GameMastery Module U2: Hangman's Noose (OGL)

****( ) (based on 12 ratings)
GameMastery Module U2: Hangman's Noose (OGL)

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An urban adventure for 1st-level characters.

A spiteful ghost haunts an abandoned courthouse in the metropolis of Absalom, and on the ten-year anniversary of a grave injustice it seeks its revenge. The heroes must unravel the mystery of the ghost’s demise before they too are given a guilty verdict and sent to the gallows.

Written by Nicolas Logue

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-073-5

GameMastery Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All GameMastery Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Modules Subscription.

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****( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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Different and Fun!

*****

My usual group loves combat. As much as they can get. One of our newer Pathfinder players decided to try this module for his first shot at DMing.
He did a great job, AND our players loved the storyline! Plenty of combat, different encounters, horror and a mystery, all wrapped into one. Everyone had fun trying to figure this out, even those who are not as much into 'thinking' as the rest of us. We highly recommend it. And it would work in Pathfinder Society as well.


Best Pathfinder Module I have run so far.

*****

Nic Logue did a great job crafting a murder mystery type of adventure. This module kept my players guessing the whole way. The horror really came through as well.

There is one issue with the characters having to do a large string of encounters without rest. This issue mainly goes away if the adventure is run in the pathfinder system instead of 3.5.

Great Adventure and will probably run it again with new players in the near future.


Not the Best

*( )( )( )( )

I like Nic Logue as much as anybody, but this module is a good example of poor adventure design. It tries very hard to be good, but ultimately falls short of delivering what it promises.

First things first, the events transpire over the course of a night. That's great, but when you have a 1st lvl Wizard in the party, and they run out of spells, they're going to be bored out of their mind for the rest of the adventure.

Given that there are numerous combats, some of which with deadly foes (Ghoul-Stirge, I'm looking at you), and limited space to run, a DM has to hand-wave some enemy tactics.

The main "villain" appears early on, and soundly beats the PC's, but since they're already conserving resources, they start walking a fine line between TPK and living. It feels like the DM has to give them a handout to win, which I think fails the horror.

In addition, since there's a time limit, the PC's need to work hard at conserving resources. They can't rest and recover. Luckily, there's potions throughout the module, but that seems like an ill-contrived way of combating the problem, especially when the party's cleric might suffer the same as the wizard, and be out of spells (At least they can hit things still!).

It's a nice try, but just isn't the best by Logue.


Wonderful introductory adventure..

*****

...for experienced and mature players. "The Hangman's Noose" is downright creepy and deadly.
I highly recommend it to every DM who wants to challenge his players. If they get sore about dying, however, be careful - this one is deadly!
*hehehe*


classic horror

*****

for a long time, I sought out an adventure that will give my players the creeps. when they get to it I am sure they will have them at Skeletons of Scarwall. but this module is just as great.
major NPC's drop dead faster then flys, the PC's need to investigate if they are to solve their problem and get out of the place alive. complicated storyline, great feel, nice encounters, cool new monster, and a lot of optoions for in depth roleplaying... it could barely get better.

all hail Nicolas Louge!


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Dark Archive

Awesome. Like the plot of some of the best horror and mystery movies, a group of strangers (in the case of the PCs) locked in a haunted building must solve a murder before everyone inside is killed. Can't wait to play this one, maybe one of my current group will run it while I'm still DM'ing RotRL.


When will this module be available as PDF?

Liberty's Edge

Where is Absalom locate on the map preview from the blog? I just wanted reference to the location relative to Varisia.


Kerflop wrote:
Where is Absalom locate on the map preview from the blog? I just wanted reference to the location relative to Varisia.

http://paizo.com/image/content/RiseOfTheRunelords/GolarionContinents.gif

If my link works, Absalom is on an island many many many miles South East of Varisia. Just north of the coloured section labelled "Osirion".


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In our hands this was awfully hard, perhaps a little too hard...

...for a party of six 4th level PCs. It's difficult to imagine how it would work for its intended party of four 1st level PCs, as it involves multiple EL5+ encounters with no chance to rest in between.

Nice characterization work, good descriptions, but not appropriate for its listed level at all. As an introductory adventure it's a show-stopper. Pity, as good 1st level adventures are extremely useful in promoting the game.

I suppose it could be run as a one-off Call of Cthulhu style game, but I think the PCs will die so fast that the players will never have a clue what's going on.

Recommendation: A potentially fun game, more fun if the too-scripted quality of the first half could be toned down. Appropriate for 4th or maybe 3rd level PCs, but not lower.

Mary

Contributor

Mary Yamato wrote:

In our hands this was awfully hard, perhaps a little too hard...

...for a party of six 4th level PCs. It's difficult to imagine how it would work for its intended party of four 1st level PCs, as it involves multiple EL5+ encounters with no chance to rest in between.

Nice characterization work, good descriptions, but not appropriate for its listed level at all. As an introductory adventure it's a show-stopper. Pity, as good 1st level adventures are extremely useful in promoting the game.

I suppose it could be run as a one-off Call of Cthulhu style game, but I think the PCs will die so fast that the players will never have a clue what's going on.

Recommendation: A potentially fun game, more fun if the too-scripted quality of the first half could be toned down. Appropriate for 4th or maybe 3rd level PCs, but not lower.

Mary

Hunh...worked great in the two playtests and I actually just recieved a few emails from people who ran it and loved it. They ran it for first level PCs and didn't seem to have too many problems.

Spoiler:
The only EL 5 encounter is the Croaker and he's not interested in TPKing the party at all, in fact he WANTS the party to help him punish those responsible for his death. I think this works okay for 1st level PCs. Keep in mind that in most of the fights, the party is not alone. They have an aristocrat 2/paladin 2 to back them up, and an assortment of other NPCs both to take damage and throw a few attacks the monsters' way.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nicolas Logue wrote:


Hunh...worked great in the two playtests and I actually just recieved a few emails from people who ran it and loved it. They ran it for first level PCs and didn't seem to have too many problems.

The GM, reading over my shoulder, says, "What about the CR5 creature with 5 CR1/2 allies?" I'm curious too. If that isn't EL5, why not? How did the first level parties deal with it? What did those fights look like?

Against a party of six 4ths and the NPC ally, it took out the NPC instantly and a PC shortly afterwards; the PCs threw everything they had left and managed to win after a hard fight. They were pretty badly shut down by the DR of the lesser creatures, which got between them and the big creature and let it use its long-ranged attack.

I guess there's a playstyle difference here that I don't understand. Or does the module expect that the PCs will run from all encounters? If so, I stand by my original statement: not a good introductory adventure. Okay for seasoned players, maybe, though I'm awfully glad my GM didn't run it for 1sts. I don't think I would have realized in time, and TPK is not my idea of fun.

Mary


First, the BBEG should be targeting the NPCs, not the PCs. That's one way to survive. Second, all of the NPCs should be sticking together with the PCs after the first few killings, which means the party will have a HUGE advantage in the number of actions their side can take each round. Third, this is an adventure that you win through deduction and induction, not combat. As a DM, I'd be perfectly fine with having my PCs stabilized below 0 hp be conscious but incapacitated. That way, even if they're out of combat, they're not out of the module. They can provide advice, ask questions, deduce things, etc.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I liked the plot, the characters, and the detail being paid to both the past of the town and the npcs' motives.

Something my players will hate, though, is the feeling of being railroaded (even though this is basic to this kind of adventure). I feel that I will have to come up with better answers on "Why can't we leave the building?" etc.

It's a very thin line between leading players along the plot and making them feel as if they didn't have any real influence on the development of events.

Cheers,
Günther

Contributor

Guennarr wrote:

I liked the plot, the characters, and the detail being paid to both the past of the town and the npcs' motives.

Something my players will hate, though, is the feeling of being railroaded (even though this is basic to this kind of adventure). I feel that I will have to come up with better answers on "Why can't we leave the building?" etc.

It's a very thin line between leading players along the plot and making them feel as if they didn't have any real influence on the development of events.

Cheers,
Günther

A good solution might be to have the entire building surrounded in noose wearing broke-necked zombies. The PCs can go out if they want to, but they aren't likely to survive.


My party of second and third level pc's loved the adventure. Great job.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Nicolas Logue wrote:


A good solution might be to have the entire building surrounded in noose wearing broke-necked zombies. The PCs can go out if they want to, but they aren't likely to survive.

Hello Nick,

do you use radar on this thread? That answer was really fast!

Your proposal: Yes, I thought along that line, too. Not very subtle, though, isn't it? ;-)

My approach: Whatever motivates them to voluntarily get into the building (-> alternative start), could motivate them to stay inside.
Maybe they agreed to do some foolish test of courage. Or one of them really wants to know the truth of what befell ten years ago.

I think somewhere in the module you mentioned something like that.

Anyway: A really good module.
But for those whose players like to have "total freedom of movement" for their pcs: Expect to spend a bit more time of prep'ing the module in order to come up with really plausible answers for your players.

Cheers,
Günther

P.S.
Btw. are hauntings a new standard encounter type of Paizo adventures?
I remember seing something similar in one of the first APs (Foxglove manour). I also liked the haunting rules in one of the later Dragon issues, but they'd be surely more difficult to implement (and to use).


I really got into this module. As far as it being difficult... well that's what the other NPC's are for. Aside from not everything the PCs see they should be able to kill. I find it's very good at teaching that as well.

My only complaint is I don't have a group that isn't so jaded that I could run this.

I'll just have to wait and hold on to this little gem.


Last month I saw this on amazon, so I decided to buy it, and it was definitely a good purchase on my part. We finally got a group together two days ago, and played it.

Granted for a first level character, this was hard. All in all, 13 characters went in, 9 came out alive. The PC's in my group consisted of an inflicting based cleric with a whip, a gnome rogue, a gnome specialist illusionist, and a human fighter that didn't have his gear, so that's a kick in the rear. This was used as a starter for the long term campaign we intend to play, and I couldn't think of a more beautiful opening. How we started was everyone had a profession, and that is where they were taken from and thrown into the whole mess, thus gear was missing. I don't want to release any spoilers, but a bit of the things in this seemed a bit unfair to the players. We managed to solve the mystery, but getting to what we had to do to win was a little harder.

The very first encounter took almost everything we had because of stupidity and horrible rolls, which is unfortunate. We only fought what we had to, and much of the time we simply shut the door, as some encounters are nearly or simply are impossible for the PC's. Thank goodness we messed up with the description of the map, or else we would not have made it. All said, it is indeed doable by four first level PC's, but some of the NPC's are helpful. I do believe that with less NPC's and exploring all of the rooms, this would have been impossible. However after finishing this campaign, I felt great, it was a lot of fun. We played for 12 hours straight.


Hey I was wondering about suggestions for using Greyhawk gods instead of the ones used in this adventure? I only own a couple of adventures from GameMastery and I would like to run them in Greyhawk instead of the Pathfinder setting. Please help. Mr. Logue keep up the great work. I love this adventure and Carnival of tears.

Thanks,
Bigznak

Contributor

Bigznak wrote:

Hey I was wondering about suggestions for using Greyhawk gods instead of the ones used in this adventure? I only own a couple of adventures from GameMastery and I would like to run them in Greyhawk instead of the Pathfinder setting. Please help. Mr. Logue keep up the great work. I love this adventure and Carnival of tears.

Thanks,
Bigznak

Thanks Bigznak! Hope it works out great for you!

Someone with bigger Greyhawk chops than me...chime in here!!! :-)


It's in the mail. Maybe two more weeks...

Silver Crusade

Nicolas Logue wrote:
Bigznak wrote:

Hey I was wondering about suggestions for using Greyhawk gods instead of the ones used in this adventure? I only own a couple of adventures from GameMastery and I would like to run them in Greyhawk instead of the Pathfinder setting. Please help. Mr. Logue keep up the great work. I love this adventure and Carnival of tears.

Thanks,
Bigznak

Thanks Bigznak! Hope it works out great for you!

Someone with bigger Greyhawk chops than me...chime in here!!! :-)

Hey, I have been thinking about it. I might run these adventures in Eberron. So any suggestions about Greyhawk or Eberron gods instead would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris


I think the only mention of diety in the adventure is the cleric, Father Kelgaard, who follows Sarenrae, NG Godess of the sun, redemption, honesty, healing.

Here's a couple of ideas:

Bigznak wrote:

Hey I was wondering about suggestions for using Greyhawk gods instead of the ones used in this adventure? I only own a couple of adventures from GameMastery and I would like to run them in Greyhawk instead of the Pathfinder setting. Please help. Mr. Logue keep up the great work. I love this adventure and Carnival of tears.

Thanks,
Bigznak

Depending on how "Greyhawk-intesive" your games are, you could simply go with Pelor, who has similar domains to Serenrae.

A little more obsure, though providing an interesting motive for the cleric, could be Joramy, N (NG) lesser goddess of fire, volcanoes, wrath, anger, and quarrels.

From the Living Greyhwak Gazetteer:

"Clerics of Joramy make good political leaders and revolutionaries. They are willing to defend their ideals to the death and have a gift for inspiring other to do the same. Many work as diplomats for small but aggressive nations, where their tendency to escalate talks into heated argument makes their parent nation appear stroger than it is. They go adventuring to find new people to argue with and new causes to champion."

At the time, just five years after the whole thing, and the city in a bit of a spiral, fixing the problems associated with the courthouse could jump start his political career and make him a city hero.

Chris Zank wrote:


Hey, I have been thinking about it. I might run these adventures in Eberron. So any suggestions about Greyhawk or Eberron gods instead would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris

With Eberron, Dol Arrah might has some similarities in her portfolio: honor, sacrifice, light, sun diplomacy, and would be a good substitution.

You could also look at Boldrei, LG godess of hearth, community, marriage and government. From "Faiths of Eberron:"

"Boldrei's followers do not often quest far from home but rather root out hazards to the community."

Seems to fit thematically.


Oops! I forgot about the paladin, Sir Rekkart Cole, the uptight follower of Iomedae, Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, and honor.

Greyhawk:

Heironeous would be the best choice, as for the "core deieties."

Again, something more obscure:

Mayaheine, LG demigod of Protection, Justice and Valor.

"Mayaheine is a recently ascended paladin of Pelor, brought here from another world to help fight the powers of darkness and evil.

"Clerics of Mayaheine... take roles as community leaders, their devotion to justice and good making them excellent judges."

Since Sir Rekkart's role was to provide credibility to this sham, Mayaheine might really fit the bill.

Eberron:

I think that Sir Rekkart would fit best as a devotee to the Silver Flame.

It seems to me that the paladins of the Silver Flame tend to be the most rigid (read: self-righteous) of any of the followers of the Eberron pantheon.

You could even elaborate on the silver snuff box that he has, as being ostentatiously designed as a silver flame.

Silver Crusade

Big Jake wrote:

Oops! I forgot about the paladin, Sir Rekkart Cole, the uptight follower of Iomedae, Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, and honor.

Greyhawk:

Heironeous would be the best choice, as for the "core deieties."

Again, something more obscure:

Mayaheine, LG demigod of Protection, Justice and Valor.

"Mayaheine is a recently ascended paladin of Pelor, brought here from another world to help fight the powers of darkness and evil.

"Clerics of Mayaheine... take roles as community leaders, their devotion to justice and good making them excellent judges."

Since Sir Rekkart's role was to provide credibility to this sham, Mayaheine might really fit the bill.

Eberron:

I think that Sir Rekkart would fit best as a devotee to the Silver Flame.

It seems to me that the paladins of the Silver Flame tend to be the most rigid (read: self-righteous) of any of the followers of the Eberron pantheon.

You could even elaborate on the silver snuff box that he has, as being ostentatiously designed as a silver flame.

Hey Big Jake, Thanks for all the help. I am starting my horror based game in August. Your ideas were all great ones. Thanks again.

Bigznak


Chris Zank wrote:

Hey Big Jake, Thanks for all the help. I am starting my horror based game in August. Your ideas were all great ones. Thanks again.

Bigznak

No problem! I'd like to hear how your game goes. I've often wanted to run a horror-style campaign, and it would be neat to see how yours goes.

If you'd like, you could drop a thread on your game.

Casey


This module was sooo cool! So different from your usual dungeon crawl. I even played it twice with a "newbie" group of 1st levels, they loved it. I just love these unusual modules which do not focus on your weekly dungeon crawl..!

Thanks!


Just got my copy of this adventure today with some other stuff I ordered. I read through it and it's sweet. I like the NPCs so much I felt bad when some of them met their ends.

I'd love to DM this module but it's also intimidating and I'd want the game session conditions to be just right. Since we normally play around a battlemat, this would be a huge departure for my group.

In reading through it, I didn't see anything that made it really scream "Golarion" and it crossed my mind that it might even be possible to run it in a low-fantasy d20 Modern game, just converting all the humanoids to humans. (The lazy way, of course, by just saying human when it says halfling/gnome/half-orc/hobgoblin.) It might even work in a MCWoD game if all the PCs are Awakened or Mages.

To answer someone's question as to why the people just don't leave... It's a haunting, who says they're able to leave? I suppose that's a bit heavy-handed but I also support the Mists of Ravenloft as a plot device. Why the PCs don't leave the courthouse could be something similar.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Anyway we can get this Mod PFS sanctioned? :)


Duncan7291 wrote:
Anyway we can get this Mod PFS sanctioned? :)

Given that it was made for 3.5, not PF, I'd say the odds aren't good.

I love this module, and was looking forward to running it at the Halloween party this year, but unfortunately someone borrowed my copy, and now insists that he gave it back despite the fact that it was the first time I'd seen him in the 6 months after I gave him the book. Sigh.

EDIT: Huh. Just saw the price. $2? Hot damn, I'll just buy another copy and ship it with my subs for July.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I note that the print version is now in the "less than 100" category. Despite being several years old, and 3.5, this is an absolutely terrific module that is well worth the few bucks. It's early Nicolas Logue -- that should tell you most of what you need to know right there -- and it's a truly atmospheric, disturbing low-level module.

Highly recommended.

Doug M.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I keep hearing this is good and amazing module, but I avoid buying 3.5 products since I don't like doing conversions :'D I feel like I'm missing something amazing.

Feeling same way about other 3.5 modules too, would be nice if there was something like "collection of the best modules converted to pathfinder rules" book/thing in future :'D

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