A dark urban horror adventure for 5th-level Pathfinder Roleplaying Game characters.
The strange city of Carrion Hill has long loomed over the surrounding swamps in eastern Ustalav, yet its rulers have shifted many times through the centuries. Often enough that only a few sinister scholars and curious minds know the true nature of the hill’s original inhabitants—vile and depraved cultists of the Old Gods. Yet this morning, a dreadful recrudescence rises from the depths of buried nightmare in the vaults below Carrion Hill. A monster stalks the twisted alleys of the city, spreading panic before it and leaving destruction in its wake. Can the Carrion Hill Horror be stopped?
Carrion Hill is an adventure for 5th-level characters, written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest RPG. The adventure features a mix of urban and dungeon sites, and draws its inspiration from the popular writings of H. P. Lovecraft.
This adventure is set in the sinister country of Ustalav in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but can easily be adapted for any game world.
Written by Richard Pett
Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, adventures using the Open Game License to work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set. This Pathfinder Module includes four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.
There's little that I can add here that my fellows have not already said. This is a wonderful module with some excellent roleplay opportunities and some remarkably challenging combats. My party was at the edge of their seat during the final fight, which is challenging and nerve-wracking, but not impossible. It's also a scenario that should reward really creative and unique approaches - due to its open-ended nature, GMs should be prepared for parties to go in unique directions with it.
This is an excellent, relatively open-ended adventure with a horror theme. I really enjoyed reading it and I really enjoyed running it.
The writing is tight, the artwork is excellent, and the maps are very helpful. It remains everything we have come to expect from Paizo.
The theme, background, and location for the adventure is very well put-together. It is internally consistent, and gives plenty of atmosphere for a GM to use in crafting a disconcerting adventure. I found it to be a great mix of useful information and open-ended ideas. I used it in a non-Golarian setting with only a few minor alterations to names.
The encounters are also well-put together and I was able to use them as written. The NPCs and monsters all fit the theme of the adventure nicely, and should prove memorable. Much of it is an homage to Lovecraft, but it is a well-rendered homage.
One thing I really enjoyed was the "sandbox" feel of the adventure. The PCs have a lot of choices to make. Some of them are illusory, but it doesn't require railroading or substantial reworking if the party decides to take a unique approach.
The party I ran it for are veterans of several horror-themed games, and all really enjoyed it. From the initial encounters which hint at an ancient evil, to the disconcerting locales that they found their characters unwillingly later drawn, this captured their imaginations wonderfully.
Once again Pathfinder finds a way to cater to all story genres and player tastes. As an avid fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I was excited to lead my group through this module. Those who have little experience in the macabre atmosphere generally accompanied in Lovecraftian horror, will not be put off as the story does a wonderful job in explaining key elements and adding vivid sensory detail.
For the young adult crowd, this story, based loosely off of "The Dunwich Horror", and I hope this inspires you to look more into the genre.
As a gamer, my advice as a gm, would be to get a grid map and a few erasable markers. The maps given are very comprehensive and easy to draw. This also prevents confusion during combat.
Carrion Hill is a 5th level adventure for the Pathfinder d20 roleplaying system. Written by the notoriously-evil Richard Pett, Carrion Hill plunges players into the depths of urban horror that is immediately recognizable as an homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s classic “The Dunwich Horror.” Expect plenty of cultists, insane citizens, and tentacles. Oh yes, there will be tentacles.
The plot gradually ramps in tension, as players are tasked with initially tasked with investigating a home that has been utterly decimated by something monstrous. The only problem is that witnesses claim the house imploded all by itself; there were no monsters or creatures present that were wrecking the home. As the mystery progresses, adventurers find themselves in the middle of an ancient cult’s cabal that may or may not involve the Old Gods themselves. It becomes a race against the clock to track down a mysterious yet powerful nightmare that is stalking the streets of Carrion Hill.
Again, in typical Richard Pett fashion, the adventure can be absolutely brutal. If you are a Game Master running this module, make sure you know the full capabilities of your party before launching them into it. But then again, a real fear of death might be the best way to portray the horrors of this book. Regardless, it remains one of the best that Paizo has released to date and is highly recommended for any group that can embrace a little horror into their lives.
(Full review found at: http://www.nerdrepublic.net)