key fortification before the ogres use it as a staging ground for further assaults on the region. Yet why have the ogres chosen now to launch this sudden attack? What sinister force grows in the surrounding wilderness, and what ties to the mysterious Sihedron Rune do the ogres of Hook Mountain hide? Are the rumors of an army of giants massing for war true?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path and includes:

  • "The Hook Mountain Massacre," an adventure for 7th-level characters by Nicolas Logue.
  • Advice and encounters to spice up the task of commanding a keep, by Mike McArtor and James L. Sutter.
  • An extensive gazetteer of the region of Varisia, including wandering monsters and more, by James L. Sutter.
  • The third installment of the Pathfinder's Journal, by James L. Sutter.
  • Six new monsters by Nicolas Logue.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-038-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Print Edition: This product is out of print.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Ogres Abound!

****( )

NO SPOILERS

The Hook Mountain Massacre is the third chapter in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. In this “No Spoilers” section of the review, I’ll give just a very general comment about the adventure itself and then talk about the articles, fiction, bestiary, etc., that form the back matter of the issue. Below, in the “Spoilers” section, I’ll get into the nitty-gritty and explain how, at least for my group, there really *was* a massacre on Hook Mountain!
As a whole, I thought this chapter was solid, with some memorable set-piece encounters. It definitely reminds the PCs that reading the Player’s Guide is a good idea because it warns them that surviving the wilderness and fighting giant-sized creatures are two things they better be prepared for! There are, however, some crucial parts of the adventure that need more detail, and I also would have liked better integration of the meta-plot from the players’ perspective.

The back matter consists of four main articles: a guide to operating castles, a gazetteer of Varisia, another part of the ongoing short story featuring Eando Kline, and a bestiary. The section ends with Level 7 stats for four pregenerated Iconics (Kyra, Merisiel, Valeros, and Seoni).

The first article, “Keeping the Keep: Running a Fortress in Varisia and Beyond” is headed by really good artwork of a small keep built into a rock wall: it’s easy to dismiss this as just background art until closer inspection reveals it’s exactly a location featured in the main adventure and makes describing that location to the PCs *so* much easier. The article starts with a brief overview of the history, architecture, and personnel of castles in the real world. One could find this information easily online or in the library, but it is a nice, concise explanation of, for example, the difference between a Barbican and a Bastion. The rest of the article is then a fun 1d20 table and corresponding description of “Weekly Fortress Events” such as “Collapsing Tower,” “Secret Chamber,” and “Snake Oil Salesman.” It’s a really simple and practical way to liven things up if the PCs in any campaign take over an adventuring locale in the wilderness and make it their headquarters. Even though some game mechanics are included, this is a more “rules-light” approach and it’s not a substitute for a full “kingdom-building” simulation like you might find in Ultimate Campaign or Kingmaker. Still, I don’t think this part has ever been reprinted anywhere and it’s a nice option for GMs.

The second article, “Varisia: Cradle of Legends” is a very matter-of-fact but quite thorough and useful overview of dozens of locations in the area. In essence, each location gets a one-paragraph summary, and everything from geographical features like the Stony Mountains to towns like Roderic’s Cove to potential adventuring sites like The Sunken Queen are included. A lot of this material was copy-and-pasted into the RotRL Anniversary Edition Player’s Guide, but it’s invaluable to GMs, especially since many of these places have never had their lore expanded on elsewhere and PCs have a habit of going “off-script” in APs. The article includes good artwork of Riddleport and Viperwall, and a full detailed map of Varisia which I used extensively when the players in my game started travelling away from Sandpoint. Finally, the section includes a wandering monster table broken up by different terrain types: it has the typical problem of allowing an encounter of CL1 and CL14 for the same band of adventurers, so I wouldn’t use it as written, but as a starting point for inspiration it would be fine.

The short fiction for this volume is “Hand of the Handless,” continuing Eando Kline’s quest for an ioun stone. This chapter of his story takes him to Kaer Maga, my favourite city in all of Golarion after reading James Sutter’s City of Strangers. Sidebars provide a brief overview of the city’s districts and factions. I don’t want to spoil much about the story, so I’ll just say it involves nagas, bloatmages, and has an ending that really hits you in the gut.

The bestiary for this issue has six monsters. Many of these, or variations of them, appear in the adventure itself, so it’s best for RotRL players to avoid reading the entries. First up is a “Smoke Haunt,” which is basically a small undead that takes up residence in campfires to hypnotize and drain the life-force of those around it: a perfect foe to liven up another routine trip through the wilderness. Next, “Totenmasks”, are a clever twist on the notion of undead monsters: they’re creepy as hell and illustrated fittingly. “Skull Rippers” are constructs from ancient Thassilon that are scorpion-like guardians of tombs and ossuaries; they are nasty customers and there’s more background on them here than anywhere else. “Argorths” are giant deadly worms—this was the only entry that fell flat for me, as it wasn’t particularly creative. “Mother of Oblivion” is a gargantuan octopus-like aquatic monster with some great world-lore and the best ability ever: trans-dimensional tentacles! Last up are “Ogrekin,” the degenerate, deformed, and grotesque offspring of an ogre and a smaller humanoid; they kidnap people for fates far worse than death. Not all of these monsters made the RotRL Anniversary Edition, and the entries here provide additional lore and background that was often left out, so a current-day GM can still get value from this bestiary.

Now, on to the adventure!

SPOILERS

One of the strengths of the RotRL AP is that it keeps things moving and covers all the bases of traditional adventuring. Chapter I had the PCs as heroes defending a small town, Chapter II moved things to the complication of the big city, and now Chapter III forces them out into the rugged wilderness of Varisia where they don’t have civilization to fall back on. After being sent to investigate a mysteriously-silent fort, the PCs then need to save a dam from collapsing before taking the battle to the home of the malefactors responsible: a clan of brutish ogres. The entertaining preface by James Jacobs says that this chapter was inspired by movies like The Hills Have Eyes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, and other horror stories of degenerate backwoods monsters. Well, it delivers!
Part One sees the PCs hired by the Lord-Mayor of Magnimar to journey to a remote outpost in central Varisia to find out why Fort Rannick, a keep manned by rangers defending the area, has gone silent. It’s a very generic adventure hook that only coincidentally continues the PCs involvement in the overall story of the AP. The weeks-long journey to the Hook Mountain region is left for the GM to detail, whether the traditional day-by-day and random encounter approach or the hand-waving “boom, you’re there” approach. I like flexibility, but I would have appreciated some more content to support the first approach (even some minor RP encounters along the way would have been great). The PCs are expected to stop at Turtleback Ferry, a small town near the silent keep, to gather some clues about what may have happened. Turtleback Ferry is not described in nearly as much detail as Sandpoint, so again the GM is going to have to do some work if players are expecting fully-fleshed out settings. Everything above is handled in three pages, so it’s sketchily drawn.

When they do set out for the fort, the PCs may swallow an adventure hook that lures them to a farmhouse full of ogre-kin named the Grauls. These are basically mutated hillbillies, and this whole section of the adventure is hilariously, awesomely twisted in the vein of classic 70s horror movies. If a “Skin Shucking Room” makes you smile rather than run away, this is the adventure for you! Apparently this is as extreme as Paizo ever allowed its writers to get, so enjoy it while you can. Anyway, the Graul farm encounter is important because the PCs are expected to rescue a trio of rangers from Fort Rannick and will thus gain both information on what happened and allies that can assist them in retaking it. (there’s also a subplot with Shalelu tied to one of the rangers.) The only problem when I ran it is that the adventure hook that leads the PCs to the Graul farm is one that can be easily ignored by a group who may just think it’s another random encounter on the road. So my group bypassed this whole part of the adventure, did things the hard way, and made me scramble to get the next part prepped on time!

Part Two, “Retaking Rannick,” covers exactly that. The PCs learn that Fort Rannick is now occupied by a couple of dozen of ogres and have to figure out how to oust them. The premise is that a frontal attack is obviously suicidal, so this is meant to be a test of the players’ ability to be creative and strategize. The writer of this chapter, Nick Logue, intentionally created several ways in which the PCs could infiltrate the fort, trick the ogres, etc. It’s good scenario-design. My group, of course, just marched right up to the front gates and attacked! Somehow, in their shining moment of awesomeness, they won two pitched battles against the ogres and recaptured the fort that way. But I digress. PCs are given the option to make Fort Rannick their new headquarters in the region, which explains the article on running a keep in the back matter.

Part Three, “Down Comes the Rain,” starts with a surge of floodwaters sweeping through Turtleback Ferry. It’s a bit contrived, but one way or another the PCs are supposed to be present when the flooding starts so they can help rescue the townspeople from not just the water but a truly massive (well out of their CR-range) monster called Black Magga that gets swept into the town along with the flood. The PCs aren’t meant to defeat Black Magga, but just survive for a few rounds until she decides to leave. Still, I’m not sure if it’s a fair encounter for the players, and my group saw two PCs die quite inauspiciously from it.

The sudden flooding is supposed to lead the PCs to realize that an ancient Thassilonian dam to the north, Skull’s Crossing, must be damaged and in need of repair. The logical chain here frankly isn’t very good, as there’s little reason for PCs to think the dam is just damaged or that they, as adventurers rather than emergency structural engineers, could do anything to stop it from collapsing.
Anyway, assuming the PCs do somehow get to Skull’s Crossing, they’ll find a really cool site for a memorable cinematic battle: the slippery, narrow walkway on top of the dam with precipitous drops on either side. Alas, the actual encounter on top of the dam with a few exhausted ogres is completely forgettable, and the real battles take place inside a more traditional dungeon-like complex. The gist of the matter is that the dam is failing because a pair of trapped pit fiends whose magic has powered the dam’s floodgates for millennia are failing (one has already died, and the other is very weak). The PCs are expected to negotiate with the pit fiend to help save the dam, which is an interesting challenge. However, I found the mechanisms of how the dam operated quite unclear, and there’s not much provided on how PCs are supposed to figure out how the magic of the pit fiends/summoning circles relates to the dam. In other words, crucial details are left out of a crucial scene. And worse, although there’s a timeline given as to *when* the dam will collapse if not repaired, there’s no information provided on what exactly *happens* if it collapses (as in my game). Presumably Turtleback Ferry is destroyed, but it’s unclear how far down the devastation goes or what the ramifications are for the larger story-arc with the big bad guys behind the scenes that I haven’t touched on yet.

Part Four, “The Haunted Heart,” struck me as a very weird section to include in the AP when I first read it, and I think I’m going to stick to that view now despite it having some interesting ideas. In essence, at some point in their adventuring in the region, the PCs are led by a pixie (who was a joy to role-play, I’ll admit) into the mysterious, trackless swamps called the Shimmerglens. There, the spirit of a murdered nymph named Myriana demands the PCs recover the bones of her lover, the commander of Fort Rannick. There are a lot of evocative, haunting little encounters in the Shimmerglens that aren’t combat-oriented. Still, the problem is that this element of the story is very poorly integrated into the plot and seems to come from almost out of nowhere when the PCs have a lot of other, more important things to do deal with. Another issue is that the PCs have been dealing with the very visceral, gory horrors of ogres and ogrekin, and the sudden change in tack to the sombre, ghostly hauntings of the Shimmerglens is quite jarring. I was able to incorporate this part and it was okay, but it’s certainly not necessary.

Part Five, “Harrowing the Hook,” concludes the chapter. Either the residents of Turtleback Ferry or Myriana’s pixie tells the PCs that they need to oust the Kreeg ogres from their stronghold near the top of Hook Mountain if the region is ever going to be safe. I think my PCs will best remember this section of the AP for the gruelling challenge they had with the environment rules (cold weather and altitude sickness) combined with the climbing rules. They eventually made it up Hook Mountain, but then, exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, they (nearly) TPK’d at the entrance! It definitely demonstrated why having characters prepared for the rigours of a wilderness adventure (as detailed in the Player’s Guide) is worthwhile.

I thought the Kreeg Clanhold itself was fine but fairly average. It’s filled with the requisite ogres along with some hags, a frost wight, and this chapter’s “big bad”, a stone giant named Barl Breakbones. By this point, players should be pretty familiar with battling creatures larger and stronger than themselves, and should be prepared to take advantage of their weaknesses. The chapter ends with the defeat of Breakbones and the discovery of a note indicating that stone giant armies are headed for Sandpoint! Can’t argue with that as a cliffhanger.

I haven’t talked yet about how any of these relates to the larger story-arc of the AP as a whole. In part this is to avoid spoiling any of my players reading this, but in part because the connection with much of what happens in this chapter is only indirectly related to the meta-plot. The behind the scenes storyline is really complex, but it’s also very opaque to the players and could understandably leave them wondering whether there *is* any larger story that each chapter is building towards. Indeed, if I had one criticism of the AP as a whole so far it’s that there’s not a gradually increasing involvement of the characters in the plot but instead (apart from a recurrence of Sihedron runes) a largely disjointed series of really cool but largely independent chapters.

That general note aside, I really enjoyed running The Hook Mountain Massacre. It has some great encounter locations, challenges the PCs to be prepared and creative, and sets things up nicely for the next chapter.


*****


Great articles, great set pieces, but not a good adventure as a whole

***( )( )

Pro :
- A great gazetter of Varisia
- Ogrekins get a great flavour, both thematically and mechanically
- The opportunity for the players to play a major role in the leadership of the fort is a nice addition to the campaign
- The Skull's cross damn as a concept

Con :
- The different parts of the adventure really feel disjointed, both in term of story structure and flavour. AP3 goes in every direction and tries to do too many things and to tackle too many themes and not always in a logical way. The skull's cross damn is indeed a great concept but don't fit well with the ogre theme and the fairy-touched haunted vale part is totally irrelevant.
- The starting hook is really a poor one : why would the players want to leave Magnimar/Sandpoint ?
- The 2 parts with true ogres, especially the final part, are just monster bashing.


Suprisingly good change in style

*****

This so far has been the most enjoyable part of the campaign. At the end of the last part, the PC's were wary of leaving Sandpoint but once they got underway they got more comfortable with it. The Graul homestead is a memorable sidequest that we still talk about to this day. Fort Rannick was also memorable in the planning on how to retake a fort taken over by ogres. Overall I like how this takes the game away from "civilization" and puts them more in a frontier type setting with the threat of ogres looming over. One thing that can happen is the PCs can gain control of a fort and that seems to be the most controversial thing about this book. I went ahead and gave it to the PCs and that in itself has turned into a mini-game for them, on how to run the fort when there is downtime. Be warned that the difficulty does increase for this part as a couple of the encounters I was able to take down some PCs. It may not seem like it to the PCs but the whole thing is a set up for the metaplot of the endgame. This volume includes the adventure "The Hook Mountain Massacre", an article of how to run a keep, a Varisian gazetteer (which was very good), another chapter of the Pathfinder journal, and a Bestiary with some unique creatures.


Portuguese - Br

*****

É seguramente uma das melhores aventuras da Paizo. Há combates e interpretação numa boa medida, possui reviravoltas na trama e seus maiores problemas são de encaixe na trama geral de Rise of the Runelords e uma expectativa para um final sem muito clímax. Os artigos complementares são bem escritos, mas tem pouco uso para quem não usar o cenário de Golarion (mas se usar, são quase essenciais). Vale a pena ler só pelas ideias apresentadas, mas cuidado, o autor usou de conteúdo com forte violência gráfica e psicológica (nível filme de terror do bom, mas ainda assim bem acima do que se vê em aventuras de RPG)


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Downloading! Yay!

Contributor

Phazzar wrote:
Downloading! Yay!

I'm so jealous! Holy smokes!!!

Oh, and, smurf. Just to see me change.

Contributor

DEAR GODS!

I can download it too!!!

SMURF!

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Woot! Me too!

Edit: Hey! Everyone else, knock it off. My download is going slowly because you're all downloading at the same time as me. I'll post when I'm done and then you can download.

Spoiler:

;-)

Edit2: Damn you Paizo! First you do the rpg superstar and now you give me the next issue of pathfinder to read. I need to start writing for nanowrimo tonight!!! Argh!!! Quit producing products that I need to read as soon as I receive them!!!


Christ! I wake up, turn on the computer and this!

This is gonna be a great cup of coffee.

w00t!

Edit: I was gonna mention that they have narcotics in the ink, then the coffee hit my lips and I realized that this is digital and you are just compulsive, Sebastian.

Edit 2: Got it just as the belly started to warm, cya later suckers, I'm readin'.


I breezed through all of it reading some encounters and marveling at the picture of the Mother of Oblivion and such, and I can say that this one is pretty good. The adventure is very jam-packed, with many varying locations and events.

I just shudder at that ogrekin Mamma picture.

Smurf.

Silver Crusade

just browsing the pdf & I must say I can't wait for the hardcopy to get here!!! (don't want to spoil to much it by reading the pdf, ha ha)

(btw, my downloads were rapid fast this time around, seemed like Pf came down around the same time as GM, which is saying something with the way my isp is lately, LOL)

love the chapter on Varisia (love the artwork for the races)

the Bestiary has some interesting but cool critters in it.

heck haven't even check out the adventure chapter yet, will do that tomorrow!!

nice work guys, love seein the new Pathfinder each month

(+ the new GM module EwtP looks great as well)

RM


I finished Hook Mountain skipping stats and a paragraph here and there. That's a great adventure. Logue has redeemed himself in my eyes (didn't really like Crown).

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Kruelaid wrote:


Edit: I was gonna mention that they have narcotics in the ink, then the coffee hit my lips and I realized that this is digital and you are just compulsive, Sebastian.

I resent that.

I'm obsessive and compulsive.

Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...


It says I have 6 downloads available, but it's Pathfinder #2 repeated a second time. Smurf it. (pants) No fair. (Since I'm a Smurf, I get to be very impatient and super Smurfy).

Scarab Sages

Kudos to Paizo. Youz guys are fast!

Contributor

Ha! I don't think ANYONE should ever see those. Or the stuff I self-edited from Edge of Anarchy...shudder.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Stuck at work..../sigh

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sebastian wrote:
Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...

Probably never. It was pretty over the top. If you run into me at Gen Con or somewhere like that though, use this PASSPHRASE:

"ASK ME ABOUT MIG-A-MUG TUG"

And I'll tell you some of the stuff that got cut out. Nick can probably do the same.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...

Probably never. It was pretty over the top. If you run into me at Gen Con or somewhere like that though, use this PASSPHRASE:

"ASK ME ABOUT MIG-A-MUG TUG"

And I'll tell you some of the stuff that got cut out. Nick can probably do the same.

Heh...Mig-a-Mug-Tug...didn't make the cut. Though it gets mentioned in Crown of the Kobold King sans explanation of what it entails of course.

Someday we'll share, but only in person with no tape recording devices of any kind present. My FBI file is thick enough thank you very much.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...

Probably never. It was pretty over the top. If you run into me at Gen Con or somewhere like that though, use this PASSPHRASE:

"ASK ME ABOUT MIG-A-MUG TUG"

And I'll tell you some of the stuff that got cut out. Nick can probably do the same.

Now there's going to be a line of protesters outside of Iron GM next year with picket signs asking that.

Contributor

Heh. That'd be awesome!


You had me at 'Ogrish hillbilly horror'. OK, this is the perfect Halloween gift, a day late :) Mamma Graul.. OK, I need to take a shower now just from seeing that and reading about her.. habits. At least she is a dutiful mommy what takes care of Her Boys. *shudder*

I will most assuredly find you at GenCon this year and ask you what got cut. Or hand you my therapist bill, either one :)


Yah, this is great. My favorite X-Files episode was "Home" with the Peacock family who keep momma on a cart under the bed, and though I've forgotten a lot of The Hills have Eyes I'm pretty sure I liked it, too.

Well, I'll have no problem making it even more disturbing when I finally do run it.

It does have me pumped for this weekend, when a kind little old lady who lives in the woods and heals up some weary adventurers is going to feed babies to a band of good but unobservant PCs, a classic ploy I learned from a friend a few years back.


Just downloaded my PDFs and went through them briefly. (I'm one of those who waits for the printed copy before I get into any significant reading so I can't say anything about the adventure yet.)

But I just wanted to say Thank you to the change on the images showing the layouts of the places! Now I can copy the images into Paint Shop Pro without all of the tags! This is a huge time-saver for preparing battle grids using the maps from the adventure!

Will this great modification be available for all future Pathfinder's now?

(I notice the images in J1 still copy with the tags -- Can I hold out hope for GameMastery Modules to be able to have images copied without tags starting in some future module?)

Thank you all at Paizo very much for this change to Pathfinder!

Contributor

Kruelaid wrote:
Yah, this is great. My favorite X-Files episode was "Home" with the Peacock family who keep momma on a cart under the bed...

A truly excellent episode, and definitely one of the many inspirations for the Grauls.


User-friendly PDFs are always more welcome!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I am only about halfway through the actual adventure but have managed to read everything else. So far the adventure looks to be A+ and the new monsters are sweet. I am still trying to get into the Pathfinder Journal and it's slowly growing on me. I also really enjoyed the gazetteer it has some great hooks, not to mention the hints of things that I see happening in the 2nd and 3rd AP's.

The only remotely bad thing I have seen so far is the Keeping the Keep chapter. I was hoping for soooo much more good stuff. The part explaining about castles was a buzz kill for me personally,(Kind of a hobby) however I can see how it could be useful for others.

For some reason though I always find giving players things to do in order to run a keep the worst part of it. My players usually love keeps and land. For me though I just can't deal with it very well. It is one of my admitted many faults as a DM. Still while disappointed a bit by that part it still held some good ideas and spearked a few from myself.

So all in all I have to say great job Paizo and Logue.

Spoiler:
While I am trying not to enlarge his ego anymore. I think this one may be my favorite AP chapter yet.

In addition D1 was pretty good too. This is just so much better though.

I have to run along and finish reading the adventure now.

PS: More stuff for Keeps!!!


Woot!!! Just downloaded it now. I'll read through the adventure in a bit, but had to say something about the Varesia gazetteer. My players have been clamoring for more info on the world. Awesome job, people, simply awesome. You should all be very proud of yourselves, this is a worthy successor to the lost magazines. Scratch that. I'm liking Pathfinder MORE than Dungeon & Dragon.

EDIT: Holy Hot Diggity!!! I don't know how you did it, but Tars is right! Using the Image select tool in Reader, you can drag the image to the desktop and it creates a .bmp file MINUS the room numbers. Perfect for scaling up and printing out battlemats! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yay! Downloaded!!

Can't wait to read it. Love the look of the Varisia Article. Skimmed the adventure. Looks to be another wonderful Logue creation.

I will tell the players to bring plenty of body bags.


Kruelaid wrote:
Yah, this is great. My favorite X-Files episode was "Home" with the Peacock family who keep momma on a cart under the bed...
Nicolas Logue wrote:
A truly excellent episode, and definitely one of the many inspirations for the Grauls.

I remember when I watched Hills that I felt X-Files "Home" to be a far superior work, one of the best of its kind. You did the inbred freak genre justice, that's for sure. I've read it really carefully now and it is fantastic. I can see why the editors seemed to be so excited about it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

My laptop's being a bear, but I'll read it monday while listening to phone audits... fun fun,

Silver Crusade

Do we have to use Winzip to open the pdfs?


brent norton wrote:
Do we have to use Winzip to open the pdfs?

Winzip, 7Zip, the built-in utility in Windows XP or Vista, the archive utility in Mac - there are several programs you can use to open up the ZIP files.


Like others have said, this thing looks good! I only skim the PDF because I like reading hardcopy and using PDF for reference only.

We have to talk about the art though.

It was very hit or miss. I dug the pics of Shalelu, Mommy Graul, and Lucretia but disliked Jakardros Sovark, Vale Temros, and Kaven Windstrike. I thought that type of cartoony art was bye-bye by popular demand?

On the good side, whomever did the pix of Grazuul and Lamatar Bayden deserves a big raise. Who was that? Effing Flantastic, right there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cthulhudarren wrote:

It was very hit or miss. I dug the pics of Shalelu, Mommy Graul, and Lucretia but disliked Jakardros Sovark, Vale Temros, and Kaven Windstrike. I thought that type of cartoony art was bye-bye by popular demand?

On the good side, whomever did the pix of Grazuul and Lamatar Bayden deserves a big raise. Who was that? Effing Flantastic, right there.

Keep in mind that we ordered the art for Pathfinder 3 several months ago, while we were still finding our feet for the product's art style. Takes a while for the winds of the messageboards to have a full effect on things like Pathfinder, is all I'm saying.

I think Grazuul came from JZConcepts and I think Lamatar came from Ben Wootten... not postive, though. Come "Curse of the Crimson Throne" I hope to be crediting artists in margins, sort of like how WotC does in their hardcovers.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Tars Tarkas wrote:

But I just wanted to say Thank you to the change on the images showing the layouts of the places! Now I can copy the images into Paint Shop Pro without all of the tags! This is a huge time-saver for preparing battle grids using the maps from the adventure!

Will this great modification be available for all future Pathfinder's now?

(I notice the images in J1 still copy with the tags -- Can I hold out hope for GameMastery Modules to be able to have images copied without tags starting in some future module?)

Thank you all at Paizo very much for this change to Pathfinder!

You've always been able to pull out the map backgrounds *if* the cartographer submitted the map to us as a layered file (meaning the text is separate). However, in the past, some cartographers have submitted flattened files, and that trick wouldn't work. We're now requiring our cartographers to submit layered maps, though you may still see non-layered ones working through the system for a couple more months.


Just finished my first read through and I have to say it's a damn fine issue.

The adventure was top notch. It managed to combine the feel of frontier town exploration with some moments of genuine horror and disgust. I really like the new re-imagining of ogres. Genuinely disturbing. The new look Scrag as well seems very cool. I can't figure out how to do spoiler so I can't really go into any more detail. Sufficed to say it is a great adventure and I can't wait to run it.

Th Varisia article was awesome as well. So many really interesting locations to be explored. There are dozens of amazing adventure sites listed and it already sparked loads of ideas for other adventures. Can't wait to see some more of the areas expanded on.

The art I think is also worth a mention as it is for the most part great. I'm still not keen on the cartoony NPC portraits and the opening art of Hook mountain massacre is not particularly amazing but apart from that it's all good. The drawing of viperwall in particular tands out as does wayne reynolds cover art (as ever).


James Jacobs wrote:


I think Grazuul came from JZConcepts and I think Lamatar came from Ben Wootten... not postive, though.

JZConcepts, whomever that is, freaking rules. The trolls also get an honorable mention as well as the illustration of the fort and Riddleport.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cthulhudarren wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


I think Grazuul came from JZConcepts and I think Lamatar came from Ben Wootten... not postive, though.
JZConcepts, whomever that is, freaking rules. The trolls also get an honorable mention as well as the illustration of the fort and Riddleport.

JZConocepts would be James Zhang and his studio.

Ben Wootten did the fort and Riddleport pictues, though. That much I know for sure.

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...

Probably never. It was pretty over the top. If you run into me at Gen Con or somewhere like that though, use this PASSPHRASE:

"ASK ME ABOUT MIG-A-MUG TUG"

And I'll tell you some of the stuff that got cut out. Nick can probably do the same.

And again, the invite to the DethCon party at Norwescon is offered. And you can bet that'll be one of the topics of conversation if you show up.... :) Don't make me show up at your office. Again.


No ETA for my FLGS?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

LurkerBeneath wrote:
No ETA for my FLGS?

I'd start looking around the 14th.


cthulhudarren wrote:

It was very hit or miss. I dug the pics of Shalelu, Mommy Graul, and Lucretia but disliked Jakardros Sovark, Vale Temros, and Kaven Windstrike. I thought that type of cartoony art was bye-bye by popular demand?

I really liked that polygonal stuff. The rangers, the races of Varisia, the Thistletop merc with the huge sword in P1, and a few others. I don't find it cartoony--comic-booky, sure. Who did it?


Why did the rangers tolerate the Graul's homestead on the trail between Fort Rannick and Turtleback Ferry?

Did I miss something? It seemed like they had been there a while and a couple of dozen rangers would have had no problem whacking them.

Contributor

Kruelaid wrote:

Why did the rangers tolerate the Graul's homestead on the trail between Fort Rannick and Turtleback Ferry?

Did I miss something? It seemed like they had been there a while and a couple of dozen rangers would have had no problem whacking them.

The Grauls were probably on the rangers list and they may have sent scouts before to gather intel on them, not to mention skirmish with them from time to time. However! It would have taken a sizeable force to go wipe the floor with the Grauls, which would leave Rannick under-defended.

I see the rangers as extremely put upon. They are the only defense for Turtleback Ferry, and other homesteads in the region. They are stretched very very thin. Most likely they requested additional forces from Magnimar on more than one occasion to mount a strike force against the Grauls, but Magnimar has no wish to send their soldiers to die in the terrible Kreeg Woods.

So, they could have wiped out the Grauls, but at what cost. What might the Kreegs Skulltakers, and other horrid things gotten up to while they left Rannick undefended and Turtleback Ferry unshielded?


Nicolas Logue wrote:


What might the Kreegs Skulltakers, and other horrid things gotten up to while they left Rannick undefended and Turtleback Ferry unshielded?

I turn this right back to the demented mind of you, Nicolas Logue, for the sick, twisted answer.

Arghh...I need my copy. Stupid FLGS for not getting them when Paizo ships them to subscribers. I blame them, not Paizo. My wife's waffling on letting me subscribe is giving me withdrawls.

Contributor

Yasha0006 wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:


What might the Kreegs Skulltakers, and other horrid things gotten up to while they left Rannick undefended and Turtleback Ferry unshielded?

I turn this right back to the demented mind of you, Nicolas Logue, for the sick, twisted answer.

Shudder...why must you make me go to these horrible places Yasha!!! ;-)


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Nicolas Logue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Speaking of which, James, when are we going to see the stuff that got cut...

Probably never. It was pretty over the top. If you run into me at Gen Con or somewhere like that though, use this PASSPHRASE:

"ASK ME ABOUT MIG-A-MUG TUG"

And I'll tell you some of the stuff that got cut out. Nick can probably do the same.

Heh...Mig-a-Mug-Tug...didn't make the cut. Though it gets mentioned in Crown of the Kobold King sans explanation of what it entails of course.

Really, explanations fall short. Instead of explaining the "Tug," you should just do it to people who ask about it.

;)
GGG

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

This should be an interesting Con season!


Nicolas Logue wrote:
Yasha0006 wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:


What might the Kreegs Skulltakers, and other horrid things gotten up to while they left Rannick undefended and Turtleback Ferry unshielded?

I turn this right back to the demented mind of you, Nicolas Logue, for the sick, twisted answer.

Shudder...why must you make me go to these horrible places Yasha!!! ;-)

Because I love you. We can go there together. Ugh...actually I don't think even I want to go there. Yipes! You're the one who polymorphs himself into Seoni!

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

**shudders**

I remember that X-files episode. Although, I am not sure I wanted to...truly demented.

Did Nick write that one?


Mr Baron wrote:

**shudders**

I remember that X-files episode. Although, I am not sure I wanted to...truly demented.

Did Nick write that one?

No. Nick's exploits were perhaps the inspiration for it. His youthful misadventures I can only imagine were far more demented and sick compared to what he lets us see now. You see, hes in the public (by public I mean us folks here on Paizo.com, hardly a huge demographic, but hey...) eye now. He just pretends to be a slightly deviant fellow...the truth on the other hand....the basement...oh god.....

Spoiler:
Thats why we want you to write more, or write the Director's Cut. I don't seem to be alone in enjoying your twisted vision. I don't like to pull punches for my players and it seems like there are many other folks here that believe the same. Got any openings for a player in a game? ^_^y

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

No. Nick's exploits were perhaps the inspiration for it.

LOL...that was good :)

Contributor

Great Green God wrote:


Really, explanations fall short. Instead of explaining the "Tug," you should just do it to people who ask about it.

;)
GGG

>8-)

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